Sympto-thermo Fertility Awareness Method

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I wish I would have known years ago that there is a natural birth control method out there that is 99.6% effective. Like many women I’ve talked with, I first learned about women’s reproductive health in middle school, which looking back was a very fear based education. One of the prominent things I remember learning from sex-ed was that if you have unprotected sex, you will get pregnant. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I was unaware of how scientifically inaccurate that claim actually is. 
I recently posted about going off birth control after 13 years. Thankfully, during that transition I was able to enroll in a 5 week course with Grace @fearlessfertilitythat educated me on exactly how to use and interpret the sympto-thermo fertility awareness method (FAM). The four basic principles are: 
1.) taking your temperature every morning
2.) checking your cervical fluid
3.) checking your cervix
4.) charting this information
The sympto-thermo FAM is simply observing your body’s natural fertility signs. It’s not the same as natural family planning, the rhythm method or simply knowing your body well enough to tell when you’re fertile. This method has been an empowering lifestyle choice and I wish more people knew about it. While doctors are experts in populations (and often eager to prescribe) we can be the expert of our own body. Women are not all made the same. I am able to make informed health care decisions because I know what normal looks like for me and have the data to back it up. 
A couple BIG shout outs go to @buggycastro for introducing me to sympto-thermo FAM and Toni Weschler’s book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility.” If you’re curious to learn more this is definitely where to start! 
Secondly, Grace owner & educater @fearlessfertility has been an incredible wealth of knowledge and a valuable player in building my confidence for choosing this method as a lifestyle. I won’t say it’s easier than other methods but it’s much more rewarding, healthy and empowering. Often times I’ve found the less convenient, harder road in life can end up being more fulfilling in the end and that is definitely true for me here. 
#wellnessbylittle #stewardyourbodywell#FAM

Health and Purpose

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I know that not everyone has the privilege to consider their nutrition, exercise, sleep, work and play habits when it comes to quality of life. There is cancer and disease and extremists groups and refugees fighting for their lives, we’re in huge amounts of debt and work long weeks putting in extra hours just to afford health insurance.

But for most of us these exceptions don’t apply. Most of us have the capacity to take care of our health and well being. I personally don’t believe perfect health or perfect abs is the end goal but I am becoming more and more convinced that such lifestyle commitments will make us more effective in everything we do in our lives as business owners, accountants, health care professionals, musicians, teachers, spouses, parents, students, friends and neighbors. 

The bodies we’re given are mysterious wonders and it’s our job and privilege to take care of them because they are a visible expression of who we are. 

5 Ways to Eat Your Way to a Better Immune System

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I’ve been fending off the sickness over this past holiday. Sickness got you down too? 

Here are 5 ways to eat your way to a healthier immune system:

1.) Garlic
Garlic fights viruses, bacteria and fungus to help aid in healing the immune system. To get the most from fresh garlic, chop into halves or quarters and cook in olive oil or butter and a dash of salt. If you’re in a hurry or feeling brave, eat it all by itself or you can mix it in with a pasta sauce or salad dressing.

2.) Tea
Many teas are packed with lots of good stuff for fighting colds and boosting the immune system. Green teas, echinacea tea, honey & lemon (sure, throw a shot of whiskey in there! 🍋🍯🥃) and @tradmedicinals Throat Coat are all great options.

3.) Citrus
Citrus is packed with vitamin C which is known for stimulating the production of white blood cells that helps keep your body’s natural defense system in tip top shape. I’m convinced you can put lemon on almost anything 😣 
4.) Mushrooms
I’ve been learning about mushrooms a lot these days and current studies show that mushrooms are straight up magical for our bodies. Mushrooms support our natural immunity and provide nutrients to support every body system from brain to nerves to energy to skin cells.

