Health & Fitness Resource Bonanza (& Mayo Clinic Book Giveaway)

Well, folks - spring is in the air! It's about time we ditch winter and leap into days full of sunshine and unicorns. No unicorns? Okay fine, let's get excited about the good weather anyway. The sun is shining, the days are long, and everyone seems to shed a few layers of clothing (guys rejoice: sundresses are around the corner). What does that mean? We can no longer hide behind bulky jackets, sweaters and leggings (click here for a good laugh) - our health and fitness habits are on full display. Health and fitness is an area I'm deeply passionate about, so today I'm sharing a few of the resources I've found most helpful (including two new templates!), and giving away another free book (and journal) from The Mayo Clinic.

First, a little background on my recent health and fitness history: Working at Google really is much of what it is cracked up to be, especially when it comes to food (we have 18 cafes just in Mountain View). But what they don't offer here is a class on "How to not gorge your face out because the food supply is organic, unlimited and comes with five dessert options at every meal, not to mention the snack rooms where danger lurks when restlessness strikes at 3 p.m. every afternoon." I gained AT LEAST 20 pounds when I started working here. You might have had the Freshman 15 in college, well I put on a generous Google 20 after I started working here four years ago.

Thankfully I've since lost that weight in the last year, but it hasn't been easy. I've read many books and learned the importance of portion control, healthy choices, and finding dynamic diet and exercise systems that work for me. I've learned that good health is a day-by-day journey (not a one-time destination), and that exercise is absolutely critical to keeping me healthy and happy. Below are many of the resources I've used - I'd love to hear what has worked for you too!

Fitness Templates It took me a few years of on-again/off-again fitness habits to realize that exercise is really where much of my baseline happiness comes from. If I don't exercise, I immediately notice I feel more stressed, less creative, and often sad and robbed of energy.

The templates below are how I keep myself on track - if you're like me, you know how good it feels to check things off a list and track progress over time. These templates are also great because you can share with a friend for accountability (each person gets their own tab). I'm especially proud of the Weekly Tracker - it has conditional formatting, boxes that change color automatically and countIF statements. Nerd alert!

(if you are reading via email or feed reader, click the links below to preview)

Weekly Fitness and/or Activity Tracker (great for checking off daily/weekly targets):

Triathlon, Half-Marathon and Full Marathon Training Schedules:

My Favorite Health & Fitness Resources

Mayo Clinic Book & Journal Giveaway

The Mayo Clinic has been generous enough to send me an extra copy of their book, The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat Well, Enjoy Life, Lose Weight, and the accompanying journal to give away to a lucky reader! I haven't read it yet, so whoever wins the giveaway can join a mini book club with me to discuss. :)

Description: The Mayo Clinic Diet is packed with meal plans, tips for overcoming challenges, help in starting an exercise plan, and overall encouragement for success from the Mayo Clinic’s weight-loss and nutrition experts. The Mayo Clinic Diet emphasizes foods that are not only healthy, but also taste great. Part 1, the “Lose It!” phase, is The Mayo Clinic Diet’s two-week quick-start plan. “Lose It” is designed to help dieters lose 6 to 10 pounds in just 14 days. After dieters complete the “Lose It” phase, they move on to Part 2, “Live It.” This phase is designed to help dieters continue to lose 1-2 pounds each week until they reach their desired healthy weight. “Live It” offers a customized guide to using the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid.

How to enter: leave a comment with your favorite health tip, habit or resource and I'll pick a winner at random. I'm actually super excited about hearing all of your great health and fitness ideas - let's start this spring off right! **UPDATE: The drawing is now over (congrats to EK!) - but please feel free to still leave your health tips in the comments!**