Achieve Wellness

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Commit to Physical Activity

As a wellness coach, one of the most common excuses I hear from people about why they can’t: lose weight, lower their cholesterol, be more flexible, or be more active is, “I don’t have time!”.

This excuse, and “yes” it is an excuse, generally comes immediately after this person has given me a detailed rundown of the 6 episodes of “Yellowstone” they watched over the weekend or spent 20 minutes griping about how everyone on Facebook is saying this, that, or the other thing.

Here is the bad news, if you have time to spend hours sitting in front of the TV or scrolling through social media, you have TIME to exercise! The fact of the matter is you don’t WANT to exercise, so you make up an excuse that you are soooooo……..busy with soooooo…..many important things that you simply cannot squeeze 30-40 minutes of fitness into your day.

Sure, we all have days where work, family, and social obligations take up the majority of our day, but for most of us that is the exception, not the rule.

Now, here is the great news, you don’t have to block off 45-60 minutes 4-5 days a week to go to the gym to get some of the benefits of exercise. By simply being active throughout your day you can help improve cognitive function, improve sleep quality, lower blood pressure, and reduce muscle tension and stress. Even doing 3-4 minutes of physical activity every hour can yield benefits.

Let’s say you are awake for 16 hours each day, if you were physically active for 3 minutes every hour, by the end of the day you would have done almost 50 minutes of physical activity! That’s over 5 hours every week! I guarantee you can find a least 3 minutes every hour to do a little something.

This week commit to doing at least 3 minutes of physical activity every hour you are awake!

So, what can you do?

  • Sit down and stand up from a chair, repeatedly for 3 minutes (or do body weight squats)
  • Take 5 minutes and walk up and down a flight of stairs
  • March in place for 1 minute, do jumping jacks for 1 minute, do butt kicks for 1 minute
  • Step side to side while pushing your arms overhead for 2 minutes and heel taps with arm circles for 2 minutes
  • Take 3 minutes to walk around your house picking up and decluttering
  • Or any activity that gets your heart pumping and your blood moving

More is better here so if you can do 5-10 minutes during some hours all the better!

If you have a goal to lose weight or improve your health, you may still need to hit the gym 3-4 days a week for some purposeful workouts in order to reach your goals. But, just think how much easier it will be to hit your goals if you add 30 minutes of activity the other 3 days. Even if you are a total gym rat, extra physical activity during the day can provide a much needed mental and physical break from a sedentary work environment.

So banish your, “I don’t have time”, excuse and get moving! It only takes a few minutes every hour and your mind and body will thank you!


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Recommit to Building Healthy Habits

Back in March when COVID cases started to rise and communities started shutting down restaurants, gyms, nonessential businesses, and more and more people started working from home a lot of people made a commitment to start taking better care of their health. Internet searches for at home exercise routines and healthy meal recipes soared. There wasn’t a dumbbell, physioball, jump rope, or exercise band to be had anywhere.

In my own neighborhood, I started seeing neighbors I hadn’t seen in months out for a run, walking their dog, or doing squats in their driveway.

But now it’s September and my neighborhood is again a quiet little hamlet. No more family bike rides, no more sidewalk yoga, and no more strolling puppies. Everyone it seems is settling back into their routines.

Restaurants are open, people are eating out again, fitness equipment is back in stock, and the number of online workout classes is starting to dwindle.

Folks commitment to better health is slowly going by the wayside. As we edge slowly closer to our lives returning to “normal”, we are falling back into old routines where physical activity and good nutrition are no longer on our, “to do” lists.

So, what about you:

  • Are you sticking to an exercise routine, either at home or in the gym?
  • Do you find yourself eating out more often, maybe grabbing a quick burger and fries rather than making a healthy dinner?
  • Have you stopped having your groceries delivered and started doing your own shopping only to find yourself making impulse purchases like the newest flavor of potato chip or those M&Ms that were on sale?

If you have found yourself sliding backward into old habits, NOW is the time to recommit to those healthy habits you pickup earlier in the year.

You may need to get creative if your schedule is less open and flexible than months past, but with a little thought and planning you can keep those good habits going.

This week pick 1 of your healthy habits and commit to focusing on building and reinforcing that habit to the best of your ability each day.

Don’t let your old normal ruin the progress you made during your “new normal”.

Good luck, have fun, and have a happy healthy week!


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Kindness Challenge – Week 5

These days it is all too easy to look at the world and see what is wrong. Disease, violence, injustice, bullying, anger, and hatred seem all too common.