My favorite mushrooms right now are maitake, shiitake and king oysters. I’ve been picking up the chefs samplers pack from @ballardmarket and cooking with olive oil, creole seasoning and light butter at the very end but another option is toasted sesame oil with soy sauce! 
If you don’t like eating mushrooms there’s this awesome guy @paulstamets doing amazing research in mycology out of the Pacific Northwest. He has amazing mushrooms capsules and products. Check out his stuff! 
5.) Water. Lots of water. Nuff said. 

New Beginnings

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Goodbye 2017 & Hello 2018!

As we all know, there tends to be lots of energy around well intentioned new beginnings. The New Year is a chance to hit the reset button. To start over with a clean slate. To actually have resolve in the New Year and its a good and healthy desire for God to do something in and through us in a way that produces real transformation and change. 

In 2017 one of the things Nathan and I wanted to work on is saying “no” more often. Saying “no” to certain things has been hard and really inconvenient for me personally but my “no’s” have also lent itself to greater things. 

One of those things for me was getting off birth control. I’ve been on different forms of birth control for over 13 years so making the decision to officially be done with hormones was a really scary step with a lot of unknowns. God has blessed me in many unexpected ways since being off birth control. Definitely more to come on this in a future post!

So rhetorical question (unless your brave...): what are you telling yourself “yes” or “no” to more in the new year and why? How does your answer reflect who you are? 
Cheers to whatever you resolve to do in 2018

😊 📷: @_kaylagrey 

3 Essentials For Looking Like a Pro While On-The-Go

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I discovered toner for the first time back in January. For a girl who sweats a little here and there (or a lot) and usually does some type of movement everyday this toner is the bomb. Herbivore Rose Hibiscus toner is organic, plant based and free of fillers and preservatives. In the winter it helps add a little moisture back into the skin while reducing inflammation and redness. 
PLUS Herbivore is a local Seattle company and can now be found in all Sephora stores nation wide! Check em out! 

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Bumble and bumble salt spray is amazing! I don't wash my hair daily and I have naturally oily hair which can make for a very, very sad hair do. Salt spray helps give my hair texture and volume throughout the day and after day two of wearing (along with some dry shampoo) it just gets better. 

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I live on a boat so there are many reasons why I don't want to take a shower every day. If I had to wash my hair every night that'd be an ordeal. I've tried many dry shampoos over the last couple years and in general it's been a game changer for me. This is definitely a middle of the road dry shampoo. $8.99 at Walgreens to be exact and it's good stuff. If you're like me and not wanting to spend $30 on a bottle of dry shampoo smaller than this because you'll go through it so quickly then give this product a try. Bonus: smells like a warm, sunny Hawaii beach with palm trees blowing in the wind! 

Eat & Celebrate Well This Holiday Season

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Thanksgiving and Christmas season bring the years greatest temptations to abandon or procrastinate on our healthy eating convictions. I can't help but think of Louis CK's standup on eating habits. He said "the meal isn't over when I'm full, it's over when I feel like crap." Ah Louis CK, he's so honest. I think we all know the feeling but can agree that overeating never actually feels good afterwards. 

Here are 5 tips to help you celebrate and eat well this holiday season:

1.) Focus on what you can eat versus what you can't
When we create that mental checklist of all the things we can't eat it's really easy to get discouraged. Wholesome, nutritious food is a gift from God. He wants us to have a healthy relationship with food. Focus on eating foods that you know leave you feeling nourished and satisfied. 

2.) Have realistic expectations
Study after study shows that simple, sustainable changes end up being the most productive. Don't overcomplicate things. It's easy to get overwhelmed and give up completely. Make one small change at a time and add other adjustments once you've maintained the first modification. 

3.) Commit to a strategy now
I will say with great confidence that it is easier to avoid holiday weight gain altogether than to try and lose pounds after the fact. Whether you want to lose weight, maintain muscle mass, get stronger or fend off a cold, flu or any other sickness make a plan and begin implementing it now, before temptation arrives. 

4.) Eat Clean
Real food is a big topic these days and for good reason.

