The Truth about Exercise

Do you love to exercise? Are you motivated to exercise? Or do you dread exercise as something you should do? Do you think if you exercise you can eat anything you want? Guess again. Here are the hidden truths about exercise you need to know.

 

 

The truth about exercise: Your current motivation is based on your past

It turns our that your past relationship with exercise has everything to do with what motivates you to exercise now.

Michelle Segar has made a study of the science of motivation with exercise. Her simple advice makes sense. ” Take any and every opportunity to move, in any way possible, at what ever speed you like, for any amount of time. Do what make you feel good; stop doing what makes you feel bad.”

 The truth about exercise: You cannot outrun your fork.

No amount of exercise will allow you to eat junk food, high processed foods and sugar filled drinks. So give up the idea that exercise will allow you to eat anything you want.

The truth about exercise: Exercise has to be something you like to do

When you think of exercise as a chore or something you must accomplish it becomes easy to avoid it or give it a low priority. What motivates people is to choose things we like to do, that make us feel good.

Exercise is just the way you keep you body in shape so you can enjoy all the things you want to do in life. You only get one body. You cannot trade it in like a used car.

Exercise is not running on a treadmill until you are miserable. Exercise is any activity that elevates your heart rate and gets you moving. If you don’t like exercise, find an activity that you do like. Here are some ideas:

Dance at a club or in your own home to favorite tunes

Take a class – try something you have never done before

Hike/ walk. Walk to do your errands

Gardening or yard work-

Play ball or catch with your dog, kids or friends

Clean out a closet or your garage

Play outside- remember how we did that as kids?

Shoot baskets- you don’t have to be good at it

The truth about exercise is to be creative and have fun moving.

Contact Coach Gwen for a complimentary call

Momentum Creates Motivation for a Healthy Lifestyle

 

 

What is your reason to create a healthy lifestyle? If you don’t understand why you want to make a change, it is difficult to start. Without any momentum you quickly lose motivation because you don’t see any results.
Because you are supposed to eat healthy or exercise, is a weak basis for creating lasting change. Consider instead internal motivation. Here are some examples that may give you a stronger starting reason.
I want to have more energy. I want to feel better. I want to be able to play with my kids or grandkids. If you are unsure of why change is important to you, try asking yourself better questions.

Momentum creates motivation. Take time to understand why. This will increase your motivation

Here are some questions to ask yourself about why you are making time for self-care.

• What to I expect from making healthy changes?

• Why is it important to me to feel good?

• What has stopped me in the past from sticking to healthy goals?

• Who can I ask to support me in these changes?

• What behavior or habits are hurting me?

• What are my sources of joy?

Once you have an idea of why you want to feel healthy, the next step is how to get started.

Create a strategy or road map for change.

Planning ahead for meals and snacks is the number one thing you can do to create success. Consider how to fit more activity into your day. Look for ways to move that you enjoy and can do with family or friends. Momentum begins the day you start making small changes. Motivation comes with doing things you like and enjoying the process. So no matter how small your first step, use that momentum to build motivation to feel good about your life again.

Contact Coach Gwen for a coaching call

In Search of a Healthy Lunch

 

I did a quick search on the Internet to find  simple healthy  lunch ideas.  The options and menus that had multiple ingredients which appeared to be beyond my ability to recreate very quickly overwhelmed me.   I was tempted to fall back to recommending that childhood school lunch of packing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and call it good.  However I think we can do better by using what you already know to make your own lunch choices.

So what are your best options for healthy lunches that keep things simple?

Start with why you need to eat healthy. Food is good fuel. Healthy fuel gives you energy for the whole day. Put junk fuel into you body and your energy level will suffer. Fresh fruit and vegetables are the original fast food.

Healthy eating is not a complicated task. What makes it easy is creating a system that fits your schedule, needs and food tastes while keeping that system simple and easy to do.

Step one                              

Make a list of all the food that you like and that can be easily stored on a shelf or in the freezer.

These are your staples – things you can stock up on ahead of time and grab as back up.  My staples are soup, tuna, nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter, almond butter, left over meals

Step two

Make your fresh food list – things you need to buy on a regular or weekly basis that give you choices for lunch – mine includes all things for salad and snacks at work.  I keep yogurt, apples, cheese, raw vegetables, humus, wraps, eggs, roasted turkey, spinach, any other lettuce that looks good on my weekly list.


