Posts Tagged With: Rest

R&R…



Photo credit Pinterest. 

Hello fitness and wellness friends. I hope you’re still on your journey. I have been under the weather the past few weeks. Therefore,  working out has ceased to happen. I don’t recommend working out when you’re sick…let your body heal. 

This is my pre sickness face…I was exhausted. Should’ve tipped me off that a cold was coming… 



I could’ve slept for months… 

I also ceased eating food because it all tasted the same, bland.

So what do you do when life kicks you in the teeth and lays you on your face? You rest! You hydrate! You take vitamins. You relax!!! 

Saturday I slept 12 hours. Yes! 

Rest is just as important as working out. Give your body time to heal. Sometimes we push too hard, we neglect rest…we end up sick. 

I was surrounded by sick teammates and an overwhelming stressful program. Stress weakens the immune system. So it’s good to rest! 

Do you need some R&R? 

What activities do you do to replenish your mind, body, and soul? 

How are you taking time to just be and not do?  

What part of your workout routine involves rest? 

I hope to back in the fitness game soon! Keep up the good work. Cheering for you!!

Warm Regards,

Erin 

Categories: Emotional Health, Fitness, Mental Health, Nutrition | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Do it for YOU!

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Hello fitness friends! You’re amazing! I hope you’re being kind to yourself and eating healthy. I hope you’re exercising and gaining muscle. Do it for you!

There are many people who choose diet and exercise for vanity. Magazines and media feed us images of people who have been airbrushed to society’s standard of perfection. If we simply focused on health, there would be industries out of business.

So, when I say, “Pursue wellness for you!” I don’t mean for the sake of vanity. I say it because when you’re 80 years old, you’ll regret not taking care of yourself. When we are young we believe we will live forever! The junk food, late nights, couch potato lifestyle seems alright. The truth is, once you reach a certain age losing weight becomes a struggle. Once you start working full time, you’re often too tired to workout every day. Throw in some kids and well, rest becomes the priority.

We need to take care of ourselves or we don’t have anything to offer anyone else. If you lose the priority of caring for the temple God gave you, eventually it will catch up to you.

One of my strengths and weaknesses is I long to put others first. I wake up thinking what I might do for someone else. I spent many years neglecting my emotional, physical, and mental health to help care for a sick patent. I’ve been known to juggle many things and not take concern for my well being. Here’s what I’ve learned.

1. You can only give what you possess.

When you’re tired, worn out, and not caring for yourself; there’s nothing to give to anyone else.

2. Set boundaries quickly in relationships. No is a good word.

Know where your responsibility ends. We can’t be all things to all people. We can also delegate to others.

3. Love people, yet manage toxic relationships.

Drama, spiritual and emotional leeches, takers, constant nagging/complainers, the gossips and haters, the people who are super negative. Limit your time with them if you cannot get out of the relationship. If it’s a spouse or close family member, consider counseling or letting them know, “I love you, yet we can have this conversation when it becomes more respectful or positive.” You set the boundaries for what you’ll accept.

I had a coworker who liked to dump his work on me then complain if it wasn’t perfect. I firmly yet respectfully told him, “I will not do your job and my job. If you need help, talk to our manager about someone on your level to cover for you.”

4. Do nice things for yourself.

If I waited or relied on other people to support my dreams, provide encouragement, or help…I’d be screwed. Most people put themselves first. So, you learn to be good to yourself. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Eat healthy, exercise, take breaks, feed your mind and soul good things.

5. Take care of your mind, body, soul, and spirit. Neglect one and the rest suffer.

6. Rest.

Smartphones have set us up to have non stop communication with people. It’s okay to turn off the phone, not respond to every text or email. Give your brain a break. Studies have shown social media increases depression in people. They are constantly comparing their life to others. News flash: most people post the best pictures and stories of themselves.

Sweet friends, I’m not encouraging you to live a self centered or selfish life. I am encouraging you to take care of yourself. Time flies and you’ll regret the neglect as you age.

Warm regards,

Erin

Categories: Emotional Health, Fitness, Mental Health, Nutrition, Spiritual Health | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reshape Your Body

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Hello my fitness friends. I have not forgotten you. While I work on another post about hormones, I wanted to post something about getting lean. Nutrition is crucial to having a healthy body and getting lean. There is another component that people can overlook, resistance training. Disclaimer: Talk to your doctor before starting a training program.

