Advice

Bad Yogi Tips: 10 Ways to Get Healthy This Fall Without Working Out

Our picture of health is much more all-encompassing than the measurement of our waistline. It’s more than how fast we can run a mile or how effortlessly we can complete an Orange Theory class. Lots of factors affect how we feel living in the body we’ve been blessed with, and it’s important to remember that we can affect our health in more ways than just going to the gym. And in many cases, we can affect it profoundly.

These are a few things that have decreased my stress, made me feel more energized during the day, more able to sleep deeply at night, and even helped keep my skin clear and weight even. I can’t guarantee that every single one will have miraculous affects on your own health, but I’d put my money on the bet that it WILL have a positive impact.

1) Step away from dairy! Honestly, this is my number one. I had HORRIBLE acne as a teenager and still have occasional breakouts as an adult. I gave up dairy completely for about a year and never had clearer skin. Then, I came to France and picked up ice cream and whole milk cappuccinos and pasta with cheese… and my skin has been miserable. So now I’m getting back to dairy-free living, not even for my health, but for my vanity! HAHA! 😉 Just being honest here! The occasional bit of ice cream and cheese and everything else is totally fine, but I can’t make a habit of it, personally. My body rebels!

2) Eat one more serving of vegetables than you currently do, daily. I always ate veggies around dinner time, but when I make a point to include a bit of avocado or zucchini with breakfast or lunch, I always feel better. It might just be in my head but I’m pretty sure my body thanks me!
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3) If you take an elevator at least once a day, replace one instance with using the stairs instead. We’re living on the 5th floor right now and I make a point to go up and down the stairs instead of taking the elevator every time I’m empty handed. It’s good cardio and good for keeping the legs and booty toned as a bonus 😉
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4) Drink more water! This is obvious but DEFINITELY high on my list. A couple years ago I was teaching hot yoga about 15x per week and was so dehydrated, I was getting sick every single month, my thyroid was out of whack, I had random heart palpitations, breakouts, super dry skin, and my hair was shedding like crazy. I didn’t know what was happening until my doctor suggested I drink more water. I started tracking my intake and never realized how little I actually drank in a day. Now I get at least 80-90 oz in a day and I have exactly zero of the symptoms I just listed. My thyroid bounced back to normal within weeks and everything else just sort of vanished.

5)  Take a probiotic. I prefer PB8 and I might just be insane, but I promise you— ever since I started taking one daily, I haven’t gotten a single cold or flu. And it’s been about 2 years.

6) Laugh daily. Laughter is built in to my day living with the Frenchman who is drop-dead hilarious, but finding humor in every day things is always easy. And usually while we work, I’ll put on a funny show in the background. Laughter is just the best medicine.IMG_5854

7) Stop trolling Facebook in idle time. It’s bad for your mental health and is nothing but a distraction. Instead, bookmark your favorite blogs that either make you laugh or inspire you and realize that you don’t need to stalk social media just because you’re afraid of missing out on something trivial.

8) Cut your sugar intake by half. I know it’s super difficult to give up altogether, so start by cutting back. I was in the habit of eating ice cream every single day when I first got to France, and I knew I was setting myself up for failure by trying to quit cold turkey. So instead of my nightly ice cream, I got a couple small truffles from my favorite patisserie (they were a little bigger than a quarter). It was cheaper and packed WAYYY less sugar than 2 huge scoops of ice cream. And it still hit the spot 😉

9) Take lots of work breaks. Walk around often, preferably outside. If you can’t get up and walk around every 30 minutes, don’t worry. At least get up and stand at your desk and shake out your legs for a minute and go to a window. Since we’re working, we don’t often attribute being sedentary to ourselves because it’s not like we’re doing NOTHING. But to our bodies, we’re doing exactly nothing when we sit at work all day. So MOVE!
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10) Indulge your hobbies. Have you ever dropped something you really loved doing just because you thought it wasn’t worthwhile? Maybe it was drawing or dancing or just sitting on the couch with your dog without being on your phone. It’s the thing that simultaneously energizes you and relaxes you. Pick it back up and stick with it this time.
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Over to you: What’s the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself? Have you ever changed a habit that caused a cascade of other good things?

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23 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Judy

    November 3, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I really appreciate you sharing your Bad Yogi life. I’m 59 years old and have been practicing yoga for only 4 years or so. The best thing I’ve done for myself in the last year has been eating a plant-based diet with no dairy. And, yes, this change has cascaded in so many other areas of my life . . . crazy, huh?

