Here is number two in the series of guest posts from friends of mine. Tonight’s fine read is from Katrina Schroeder of the website Eat, Drink, and be Active.
Katrina is a longtime friend who hails from my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. From growing up in the family business of specialty retailing (the jewel of Madison’s small businesses, Orange Tree Imports), Katrina and her family share a strong bond over both food and an active lifestyle. Since I’ve known her, she has gone from weekend bike rides around the lake to participating in marathons and triathlons as both a competitor and vocal supporters of her family’s goals, wherever the finish line may be.
Her blog documents her take as an active person and budding nutritionist to give the body what it needs to stay fit and healthy while making smart decisions about how we live our lives in relation to food and exercise. To be more concise- Eat, Drink, and Be Active.

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Seven Good Reasons You Should Eat, Drink, and Be Active

1. You get to eat more! Have you ever seen the t-shirt that says: “I run so I can eat?” How true. The science doesn’t lie: if you move more, you can consume more. So if you know that you’re heading to a cookout where you’d really like to sample each side in addition to that burger and brew, go for a run that morning or play a little Frisbee at the cookout. You should never feel guilty for what you eat, but you can take steps (literally) to make sure that what you eat doesn’t dominate your energy in versus energy out for the day.

2. Water equals life. You’ve probably heard that a certain amount of your body is made up of water. But think about it a little bit harder for a second: water makes up a little bit of just about everything. What do your eyes rest in? What is your blood made out of? What cushions your precious internal organs? You need to get enough liquids in you each day for the up-keep of your mostly-water filled body. It doesn’t have to be plain old water, either. Plenty of foods are made up of over 90% water like fruits and veggies. If you know you’re dehydrated a lot but just can’t stomach water on its own, try adding a splash of OJ to sparkling water or making a cucumber-basil infused pitcher of water to keep in your fridge.

3. Food is the new preventative medicine. There’s really no arguing anymore how much food can affect your health. Adapting a healthier diet and being more active can prevent most of the top fatal diseases in America. Studies continue to show that you should eat a mostly plant-based diet (this doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian, but if you’re deciding between brown rice that came from a plant and crackers that came from a box, pick the one that was more recently a plant). By doing this you can reduce your risk of some cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes… the list goes on. Eat healthy for yourself and for future generations who might want you around for a while!

4. Exercise makes you happy. Getting your heart rate up releases endorphins, which triggers your brain into being happy. It will also help you sleep better and lower your stress levels. It’s a great way to blow off steam as well as make new friends. Why not join a local softball team or masters swimming group? Meetup.com has a group for just about every physical activity and if they don’t have what you’re looking for you can start your own!

5. It’s fun to cook. Eating out is easy and tasty, but when you think about how much butter those chefs are sneaking in there to get you to come back, it’s enough to make you want to cook for yourself more so you can control exactly what’s going into your body. If you’re not much of a cook yet, it’s not too late! Try going to the grocery store and buying several types of produce that are on sale. When you get home look up recipes, or just sauté or grill them and season with some salt and pepper or your favorite stir-fry sauce. Once you have a couple of easy recipes under your belt try to see if you can change them in a way that makes them healthier or more unique to your own tastes.

6. People will be really impressed. Being healthy and active are great conversation starters and ways to impress people! Chances are if you’re active it will come up in conversation. People are always asking me if I run and when I say ‘well yes, for my triathlon training’ they often look on with awe (to some degree). Does it matter that I’m far from being at the top of my age group and will never do an ironman distance tri? No! It’s also a great opportunity to encourage others to be active.

7. You can convince other people to do it with you. Ask anyone you know who plays a sport or does physical activity why or when they started. Chances are they’ll have either a specific person or people who influenced them to get moving. When people ask me I tell them that my dad and I biked a lot when I was young and I started running because of him as well. The swimming was all me though! Now when I sign up for a race I think to myself ‘who else might enjoy doing this with me?’ and send them a message. Sometimes it only takes a little bit of encouragement from outside sources to help a person meet their fitness goals.

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