Ways to Better Your Personal Well Being | 5 Health Hacks

Hey friends! Happy International Yoga Day! I just looked at my Facebook notifications and completely forgot that today is the day to celebrate and do a ton of yoga! This post is inspired by not only International Yoga Day, but also this company called Cotopaxi. Cotopaxi is a foundation driven to help people "do good". Their mission is to sell fitness wear, hiking gear, or as they call it, "good gear", like their famous hiking backpacks, in order to give back to communities in poverty and also help fund or grant organizations that also give back and create jobs and opportunities in third world countries. As a benefit organization, they strive to promote wellness and livelihood wherever and however they can by donating a percentage of their profits and contacting passionate influencers like me!  

My personal mission is to give you guys some helpful health hacks that can benefit your guys' wellness and increase the interest in self improvement and hopefully your overall being! I know that trying to eat and act "healthy" can make people think of going on diets and strange fitness regimesall that phony stuff that you should not pay attention to. I want people to know that making small, smart choices will overtime help them achieve their personal goals without making the wrong, unhealthy choices like over exercising and "dieting". I am no expert but, I do believe that there are many different ways (depending on who you are) that can impact your future well being. I hope my advice can help at least one person looking for some help or a reminder (because I know I don't always follow this advice myself). Here are things that I think some people need to hear:
    1. Embrace Who You Are & Stop Comparing Yourself
A lot of people (including myself) tend to sometimes compare our features to these "praised", media celebrities on magazines, television, ads, and the internet. It can be hard to ignore them because of the technology based society we live in, so I understand how it feels when you see tons of posters and billboards that try to shape our standards of beauty. I think everybody has insecurities that are fueled by these photo shopped and overly-contoured men and women we see all over.  I wanted to stress this issue because I believe that the first step to self improvement is self love. 

Accepting who you are can be hard. We always think of someone better than us, someone who has more than us, someone who is something that we tell ourselves we have to be. And we shouldn't. That person probably thinks or envies another person the same way! We all have flaws so why not embrace the differences we all have and love who you are? It takes strength to see what other people see in you. Many people strive to be something they're not so, seeing the best in yourself can better your own self improvement and help you understand how amazing you actually are! 

     2. Surround Yourself With Positive People
Friends change and sometimes it's for the better to move on from people that don't make your life a positive one. I never want someone who is going to bring in bad energy to my life; it could be someone you can't seem to ever trust or someone who talks about you behind your back. I think that life is not about having those kind of people around at all. If someone is making you unhappywhat's the point of having them around? Be with people who make you laugh, happy, and let you be your awesome self! 

I feel good around people who let me be weird and "derpy", as my sister and friends would say. I can't hide underneath a shell my whole life and not let my humorous self go sometimes! That's just who I am. If someone can't accept who you are for some crazy reason, then they shouldn't have the privilege to be your friend, in my opinion. Living a healthy life also means living with people who make you feel happy and comfortable. 
     3. Find a Workout or Activity That You Love Doing 
Not everybody is a pro, self proclaimed, athlete. You don't have to do like a P90X workout just because the internet told you to do so. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to workouts and physical activity. You don't want to push it too hard when it comes to exerting all of your energy on something that might not even benefit the parts you need improving on. We all have our own body types and I think it's important to find a physical activity that gets your body moving and (hopefully) outdoors. 

Whether it is riding a bike, running, hiking, dancing, playing sports, swimming, or even doing yoga, these are all great ways to burn the "cals" and get your heart rate up (without being really boring). After my home league soccer and softball days, I wanted to continue exercising and being active. I found that yoga was my favorite way to do this because I hate running and I really wanted to do an exercise that wouldn't just help me physically but, mentally too! I found an activity that I can do anywhere, anytime. I have been doing yoga for over a year and have seen tremendous improvement on my body and have done things that I never thought I could have done if I didn't just try it. Find something that you're passionate about and stick with it! The results will be amazing if you do the things you love doing.

    4. Moderate Your Indulgences 
I don't believe in diets. Going on a diet is a straight road to Hell if you ask me. You are physically and mentally constrained from pretty much everything. "Oh, I'm going on a no carb diet", said everyone who didn't know what else to do to be healthier. I believe that in order to control your body weight, you have to have a balance (considering the food you eat and the exercise you do). 

Eating like 20 salads a week is probably not going to do much at all. If you really want to come out of a bad eating habit, you need to realize the food that you already put into your body rather than the food you are going to put into your body. Once you understand what you normally eat, then you can manage what you need to take out and what you need more of. If you end up having like a couple glasses of beer a week and you eat a ton of processed foods, you'll need to make a few changes. Making healthier choices each day by substituting a Poptart for like an apple is a great way to start changing your diet! My Dad has always told me to eat sweets and fast food in moderation, which is going to make more of a difference than drastically changing your whole eating system. 

Here are some great substitutes and tips to think about when eating or making food:
  • Drink water instead of soda or juice
  • Trade out white bread for whole grains 
  • Instead of candy, try fruit
  • Lean meats like chicken and turkey have less fat compared to beef and pork
  • Eat snacks in between meals so you aren't going back for more when you have meals
  • Eat a healthy breakfast so you have the energy you need during the day  
  • Alcohol like beer has a ton of unnecessary carbs and calories that your body doesn't need
  • Treat yourself once and a while so you don't go crazy!
     5. Be Patient & Consistent
I feel like the major struggle that comes with being more fit is continuously keeping up with these healthy choices that you are making. We all get caught up with life and we become a little too busy than we hoped sometimes. Life's distractions shouldn't be the reason you have to go get Burger King for lunch but, I understand completely. Its happened to me.  It happens to everyone! 

Self improvement takes time and you need to build the strength to keep up with it and I think that's the hardest thing you could ever do. Staying motivated to exercise or eat healthier is hard. Accepting that feat and being patient and persistent with it will show miraculous results in the end. Take it day by day and keep up the good work! You won't have rock hard abs overnight.

If you thought this was going to be some sort of, "Ways to lose weight", type post then you are completely in the wrong place because 1) You should have read the title and 2) You are perfectly beautiful just the way you are. Making these choices and using these tips I made should only make you all more confident in yourselves about who you want to initially become. If some of this advice helped or sparked some sort of revelation, please let me know! I am more than happy to hear your guys' thoughts on creating better ways to stay healthy and to be happy with who you are. If you have any tips for me, please share! I could be missing a ton of other important things, too. In the meantime, "do good", and inspire others like Cotopaxi inspired me! Oh , and happy International Yoga Day everyone!

Xoxo, Nat

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