Winter Blues: Not Happening!

Most of the country  is well into winter now. It is  snowing, it is raining, it is cold and cloudy, the ground is frozen and the trees are bare. And we are whining and trying to stay cuddled up inside by the fire and dream of warmth, sunny skies, and greenery.

Well, let’s get over the whiney snivels and bundle up and out the door we go!  Winter can be an awesome time of year to head outside for  exercise, new adventures, and refreshing activities.

For those of us who live in the snowy areas, this time of year has many possibilities for getting outside. From downhill skiing,  snowshoeing to backcountry skiing and snow hiking, we are out the door and into the powdery aybiss.  Depending on conditions, staying comfortably warm can be a challenge but easily enough, just keep adding clothes until you resemble the Michlean Man. Once you start moving, some of those layers are coming off and you are working up a sweat. Honestly, we have had several sub zero mornings here in the mountains of Colorado this winter. With basic warm up pants and a shell pant on the bottom and a moisture wicking inner layer along with a basic sweatshirt and a shell jacket on top, I am plenty warm while running. (Add in a stocking cap, headband, neck gaiter, and thick mittens) Yes, t hat is quite a bit of weight in clothes, but it just adds to the workout. And running in the extreme cold burns way more calories than in the warm sunny temps.

If your locale has you enjoying cool (42 degrees),  rainy, gray days (think   Seattle), grab your duck boots, a rain jacket and pants and out you go.  Throw in a slicker hat and some gloves for added protection. It’s all about wearing the right gear and choosing an activity suited for the conditions.

Kids know how to make the most of the rain! Let’s join them and be kids again. 

And there are some folks who live in the southern hemisphere of the US (Miami, Dallas, Phoenix, San Diego). You folks are hollering, “it’s cold!!” as you bundle up and head out into the 65 degrees and sun. There are year round activities at your disposal so there are no excuses not to get out for some exercise.  From mountain and road biking,  walking a round of golf, hiking, and of course, running, walking or crawling there is no shortage of outdoor adventures to get the body moving.

Now, there are limits to what we can do in the great outdoors during these winter months.

Oh What Fun This Is! Maybe NOT. 

Given your basic blizzard, complete with blowing snow, sub zero temps, flying icicles, that may be a good time to hit the local gym and jump on the treadmill, recumbent bike or elliptical.  For those that live near large malls, those are great for walking (just no browsing in the stores until the walk is done). Other forms of indoor exercise include: jumping rope, high knees, jumping jacks: combine these in a series of 20 reps each for 4 sets with a one minute break and you have at least burned a few Christmas calories. Another option is do some research on CrossFit and do one or more of the named workout routines. Here is a link that gives some great plans for that no equipment needed, butt busting CrossFit. http://fitzala.com/blog/crossfit-workouts-at-home/

Or maybe it’s even time for that worthy day off?  Rest is as important as exercise.

Whatever form of extreme weather, be smart and exercise inside or adjust the schedule and take the day off.

Until next time: Go Be Fit….regardless of the Wintery Bluesy Weather!

Leave a comment and subscribe. Your input may be just what someone else needs to hear.

Winter Outings are awesome!

sarah@gon4run.com

 

 

Here We Go Again…Or Not.

Resolutions Be Gone

Happy New Year!

Welcome to a new beginning of resolutions that will make our lives more perfect and get us in the best shape of our lives, right?  From this point forward we vow to eat carrots and brussel sprouts, exercise 3 hours a day, sleep 8 hours a night, find more work/life balance, and improve our money picture by thousands of dollars! Whewwww, that sounds exhausting and overwhelming.

New Year’s Resolutions Once Again.

It happens every year. Many, many folks make the resolution to get healthy, lose weight, eat clean foods, save money, spend more time goofing off, sleep better, kick a bad habit, and on and on. And in January they start out with a bang by hitting the gym 6 days a week, do some version of cardio 5 days a week, eating lettuce and celery all day long, stuffing $10 a day in the coffee can, meeting the gang for some fun, and basically stressing themselves into tossing the whole stinking plan out the window in about 3 weeks. And it’s back to what was the “normal” lifestyle until next January 1st.

