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5 Ways to Encourage Your Family Towards Healthier Living

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NatureMadeFamily #CollectiveBias 

Growing up, I was a very active kid. I played soccer, took dance lessons and was always outside playing with friends, roller skating or riding my bike. While I was very active physically, my nutrition was lacking. I was an extremely picky eater as a kid, definitely not taking in what I needed to stay healthy. Now that I’m an adult and have four kids (aged 18 months to 13 years old) my life is so busy just holding down the normal day to day routine. But my husband and I do strive to live a healthier lifestyle as a family. We are encouraging our kids with daily exercise, good health and nutrition. Here are a few ideas for encouraging families to live a healthier life!

These are five easy and practical ways to help encourage your family towards living a healthier and more active life #NatureMadeFamily #ad

1. Make it a Routine

What healthy routines are you making in your life? Once you do something a few times with your kids, it can quickly become the “norm”. Like dessert – I know if we’ve offered the kids a bowl of ice cream two nights in a row you can bet that they’ll be asking for it again on night 3! Simple healthy routines become habit if you do them often enough, too. Here are a few of our healthy living routines:

  • Taking off our shoes before entering the house. So much unhealthy bacteria on shoes – better that shoes stay on the porch or garage.
  • Flossing our teeth nightly.
  • Daily bathroom cleaning.
  • We get out of the house together each evening to take an after-dinner walk. It’s a way for us to help settle our stomachs, squeeze in a little exercise and tire out the kids before bedtime.

These are five easy and practical ways to help encourage your family towards living a healthier and more active life #NatureMadeFamily #ad

2. Get Input

Our kids each have their own idea of what kind of exercise they like to do. My eldest son would happily play basketball all day. The kindergartner loves to swim. Our teenage daughter isn’t crazy about exercising but she doesn’t mind riding the stationary bike at the gym. And of course the toddler just wants to climb on play equipment at the park! It’s important when getting kids on-board that you take their personal tastes into consideration and participate in the exercise that they enjoy. We get every child involved with family-friendly exercises.

3. Easy Meal Swaps

At mealtime, I know that there are certain foods my five-year old doesn’t enjoy. He’s tried them and his taste buds just aren’t having it, so I don’t push the issue. I don’t make a big deal out of the fact that he doesn’t like bananas, so at breakfast – I’ll cut up a pear for him instead. And at dinner tonight while the rest of us ate grilled zucchini, I steamed up some baby carrots for him in the microwave. I’m not making completely different meals for him. And I do make him at least try the foods before he determines that he doesn’t want more. But it’s easy enough for me to make a quick swap for him so I know he’s having a balanced meal.

4. Mix it Up

A bit of diversity is a great idea. Doing the same thing week after week is boring! Our weekends are spent outside, taking long walks around the lake, playing soccer or swimming. We never do the same thing two weekends in a row. Around the dinner table we are trying out new veggies and creative recipes. We’ve found recently that we enjoy spaghetti squash!

5. Supplements

I’ve been wanting to purchase a children’s vitamin for my kindergartner. With my son now spending long school hours around a bunch of other five year olds, I was looking for something that would support his immune system.

These are five easy and practical ways to help encourage your family towards living a healthier and more active life #NatureMadeFamily #ad

I found Nature Made® Kids First® Vitamin C Gummies at Target. I also found Nature Made® Vitamin C Adult Gummies and picked those up for my husband and I. Target’s Cartwheel app currently offers 10% off all Nature Made® products, while supplies last.

These are five easy and practical ways to help encourage your family towards living a healthier and more active life #NatureMadeFamily #ad

Going into winter, I want to get our family on a healthy routine of taking supplements. Nature Made® had the 1st gummies verified by USP for purity and potency.* Nature Made® Gummies also have great tasting natural flavors, are gluten free and have no preservatives or yeast.

These are five easy and practical ways to help encourage your family towards living a healthier and more active life #NatureMadeFamily #ad

Kids First® Gummies are for children 4 years older and up, perfect for my kinder kid. And at just $9.99 for a value sized bottle, this is a great price. Gummy vitamins are just fun and it’s an easy way to get kids to take supplements. It never fails that my son reminds me every day to give him his gummy – he never forgets! See, now that’s a good healthy habit routine!

