Alright everyone, summer is officially upon us – warmer weather and longer days. So no excuses for not getting out there and having fun. Don’t have time? Make time. Don’t want to go alone? Grab a buddy. Don’t feel like it? Just do it. Or if you’re stumped on what to do, here’s a summer fitness (fun) bucket list for you. You don’t have to be hardcore, you don’t have to be fit, and you don’t need all day. At least go for a after dinner walk or hit the birdie around in the backyard. The important thing is to stay active and have fun doing it! Remember, no excuses! Get out, have fun, stay fit!
©2016 Susie Lee
In my last article, I said that a little etiquette goes a long way. In the same regard, we can also apply this principle to so many other areas of life – take for instance, snacking on junk food. Not only are these seemingly small portions bursting with flavour but they’re also packed with a lot of hidden calories. And until we’re aware of just how many calories we’re consuming, we won’t have any inclination to stop munching. It’s okay to nibble here and there but make sure you also exercise here and there. So if you’re a snacker like me, here’s a little chart to keep those calories in check and balance:
Sometimes, it’s easy to misunderstand what people are saying and we can easily get offended by their words – especially from those who are closest to us. But before we judge, condemn, or scold them; it’s wise to ask them for clarification on what they meant rather than assuming the worst. This act alone will clear up any misunderstandings, open doors to effective communication, and save us a lot of heartache. So before we get offended by someone’s words, let’s ask them what they meant in a non-threatening way.
©2015 Susie Lee
I’ve always been more of a night owl than an early bird. But sometimes, life may not give us the luxury to choose our personal preference of when to wake up. Whether we have to get up early due to work, family, or other obligations, here are a few tips to help us adjust to the morning rise and make our day flow just a little bit smoother:
I’m not a dietician but neither am I a rocket scientist to know that what we eat on the inside will show on the outside. One of the ways to living our best is feeling our best. And a part of that is taking care of our bodies through exercise and what we put into it. Fact is, eating healthy takes work – it takes time, energy, planning, and preparation. That’s why it’s tempting to eat out or heat up already-made processed foods. Eventually what we eat will catch up to us, for better or for worse.
A general rule of thumb to eating healthy is to consume food in it’s simplest form of being unprocessed, and if you do consume processed foods, make sure it has very few ingredients in it, ones that you can pronounce. Every little bit helps, so try not to add unnecessary salt to dishes or sugar in beverages but if you need to, a tasty substitute sweetener would be honey (or agave) and a good substitute for salt would be salsa. Another way to cut needless calories from your diet is to replace your soda and juice with water and non-caffeinated tea. And unless you’re an athlete in training, I’d stay away from energy drinks and protein shakes, all of which have an absorbent amount of calories. A little always goes a long way, this applies to both losing and putting on the pounds.
Another way to watch what you eat is to make your own meals and desserts. This way you can control what ingredients you’d like to put into it. Yes, this takes time and who knows, you might find you have a natural knack for cooking and baking. In my spare time, I enjoy baking as it helps me to decompress and I’m electronic-free for a few hours. The plus side is that I’ll have delicious treats on hand for the rest of the week. Yes, baking and cooking takes time and effort but the health benefits far outweigh the work.
I guarantee you’ll have those days where you’re going to want to sink your teeth into sweets or into the deep-fried food with a gulp of pop, and that’s ok, the key is moderation. Actually, this can apply to all aspects of our lives. It’s fine to have a cheat day, just don’t make that everyday. In the beginning, it’s mind over matter – you have to discipline your mind to re-condition your body but as the weeks and months go by, it’ll become second nature.
Along with watching our diet, it’s also important to take our vitamins and get plenty of exercise daily. Overtime, even our work out routine can become a bore and our bodies can become stagnant. So don’t be afraid to change it up. Sign up for a dance class with a friend, or take advantage of the free swim or skate sessions at your local community centre. The trick is to make exercise fun, so go for a hike, run, or bike in the great outdoors with some buddies. If you can’t find the time in your schedule to sign up for a class or get a gym pass, then move your body in simple ways like parking the car further from your final destination, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking the bus instead of the car. I’m not saying we should be obsessed with the health of our bodies but we do need to take care of them because it’s the only one we’ve got. Taking these simple steps will make us feel better. And ironically, energy begets more energy.
On top of eating healthy and regular exercise, it’s important to increase the happiness, decrease the stress, and get plenty of sleep. We need to take care of our bodies now, so our bodies will take care of us later. This applies to any age.
©2014 Susie Lee
Every once in a while, I like to leave my phone at home or take a day off from it. Being disconnected from my gadget helps me to be in the moment and be present to those around me. It’s easier to be fully present as I’m not distracted to check my phone or be interrupted by a beep of a text or the ring of an incoming call.
This summer, I challenge you to put your phone away for a few days and to make memories that no one else knows about – memories you don’t have to capture, tag, or post… memories that are just yours. Experience things for what they are rather than losing the moment by trying to take the perfect picture. If you must take a picture, then take it with the lens of your eye rather than with the lens of your camera. Embrace and enjoy the moment.
I leave you with this challenging and creative video by Gary Turk: LOOK UP
Have a great summer!
©2014 Susie Lee
A few years ago, I read this little yet powerful book, The Four Agreements. They’re simple and practical steps on how to keep life uncomplicated leaving more room for freedom and fullness of life. This week, I came across this poster and thought I’d share this wisdom with you. Choosing to live by these simple agreements in your relationships, work and play can instantly transform your world into a healthier and happier place. As a daily reminder, you can pin this up on your fridge, bathroom mirror, hallway, back of your door, in your car or have it as your screen saver on your phone or computer. Have a terrific week. © 2012 Susie Lee