I was hesitant to start circuit training. I have a naturally muscular build and felt like weight lifting would cause me to bulk up. I had a trainer before who had me on a program, and I hated the way I looked when it was over. So, after that I decided I never wanted to lift weights again. Here are some things I learned.

1. Get the right trainer. Tell them what your goals are. If you are not interested in becoming Mr. or Mrs. Olympia, let them know. There are different programs for people with different goals.

2. Add cardio and weights to your routine. If you have layers of padding 🙂 then your muscles will not be easily seen. Resistance training is great because the muscles you build burn more calories than the body fat you have.

3. Be patient. Depending on the amount of muscle mass you have and strength, it will take time for you to see results. Give yourself 4 to 6 weeks to see changes. Keep going. It’s not a sprint, it’s a long distance run.

4. Rest and Switch it Up. Muscles need time to recover. Try to switch it up; alternate muscle groups.

So here’s the example from my routine:

  • Monday, Friday, Sunday (Back side of the body: glutes, hamstrings, calves, back, and biceps). Anytime you work the back you are working biceps.
  • Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (Front side of the body: Quads, abs, chest, shoulders, and triceps).
  • Cardio 2 -3 days a week.  Rest day Wednesday.

Before you cringe at the example I gave you, these sessions are no longer than 35-45 minutes long.

5. Every 4-6 weeks challenge your body in new ways. If you do the same circuits over and over with the same amount of resistance, you won’t see improved results. Our bodies are smart and they adapt. Once they adapt, they use less energy to do the same exercises. It can be as simple as increased reps, adding a few more pounds, adding new exercises….

6. Stretch it out. Many people forget how important stretching is to their routine. Stretching decreases your risk of injury. So warm up, cool down, and make sure you are stretching before and after your workouts.

7. Muscles will reshape your body. I wanted nice arms. I admit it. That was impossible with the treadmill and elliptical machine. I had to lifting weights. And I do not look like the hulk. 😉

8. Diet is important. Training is great. If you are not eating well, your body will show it. Choose whole foods, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and tons of water.

9. Muscles help protect your bones and keep you young. There is something to be said for a muscular body versus a fleshy soft one. I am not saying you need to be a literal brick house, but muscle ages better than fat or a body that is not toned. My dad works out and he looks great. He looks much better than other men his age who don’t workout. He is healthier and has more energy.

So dear friends, if your doctors approve, don’t bypass resistance training. And you don’t always need extra weight. Your body weight is often sufficient or exercise bands. Do some research on workouts you can do safely at home. Make sure you are doing proper form and not trying to be a super hero at first. You don’t want to hurt yourself.

Keep up the good work and enjoy the rest of your week. xoxo Erin.

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Perfectionism is Self Abuse

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Hello my fitness friends. I hope you are enjoying today! I wanted to chat with you about something that will hopefully help you along this wellness journey. Let’s talk about perfectionism. Perfectionism is self abuse. Since I am running a Biggest Loser Competition and have friends with high fitness goals, I see how perfectionism can lead people down a dark path and sometimes unhealthy one.

Perfectionism says, “If I don’t meet this standard (certain beauty, weight, or achievement), then I am not valuable or have less value.” There are people killing themselves to meet a goal that may or not be attainable.

The goal of wellness is health, not perfectionism. Your body may not get to the point where it looks like someone else’s body. Your goals may not be achievable. I will give you an example. The people in my family are muscular by nature, we literally have to starve ourselves to be rail thin and then we look sick. For me to say, “I want to be a size zero,” is ludicrous. Anything below a size 5/6 and people start to offer me food.

Men and women alike can spend way too much time in the mirror picking apart the parts of their bodies that they don’t like instead of celebrating what they do like. People spend thousands of dollars on plastic surgery or medical treatments to attain this ideal of perfection…I ask you, who set the standard of what’s perfect? What we think is beautiful is culture driven. Here’s a great example, I have visited South America several times and have noticed that the women are curvier and it’s appreciated. Even the mannequins have curves in certain areas, to be stick thin is not considered beautiful. When I was young, being rail thin was the ideal for a woman. So, depending on where you are in the world or which culture you’re immersed in, the standard of beauty or perfection may be different. I heard a quote that I loved, “You can be the juiciest peach in the world, but there will still be someone who doesn’t like peaches.

