5 Simple Ways You Can Get Back to Exercising

It may still feel like summer out there, but many kids have started back to school over the past couple of weeks. What does this mean for you? Probably more traffic, busier mornings and evenings, if you have kids, and finding a "new normal" with your exercise routine. 

What does "normal" look like for your exercise routine? Will you go back to what you were doing before the kids got out of school for the summer? Will you continue what you were doing over the summer? Will you start something new? Check out our tips on how-to ease back into your exercise routine once the kids are back in school below. 

1. Choose some form of activity/exercise that you like to do. The more you like it, the more likely you are to stick with it. 

2. Enlist a buddy. You're not just helping yourself be accountable here, but your buddy, too. 

3. Sign-up for a fitness class (more accountability). There are so many out there, keep trying until you find one you like. 

4. Hire a trainer (again with the accountability thing). Also cuts down on wandering around the gym and increases focus on what works. 
 
5. Get everything you need ready the night before (if you're doing early AM workouts or bringing your clothes with you packed for a lunch or after work workout.)

As counterintuitive as it may seem, exercise will help you through this sometimes stressful transition from summer into fall. 

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4 Ways to Immediately Ease Stress and Anxiety

Do you often feel like you are operating on autopilot? I know that there are days when I do this. By the time I realize what’s been going on, it’s 5:00 PM and the day is nearly gone. A continued pattern like this can lead to increased stress, which in turn can lead to increased anxiety and all of the fun symptoms that come along with that.

So how do we slow down a little and try to ease a bit of the stress that we are feeling? By practicing mindfulness daily. Here are some easy ways to incorporate some of those practices into your day.

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  1. Meditation - It may not be for everyone, and that is okay, but I urge you to give it a try. There are many apps out there that offer free, short meditations to get you started. I really like Headspace because they make it simple. I used to think that there was no way that meditation would work for me - mainly because I can’t sit still - but I’ve discovered that I was wrong. I don’t meditate for long periods of time, but Ive learned that even a few minutes can be beneficial.

  2. Slow down when you are eating. Notice the taste and textures of the foods you are eating. Chew thoroughly. Put your fork down between bites. This practice can also help ease digestive woes.

  3. Stop and smell the roses. Literally! Notice the beauty and wonder that is right outside your door.

  4. Practice gratitude. For your life, for your family, for everything.

    You don’t need some elaborate plan to get started. Just begin noticing things as you go through your day. Some days will definitely be easier than others, but something is always better than nothing. When you get caught up in the craziness and you notice what’s going on…stop. Take a deep breath (or two) and know that it’s going to be okay.

There is no perfect time...why are you waiting?

There is no perfect time.

Have you ever said, “I’ll do X once I get Y under control.” - or something along those lines? I know I have. Our minds trick us into putting off that scary thing that we kind of want to do, but are intimidated by, so we do what feels safe. We stay put.

Have you seen that diagram about the comfort zone and where the magic happens? Spoiler alert…the magic happens outside the comfort zone.

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Waiting until everything is “perfect” before starting something means you will most likely be waiting for a very long time. Let’s be honest, there’s always something that’s making life a little crazy, right?

Look six months down the road. What do you see? Are you still waiting for the stars to align (aka the perfect time), or are you six months closer to where you want to be?

Take that first step outside of your comfort zone. Test the waters…how does it feel? Sure, it’s a little scary at first, but soon you will be asking yourself why you waited so long.  And before you know it, those new steps will become part of your new comfort zone.

Five Things You Can Do for YOU!

Let’s face it, we often put the needs of others before our own needs. We’re busy women, moms, daughters, sisters, friends, co-workers, etc. However, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we may find that we end up burnt out, irritated, exhausted, and possibly sick.

So how do we change this? I’m not suggesting we just stop taking care of others - I’m suggesting that we make a little time to balance some things out.

  1. Set boundaries with your time. Do the things that matter most.  Don’t expect yourself to do everything.

  2. Consider learning how to “time-block” to make the most of your time each day. If you don’t know what that means, Google it…there’s a ton of info out there.

  3. Find your tribe. You don’t have to have a large tribe, but having a small group of friends who have your back can make all the difference in the world.

  4. Exercise. It does not have to be formal or for any specific length of time. Just move! Exercise has as much of a psychological effect on us as it does on our  physiology.

  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

I’m not going to lie. Of all the ideas listed above, asking for help is the hardest one for me. I’m a stubborn, strong, independent woman that can take care of herself and her family. That being said, I have learned over the years how to ask for help and how to accept that the help I am asking for is not only beneficial for me, but also for my family and clients as well. Some of the areas I ask for help include: yard work, therapy, fitness, cleaning, nutrition, and more. Yes, these things do sometimes cost money, but my sanity and quality of life are worth every penny.