Step three

Pick one or two lunch options that you can make the night ahead and are likely to have the ingredients on hand.  Experiment until you have a lunch that gives you some protein, fruit, vegetables, light on the carbohydrates and you can eat easily at work.

Sandwiches still work just fine – you may use wraps or lettuce instead of bread.  I sometimes just roll up roasted turkey with cheese and make that a finger food.  My standard working lunch is a salad – with multiple chopped raw vegetables.  I find that chopping enough for two days, in one session the night before, saves me time in the morning.  I add protein to my salad using hard boiled eggs, roasted turkey, leftover chicken or raw nuts.  I keep a protein bar, some raw nuts and an apple on hand for days when I need something to snack.

 

The final simple step

You need to pack your lunch so it is easily accessible to you any time during the day. How often have you skipped lunch because it was too much trouble to leave your desk and go to the break room?  Find an insulated lunch bag and add a small freezer pack – that way your food can stay on your desk all day – ready anytime you need to grab and fuel up.

I confess to eating the same lunch every day I work away from home. Is this boring?  No. This gives me a routine that simplifies my life.  I never forget my grocery list or a key ingredient in the special recipe of the week.  When everything else in my life is hectic, I need a few things that are easy to do.  When you want variety, start snooping in your friend’s lunch boxes.  Ask other busy people what they pack and like for easy prepare ahead food.  Use leftovers as a change up for lunch when you are prepared to go heat them up.  A little bit of planning ahead is the key to getting a lunch that keeps your life simple. Your professional challenges of the day require fuel for the whole day.

Need more recipes?

Check out this free website that I use for my coaching clients:

Program downloads from Transitions Lifestyle weight management

Click for a 30 min coaching call

Be healthy out there,

Gwen

 

 

What you eat may affect your sleep

By Mark Lange, PhD( reposted from Market America blog)
Sleep researchers have found that sleep quality is affected by diet. Twenty-six adults who normally sleep 7-9 hours per night participated in this randomized crossover study. The participants first consumed a controlled diet for 4 days and then ate whatever they wanted on day 5. Low fiber and high saturated fat and sugar intake was associated with lighter, less restorative sleep with more arousals.
The researchers were surprised that a single day of greater fat intake and lower fiber could influence sleep parameters. The study emphasizes that diet and sleep are interwoven in the fabric of a healthy lifestyle. For optimal health it is important to make proper dietary choices to improve sleep and exercise regularly.
Source: St-Onge MP, et al. Fiber and saturated fat are associated with sleep arousals and slow wave sleep. J. Clin. Sleep Med. 2016; 12(1):19-24

So now this makes sense when you eat junk late at night your sleep may be disrupted. I know for me, the simple rule of closing the kitchen at 8 pm works great.  Other studies show that high stress is linked to poor sleep habits. What we eat does matter. Exercise lets your brain rest so it can relax at night.  Look at your system to get ready for sleep. Do you give yourself a space to unwind before bed? Here are a few ideas.  Shut off the electronics 30 min before you expect to go to sleep. Do a few gentle stretches.  Try 5 minutes of meditation.  Avoid the late night snacks. Figure out a routine that helps your brain relax before you close your eyes for sleep.

Need more help with your sleep patterns? Click for a complimentary 30 min coaching call

Work Life Balance made Simple

How to make work life balance simple:

  • Everything is not equally important. Do fewer things and do them well.
  • Decide what your values are — and which ones take precedence.
  • Do the things that get results.
  • Focus on the things only you can do.
  • Do the important things, which must be done now.

Work life balance can be simple over time. It won’t be resolved tomorrow but you can get much, much better at this with practice.

Five Key concepts that make work life balance simple:

  1. Learn to say no.

Say no to requests that are not your highest-level priority. Ask your self: am I being helpful or I am doing someone else’s work for them? Is this the best use of my time right now?

You can do anything once you stop trying to do everything.

When you say yes to one request, stop to think what you are saying no to at the same time. You can only spend your time on one thing at a time.

  1. Plan ahead.

Planning out your schedule makes sure the important things get done. Setting up a list for each day, helps you stay on track.

