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The Secret to Living a Fulfilled Life

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road works road blocked signs and traffic cones diversion access only; Life's roadblocks

Crazy thoughts running through my head lately.  I went to our annual Terry Fox Run this past week.  I love this event.  But as I run I tend to allow my mind time to wander anywhere that takes me away from the fact that I am starting to have trouble breathing, my hips are beginning to ache, and I still have how much farther to go????  It’s all for a good cause, so go on brain wander away.

One thought that has stayed with me this week is;

why are we so obsessed with destinations and not thinking about the journey???

I am not referring to vacation, unless the journey is actually part of the trip.  I am thinking about life in general.  Since when is it all about the destination?  Last time I checked, none of us are getting out of life alive.  Now, I am certainly not saying that you shouldn't have goals, I am a firm believer in goals.  They keep us on track, keeps us driven, give us something to work toward, even reasons to celebrate.  What I am talking about is like most of us out there, I struggle with my weight.  I always seem to be working toward that elusive “goal weight”.  I am tweaking my diet, changing up my workout routine, looking into new and different studies, always looking for that one thing that will get me back on track.  And, that is when I thought, but, what about the journey toward that goal weight?  At what point do I concede defeat and just give up?

NEVER!

With a goal in mind, if you don’t enjoy the journey to get to where you want to be, you will just be torturing yourself.  We learned years ago, that when we go away to our favorite little cabin in the woods, we don’t drive the freeway out of town.  Instead, we take a slower, windier route.  It takes a little longer, but it is a much prettier drive, less traffic, and we start to unwind into our vacay sooner because we are already relaxing instead of panicking to get to our little getaway.

Our journey’s in other things, like weight loss, or just a healthier life in general absolutely needs to begin as soon as we start on our path in one direction.  We need to remember that the journey is part of the destination.  If we don’t get that part, we may never actually arrive.  We may be at what we thought was the end of the trip, but to realize that we are not satisfied and we need to keep going.

We also need to remember that just as in a road trip, there may be flat tires or detours and they are still part of our journey.  When we get home, don’t we tell people about when our tire went flat? What we did when we sat waiting for our turn during construction, what happened when we pulled over for a bathroom break without a bathroom.  It is all part of the process.

We tend to let our own little diversions take over from our destination and then just give up.  “Oh well, I ate cookies today at lunch,  so I might as well just have that ice cream, and chips too, I’ve messed it all up now”.  That would be the same as stopping on the side of the road to fix a tire and then turning around and going home because you won’t arrive on the same timetable as you planned.

It’s time to see those little step backs for what they are, just little diversions.  Just get right back at it and continue on your trip.  But this time, enjoy the journey.  

  • Find food that you like.  
  • Do exercises that you enjoy.
  • Find a partner to go through it with.  
  • Try new and different things.  
  • Plan for a little diversion, and then get right back at it.  
  • The journey is all part of the process.  

To be brutally honest, most of us will never reach our ideal goal.  There are just so many things that take our focus away from that the goal-oriented things just become too hard.  So, if that is really the case, why not plan to enjoy the journey.  It may end up that your goal is not where you thought it would be but maybe it will end up being better.  And even if it’s not, you have enjoyed the process.  Why not enjoy it, what is your alternative, grumpy? Sad? Angry? Perpetually disappointed? Always sulking?  We all know people that have chosen that route and it is awful to be around them.  

So choose the adventure.

Choose to enjoy the ride.  

Choose to do a little side trip here and there.  

Choose Life and enjoy it.

 

You can always find a distraction if you're looking for one. – Tom Kite

 

Simple Resistance Exercises

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Woman using exercise band at home, Q4fit.com

Everyone is looking for the secret to getting into shape with the least amount of time, sweat, and effort.  Well, as it has been my experience, it simply doesn’t exist.  Sorry, to tell you but easy doesn’t have anything to do with getting into shape.

We tend to get ‘out of shape’ because we do the easy thing.  

  • We eat without thinking, easy.  
  • We sit without realizing how long we have done it, easy. 
  • We have wine or beer because we can, easy.  

And that is where the easy is.  It is in the complacency of life without thinking about our shape.

If you want to get into shape or stay in shape, I mean a shape other than round, it takes work.  You should sweat, and it will take some time.  Having said all that, the key is to make your efforts more efficient, if you are looking at time vs end results.

One of the simplest pieces of equipment to use is your own body weight.  Sure, you can go to the gym and use machines, weights, a bosu, medicine balls, and the list actually can go on for a long time, I do this because it works for me, but using your own bodyweight is still a great thing.  If you don’t have the time, don’t want to invest in a gym membership, don’t want the big dollar commitment, bodyweight exercises are a great thing.  It is something that will take as much commitment because consistency is the key here, but you can do some really simple things anywhere.

You will still need to dedicate some time, but you only need space enough to move in.

Here are a few really basic things you can start with.

 

  • Lateral Side Steps

You have two choices of bands, the kind already looped or tie the big kind into a loop.  Step into it, your band will be around your calves or ankles, place feet shoulder-width apart to create tension on the band, bum down now into a squat and step side to side.  You can then even step back and then forward if you have space.  This little move will work your butt and your legs.  Keeping the band tight is the key.  Once it is loose you loose ‘resistance’.  