Guess what? You don’t have to have it all together. Listen to your heart and soul…what do YOU need? Today is the day that you start making sure that your needs are met, too.

How-To Forget the Mistakes and Remember the Lessons

Mistakes are inevitable. We've all made many in our lives. Some of those mistakes are big, while others are smaller and less impactful.

Have you ever berated yourself for making a mistake? I know I have and sometimes if I'm in the wrong mindset, it doesn't even have to be a big mistake for that inner sh*t talker to get started.

What if we gave ourselves permission to accept the mistake and learn from it instead of berating ourselves? What would that look like for you? It would look something like this for me with a small mistake...

1. Oh, shoot! I forgot to run the dishwasher after lunch and now we won't have any clean dishes for dinner.
2. Figure out a way to remind myself to start the dishwasher after lunch daily so that I don't forget.
3. Move on with my day.

A larger mistake may take a little more work, but could look something like this for me...

1. I spilled coffee on my brand new MacBook. (This really did happen a couple of years back.)
2. Scream, then immediately take MacBook to Apple.
3. Breathe. Breathe some more. And some more breathing.
4. Realize that berating myself won't solve anything and will make me feel like sh*t.
5. Put a plan in place to hopefully keep this from happening again. (Lids on cups and/or no coffee on my desk.)
6. Realize I'm human, no one is perfect, we all make mistakes, learn the lesson, and move on with my day.

I can assure you there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my beverages and where they are in relation to my MacBook.

Give yourself some grace and try to focus more on the lesson and less on the mistake. I promise it's worth it.

#YOUareworthy #YOUareENOUGH #YOUareimportant #YOUMATTER

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How-To Stay Cool & Protect Your Skin from the Sun

It's hot! 🔥 What better time to discuss how to stay cool and protect your skin while being outside. Here are our top 5 tips for staying cool and protecting your skin.

Top 5 Ways to Stay Cool 

  1. Stay inside with A/C.

  2. Hit the pool, lake, or beach.

  3. Stay hydrated - your body needs water so it can sweat to cool off.

  4. Find the shade and pray for a nice breeze.

  5. Cooling towels, ice cubes, ice packs are great for cooling body temperatures in extreme heat.

Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Skin

  1. Wear sunscreen and reapply often.

  2. Choose a lotion sunscreen over the spray version. I know the spray is easier, but it doesn’t cover as completely.

  3. Wear light weight clothing that has an UPF rating.

  4. Stay inside, find some shade, and avoid the peak UV time of 10 AM to 2 PM if possible.

  5. Wear a hat and sunglasses to further protect your face, scalp, and eyes.

Sun poisoning, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are real things. This is a great resource that lists what all of the symptoms are and what to do should you or someone you know have them.

National Cancer Survivors Day 2019

Most of us have been touched by cancer in one way or another. It’s a horrific disease that steals from those it affects. There are several people in our family we have lost to cancer - may they rest in peace. Then there are two immediate family members who have beat the disease - my husband, Aaron, beat Testicular Cancer twice, and my mom, Linda, beat Lymphoma twice. They are both super-bada$$es in my opinion!

I don’t think I realized the impact my mom’s cancer had on me while it was going on. I believe I was only four years old when she was diagnosed and my little sister, Kelly, was only two. I do recall going to many doctor’s appointments with my mom - some of which I now know were her chemotherapy appointments. My mom was a stay-at-home-mom and we lived in Texas with no family close by, so she had no other choice but to take my sister and me with her.

I didn’t realize at the time that her loss of hair and her wigs stood for something much more than what my little four or five year old brain could fathom. I didn’t realize that this awful disease that was attacking her body could result in the loss of my mom.

I can remember the moment vividly when I finally realized just how blessed we were that my mom beat cancer. I believe that my dad, sister, and I were driving on a road trip across Ohio - most likely from Cambridge to Parma, or vice versa. We lived in New Jersey at the time, but it was summer and we were visiting family in Ohio. My dad had a little orange Honda Civic hatchback - I believe it was a 1976. It was hot and humid outside. The car had no air conditioning - the windows were rolled down and my sister and I were both trying to keep our very long hair from getting tangled. Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ and ‘Glory Days’ was blaring from the radio speakers. We stopped for gas and I don’t know what made me think of my mom and her cancer, but it was like all of a sudden I had a realization come over me. That realization was that she could have died. I don’t think that had really ever occurred to me before that moment. I also realized that not only could cancer have stolen my mom from us, but our lives would have been very different. It was at that moment that I realized just how blessed we were to have my mom still with us. Love you, Mom!