The world is divided into US versus THEM. If you aren’t with me, you’re against me.

It appears that no news is good news, literally.

But is that really true? Is there nothing good going on in the world?

The answer is an unequivocal, “NO”

Recently in the face of a local tragedy my community stepped up to show what’s possible. The acts of kindness and compassion were in numerable. It was truly amazing to see the outpouring of kindness that my community exhibited. Yes, there were a few negative ninnies and naysayers. But people in the community came together to make the community stronger, to help others, to show kindness, to show compassion, to show courage, and to show love. It was truly inspirational to witness.

That’s why this week my challenge to you is to look for kindness in the world.

Every day look for one act of kindness, whether it be an inspirational story on YouTube, an article in the paper about someone who helped a neighbor in need, or a story of two very different animals coming together and being friends. Whatever it is, search out acts of kindness around the world.

If you look for them, you will find them. I promise kindness and compassion abound if you choose see them.

For a few minutes every day for the next week, set aside the negativity, the fighting, the arguing, the cruelty, and the hypocrisy and look for the good!

Focus your attention for just a few minutes on those good stories. Share them with others. Repeat them over and over.

Focus on kindness and you will see more kindness. It will start to pop up in front of you everywhere, but you have to look for it.

Take the time look for the kindness, share the kindness, be kindness and we will have a kinder world.

Please, share this challenge with your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers! The more people choose kindness and compassion the more we all benefit!

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Kindness Challenge – Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of The Kindness Challenge.

The purpose of this challenge is to spread kindness, love, and appreciation in an effort to make our world a little happier and more peaceful.

My challenge to you this week:

Say “Thank you” to a stranger.

Nothing breeds kindness and goodwill like gratitude. We all love to be told, “thank you” when we have done something for someone else.

This week make it your mission to say, “thank you” to 1 stranger every day.

  • Thank the grocery clerk for working
  • Thank the woman in the parking lot for putting her cart in the cart corral
  • Thank the customer service representative for helping you over the phone
  • Thank your bank teller for always greeting you with a smile
  • Thank the man in line with you for standing 6 feet away, whatever.

No act is too small to garner a “thank you”.

Have fun with this, get creative, think up different reasons or ways to say, “thank you” to someone you don’t know.

As always you may want to keep journal or some notes about how thanking a stranger made you feel.

Don’t forget to share this challenge with your friends and family!


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Practice Gratitude for More than “Things”

If you have followed this blog for very long you probably noticed that I post a lot about taking note of things you are grateful for.

But often we forget that being grateful is about more than being thankful for material things, gratitude is also about experiences that you’ve had, people you have met, or other non-material things that you have received.

For example, have you ever been thankful that you drove all the way to work and had all green lights?

Have you ever thank the Universe for a complement you received?

Today, make it your goal to make a list of non-material things you’re thankful for:

“I am grateful I had the opportunity to shovel snow from my elderly neighbor’s driveway so she could go to church.”

“I am grateful a colleague made me realize what a terrific job I have.”

“I am grateful I had an amazing time learning to surf on vacation.”

“I am grateful I have a loving family.”

“I am grateful I found an inspirational book to listen to in my commute.”

“I am grateful my grandmother taught me how to make her delicious fried chicken.”

Expressing gratitude is a great way to put a positive spin on your day and your life. And, if you say, “Thank You”, to someone else it can make their life better as well.

If you liked this post or found it helpful, please share it with friends and family. Together we can make the world a happier more positive place, one “thank you” at a time.

With Gratitude,

Rachel


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Declutter to Achieve Your Nutritional Goals – The Refrigerator

Back in elementary school, I had a teacher that frequently “reminded” us, “A messy desk means a messy mind”.

It turns out she was right, scientific research proves that clutter can have a negative effect on many aspects of our life, from our career, to our relationships, finances, and yes, even our health and wellness.

A cluttered home or workspace can lead to increased feelings of stress, depression, and unhappiness. Remember that time when you were facing a deadline at work and you had files, reports, and binders all over your desk? How much did you enjoy working on that project?

Clutter also has a negative effect on nutrition. Studies show that individuals with a messy kitchen are more likely to choose highly processed, fat and sugar laden foods. Also, if your cabinets and drawers are full of pots, pans, plastic takeout containers, broken measuring cups, and melted spatulas, it can be difficult to find the tools you need to cook a healthy meal. Additionally, if your fridge is loaded with jars of pickle juice, multiple containers of ketchup, expired milk, and a moldy mystery container, there is no place to put healthy fruits and veggies. And those 5 bags of potato chips in the pantry, well let’s just say they are not giving you a good return on your pantry shelf investment.