Honestly, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Resolutions are fine when they become lifestyle changes that are started smartly (is that a word? well, it is now.) and then maintained over the course of the current year and into the next year.  But as we have talked about, sometimes the hardest part of any lifestyle change is knowing what to do and how to do it.  And along those same lines is deciding what changes we need to make in the first place because change takes effort, time, and energy and we only have so much of that stuff to get us through each day.

So, the first step is to determine what you want to change.  What portion of your life do you really need to change? How will changing that one very important ingredient of life make you live a happy and healthy life? Make your list (check it twice) and pinpoint one or two components that you can tackle this year.

Once you have come up with one or two items, focus on how you are going to make those changes and stick to it. Going about it willy nilly and haphazardly can produce results but perhaps a well researched, well thought out plan will yield the best outcome.

Let’s go with the most common New Year’s resolution: lose weight.

This does not stand for “Where’s The Fridge.” 

 

We all know that to lose weight, we need to take in less calories than we burn. Sounds simple but how do we go about reducing those calories and burning more calories?

First, develop a plan and make it one that you can stick to. In other words, determine what works for your comfort level, your life (in terms of commitments, time available, logistics, etc), and your desires. Maybe you are the type that can make small adjustments to your diet such as cutting back on carbs (breads, rice, grains, pastas) or cutting back on fats (butter, oils, fried foods, creams) and thus after you have made those small changes you will start to see those pounds disappear. As time moves on and you reach a goal weight, stick with the new found eating habits and the weight stays off.

On the other hand, you may be the type that needs that structure of a written diet such as Keto, Atkins, South Beach. Those diets do work but keep in mind that once you lose the weight on those avenues, you will have to continue the eating plan in some version to keep the weight off. It is still a lifestyle change with new eating habits; just make sure you like the new habits otherwise you may return to the routine that put the pounds on in the first place.

You could be the person who needs the guidance of a Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. Those programs do work if followed but again, the changes made will have to continue in some form in order for the waist line to stay at it’s new found smaller version. (One of the often unseen benefits of these written diets or programs is that they can teach you how to eat in a manner that will  keep the weight off; many people lose the weight on the diet/program and then go right back to eating unhealthy, then they wonder why the weight came back.)

You can make these changes for the long term.

Do your homework on whatever it is that you want to change.  Determine out what method works for you and what can you live with on a long term basis.  And remember, small steps in the beginning will give bigger results in the end.

So, resolutions be gone! We are making lifestyle changes that will last over many new years!

Until next time, go be healthy.

Leave a comment or send an email. Your words will probably help someone else.

Sarah@gon4run.com

 

Motivation Quotes

Finding Motivation

When we begin a new endeavor  , our enthusiasm is usually quite high. We can hardly wait to dive right into our new adventure everyday and give it our all. This new found gusto can last anywhere from a day or so to several months. But as time presses on, the inner drive fizzles sometimes. The new found adventure  may become a chore and we have to push ourselves to engage. Why does this happen? How is it we go from jumping up n down about living that healthy lifestyle to blundering along and dreading eating the low fat meal or trodding out the door for a run or walk?

(Luckily, this doesn’t always happen and for those folks,  keep it going and enjoy  your new passion.)

Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the fact that change is difficult. It is easier to wander along our previous chosen path, eating Cheetos and binge watching Netflix. It takes a huge mental push to make the changes to live the healthier lifestyle. We have to make the effort, it doesn’t just happen.

In reality, there are most likely a bazillon reasons as to why our “umphffff” fizzles but instead of focusing on the why, let’s just find ways to get past the hump and keep finding reasons to continue making the changes to live the healthy lifestyle.

One of the best ways to keep the momentum going is to remember why we are trying to live this healthy lifestyle:  better physical and mental health, longer and a more robust quality of life, more restful sleep, and better relationships in our daily lives.

Some people need accountability to keep them on the right track while others are more internally self driven. Either way, we can all benefit from inspirational or motivational quotes. These words from others will often provide the incentive to keep going in a healthy direction.

