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It may not seem like you will ever bare your arms or legs because spring appears to have been canceled across the nation this year, but spring and summer really are just around the corner. You will wear shorts and tank tops once again. While it’s popular to think about and actually do something to get in shape or get healthy at the beginning of the year, there really is no better time than the present to do whatever it is you want or need to do for your health. Even for those of us who tend to eat healthy and workout regularly, it doesn’t take very much to get out of our routine and find ourselves asking, “How did I used to keep in shape?” So, here are just a few little tips (and perhaps reminders) for weight loss and healthy living.
1. Know thyself. There’s not a cookie cutter workout or “diet” that is going to work for everyone. So, figure out what works best for you. Do you prefer working out in the morning or in the afternoon? Do you like to run on a treadmill or walk outside with the children? Do you tend to struggle with eating right at home or at work? Is your problem snacking throughout the day or eating larger portions at meal time? These are all critical questions to help you customize your fitness routine.
2. Reevaluate your kitchen. Until you can resist temptations in the kitchen, just go ahead and remove them. It’s easier to choose an apple over potato chips when there are no potato chips in the pantry. If you buy snacks for your family, perhaps you can buy them snacks that aren’t tempting for you. I don’t mind having organic cheese sandwich crackers in the pantry for my children because they don’t tempt me quite the same way as do chips and salsa. Choose what sits in your pantry wisely.
3. Enjoy your exercise. There are so many people who will tell you the best exercises to do, when to do them, and how long and how often to do those exercises. However, what matters the most is that you actually do exercise. So, find something you love to do. Run, walk, jump around to music in your living room, get a yoga DVD. Do what you will enjoy! That’s what will keep you going back for more.
What do you do to stay consistent with your fitness routine?
I usually make coffee at home. My husband and I LOVE our Trader Joe’s Organic Wake Up Blend Coffee. It happens to be the best price for organic coffee that we have found (with the exception of Whole Foods Organic Pacific Blend), and it is the very best tasting coffee we’ve had. So, that works for us. On rare occasion, I do make a stop at a coffee shop. When I do, it is usually Starbucks. It’s always a reminder of how expensive coffee can be. Did you know, however, that you can save money even when you do make your occasional Starbucks stop?
Here are a few ways to save money at Starbucks.
1. Order chai tea instead of a chai tea latte. Then, when you get your drink, add your own milk in the condiment section. Then, you’ve just saved $1.20 by just “making” your own chai tea latte!
2. Get the app. Did you know that Starbucks has an app? If you download the Starbucks app, you can get a free drink every time you buy twelve.
3. Ask for a larger cup. If you usually order a tall, ask for a tall drink in a grande cup… or a grande drink in a venti cup. Then, head over to that condiment bar and fix up your drink. My husband does that because he wants to make sure that there’s enough room for the amount of milk he prefers. You can save $1.20 by doing this.
4. Ask for “light ice” in your cold drinks. Have you ever seen how much ice goes into an iced vanilla latte? The entire cup is full of ice! Requesting “light ice” in your drink is like doubling the size of your drink. Get more drink for your dollar!
How do you save money when you go out for coffee?
Years ago, when I was a member of a gym, I used to joke that the gym would finally be back to normal in March. We all know why. Those who had “resolved” to get fit got discouraged, didn’t see all the weight loss or fit-ness happen fast enough, or just gave up. Well, even if you are not a member of a gym, this is the time (if you did make a resolution) that your resolve, your motivation, your hope is tested. Don’t give up! Here are a few tips to help you maximize your weight loss in case you didn’t see the results you’d hoped for in the last two months.
1. Vary your workout. Be sure that whatever you consider your workouts include aerobic activity, strength training, and stretching. Cardio alone may not be sufficient for weight loss. Strength training builds muscle, and more muscle translates into better metabolism. So, be sure you’re working on building your strength at least twice a week. If you do the same workout every day, change it. Add weights. Increase weights. Add time. Add intensity. Do interval training. All those changes will change your workout, strengthen your muscles, and improve your ability to lose weight.
2. Watch those extra calories. Sometimes when we work out, we give ourselves the liberty to indulge more than we would when we are not working out. There’s not much room for indulging if you are trying to lose weight. If you want something special, then be sure to cut the equivalent number of calories elsewhere.
3. Exercise is not just what happens at the gym. Be careful not to let yourself get lazy the rest of the day. Let your workout time inspire you to keep moving. If you slow down from your normal pace, you may also cut the number of total calories you’d normally burn on any given day. So, take the stairs and park a little farther. The more you move, the more calories you’ll burn.
How do you maximize your workouts?
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Clean eating is about consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life. Each issue is filled with a variety of delicious, wholesome, low-fat, and easily made recipes that can be shared with friends and family.
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