Archive for October, 2017

3 Steps for dealing with all of this candy

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I know it, you know it, and your kids definitely know it. You are going to slowly eat all of your children’s best Halloween candy when they aren't looking.

This will go on until one day your kid will wake up to a bag of those orange and black candies, a Chick-O-Stick, and some UNICEF change. Happens every year.

So what’s a health conscious, candy-stealing parent to do? If you are me, first you justify that you are doing them a favor by eating their candy because they don’t need all that. Second, you need to develop a plan.

Step 1- Out of sight, out of mind

Put the candy in a place where you and your kids will not be tempted every time they walk into the kitchen. A top pantry shelf is usually a good place to use.

Step 2- Awareness

Despite looking so “fun” and innocent those little candy bars will add up. PopSugar, oddly enough, has a chart where you can look at the calorie, sugar, and fat content of the most popular fun-sized candies. Eat a few of those and next thing you know, you’ve taken in a quick 500 calories. Enjoy the spoils of being a Halloween candy tax-collecting parent, but be aware of what you are taking in.

Step 3- The Aftermath

Not only do you have your child’s candy to contend with, but often times you have leftover candy AND everyone brings their leftover candy to work. I would suggest you either donate your excess candy or donate it. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and organizations who support our fighting men and women overseas are a few options to donate to.

The candy at work problem is a little trickier. You can suggest that you donate the candy as an office to one of the above-mentioned organizations. If not, avoid the places where the offending candy is as much as possible. Avoiding temptation is easier than overcoming temptation.

Also, don’t let yourself get too hungry at work with no healthy options or you will find yourself curing your hanger by eating small families of Snickers.

All of it gets back to being aware and having a plan to overcome. We will get through this, stay strong.

PS-when in doubt, just steal all the work candy and donate it. Burn this message after you read it.

Lessons from breast cancer survivors

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I had the opportunity to do a boot camp for a group of breast cancer survivors this week. It was such an awesome experience! Two things really stood out to me about this group.

The first thing that stood out was the diversity of the group. There were women of all races, ages, sizes, and backgrounds. Cancer truly does not discriminate and can affect anybody at any time.

The other thing that stood out was how positive they all were! Laughing, smiling, and supporting each other the whole time. It was a sight to see.

They were all a part of a program at Huntsville Hospital called Surviving and Thriving. An awesome program that helps women overcome all of the obstacles that come after treatment. If you ran the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run this past weekend, you helped to fund this group.

Two takeaways that I would like for you to glean from this. The first is, please stay informed about breast cancer risks. Ask your health care provider which screening tests are best for you and how often you should do them.

The second take away is to never fight alone. Whether that is facing cancer, depression, or anything else. You are not alone. Get with a friend, find a group, talk to somebody. It is a hard step for a lot of people, but one you need to take

Solving the exercise pee problem

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Actual picture of me writing this post

In my fitness business I train a lot of moms. Including my own mom. It is one of the things I really  love about what I do. Moms continue to amaze me with what that they are able to accomplish.

 

I mean think where we would be without the patented "mom licking her thumb to get something off your face" move? We would be living like savages.

 

Giving birth is not a pretty scene, let's just put that out there. The beauty of childbirth is a myth along the lines of Bigfoot.

 

It is a miracle for sure, but an ugly miracle. There are also many changes that occur with childbirth, but there is one that continually crops up pertaining to exercise.

The peeing problem.

Yep, I'm going there. Because it is a real thing! Hardly a day goes by when I don't see a jumping jack turn into a flapping of the arms with no jump.

 

I don't even ask any more, I just know. There is about to be trouble up in here if she keeps jumping.

So I want to offer a fix for this problem in the form of a little something called Kegels.

 

What are Kegels?

 

They are exercises for the muscles of your pelvic floor that get their name from a doctor named Arnold Kegel.

 

I'm working on getting an exercise named after me one day. Hopefully a totally different muscle group will be involved.

