Column: Fast fitness tips to put you on track

Gracie Cheatham, Staff Writer

Form: it shapes us, quite literally, into who we are. As teenagers, we eat whatever we want and work out whenever we want. It’s easy to lose track of our health because of our fast metabolisms and busy schedules. However, the dedication of form can change us not physically but mentally, benefiting our health in multiple ways.
he first step to a healthy lifestyle is a mindful diet. Diets aren’t intended to be a way to starve yourself, just a way to clean up what you’re eating. Even the simplest things, such as a seemingly innocuous extra 12 ounce can of a sweetened beverage. Swapping soda for water can help you lose up to 14 pounds, according to an article written by ABC News. Other red flags for an unhealthy snack? Added sugar, baked sweets, white carbohydrates, high-fat meats and salt.

For easy and simple lunch ideas to improve eating habits, click here.

In addition to cleaning up our eating habits, a healthy sleep schedule usually slips away from our drowsy minds, landing on the back burner. Lack of sleep draws out a craving for high-carbohydrate and high-fat foods, according to an article written by the National Sleep Foundation. When you are sleep deprived, a stress hormone called cortisol breaks down collagen, the hormone released to keep your skin smooth. In turn, cortisol causes premature wrinkles and sagging skin. Also, when you’re tired, it’s more difficult to learn something new, and to remember things that have happened in the past. Sleep is a key component for the consolidation of memories, and going 19 hours without it can impair your motor skills and judgement to the same degree as if you were legally drunk.

For tips and tricks on getting your full eight hours of sleep, click here.

Our health isn’t one dimensional; people tend to overlook the importance of mental health, brushing it off as a mere bout of simple tension or stress. Being active in sports and activities improves our social lives and skills. A positive mindset can benefit you in many ways, such as helping you reach higher goals. Taking five minutes out of your day to visualize yourself as a successful individual can improve your abilities as an athlete according to an article written by Dr. Laura Miele in Psychology Today. A negative mood can cause muscle tension, making you feel low on energy and exhausted earlier in workouts. While working out, we tend to push ourselves to new different levels. There is a difference between an emotional threat and emotional challenge. A threat deals with a mindset that losing is unacceptable and comes along with the pressure to win from parents or coaches. Threats produce anxiety, frustration and, most of all, a loss of motivation. Instead of creating threats, make an effort to challenge yourself. Challenging yourself helps you enjoy the process of becoming healthy and motivates you to love the pressure that comes from workouts, not fear it.

This month challenge yourself; change your mindset. Add “yet” to the end of your sentences and see the best in every situation. It’s okay to lose, but it’s not okay to never try.

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