Fitness Friday 05.20 – Mental Health Edition

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which I found to be pretty fitting as I’ve had a rollercoaster of anxiety, stress and mixed emotions, this month, about everything happening in our world as time continues to go on — and a few friends I’ve spoken to as well are feeling the same, anxious about doing things we used to never think twice about.

This past week has been tough. I’ve cried a bunch, dealt with my hamster wheel of thoughts and chest pains brought on by my anxiety. Even with all of that I’ve made sure to maintain one thing to help stay physically sound — my workout routine.  I’ve even started to do some virtual yoga with some friends on a weekly basis which has been a nice transition into different physical challenges and focused mental breaks.FitnessFriday05.2020In the midst of my tough week, I stumbled upon a LIVE White House Press Conference, which I don’t tend to watch normally, but I figured I would give a listen. Not long into the conference they transitioned to speaking about the mental health risks and had a Doctor speak about how these stay-at-home orders have and will affect mental health (Start watching at 31:52 – with limited Trump speaking). Her words, echoed fears that I’ve faced with slow interactions of getting back to ‘normal’ — I’ve feared that my anxiety is going to be amplified to the point that I may need to take medicine to just do everyday things, like traveling or visiting with friends/family — medicine is something I personally try to avoid, but understand it helps many people and glad that people utilize it to manage their stress/anxiety. I’ve feared that some of us might come out worse, than we went in, that maybe we won’t all be okay right away.

So if you’ve been struggling like me, I wanted to share some tips from the CDC for mental health, and specifically for mental health awareness month:

  • PAUSE. Breathe, notice how you feel.
  • TAKE BREAKS from COVID-19 news/information
  • MAKE TIME to sleep and exercise
  • REACH OUT and stay connected
  • SEEK HELP if overwhelmed or unsafe

Click here to see more how to manage stress from the CDC.

I would like to add, another way of seeking helping, it’s to talk about how you’re feeling with trusted family and friends. I’ve found that just sharing that I’ve feeling anxious and not great, takes those feelings out a bit, so they aren’t just pent up inside of me. The state of Ohio has started to open things up, and the walls are starting to come down, which has led us to face how we even just interact with some family that has caused some doubts, questions and unsure feelings.

I hope these 60+ days of ‘quarantine’ don’t lead to an ever life changing bout of increased anxiety for myself or others, but we just have to remember to take care of ourselves and listen to our bodies and minds when we’re not feeling okay. Stress and anxiety can really affect our physical state without us knowing — so pause and check-in with yourself and even others.

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For more resources check out the these Mindfulness Tools from Kevin Love and Headspace, Inspirational Instagram Feed, Mental Health America, Stress and Coping Resource from the CDC

Fitness Friday 03.20

Hey Fitness Bees! How are we holding up? It’s almost one full week down of this quarantine — have you totally rocked your fitness routine or have you completely stumped it? Last week when all the news started changing within 48-hours and schools started closing, my gym proactively closed for the same amount of time. I figured if anything, at least we will be able to workout and stay healthy!

Needless to say, I was selfishly upset, angry and super bummed — I was doing SO good staying in a routine with my workouts, getting my days checked off each week, while also sticking to a good routine with my food and nutrition. And now, that was going to get thrown away with 3-easy weeks of no workouts… and later to become quarantined and even working from home. Anyone else feel the same way?
FitnessFriday032020-beelifeblogBut, here’s the thing. I quickly changed that attitude into a mindset that I wasn’t going to let this 3-week (at a minimum) quarantine throw off my workout routine and all the progress I’ve made in the last 4-months. Sure, it’s going to change and look a little different and will be an adjustment — but I told myself I’m going to stay committed to getting my four workouts in each week. To help this first week, my coach and trainer has been INCREDIBLE and posting workouts every day, the first one ‘Corona FREE Body Weight Workout‘ was also clutch and I’ve been sore since Monday from it! This is definitely going to be a go-to for the next few weeks.

I’m also hoping to incorporate a few runs into the mix — of course, when weather permits. We are also making sure to get out almost each day to get Moz on a few walks. However, I’ve also come to realize and will again be faced with more fitness goal road bumps. I imagine and know that the two races we have planned in April will most likely get cancelled or rescheduled… meaning I’m again being pushed back from a few of my other 2020 Fitness goals that I felt like I was easily crushing.

It has been easier to get outside with Moz after I’ve gotten my work done by just walking downstairs — no commute home, no stops at the store, not to mention I’m ready for some fresh air! I’ve also been able to incorporate and be a little more flexible with my workouts, squeezing them in during lunch or late afternoon to adjust around work.

So, as a lot of us are feeling knocked down, we have to jump back up and push through stronger and focus on the positive, while taking care of our minds and bodies. We got this!

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Fitness Friday

This week’s Fitness Friday is all about partners. When you’re in need of some motivation, having someone there to encourage and push you is sometimes the best solution.

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Fitness Friday – The Bee Life http://www.emilyboylan.com

 

1. Join a Group Class – I was always nervous to join group classes, it was intimidating to walk into a class where there was groups of girls or the regulars who knew everyone and what to expect.  I got over that quickly, because I loved my instructors and the motivation they gave to me, not to mention they helped me refine my technique.  I don’t think I’ll ever get over the nervousness or intimidation walking into a new place, but having tested the waters with a few different class types (spinning, boot camp, etc.) I’m a little more prepared and excited to have someone tell me exactly what to do!

2. Find a Running Buddy – Whether it’s a spouse, coworker, or friend, find someone who will want to stay on track as much as you do. I tend to run better because we push each other to run a little farther or faster when we’re slowing down. This is especially helpful when you’re running in a race.