So read on and find your motivation in words…but then go be healthy.

Quotes

*”You can always do more than you think you can.”  Ken Chlouber, founder of Leadville 100 and member of the Colorado Running Hall of Fame.

* “The race is not always to the swift but to those who keep on running.”   Successories quote for Determination; This small plaque sits on my desk and has been a source of inspiration for many adventures in life.

* “You are what you believe yourself to be.”     Paul Coelho. Whatever we want to accomplish in life, it starts with believing you can do it.

* “Some people want it to happen, Some people wish it could happen, Others make it happen.”   Michael Jordan. Even with a support system around you, it is up to make anything happen.

* “Git ‘er done!” Larry the Cable Guy. Simple but true, when we put our minds into doing something, we can do anything.

*”Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”   Mark Twain. Living a healthy lifestyle is about being truthful with ourselves and seeing our good points and not so good points. Don’t be afraid to face your shortcomings and then kick their butts!

* “The elimination diet: Remove anger, resentment, regret, blame, and worry. Then watch your health and life improve. ”   Charles F. Glassman. We sometimes short change ourselves by harboring those feelings and thoughts, which only serves to short change our healthy life.

*”Don’t ever stop believing in your own transformation. It is happening even on days you may not realize it or feel it. ”    Lalah Delia. Some days just don’t happen according to the healthy plan but you are still moving in that direction in the big picture.

Hopefully, these quotes will provide some “kick in the pants” to keep you moving towards and living that fulfilling life you have always dreamed of. Don’t doubt yourself and don’t let anything get in your way.

Return to this page often and I will continue to add inspiration.

Until next time…go be fit. Sarah @gon4run.com

 

Go Clutterless

Get Rid of the Clutter

A few years ago I was blazing through Garden of the Gods with some girlfriends and of course, we were yapping.  (What happens on the running trail, stays on the running trail, right?) It was around the new year and one of the gals said, “let’s each come up with a ‘go to’ word that we can refer to when life gets nutso, frustrating, and overwhelming.” At the time, I thought, “well, let’s just run more miles when all that happens.” But she had a point since we really can only get so many miles in on any given day.

Some of the girls came up with “centered”, “ommmmm”, “regroup”, and a few words that shouldn’t be expressed in a family friendly post. My own little brain cell was humming along and I came up with this: “eliminate life clutter.”

Where did all this come from?

Well, eliminating the clutter in our lives often brings us to the point of tossing out unwanted junk from our garages and closets and while that is truly invorgating and worthwhile, what I meant by the term was to eliminate extraneous “stuff” that causes us frustration, anger, resentment, feelings of being overwhelmed, stress, and the like. (By that point  I had already adopted a minimilmist lifestyle and was continuing to pare down the physical clutter in my life.)

Sometimes when we get those feelings of frustration, etc we do not even realize what is causing it and often, we do know what to do about it or how to get rid of those feelings. We just dwell on it, deal with it, and move on as best as we can. But what if we could identify those things that cause the stress? Is it possible to analyze our lives and ask, “what is making me feel anxious; what causes me internal turmoil; why do I feel pain when such n such happens; where is the life clutter?” Well, yes, it is very possible to do all of that and more.

In the words of Einstein

How do we go about finding that emotional life clutter or finding what causes us frustration, pain, anger, turmoil? While not easy sometimes, it basically comes down to taking an honest approach to looking at our lives and identifying those issues. Here is an example: years ago I had a friend who was needy in many ways; he was constantly complaining about everything, constantly creating drama wherever he roamed, and basically living a troubled life. And of course, he was dragging anyone and everyone who would join him along this bumpy road. Yes, yours truly here was a participant for a short period of time. But I quickly realized this relationship was very unhealthy for my own well being.  With some effort I removed myself from the relationship and moved on. It would have been different if I could have helped this person, but I knew nothing I could say or do would lend a hand to this individual. So, gracefully, I ended the friendship and moved on. In essence I was eliminating some life clutter.