We think only women struggle with perfectionism as it pertains to beauty, but there are men who spend hours in the gym trying to obtain the perfect body.

Perfectionism can translate to every area of life (work, relationships, cleaning…). Perfectionism is time consuming and stressful.

So what are we to do if we suffer from perfectionism.

1. Strive for being the best we can be, not perfect. Excellence not perfectionism.

2. Set obtainable goals! The goal is health not perfect.

3. Self-acceptance-if we don’t love ourselves, then life is unbearable. Celebrate who you are, flaws and all!

4. Stop comparing. Ditch comparison to all the air brushed photos of models or fitness pros. It’s great for inspiration, but your journey is your journey.

5. Give yourself a break. Rest is important, pushing beyond limits leads to stress on the body, mind, and soul.

6. Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect, no one is. To be human is to be beautifully flawed.

7. Don’t expect perfection from others.

Well, dear friends, I hope this tips help you on your journey. You are wonderful just the way you are. You are valuable just the way you are. Don’t allow the media, culture, internal or external pressure drive you to madness! Cheering for you. Celebrating you!

Categories: Emotional Health, Fitness, Mental Health | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Free Your Mind…

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Hello friends! I hope this week is treating you well. I am excited it is finally warm here. The sun is shining! Hello Spring. 🙂

Tonight I wanted to talk to you about one of the most important parts of the wellness journey! Freeing your mind of junk. Yes, your mind. It’s easy to empty the cupboards and force ourselves to go to the gym. The hardest part is changing the way we think. I believe most of us don’t meet our goals because our thoughts get in the way. We say things like, “It will always be this way. I can’t do this. I can’t help myself…..” The list goes on and on.

Here’s some truth: Where the mind goes, the body follows! Negative mind=negative life.

We can buy all the products and still not be healthy. A healthy mind is crucial to wellness.

Here are some tips for clearing the mind of clutter.

  1. Change I can’t to I will do my best. I will try. If I am not successful, I will keep going until I am. There are some things we need not to do (i.e destructive things). There are other things we refuse to do  because we stuck with fear of failure or lack of motivation. Say it with me….YES I can! It’s not about perfection. It’s about growth.
  2. Forgive. Yes, I said it. Forgive yourself, forgive others….forgive any and everyone you are holding a grudge against. Let it go. Forgiveness is not saying what the other person did was right. Forgiveness does not always mean the person is given access to your life. It does mean you release anger, the desire to avenge, and trust that by letting go you’re helping yourself. Many people are sick because they are holding grudges. I see grudges as heavy stones. They weigh you down and do nothing to the other person. Set yourself free!
  3. Give yourself a break. Ditch negative self talk. I have had a high calorie food day today, but I am working out an hour a day. I am counting calories not to be restrictive, but to see what I am eating. I can beat myself up for having more food today, but what will it accomplish? Nothing. I eat to live and fuel this body. Food is not my life. Nor will I talk down to myself. If I don’t love and accept myself, I can’t love anyone else. Give yourself a break! You’re human after all. 🙂
  4. Stop the comparison. I have a coworker who is naturally thin. She eats like a football player. She often brags about how much she can eat. While I watch what I eat. I can’t compare myself to her. I have a muscular athletic build. I always have. She is rail thin. We are two different people. I accept who I am. I accept who she is. I don’t compete with anyone but myself.
  5. Count those blessings and focus on what’s going right. One of my daily activities is counting blessings. What’s good in my life? What is positive? What is going right? I try to spend the day focusing on those things. I have an acquaintance who complains about everything, and it is draining to everyone around. Life is too short to focus on all the bad.
  6. Meditate on good things and feed the mind good things. I purposefully limit exposure to the news. I don’t have my head in the sand, but I won’t listen to negative things for hours on end. I read. I blog. I focus on my faith. I look for good things to feed my mind.
  7. Challenge yourself to see yourself succeeding. I truly believe vision is powerful. Are you seeing good things happening in your future? Are you envisioning yourself achieving your goals? Are you picturing a healthy life? I sure hope so. See the vision, write it down.
  8. Speak good things about yourself and your future. I don’t know you all personally, but I am sure you are amazing. The goal isn’t to be conceited, but confident. You are a winner. You have plenty to offer the world. You are significant and have qualities unique to you to bless the world. There’s only one you, so make your mark! You can do more than you think! There’s a champion in you.
  9. Try to say good things about others. Negative talk is negative talk. It does not help us or anyone else. We live in a culture that is eager to tear people apart. It’s not healthy. As humans we are flawed, none of us perfect. Putting others down never elevates us. It simply shows our insecurity.
  10. Rest from social media. Our minds are overstimulated. It’s good to switch off the smart phone, turn off the computer, and have some down time!

