Week 10 of the Healthy Habits Challenge is working on your Healthy Habits. Having trouble finding time to fit in some fitness? Why not try taking a lunch break walk. You are benefiting from getting outdoors, giving yourself a mental break and you are getting in some exercise! And don't forget to drink your water! You can get super fun apps to help you track your water intake. There is an app called "Plant Nanny" where you water super cute plants when you log a glass of water. Or use a simple app like Water Log. However you plan make sure you are consistent and keeping track. And remember - coffee, pop, juice and sugary drinks do not count! Week 8 of the Healthy Habits Challenge is about reaching your targeted heart rate. It is important to hit your targeted heart rate during at least one workout per week. You can contact Shelley at Shells Fitness for help in finding out your THR. By establishing and achieving your target heart rate during your exercise session, you know that you’re improving your body’s ability to perform aerobic metabolism. In more simple terms, it becomes much easier to perform previously demanding tasks if the body is able to quickly convert oxygen to ATP with less stress. Week 7 of the healthy habits challenge is about making good nutritional habits to stick to, that make you feel good! Developing healthy eating habits isn’t as confusing or as restrictive as many people imagine. The essential steps are to eat mostly foods derived from plants—vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils)—and limit highly processed foods. Incorporating more fruit and vegetables is a good place to start, as well as limiting high sugar and high fat processed foods are a good place to start! At least half your grains should be whole grains, such as whole wheat, barley and oats. Whole grains retain the bran and germ and thus all (or nearly all) of the nutrients and fiber of the grain. Nuts, fatty fish, avocados and vegetable oils supply healthy unsaturated fats. Remember, this is about building healthy habits. Be mindful of what you eat, which may help you eat less and enjoy your food more. Many cultures around the world emphasize the enjoyment of food, which often includes cooking and eating with others, as an integral ingredient to good health. Your body is your temple, treat it good and it will feel good! Week 6 of our Healthy Habits Challenge is to make sure you are getting enough water. Water is your body's principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The adequate intake for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day. Week 5 of our Healthy Habits Challenge is to Stretch it out (stretching or yoga). Stretching exercises and yoga are somewhat synonymous in that yoga routines include stretching movements, but you can do stretching activities without them being yoga exercises. Stretching and yoga yield a variety of benefits, including relief from chronic and acute conditions. Stretching increases your flexibility and range of motion. Stretching and yoga can keep the body’s joints, tendons and ligaments lubricated and can improve range of motion. Range of motion refers to the distance your joints are able to move their corresponding limbs. An increased range of motion from stretching allows you more mobility and agility. You can also get better circulation and pain relief from stretching properly after a workout. For lower-back pain, stretching the quadriceps and hamstrings as well as the hip and pelvis muscles can contribute to relief. Stretching and yoga can also ease headache pain by improving circulation and oxygen flow to the head. The relaxation aspect of stretching and yoga may also contribute to pain reduction. Yoga has many potential health benefits: Stress reduction. A number of studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being. Improved fitness. Practicing yoga may lead to improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength. Management of chronic conditions. Yoga can help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Yoga might also help alleviate chronic conditions, such as depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia. Don't forget to check out some Yoga Classes in your area! Week 4 of the Healthy Habits Challenge is Weight Lifting. Adding weights to your fitness routine benefits your body on many levels! It revs up your metabolism, builds muscle, prevents injury, increases flexibility, gives you stronger bones and can improve your cardio strength. So not only can you see results from your fitness routine faster, but you can get your body healthier overall. You don't need to lift 200 pound weights, you can start with 2 or 5 pounds as long as you are causing muscle fatigue. Week 3 of our 13 week Healthy Habits Challenge is all about getting outside! (You may need to bundle up!)Did you know that simply looking at pictures of nature can lower your blood pressure, stress and mental fatigue. That’s how powerful nature can be.Research has shown improvements in mental well-being, self-esteem and getting outside can even help with depression. So if you are feeling those crummy winter blues maybe the best thing to do is getting outside for some glorious fresh air! So check out a local hillside, outdoor rink, cross country trail or go snowshoeing. Our area has many outdoor activities to offer and the weather looks amazing this week!! Week Two is here! Keep on being active, making healthy choices one step at a time and RECORD YOUR ACTIVITY MINUTES!! Get back into routine with your fitness, whether its getting up early and hitting a gym, running, or even just something as simple as going for a walk. Or check with your town office/ rec board for a listing of all fitness classes that are currently available! (Make sure to keep track of your fitness minutes and record them for the Tri-Unity Fitness Challenge!) Week One is SELF CARE - take time to care for yourself: Take time to take care of yourself after the busy season. Take a bubble bath, read, get a pedicure, go for a walk alone, massage, reiki treatment. Self-care is important, but some people think it’s selfish or inconsiderate. We know self-care actually makes you more effective and energetic. When you avoid things that make you feel physically and mentally well, you deplete your confidence and self-esteem. Self-care is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, sometimes called self-love. It produces positive feelings, which improves confidence and self-esteem too. Self-care is important for your family and friends too. They learn from you, so setting functional boundaries to take care of yourself shows them that they too need to put themselves first and not overextend or overwork. Unhealthy relationships come about when you don’t take time for your needs. As a part of the Fun, Fitness Challenge we bring you a Healthy Habit challenge, where once a week we will present you with a new healthy habit to work on - thanks to help from Shell's Fitness! Healthy habits have positive benefits long into your future and when done in small steps are easier to create and cultivate than you think!