These are five easy and practical ways to help encourage your family towards living a healthier and more active life #NatureMadeFamily #ad

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

*Find those Nature Made USP verified gummies on NatureMade.com/USP

These are five easy and practical ways to help encourage your family towards living a healthier and more active life #NatureMadeFamily #ad

“This Time I Really Mean It” – The Good Health Snowball Effect

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and the Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #NourishOnTheGo #SnackWithPurpose #CollectiveBias

How many times I’ve said that phrase, “I’m going to get healthy this time, I really mean it!” Only to fall off the wagon as soon as a piece of chocolate cake crosses my path. Unfortunately chocolate cake seems to cross my path frequently and I’m off the wagon more than I’m on it! Now that I’m reaching my mid-40s and starting to see the effects that years of neglect (and too much chocolate cake) have done to me, I’m finally seeing the light. I’m making little changes for a big difference. I’m getting serious about my health and am pushing myself to finally make good on all the promises to improve my eating and exercise habits. This time, I really DO mean it.

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

Odwall Chocolate Protein, a much better choice than cake!

Holding Myself Accountable

It’s easier to stick to my goals if I hold myself accountable. For me, that means choosing people I trust to lovingly nag me! Yeah, I probably don’t really want to hear the question, “Did you go to the gym today?” when I decided to skip going. But if I KNOW that someone is going to ask me every day, then I’m more likely to go. That way I can say, “Yep! Already went to the gym first thing in the morning!”. Opening up to people who can gently guide you towards your goals helps you to stay on track.

Healthy Living Tip#1 – Choose your inner circle of people whom you trust to lovingly ask you about your healthy journey. Choose one person for each task, someone to ask you about exercise, another to ask you if you ate a healthy breakfast, someone else to ask you if you’re drinking water. A text is good, a phone call is better and someone actually in your face is optimal (and not as easy to ignore!)

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

Little Goals Are Still a Big Deal

Though of course I have the big picture in mind, setting smaller goals helps me stay focused. If I concentrate on losing 5 lbs at a time, this seems more “do-able” than the entire 25 I need to tackle. And if I remind myself that 30 minutes of moving is all I need daily, once I already have my gym clothes on I’m more likely to stretch that 30 minutes into an hour.

Healthy Living Tip#2 – Even if my goals are small, they’re still important to me. Set goals in manageable chunks so they seem easier to accomplish.

Make It Prominent for All to See

After years of breaking my healthy living promises, I don’t trust myself. It’s way too easy for me to hide the sweets and eat them all myself after everyone is in bed. It’s too easy to just let the exercise slide and soon enough, it’s been weeks since I put on my gym shoes. I’ve decided to make a checklist that I’m displaying on the fridge. Then everyone in the family can see it, good or bad.

Healthy Living Tip#3 – Sure, smart phone apps are handy for keeping track of this stuff, but it’s for your eyes only and too easy to hide. If I don’t have it on display for all to see, it’s way too easy for me to blow it off. Maybe you’re the same way? I have a check list on the fridge that outlines if I’ve exercised, how many cups of water I’ve had and my food log.

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

Do the Same Thing Everyday

Getting into a healthy pattern takes practice. For me, it helps to do the same things day in and day out. Wake up and put on my gym clothes. Exercise before I can talk myself out of it. Eating a good breakfast is part of what I’ve added to my routine too. It’s easiest and most reliable for me to grab and go breakfast in the mornings. Having an Odwalla before I hit the gym ensures I have good nutrition in my body to sustain me for a workout.

Healthy Living Tip #4 – What are the things you can make routine? If you’re currently in a rut, how can you switch things up for repeat success?

The Good Health Snowball Effect

When I’m working out regularly I’m encouraged to eat better as well. I don’t want to ruin my workout by eating something that will cause me to backtrack. Having Odwalla on hand helps me to make the best choices when refueling.

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

My local Vons has a large juice section in the fresh produce department with a fantastic variety of Odwalla 100% juices and smoothies, protein and almond milk shakes. Ingredients are non-GMO, have no added sugar and taste great. I had no idea there were so many varieties of Odwalla!

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

Right now you can save on fresh cut fruit when you purchase any 2 Odwalla product at participating stores. I’m practicing good habits that have me reaching for fresh fruit instead of empty carbs.