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It's Okay to Take Care of YOU!

Today is the perfect day to sit and breathe. Snow and ice have basically closed down our area, so here we go. Self-care is such an important part of our lives. We can try to ignore self-care and all that goes along with it, but that will come back to bite us in the tush in the long run. When we neglect self-care we may feel run down, anxious, depressed, sick, etc. 

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Look back over your previous week and ask yourself a few questions.

  • How do you feel? Do you feel like you were energized through the previous week or do you feel like you were dragging all week?

Based on your answer to the first question, now ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did you fuel properly? 

  • Did you get enough sleep?

  • Did you exercise?

  • Did you drink enough water?

  • Did you make time for YOU?

If your answer to the first question was that you were dragging all week, let's look a little closer at the areas where you may be able to tweak some things to improve how your week goes this week. 

Fuel- Throw out diet mentality and feed your body. Ensure you're getting an appropriate balance of macronutrients, in addition to calories, so that you don't feel like napping on your desk around 3 PM. Skipping meals will not help you lose weight in the long run. If you need help with this, please reach out to us. 

Sleep- An adult female should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you're not doing this, and you answered that you were dragging all week above, something has to change. 

Exercise- I know it seems counterintuitive to exercise if you're tired, but I promise you, it helps! If you're short on time, shorter workouts can be beneficial as well. Something is always better than nothing. Need help? I'll share a 10-minute workout on our Facebook page tomorrow.

Hydration- Have you ever been dehydrated before? You felt awful, didn't you? Dehydration can cause a host of symptoms, including headaches, sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion, irritability, etc. If you aren't sure if you're drinking enough water or not, you probably aren't drinking enough. 

YOU time- Most of us don't make time for ourselves. We put everyone else's needs in front of our own. Schedule your "YOU" time like you do anything else. Stick to it. Even if you just escape to a quiet room for 10 minutes of silence - that counts! The dishes, laundry, etc will still be there later on. Delegate that to some of your family (team) members. 

Do you need to make any changes? Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. Each person is going to have a different blueprint for what works for them. Feel good last week? What are some of the things you did that may have contributed to that? Those things should remain a part of your repertoire.

How can we help support you with prioritizing self-care? Let us know!

You are ENOUGH!

The other day at the studio there was a small group of women, myself included, talking about negative self-talk. We all admitted to doing it.

I asked if any of us would talk to someone else the same way we are talking to ourselves. Of course, we all said that we would never talk to anyone else like that. So why do we allow this behavior? Why are we so self-critical? Unfortunately we live in a society where being thin, tan, etc is a look that is perceived as how we "should" be.

Each and every one of us is unique (unless you have an identical twin). For example, it would be virtually impossible for me to have Jennifer Garner's arms - she's only got 2 arms and I'm fairly certain she doesn't want to part with either of them.

What if instead of wasting so much energy on trying to be someone we are not, we started to work towards liking who we are today? What does that look like for you?

Part of this process includes trying to stop the negative self-talk. If your inner critic is anything like mine, that isn't going to be an easy task. You know what? That's okay! Recognize that this will be an ongoing exercise, one that will get easier over time, as the more you interrupt and discredit your inner critic, the less power it has.

One of the women that was part of our conversation mentioned that her inner critic spoke up when she looked at herself in the mirror. Another woman said that hers spoke up when she saw a picture of herself on Facebook. Whatever the trigger is for your inner critic to try to run the show, you can often use the same methods to shut it down or ignore it as the very least.

Instead of getting pulled into that spiral of negativity, try to acknowledge the negative self-talk and try responding (out loud, if you want,) "Not today - I will not engage with you today!" If it helps to put a sign up on your mirror, dashboard, kitchen cabinet, desk, etc, do that! The sign can say something like the aforementioned or maybe a "Stop" sign that signals you to intervene and shut down the critic. The key is to find and use what will work for you.

The more we allow ourselves to get drug into the spiral of negativity, the worse we feel about ourselves. We may feel as if we did something wrong and that we now must be punished. My challenge to you is to talk to yourself the same way that you talk to a loved one. This takes a lot of practice and please understand that there is no right or wrong way to do this.

My wish for you is that you always remember that you are enough. #selfcare #positiveselftalk #YOUareworthy #YOUareimportant #YOUMATTER

Consistency

This...

If you want proof that strength training works...this is real life proof of results. Results aren't necessarily defined by numbers. Results are personal and can be defined by each individual. How do these women define results? By being able to do the things in life that make them happy. That's what I call success.