Tag Archives: exercise

“Perfection”

What is perfection? According to Dictionary.com, perfect is defined as “conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type.” However, when it comes to wellness, I am not certain there is an exact definition of an ideal type. What makes one individual healthy and happy may not necessarily work for someone else. Even the guidelines set out by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) regarding nutritional intake and the exercise standards promoted by the ACSM (American Academy of Sports Medicine) are just that: guidelines. Both organizations take large volumes of data from hundreds of thousands of people and create standards that fit the majority of the US population regarding what might constitute optimal health. These standards can’t possibly consider each individual’s unique genetic makeup and personal preferences for a fulfilling life.

So why do we strive for perfection when perfection is at best a guess of what might work for some people? Why do we pressure ourselves into comparing what we feel others are doing that seems to be superior, and quite obviously in our minds, the best way to pursue optimal health? Earth Girl recommends we reframe our thinking when we consider our daily habits and how they impact our wellness.

Instead of berating ourselves because we had a piece of cake at a friend’s birthday party and subsequently deciding we have no self control so we might as well give up on living a healthy lifestyle (because in a perfect world we wouldn’t eat any cake), let’s refocus. Birthday parties are fun and a small celebratory piece of delicious chocolate cake might be what we seek as perfection that day. We celebrated, we ate cake, we enjoyed and then we moved on to a healthy option for dinner later that night.

Instead of relinquishing a regular exercise routine because we missed one run to enjoy an evening out with our family (and in a perfect world we would not skip a run), let’s refocus. Time spent with family can also be active and, certainly, quality time with loved ones has amazing health benefits. Enjoy the spontaneity of the situation and clock your three miles the next day.

We often think that unless we pursue everything to its “perfect” ending, we might as well not pursue it at all. Such a sad way to live the adventure called life! Let’s strive to be perfectly imperfect. Or perhaps, imperfectly perfect. Decide what is best for the situation and use the opportunity to grow and enjoy life!

Earth Girl thinks perfection is what we make it. It looks different for everyone so stay on the adventure that makes you perfectly you!

 

Written by Tina Hatcher of Earth Girl Wellness

The 10,000 Steps Goal

Fitness trackers abound these days along with pages of advice encouraging us to walk 10,000 steps. We faithfully don our wristbands and watches hoping to achieve the magical distance of five miles per day. But have you ever stopped to think about why we need those steps? Are 10,000 steps necessary or is it an arbitrary number conjured up to make us obsessive compulsive about walking the last 103 steps needed to reach 10,000 before getting into bed?

Let’s go back a few decades, to say, the 1970’s. If you were alive (and if you weren’t, use your imagination), think of all the things you did throughout the day that involved taking steps. To open the garage door, you had to get out of your car, walk to the garage door, open it, walk back to your car, pull in, then walk back and close the garage door before entering your house. Hmm…maybe 50 steps involved? In order to change the channel on the television (which only had 4 channels to begin with), you had to walk to the TV, change the channel, then walk back to the couch. Another 20 steps. To fill a prescription, you had to get out of your car, walk into the pharmacy, wait for the prescription to be filled (during which time you probably walked around the store because they didn’t have convenient chairs to sit in while you waited), get your prescription, and walk back to your car. Log another 150 steps, at least. We were naturally walking roughly five miles just to accomplish the tasks needed for daily living.

Now, welcome to the 21st century. We use the drive thru at coffee shops for our daily cup of joe. We use riding lawn mowers to cut our grass. We use an elevator to take us up two flights of stairs! These “activities” require no steps. We simply do not have to walk like we used to. We have to schedule time and add “taking steps” to our daily agenda.

Five miles, or 10,000 steps, is a sweet spot for health. When comparing the population at large, individuals that average 10,000 steps per day tend to be healthier than individuals that walk less. You can, however, stop short of berating yourself if you are a few steps shy of your daily goal. Some days your sneakers will pound the pavement with more than 10,000 steps. Some days your shoes will have a little less wear. Look at the bigger picture and see how your steps average out for a week. Remember, life does allow a day or two of leisure on occasion.

Earth Girl’s recommendation is to keep your fitness trackers on, your shoes tied, and your ambition ready to tackle every step of your day!

 

Written by Tina Hatcher

Apps to Help You Reach Your Goals!