The purpose of Kegels is to strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor. Just like any other muscle if you exercise it, the muscle will improve.

 

On the flip side though, if that muscle is not exercised or gets damaged it will not function like it used to.

Why so you need to do Kegels?

Besides, the main reason I mentioned earlier, there are several reason why you should do kegels. Lately I have talked to several people who have older parents suffering from incontinence.

 

It has been a horrible experience for both the parent as well as the child, as you can imagine. They want to help their parents any way they can.

It is not just age that can cause incontinence; the pelvic floor can be adversely affected by giving birth, a sedentary lifestyle, and being overweight.

 

Along with incontinence (of the bladder and bowels if you really want to know), weak pelvic floor muscles can cause prolapse of pelvic organs and decreased sexual enjoyment.

How do you perform Kegels?

Like all heartwarming stories, this one starts in the restroom.

 

Next time you are urinating, contract the muscles that stop the flow of urine. These are the muscles you are looking to work. Chances are you have done Kegels before and didn't even know it.

Have you ever been peeing, heard a suspicious noise, and cut the stream off? If so, then you have gotten your Kegel on! That looks much worse in writing than I imagined, but I'm still going with it.

Once you figure out the correct muscles to contract, don't do it any more while urinating. You can actually weaken these muscles by continuing to contract the pelvic floor muscles while urinating.

Start off by contracting these muscles for 10 seconds at a time, then build up as your muscles get stronger. You can do these every day and at just about any time of the day. You might get a funny look on your face, but who cares?

This is a simple, but effective technique that can really improve your quality of life. If you know of anyone this article can help, why not pass it on to them? Anyone can do them and they can help everybody.

 

PS- do you know what else helps? Having a stronger booty. Keep doing those squats, deadlifts, and bridges!

Two resources to help you beat sugar addiction

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On Friday I sent out an e-mail with two resources to help you cut down/eliminate your sugar intake. They are The Sugar Addiction Answer book and the home study course the 28-Day Sugar Free Me.

Both resources are each $19.95 a piece and come with a money back guarantee if they don't work. That is my promise to you, either they work for you or you get all your money back no questions asked.

These will take the guess work and frustration out of having to try to kick this habit on your own. Use these step-by-step instructions for your very own success blueprint.

You just need to decide what type of person you are. If you are a dive right in, give me all the information at once! Then you would choose The Sugar Addiction Answer book. You get all the information right away to consume at your own pace.

If you are more of a give me the information in small doses, so I can process it and understand it. Then you would want to take the 28-Day Sugar Free Me Course. With that, you would get one lesson per day for a month.

You can choose which one you would like below:

Sugar Addiction Answer--->undefined

28-Day Sugar Free Me --->undefined

Feel free to send me any questions or concerns you might have about either of these two valuable resources.

Sugar and Cancer

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Health professionals have been saying for years that there is a connection between sugar and cancer. Now scientists have discovered more about how it actually works. This article describes how sugar traps cancer in a vicious cycle that makes it harder for people to beat cancer.

According to the USDA, average American eats 152 pounds of sugar every year. Then there is this stat from the National Cancer Institute:

 

In 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease.

While cancer is obviously the worst-case scenario, sugar has several other negative effects on our bodies. Weight gain, poor digestion, decreased energy, brittle bones, and so many more bad things we don't want in our lives.

And since I'm on a roll with the bad news, I will remind you that we are reaching the peak time of year for sugar intake. It starts with Halloween, goes to Thanksgiving, holiday parties, Christmas, and then New Year's. You will be surrounded by sugar very soon, if you aren't already.

What is your plan?

If you don't have a plan, I have two options for you. The first one is my home study program for kicking sugar, called The Sugar Addiction Answer.

