What your morning coffee can do for you?

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Many of us rely on a cup of coffee to kick-start our day and now new research suggests that our morning caffeine infusion may also help ward off different diseases and depression. Every morning I make sure that my mug of coffee is always in hand when I walk into the doors of my current office job.

What does coffee do for your mood? Short answer — a lot. I’m not a morning person and the first thing I do every morning is wake up excited to have my first sip of coffee each morning. It not only puts me in a better mood but makes me more productive throughout the day.

It got me thinking — while many immediately think of coffee when trying to piece together a solid morning, what does it really do to our moods and bodies? Well I started reading out on the web and found some pretty good reasons why I should continue to drink my 3-4 cups of coffee a day.

1. Coffee is a potent source of healthful antioxidants.

Some have cited coffee as a major — and in some cases, the primary — dietary source of antioxidants for its subjects.

2. Caffeine provides a short-term memory boost.

Caffeine appears to affect the particular areas of the brain responsible for memory and concentration, providing a boost to short-term memory, although it’s not clear how long the effect lasts or how it may vary from person to person.

3. Coffee may help protect against cognitive decline.

In addition to providing a temporary boost in brain activity and memory, regular coffee consumption may help prevent cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

4. Coffee is healthy for your heart.

There is some evidence that coffee may support heart health by protecting against arterial damage caused by inflammation.

5. Coffee may help curb certain cancers.

Researchers have  found ties between regular coffee drinking and lower rates of liver, colon, breast, and rectal cancers.

6. Coffee may lessen your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

A growing body of research suggests an association between coffee drinking and a reduced risk of diabetes.

7. Your liver loves coffee.

It’s true: In addition to lowering the risk of liver cancer, coffee consumption has been linked to a lower incidence of cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis.

8. Coffee can enhance exercise performance.

Caffeine is a performance and endurance enhancer; not only does it fight fatigue, but it also strengthens muscle contraction, reduces the exerciser’s perception of pain, and increases fatty acids in the blood, which supports endurance.

9. Coffee curbs depression.

Multiple studies have linked coffee drinking to lower rates of depression in both men and women.

10. Coffee guards against gout.

Independent studies on the coffee consumption patterns of men and women suggest that drinking coffee regularly reduces the risk of developing gout.

 

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Roller Blading

We are in the midst of winter but Monday the temperature was nearly 50 degrees. My friend and I decided to get outside and enjoy this warm weather with a 7.22 mile roller blading workout. Here in Indy, we have to take advantage of every sun-filled day that we are given. I always find that during the winter months my workout routines get boring being stuck inside at a gym.

If you haven’t ever been on a pair of rollerblades, and your last experience with shoes with wheels was roller skating at your local rink in 8th grade, then it’s time to give this activity another chance. Rollerblading can be an extremely intense workout, but just like with bike riding, it will mostly just feel like fun!

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Health benefits of rollerblading:

Improves Coordination: Rollerblading takes a bit of practice in the beginning, but it improves flexibility and coordination tenfold. The activity forces you to even out your balance and find your center of gravity.

Great Cardio: rollerblading increases the heart rate and gets your lungs working, both components in aerobic exercise. Rollerblading for 30 minutes at a steady pace raises the average heart rate to 148 beats each minute.

Good for Weightloss: Thirty minutes of steady skating at a comfortable pace burns between 210 and 311 calories, while 30 minutes of interval skating burns up to 450 calories!

Firms the Lower Body: The natural side-to-side motion your legs get from inline skating is ideal for trimming the thighs, strengthening the quads, and lifting the glutes.

Low Impact Exercise: Exchanging a couple of aerobic workouts every week with rollerblading could improve your knee health and prevent injuries.

Fun: Rollerblading with a companion can enhance the fun.

More fun health related posts you may have missed:

| Improving your health | Meal Prepping | Yoga |

October Workout Challenge

During the month of October my friend Meredith and I are challenging each other to 60 miles of working out for the month. One hour workout classes & an hour on the elliptical are both worth 2 miles on our scale and running/walking are worth the actual number of miles. I put together these plans below in order to meet my goal and stick to a fitness plan for the month of October. I feel much more motivated to workout knowing that we are both trying to reach the same goal.