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

It’s so easy for me to stock up on Odwalla to have on hand. Then I just grab one after lacing up my gym shoes and drink it before my workout. 32 grams of protein in the Chocolate Protein Smoothie gives me long-lasting energy so I can push myself to meet (and exceed!) my goals. I’m eating better and exercising more; Which in turn makes me want to continue to give my body the good stuff (sorry, not sorry chocolate cake!).

Save $1 on your next purchase of in-store fresh cut fruit when you buy any TWO (2) Odwalla 15.2 fl. oz. (You’ll receive a print out coupon at the register.). Offer ends 10/31/2017.

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

Exercising in Disney Style – Collection of Whimsical Workout Gear

I came across these amazing New Balance runDisney shoes and fell in love! I think the hardest part would be choosing just one pair!  I think I’d have to go with the pink pair on the far left, those tiny polka dots are calling my name!

Image from RunDisney.com

There’s a catch, however. These Limited Edition New Balance runDisney Collection are exclusive only to runDisney Expo attendees. Hopefully someday they’ll be available to those of us who are racing Disney at home and can’t make it to the Expo.

In the meantime, I’ve procured a collection of whimsical Disney-inspired training gear that anyone can get their hand on. These fun items are sure to get you moving!


Get your glitter on with these tough (yet still pretty!) skirts and accessories from Sparkle Athletic. So cute for race day or just for putting more spark in your step on the treadmill!

Red with White Polka Dots Sparkle Running Skirt or the Pink Tiara Sparkle Headsweats Visor


The tongue-in-cheek humor on these tees from Human add some lightness to your serious sweat.

Gonna Crush this Workout tank or the I Don’t Sweat…This is Pixie Dust tee


If you’d rather not wear your Disney heart on your sleeve (literally), sneak in a little of your Disney Side where only you’ll know it’s there! These fun and colorful no-show socks are from Hot Topic.

Disney Lilo & Stitch Faces No-Show Socks or the Disney The Little Mermaid Characters No-Show Socks

     


For flat-out practical exercise clothes, you can’t beat these from The Disney Store. Might they inspire you to sign up for the 5K? Perhaps…

Castaway Cay 5K Tee or these RunDisney Shorts for Women

        


On the opposite end of the spectrum are these over-the-top fabulous run costumes. Look no further than Etsy for fabulous and unique designs.

Snow White by This Princess Runs or Rapunzel by SherryDesignEdit

     


And finally for the kids, a Disney-themed swimsuit for lap swimming , diving or just plain ol’ splashing around! These are from the Disney Store.

Star Wars Swim Trunks for Boys or the Ariel Deluxe Swimsuit for Girls


Do you have fun Disney workout clothes? Share in the comments below and please consider signing up for my newsletter so you’ll know each time I post.

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Exercising on Vacation?! – Getting in a Workout, Disney-style at the Disneyland Resort Hotels

Exercising on Vacation?! - Getting in a Workout, Disney-style at the Disneyland Resort Hotels

You didn’t get enough of a workout strolling through the Parks? No worries, the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort have you covered. There are gyms for breaking a sweat in, pools to cool off in and fun group exercise activities that even take you inside the Park!

             

I will be totally honest with you: I’ve never worked out on a Disneyland vacation. However, because we live so close my “trips” are usually only overnight and the days are jam-packed with Park walking. If I were to take a longer vacation, I know I’d want to supplement the walking with some cardio or weight training as well. It’s great to know that even while you’re indulging in fried chicken at the Plaza Inn you can still keep up your healthy exercise habits!

Images from Disney.com

The fitness centers at the Disneyland Resort hotels are well-equipped with treadmills, bicycles (both regular and recumbent), ellipticals, stair climbers, free weights and weight machines. There are lockers available. Use of the fitness centers is complimentary for Resort Hotel Guests. Guests must be 14 years or older to use the fitness centers. Guests 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult or guardian.

Eureka Fitness Center at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel – closes at 8 pm daily.

Goofy About Health Club at the Disneyland Hotel -open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Mickey’s Beach Fitness Center at the Paradise Pier -open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Image from Disney.com

The pools of the Disneyland Resort offer Guests a refreshing swim, though it might be a challenge getting a decent water-workout during peak times. Early morning or late evening are probably your best bet for getting a space in the pool to exercise. The D-Ticket pool at the Disneyland pool is recommended for lap swimming.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa pools

Disneyland Hotel pools

Paradise Pier pool

Each pool also offers whirlpool hot tubs for relaxing those sore muscles after your workout (or after a long day on your feet in the Park!)