Avoid:

  • Processed and packaged foods (boxed stuffing, cereal, chips)
  • Refined starches (white bread, white pasta, white rice)
  • Added sugar (sadly most packaged foods have added sugar)

Eat:

  •  Whole fruits and vegetables 
  • Good quality meats, eggs and dairy

    5.) Navigate your sweet tooth
    Sugar is addicting. Indulging in sweets around the holidays is widely accepted, practiced and maybe even encouraged in some homes. I'll admit that indulging a little and then stopping is hard to do especially with so many sweet (pun intended) options to pick from. My recommendation would be to consider avoiding sweets altogether and loading up on all the other nutritious foods instead but of course if you must have something sweet enjoy a carefully chosen dessert. 

    The holidays are a joy-filled and a God-given occasion to feast and celebrate. So go ahead and celebrate but without compromising your health.   

We Believe That When A Person Aligns Their Behaviors With Their Deeper Values True Lasting Change Occurs

OUR BELIEFS

A healthy mind and body are essential to living a full and purposeful life. Wellness By Little provides qualified knowledge, personalized fitness plans, and engaging training experiences that will motivate you to stay on top of your health so you don't ever lose it. There are 7 principles that guide our method for developing fitness and nutrition plans specifically for your needs. You can read about them and our beliefs in this article.

OUR APPROACH

Intentional Listening. Your health needs are unique. Whether you're recovering from injury, trying to lose weight, or planning for a triathlon, we take the time to hear your needs, ask qualifying questions, and build a comprehensive understanding of your story.

Customized Planning. We are certified and educated in numerous fitness and nutritional methods that will be catered to develop a unique plan to achieve your specific health goals, ensuring that it is timely and attainable so that you're being set up for success.

Thoughtful Implementation.  This is the part where we take action and do the hard work. Your custom plan will be consistent, thorough, and focused. Every session starts on time and in an environment where you feel safe and comfortable. We work alongside you to demonstrate techniques, ensure excellent form, and challenge you to push to your full potential.  

Devoted Coaching. During our sessions together we'll be discussing underlying motivators, methods for accountability, and working through any barriers that may be hindering progress. We want to foster a relationship built on trust, where we can go beyond the exercise and develop lifelong healthy habits together. 

Engaged Community. Your achievements are our joy! We want to celebrate your successes, as we take this journey together. While your coaching is a personal one-on-one relationship, we've developed a community that is excited to hear your story and wants to encourage one another to stay active and motivated. 

Bouncing Back From Your Winter Season: 5 Ways To Get Active This Spring

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Article written by Paige Johnson with Learnfit.org

The winter season can often be difficult on us - both emotionally and physically. Some individuals face seasonal depression. Others harbor intense anxiety associated with being trapped inside. Even if we don’t suffer from a mental disorder, we spend less time exercising and more time eating to maintain our core body temperature. Sometimes, we go overboard, promising ourselves that we’ll get better when the weather improves. Unless you live in a consistently warm state like Arizona or Florida, you likely experience some of these symptoms. Kick away the winter blues by trying these five enjoyable ways to get active this spring.

 1.     Walk, Jog, or Bike
It’s easy to overlook how enjoyable walking, jogging, or biking can be. Try pairing these simple cardio exercises with fun activities. For example, you can jog or run while playing laser tag. You can walk to your local library or a downtown attraction. You can bike just about anywhere - if you live in a town with sidewalks. Mix these functions into your daily life. Instead of getting into your car, think about other (more traditional) methods of transportation that can keep you active. Not sure whether you should walk or bike? Livestrong recently published an interesting article on the subject.

 2.     Develop Weekly Habits
Whether you join a sports team, engage in a weekly game of softball or flag football, or meet your friends for a scavenger hunt, develop regular habits with friends and family members that will get you moving. You can learn about the benefits of team sports through Let’s Play.
Rather than staying at home and watching movies throughout the spring season, get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Water balloon fights, picnics, and afternoons spent at the beach are great ways to stay healthy and motivated without even trying. After all, exercise is more fun when you don’t realize you’re doing it.