Perhaps your life clutter involves relationships as well. While some of the challenged relationships can’t be eliminated, it may be possible to eliminate some of the clutter within those interactions. As an example, maybe you and one of your parents can never seen eye to eye. Identify what sets off the disagreements or issues and set boundaries and limitations. Tell yourself that you will not engage in that argument. Perhaps, a few words such as, “Mom, I love you but I will not argue about this any further.” You may have just keep your limitations and boundaries internal. Another example is how I deal with my own mom. There is a list of things I will do for her:  all of the business side of life (doctors, health care, finances, insurance, etc) and once or twice a week I will go to breakfast, Walmart, etc. Of course, if something becomes an emergency, I am there. BUT, there is also a list I will not do: go to breakfast everyday, cater to her whinings about “idiots that don’t know what they are doing,” be available to her every minute of every day,  engage in arguments that have no merit, and most importantly, I do not let her “sarah bashing” get to me. This last one took some work on my part; digging in deep and realizing she has a habit of gripping about everyone, especially those close to her.  Again, some relationships cannot be eliminated but we can usually get rid of some of the “clutter” that causes us turmoil.

Another area where many people can eliminate some clutter is in our busy lives. Many of us over-extend ourselves with commitments, obligations, activities, and the like. While some of these things we may enjoy, we can easily get overwhelmed when we take on too much. How do you eliminate some of this type of clutter? First, identify what is important. Then, unload what you can by backing out of some commitments, obligations, etc. When doing this it may require some conversations with others and it may require you to say, “NO” to certain requests.

There are many areas of our lives that could use a reduction in the clutter. Only as an individual can we realize what that clutter entails and then come up with a plan to eliminate it. The results should create a sense of calm, less stress, more free time to actually relax, less internal stress, and all of this leads to a healthier lifestyle, both mentally and physically.

Start small with one or two pieces of clutter, deal with it and then move on to more items.

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section.  Hearing from readers is always inspiring and sharing may help someone else.

Until next time…Sarah at gon4run.com

 

Inspiration to a Healthy Lifestyle

Need Inspiration  to a Healthy Lifestyle?

For some folks living a healthy lifestyle comes naturally. Maybe they were a child athlete and the internal drive never left. As adults they are easily self motivated and eating healthy and getting that exercise is just part of the day and they know no different.

Then for others, the healthy lifestyle was born out of a life changing event. Perhaps it was an illness that forced the changes. Sometimes it is an internal “made up my mind” moment and the person was able to make the needed changes in diet, exercise, life/work balance and getting adequate sleep.

Sometimes, however, there are people who just cannot get themselves to move in the direction to make those lifestyle changes. The reasons are endless: no family support, time constraints that are difficult to overcome, no knowledge on how to get started, and the best one of all: “I hate eating healthy and exercising! and  Sleep? What’s that?!”  For these individuals, they know the benefits of healthy living but making the needed changes is almost impossible.

For those that are struggling with this concept of healthy living and finding that making the changes is just not happening, read this story and see if you can find inspiration. Sometimes that is what it takes; hearing how another took the plunge and made it happen.

Libby is a middle aged gal (she calls herself ancient but is not!) and lives in Peachtree City, Ga. She is married to a wonderful husband and has a couple of kids, teenage to young adult style. This “normal” family lived the “normal” life. Working, school, friends, hobbies, family outings, etc were all in place but something was amiss. Libby knew she needed to make some changes and even though the rest of the family was not interested, she made up her mind to strike out on her own.  She knew she had to make dietary change, get some exercise, and clean up her work/life/sleep balance.

As she was aging, Libby could see the writing on the wall. She was headed toward a life of obesity, health issues, and perhaps depression.  Clearly, the everyday existence was not working anymore. It took some head banging against the proverbial brick wall and some serious soul  searching but she made the decision: “I am going to get heathy.”

With some research and new found knowledge, Libby decided on a plan to lose weight and  start exercising, make some changes in work/life and sleep. Her plan was centered around joining Weight Watchers. Good old fashioned Weight Watchers who has been around since 1963! From the start she was all in and focused on what WW taught her, followed the program to the letter and eureka! The excess poundage began falling off.

