Last week my husband and I were talking about summer, races, events, training and more. We started talking about what summer was like last year. He mentioned that I was running a lot, training for my 50 miler, and outdoors more than I was indoors. For the first time since my ultra training, I expressed to him that “training for a 50 miler was the loneliest thing I have ever done.” He looked at me ready to listen. I explained to him that when you are ultra training in the mountains, on single track trails, in the back country you are literally alone for hours on end. There aren’t people there to listen, no one to chat up with. It is just you and the serenity of nature FOR HOURS – from sunrise, sunburn, sunset. Most days, that is great and well. But after 6-7 days in a row, 6-8 hour at at time, that is the loneliest thing I have ever done in my life. Not to mention, when you aren’t alone – you don’t have the energy remaining to interact and engage in conversation Then, I was explaining to some friends that some days when I just want time to myself to relax and reconnect with my thoughts, I go on an 8 hour run. My friend replied, “most people choose a massage and spa day….. not 8 hours running alone.” That’s when I realized that it’s super odd to spend that much time alone, lost in your thoughts, and sometimes lost from the world.
I share that situation in order to share how lonely this past year has become. Most days I don’t feel lonely and lost. I have great friends and a fantastic online tribe of women. I connect with others on facebook groups, zoom workouts, hikes and runs. But, there are days that I do feel alone. It is time to stop covering up how lonely 2020 was and how difficult it has been for some people to re-connect with others. I have spoken with enough women about this topic to know that I am absolutely not alone on this sentiment. There are many people struggling to overcome their loneliness and reconnect on a positive note.
With it still being the month of May and mental health awareness month, I think it’s just as important as ever to acknowledge these struggles. After one year of isolating, staying home, quaranTEAMing, and vibing with your tribe, it is important to recognize your own level of comfort with gathering back up with people. And, I am not talking about social distance, masks, groups, gatherings. I am talking about your ENERGY – the level of introvert, your level of enthusiasm, your level of ambition to interact. No doubt, interacting on a positive note takes both energy and enthusiasm. It’s not easy to do. And re-interacting with others is going to take stimulation out of what vitality you have to give to others. You have to be able to gauge your level of stimulation, but also respect yourself when enough is enough. And, we all have to respect each other’s level of stimulation.
Furthermore, what I am seeing is that as the world begins to open up more and more, some people are more anxious than what they realized they would be. The anxious energy is creating various forms of emotions from self doubt, to hatred towards others, hatred for going out, meanness, stubbornness, or just solid rudeness. While there really isn’t a good excuse for this, we also have to learn not to take it personal. (myself included) Each and every human is approaching new territory these days; it is territory that we haven’t experienced. We have to work together to chart these uncharted waters.
While I don’t have the answers for this uncharted territory, my best suggestion is to take small steps. Start by getting together in outdoor groups with people you know and trust: hikes, run group, outdoor fitness classes. Progress forward by joining up with friends of friends that you know you could trust. And as awkward as it sounds, hug someone or shake hands or high five. But physically interact with someone and mean it. Let that hug teach you it is okay to bring the human touch back to reality. And, if that physical touch is too much, take back to the good ol’ smile. Just smile.
We are all in this together! For the last two weeks of May Mental Health Awareness month, I encourage you to come into connection with your mental health and smile to others around do you. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses in this area. Offer the energy you can, and come home with a happy heart.
The first month of 2021 has gone and passed super fast. How is the world feeling? How are YOU feeling? Hesitant to answer that?
Not to worry. It is, of course, the dead of winter – winter in a year of social distancing, nonetheless. It is no joke, and should also be no secret that winter blues, anxiety, depression, COVID emotions and much more play a part of our daily lives. (more to come about that in next week’s blog.)
Managing our motivation is a serious struggle some days. Whether you are struggling to feel motivated towards your own career, your household chores, family life, daily tasks or your wellness overall, you are NOT alone. We are all in this together. Let me start by sharing my story with you. From there, I’ll share my top tips for Motivation.
Hopefully you at least feel motivated to continue reading this blog though, because I am going to give you the top 5 thoughts I have towards managing our own motivation, from within.
Goal Oriented Habits. Motivation doesn’t come naturally. It doesn’t just arrive at your doorstep, knocking, asking to be welcomed in like an old friend. It doesn’t show up daily. It may not even show up weekly or monthly. Motivation comes along every once in a while as goal oriented habits are created and put to action in our days. Developing goal oriented habits of course, are not easy. I could write an entire blog just on that. However, if you are thinking about creating 3-5 new goal oriented that will develop into motivation, I suggest waking up an hour earlier to live an hour longer, creating a power hour somewhere in your day, drinking water throughout your day, eating healthy energetic breakfast, and smiling at yourself daily to get started on your motivation.