    1. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      November 4, 2015 at 3:05 am

      It is crazy how one positive change seems to multiply…

  2. Avatar

    Cassandra

    November 3, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    I TOTALLY hear you on the hydration thing!
    I used to get daily headaches, my skin would flush and I’d overheat, my skin was always dry (well that hasn’t changed much, actually :P), I had heart palpitations and then a wonderful thing happened:

    I started rock climbing and I really looked up to this one girl who I climbed with. She was a goddess to me. She loved all things fitness and health.
    So I took the smallest of baby steps to being like her….and I bought a water bottle.

    Fast forward a couple of years (yep, took a bit to sink in) and I decided “okay this is probably really a thing” and vow to take it everywhere with me.
    I do.
    (Almost) All of the above problems went away. I’ve been slacking recently and I’m not sure why, but my body can tell – it’s tired, my heart does the jitterbug occasionally, I’m getting headaches, I’m getting hot and overheated.

    Seriously, y’all. DRINK MORE WATER! Now…as for cutting out dairy…..I don’t think I can handle that. I love cheese too much, I really do.
    Like I’m sure I eat way more cheese than a normal adult is supposed to…….I’m gonna leave it at that, before I embarrass myself 😛

    1. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      November 4, 2015 at 3:03 am

      Isn’t the water thing crazy?! I read something recently about the population that said, “you’re not sick, you’re thirsty!” And that definitely kind of turned on the lightbulb for me.

      As for cheese… well, we won’t talk about that one 😉 I eat a bit of fresh parmesan right off the wheel here almost every day. It’s just TOO GOOD!

  3. Avatar

    YogiJuju

    November 3, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    I totally agree with them all! For me it’s two more, do a little yoga twice daily and sleep well and I feel amazing. The dairy part is so hard though… I love my latte and some blue cheese 🙁
    After following you on YouTube and Instagram for months now starting just after my heart procedure, I have just subscribed here today! Also saw the engagement video of your fiancé and you and it is so amazingly cute!!!! Just perfect. Congratulations. But okay, anyway, yeah I guess I’m just saying hi to you and the rest in the community for the first time? And a big thank you Erin. I fell in love with yoga thanks to you. I found my inner balance again. Love xxx

    1. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      November 4, 2015 at 2:55 am

      Hiiii! And I guess, officially, “welcome!” 🙂 We’re so happy to have you here with us! I totally understand how hard it is to give up cheese, too… I still eat parmesan pretty often, so I haven’t totally given it up either 😉

  4. Avatar

    Shannon

    November 3, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks for this, Erin!

    The work breaks are something I definitely need to get better at. It’s a good way to fit in your 20-20-20, too: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away from your computer screen for 20 seconds. I also recently stopped going on Facebook as often. I pretty much limit it to checking my notifications for direct interaction. I have so much more time, now!

    Hydration is huge for me, too. When I don’t drink enough water I feel hung over – which makes sense since dehydration is the primary reason for hangovers.

    1. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      November 4, 2015 at 2:53 am

      so true! i just heard about the 20-20-20 thing too and i’m still trying to get better with looking away that often, but i’m trying!

  5. Avatar

    Ana

    November 3, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    The only thing I just can’t do: dairy-free life. I mean… Omg, cheese.
    Okay, of course I can, we can do pretty much everything if we really want to, but… I just don’t wanna go without cheese and other stuff. 🙁 It’s so delicious…
    I think I have a problem.

    1. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      November 4, 2015 at 2:51 am

      hahaha! i totally understand you! 😉

  6. Avatar

    Ayla

    November 4, 2015 at 5:02 am

    Thanks Erin! I threw Facebook and Twitter off of my phone after reading this, it was about time. I read a good book yesterday evening and got completely captured by it because I didn’t feel the need to check my phone every once in a while.
    And of course I bookmarked your blog 😉 All kidding aside, my favorite blogs were the only fun thing about FB, so your bookmark idea is great.
    Thanks for being such an inspiration, and I hope you already feel at home in Nice.

    1. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      November 4, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Thank you, Ayla! That’s awesome! And I agree about the book thing… I’ve made a habit of picking up a new book every couple weeks just to give my brain a different way to “get away” 🙂

  7. Avatar

    Eliska

    November 4, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Hi Erin, I’m just wondering – how do you replace milk in your coffee? I think I wouldn’t be able to quit dairy products, cause I just love my coffee with milk. I’ve tried almond and soy milk and it just doesn’t work for me 🙁 It’s the same with sugar, I don’t like my coffee without that one little spoon. However, wonderful tips! Gonna try them out as there is a lot of stress in my life right now, too. x

    1. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      November 4, 2015 at 11:35 am

      It’s an adjustment, for sure! I just forced myself to make my lattes with almond milk instead of regular milk, and after a few days I just got used to it and even preferred it to regular milk or cream. It might not be almond for you either… try hemp or rice or cashew or even soy. Some are more mild than others, so you just have to find one that you like 🙂

    2. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      November 4, 2015 at 11:37 am

      oh, and another thing: don’t get worked up over one vice. if you can improve every other aspect of your life but you just LOVE milk and sugar in your coffee, don’t sweat it!