 Join the challenge, we will continue to increase our goal during the Winter months. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been working out for years, I hope these plans will help you set and attain your goals.

I also highly recommend making charts for your progress! No matter what your goal is- time, distance, minutes run v. walked- find a way to visualize your progress! One of my favorite daily rewards is being able to input my mile times (I’m working on speed) and see how they’re improving run to run! 🙂

Mile Challenge Workout Type Total Miles
1-Oct Rest Day 0
2-Oct Rest Day 0
3-Oct 2 mile run 2
4-Oct 2 mile run & 1 hour kickboxing class 4
5-Oct 1 hour Boot camp class 2
6-Oct 1 mile sprint & 1 hour weight lifting class 3
7-Oct 1 hour elliptical 2
8-Oct 2 mile run 2
9-Oct Rest Day 0
10-Oct 2 mile walk & 1 hour weight lifting class 4
11-Oct 2 mile run 2
12-Oct 3 mile run 3
13-Oct Rest Day 0
14-Oct Spin Class 2
15-Oct 2 mile run 2
16-Oct Rest Day 0
17-Oct 2 mile run & 1 hour Kickboxing Class 4
18-Oct 2 mile run & 1 hour boot camp class 4
19-Oct 2 mile run & 1 hour weight lifting class 4
20-Oct 1 hour Elliptical 2
21-Oct Rest Day 0
22-Oct 2 mile run 2
23-Oct Rest Day 0
24-Oct 2 mile run & 1 hour weight lifting class 4
25-Oct 2 mile run 2
26-Oct 2 mile run & weight lifting class 4
27-Oct 2 mile run 2
28-Oct Spin Class 2
29-Oct 2 mile run 2
30-Oct Rest Day 0
31-Oct Rest Day 0
October Monthly Mileage Total 60

 

 

Improving your Health

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Here lately I’ve been trying to put more of a focus on living healthily. It’s definitely not always easy for me, but I’ve found that making small, manageable lifestyle changes work so much better than going from one extreme to the other.

Here are some of the things I’ve been doing differently that I highly suggest for anyone interested in being a bit healthier, there is always room for improvement right?

DIET
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Swap regular and diet sodas for fruit-infused water, La Croix is my favorite!
Change all of your grains from enriched white flour to 100% whole wheat
Instead of denying yourself certain foods and treats, just cut your portion sizes in half
Try to eliminate as much sugar and processed foods as possible

EXERCISE
Get moving! Always opt to walk instead of ride whenever you can, take the stairs!
Take up a sport or hobby that is physical but fun, like dance classes, volleyball, or hiking
Make it a goal to thoroughly clean one area of your house each day instead of coming home and relaxing all night. Remember to stretch!
Plan activities with friends and loved ones that include some form of physical exertion, like going for a walk and catching up
If you sit at a desk all day like me remind yourself to get moving once an hour, I make a lap around the office every hour to go to the bathroom and fill up my water bottle
Whenever you are out with your friends, dance 🙂

MENTAL HEALTH
Do something every day that truly makes you happy
Spend time with those you love and who love you most
Always try to see the positive in everything
Make taking care of yourself a priority
Get enough sleep

What lifestyle habits do you have that promote healthy living?

Meal prepping

After all of those Super Bowl snacks on Sunday, it is time to get serious about meal prepping for the week and working out. Somehow one bad day makes it hard to get back on the clean eating bandwagon. Although we did have an amazing time watching the game, witnessing Peyton Manning’s victory and snacking on everything in sight.  Homemade pizza rolls, wings and dips galore but now it’s time to get back on track to start the work week off right.

 { Bananas, Apples, Lemons and Protein Balls }

{ Lunches for the week- Spinach, Hard boiled egg, quinoa, carrots, peppers, avocado}

{ Spaghetti Sqaush}

{ Burrito Bowls- Chicken, peppers, black bean, cilantro, onion, corn & taco seasoning }

Meal Prepping

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Holy meal prep. I threw together some salads and vegetables for the week which I normally try to do every Sunday before the work week begins. It saves so much time planning ahead and makes it way easier to eat healthy and stick to clean eating. I try to switch up the salads every week so I don’t get bored with them. This week I decided to add fruit to my salads and use poppyseed dressing instead of my usual balsamic vinaigrette.