3.     Eat a Balanced Diet
While being active is important (and even vital) to maintaining healthy habits during the spring season, it’s also essential to eat a balanced diet. You should be eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, in addition to avoiding greasy fast food or pizza. These items are acceptable as a treat, but you should focus your energy on making healthy food in the comfort of your own home. One healthy choice each day can go a long way. Figure out what you should be eating through Choose My Plate - a website that offers unique ideas based on your individual needs.

 4.     Make Plans With Friends
Get active by making plans with your friends and family. Exercising is far less frustrating when we share it - masking it behind fun activities with the people we love. It can be as simple as a nightly walk or as complex as a baseball league. Whatever you decide to do, build your healthy spring habits with the individuals who support you.

5.     Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Exercising and making healthy eating decisions can be difficult when you haven’t been raised in a household that prioritizes health. There can, and will, be moments when you are forced to step outside your comfort zone. It might start by trying a new food each week. You might find yourself playing sports, when you never thought of yourself as athletic before. The Huffington Post recently offered six reasons to take risks and leave your comfort zone. Break down barriers. You’ll be happy you did.

Start an upward slope this spring by trying these five methods of getting active. The harder you work, the better your results will be.

Stewarding Your Body Well Throughout Busy Seasons

"Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Tis' the season for holiday parties, celebrations, feasting and enjoying lots of delicious (let's be real, adult) beverages... Christmas is such a rich, joyful and celebrated time of year but I also know the flip side of so much celebrating can lead to feeling crappy, gaining weight and feeling like you're running on E. 

The truth is, we can say no to our desires and feelings and emotions in the moment and we can say yes to something greater. True courage, freedom and bravery are found in saying yes to something greater than ourselves and our momentary, fleeting desires and feelings. I've messed this up plenty but the moments where I did have discipline around food and fitness (or anything in life, really) have lent itself to greater joy and satisfaction spiritually and emotionally than taking the easy or convenient route. There are examples of this kind of discipline written all throughout the Bible. God didn't "feel" like watching his only Son be crucified on the cross, but he did and Jesus certainly didn't "feel" like going to the cross, but he did for us. 

God gives us a spirit of power and of self control. My hope for myself and people reading is that this holiday season would be a time where we choose to tend to our temples by honoring our bodies so that we may be led closer to God, to people and to our purpose. It might be hard but I bet it'd be 100% worth it ❤️

Confidence.

How many of us want to be a more confident person? I'll be honest and say that l've spent a lot of energy in my life trying to figure out how to be more confident. I was searching for an unwavering, unshakable confidence that no matter the turbulence life brought I had everything together (or at least looked like I did). It was exhausting. Since becoming a Christian and hanging out in Christian communities one thing I've noticed and admired is this sense of settledness - not to be confused with apathy - they have in their identities regardless of the circumstances. 
The key to being a more confident person is not by becoming more confident in our abilities but becoming more confident in our identities in Jesus Christ. Because at that point when we are completely settled in Him, our abilities don't seem to matter. Sometimes we're going to crush it and sometimes we're going to mess up badly but if you have a relationship with God you will always be a valued, adored and cherished son or daughter of the King! 
Rest in Him. He made you uniquely and wonderfully in His image. You don't have to try to be anything. The most beautiful thing you could be is you ❤ 

Balancing Physical & Spiritual Health

God cares about our physical health but he cares for our souls a million times more. Keeping these things in balance means we understand that God is more concerned with the condition of our hearts than the way we look on the outside. This truth is something I need to come back to often and find rest in knowing my soul is of highest importance to God. 📷: @beckahueth

Navigating Beauty

I've worked in the fitness industry for over 10 years now and been thinking on how we as women are faced with a lot of pressure around physical beauty. The fashion, ideal body shape, diets and workouts have all changed and I can't really think of a time when women did not define themselves by some ideal of physical beauty. Though the definition of beauty changes over time one thing remains constant - it is always a definition of beauty that is just beyond our reach. We want what we cannot have. If curvy is hard, we want curvy. If thin is hard, we want to be thin and this expectation of physical perfection hits us early on in life and often. 