Whether or not you’ve gone through countless resolutions since the year began, every day is a new chance to change yourself for the better. Here’s a list of apps that can easily keep you on track for the rest of year:

For staying organized:
Try Cozi Family Organizer (IOS):
Keep the whole family on track with family calendars, shopping lists, to-dos, and journals! Anyone with an IOS device can sign into the joint account through their individual emails and send or receive notifications.

For working on getting or perfecting a job:
Try LinkedIn:
If you don’t have this one yet, what are you waiting for? LinkedIn is a portable resume that’s perfect for when you’re looking for a job, networking, or want advice in your field. You can receive notifications anywhere, that are purely career related.

To stop smoking or limit junk foods:
Try Quitter:
This app really helps to keep you motivated once you quit a habit. Whether that’s smoking or limiting eating out, you can see how long you’ve been without the habit, and just how much money you’ve saved thus far. What could be better than a healthier lifestyle and a fatter wallet?

To organize your finances:
Try mint.com Personal Finance:
With the convenience of a website and an app, you can access this one from everywhere! Once you link your account–and you can link multiple–you can manage everything from small bills to loans, credit, and retirement.

To get (and stay in!) shape:
Try Sworkit- Circuit Training Workouts:
This easily personalized app can generate home or gym workouts which can include strength training or yoga. You can set the duration of your workout and be stress free!

To eat healthier:
Try MyFitnessPal:
This app uses a fitness tracker and calorie counter to help you to lose weight. With a database of over 5 million foods, it will help you to keep a calorie in- calorie out balance. Although, this one is geared more towards the food aspect of health versus an advanced fitness tracker.

To learn a new language:
Try Duolingo:
Using short bursts of lessons throughout your use of the app, this app uses its small periods of time with memory skills to help you to develop knowledge of a new language.

To be more informed:
Try TEDTALKS:
If you want to be more educated on anything from history to politics, TedTalks are led by experts in the field who discuss their experiences, and shower their wisdom through interactive lectures. The best part is that you get to pick what you want to learn when you want to learn!

To manage stress or anxiety:
Try Pacifica:
When given attention, this app tracks and analyzes your everyday moods to help you manage stress and anxiety. It can even connect you to other applications that help you to sleep or connect with a therapist.

To do more charity/ volunteer work:
Try Volunteer Finder (IOS) / Volunteer Near You (Android):
If you’re feeling like getting involved in the community, this app helps to locate volunteer opportunities around your area and connect you to them.

So go out and make it a better year AND a better you!

 

Written by Zoë Pierson

The MELT Method

Exercise is an important daily component to life. It increases energy levels, while still providing many positive health benefits. However, working out doesn’t have to be all about running, burpees, or weights. Exercise is meant to be peace for the body and should require little to no pain.  The MELT Method combines pain-free healing for the body that most fitness plans can’t offer.

Sue Hitzmann, MS, CST, NMT, is the creator of the MELT Method. Her main goal for the treatment technique was to stop and prevent chronic pain in aging, active bodies. Hitzmann’s yoga based method has proven to improve bodies with her MELT Method 3-disc DVD set. The DVD is the companion to the New York Times’ bestselling book, The MELT Method. With Hitzmann’s techniques, a soft body roller, and four different compression balls, MELT can help restore your body to its natural health.

Roller bentIn the instructional DVD’s, Hitzmann outlines the method to her breakthrough self-treatment. It’s important to have a balanced nervous system and healthy connective tissue to live without chronic pain.  She outlines the 4 R’s of MELTing– reconnect, rebalance, rehydrate, release. These components help reach the goal of a balanced nervous system and healthy connective tissue.

It’s time to try a different exercise routine to something more calming for the body than the usual elliptical! Regular exercise is essential, but it’s also essential to enjoy what you’re doing to keep in good health. This technique can be a great element for mind, body, and soul. In order to relieve stress in your life, you have to find things that put you at ease and not just temporary fixes.

Want to try out the MELT Method? You can pick up your kit to get started here.

Written by Stacy Shrader

Bella Loves: Gym Essentials

Getting up at 5 a.m. to hit the gym is… well, interesting. Especially if you aren’t used to it.
Even if you get up and manage to make it out of your door within 30 minutes, it’s very easy to forget important things–like headphones, a headband, and even shower gear!
If you read our monthly minimalism column, you’ll know that we like to simplify things to avoid this kind of mishap. That’s why we have compiled a small list of our morning essentials to get you to the gym and keep you healthy and happy throughout the day.

