Hey everyone! Just popping in with some thoughts from the weekend… How are you guys doing? Anything fun going on? Or meaningful? We’ve had a bit of both this weekend.
Friday after a first session with a new client (thanks to God for providing someone who lives so close and is going to be a blast to train!) and giving another client a great workout, I headed to the Foothills Hospital to meet up with Mikey for a big day: a survivorship seminar complete with several speakers and a panel of doctors and researchers. Mikey had been working on this event for a long time and his hard work showed! There were over 200 people there of all ages along with many supporters and it was a wonderful day full of connecting and learning about how to live well after cancer. The topics talked about included managing fatigue, the healing power of storytelling, reducing stress (as the highest levels of distress are after treatments are finished!), sleep and the benefits of exercise and proper nutrition.
Below is a short video about sleep that Mikey made as part of the Cancer Bridges website that is really interesting…tell me what you think if you have a moment to watch it; cancer survivor or not, you’ll learn something new about sleep patters (I know I did!):
There are some pretty good tips in there! Along the lines of sleeping better (and why it is we often don’t sleep well!), I was thinking through the benefits of proper nutrition. I’ve quoted Heather before, but I can’t help but reference her again because I loved a line in one of her blog posts: “I need to eat like an athlete, not a weekend warrior.” And it’s true! We don’t just want to move on the weekends or eat right for only half the week (like “weekend warriors” who get out into the mountains or climbing on the weekends) but all the time! Healthy living should be a lifestyle, and I certainly want my own life to be consistent and regular – to be the norm, rather than the exception.
Here are a few essential food & fitness (because they go together!) tips to keep in mind:
Essential Food & Fitness Tips
You cannot out-train a bad diet. You can workout until you’re blue in the face but that will.not.matter if you’re not fueling your body properly. Don’t believe me? Check out this very telling video that I love (and recently pinned!) that will make you think twice before your next pizza slice!
We need calories! “Dieting” for any prolonged period of time can take its toll on our bodies: our mood plummets, it can cause dry hair and often we simply feel worse when we’re not eating enough! The truth is we need sufficient calories to function. This keeps our metabolism high and our hormones functioning properly.
Looking & feeling good is mainly nutrition. Well…at least 70 – 80% of it comes from keeping active! Poor nutrition can make us feel terrible, and often we don’t realize how bad we feel until we start to feel better! Solid nutrition is the linchpin on which we should hang our health.
Strength training is vital! Want improved bone density, lower blood pressure, weight loss and a revved metabolism? You gotta pick up the weights. Strength training 3+ times a week reaps significant rewards for your body and should, in some form or fashion, become a regular part of your life.
Movement is essential. You guys know I am all about this one: simply move more. If treadmills or gyms or new workout tools aren’t your thing right now, find more ways to move in your daily life, like walking, biking, gardening, or shovelling snow – anything that will get you off the couch and moving more. Think about the healthiest people you know – I’ll bet there are people who move.
MC-ing a wedding while getting my hoola hoop on – there’s one way to move! 😉
Eat real food. I don’t recommend one style of eating over another, but the one “rule” I live by is to simply eat real food. It’s something I can live by and is easy to figure out; nothing complicated about eating foods that are as unprocessed as possible and in their natural state! I certainly eat foods that come out of factories and that I have to unwrap, but I try to make those more occasional and real foods more the norm.
From time to time break the rules. Most of us cannot stick to a perfect diet all the time; the pressure to live that way 100% of the time is not worth the worry or anxiety. Here’s where the 80/20% rule comes in: strive to eat clean 80% of the time and don’t worry about the other 20%. If we have ice cream in the house, I tend to eat a few scoops a night until it’s gone (reason #1 why we don’t buy it often!) and I let myself enjoy that. If I’ve eaten more sugary foods throughout the day, I try to say no to the ice cream. Some people can go all-out; I have to use moderation to balance the way I eat.
Spend time with people you like. Seems funny to add to this list, but health and fitness is not just about eating well and working out. It’s also about finding people to share an active lifestyle with too. Surrounding yourself with people who you enjoy and who can help support your passion and goals to live well is important. Remember that you could likely become a person who influences others toward a healthier lifestyle. 🙂
Some of my favorite girls at our favorite time of day: the “Golden Hour.” 🙂
Listen to your body. Whether it’s deciding if you should run or not if you’re sick, deciding what to eat when you’re craving something specific, or trying to decide what to do if you’re injured, make an effort to become more aware of how your body’s feeling and what it’s telling you. You’ll soon pickup on how your body responds to certain foods, how many hours of sleep you need a night, and when your body is most ready to work out well. Just be patient and try to read your body’s signals of what feels right!
Just some thoughts rolling through my mind on this cold, snowy Sunday. 😀 …got any tips to share? Leave them in the comments and pass them along! And I’d love it if you would “like” me on Facebook – it’s just another place we can connect and keep the dialogue about health and fitness going! Have a wonderful start to the week and keep making choices to live well & be well today,