And so it went….the weight came off by following Weight Watchers. But that was not enough. Libby knew other changes had to take place. So she began crawling, then walking, then trotting, and finally….running!  Somewhere along the exercise journey, she found Mom’s Run This Town and new best friends. This 100% free for any gal to join group was founded by Pam Burrus, also living in Peachtree City. The primary purpose of MRTT is to promote exercise (walking, running, etc) amongst women and create chapters across the globe so that we gals can find companionship and support each other all in the name of burning calories, finding common ground in life,  and having fun at the same time!

As the pounds melted away, the running increased and before long Libby found herself signed up for a race or two. When those went well, she (and the new friends) signed up for longer races and the next thing she knew, a marathon was in her future! Yes, 26.2 miles of running (or crawling, walking, trotting). And that first marathon went well also! Libby has not stopped running marathons and has now (as of Nov. 2018) completed 8 marathons since 2012!  An amazing accomplishment for someone who was not the definition of healthy just a few years ago.

Not only has running become an integral part of Libby’s life, she is now a Weight Watchers Counselor and is helping folks achieve their own goals in the weight loss/healthy living movement.

With the confidence, knowledge, and experience, she can now see herself doing anything she sets her mind to do.

Inspiration can come in many forms and Libby’s story is a perfect example of how changing your life in a couple of areas can make a huge difference.  Were there bumps in the road? Of course, but once you make up your mind and set yourself up with the knowledge and the plan, accomplishing any goal is possible. And when you do hit those bumps, Libby says to just pick yourself up by the bootstraps, brush the dust off and get going on the road again.

Find a local Mom’s Run This Town at momsrunthistown.com.

Find a local Weight Watchers program at weightwatchers.com

Until Next time….Sarah at gon4run.com….

 

Life and Work Balance

More Life and the Right Amount of Work

 

 

In today’s world it seems we are always working and even though many of us still subscribe to the 9-5, M to F routine, our working lives often find their way into our home life.

So, how did this happen? Who changed the work rules so that work climbs into the car and follows us home?

Well, the reality is two fold.

The first piece of the puzzle is found in the downsizing of corporate America around the 2008 time frame, those of us left with jobs were asked to take on new roles. Many folks have been asked to wear multiple hats and work longer hours, often at the same pay. Those put in these positions stepped up to the plate and answered the call since they were (and still are) happy to have a job.  Even now, some years later, with the economy thriving, companies are still requiring workers to multitask and take on more work on an often basis.

The second piece of the working more than ever puzzle is that we are constantly connected. Our cell phones and tablets keep us leashed to our work. An email here, a text there, a quick phone call from the boss and we are working while away from the office.

So, what’s the big deal? A few late nights at the office or sitting on the sofa at home with computer at hand all seem innocent enough. Replying to that text or email from a client or a co-worker while juggling home life can’t hurt anyone?  Actually, several studies have shown that working too much overtime can be detrimental to not only our mental and physical well being but can have negative effects on our family life. Ignoring the kids, dogs, spouse, or other home aspects leads to resentment, frustration and often times, bad behavior. As for our health, ignoring leisure time as well as home life can lead to burnout, depression, and stress.

How to Balance the Whole Scene

In the name of work/life balance, how do we find that happy medium? Where is the place where work is complete and satisfying and we are able to give and receive what we need and want at home or outside of work?

Like many things in life, it comes down to organization, planning and discipline. Make the time (not find the time) and set up boundaries such as:

*work is to be done at work; the boss, co workers, clients all should understand you have a life outside of work and the priorities rests with your family; when you are the boss, take that time for yourself and you will be more productive when you do work.

*disconnect from the connections; when at home put the cell phone down, put the computer to sleep and concentrate on your home life, even just if it’s an hour or two. Set the schedule to allow time for leisure activities (such as that much needed exercise), time for the family, or even time to do those pesky chores.

How to Make Time for More Life

Is it easy to obtain a healthy life/work balance? Most days, the answer is “yeah right! More life and less work is not happenin’.”  But making the effort and finding some time for “life” outside of work will pay off in the long run.  It’s a matter of making the commitment to limit work to time on the clock and setting the schedule. The hard part is sticking with it and it most likely  it can’t be done solo.