Images from Disney.com


All Guests of the Disneyland Resort hotels can participate in the Get Up & Go Power Walk. Beginning at 7am, this is a 15-minute, one-mile walk through Disney California Adventure Park. It is led by a Guest Activities Coordinator and free for Resort Guests. Minimum age to participate is 14 years; Guests 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up at the Guest Services desk in the main lobby to reserve a space.

A Pilates-inspired, non-impact fitness class is held near the Outdoor Fireplace in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. This one-hour workout session is appropriate for men and women of all fitness levels. Minimum age to participate is 14 years old. Contact the Guest Services desk upon arrival for the class schedule and to sign up; Reservations are required.


Do you exercise on your Disney vacations? Share below in the comments and please consider signing up for my newsletter so you’ll be notified when new posts are listed.

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Start (and Stick to!) an Exercise Routine On a Budget

I used to think that if “I only had a gym membership”, I could get into shape. Or if “I only had more time in the day to exercise”. It’s only with time that’s I’ve come to know that the only thing preventing me from good health are MY EXCUSES! There is a way to get fit for everyone on every budget.  Get it out of your head that you require a personal trainer, costly equipment or fancy spandex clothes in order to exercise. You really just have to push past the excuses and do it!

Before you begin, make sure you’re in good health by getting a check-up from your doctor. Please note that I include affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Starting an Exercise Routine on a Budget

What are your goals and what do you hope to accomplish? You’re unlikely to meet your goals if you don’t first establish what you want.

  • Purchase a calendar that you’ll keep in a prominent location where you will note your workout days and log your exercise every day. I keep mine on the fridge for everyone to see.
  • Write down your goals and place your goals in a place where you’ll see them and can be reminded of them so you’ll better stay on track. Do you want to lose weight, improve cardivascular health, become more flexible?
  • Find a like-minded workout buddy that you can schedule exercise with and meet up at a regular time & place. You’re less likely to fall off the workout wagon if you have someone else counting on you!

1. Hit the Streets

This is most often my exercise of choice, a walk or run through my neighborhood. I am fortunate to live in an area with plenty of good walking courses, some that have challenging up-hill sections. I appreciate that I can put my littlest one in his stroller and we can take a walk nearly any time of day and I don’t have to arrange babysitting for him. My oldest son is interested in improving his long-distance running skills (he’s more of a sprinter) so he’s been joining me for jogs around the neighborhood. It’s nice to have the company and also to have someone encouraging me to get up at 5am for exercise!

Benefits of an outdoor exercise

    • It’s free! All you need is a decent pair of shoes.
    • Relaxing to get out in to the open air and hit the streets, rather than a treadmill in front of a television
    • Entire family can come along, so no babysitting is required           

Disadvantages of an outdoor exercise

  • Neighborhood may not be safe or comfortable to walk in (no sidewalk, poorly lit or too hilly)
  • Inclement weather (too hot, cold or wet)

Walking Tips

  • Invest in a good pair of walking shoes.
  • If your neighborhood isn’t ideal, considering driving a short distant to a nearby park or school that allows guests to walk on their track.
  • Be sure not to let the walk become a stroll. You should still be challenging yourself and pushing yourself by extending your walking distance or by speeding up your time.

Start (and Stick to!) an Exercise Routine On a Budget

 

2. Work Up a Sweat in Your Living Room

I alternate an outdoor walk or jog with an in-home kettle bell workout. The kettle bell cost me less than $20 and I have found a wide variety of workouts online that I can do with it. I add in crunches, planks and push-ups to the routine and come out with a heart racing cardio workout in my living room. Consider streaming a workout video that you can follow on your TV (Zumba anyone?) My mom has the Leslie Sansone: Walk Away The Pounds: 30 Minute Walk DVD. I’ve done this with her and it’s excellent for getting a quick workout in at home, especially if space is limited.