Schedule the important things on your calendar. If getting to your daughters soccer game is important, put that on the schedule.

Schedule some time for yourself as if it was an important meeting.

When you plan ahead for your high value activities, they happen. If you neglect to plan you end up dealing with what ever comes at you in a random fashion.

That feels like a lack of control and is exhausting to react rather than take action.

 

  1. Bundle chores or errands.

Check your patterns; be mindful of how you spend your time and the choices you make on a daily/ weekly basis. How many trips to you make to the grocery store?

When you have a plan for meals you can reduce time spent at the store and preparing meals. Plan ahead for errands and take once a week to do them.

Return phone calls in a batch at work. Save low priority tasks for when you need a mental break.

 

  1. Manage work time

Start each day with the high priority list. Plan ahead on what time you will leave work each day. Cut back on distractions by closing your door or asking questions when you are interrupted. Asking questions can save everyone time. Ask about time, priority and who else is involved before you take on another project.

What is the deadline for this? What do you need from me right now? If someone brings you a problem or needs help: ask first: What solutions do you have in mind? Or ask what have you tried first? Refer back to # 1. Learn to say no.

 

  1. Enjoy weekends and vacation time.

When you are home, really be home. Keep work out of your personal time.

Unplug from work emails, phone calls or texts. Don’t feel like you have to spend every spare moment on chores or tasks. Set up personal rest time doing something fun and enjoyable, even if it seems wasteful. It is not. Time for self-care is critical to enjoying your life and reducing stress.

My final few thoughts are about letting go of expectations and being perfect.

Give up on perfection. Good enough is good enough for many tasks. Other people can do things instead of you doing everything. You just have to let them.

Gaining a work life balance is a process. Reflecting on what is important to you is the first step to making changes that last. Feeling unbalanced? Contact Gwen for a grounding coaching session.

Click here to get a 30 min coaching time

Essential Healthy Habits for Health and Wellness

Everyone knows know that if you took action on one essential healthy habit, everything else in your life would be a little bit easier. Here is a list of possible habits for you to choose from:

 

Getting a full nights sleep

Starting off the day with a meaningful activity

Planning time for the week ahead

Quiet time for thought and meditation

Physical exercise

Daily practice of gratitude

Inspirational or personal development

Setting boundaries on your time with other people

Leaving all work tasks and thoughts at work

Self care as a daily activity

Healthy food that nourishes your body

Family or fun time

Social time with friends

Simplify your to do list

Delegate more tasks

Reflect and learn from mistakes

Setting your intentions for each day

Let go of those things you cannot control

 

If living a long healthy life is your goal: follow these essential healthy habits to longevity

  1. Maintain a healthy body weight between 18.5-29.5 BMI
  2. Get at least 7 hours a sleep every night
  3. Do moderate exercise 150 min a week or 75 min of intense exercise weekly
  4. No Alcohol or only in moderation 1-2 drink/day with no binge drinking
  5. Not smoking

 

As you might think some of these essential health habits are linked together. Regular exercise helps with weight management and promotes better sleeping habits. Just as smoking or regular drinking of alcohol can be a hindrance to intense exercise workouts. The study that looked at habits for longevity did not consider stress, which I consider a key factor that derails many goals in creating a healthy lifestyle.

My challenge to you is to pick 1-3 of these essential core habits and practice them on a daily basis for 2 full weeks. You select the habit, define what it means to you and keep the actual time small. If you write out a list of 3 things each day you are grateful for: it only takes a minute. That means this is a habit that is easy to do.

Physical exercise can vary between a 10-minute walk , 3 minutes of stretching, or focused deep breathing.

My list has get a full nights sleep, exercise daily and creating a morning routine that is focused on setting intentions for the day, reflection and tackling the most important things first. Why? Because when I do those healthy habits my days flow smoothly and I feel energized and enthusiastic about my days accomplishments.

Need help? Contact Coach Gwen to set up a system that makes your day easier.

Click for a 30 min complimentary coaching call

Compassion Fatigue Are you at Risk?

If you find yourself emotionally and physically exhausted, easily irritated and blaming others for problems on a daily basis: you could be suffering from compassion fatigue.

