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In Mind & Body on
October 1, 2017

6 ways to Improve Your Health Right Now

6 ways to improve your health

I am always looking for ways to improve my health.

This post is kind of a motivational kick in the pants for me. As I am typing this, I am eating a bowl of pasta and drinking a Coca-Cola. While not the unhealthiest combination, it’s not the healthiest either. I’ve been a kind of a rut lately, and while I generally try and stay cognizant of what I put into my body, this summer has been a little different.

The stress of life and the ends and outs of my being a chauffeur (yay summer break) has taken a toll on me. Although there are days where I am able to actually take my own advice and make sure I am implementing my self-care practices regularly, I will be the first to admit that there are weeks that go by when I don’t do it at all.

So where does this lead me?

Unfortunately for me, it has led me right to funkville. Meaning, not only is my mental well-being lacking, but physically, I just feel like pure crap.

What am I (and what can you) do about it?

In an effort to get my house in order (meaning my physical, mental and emotional self), I jotted down a list of things that I (and you can do) right now to get back on track to being healthy, and feeling like yourself once again.

healthy lifestyle tips and motivation changes

Start working out

If you don’t already have some type of workout routine, now is a good time to start one. If you have one, and it isn’t quite as consistent as it needs to be, then now is the time to figure out what you can do to set a workout schedule. If you have a local yoga studio or cardio studio (such as cycling or rowing), scheduling a class or two is a great way to get into a regular routine.

Drink more water

This really should have been number one, but honestly, this should go without saying anyway. I have a gallon jug of water that I *try* and drink every day. I don’t always do it, but at least 3-4 days a week I do. Now I don’t recommend the gallon for everyone, I spend a lot of time outside, so I like to stay extra hydrated. If you have a hard time giving up sugary drinks, I started off by telling myself that I couldn’t have a soda until I drank at least 4 glasses of water. After about a week and a half (ya’ll this was hard), I finally got to the point where I didn’t need sodas anymore.

Meal Plan

Meal planning is a surefire way to ensure you are eating healthy. Not only is meal planning great for disabling poor eating habits, it also does wonders for your grocery bill as well.

Self-care

This is something everyone needs to do no matter what situation they are in. Self-care does wonders for your mental, emotional and physical health. Even if you can’t get in hour long massages once a week, simply five minutes of meditation or even a hot bath will do the trick.

Smile

Yes, this really will make you feel better. Try it…(I bet you just smiled didn’t you!?).

Correct your posture

By improving your posture and strengthening your spine, you are opening up your lungs and it does wonders to improve your mood. If you’ve ever been in a funk, you may slouch just a bit. Try readjusting your posture and see what happens.

Mother of two, photographer, and fitness enthusiast hoping to inspire others to live healthy.

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In Mind & Body on
September 27, 2017

The Busy Moms Guide to Quick Pampering

Whenever I have a couple hours to myself I always try to get a full pampering session in. Realistically, I may only have an hour at the most, and this is usually before my kids wake up. The weekends I tend to have a bit longer since my husband is off of work. However, with the way my stress levels are set up, I always jump at the chance for a little extra pampering. Here a few ways tips to get in a daily quick pampering session.

1.) I usually start with a hot bath/shower to relax. In full honesty, the early morning (or super late at night) are the only times I have to actually soak in a tub. Before becoming a parent, I never thought that would be a luxury! Go figure!

2.) No pampering session would be complete without a face mask. This one is my new favorite. If you have large pores this face mask is another great option. Love getting the pores clean!

3). Moisturize like your life depends on it. Seriously, Whenever I take the time to really wash, mask, tone and moisturize my face, it seems as if my day starts off better. Even if I am unable to get in a quick pampering session, I instantly feel better.

Just so you don’t think quick pampering is all about dolling up and looking pretty….

4). Meditation can have an impact on many areas of your life including helping to decrease stress, better manage your emotions, let go of mental distractions, and be more present and attentive with your kids.The bonus? Teaching your kids a skill like meditation early in their lives will have major benefits for them later in life too. Although finding time for daily practice may seem overwhelming, it’s so worth the time.

5). Pick up your favorite (or new) book and take a few moments and read. This helps to reduce brain fog and stress. Plus if you are really into the book, it can help you get away just for a little bit.

6).  Listen to your favorite podcast. A podcast is probably the best invention since sliced bread. Just a few weeks ago The Read had Lavar Burton on for 3 hours. It was seriously the greatest thing ever. Podcasts are a great way to stay connected, learn something new, or just be entertained. Listen during the mundane tasks of your day.