3. Regular Check-In’s – In the same vein as finding a running buddy, having someone to have somewhat regular check-in’s, will help hold you accountable and encourage you to get that workout in you might be more inclined to skip for one reason or the other.  Being honest is the most important part if you want to have success.

4. Find Inspiration on Social – You may be surprised by how many free workouts and free motivation are available right on your Instagram feed.  Short videos show workouts for you to replicate at home in a comfortable setting and quotes can inspire you to kick butt on your workout that day. Here are a few of my favorites:
@alexajeanfitness – short workout videos and her healthy lifestyle
@harnesscycle – a local spot that sends out sweet motivation
@nickhounslow – a stud as seen on E!s Hollywood Cycle;

If you don’t have a strong support system, whether it’s at your gym or fitness class or at home or friends – it’s important to try and find some.  The more motivation you have and people checking in on you the more likely you’ll be to finish the workout.

TGIF!

 

4 Easy Workouts

Since I have been having a hard time staying motivated and getting a workout in, I wanted to share some easy workouts that allow you to start small, are manageable AND able to be fit in during convenient times to make them work during your busy schedule.

You're only one work out awayfrom a good

  1. Small sets before you shower: If you’re already ‘stinky’ or in need for a freshen up, why not try and squeeze some easy but impactful workouts in just before?
    50 squats | 30 crunches | 25 side plank leg extenders (each side) | 20 push-ups
  2. 10-minutes of stretches before bed: You’ll be amazed at how much this will help you and relieve the day’s stresses. Be sure to take deep breathes in and out throughout and don’t rush to the next position.
    Suggestions: Tree pose for 30-seconds on each side | Simple side stretches alternating legs and arms | Lay on your back and hug your knees, rocking gently (one of my favorites)
  3. Lunch break walks: Take 30-minutes of your lunch break to get some extra steps in, find some stairs near by and take some laps, the quicker you start to continually exercise, the easier it’ll become to keep it up.
  4. Get back into running: Whether your more experienced or trying to start – pick any mileage range between 1 to 3 miles and just go for it. Don’t worry about your pace or if you have to stop and walk.  Getting a good sweat on is the mission. Pick a few days a week for your run and even try to increase your distance!

How do you fit workouts into your busy schedule?

2 months in

What’s that saying? Something like…

“It takes 21 days to form a habit and one day to break it”

… Well it’s been nearly 2-months (30 days) since I got back into my workout routine, and although I am still not 100% where I want to be as far as frequency I am gaining traction! With work and my new circuit/interval training classes the availability and class times is something I have been needing to adapt too. I have been making 5:30am classes work, well sort of, it’s been easier when my aunts carpool with me, but when I am driving myself that internal mind-game of just getting out of bed is hard.  The thing is, once I am up and at the class, I am totally fine! It’s just getting my butt out of my warm snuggled self out of bed that is the struggle. It’s such a mind game. I am shooting for 3-days during the work week in the mornings and then a nice Saturday late morning class, still need to get those 3 early mornings down. I get stuck at one or two.

The positive side is that I have been seeing results, not to mention with Lent – I have given up some sweet temptations which are definitely tying into my results. No Starbucks, no beer, no sweets. I’ve surprisingly held to my guns the last 3-weeks, everything is dialed down significantly.  I’ve been eating better all around, smaller portions, trying not to eat out as much, lots of kale salads and fruits, limited, to no coffee and extra water and tea! I also haven’t been buying sweet treats from Starbucks with my morning coffee or a cookie to bring home for after dinner with B.

As soon as you start seeing results, everything becomes addicting. I am already getting that insatiable crave back that I used to have that drives me back every time and pushes me through the long run or the workout harder than the time before, and it’s awesome.


Image taken Monday at 5:30am Boot Camp (I am far left with pink sneaks!)

Here’s to staying motivated!

Motivation Needed.

You would think that after 24 years of being on this earth, it wouldn’t be so hard to adjust to the time or weather changes… but it is! And it’s even harder when you have a head cold and your apartment heat doesn’t turn on unless it’s below 50… or so they say… ok… ok… gripe session over!

I have to admit that since the cancellation of our half marathon, which would’ve happened this past October 11th – I have not been working out or running. The most physical activity I’ve done lately is all the dancing I did at the wedding I attended this past weekend!! But I do know that I’ll have to run in 9 days because I signed up for the Bernie Kosar 5k Shuffle!

Who is Bernie Kosar? Well… from what I can tell he played football for the Cleveland Browns, and Clevelanders seem to like him.  But since that is WAY before my time, I picked this race based on the race metal, distance, and pure fact that it just looks like fun. Plus I knew I would need some motivation, and any 5k that you can get a metal at, is totally worth it in my book. I have also been desperately trying to get my coworkers to partake in a short “fun run” with me… I was half successful. I tapped in to a few different coworkers (from other departments) who will be participating, with their significant others.  It will be a fun time! Not to mention this race is officially SOLD OUT – so I don’t have to worry about it getting cancelled!

“The Essence of Health is an Inner Kind of Balance.” – Dr. Andrew Weil

Since I haven’t been as active, as I’d like to be or need to be – I’ve made sure I am more conscious of my food intake. Smaller portions, little snacks, veggies, fruits and protein plus the occasional sweet treat! In addition, B and I plan to start doing the “FastDiet” aka the 5:2 diet. This diet consists of five days of normal eating, and any of the other two are fasting. Meaning 500 calories (for women) or 600 calories (for men)… although this depends on your activeness and size/height ratio. My aunts have been doing this for a few weeks now and have already seen gradual weight loss. I just ordered The FastDiet Cookbook and The FastDiet to get started! I like the idea of this diet, because it isn’t a radical lifestyle change, you don’t have to food prep for 7-days a week and you’re able to enjoy a night out… or three! It seems like a good balance.

How do you stay motivated during these darker and colder days?