Stressed? Pound it out…

dog in blanket

I have a saying… if you’re upset or stressed, take it out in a way that will benefit you, not hurt you.   Yes, punching a hole in the wall would be a negative way to handle anger!  Yes, eating a bag of Doritos and a gallon of ice cream would not be good for your body.  And yes, storming into  your boss’s office and screaming at her, as tempting as it sounds, would be a harmful choice as well!

So what’s a healthy alternative to unleashing your stress?  EXERCISE.  When I went back to school to get my MBA during my divorce, in the midst of working 50 hours per week, and learning to be a single mom, I began to run.  Seriously!  It became my catharsis … “me” time in a world that was swirling and demanding everything from me.

I began by telling myself I was allowed one hour of “me” time per day.  That became my exercise time.  At first, I could only run one minute, so I then walked 59 minutes.  Then I worked up to four minutes of running and 56 minutes walking.  Within a few months, I was running the entire hour!  With headphones on, listening to music or podcasts of sermons, it was a healing time of sorts.   And don’t think it was easy…there were times I couldn’t fit that hour in until 10:00 PM!  But I did it because the alternative wasn’t pretty. Continue reading “Stressed? Pound it out…”

Advertisements

Roasted Veggies

roasted-veggies

Happy Easter!  One of my favorite veggie dishes for any holiday is simply roasted vegetables!  It’s a super easy way to fill up on this essential food group in such a way that you long for more! And I think you’ll love the simplicity so much that you’ll prepare roasted veggies year round!

I like to use mostly root vegetables with just a spattering of a few others.   The root veggies help the medley to stay firm and not so mushy.  Feel free to throw in any veggies you have on hand, but root vegetables work best.  You can’t go wrong! Continue reading “Roasted Veggies”

Interval Training…what? How?

running track

Ever heard of interval training, otherwise known as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)?  Yes, Virginia, there is a science to it!

The science behind it is twofold:

  1. High intensity: By doing a quick “burst” of maximum effort in exercise during a workout, you maximize muscle fatigue as well as oxygen utilization (and using this oxygen is what burns calories).  You see, the harder you work (as in ALL OUT effort), the more oxygen your muscles require.  By bringing your body to maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 Max) you actually create an afterburn effect!  This is simply where your body will continue to use oxygen, hence burn calories (5 calories for one liter of oxygen) up to 48 hours AFTER a workout.  WOW!  That’s some bang for your buck!
  2. Interval Training:  This is where you alternate between periods of high-intensity effort in your exercise with low-moderate intensity for 20 minutes total.  This builds new muscle faster.  And we all know that muscle BOOSTS METABOLISM!

Continue reading “Interval Training…what? How?”

The evolution of…you

Life is fluid, not static. If you’ve been on a path leading to poor health, it’s not over! There is always opportunity to make different decisions and change course.

girl skip with umbrella

I love this picture!  It captures the essence of freedom, joy, energy, abandon, playfulness.  As children, we have this in us… just watch a bunch of four year olds on the playground!

And yet somehow, as we enter adulthood, these lovely traits begin to fade.  Whether we get weighed down with responsibility, bad experiences, disappointments, or the daily grind of living, it not only affects our demeanor, but our health as well.

What does YOUR evolution look like?  Our lives are fluid, not static … which means your life is not “stuck” in one place.  We change, evolve, grow, and move in life, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.  You are who you are today due to a myriad of choices along the way of life.  If you’re in a place of poor health, it didn’t happen overnight.  It was a progression of many choices.  If you’re in a place of good health, it didn’t happen overnight either!  It was a series of good choices, sometimes sacrifice, and hard work.

The good news?  “It ain’t over till it’s over!”  Because life IS fluid and evolving, your life is in motion until your last breath.  Don’t let discouragement or the past dictate your future. What was is done.  What’s tomorrow is yet to be…  And our health evolution isn’t always a straight path.  Sometimes it’s three steps forward and one back, and eight forward and four back…but the goal is to be further ahead than where we were.   If you fell today, get back up and start anew!  And if you’re doing well, keep moving forward in it.  LIFE IS NOT STATIC.

How is YOUR life evolving?

Mwah!

Valerie

940 Saturdays

swimming-championships-by-ocean-header

 

I read something the other day by Dr. Harley Rotbart, author of “No Regrets Parenting”.  He stated that from the time a baby is born until they turn 18, there are only 940 Saturdays in that time span.  Nine. Hundred. Forty.  Wow!

The obvious realization is that we need to make time for our families and make those minutes count, as life passes by too quickly.  But what about in relation to health and wellness?  For every minute – or “Saturday” – that we put off taking an action toward wellness in body, mind, and spirit, it’s one day LESS that’s available to act on reaching these goals.  And if we’re not wise, intentional, and good stewards, we’ll have spent more days wasting the precious time available than we have days remaining to accomplish them.

And instead of feeling defeated, that energizes me!  It makes me not want to waste another day saying, “I’ll start tomorrow” but instead, “Doggone it, do it TODAY!” before I dwindle down to even less days left to accomplish what I want!   This ship is mine to steer.  I can steer it into the craggy coastline or out to the beautiful seas.  If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of “time and goals”, think of simply ONE action that will lead to a goal and do that TODAY.  And then tomorrow.  And then the next.  When you get comfortable with that, start another action step that will lead to your goal.  Benjamin Franklin had it right after all  … “Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today.”

Feel energized?

Mwah!

Valerie