The goal of the book is to help you:

-Cut your sugar intake

-Lose weight

-Gain more energy

-Improve concentration

-Reduce mood problems

-Learn about physical and emotional causes behind sugar cravings and ways to counter them so that you can control your cravings without going cold turkey

-Learn ways to get sustained energy without the ups and downs caused by sugar

-Learn to use food to curb sugar cravings

-Learn how to identify hidden sources of sugar

-Learn about sugar substitutes, and their pros and cons

It costs $19.95 and is a digital download so it is available right away so you can get started. You can get that here --->undefined

The other option is the 28-Day Sugar Free Me. It's a 28-day program that is easy to understand and follow. You will get a step-by-step plan for weaning yourself off of sugar and replace your stress eating habits with new, healthy habits.

You get daily lessons, tips, and tools to help you fight off sugar. Everything is laid out step-by-step all you have to do is start!

It is also $19.95 and you can reserve your spot here --->undefined

Both of these options come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you try them out and they do nothing for you, please let me know and I will get you your money back.

I'm very serious about helping people with this, so I wanted to take all the risk away.  It works or you get your money back, simple as that.

Also, if you have purchased The Sugar Addiction Answer in the past you get free enrollment in the 28-Day Sugar Free Me course. Please send me your purchase receipt and I will get you set up. Take that sugar!

10 Reasons To Take Your Workouts Outdoors

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We do our boot camps outside pretty much year round. This time of year is the absolute best. Makes all the hot and cold days from the rest of the year worth it.

If you’ve never exercised outside on a regular basis, now is the time to give it a try. I think once you give it a try you will be hooked!

Here are 10 reasons you should take your workouts outside:

1. 50% greater improvement in mental health over gym workouts.

2. It decreases tension, anger, confusion, and depression

3. Increased rates of exercise compliance (easier to stick to your workout routine).

4. Vigorous, outdoor exercise increases energy and alertness better than a cup of coffee.

5. Increased Vitamin D levels. On a related note, people with low Vitamin D levels are twice as likely to be overweight than people with normal to high levels of Vitamin D.

6. Helps you sleep better at night.

7. Test subjects scored 50% better on a creativity study after exercising. Side note- you have to go technology -free for this one to work.

8. No need to worry about germs on the equipment during cold and flu season or waiting on a piece of equipment during your workout.

9. Better way to increase your fitness level, especially for runners. Dealing with wind, temperature changes, different terrain, etc... makes your body work harder, expend more energy, and become more resilient.

10. The variety of workouts you can do outside is only held back by your imagination.

How to stay active for the rest of your life

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It is great to get in your workout 3 days a week or 5 days or every day. It is great to get a workout ANY days a week! But a game changer is what you get in during the other hours of the day.

Studies have shown, that even if you exercise every day you can still have negative health benefits if you are inactive the rest of the day.

I would suggest adding two elements: NEAT and fun movement.

NEAT is short for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. It is basically the movements of your every day life that can help you burn calories and stay active.

Some examples are:

-fidget

-stand more

-take the stairs

-park further out

-walk and talk rather than have a sit down meeting

There are hundreds of ways you can make your day more active if you just look for ways to make it happen. Take a few minutes and think of ways you could add 30 more minutes of NEAT to your day.

The next one that will help is fun movement. This is getting more back to the roots of your childhood and adding more play, type activities to your life.

These could be playing sports, running/walking your dog, flying a kite, etc… What are some fun ways you can get out and move? You don’t do them for time, reps, weight or anything like that. The only unit of measurement for this one is fun. Fall in love with moving your body and you will be active the rest of your life.

My family combined NEAT and fun movement yesterday for our Sunday Family Workout. We played soccer for awhile, ran back and forth carrying bricks from one spot to another for a project we were doing, threw the football, snuck in a few pull-ups, did weighted walking lunges, wall balls, wrestled around, and just generally enjoyed each other’s company.

It was an awesome afternoon! By the end, I was drenched in sweat because we had been doing fairly intense, physical movements for 90 minutes. This is an ideal situation. When you can fool yourself into getting a workout in, that is not a workout.

