Fitness is a side effect of wellnessFitness is a side effect of wellness. Wellness incorporates proper nourishment, exercise, and mental/emotional balance as well.

The benefits one receives from this combination cannot be found in any “magic” pill. The best and most efficient way to lose and maintain consistent weight loss is through a balanced and nourishing diet combined with 3-5 days of moderate exercise. This will take longer, but the return will be healthier and provide longer-lasting results.

There are many options available now that help make exercise much more accessible.  With so many options available, it is important to write down your goal, make it clear, and then begin making the changes necessary to lead the healthy lifestyle that you see yourself in.

Change can be difficult, and for those that are new to the gym, most gyms offer one free personal training session just to help get you started. There are also several great books, magazines, and YouTube tutorials for novices.

If you are really pressed for time, DVDs and YouTube offer great workout routines to do at home.  The only excuses for avoiding exercise are the ones we make up ourselves.

We are many times the roadblock to our own wellness.  If that all seems a bit too overwhelming, making one really small change can help.  Commit to a brisk 15-minute walk in the morning and another walk in the evening. If you cannot commit to those two 15-minute intervals, then ask yourself: what are you a slave to that is preventing you from dedicating a total of 30 minutes in your day to yourself for the sake of your wellness?

Small changes can and will yield long-lasting and beneficial results.

I am a mom constantly on the go, but I still squeeze in one hour of exercise 4-5 days out of the week and dedicate that to my sanity.  Some days, I am lucky enough to make it to the gym; others, I pull out my yoga mat and my favorite DVD, and I work out in the morning while my twins are still sound asleep.  (Where there is a will for health, there is a way). I exercise for sanity, not vanity, and I think that is an important goal to hold on to.

On Sundays, I prep my lunches for the week. I also plan out our dinners for the week; this saves me a ton of time!  Healthy eating does not have to be bland.

This is one of my favorite simple recipes: Turkey burgers: Turkey patties Whole grain bread rounds Tomatoes Spinach Avocado Sweet potato wedges Slice up a sweet potato and marinate it in olive oil and oregano. Place the slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle sea salt over them. Bake for about 35-45 minutes. (Premade sweet potato fries are good, too, if you are in a time crunch!)

Allow the goals to be the following: Exercise for the maintenance of life, not perfection. Use food for nourishment.

Given enough patience, dedication, and time, a fit and healthy body will be the byproduct of the two combined. I like to think of exercise as an act of kindness and self-love towards the body.

Lucille Ball once said, “Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.  You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” Thus, I encourage you to enjoy yourself, step out of your comfort zone, and get to work on some life-changing healthy habits!

Namaste.

By: Sylvia Morales