What Are You Carrying?

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What are you carrying around with you on your back!??
❓Problems
❓Fears
❓Doubts
❓Insecurities
❓Failures
❓Mistakes
Did you know… exercise is the greatest form of FREE THERAPY!?! 🙌🏽🏋️🏽😅 When you’re into your workout you will notice your problems seem to melt away or seem less significant, or smaller than they were. And answers you were searching for can suddenly appear💙‼️Take the weight off your shoulders and go for a walk. Hit the gym, or stream a workout. But do something for at least 30 minutes a day. As your mind and body get used to the new habit, stress will have its release and you will be able to focus and reach for your goals with a better attitude and a healthier mind and body!

 

Hiking/Walking

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BENEFITS YOU GET FROM HIKING AND WALKING

Improved cardio-respiratory fitness for your heart, lungs, and blood vessels

Improved muscular fitness

Lower risk of early death

Lower risk of coronary heart disease 

Lower risk of stroke

Lower risk of high blood pressure

Lower risk of type 2 diabetes

Lower risk of high cholesterol

Lower risk of high triglycerides

Lower risk of colon cancer

Lower risk of breast cancer

Increased bone density or a slower loss bone and bone strength

With kids it lessens the chance of developing obesity

Reduced depression

Better quality sleep

More vitamin D absorption

Get out and walk 💚😀

 

Exhausting Workout Day

 

 

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⚡⛈️Day 14/21/Round 1/Speed: 45 + 1 Hour Zumba Class⛈️⚡

The thunderstorms we had and my workouts today were kind of symbolic of this quote in many ways. Life can be hard and workouts can be hard. They can really hard. But we get to decide how we deal with it. We can grow from it or let it defeat us.

💫You Decide!💫

Those are some sleepy eyes lookin at you. This day kicked me in the a$$. First I woke up early for how late I went to bed last night. But I had to get up because I’m doing Zumba now two days a week with one of my besties. So an hour of Zumbaing and dancin my booty off, followed by a huge thunderstorm and then home to do my workout program, followed by more thunder and lightening!  Talk about POWER!

I was so sleepy when I got home, but knew I had to get my workout done. And I did. I kicked it’s butt, but I think mine suffered the most lol. I was totally exhausted after day one of increasing from a 35 minute workout to a 45 minute, especially with doing Zumba right before. I think I pushed myself a little too hard and was totally unprepared for the powerhouse of Speed: 45. Talk about challenging! But that’s one of the things I love about my at home programs. They aren’t just beginners stuff and then useless. There is a constant challenge as you get stronger. You get your money’s worth + 

I am super duper sore and really sleepy. And you know what that tells me? I pushed myself to failure and that where it gets golden. In a couple days when I go to do my program I’ll feel the change today made because I will be able to do the moves with more better form and more power. That happened a few days ago. I pushed to where I just could not do anymore and then two days later I felt like Wonder Woman. 

This is all a process. And you have to trust the process. I have to believe in myself and all that I am able and will be able to achieve. I think most of all this program has shown me what I’m capable of overcoming and how key nutrition is to success with a workout program. It’s a marriage and one without the other is nowhere near as successful alone.

 

MOVE

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My Intention Word for the month of January is MOVE. Since the 1st I have diligently woke in the morning and immediately started the day with warm water and lemon (a new thing for me, even before my morning coffee. I’m liking this new morning ritual a lot more than I thought I would. And liking it so much, my morning coffee seems to be becoming more a beverage of taste choice more than necessity. I kind of am amazed by this. It’s the same feeling I had when I first decided to quit smoking. I though, nahhh that’ll never work. But even being healthy and making healthy choices can become a habit. Also since the 1st with my water I am heading directly for the elliptical and spending a half hour or so waking up my body with movement. This will likely get replaced with a morning yoga sequence later this month but will stay a part of my weekly movement schedule!