Routines/Rituals. Creating routines and rituals, whichever you like to refer to them as, take a little practice and personalizing to your lifestyle. But, once routines/rituals are established, it is really motivating to keep going and feel accomplished each day. Obviously in my power hour, I talk about morning routines. But I also very strongly believe in creating daily routines – like knowing when you plan on drinking your water, fitting in your exercise, and when you’re taking your walk break, lunch break, and so forth. How do routines/rituals relate to managing motivating? Well, regardless of which rituals you start implementing, it gets motivating to feel the inner change happening in the mindset and the brain overall. Personal development sources will often tell you the importance of creating morning and day time routines. But I also very firmly believe in an evening routine as well. How you finish one day, determines how you start your next day in your mindset and your motivation. If you can create a calming routine for your evening, such as drinking a tea, turning off technology and lights, reading a book and feeling mellow, you will start your next day with less stress and greater amounts of motivation. Routines and rituals will generate positive energy flow.
Consistency: Finding consistency stems from routines. Once you determine a morning, day, and evening routine that works for you and you repeat it several times, consistency gets easier. Once you’ve repeated your routines 3-5 times, you know you can do it for a week. Once you’ve done it for a week, you know you can do it for a month. Once you’re consistent for a month, you’ve really circled back to implementing goal oriented habits. Days when it is really hard to feel motivated within, you have to rely on your consistency, your calendars, your checklists to keep going and keep strong. With consistency, you have that extra push that giving up isn’t an option.
Discipline: Along the lines of being consistent in habits and routines, discipline will eventually come knocking as well. I know some days you really want a friend or coach or gym buddy to give you an extra push. But the reality is that motivation has to come from within. And when motivation starts to fade, discipline takes a stronger appearance, reminding you of why you started. Whether you’re not motivated to get your daily exercise in, or you’re not motivated to stay hydrated, or not motivated to continue your meal routines, discipline reminds you that you have a plan of action, you have routines, you have developed habits and that it is important to stick to those. As I said, that discipline will come knocking; it will ask if you’ve drunk your water, got your exercise in, eating healthy. It will be on YOU to answer the knock with an honest response and keep up on those consistent routines we talked about.
Community & Camaraderie: While this whole blog has been about finding and generating your own motivation from within, the reality is that the motivation is easier to manage when doing it with someone. Community and camaraderie from others will absolutely help. In a world that has physical distanced and virtually come together, it is fairly easy to find buddies, at least in an online setting. So, finding the community and accountability buddies can not be an excuse. We have adapted to our new world to sharing our goals and ambitions on the internet in community “tribe” like settings. If you have not found your niche, your community – do let me know and I will absolutely get you set up with the community we’ve been working with together in our facebook world through facebook groups such as “Actively Ageless” and “Wellness Workshop.”
Being your best, strongest, healthiest self does mean resting, recovering, and rejuvenating each day. Instead of choosing one specific day as your “rest day” why not learn about how to rest and relax everyday, how to eat right everyday, how to sleep right every day.
Let me start by asking: how are you feeling? How is your body feeling? What is your heart, soul, and flowing energy telling you these days? Hopefully your physical body and mental body and flow of energy is feeling amazing. I sincerely hope that you do feel recovered and well in whatever busy lifestyle you lead. And, if not – I have your back as I cover all my favorite tips to recovery.
Over the last couple of days/week, I have seen various posts and heard from different people about soreness, fatigue, overwhelm, and just feeling tired in general. This is very normal after the holiday rush, the new year, winter blues, change of pace in society/country and so many other things going on.
While we are reaching the three week mark of 2021, this is the time when individuals want to give in or give up on their goals. This is when we begin to slowly skip a workout here and there, bail on a walk there, accept less than our best, and simply go through the movements without solid intention.
Let’s talk about and address what is really happening here. It can be a variety of elements: soreness, fatigue, overwhelm, pain, aches or other hiccups in the journey. These are normal. These things happen. No wellness journey or fitness journey comes easy served on a silver platter.
I do think it is important to be proactive in the mindset and understand that these complications come up. It is important to welcome these mixed feelings, welcome them with open arms. If you can welcome obstacles into your journey, you can address them in more optimistic manners with a plan of action to over
As I talk to you in this blog, I am going to mainly address recovery, in the area of normal soreness and normal fatigue. I am not a physical therapist or doctor that can address or solve pain. Although I can help you navigate general soreness and general fatigue in areas of workouts/nutrition.
First, it will be important to recognize if you are experiencing soreness or true pain. It will be really important to distinguish between the two. That is hard. Only you know your body to know if it is sore, in the muscles/tightness/range of motion or is extreme pain, excruciating, shooting throbbing pains.
If/when you’re falling into that category “‘I’m so darn sore I cannot move, I am going to skip my workout, and I will not continue this program”– keep reading. If you fall into the “I want to feel better after a workout so I can kill the next workout even better,” then continue reading also.
