By Kristine “Aster” Medina, Editor-in-Chief
Last month, The Jade Times featured the DPhiLifters, a group of sisters who continue to defy stereotypes of lifting like a girl. DPhiLifters motivate to move, and we want to inspire you to do the same. In part one of the Self-Improvement Month series, we dove into time management; in part two, better sleeping patterns. For the third and final part of the series, we tackle diet and exercise.
Aside from all the technical characteristics of being a dedicated female leader, self-improvement also involves a woman’s well-being. Health is wealth. What does that mean? Taking care of your own health is an investment into your own body that you carry with you daily. Lifting may not be for everyone, so we encourage you to start your own fitness journey with the following advice:
- Get to know and be kind to your body. First and foremost, this post is not to shame bodies and tell you to completely change your infrastructure because you are enough. We want you to get to know yourself on the inside and the outside. The human body is an incredible creation, 206 bones and five vital organs for survival. To be able to understand your body and its abilities, we want you to discover your quirks and maintain a healthy relationship with yourself.
- Educate yourself. Explore your options. Clean, mindful eating and regular exercise lead to better sleep and better health in the long-run. Seeking different types of exercise to get you moving is sort of like going on a blind date. You never know if you will like something or not until you experience it. The same principle goes with buying healthier food options, which don’t have to break the bank. Support small businesses by visiting a food co-op or a farmer’s market, who usually stock fresh, local produce. Stay hungry for more information, and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions about what will work for your body.
- Eat like you mean it. The average person is recommended to eat 5-6 portioned meals per day. To improve eating habits, the division of nutrition, physical activity and obesity of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that we should reflect on what we eat (whether good or bad), replace the not-so-healthy options and reinforce cleaner, healthier eating habits.
- Make time, not excuses. Part one of this series addressed time management. A lot of people are guilty of saying they’re “too busy” or “don’t have time,” but 24 hours make up one day. At least 30 minutes of those hours are recommended for exercise, according to the Mayo Clinic. Planning and prepping meals one day out of the week can spare so much time from busy school and work schedules. Find foods that are freezable and manageable with the time you set aside, so all you have to do is pack and go in the mornings. Meal planning has become a trend in the fitness world, but parents have been prepping meals for days ahead of time since they started sending us off to school.
- Be realistic with your goals. Let’s face the fact that an empire can’t be built in one day. In order to obtain a certain goal, steps must be taken to ensure the goal is met, but the human body is fragile. Pain and gain do not necessarily come hand in hand. Do not do more than what your body is able to handle, and always heed caution to fitness fads and trends that seem too good to be true.
- Create a habit. Discipline yourself. The book “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business?” by Charles Duhigg presents clarity in maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. “Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and become more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change,” Duhigg writes.
- Finish strong. Some speed bumps may exist along the way to your goals, but you can run over them. Believe in yourself, and give yourself positive affirmations out loud in the mirror every morning if you must (sounds ridiculous but like a football coach giving a pre-game speech, the words will motivate you to move). As cliche as it may sound, never give up and never surrender. You can do it.
Whatever goals you set this month or in the future, whether it’s making it to class on time every day, getting more sleep, climbing a mountain or eating more vegetables, always dedicate yourself to being a better you.
For more fitness motivation, follow Christine Duo (@hashtaglifts), Jennifer Chow (@JChow12) and Rosanna Le (@RosannaLe) from DPhiLifters on Instagram. Feel free to contact them via social media for fitness advice and support.
Featured Image: Rosanna Le