What quick pampering tips or techniques do you have? Share them in the comments below. 

Mother of two, photographer, and fitness enthusiast hoping to inspire others to live healthy.

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In Fitness, Mind & Body on
September 24, 2017

6 Ways to Celebrate Women’s Fitness Day

There’s no denying our health is important, we’ve all been guilty of putting it on the back burner at some point in our lives. Whether it be for our families (hi Mom!), a job, or an over-indulgent weekend with friends (girls trip anyone?), it’s easy to forget the importance of our health, physical fitness and mental well-being as we manage the stress and joys of everyday life. In case you’ve found yourself in one of those slumps, we’ve got a great reason to help get you back on track: Wednesday is National Women’s Health & Fitness Day, a nation-wide effort to focus attention on the importance of regular exercise and healthy living for women.  It isn’t just about fitness, it’s about healthy lifestyle habits including eating right, exercise, sleep, stress and overall health.  If you’re interested in finding something to do that day, check out 6 ways to celebrate women’s fitness day. 

Celebrate Women's Fitness Day

 

  1. Try a new sport. Ever thought of doing water aerobics or taking a spin class? Local YMCA’s, as well as many others, will be holding special events nationwide. Take this time to try a brand new class. 
  2. Try a new workout. Short on time try a 15-minute kettlebell workout. 15minutes is plenty of time to get in your daily workout. The average kettlebell workout burns up to 20 calories minute!
  3. Schedule a health check.  Book a doctor or nurse for a well-woman checkup and any preventative screenings that might be eligible for your age group. Staying on top of any required tests and health concerns now can save you a lot of stress, time and money in the future.
  4. Give yourself a beauty day. DIY facial, wrap or mud bath. Today is all about women and self-care. Take time out for yourself.
  5. Eat healthily. Your body is your temple. Make today the day you tell yourself you’re going to start a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet can go long ways towards bone health.
  6. Take a nap. There are numerous studies on the benefits of a restful sleep. Take a nap and reenergize yourself. 

How do you plan to Celebrate Women’s Fitness Day?

Mother of two, photographer, and fitness enthusiast hoping to inspire others to live healthy.

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In Fitness, Mind & Body, Photography on
September 15, 2017

7 Exercises Photographers Can Do to Strengthen Arms and Back

ways photographers can strengthen and tone back and arms

A photographer’s job is pretty physical. Heavy gear, walking, twisting, bending, kneeling–this all takes a toll on our bodies after a while. As a photographer of 14 years, I can attest to this fact. My body is worn out!! Spending hours on your feet, only to turn around and spend hours sitting behind a screen, will leave you with neck and back problems after a while. Want to know about the exercises photographers can do to help strengthen arms and back? Take a look below to find out!

exercises photographers can do to strengthen and tone back and arms

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Mother of two, photographer, and fitness enthusiast hoping to inspire others to live healthy.

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In Fit Family, Mind & Body on
September 6, 2017

Fall Family Friendly Vacation in Boston

how to use Tickets. Expert to get last minute Baseball Tickets

(This post contains affiliate links)

Happy September! I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend! This past weekend I decided it would be a great idea to take the kids to Boston for a few days.  This was a surprise trip, I just wanted to drive! I didn’t make any particular plans, it was just one of those weekends where I decided it would be nice to do something with the kids.

We started off our trip with a drive to Cape Cod! I had never visited when we lived here, so it was nice to take a day trip early in the morning before it got too crowded. We found a small private beach and walked for a while. It was perfect!

fall family friendly vacation in boston

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Mother of two, photographer, and fitness enthusiast hoping to inspire others to live healthy.

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In Fit List, Fitness, Mind & Body on
August 30, 2017

How to Stay Fit on a Busy Schedule

stay fit on a busy schedule

Most human beings know the struggle of finding even a short amount of time for themselves throughout the day. Staying on a busy schedule is almost impossible to do when you have a to-do list longer than a number of hours in the day. Whether you’re working multiple jobs, small business owner, children, a family we all have responsibilities that seemingly take over our lives on a daily basis. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work from home but I also have my four-year-old here with me as well, so needless to say I don’t really get much work done.

When I started my fitness journey a few years ago, I was trying to think of ways to incorporate a few workouts into my daily routine. There many types of exercises that you can do. Obviously, before starting any strenuous exercise routine you should consult your doctor. I love activities with controlled movement. I frequently participate in HIIT and Barre classes on top of regular strength training.

how to stay fit on a busy schedule

 

Apps are a great way to get in short workouts if you have a packed schedule or while you’re on vacation. Many apps include routines and videos you can download and take with you. Which is perfect if you plan on going somewhere with spotty reception. If you want to stay fit on a busy schedule you just need to think outside the box with a few things.