I am going to give you all the tips and tricks that work for me to make it through “exercise streaks” or what we often call the “no-zero days.” This simply means that we move our body a minimum of 30 minutes a day in a variety of ways.
Recovery Tips & Tricks:
First of all, I firmly believe in the following order of operation to care for our body for longevity: hydration, sleep, nutrition, movement.
Hydration: Whether training for a big athletic event or simply working on your body movement and mobility for 30 minutes a day, hydration is an absolute must. For any human body that is active throughout the day, I highly suggest aiming for that 100 ounces of water a day. Starting with 12-24 ounces in the morning, another 12-24 ounces before lunch, another 24 ounces between lunch and dinner, and a final few ounces between dinner and bedtime routines, your body will be hydrated enough to fulfill daily life tasks, run the internal organs, keep your muscles happy, generate overall flow in the body.
Sleep: With sleep, your body will be able to come into rest and recovery mode, allowing the internal organs, tendons, ligaments, muscles and mind to gently shut off for a few hours and rejuvenate for the next day. Not only do you want to aim for a descent amount of hours (7-8+ hours) of sleep, you want to aim for a schedule. It will be important that your body is on a schedule, similar to babies and children. Plan to turn off your electronics about one hour prior to sleep, create an evening routine, and go to your bed without electronics. Try to do this at the same time each evening. Over time, your body will start to fall asleep and wake up at similar times day to day.
Nutrition: Eating real foods, anti-inflammatory ingredients and following a macros-based nutrition plan will provide your body with the necessary ingredients needed to treat your body right from the inside out. Following a plan and knowing what to eat is going to combat the fatigue faster than anything. Eating right is what is going to generate energy in a positive way. On the contrary, eating sugary foods, breads, sodas, and high inflammatory foods is going to contribute to your soreness. It will lead to your soreness becoming aches and chronic pains. Eating a poor diet is going to inflame your joints and make movement very difficult.
Truthfully, eating right is the biggest component of recovery and overcoming fatigue and chronic pain. Knowing what to eat pre-workout and post workout will be key to fueling your body to work your muscles properly without fatigue. Knowing what to eat directly after a workout will be even more important for recovering worked bodies – muscles, blood flow, hydration, ligaments, tendons and even the mind. The following video was filmed at part of my Nail Down Your Nutrition program, but addresses the pre/post workout meals.
Seminar 8: Eating & Exercising:
The WHY, WHAT, HOW of the pre/post workout meals:
Typically the pre/post workout meals are packed with protein, carbs, and fats – meeting each macros group. Fruit and veggies can also contribute to these macros. When it comes to fruits, choose the most anti-inflammatory fruits that also aid your muscles – such as pineapple, mango, cherries and apples. These will contribute to your carbs and healthy glycogen, key components of your nutrition.
These three macros working together will accelerate recovery time so that within 24 hours so that you are ready to tackle your next workout even more efficiently than the day before. After the pre/post workout meals, of course you do eat all your other meals throughout the day to keep recovering at all times.
Movement: When it comes to movement on a regular day, I always suggest warming up or stretching prior to workout and after your workout. I also believe you need to and can stretch periodically throughout the day. This movement can come in any form: 60 second walk or stretch each out, 10 squats each time you go to the bathroom, standing stretches as your coffee brews or many other ways.
As a coach and athlete, I stand behind the importance of 30 minutes of movement every single day, even rest days. When it comes to rest days, I firmly believe in active recovery: walking, stretching, foam rolling, or meditative movement for the mind and muscles both. As I have talked about before, you have to distinguish between pain and soreness. Pain = rest and listen to your medical professions. Soreness: we have to move through the soreness.
When feeling sore, I’m a strong believer in active recovery such as walking, biking, stretching, yoga, and pilates. When you are dead tired, feeling fatigue, and simply don’t want to move, opt for the seating stretching while watching a TV show. The stretching usually leads to walking or stepping in place, a walk outdoors or maybe even feeling well enough for a recovery bike ride. biking.
Thing to avoid:
Just as there are essential elements and ways to accelerate recovery, are some that slow down recovery. Being sedentary, using soreness as an excuse to give in or give up, sugary foods, low quality breads, and many others are things that cause soreness and fatigue to linger around longer than needed. As stated earlier, high inflammatory foods, processed foods, sodas, juices, alcohol and many other ingredients will aggravate your joints and muscles. They will make soreness much worse than it needs to be. (Spoiler: they also make weight loss much harder.) So, as always, try to stay clear of processed sugars such as candies, condiments like bbq sauce and ketchup, extremely processed granola and fiber bars (pretty much almost any granola bar that comes in a box), cereals, flavored yogurts and more. Stay clear of white breads, rolls, and tortillas.
Thank you for reading thus far. Please do comment on the blog, social media, or message me with any questions/concerns.