My challenge for you this week is to add 30 more minutes of NEAT activity each day this week AND to get out one day and do some kind of physical movement that you enjoy. It doesn’t matter how hard or how long or what the activity is. Just move and have fun. You will love it, I promise.

Make this a great week!

“My Back And Shoulders Hurt” Circuit

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Seems like I hear more and more from clients and friends that they have stiff shoulders and backs. This is the time of year when that type of things becomes more common.

Car trips for fall break and holidays, the stress of year end work, holiday stress, etc... When you sit in a car or at a computer for too long, you will experience pain, it doesn't matter if you have perfect posture.

The absolute best way to avoid this is to get up frequently throughout the day. Every 15 minutes if possible, but at least once every hour. Get up, walk around, and stretch.

Something else you can do that is very helpful is this quick circuit:

Upper back and shoulder stiffness
Upper back and shoulder stiffness

Thanks again YouTube for picking a super, awkward thumbnail of me. It takes 10 minutes or less to get through, but it will make you feel so much better. Give it a try some time!

1. 10 Band pull aparts (knuckles up)

2. 10 Band pull aparts (palms up)

3. 10 Dislocators (back to front is one rep)

4. 10 Rolls on upper back

5. 10 Rolls on each shoulder blade

6. Repeat the whole circuit 2 more times as time permits

Fairly simple, but very effective especially when you do it consistently. Hope it helps you!

3 Tips to avoid overeating

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Will power is weak, while systems are strong. No matter how mentally tough you are, you will eventually break down if you don’t set yourself up for success.

I read an article in the October issue of IDEA Fitness Journal that discussed the topic of overeating. This is a topic near and dear to my food loving heart so I read it with great interest.

Part of the article was a section about setting up your environment to prevent overeating. Dr. Brian Wansink, the director of Cornell Food and Brand Lab, had 3 tips to make your kitchen or office space a healthier environment.

1. Fill up the fruit bowl

This one has a tow fold effect. First, every time you walk by the fruit bowl it is a reminder to eat healthy foods. Much like having a bowl of Hershey’s kisses out will have the opposite effect.

The second reason is when you have readily accessible food like that you are, more likely to eat it. Right now we have grapes in a fruit bowl and a chopped broccoli and hummus in the fridge at my house. Easy, healthy grab and go snacks can be life savers.

2. Make the kitchen less “loungeable”

Totally stealing his word on this one. The longer you hang out in the kitchen, the more likely you are to start eating. Even if you are not hungry. Take iPads, TVs, comfortable chairs, etc… out of the kitchen.

3. Be grateful

This was a really interesting one to me. Dr. Wansink recommends saying one thing you are grateful for before you eat. He says it will improve your eating choices. That one is a new one to me, but I am a big believer in gratitude so I am going to give it a shot.

These are some great tips to help you avoid the trap of mindless overeating. Do you have any other tips to share that work for you? If so, I would love to hear them!

The Most FUN Race of the Year

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I have been working on a project for a long time and it is finally becoming real. On Sunday, November 5th the 1st annual Rocket City Adventure Race will be coming to downtown Huntsville!

Myself and Girls On The Run (a local non-profit) will be putting on the event. The race will start at 2pm and it is a partner race. This is a race for all ages and for all fitness levels. If you want to walk the whole thing, go for it! The main goal is to have fun and support a great cause.

The race is FREE but we are taking donations for Girls On The Run. Girls On The Run is an activity-based character development program for girls throughout North Alabama. It is a great organization and 100% of the proceeds will go to them.

There will be physical as well as mental challenges along the 2.7 mile long course. Some activities you will encounter are: putt putt golf, riddles, fitness station, and even a selfie station. This will be the most unique race you will experience this year and it won't cost a thing.

Find your partner now! The race is less than a month away. You can sign up here ----> Rocket City Adventure Race

I will give you more updates as we get closer, but feel free to reach out with any questions you might have. It's going to be awesome!

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