  8. Avatar

    Janet

    November 4, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Hi Erin. I became vegan more than a year ago. I have to say it wasn’t easy at all. I used to love cheese and ice cream too. It is true that dairy products can cause lot of health problems, especially sinus infection. Beside dairies i gave up my office job too 😉 as i felt unhappy and unhealthy for putting weight on from the stress. I never tried yoga before but since i am free from work 🙂 i started to workout more. Started your 30 day yoga challenge… and have to say i am sooo exhausted :). Thank you! 🙂

  9. Avatar

    Kristen

    November 4, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Love this list! I’m with you on dairy. It also makes me bloated so I look 3 months pregnant, especially after ice cream. I love looking for alternatives although nothing compares to real cheese. Lol.

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    Jennifer

    November 4, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    This is such a great reality check for me!

    My digestive system is all out of whack – I have several food intolerances plus had some major antibiotics during and after the birth of my son which completely threw my gut out of whack. I’ve been meaning to start a probiotic, but now I’m going to the store today to get one!

    Hydration is also something I’m terrible at, but need to get better. I need the energy and know I eat less/better when I’m not thirsty.

    The biggest for me is looking on the bright side – I’m a major worry wart like my dad. I am constantly stressed about something going wrong, especially when it comes to my 18 month old. I need to take a step back and see the bright side of these situations instead of what could go wrong… life is too short!

    Thanks Erin!

  11. Avatar

    bra331

    November 4, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Erin! Big fan of yours, started the 30 day yoga challenge on another website and found out today that you had your own, which is looking sharp by the way! One thing that I’ve done that cascade more good things was exactly 2 months ago when I joined the challenge that I referred above, and started waking up at 5am and doing it everyday before going to work (labouring). It makes my days feel lighter and I don’t get the angryness of everyone, because I’m calm and feeling good and I tend to keep that feeling throughout the day. My next goal: step away from dairy.

  12. Avatar

    Kasia

    November 5, 2015 at 10:45 am

    (I’m on a roll with leaving comments today :D)
    Very useful tips! I had to drastically limit exercising (I still do yoga and go on PE) due to health problems (it’s awful because I absolutely love working out :() and your tips are very helpful 🙂
    Dairy. I have an awful problem with acne. I did cut out dairy almost completely because I notice that when I eat cheese or yoghurt (I don’t like milk) I have breakouts. I sometimes miss Greek yoghurt and plant based milk is quite expensive here in Poland but I make my own almond milk when I’m at home 🙂
    Water. OMG. It’s a HUGE problem for me. I used to hate the taste of water, now I drink much more but still not enough.
    Thank you for another very informative post!

  13. Avatar

    Meghan

    November 8, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks Erin…some great ideas here. I definitely need to get away from Facebook and spend more time on hobbies instead. I think I’m doing ok on the rest (except for dairy, I’m from Wisconsin, come on! :P) but there’s always room for improvement. Have you seen the water bottles that have timers on them like from Blogilates.com? I think it’s a great idea because you can keep track of how much you drink and they have filters to put fruit in for a little extra flavor if you get bored of plain water. 😉

  14. Avatar

    Caitlin

    November 10, 2015 at 8:28 am

    I love articles like these! Sometimes it’s the little changes that make the biggest difference. The last couple of years I’ve taken many things out of my diet- some temporary and some permanent- and dairy has been one of the most helpful things. I feel better, my skin is clearer, I have more energy, and the list could go on. It’s amazing how sometimes you’re sensitive to something and don’t even realize how bad you feel until you stop consuming it.

    I also wanted to let you know- I used to dread working out. I hate running, circuit training is… ok but not amazing by any means. But ever since I discovered yoga (the 30 day yoga challenge was my first exposure to yoga), and more specifically your approach to yoga, I look forward to my daily “work out.” But yoga is so much more than a work out, at least to me it is, and you’re the one who really showed me that. I’d watch other yoga videos and not understand anything they were talking about, whether it be poses or ideals from hippie dippy land (hey, to each their own, but for me?… no lol). So I guess I’m just saying thank you for making yoga so accessible to everyone! It really had been life changing!

  15. Avatar

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    December 31, 2015 at 6:28 pm

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