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Day 1:
Breakfast: Overnight Oats

Lunch: spinach, turkey, cottage cheese and strawberries (poppyseed dressing)
Dinner: Brussel Sprouts & Burrito Bowl

Day 2:

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with half avocado
Lunch:spinach, turkey, cottage cheese and strawberries (poppyseed dressing)

Dinner: Lettuce Wraps & Stuffed Mushrooms

Day 3:
Breakfast: whole wheat waffle with peanut butter
Lunch: spinach salad with turkey cottage cheese and strawberries (poppyseed dressing)
Dinner: Quinoa Stir Fry

Day 4:
Breakfast: Yogurt and a cup of fruit
Lunch: Spinach Salad with turkey Cottage cheese and strawberries (poppyseed dressing)
Dinner: Greek Yogurt Chicken Parmesan Bake

Day 5:
Breakfast: Breakfast Casserole (makes enough to have for entire weekend)
Lunch: Spinach Salad with turkey cottage cheese and strawberries (poppyseed dressing)
Dinner: Out

Related  Posts you may have missed:

How two can eat under $200 a month,  Cooking on a budgetEgg Muffins & Protein Balls

Monday Motivation: Goals

Well it’s that time of year again! It’s April. Summer is just around the corner, and it’s time to get back into shape! After a long winter full of holiday foods, stressful family get-togethers, and attempting to keep your new year resolutions, I know it can be hard to find that motivation to get back and go to the gym, wake up early or go out for a jog or walk in the evening. It’s not an easy thing. Getting fit and healthy is a big task  this week let’s focus on keeping your heath & fitness goals in mind.

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Monday Motivation: Try Yoga

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Sitting. For most of us, it’s an unavoidable aspect of life.

We sit in our cars, at work, at school; even if we live as active a lifestyle as possible, sitting for any extended period of time at our desks can still be negative on our overall health and well being. 

If at the end of the day you’re left with a knot between your shoulder blades and a stitch between your eyebrows then you should give yoga a shot. My friend Ashley and I started going to yoga once a week and I love how I feel afterward. I’m sharing some benefits of yoga below:

Yoga and the Body:

  • increases flexibility
  • strengthens the muscles and tendons, especially stabilizer muscles
  • increases bone density of the entire skeletal system
  • develops balance and coordination
  • straightens posture and body alignment
  • improves function of internal organs 
  • enhances cardiovascular ability, both lowering resting heart rate and making oxygen use more efficient
  • burns energy (150-400 calories per hour)
  • decreases chance of injury
  • fixes muscular imbalances
  • stimulates the immune system
  • decreases cortisol levels, resulting in lower blood sugar levels and heightened insulin response, resulting in less inflammation and less chance of diabetes and heart disease
  • Decreases the chance of arthritis and joint issues by moving full motion 
  • Puts you in a better mood
  • connects your mind with your body
  • decreases pain and fatigue

So go on give it a shot this week! Check out more workouts you may have missed: 

| Boot Camp | | Interval running | | Tabata Training | | Weekend Workouts |

Weekend Workouts

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Do you workout five days a week and take the weekends off? That is my normal routine. I work Monday through Friday, eight hours a day and I am normally completely exhausted but still manage to make it to the gym  every night. Most of the time I force myself to workout during the week and then crash on the weekends. It would make more sense to take off two days during the week when you’re tired and workout on the weekends.

Here are five good reasons to workout on the weekends. 

  1. You can still sleep in and workout on your time.
  2. Working out on the weekend will help you make healthier choices throughout the day. 
  3. Working out puts you in a better mood.
  4. If you feel like indulging on a Saturday night or Sunday meal, you won’t have any guilt. 
  5. It’s hard to come up with excuses not to workout on the weekend. 

     | Tabata | | Colorful running shoes | | Boot Camp | | Squat Challenge |

Colorful New Running Shoes

I have eaten more cookies and more ice cream here recently than in my whole entire life. I don’t know if it has anything to do with this lousy weather and being out of my normal routine or what. I am determined to get back on track in time for summer to swing around. So I am now on the search for a colorful new pair of running shoes:

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