I hope these tips are helpful! You can do anything you set your mind to. I believe in you! Keep it up….Warm wishes,~Erin

Categories: Emotional Health, Mental Health, Spiritual Health | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take 5

Young Woman Sleeping on Lawn Chair

We spend so much of our time doing. We are busy from sun up until sun down. We are plugged in, connected, and constantly busy. Today, I would like to talk about something we sometimes fail to do, but it’s very important for our well-being; rest.

Rest is so important. We can think that running full steam ahead is a great idea, however our bodies will suffer if we don’t rest. Here’s some info on rest.

Rest helps keep our hormones in balance. The hormone grenalin which controls hunger is disrupted when we do not get adequate sleep. When we are sleep deprived, we are often hungrier. Grenalin  stimulates our desire for fatty food and high calorie density food. Lack of sleep also disrupts the hormone leptin. “Leptin signals the brain that the body has had enough to eat, producing a feeling of satiety. Moreover, this fullness hormone may make it easier for people to resist the temptation of foods high in calories.1″

Rest helps us to build muscle. Despite what we may believe, working out every day at high intensity is not the best. Here’s some information from Livestrong. “Overworking your muscles actually prevents muscle growth, because your muscles do not have time to adjust to the strain put on them. By doing tough muscle-building exercises with adequate rest, you will see gains in muscle strength and bulk in a few weeks,” Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/100116-proper-way-build-muscles/#ixzz2J1GaL6p4.

Even if you are not working out to build muscle, overworking our bodies is not beneficial for our health. Rest is important for a healthy body.

Tips

Rest improves mental and emotional health. If you have ever suffered from insomnia, which I have, you know that your mental health suffers when you are exhausted. You can’t think clearly. Everything seems to be especially hard and taxing. You may suffer from anxiety, a bad case of the grumpies, lack of concentration, etc…Sleep and rest (ceasing from continual activity) helps the mind to function the way it is supposed to.

Rest helps your body combat stress. Stress is not our friend. You can go back and read earlier posts about what stress does to the human body. Prolonged stress causes hormonal imbalances, weakens the immune system, can cause gastrointestinal problems, relational problems, hair loss, etc…We want to rest so our bodies can rebound from excess stress.

Rest helps us to remain at center, at peace. I am a person of faith. I believe peace is powerful. Rest helps us to remain at peace. When we are constantly moving, doing,etc…our spirits suffer. I often lack peace when I am ceasing to rest. You may not be a person of faith, so hang with me if you aren’t. My goal on this site isn’t to push my beliefs on you. I do believe in God and that rest is a spiritual discipline. A Sabbath is needed to benefit not only the body, mind, and emotions, but our spirits as well.

Well, my dear friends. I hope that you find time in the midst of busy lives and strenuous workout schedules to rest. Make rest a priority! Keep up the good work, I am cheering for you!

1. Baicy K, London ED, Monterosso J, Wong ML, Delibasi T, Sharma A, Licinio J (November 2007). “Leptin replacement alters brain response to food cues in genetically leptin-deficient adults”. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 104 (46): 18276–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.0706481104. PMC 2084333. PMID 17986612.

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Salt, Sleep, Stress, and Your Body

Ah, the three S’s-Salt, Sleep, and Stress. These three things all impact your health. I will break them down by category.

