Monday, April 7, 2014

Stay Healthy, Stay Happy


As I've been talking to other future sisters, one of the biggest concerns that it seems we all share is weight gain. While it's true that worrying about our weight shouldn't be a huge priority, it is still a valid concern that should be addressed. For me personally, I know that I don't do my best work when I feel like I'm not taking proper care of my body.


We are going to be under a lot of stress on our missions. One of the best ways to manage stress and curb its adverse effects is exercise! We are given 30 minutes every morning to exercise. Make a goal to get in the habit of morning exercise before you go into the MTC. There will already be so many lifestyle changes, you'll want to make sure that exercise is a habit that you can rely on!

There are several ways to go about this. One way is to alternate cardio days with isolated muscle group days. (E.g. Cardio MWF, Muscle Groups TThS). Another way is to intersperse cardio with your isolated muscle groups to maximize calorie burn. The important thing is that you pick a pattern and stick to it! 
These are some of my favorite exercises for each muscle group. Feel free to modify/mix and match as much as you want! Find whatever works for you and feels good in your body.


Start out each day with a light stretch routine. This will wake up your body, warm up your muscles, and prevent injury!
I like to start from my head and work my way down. 
1. Head rolls clockwise and counter clockwise
2. Shoulder rolls
3. Cross Arm in front of body and stretch out shoulder muscle
4. Bend arm behind your head-stretch triceps
5. Arm swings forward and backwards
6. Oblique stretches-bend sideways keeping both shoulders facing forward, wide stance, extend top arm over your head
7. Quad stretch
8. Hamstrings
9. Downward Dog
10. Calf Stretch
11. Deep Lunge, elbows on the floor if you can


40 Jumping Jacks
5 Jump Squats
30 Speed Skaters
1 Minute Jog in place with High Knees
10 Side Lunges
10 Alternating Lunge Jumps
30 Mountain Climbers
5 Jack Knife Sit-Ups
20 Lunge Kicks
30 Jumping Jacks
20 Russian Twists
1 Minute Plank
(Repeat 3X)

Other good cardio: JUMP ROPE, and good old fashioned JOGGING!


Resistance Band or Light Weights

15 Lateral Arm Raises
12 Overhead Tricep Extensions
15 Chest Press
15 Bicep Curls
45 second Arm Circles
12 Tricep Press
45 Second Side Plank
45 Second Side Plank (opposite side)
10 Tricep Dips
15 Push Ups (kneeling or straight leg)
(Repeat 3X)


Sit in V Position-count to 100 while pulsing arms
30 Russian Twists
Lay flat on back and trace a full circle with each leg, clockwise and counter-clockwise 10X
20 Scissor Kicks
10 Crunches
15 Crunches R Leg extended up
15 Crunches L Leg extended up
20 Reverse Crunches
Lay flat on back and raise both legs to 90 degrees and back down to the floor 10X
20 Side Crunches (both sides)
20 Bicycle Russian Twists
25 in and outs
20 Oblique V-Ups
1 minute plank

Lay on your stomach and have someone sit on your legs
Extend arms out to the side and lift your torso off the ground. Hold 10 seconds
     -Don't crunch your shoulder blades. Keep your back wide
     -Repeat 2 times
Extend arms above your head and lift torso off the ground Hold 10 seconds
     -Keep shoulder blades wide
     -Repeat 2 times
Reach R arm back and grab hands with your friend. Have them pull your torso off the ground as high as it will go. Release hands and try to hold your back in that same position
     -Repeat on Left side


30 Calf Raises (one leg at a time or both together)
20 Squats
10 Side Lunges with kick up (both sides)
30 Curtsy Squats
25 Lying Inner Leg Lifts (both sides)
50 Second Wall Sit
30 Lunges (both sides)
45 Second Plie Pulse
30 All Fours Glute Kick Backs (both sides)
(Repeat 3X)


Another way to stay healthy is to be conscious of what you eat and drink. This can be difficult because we don't want to be rude to the people who are feeding us, but there are some things we can control!

1. Drink so much water. Always carry a water bottle with you. Staying hydrated will keep your body functioning at full capacity. In addition to keeping your weight under control, check out all of the other reasons why staying hydrated is so important for your overall health!

2. Eat a big, healthy breakfast. This is essential to getting your metabolism going for the day. Try to have all of the food groups represented: particularly protein, fruits and veggies, dairy, and complex carbohydrates. Don't skip this meal!

3. Control your portion sizes and eat slowly. 

REMEMBER: We should absolutely be respectful and grateful to people for inviting us into their homes and feeding us. For many families, this is a huge sacrifice. 

However, this doesn't mean that we are required to gorge ourselves. Rather, load up a plate of food and take your time with it. Chew slowly, take time between bites to talk with your hosts, and be aware of when you are full. In America, we are used to large portion sizes. Often times we eat so quickly that our bodies are full before our brain registers the fact that we've had enough. 
If seconds are offered, accept them, but again. Eat slowly. That way, you will leave the house having eaten two plates of food instead of four. 
Always say thank you, always genuinely compliment the food, and have a good time getting to know the people you're sharing a meal with! That way there will be no hurt feelings, and you won't eat yourself sick. 

4. You can never eat too many fruits and vegetables. Load up on fruits and veggies whenever you can!

5. Enjoy the new culture. Many of us are going to places with food that we've never tried before. I'm going to Denmark, and their pastries are some of the best in the world. While I am going to be conscious of what I eat, I am not going to deny myself treats! 

Everything in moderation, guys. 

I hope this is helpful and motivating! 
Make a plan, stick to it, and don't forget the real reasons you're serving!

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