  • Bent-Over Row

This move will work your back, making your back strong helps to keep your abs tight.  Use a long band either the kind with the handles or wrap the band around your hands.  The band should be long enough for you to hold it while standing on it.  Bend over, bend your knees a little and pull the band back as if picking it up from the ground.  Again, keep the band tight, don’t let it get floppy.  You should feel your shoulder blades coming together, rather than your forearms doing all the work.

  • Bicep Curls

This one too uses the long band.  Putting one foot forward, step on the band.  Hold the band so that the tension is tight, with your fists facing upward just like a traditional curl.  You can do both hands together, or one at a time, but keep your elbows tight to your sides so that it is your bicep doing the work.

 

These are just three simple movements that can get you started.  If you have something that you can use as an anchor, you will have a lot more options.  This will give you the option of using one leg at a time or one arm at a time, giving you more focus on one particular muscle group at a time.

Most groups of bands are color coded so that you know how stretchy they are.  Some are harder to stretch than other, which increases your chances of muscle growth.

Start slow.  Try to do 10-12 reps of each thing doing 3 sets then move on to the next group of exercises.  Only you will know how hard to push yourself.  

If you don’t work for it, it won’t happen.  If you will put in the time, with some effort you are going to see changes.  Be prepared to work and you will then see results.

 

 

A good goal is like a strenuous exercise – it makes you stretch. – Mary Kay Ash

 

Feel free to start your research here. Resistance Bands

10 REASONS WOMEN IN BUSINESS SHOULD LIFT WEIGHTS

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10 Reasons Women in Business Should Lift Weights

I was fortunate enough to go to a women’s networking event a few weeks ago.  The event was in a very old hotel in Vancouver with a view of our harbor, The Sylvia Hotel.  It was a sunny gorgeous day and there I was having lunch with a group of women in business.

To my surprise and delight, the guest speaker was a local personal trainer.  

There are so many times that the health and wellness world and business world clash, but not that day.

As we sat in the warmth of the summer sun, having a lovely lunch we were treated to a presentation on why women should lift weights.  I was so intrigued.  I have been going to the gym for nearly six years and in that time, cardio has been used as a rest time between sets of heavy lifting.  I have been lifting for all that time and I was still quite impressed with somebody else’s look at what I had been doing.  Cool.

So, I asked her if she had her presentation written because I would love to share it, and she did.  Here it is.   Valri Cunningham is a Personal Trainer specializing in Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) to build strength on a solid foundation.

Enjoy this read and consider adding weights to your routine in the gym or at home.

 

10 Reasons Women in Business Should Lift Weights

Is Coffee Healthy or Harmful?

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Is Coffee Healthy or Harmful?
coffee beans roasted,instant and grinded coffee, background with copy space

Way back in the 80’s Doug and I started dating.  As things started getting serious, we started figuring out things that each of us liked and didn’t like.  Doug at one point learned of a few things that I did not like; beer, scotch, and coffee.  He maintained that if our relationship was going to work, something had to change, lol.  Soon after, I had gone out and had a coffee to be polite, yuck.  But my mistake was not tasting the coffee, it was telling Doug because that was it, he began pouring me coffee and boom, I was hooked.

That was 30ish years ago and I still drink coffee.  As a matter of fact, I have been accused of being addicted to it and I still remember my response…so?  That was also a long time ago.

We have since become coffee snobs.  At home, we make espresso as regular coffee.  We have a coffee maker that grinds the beans, can add milk for cappuccino and lattes, but normally it’s a double shot Americano several times a day.

 Oh, that is the best smell in the morning, fresh, hot coffee.

In today’s world, everyone wants to justify what they eat as healthy.  So why not, let’s look at coffee, is it all that it is cracked up to be or should I start my 12 step recovery program now.  Some of these claims are just that: “claims,” but most have been verified and validated.  Having said all that, keep in mind, just with everything else, moderation is very important.

 

  1. Coffee can improve energy levels and make you smarter
  2. Coffee can help you burn fat
  3. Coffee may lower your risk of Type II Diabetes
  4. Caffeine may lower the risk of Parkinson's
  5. Coffee can fight depression and make you happier
  6. Coffee drinkers have less risk of heart disease.
  7. Coffee reduces colorectal cancer risk
  8. Two cups of coffee can cut post-workout muscle pain

 

Looks good for me now, because I really enjoy my coffee, but, this is just research that has been done because people have been drinking coffee so long, and ‘they’ finally decided to look into what we have all been drinking.  When you decaffeinate coffee, some of the effects will definitely change.  Some methods of decaffeination are actually really harmful.

Coffee by itself is what was studied in these studies when you add milk, cream, sugar, sweetener, and those flavors we have all gotten so used to, things will change a lot. As soon as you add anything, calories, for starters change.

Remember, just with any other food, it has its negative side effects when you consume too much.  Some of the negatives that have been found are worse for some than others, but here are some.

  1. Drinking coffee can stimulate peristalsis. (laxative properties)
  2. Coffee drinkers may have difficulty getting enough minerals in their diet.
  3. Coffee can promote the release of the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
  4. Drinking coffee can also irritate the lining of the small intestine
  5. Coffee can contribute to Ulcers, IBS, and Acidity

 

So,  to coffee or not to coffee is up to you.  But at least you are a little more informed.

 

I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon. – Ronald Reagan