I was reminded as I sat in a Hawaiian church last Sunday that God loves us exactly where we are. For real! He Does! Not the skinnier version. Not the stronger version. We are image bearers of God. He made us just the way we are, in His image and likeness. This truth is so much more powerful, hopeful and encouraging than any worldly, societal pressure making me think some definition of physical perfection will bring ultimate happiness. That's a lie. Beauty is fleeting and our health will not last forever.

In this as in all things, there is hope and good news for the believer: one day we will enter Heaven and be free from our self-loathings and live in harmony with our physical looks. In the meantime we should absolutely steward the gifts of our physical bodies but for the sake of health and wellness not beauty. 

Give the Gift of Health This Holiday Season

Looking for a meaningful gift idea for someone this holiday season? Wellness By Little is offering personal training single session and package deals for new clients. We offer private and group training sessions for people of all ages and exercise backgrounds. In addition to personal training we also offer health coaching. Give the gift of health this season. Contact info@wellnessbylittle.com for pricing info.

May you have a joy-filled, healthy and meaningful holiday season! 

- Wellness By Little

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction Leads to the Intimacy & Deep Joy we Crave

 

Well folks, it's going to get real here for a minute. There's no food pictures, recipes or exercise routines in this post. It's a little different from the usual WBL posts but absolutely still health and wellness related - enjoy!  

My husband and I just got married in June (whoo hoo!) and this past wedding season thousands of couples have also said their "I do's" and started this life long journey with their partner. Leading up to my wedding day I've learned how totally sacred, sweet and beautiful marriage is. It is two people CHOOSING each other for the rest of their lives. It's heartbreaking that our culture views marriage as easily disposable and that divorce is not only acceptable but a likely reality for many couples. The day I said  "I do" I freely chose to commit to Nathan (AKA The Baron of Ballard - he requested that I say that...) through any circumstance.

In our life together we will experience the deepest joy, intimacy, and love possible and we will also experience hurt, sadness, loneliness, misunderstanding, anger, frustration and emptiness in our marriage at times. I think and am learning, reading and discovering after previous relationships that marriage calls us to suffer well. We are not supposed to crumble in adversity despite the world telling us adversity and unhappiness means our marriages are failing. We are broken humans living in an imperfect world and in desperate need of salvation outside of ourselves. My heart and all of our hearts are prone to wander. As New York columnist David Brooks points out in his book The Road to Character, "people tend to shoot for happiness but feel the most formed through suffering." I can relate. 

The good news is that marriage is not supposed to make us happy - so I can let go of that expectation! I realize that of course happiness is a byproduct of marrying someone you love but marriage is supposed to make us holy. Marriage sharpens us. Brings oneness. The purpose of marriage is not to experience the "happily ever after" - regardless of what we see on social media, on TV and in movies. Every couple has a side that's not shown publicly and comparison will truly rob us of joy in our marriages. 

Investing in your partner by having the courage to confess your heart felt struggles (that one has taken me a few relationships and lots of practice to learn), asking for forgiveness, choosing to forgive, seeing the best in your partner (rather than assuming the worst), sacrificing yourself and your needs for your partner, being kind and lovingly pursuing their heart will point them to truth and ultimately result in an intimacy that will strengthen your bond and grow you deeper into relationship with God and one another. I learned later on in my 20's that my partner will never, ever fulfill me... The most unloving thing I could do is walk into my marriage with Nathan and put that expectation on him. When I've changed something in myself I've seen my relationship start to change. 