To really make this more life happen, incorporate the help of others. From co-workers to family, explain the rules: Work is work and life is the rest.  And ask those in your life to live by those parameters. Will there be 100% compliance? Not hardly, but get as close as you can and strive to improve on having more life and a balanced work existence.

Get out there and live a little life and let work take care of itself.

Until next time, Gobe Healthy.

Sarah at gon4run.com

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Adequate Sleep

Sweet Dreams

 

Getting Adequate Sleep

Often the most overlooked component in living that healthy lifestyle, sleep is at least as important as the right amount of exercise and the proper nutrition.  When we sleep, we rejunivate our bodies and allow them to repair the wear and tear of the day behind us. So, how much do we need and what is the importance of adequate sleep?

Well, first off, the right amount of sleep depends on the individual. Some of us need that long recommended 8 hours per night while others are good to go with only 6 hours. Still, other individuals need 10 hours a night! But numerous studies abound that many people only get 4-6 hours per night, regardless of their optimium amount needed. How do we find the right amount of sleep each of us needs? The number of tests available is overwhelming but keeping it simple, try going to bed when tired and then let your body wake up naturally. Do this for at least 3 days in a row. The number of hours you slept is most likely close to what your body needs. It is a very simplistic test but it will give some idea on what your body needs.

Sleep Comes in Many Forms

Specifically, the benefits of adequate sleep come in many forms but it all boils down to a few key concepts:

*With adequate sleep our bodies digestive system works correctly and processes the foods that we eat in a manner that nutrients are absorbed and used to repair/rebuild , our energies are restored and wastes are passed. However, when we lose out on that needed snoozing, our bodies are busy operating our systems and not breaking down the foods into a usuable form that benefits us. The result is often weight gain due to hormones being off balance and without absorbing nutrients we are often more likely to eat more calories than needed. Those calories are not always the best choices because when we are tired, it is easy to just grab what is in front of you and not think about clean eating food choices.

Ever have a case of the “foggy brain?” This usually embarrassing ailment is often caused by lack of adequate sleep.  When we get that needed sleep, our brains are rested and thus we can then have more productive days with better concentration, better performance in our activities, and we have much improved memory functions and problem solving abilities.

Now that you are exercising on a regular basis, it might seem as though you would need more sleep? Or that you might even be more tired than without the exercise. Well, that is not necessarily the case. When we exercise, those endorphins and other chemicals/hormones give us a boost of energy that can last for quite awhile after the exercise stops.  After awhile the boost does wear off but overall you should feel energized. The connection between adequate sleep and exercise is two fold.

First, the exercise provides the release of energy and makes us feel calmer, have better physical health overall, and does provide a feeling of tiredness verses restlessness. An analogy may be walking our dogs. We all know our dogs need daily exercise to feel tired, content and calm. The same works for humans; we need daily exercise to feel the same.

Second,  in order to have the energy and motivation to get out the door and get the daily exercise, we need adequate sleep.  When we do not get enough sleep, we lathergic, tired, and often have no motivation to do much of anything. So, getting that much needed sleep is important so we can feel ready to get our daily workout done.

Get Plenty of ZZZZZsss

Easier said than done, sleep often gets tossed aside in the name of “busy lives” but with some effort and determination we can make it a priority.  It is important to create the right environment for sleep. Ditch the phone, the TV and the internet (unless you are reading this website! ). Build a comfy space of a bed, pillows, covers or no covers, whatever works for you. Make the room dark and not too hot. Eliminate outside distractions as much as possible. This could be the kids, the dogs, noise, or even internal thoughts, pressures, and worries. Whatever is happening in your life can wait until tomorrow, most likely. And a good night’s sleep will help you take on the next day with full steam ahead.

Don’t blow off sleep. Determine what works for you and strive to get those hours each night. It is a vital component to living a healthy lifestyle.

Until next time…GoBe Healthy….sarah at gon4run.com