There are many resources for how to recognize, prevent and treat compassion fatigue. I would like to focus on the coaching approach to dealing with this chronic and debilitating condition. Coaching is unique in starting with examining your personal operating beliefs.   Your beliefs drive your actions on a daily basis. Reflection and examining your beliefs is the key to changing your actions. If you believe that putting the needs of others first is important, then your actions will reflect that belief. If you believe that you are totally responsible for healing an injured animal than you will take on all of the pain and disappointment if that animal fails to thrive. If you believe that you must be perfect with every task at work, than you will consider any misstep a personal failure.

A strong identification with weak, suffering, helpless animals or people contribute to higher levels of compassion fatigue. Caring to much and taking on all the emotional blame for any outcome is part of a belief that you need to care more than any one else in order to help others.

So the reason that many people are attracted to a caring, helping profession is also the reason they are at higher risk for compassion fatigue.

Check your self against these common symptoms:

  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Reduced sense of personal accomplishment or meaning in work
  • Poor habits of self-care
  • Excessive blaming
  • Isolations for others
  • Physical exhaustion and chronic fatigue
  • Compulsive behaviors such as overeating, overspending or binge TV watching
  • Substance abuse to mask feelings
  • Pent up emotions
  • Difficulty concentrating or making basic decisions

How does Spiral Coaching help with compassion fatigue?

Coaching is based on self-learning, self-compassion and reflection to make adjustments in your normal patterns that support a healthier, happier you. Resilient people practice self-care, exercise regularly, eat healthy and have strong support systems. Do You?  Practicing self compassion is a way to recharge your emotional batteries. Using a journal with a coach gives you a guide for faster results

.Sign up for your free on line journal

How would you rate your stress level today? Do you have signs of compassion fatigue?

What are you willing to do about improving your life right now?

What beliefs drive your actions? Do those beliefs support a healthy lifestyle?

These are basic coaching questions that start the process of moving in a direction of creating positive changes for you.

If you don’t like where you are, you must be willing to take action before your life will change.

Take a step forward today. Contact Coach Gwen Veterinarian Services – go to your page

Click to schedule a 30 min complimentary coach call

How to lower Stress / High Blood Pressure Naturally

 

Learning to take a deep breath will lower stress and manage high blood pressure naturally. There are a few surprising things you can do that help with both stress and high blood pressure.

Stress increases your fight or flight reaction in a crisis. This is a helpful response in an emergency. The problem is living in that highly reactive state is harmful to both your physical and emotional self. Studies show that blood pressure is and stress are related. Stress can effectively raise blood pressure and managing stress with breathing can lower blood pressure. This relationship is dynamic with many other factors. What we do know is that learning to use relaxation techniques like deep breathing help both high blood pressure and stress. How can you get out of that stressful reactive state naturally?

Simply taking a deep breath is a good way to start. A focus on breathing is at the core of various relaxation techniques.

10 ways to lower your blood pressure naturally

  • Learn breathing exercises- Deep slow breathing is the oldest and best-known technique to decrease stress.

Taking 4 deep breaths in through your nose and out for a count of 5 is a method you can do at work without any special equipment. If you have the time, than imagine yourself in a relaxing place while you focus on deep breathing for 1-3 min.
Power Walk- 30- 60 minutes a day can help bring down your blood pressure numbers. Walk outside when you can, fresh air and sunshine add to the fun

Play with your pet – Playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol.

Music is effective for relaxation and stress

  • Music can have a profound effect on both the emotions and the body. … Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life. A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day.
  • Reduce salt intake- The AHA recommends limiting your sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day. That’s a little over half a teaspoon. 
To decrease sodium in your diet, don’t add salt to your food. One teaspoon of table salt has 2,300 mg of sodium! Use herbs and spices to add flavor food.
  • Eat a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruits and fiber. Eliminating foods that are high in saturated fats, such as processed foods, full-fat dairy products, and fatty meats It helps to cut back on desserts and sweetened beverages, such as soda and fruit drinks.
  • Lose the extra weight. Pay attention to your food intake, increase your activity level. All calories are not the same. Contact Gwen about the Transitions Lifestyle program.
  • Manage your stress- look at the root causes of your stress triggers
  • Get full nights sleep- Sleep allows our energy level to replenish and physical body to rest. Follow a pattern to set yourself up for sleep by avoiding technology and visual stimulation 30 minutes before your normal bedtime.