One of the best pieces of marriage advice I got from a couple was about sin in marriage. When your partner wrongs you look past the hurt it caused YOU and pursue their heart. What led them to this place? How can I point them back to truth? My prayer for married couples is that God would give us the strength, maturity and love towards our spouses to earnestly walk alongside them by bringing light to a potentially dark situation - even when it's the hardest thing to do. 

One thing that's been really fruitful in our marriage is Sunday night weekly recaps where we have a series of questions we ask about each others past week. We've adapted this from #beating50percent: 

1.) what's something that brought you joy this week? 
2.) what's something that was hard? 
3.) how can I be praying for you this upcoming week?
4.) what's one specific thing I can do for you this week? 
5.) is there anything that's gone unsaid, convictions, confessions or unresolved hurt that we need to address? 
6.) what's a dream, thought or vision that's been on the forefront of your mind this week? 

No Time to Prepare a Lunch? Where I Enjoy Eating Out in Seattle When I'm on the Go!

Although I'm fully satisfied when I bring a lunch with me to work or can stop by home for a lunch break it's not always possible especially when the day is busy with back to back appointments. The fantastic news is that we live in a wonderful city filled with healthy, nutritious and fresh foods right at our fingertips. I wanted to share a few of my favorite pit stops while on the road!

1.) Evolution Fresh (shown above)
I recommend their All greens scramble with eggs, broccoli, kale, lemon tahini and add the avocado and Siracha for an extra kick.
2.) Seattle Salads (www.seattlesalads.com)
You really can't go wrong with any Salad from here. My personal favorite is a shaker salad with quinoa, kale, spinach, gorgonzola, red cabbage, red onion, bacon bits and strawberry mint dressing. 
3.) Whole Foods
They have a fully loaded salad bar, indian style foods, a variety of delicious soups, sushi, taco bowls, freshly made noodle bowls - they have it all! 
4.) Marination Station (Alki, Capitol Hill & SLU locations) 
I love their fish or spicy pork tacos and at $2.75 per taco you can't go wrong. Two tacos and you'll be satisfied. Every taco comes with fresh cabbage slaw and corn tortillas. 

Thinking About Hiring a Health Coach? Here are 4 Things You'll Want to Know.

One of the newest professions in the healthcare market is health and nutrition coaches. The increase in demand for health coaches comes as no surprise with the rise of preventable diseases in America and the gap between patient and doctor communication. Health coaches help bridge the gap by offering more in-depth support where other health care professionals fall short. Health coaches are making an incredible impact on the well being of individuals in our local and global communities. On a large scale, clients receive one-on-one support to help reduce, manage and/or prevent chronic illnesses at a much lower cost than with physicians or nurses. Coaches are an integral piece to transforming America from a disease management system into a real healthcare system. 

Wellness By Little believes that a health coaches primary role is to:

  • Help people align their behaviors with their deeper values.
  • Facilitate behavior change by esteeming people through empathetic listening. 
  • Create actionable strategies for achieving specific goals around ones health. 

Here are 4 things you should know about Wellness By Little health coaching:

1.) The client is the expert. We do not tell our clients what to do or how to do it. The client discovers a vision that aligns with their own values and the coaches role is to empower and support clients in their behavior change journey.

2.) How do we actually integrate change? Most people seek the help of a health coach when they feel burnt out or stuck. They've tried to make changes but have found barriers, resistance and challenges. When clients feel this way it's often because they haven't explored the mental, emotional or spiritual factors that affect their health. When we dig a little deeper to the heart or root cause of something it's often here where resistance can emerge... because exploring these areas can be intimidating and scary. A coach should be able to sit in this space with you and feel comfortable with the uncomfortable stuff that comes up. We utilize several behavior change models such as the Transtheoretical Stages
of Change, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Core Competencies & The 10 Tenets of Whole Health to best serve our clients.

3.) Time Commitment. We have 6 and 12 week programs. Clients meet weekly either in-person or over the phone and sessions range from a half hour to an hour.