The other thing I noticed is that the less bravado I seem to have about starting a new habit, the easier it seems to accomplish. I took this new year to be a reset for myself. A complete re-alignment of my body, mind and soul. I’m one of those people who rush headlong into something with lots of fanfare and gusto and then I get bored or uninspired. So I needed to learn to work within my own boundaries and roadblocks to learn how to overcome them. And to learn to be my own inspiration instead of searching for outside sources. So I begin anew.

MOVE being the word for January had different meanings to me, multiple ones. For one, we are physically moving in a few months and making some decisions as to where later this month. Also move…ment out of my own negative head space that I’d been in regarding my progress with races.

You see I know a lot of very fast runners. I even know quite a few very fast race walkers. And I found myself kicking myself down for not achieving things as fast as others do. This again is another bad habit of mine. Never feeling good enough for myself. Not embracing my progress because my progress did not meet MY expectations.

Well, enough of that nonsense. I am only damaging myself and slowing myself down. So, MOVE…ment away from self deprecation and negative self judgement. And replace it with embracing accomplishment and even minuscule advancement.

I entered this challenge for this month. I adore yoga and have been avoiding it knowing that yoga makes me come face to face with the underlying issues that trouble me. But my new mindset has me excited to take this journey . Some times you have to take steps backwards to move forward and this is my step back. (If interested, click the image to find out more about the free challenge).

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And also this month I’m setting up my new running schedule and cross training schedule. Instead of doing what I read others say to do, instead, I’m going to do what feels right and what inspires me and absorbs me in a fabulous way! More on that as the year progresses!

But for now I’m just happy that I am inspired with movement and feeling the joy again as I begin my re-set year! The last six months of this past year were pretty rough. I’m happy to say it’s 2017!

 

7 Best Alternatives For Running From Bearbody Living Plus My Additions

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This is an awesome list from Bearbody Living to get you started on a great cardio fitness routine that isn’t running. Most of these are a mix of cardio and strength training. That is exactly what everyBODY needs! You need both for optimal fitness and health.

 

 

 

So why no running you may ask?

  • Boredom – everyone needs a break from the run once in a while. And it’s a good thing to add in strength training and to work on different muscle groups.
  • Adventure – Some, like me get restless with routine. If and when the run starts to lack joy I quickly move on to another type of workout. And just as quickly I’m then wanting to run again. But I tend to try and incorporate 3 or 4 different types of activity so I never get that restless feeling.
  • Injury – With some running injuries running is out for a while, but other types of physical activity are allowed.
  • Group Activity – It’s nice to get out of solo stuff and be with a group training or enjoying an activity, like repelling or climbing.
  • Just Don’t Like It – Enough Said…

 

I have a few additions to Baran’s list

hiking

Hiking

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CrossFit

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Indoor Rock Climbing

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Stair Repeats

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Skateboarding (at a rad skaepark, not just rolling down the street)

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Zumba 

Running out of my darkness

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 writer for New York Magazine wrote this article “How Running and Meditation Change the Brains of the Depressed” and exercise helping depression is something I knew was real but something when you’re slipping into that dark place, you forget.

I’m not a full fledged “runner” by any means, yet. But I know just lacing up my shoes and stepping out the door were some of the first moments I was reminded, I am alive and I breathe. So I’m thankful just for the training, for the ability to step out into nature and move forward. It was hard at first. I cried. I couldn’t breathe. I started hyperventilating a few times. But every day was just a tiny bit easier. Easier to live beyond the sadness, or despite it. Easier find bright moments in a day that would remind me that I needed to thrive.

Something about feeling the sun beating down on my face (vitamin D is awesome) and leaving the emotionally cocooned safe  walls  of our apartment allowed me to not have anywhere to hide from the vulnerability of grief. And I think that’s a necessary step in battling depression. Allowing the vulnerability to release itself maybe is where you find renewed strength of spirit. That comfort of four walls are like arms embracing you with a huge hug when depression begins to set in, especially from loss. But soon the walls become a prison cell locking you into a moment in time. Maybe we do that because we fear we are letting go of that which we lost, that last spark of life remembered.

