Thanksgiving is not just a time to eat too much turkey – it is also a great opportunity to look at what you're thankful for and what motivates you to be a happier and healthier you!
This time of year most races are finished until the spring, bathing suit season is done (until your tropical vacation), and everyone is looking for motivation to get to the gym! Right now may be a good time to look at what you have accomplished in the past year and be thankful for all of the hard work you put in. This will also motivate you to not stop but keep going so that when that next race or bathing suit opportunity comes along you are READY!! Here are 5 things your body (and you) can be thankful for just by leading an active lifestyle.
A Happier You
The good vibes you feel after completing a killer workout are the gift that keeps on giving. Studies have found that active people of every age and gender experienced less anxiety and depression, and were less neurotic when they exercised regularly.
Strong Memory Muscles
High-intensity workouts give your memory an instant boost. High-intensity activity boosts your brain's levels of BDNF (a protein that improves short-term memory) along with dopamine and epinephrine, a chemical combo that supports long-term memory.
Raising Healthy Children
If children see their parents leading an active lifestyle they are encouraged to be active as well! So sign your kids up for sports leagues and after-school activities offered, but make sure you're setting an example for them too!
Sweating during the day helps you sleep better at night. Exercise reduces anxiety, improves mood, and regulates body temperature which are important factors when it comes to falling (and staying) asleep. Studies have found that people who slept for 5 to 6 hours each night gained 88% more weight than those who slept for 7 to 8 hours per night.
Building Your Best Body
No surprise here! Exercise helps build a great body – when you get moving regularly it's easier to maintain a healthy weight. Even Moderate physical activity (like brisk walking) can improve your overall health and metabolism.
Stay motivated this fall – find a new sport to try during the winter months that compliment your gym time and can be a family affair! We are fortunate to have a climate that accommodates running and biking (almost) year round but why not try your hand at skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, swimming, indoor rock climbing or ice skating? They are all great activities that need leg, arm and core strength – be thankful for all that you have and and keep leading a healthy lifestyle!
RECIPE – not your average pumpkin pie!
Pumpkin Bread with Crumble Nut Topping ** Gluten & Dairy Free ***
(Almond Flour can be used but you may need to add one more egg to hold it together)
2 tablespoons coconut butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup of nuts (sliced almonds, hazelnuts & walnuts)
Beat together butter, sugar, egg, and pumpkin. Add remaining ingredients and mix together. Pour into a greased loaf pan (8x4).
Mix nut topping ingredients and smooth evenly over batter to the edges.
Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or when toothpick inserted comes out almost clean.
Great for a dessert served with coconut whip or on its own as a snack!