I did this post on Grokker last week, but just in case you wanted a few more options, I have provided a list of some excellent apps for you to try out.  They are currently offering a 14-day free trial, go on and give it a try!

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Mother of two, photographer, and fitness enthusiast hoping to inspire others to live healthy.

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In Fit Family, Fitness, Mind & Body on
July 12, 2017

Strength Training Workouts For Kids

strength training workouts for kidsStrength training workouts for kids, when done correctly, offers many benefits to young children and adolescents. Like yoga, strength training has become another one of my favorite non-competitive activities for my children to complete.

Strength training can add:

  • Increased muscle strength and endurance.
  • Sports performance improvement.
  • Better cardiorespiratory function.
  • Helps to protect the child’s muscles and joints from injury associated with other activities.
  • Stronger bones.

Like adults, the importance of developing early healthy habits can not be overemphasized. The most important aspect of any youth fitness and sports program is improved attitude regarding physical fitness. When starting early, strength training workouts for kids can help improve their outlook on youth sports activities and can help improve their own self-confidence when completing physical activities.

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Mother of two, photographer, and fitness enthusiast hoping to inspire others to live healthy.

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In Mind & Body on
July 6, 2017

Self-Care Sunday: My Me-Time Week

It’s the weekend, hopefully, you are spending your time doing something you love and spending time with people you love.  For this weekend’s edition of Self-Care Sunday (on Friday) I wanted to share my activities for the week, as it has been super busy!

This week the children are away visiting family, so I decided to have a self-care week instead of just waiting until the weekend. It has been very relaxing over the last few days, I miss my children dearly, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying this much needed break.

If you live in a community/city/town with a lake check out your local recreation commission. We are fortunate to have one that rents kayaks/canoes, so for those of us who lack the space, this is a great option. It’s also cheaper as most places are operated by your county/city the rental fees will be a little cheaper compared to specialty rental stores.

If you are local check out these local businesses Columbia, South Carolina canoe/kayak rentals:

Palmetto Outdoors

Better Boat Rental

Rivertrail

Irmo Recreation Commission

South Carolina Kayak Tours:

Palmetto Outdoor

Carolina Outdoor Adventures

Edisto River Adventures

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Mother of two, photographer, and fitness enthusiast hoping to inspire others to live healthy.

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In Fit Family, Fitness, Mind & Body on
June 30, 2017

Benefits of Kids Yoga:How Yoga Helped Calm My Children the Hell Down

kids yoga, children's yoga, yoga, the fit fotographer

benefits of kids yoga

(This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase I get a few bucks)

If you are a parent it’s no secret sometimes children can be a little hyper. We all become restless and it’s perfectly acceptable to take some time and get your ‘wiggles’ out if necessary. So what are the benefits of kids yoga? Children derive enormous benefits from yoga. Physically, it enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. In addition, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improve.

Yoga helps create awareness in the body through deep breathing and movement. It gives kids a way to express themselves, build a strong connection between what they hear and what they do. Children that have healthy body awareness are more confident and strong, have better posture, breathe better and have a sense of quiet strength.

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Mother of two, photographer, and fitness enthusiast hoping to inspire others to live healthy.

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In Fitness, Mind & Body on
June 26, 2017

Favorite Solo Outdoor Activities

favorite solo outdoor activities

A major part of my self-care this year is unplugging and get away a lot more than what I had in the past. Since I’ve been more diligent in getting some ‘me time’ I’ve found myself to be way more patience, understanding and intuitive in my life. Allowing adequate time to recharge after stressful weeks has been very beneficial to me over the last 25 weeks. As we hit the halfway point of the year I wanted to take some time out and share a few of my favorite solo outdoor activities.

When you’re looking to really get away from it all I highly recommend hiking. I’ve discovered some pretty amazing places when I go out for walks, but our state parks have offered some of the most beautiful backdrops for me to sit back and meditate in quiet.

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Mother of two, photographer, and fitness enthusiast hoping to inspire others to live healthy.

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Before starting any new diet and exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise and/or diet changes with them before beginning. I am not a doctor or registered dietitian. I do not claim to cure any cause, condition or disease. I do not provide medical aid or nutrition for the purpose of health or disease and claim to be a doctor or dietitian. This is merely an opinion blog. Read full disclaimer here - https://fitfotog.com/start-here/