We understand that not everyone is a natural morning person. If you aren’t one, getting out of bed earlier than you need to feels nearly impossible, the snooze button is your friend and ally, and making a healthy breakfast feels like a dream rather than reality. If you happen to make it to a 7am spin class, you look in awe at your high-energy instructor, not nearly understanding how they have so much energy before the sun even rises.
However, if you find yourself in the oh-so-common struggle of not having enough time in your day, getting up earlier may be just the answer you’ve been looking for. If your health and fitness are very important to you, but other daily responsibilities (kids, work, errands) get in the way, it might be time to take advantage of all the morning has to offer. Having an extra hour in the morning will allow you the time to make a healthy, wholesome breakfast, make it to the gym, practice yoga on your porch, or clear your mind for the day ahead. An early alarm certainly sounds worth it!
But how can you start the transition to waking up earlier to prioritize health?
- Pick a new wake up time and gradually move towards it. If you’d like to wake up an hour earlier than you do now, start by setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier for a week. The next week, set it 15 minutes earlier than that. Four weeks later, you’ll be waking up an hour earlier each day – without the jarring effect of trying to do so right away. A gradual transition won’t be nearly as difficult to stick with.
- Take advantage of the sunlight. In the summertime, the sun rises earlier in the day, so waking up to natural light is easy. But in the winter, the sun might not greet you until after 7am, making it feel nearly impossible to get out of bed. During the darker months, find an alarm clock or light that mimics natural sunlight. An alarm that blares your favorite pump-up workout songs can also work to get you in the mood for health.
- If getting out of bed is the hardest part for you, place your alarm clock across the room, or better yet, in another room. If you need some extra motivation, prepare a delicious breakfast (peanut butter-chocolate energy bites, anyone?) or set your coffee maker to brew first thing in the morning. Waking up to the smell of coffee can certainly help get you out of bed!
- Prep the night before. If you are going to the gym in the morning, packing your bag the night before allows you that extra 10 minutes of sleep that you crave. You can even sleep in your workout clothes to save a little more time. Wearing bright workout clothes (neon or red works well) can mimic the excitement and energy you need early in the morning.
- Enlist a friend… even a furry one! Meeting a friend for an early morning jog, or a smoothie date, will practically guarantee that you get out of bed. Committing to walking or jogging with your dogs in tow is another easy motivator. Setting dates like these and skipping them isn’t only letting yourself down – it’s letting down someone (or some dog) you love.
Overall, incorporating these tips into your daily life is all about creating healthy habits. When it comes down to it, do you ever regret going to the gym, or eating a healthy meal? Probably not. Incorporate this mantra into your morning routine and you’ll never miss an alarm.
For many, exercising with a tangible goal in mind acts as a driver to produce harder, faster, and more effective workouts. For instance, setting a goal to do 10 consecutive push-ups within the next two months encourages one to intensely focus workouts on arms, back, and core. Lifting goals encourage people to get to the gym more often and lift heavier, more intense weight.
With how effective setting concrete goals can be, we encourage everyone interested in health and fitness to settle on a goal (or a few goals), write them down to keep yourself accountable, and develop a routine that gets you to accomplishing your dreams.
If you’re looking for a concrete goal to develop general fitness, signing up for a race may be just the driver you need.
Firstly, there are a wide array of races out there, each with their own distances and elevations, so you can choose the level of difficulty that’s best for you. Whether it’s a one-mile jog, a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or even a marathon, choosing a race date a few months down the line compels you to create a training plan and get out there. Health and fitness blogs around the web are rife with training plans depending on your timeline and distance, making it easy to customize a training plan that’s perfect for you.
Why else can races be so motivating? For one, they allow you to set a concrete goal and a date by which you want to accomplish it. Races typically cost money, an incentive for many to make the most of what you spend. Shelling out $75 for a half marathon doesn’t seem worth it if you aren’t going to try your best on race day. Better yet, many races donate all or a portion of their registration fees to charities, so we encourage you to do your research when choosing the race that’s best for you.