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But we don’t. All the good memories remain as long as you choose to be brave enough, vulnerable enough to remember. I still cry. I still hurt. And I think when we lose someone (this includes furbabies as someone’s) who is close to your soul, you always will hurt, there always will be tears. But you have to find a way to smile despite it all. You have to choose to live the life they can’t. It’s the very best way we can honor them.

So how does it all work this running (exercising, walking, aerobics) help with depression? What’s the proof, or scientific mumbo-jumbo?

 

 

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Running

• It elevates the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, slowing cognitive decline and strengthening your capacity for and rate of learning, and protects neurons against the corrosive effects of cortisol (exercise boosts BDNF ) 8 Ways To Increase BDNF Levels (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor)

• It promotes brain growth. Not like, your heads gonna get big lol. Running and the chemicals release while going through very physical things stimulates new nerve growth. Endorphin’s are an amazing fix for depression! 5 Ways Running Boosts Brain Power .

• It helps ward off stress. If you include some sort of aerobic exercise into your daily routine, like walking and running your body and mind is better prepared for whatever comes at ya in the form of stress or depression triggers. If everyday stress is minimized coping skills are much more effective and with easier transition. Physical Activity Reduces Stress

• It’s kinda the closest we have to a Fountain Of Youth (naturally) Physically, the effects are obvious. But also mentally. Following a half hour of strenuous exercise, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex works harder to resist distracters and performance on tests of attention improves. Studies also show that immediately following exercise, problem solving, memory, and attention improve.  Think Better: Exercise

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•It interrupts the mental feedback loop of stress, anxiety and depression within our brains. When we are stressed in our everyday life, or depressed because of a loss of some kind or dealing with anxiety because of something life has thrown unexpectedly at us, we can get “stuck”. Our brains go on a loop and doing a vigorous activity can be just the thing to snap our brains back into problem solving, or at least into acceptance of a situation if no other resolution is possible. Along with this, when depression sets in our bodies produce less Cortisol and that is bad news for our body trying to help us out of that loop, exercise increases Cortisol levels! The Brain on Stress

• It reduces muscle tension. Ever notice your body when you’re stressed out, or depressed? We tend to contract muscles and hold them in tense states. It’s all a part of that fight or flight mode ancient humans carry within them. Our body is ready to defend us against the perceived threat. Even if that threat is coming from ourselves being depressed or stressed to the max. Exercise, running, gives those muscles something to actually do. It then tires them out, they feel they fought the good fight and finally they can relax. Exercising to Relax

• It improves your self esteem which in turn gives you the confidence you can move forward away from the depression and anxiety. Developing Self-Confidence Through Running: How I Found Myself Out on the Road

 

So I don’t run very well, nor very fast or far (yet). But lacing up those shoes and putting your best effort in is what matters. You don’t have to be skinny, or already healthy. And you don’t have to be happy either. But your mood will lift as you continue running out of your darkness and into a better state of physical and mental health.

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A Mindful Hike

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Hiking. I like hiking more than any other physical exercise. And that in itself says a lot.Taking in nature in all it’s grand forms; mountains, trails, beaches, parks, etc… is very grounding and calming to me. Very meditative and gives time for introspection or even just the ability to shut the chatter of the mind completely out and just take in the scenery and feel the earth below my feet. I recently learned there is a term for what I like to do and it’s called Mindful Hiking. I like to let the experts do the talking so here is more info and ideas about stepping out on a meditative type of hiking experience!

 

 

 

hike_spot2Physical activity. Beautiful scenery. Who doesn’t like the occasional hike in the great outdoors? And when you add a little extra awareness to the experience, your outing can benefit both your body and your mind.

Take a Mindful Hike

 

 

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