 4.) Referrals. It's important to note that the scope of our practice is limited. We are not medically trained or licensed to diagnose or treat illnesses. At any point during the coaching contract, the coach can refer client to the appropriate licensed or medical professional. 

A New Approach to Fitness: Aligning Behavior Change Around Fitness to Your Personal Values

Have you ever set a New Years resolution to get in shape or trained for an event like a triathlon or wedding? Did you succeed in accomplishing your goals because you devised a plan and maintained a routine schedule?

In the world of fitness, there is more information at our fingertips then ever. There are fitness experts, Instagram Fitness Guru’s, ample Crossfit gyms, yoga studios and a variety of classes taught at athletic clubs. While all of this seems to make exercising incredibly convenient for us, we still have difficulty reaching and maintaining our goals.

Rather than sharing a list of exercises you should do to get in shape or posting a photo of some abs you someday hope to have, we believe that when you align your behaviors with your deeper values, true lasting change can occur. This requires a more personal, introspective approach to your health:

1.) List out 3 goals you’re currently working on in order of importance (These can be any health goals. For example: smoking cessation, lose 15lbs, gain 15lbs muscle mass, prepping meals, etc). After each goal, reflect on what has worked in the past and what made it harder to achieve that goal.

2.) Visioning. If you could create a vision statement centered around the ideal person you’d like to be someday, what would it be? Vision statements are intended to be long term being statements that start with “I am.” When you’re done writing your vision give yourself a % of completion for today’s date. 0%= not this person at all 100%= I am this person
Sample Vision Statement: I am a person who stewards my body well by eating in moderation and exercising regularly45% completion on 07/30/15

3.) In the next 7 days what are 3 baby steps you can take to work towards your vision/goals? These goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-oriented (or SMART). If I were to take the vision statement from above, a few goals might be:
- I will do in-home strength training workouts on M/W/S for 60 minutes with my trainer.
- On Sunday afternoon I will look at 4 recipes that I can make for dinner M-Th this upcoming week. 
- I will go grocery shopping on Sunday evening for M-Th dinners.  

4.) Lastly, rate your goals on % confidence and % of importance. 
- I will do in home strength training workouts on M/W/S for 60 minutes with my trainer.
            85% confidence / 100% importance 

- On Sunday afternoon I will look at 4 recipes that I can make for dinner M-Th this upcoming week. 
           90% confidence / 80% importance 
- I will go grocery shopping on Sunday evening for M-Th dinners. 
          95% confidence / 100% importance  


If you’re below a 70% confidence, how might you alter that goal to raise your confidence? These goals are designed to be SMART so that you experience small weekly successes that empower you to move closer towards your vision.

Our professional recommendation is to track your progress for 6 weeks. Every week, reflect on your previous weeks goals and reset new weekly goals. At the end of week 6, rate your overall % of completion towards your vision statement. Have you made progress? If so, how does that feel? If not, what were the barriers to change?

Creating your own pathway to success has proven to work for many of our clients. It’s often easier to look at a magazine or the internet and hear how someone else was successful but we are not all the same people, with the same circumstances, with the same goals. Embrace your uniqueness by doing what you know will lead you to personal success when you dig a little deeper!  

The Importance of Switching Up Your Workout Routine

Tired of doing the same boring workout at the gym?

Switching up your workout and doing as many different types of activities is an effective way to increase overall fitness. Let’s take a look at a generic workout for example using the elliptical for 30 minutes 3 times a week. This routine is better than certainly none and if you are elderly, have joint pain or an injury/disease disabling you from higher intensity exercise, sustaining a low impact activity such as the elliptical is the right choice. Otherwise after about a month the body recognizes this routine as a baseline and the heart is not being challenged through interval training.
A healthy heart rate (HR) is anywhere between 60-80bpm at rest. During exercise the HR needs to increase and decrease multiple times. First off, ask yourself am I pushing myself hard enough (most likely you’ll know the answer to this question) and secondly are you bringing your HR up and then back down continuously through the workout?

