We’re a good month into 2018 and, if you’re like me, you’ve been assessing the condition of your health and fitness New Year’s resolutions. Are those best of intentions still alive and well, or have they been ignored a little more every day and finally withered away? According to the odds, their fate may be the latter – U.S. News reports that around 80% of resolutions fail and ride off into the sunset by the second week of February. However, the good news is that we really don’t need to make these types of unwavering, strict, bound-to-bail resolutions in the first place. Things happen, or don’t happen as the case may be—like going out on an ice cream date with your kids instead of taking a post-dinner walk or sleeping in because your body really needed it. So, it’s good to know that anytime is a good time to start (or restart) making changes that bring healthy balance back into daily life. I’m sharing my Mix-n-Match Home Workout along with some balanced beef meal suggestions to get you going.
Let’s begin with the workout first! Family, school, job and volunteer obligations can often get in the way of establishing a consistent workout routine. But this Mix-n-Match Home Workout can be done first thing in the morning, when you get home from work, or any time you have 16 minutes to spare. Because it doesn’t require a single piece of exercise equipment, just your body, it can fit in just about anyone’s schedule! It’s also a convenient way to fit in a sweat session when away from home—whether in your office at lunch, at the park with kids or travelling and stuck in a hotel room.
The idea of this home workout is to choose one exercise from each category – cardio, upper body, core, and lower body. Perform the exercise continuously, at a pace suited for your fitness level, for 40 seconds and then rest for 20 seconds before jumping onto the next move. After you’ve done all four exercises, repeat the series again for a total of four rounds. Most of these body weight exercises are gym class classics. However, if you don’t know what to do, just Google the exercise name and you should easily find an array of descriptions and tutorials.
The next time you do the Mix-n-Match Workout, choose a different line up of exercises from the list. Our bodies are designed to get stronger and fitter with constantly varied movements over time. You’ll never get bored with the Mix-n-Match workout, I pulled out my calculator and discovered there are 625 various combinations!
If you absolutely don’t have 16 minutes to spare for this home workout, just moving around for 5 minutes will get the heart pumping, muscles warmed up and mind cleared. Get a full-body mini-workout with two minutes of jumping jacks, two minutes of air squats and a one-minute plank.
Now, for the food!
An active lifestyle should be fueled with well-balanced meals that taste good, provide quality nutrients and are satisfying. Protein is very important in replenishing taxed muscles after exercise and managing weight over the long haul, and beef is a nutrient-dense option I choose frequently. However, it’s not just the protein that makes the meal, it’s also the combination of foods that are paired alongside it. Foods that “play well together” keep meals exciting, delicious and nutritious – some ingredients even have a collaborative relationship with each other. For example, when foods with animal-based iron (like beef) are paired with plant-based iron (like spinach or beans), the absorption rate is magnified.
I’ve gathered up a selection of balanced beef recipes for your consideration in a breakfast, lunch or dinner menu. Beef isn’t the only protein allowed on a balanced plate, and I believe that variety is the spice of life. But, after tasting these fit and flavorful beef meals, at least a few, if not all, will become favorites in your mealtime strategy.