If you need some additional motivation, enlist a friend who has similar goals to sign up as well. Whether you run the entire race beside each other or not, having a friend to train with is a constant reminder to get out and run. A good training plan also comes with some cross-training days (think: swimming, spinning, yoga, pilates, or other types of cardio exercise) and some weight-lifting days, giving you a comprehensive training plan all week through.
Search for races in your area by visiting Runner’s World’s Race Finder.
Have you run a race before? What motivates you to get out and train?
We’re all about treating yourself. One cookie here, a serving of ice cream there, and a few potato chips aren’t going to hurt anyone, and you deserve to spoil yourself a little! We work so hard day in and day out that a little reward is practically necessary for success.
At the same time, going overboard on the sweets can seriously set you back in your health goals. On top of this, these foods are practically made for indulging (uninhabited indulging, at that); with high sugar and fat counts melding together to create delectable desserts, it can be incredibly difficult for the body to stop at the appropriate serving size.
Like anything in the world of health and wellness, being healthy is all about good habits. Eating just one brownie, therefore, isn’t about just having great willpower or self-control that you’re naturally born with. Yes, some people may possess something like this, but most don’t. It’s about instituting good habits that you’re able to stick with.
One of the best habits you can put in place to limit your dessert cravings is to focus on self balance. Eating less dessert isn’t about controlling your cravings and desires – it’s about giving into those cravings every once in a while, and letting yourself enjoy what you do eat. Balance your desires for instant gratification with those you’ll realize down the line. For instance, say you have a date night with friends coming up this weekend. Chances are, there will be some sort of chocolate-y concoction or cheese plate in your future. Think through these delicious choices this week as you reach for a dessert that may not satisfy you as fully. But at the same time, if you’re really in need of a cookie… eat the cookie!
Again, it’s all about balancing your current desires with those you have for the future. Rather than restricting and depriving yourself, allow yourself to have those unhealthy foods when you most want them. Practicing this balancing act – and getting it right for you – will help you avoid the guilt you might feel after indulging. It will change your mindset to one of “must have” guilty pleasures to “casually enjoying” your favorite desserts.
Switching from “I can’t eat that” to “I truly deserve this” is the exact balance that will help you accomplish your long-term health goals while still enjoying all that life has to offer.
How do you indulge the healthy way?
You step outside and take a refreshing, deep breath of the warm springtime air. You look around and see flowers budding, trees blooming, and the sun shining above you. You take another deep breath… suddenly you can’t breathe through your nose anymore, and your eyes are watering.
Sound familiar? With the emergence of spring weather also comes spring allergies for many of us. Just when the air becomes warm enough so that it’s enjoyable to be outside, spring allergies relegate you to the indoors. Sometimes, when the pollen counts are high enough, your typical spring allergy medicine doesn’t do the job that it should. That’s the point where we start trying all the remedies we can find to try and feel better – especially if they’re proven and natural.
Unsure of which natural allergy remedies might be best for you to try? These top 5 remedies are said to work wonders, and require no extra medications, pills, or sprays.
- Eat local honey. Eating honey produced by the bees in your area can help relieve allergies. Because bees transfer pollen from flowers to honey day in and day out, eating a bit of local honey each day can help immunize you to the negative effects of the pollen in the air.
- Pump up the vitamin C. Drinking juices or eating fruits high in this vitamin helps increase the power of your immune system, which is naturally suffering during allergy season. Vitamin C also functions as a natural antihistamine, staving off pollen as it comes at you.
- Chomp on walnuts. These yummy nuts are high in magnesium, which is said to decrease wheezing and coughing. They’re also chock full of vitamin E, which boosts immunity and negates the impacts allergies can have on your body.
- Enjoy more omega-3 fatty acids. Found in fish and flaxseed, omega-3 fatty acids have healing properties when it comes to spring allergies. Eating a diet low in omega-6 fatty acids (think: red meat) and high in omega-3 fatty acids (think: salmon) can make you feel ten times better during allergy season.