Salt: Our bodies need salt as an electrolyte*. Salt is an important component. Over consumption of salt causes our bodies to retain water. Water retention causes us to be heavy on the scale. You can hold more water weight than you’d think. Some people can hold 5 to 7 pounds worth of water. Have you ever given up salt for a period of time, then eaten something with salt in it? You feel swollen the next day, bloated, and full. The amount of salt we are eating nowadays is far above what we should consume. 2,000 mg  is a good target. If you look at most fast food places you can consume half your days worth of sodium in one meal! Processed foods are loaded with sodium. Especially frozen dinners, canned soups, and chips, etc…Maybe some of the extra weight you are holding is water weight. The people I know who are weight lifters for competition purposes give up extra salt as well as sugar. Over-consumption of salt also helps cellulite appear more pronounced. Excessive consumption can also negatively affect blood pressure.

“The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg if you’re age 51 or older, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease,” Mayo Clinic.

*Electrolytes affect the amount of water in your body, the acidity of your blood (pH), your muscle function, and other important processes. You lose electrolytes when you sweat. You must replace them by drinking fluids, Medicine Plus.

Sleep: Inadequate sleep will sabotage your fitness goals and your health. Your body needs rest to function properly. When you don’t sleep your hormones become imbalanced. The hormones that control hunger and telling you when you are full cease to function properly. They are called ghrelin (tells you to eat/you’re hungry) and leptin (tells your brain you’re full). People begin to overeat when they are not sleeping well. Not only does the lack of sleep lead to overeating, lack of sleep leads to disruption of growth hormones. Growth hormones stimulates growth, cell reproduction and restoration.

“When you don’t get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food,” Dr. Breus tells WebMD,” How Sleep Affects Your Weight Loss article,  http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-while-sleeping.

Lack of sleep also causes mental and emotional issues. Our bodies and minds require sleep. Most adults should aim for 6-8 hours of sleep. Children and teenagers require more sleep.

Stress: Ah, the dreaded stress word. Stress over long periods of time or extreme stress will cause your body to store fat. Yes, fat. A hormone called cortisol is released in fight or flight situations. Excessive amounts of cortisol increases the amount of  fat stored on your abdomen. It’s a contributing factor to abdominal fat. Look up cortisol and fat. Minimizing stress is good for your health. It’s good for your mind as well. Prolonged stress lowers the immune system response and is damaging all around. Stress also drives us to make poor choices with food. We reach for the items that are high in fat, sugar, and salt. All those choices cause us to eat more.  Stress is aggravated by lack of sleep, rest, and our poor food choices do not help us. Working out regularly, resting, and unplugging from social media, all help to reduce stress. I box/kick-box as a stress reliever or paint or take a walk outside or read. Managing stress levels is a key to healthy living.

As previously stated talk to your primary care doctor about any changes in diet or before starting an exercise program. I am simply sharing what I have learned, and I am not a physician. I am a Researcher & Engineer. Also, do some of your own research on stress, lack of sleep, and over-consumption of salt. Your doctor will be able to provide even more information, especially an endocrinologist. Wishing you the best on this journey to wellness. Best wishes friends.

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Categories: Emotional Health, Mental Health, Nutrition | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rest and Your Health

Rest is an important part of your well-being. All work and no play makes us grumpy and also damages our health. If you have a strenuous workout routine, you need at least one rest day. Try not to over-train the same muscle group. Muscles need time to repair after a strength training session. It is during that rest period that muscle fibers torn during working out repair and become stronger. One way to cease seeing results is to over-train and neglect rest days. You can even overdo it on the cardio workouts. Give yourself one day to rest.

Our mind, spirit, and soul can become overwhelmed as well. We live in a day and age of over-saturation of media. I know once I acquired a smart phone, my life changed. Before I’d check email once or twice a week. Now, I have email, blogs, Facebook, twitter, applications, all buying for my time 24/7. People expect to have access to you any time of the day or night, and they want immediate responses. We need a break. We need time to check out of the busy day-to-day and just rest.

Rest is also a spiritual discipline. It is ceasing from working and celebrating what has been done. Even God took a rest day. So, give yourself a break. Train hard, play, and rest. Your attitude will improve. Your body will thank you. If you’re working out, your results will improve too.

Whatever you decide to do on your rest day, I hope it restores and replenishes you. I hope you come out of it with a fresh perspective. Next time we will talk about what stress, salt, and a lack of sleep do to your hormones and weight loss.

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