12750313_477394149138002_2099817502_nViolet Love Headbands
We LOVE these beautiful headbands and their “No Headache–No Slip” guarantee. Choose between two styles–sportswear and premier performance wear. The sportswear collection takes a more tailored, upscale, and specialty design approach to casual wear while keeping the laidback, bohemian vibe. The performance collection brings a spiced up take on core fitness wear in luxurious and durable fabrics offered in unique specialty prints and bright colors. Check them out at www.violetloveheadbands.com.

Wraps Headphones
lookbooknaturalWraps wristband headphones make it easy to transport your headphones without worrying about the tangled mess they often become in the bottom of your purse or gym bag. Some even come with microphones, making it easy and convenient to answer the phone while you are working. When they aren’t in use, simply wrap the headphones around your wrist and attach them until you need them again. They ship from Europe, but they are definitely worth it! Go to www.mywraps.com for more information.

packtowl_personal_m_indigoPacktowls
As featured in our March issue, Packtowls are perfect for when you want to maximize space in your bathroom. They also work really well for the days that you shower at the gym. Packtowls are designed to dry quickly. Once they are dry, you can roll them up and store them in their own bag. Purchase yours at Walkabout Outfitter in downtown Roanoke or on Amazon.

 

What are some of your go-to products for making life more simple in the morning? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

 

Written by Hayleigh Worgan

Enter to Win a Copy of The New Health Rules!

You’ve made the commitment to get healthier, but you have no idea where to begin. That’s where The New Health Rules: Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness by Dr. Frank Lipman and Danielle Claro can help.
51ZrNqYwnQL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_This illustrated guide to improving every aspect of your mind, body, and soul is meant to help map healthy habits you want to integrate deeply and forever.
It offers guidance on a variety of topics including diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes that can positively impact your life. This includes advice on what you should buy every week, simple secrets to a good night’s sleep and boosting your energy, and the products that you should avoid.
Order yours today and get started on the journey to a healthy, more fulfilled routine. You can also enter to win a copy on our Facebook page!

Sticking to Your New Years Resolution

January is the month of resolutions. As another year begins, the gym is filled with men and women determined to lose weight, get a six­pack, or stay fit. Although this tradition is widely popular–45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions–only 8% are successful.

Even the most noble of resolutions, whether it be self-­improvement or financial ambitions, can fade away after the excitement of a new year dwindles. However the issue isn’t in the goal itself, but the planning and enforcement to achieve it. To keep from losing motivation, follow these tips:

One step at a time.
It’s easy enough to tell yourself you’re going to lose 20 pounds or eat healthier. To accomplish this, however, break up your goal into smaller parts. For example, go to the gym every Monday and run on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Make it a priority to eat a fruit and vegetable with every meal, and so on. Taking smaller steps will help you reach your ultimate goal easier.

Recruit support from family and friends.
When it’s hard to motivate yourself to slip on those running sneakers or put down that chocolate cupcake, ask close friends or family to step in and help. Their encouragement (or chiding) can go a long way. You can even invite them to hit the gym with you, or ask them to text you at a certain time in order to remind and inspire you.

Reward yourself for partial successes.
Along with taking smaller steps towards your resolution, don’t be afraid to allow yourself small pleasures that won’t ruin your hard work. This will help you feel better about your efforts, and motivate you to do it again. Just beware of ‘rewarding’ yourself too much, and succumbing to whatever temptation you’re facing (like sweets or skipping the gym).

Written by Madison Correiro

Staying Active During the Winter

The New Year is here and that means that we are looking for more ways to stay active and stick to our resolutions!

Unfortunately, it also seems like cold weather is officially upon us. If winter is chasing you inside or keeping you from the gym, it is important that you continue to exercise at home. Make your workout something that you look forward to by utilizing equipment that keeps it fun like the SkipFit from Empower Fitness!
SkipFit Out of Package.jpg
A new twist on an old childhood favorite (anyone remember the Skip-It from the 90s?), SkipFit will help you burn calories and enjoy every minute of it. They are also reasonably priced and easy to store, making it a little more attractive than a giant at-home treadmill.

Visit www.empowerfitness.com for more information and to purchase yours today! Don’t forget to pick up our January issue for more great tips on staying active in cold weather!