Need a free app to help the habit of deep breathing? Try Breath2Relax

Read more about exercise that helps click below:

AHA guidelines for exercise that lowers blood pressure

Contact Coach Gwen Schedule a time to talk

 

Mini Habits as Easy Steps to Healthy Habits

mini health habits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build your healthy habits by taking one step at a time.

What is a mini habit? Some small task you choose that will help you build into automatically repeating this healthy habit daily.

Think about what you can do 5 minutes or less. The goal here is to get you in a pattern that supports your healthy habit on a daily basis. Bigger goals often fail because they are too hard to fit into your busy schedule. Derek Doepker wrote a book: The Healthy Habit Revolution. See this book for a full program on how mini habits can be developed in 21 days.

Get started on  healthy habits with easy mini steps.

The idea of a mini habit is just to get you started. Pick 1-3 healthy habits and plan on doing each of them for 1-5 min daily for 21 days. This what I liked most, the idea of just get started.

Think that is too easy? Wrong, it is a proven way to create the healthy habit that gets you started. Momentum creates motivation. So one push up every day or eating one extra carrot a day adds up to something that you will do on a routine basis.

What would 5 minutes of quiet time do for you as a way to rest your brain?

What makes this mini habit work is it is so easy to do it. You really have no excuse to avoid or not do this new healthy habit. While you might skip a 15-20 min exercise routine on a busy day, you are much less likely to skip 1-3 min of exercise.

Will 3 minutes of exercise make you more fit? Not today, but think of 3 minutes X 21 days and consider how much exercise you just added to your overall activity level.

If you have ever failed at goals or resolutions, this method of mini healthy habits is a good option for you to try.

Here are some guidelines to picking good mini habits:

  • Take your mini habit seriously- pick what you personally want to improve
  • Your habit has to require some effort, make it significant for your needs
  • Avoid the temptation to make it too long, your goal is daily success
  • Remember you can always choose to overachieve and to more each day
  • Set up accountability for your mini habit, tell people what you are doing

At the end of 21 days, you will have set up patterns that give you a solid foundation to keep building on your health. That is the proven reason small steps lead to bigger actions. The success that you have in small mini habits will lead you to expand and improve into healthy habits for life. So this year start small for bigger gains.

Contact Coach Gwen for accountability that will keep you on track.

Contact Coach Gwen for a complimentary call

 

The Habit of Completion will simplify your Life

 

The Habit of Completion

Who feels good about checking off something on your list? It seems like a small satisfaction to know you have completed a task. Yet those some acts of completion help motivate us to keep moving forward with goals, projects or just the steps of everyday life. What stops us from completing projects?

Time. Lack of time is what everyone says prevents them from getting things done. I would disagree. I have found with my clients that when drilling down how they spend time, there are things they could stop doing, give away or spend less time on. This change would then gain some valuable time for personal projects.

I challenge you to reflect on how you spend your time and look for areas that you can make a change. Consider how these three steps might help you develop a habit of completion.

 

Step One: Learn How to Say No

Practice saying no to demands on your time and energy. Only say yes to things that make the best use of your time and bring you energy.

 

Step Two: Get Rid of Clutter

Start with a small area and create a clutter free zone- on your desk and in your home. Use this area to work on projects or planning where you are not distracted by other items that might claim your attention. Clean out closets of items you do not use or do not fit and find them a home with someone else who could use these items.

 

Step Three: Chunk it Down

Take any project that is too big or overwhelming and break it down into steps. Decide what five actions you could take to start on the big project and do those. Pick a time period between 20-40 minutes and just commit to spending that amount of time on the project every week or every day.

 

The habit of completion can be improved when you focus on small steps along the way. Give yourself credit for each step, so you avoid that feeling of overwhelm that prevents you from even starting on a new project.

I am planning on spending the last few days of this year cleaning out files, clearing up loose ends and clearing out the clutter that allows me a fresh start to 2017. Need help? I won’t physically come to your office or home, but I can give you some practical ideas on how and where to start your new habits for 2017.

1 2 3 4 7