The point is, if preparing healthy meals in your kitchen is difficult or impossible, you are more likely to stop for take out, or binge on those chips in the pantry, neither of which supports healthy nutritional goals.

This month we are going to be working on decluttering our kitchens. Don’t worry. We will take it slowly. Over the next 4 weeks I will share a short project designed to help get your nutrition and your kitchen into tip-top shape.

This week’s task is to clear out and clean your refrigerator. You will need about 15-20 minutes, a large trash bag, and a recycling bin if that’s your thing.

    Go through your fridge and toss out anything that is expired, moldy, or otherwise unappetizing in appearance.
    Combine all of those partially empty ketchup bottles (you know you have at least 2). Repeat with the other condiments.
    If you haven’t used a sauce, salad dressing, or condiment in months, put it in your trash bin.
    Consider donating any unopened cans, jars, or packages of food to your local food bank.
    Look at each item left and decide if it helps support your nutritional goals, if it does not then into the trash it goes. It is ok to have a few small treats, I keep some chocolate in my refrigerator at all times, just make sure the majority of the items favor your goals.
    Once you have cleared out all of the old food, condiments, etc. give your fridge a good cleaning. Wipe down all of the shelves, drawers, and walls.

Now that your refrigerator is free from clutter, restock it with fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. Invest in containers that can neatly store precut vegetables, precooked grains, nuts, seeds, etc. The more organized and easier it is to find things in the fridge the more likely you are to use them to prepare yourself a healthy meal or snack.

I declutter my refrigerator every 2-3 months and it’s due for a good cleaning. Here’s what it looks like right now:

Check back next week to see what it looks like after I declutter.

Decluttering does not have to be hard work, it just takes a little time and the willingness to let go of things that are not serving your health and happiness.

Until next week: Happy Decluttering!

If you want additional help reaching your nutrition and fitness goals, my coaching program can help. Learn more today!


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Start Your Week with a Healthy Plan

Will you:

  • Take a walk after dinner every night this week?
  • Eat more vegetables?
  • Quit smoking?
  • Devote 10-15 minutes to your meditation practice each day?
  • Cut back on your alcohol intake?
  • Take a yoga class?
  • Eat slowly and mindfully?
  • Get 6-8 hours of rest each night?

Feel free to share your answers in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.


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3 Things to Stay Positive

Last week I encouraged you to make a list of 10 positive things that occurred in your day prior to going to bed each night in order to focus your pre-sleep mind on happy peaceful thoughts, read Think Positive, Sleep Positive for a review.

That exercise is a great way to prepare your mind for restful sleep and help you wake up the next morning in a positive frame of mind. It is also a terrific exercise for promoting a positive mindset throughout your day. Let’s face it, no matter how good your intentions are to maintain a positive outlook during your day, sometimes things come up that knock you off of your game: unexpected traffic, a difficult client, an argument with your spouse, or even missing your morning coffee. When this happens it is essential that you get back into a positive mindset as quickly as possible to prevent the rest of your day from spiraling downward into frustration, anger, or an inability to think clearly and solve problems.

No matter where you are in your mindset right now, take a few moments to do the following activity:

If you are in a good mood, this exercise can reinforce and stimulate more positive thoughts. If you are feeling irritated, overwhelmed, or stressed it can serve as a reset for your day, getting you back on track to positive thoughts and positive results.

If you have let yourself get too far into the negative thought process it may be difficult to think of anything good that day, but remember you’re not looking for bright shiny miracles, you are simply looking for a few good things. For example:

  • You woke up on time
  • Traffic was lighter than usual
  • You heard your favorite song on the radio
  • The barista made your latte perfectly
  • A stranger smiled and said, “Good morning”
  • A coworker complimented your work on a project
  • You had a good idea
  • I try to do it at least once a day to keep myself on track and moving forward. I find it helps boost my creativity and productivity.
  • Taking a few minutes during your day to list the good things that have happened will reduce your stress levels, spark new ideas, heighten productivity, and help you flow through your day with ease. It is a small investment of time that yields tremendous returns!

    Give it a try. I guarantee you will be glad you did.

    Until next time, have a happy healthy day!