Practical Application

Here’s an easy calculation to figure out if you’re pushing yourself enough and reaching a HR that will give you the best results for your time spent exercising. To find an approximate estimate of your maximum HR take 220 minus your age. For example: 220- 40 years old= 180bpm. That number is an average of the maximum number of times your heart can beat per minute.

From here we can look at the different levels of intensity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a moderate level intensity ranges from 50-70% of max HR whereas 70-85% is considered high intensity. Let’s try a calculation for moderate level intensity at 65% of max HR. To work at 65% of your maximum capacity take your max HR and times it by .65%. Ex: 180bpm X .65%= 117bpm. Now lets do the same but at 85% intensity. 180bpm X .85%= 127.5bpm. To be working at 65%-85% of you max HR, a person of 40 years must keep the HR in between 117-127.5bpm. Maintaining a moderate to high intensity pace regardless of what type of exercise will give you the best results and now you know why! Next time you’re at the gym take note of your HR whether it be manually using your carotid/radial artery (count for 15 seconds, times by 4 to give you your beats per minute) or with a HR monitor. Workout smart so you don’t waste precious time at the gym!
 

 

What is your blood telling you?

The Truth About Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, Cholesterol and Glucose. 

1. Blood pressure
RANGE: A healthy blood pressure is 120/80. 
INFORMATION: Blood pressure measures the force of blood against the arterial walls. When the heart beats faster or harder than normal and there is an increase in blood volume (mostly due to a diet high in sodium), the force of blood increases therefore raising the blood pressure. Anything above 120/80 can be related with a diet high in sodium (salt). Processed and packaged foods and fast food restaurants offer foods with a high sodium content typically because the food is designed to have a long shelf life so they preserve it with sodium. 
PREVENTION: To decrease blood pressure stay away from fast food restaurants, packaged and processed foods.

2. Heart Rate
RANGES: A healthy heart is 60-80bpm although below 60 is even better if you are a healthy individual. For example, Lance Armstrong’s heart beats 34bpm at rest. 
INFORMATION: If your heart rate is above 80bpm, it means that at rest your heart is working incredibly hard to pump blood to required areas. The long term affects of a heart chronically hard at work can be detrimental. During exercise the heart rate will increase naturally but at rest, the heart shouldn’t have to work hard to do its job of distributing blood.
PREVENTION: Drinking plenty of water can help heart rate stay in the healthy range as well as exercising. 

3. Cholesterol 
RANGES: Total cholesterol in the healthy range is less than 200. HDL healthy range is 60 or greater and LDL 100-129 is considered healthy. Triglycerides should be under 150. INFORMATION: Now most likely you’ve heard about good and bad cholesterol but what’s what and how does cholesterol have an affect on the body? Cholesterol is actually a necessity for multiple functions in the body but excessive amounts of cholesterol have been linked to cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and the risk of stroke. LDL is the bad cholesterol while HDL is the good cholesterol. These two types of cholesterol work synergistically. If HDL is high that will help lower LDL and here’s how. In layman’s terms, HDL is essentially acting a garbage truck, going around and picking up all the excess LDL or plaque within arteries. The more garbage trucks (HDL) your bloodstream carries, the less plaque buildup you will have. 
PREVENTION: The #1 way to increase your HDL count is to exercise. Cholesterol is found in animal derived foods such as meats and dairy. Trying to stay away from dairy and sticking to lean meats such as chicken or turkey will reduce your chances of having high cholesterol. 

4. Glucose
RANGES: A healthy glucose level is 70-100mg/dl in the fasting state. 70-125mg/dl if non-fasting.
WHAT: Glucose levels above 100mg/dl (fasting) means that either there’s too much sugar in the diet or your body can’t efficiently process it, which then causes blood glucose levels to rise. The result of the body not processing blood glucose properly is type II diabetes. 
PREVENTION: By consuming whole grains instead of white or enriched grain/pasta/cereals and by increasing physical activity glucose levels can become more stable.