- Remove all pollen from your home. Pollen hangs on your clothes, in your hair, and on your rugs, curtains, and carpets. Shut all the windows during allergy season and temporarily use an air conditioner or fan to keep your house cool. Take off your shoes at the door to avoid trekking pollen inside, and change your clothes as soon as you get home (taking a shower on top of this is even better). Vaccuum all rugs, clean your curtains, and wash your sheets and towels regularly. The less pollen you bring into your home – and the less surfaces you let it stick to – the better!
How do you stave off spring allergies? Let us know your natural remedies!
Seen above: Teva Terra-Float Livia
Depending on where you live, beach weather is either rapidly approaching or is already here. Those wondrous days lounging in the sun, feet out and sunglasses on, are in sight. Lazy, relaxing days of sitting with your toes in the sand and being enveloped by a great book are almost ready to commence.
While some love the beach for its calming daze, others prefer to take advantage of all the adventure and action that the beach has to offer. Whether you’re a fan of hopping on a jet ski, surfing the waves, going for a beachside run, playing bocce or volleyball, or swimming the day away, there’s a bit of fun activity for any taste during a sunny beach day.
Seen above: Salomon Crossamphibian
Throughout all your best adventures, we’re here to keep you safe and comfortable in adorable, active water shoes. Cute, functional beachside sandals dry quickly, no matter how much water and activity you put them through, while protecting the bottom of your feet from rocks, crags, and debris. For a step above, beachside sneakers protect your whole foot, ensuring that no matter how adventurous your day becomes, your feet stay happy.
Complete with our classic comfort-driven footbeds, our water shoes make you feel like you’re walking on air (even if you’re already walking on sand!). The straps on our sandals and the slip-on properties of our sneakers keep your feet locked in tight, ensuring they never slip out. The soles of these shoes are made with traction and stability in mind; no matter how slippery a surface, these shoes will keep you grounded and in charge of your own adventure.
Seen above: Chaco Outcross Evo Free
And while keeping you locked in and stable, these shoes are still incredibly breathable. Made with mesh and polyester webbing, your feet will breathe easy in materials created for the purpose of ventilation and quick-drying.
Check out our water shoes shop today and peruse the selection. You never know where your beach day might take you, and we’re here to ensure your feet are comfortable, protected, and stable the whole day through.
As we finally welcome the beginning of spring, the world seems to get a bit more lively. Flowers and trees bloom all around us, the birds begin chirping the day away, and people tend to spend more time outside, livening our streets. On top of this, spring produce comes out in full force, with weekend farmers’ markets lining city streets and town commons in an attempt to get all that yummy in-season produce out into your kitchens.
As these farmers markets open and blossom, they bring flavor with them. The more in-season and local a piece of fruit or a vegetable is, the more fresh flavor comes with it. Farmers spend a ton of time planting, sowing, and harvesting their seasonal goodies – it’s time to take advantage of all that they have to offer!
How can you take advantage of that fresh asparagus, peas, mangoes, apricots, endives, melons, fennel, limes, pineapple, spinach, and Swiss chard? Blend all your favorites together into a delicious smoothie! Take the nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and flavor that the farmers’ market has to offer and blend them together into a delicious meal.
Smoothies are so wonderful because they’re immensely filling – and the more you add, the more filling they become. Mix an assortment of your favorite spring produce with Greek yogurt for a protein-packed, satiating smoothie that will keep you full and feeling happy for hours on end. Throw in some flax seeds, chia seeds, or other nutritional powerhouses for added vitamins. Balance your nutrients by picking the best produce for you – if you’re in need of Vitamin C, focus on adding mangoes and strawberries. Need some vitamin K? Add spinach to your delectable concoction.
If you don’t know where to start, try these smoothies on for size. Complete with nutritious spring produce and tons of beneficial vitamins, these spring smoothies are practically guaranteed to make you feel wonderful this season. Blend them up and let us know how it goes!