Let’s Move: Stay Limber with Stretching

This is the fourth part of my four-part series on exercise: Let’s Move.  Be sure to read the rest of the series if you missed it.  I stretch every evening before bed to help maintain my flexibility and to help with chronic pain.  I’ve loved trying many of the stretches that Robin include in her e-book, Pain Free.  A big thanks to Robin Konie for writing the post below!

wideblockWith the New Year there are plenty of resolutions about eating better and exercising more. Something about a new beginning makes us want to be better. But lest you think you need to train for a marathon, sometimes it ís important to remember that small and simple things can bring about great changes.

This is why I love talking to people about the importance of stretching and daily movement.

Why is stretching important?

Sure, stretching is not a magical quick fix fitness trick that will make you somehow thinner, stronger, or more beautiful. We need to incorporate a variety of movement within our day – making sure to keep a balanced perspective of strength training, cardiovascular training, muscle endurance, body connectivity and flexibility. But stretching, even just a few minutes here and there, can make a big difference in how you feel during your day.

Beyond just improving our range of motion, taking a few minutes throughout the day to focus on some key specific stretches can make a huge difference.  Stretching does not demand a huge time commitment, but just look at some of the benefits associated with stretching:

  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Increased range of movement in the joints
  • Enhanced muscular coordination
  • Increased circulation to various parts of the body
  • Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)
  • Delayed onset of muscle fatigue
  • Enhanced performance in daily life, sports, or other physical activity
  • Improved posture
  • Mental relaxation
  • Added variety, enjoyment, and satisfaction to your exercise program
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Helps alleviate back pain
  • Helps improve cardiovascular health
  • Decrease the risk of athletic-based injuries

An impressive list, right? Of course the quality and mindfulness that goes into our stretching habits makes a huge difference between killing time and changing your body. [Read more…]

Let’s Move: Fun with Hooping

Fun with hooping

Fun with hooping!

A few months ago I was looking for a fun dance class to take as an active, creative outlet.  While I came across all sorts of interesting class ideas, nothing was really jumping out at me.

Then I watched a hooping video online.  I knew I had to find a class soon!

I loved the idea of blending the movement of the hoop with dance.  I think it takes me back to my years as a baton twirler – it’s just so much more natural for me to dance with something in my hands!  Sometimes I think we can get so focused on getting enough exercise into our day that we forget to find something fun and joyful to do.  It’s even better when that something is very active!

Kristina of O Dance

Kristina of O Dance

I sat down recently with my hooping instructor, Kristina Sutcliffe, of O Dance and asked her a few questions to help explain hooping to all of you lovely readers. [Read more…]

Let’s Move: Exercise with T-Tapp

This is the second part of my four-part series on exercise: Let’s Move.  Be sure to read the first part if you missed it.  I’ve been doing T-Tapp for the past year and not only have I lost inches, but it has also helped me manage chronic pain in my lower back.  A big thanks to Kayla Howard for writing the post below!

MirrorWhen did someone highjack my mirror?

I’m not sure when it happened, but someone high-jacked my mirror.  The person I see reflected back at me, well….just isn’t me.

Why does she look so tired?  When did she grow in size?  Where has her sparkle gone?

Have you ever had those thoughts?  6 years ago that’s what I was thinking.  Although it’s painful to admit you need to change something about the way you eat and/or exercise, it can be the breaking point that propels you to progression.

When we start a journey of transformation, the question rises, “How?”

People are trained to let their first thought go to diet when they want to reshape their body and lose weight.  For some reason our culture has trained us that it’s all about eating less.  That’s not 100% accurate.

Most of you already eat healthy.  Some of you already eat really, really healthy.  But your body still won’t budge the pudge simply because you need to move it!

I was an exercise hater myself.  I did not want to “move it, move it.”  I wanted to be skinny without diet OR exercise.  Unfortunately, that didn’t work well for me.  Since I already ate healthy, I chose to add fitness to my life instead of counting calories. 

Mindy asked me to share about T-Tapp with you—that’s one of our favorite ways to move our body!  Are you ready? [Read more…]

Let’s Move: Build Exercise Into Your Day

Run Errands by Bike

Enjoy a bike ride while getting errands done!

Exercise Doesn’t Have to Mean the Gym!

If you enjoy going to the gym or any of the other more usual forms of exercise, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.  But if you’re like me, that isn’t super appealing!

I’m excited to start a 4-part series today about how we can move more in a variety of fun and unusual ways.  I have found it to be much more motivating to choose forms of exercise that are a better fit for me personally.  I’m more likely to keep up with my exercising, and I enjoy it so much more!

Be sure to keep checking back each week for special posts from some experts in my favorite forms of exercise.  Today, I’ll be sharing the first part of this series with you. [Read more…]

Deciding When to Get Support on Your GAPS Journey

One of the things that I love about the GAPS diet is that it is intended to be something you can do on your own.  It is all laid out in Dr. Campbell-McBride’s book, and there are lots of other resources available online to help the intrepid person who is willing to give this a go.

However, there are definitely times when it is extremely beneficial to work with a professional during your GAPS journey.  I recently came to that decision, and am so thankful that I did. [Read more…]

My Health Goals for 2012

It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through January 2012.  While I don’t tend to make grand resolutions for the new year, it is helpful to take a look at the direction I would like my life to go for the upcoming year.  I thought I would share my health goals with you.  It’s quite likely that these will be added to and/or changed as I reevaluate throughout the year. [Read more…]

T-Tapp Bootcamp Challenge Completed

I finished my 14-day T-Tapp bootcamp on Christmas Eve!  That’s right, I did the Total Workout for fourteen days in a row.  I really wasn’t sure when I started this challenge if I would really be able to finish it, but I’m happy to report I did!

Unfortunately, for most of the second week, I had to do the workout without using my right arm.  I had tweaked my shoulder a bit and had to give it a bit of a break.  I still felt like I was able to get a great workout in on those days and my shoulder seems to be pretty much back to normal now. [Read more…]

Halfway Through T-Tapp Bootcamp (And Still Going)

I started my 14-day T-Tapp bootcamp last Sunday.  I’m proud to say I’ve hit the halfway point today!  It’s been a tiring, but great experience so far.

The first few days were challenging as usual, but not overwhelmingly so.  In the booklet that came with the DVD, Theresa states “Warning: Day 3 usually feels like it’s just too hard; picture me standing there saying, ‘Yes, You Can!'”  Well, I have to say I hit that feeling on Day 4!  It was an extremely challenging workout that day, but I made it through.  I also felt that a bit again today, but kept right on going.  And then I even went for a 3-mile walk later in the day. [Read more…]

The Candy Cane Dilemma

Healthy treat

As a baton twirling instructor, I like to provide treats for my students at the end of a session, especially when it’s the holiday season.  However, as I have completely changed how I eat, it has really made me rethink what I give to my students.

My twirling classes are wrapping up this week and I like to have a short celebration at the end of the class before we take a break for a while.  I was at the store trying to decide what to bring for a treat for the girls.  I had a box of organic cookies in my hand, but just hated the thought of feeding them all of that highly processed, improperly prepared grains and sugar.  I remembered I had saved a few coconut flour cupcake recipes recently in Evernote and thought I should have just enough time to make some before my class in the afternoon. [Read more…]

Two Ingredient Homemade Deodorant that Works

Homemade Deodorant

Last week I shared some tips for cleaning your home with just baking soda, vinegar, and castille soap.  Another way to continue to eliminate toxins while on the GAPS diet is to make changes in the personal products you use.  Today I want to share with you what I use for deodorant. [Read more…]