Benefits of exercising in your home

  • Minimal cost. Consider picking up a few inexpensive pieces of equipment like a yoga mat, kettle bell, free weights or a resistance band.
  • Ideal for those who are intimidated by the gym and would like to perfect their form or routines before taking it out of the house
  • Easy to squeeze in the time (early morning before rest of family awakens or during a child’s nap)

Disadvantages to exercising in your home

  • Too easy to get distracted (kids, chores, etc) with things that pull you away from or shorten your workout
  • Certain spaces might not be conducive to cardio or floor-based exercises (ie: floor too hard, area too small for some cardio routines)

Home Workout Tips

  • A padded yoga-type mat can help cushion during some exercises when flooring is inappropriate.
  • Resist the urge to exercise in your pajamas! You won’t put forth the effort needed for a decent workout. Slip on a good sports bra and gym clothes and pretend you’re at the gym.
  • And so what if you are in your pjs and ready to watch your favorite show? Squeeze in a 5-minute set of crunches and planks during each commercial break!

From moving more, portion control and taking a daily probiotic, these are a few little things that moms do that make a big difference in their health. #ad #NatureMadeProbiotics

3. Squeezing in a Quick Ten at Your Desk 

We’ve all gotten deep into a project and suddenly 20 minutes at the computer turns into two hours! I have a reminder on my email system at work (you could use an app on your phone as well) to remind you to stand and stretch once every hour. Incorporate some neck, wrist and shoulder stretches to ease tension after long typing sessions.

Benefits of exercising at your desk

  • Easy to do in quick bursts of time and energy
  • Little to no equipment needed (you can even do it in heels!)
  • Beneficial to your health and back to move and stretch several times an hour

Disadvantages to exercising at your desk

  • You might feel embarrassed doing squats at your desk, especially if your desk isn’t in a private office! Do what is appropriate and feels comfortable. Ask your boss first for the okay if there is any question about the exercises.
  • May not get an elevated heart rate & will need to supplement with cardio     

At Your Desk Exercise Tips

A desk exercise probably isn’t going to be strenuous enough to break a sweat, but it’s a great way to supplement your routine and keep limber. Resistance exercises are particular effective and quick to do while sitting.


4. Join the Gym (If the Cost is Right)

My husband has a gym membership and I do not. He was “grandfathered” in to his current rate, a very low $9.99. It makes sense for him as he goes to the gym after work, is able to shower there and go straight to school. If I were to join up, the cost would be about $20 a month (still pretty low) but only cost-effective if you can get there frequently. My schedule wouldn’t allow me to get there often enough so I’ve opted out of the gym membership and choose to exercise at home.

Benefits of a gym membership

  • Money invested into it may be a good incentive to go and “get your money worth”
  • Personal trainers may be available. This is sometimes given as a one-time sign up initiative that you should absolutely take advantage of.
  • Wide variety of exercise classes & equipment that can help prevent boredom                 

Disadvantages of a gym membership

  • Hours open may not be conducive to your schedule
  • Cost may be prohibitive (monthly dues plus yearly renewal/initial sign-up fee)
  • Babysitting not always available or may be an additional cost

Gym Tips

If you are considering joining up at the gym, first figure out roughly how often you’ll be able to go. Total the cost (including the initial sign-up fee) and get an “Average Cost Per Visit” so you’ll know if this is a price you are willing to spend per workout.

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5. Work Out…Anywhere & Everywhere! 

With the kids – Play with the kids when they play. Put on music and dance along with them. Climb the stairs, slide down the slide, push them on the swing. Anything to get you off the park bench and moving along with them.

In the car – Squeeze and hold your butt muscles tight while waiting at a red light (put the car into park first!)

In the kitchen – Do as many squats or jumps as you can while you wait for the pot of water to boil.

While you wait – Waiting your turn at the doctor or dentist office? Ask the receptionist if she’ll call or text you when you’re next in line. Why sit in the stale office reading old magazines if you can take a brisk walk outside instead?

When kids have extracurricular activities – Instead of sitting on a bench watching them practice, put on your walking shoes and go!


How are you incorporating exercise into your daily routine every day? 

 

 

Kick Start the New Year with a Healthier, Wealthier and Better Organized You! – Resolution Series

I’m ready for the fresh start that the new year brings! There’s something about flipping over to the first month on a brand new calendar that makes you ready to take on challenges and adventures. Even if you’ve been soured on New Year’s Resolutions in the past, I promise that these will be fun, practical, budget-friendly and totally do-able…which means even when February rolls around, you’ll still be in the resolution groove!

Resolution Series - Kick Start the Year Towards a Healthier, Wealthier and More Organized You!

Check back soon for the first post in this series. Please sign up for my newsletter so you’ll be informed when new posts are listed!

Blessings to you for a healthy and happy New Year!

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