Ready. Set. Go walk.
Walking is one of the most historic forms of exercise. Most people do it everyday in some capacity, but the majority of us don’t do it enough.
With stay at home orders in place and fitness facilities closed, we are seeing steps counts plummet. Did you know that in the United States most people actually don’t get more than 5,000 steps a day? We generally just don’t have to… Think about it, we walk around our home, sit on the couch, sit at the table. Then we walk to the car, drive to work, walk to our desk and only get up when we need to use the restroom or eat. Unless you intentionally exercise or walk more in the day, many of us physically do not need to walk more than 5,000 steps a day to accomplish our daily tasks. (If you walk around more for your job, that’s great!)
Now even that exercise opportunity has been taken away from you with quarantine.
Or has it?
One thing that we all can still do is walk… Whether you walk outside and keep your distance (wear a mask if you prefer), walk on a treadmill if you have one, walk stairs in your home, or literally just walk laps around your house (yes, we’ve done it), it can still be done. Now is as important of a time as ever to walk more than you ever have before. Walking has many benefits, my favorite being the stress relief I feel from a nice outdoor walk. This has been the largest change in my routine since the start of being mostly homebound. Erin and I have gone for at least one walk almost every day. Usually they are anywhere from 30-60 minutes. To spice it up we try to take a slightly different route each time around the neighborhood.
Check out this article to see many of the other benefits of regular walking. By the way, the recommendation isn’t just 10,000 steps a day.
Benefits of Walking
Want more of a challenge? Throw a backpack on and increase the load. You can get a great workout in by carrying some extra weight around while you walk. Don’t have any weights? How about some of those old textbooks laying around? Put them to use.
Hope you have a great walk today!
You’re stuck at home, either alone or with family – and the only outing is a trip to the supermarket. Here’s how to get through it.
If you’re like me (and I’m assuming you are), the recent pandemic causing social distancing and stay-at-home orders have thrown a huge wrench into your normal routine… Now what? During times like these, when most things are truly out of our control, our response to the situation is what matters.
Unfortunately, we can’t control the limitations that are being placed on the community, our work environment and social life. However, what we can control is our attitude and what we do with our time.
The team at All Journeys Fitness considers the four pillars of wellness to be sleep, nutrition, movement, and stress management. There are of course other things that impact our lives, but these four elements encompass nearly everything we do. These are the areas we should be focusing on, especially during a time like this.
It is very easy to change your sleep schedule when your routine is thrown off. However, it is very important to keep our body feeling a familiar schedule; we are creatures of habit. Attempting to maintain your normal sleep schedule – going to bed around the same time, waking up at a similar time, sleeping in a similar environment, can go a long way toward impacting how we feel. As we know, it’s while we are sleeping that our body recovers and repairs the most. Maybe you can even get a little bit more quality sleep right now – great! This situation isn’t going to last forever – and when things begin to return to normal, you want to be already in your best state to adapt and return to your normal activities.
You’re stuck in the house, there are cookies in the cabinet, and you’re struggling to avoid repetitive trips into the kitchen… Oh wait, that’s what’s happening at my place. In all seriousness, we all know that what we eat has a direct effect on how our body feels and performs. Now it is more important than ever to control your environment rather than rely on will power to get you through (sound familiar?). If you are working from home, or even not working right now – one of the best things that you can do is maintain your normal eating schedule... Eating similar foods, at similar times, adjusting the serving sizes based on your activity level is the best thing you can do for yourself. I know when we are cooped up in the house watching Netflix, all we want to do is eat ice cream and drink wine – you’re not alone. Try to control what you put into your body by controlling your environment and using the clock to your advantage to maintain your normal schedule of meals and snacks.
Unfortunately, all gyms and schools are closed, leaving some of you with kiddos to entertain throughout the day. One of the best ways to handle social distancing is to get moving. Whether you are doing exercise videos in your home, going for a walk, run, or a bike ride, what’s important is that you do something. There are a lot of options for exercise even with minimal to no equipment; we just have to get a little creative. If you need suggestions, let us know! It’s easy to sit around throughout the day if you are stuck at home – but the less you move the more your body will stiffen up, making movement less comfortable.
Check out our YouTube channel for exercise and strength routines!
Do you feel more, or less stressed during this time? The answer for some of you may be different than for me – I know I feel more stressed. I enjoy structure and knowing what is coming next – two things that we don’t have right now. None of us know how long this is going to go on for or what is going to happen next. One thing you can do is educate yourself around the facts of what is happening – avoid those click bait articles with catchy headlines; focus on the real information. Focusing on the three areas above as well as maintaining our communication network will help to positively impact our stress levels. Find healthy hobbies to occupy your time – exercise, reading, doing a puzzle or playing a game with family can be great options. You may also like to try meditation, yoga, or mindfulness training – there are many videos on all these topics. I would recommend trying to resist the urge to cling to your phone all day long. Naturally, many people are stressed and anxious right now and spending all day scrolling through social media is more likely to increase your stress level as opposed to help it.
It’s not always easy to handle drastic alterations to our way of doing things – sometimes we can’t avoid it. Focus on how you respond to the scenario rather than the scenario itself or why it is happening. We will all get through this, together. One day at a time.
Read "Are you surrounding yourself with the right people?"
So here's the situation... It's February 1st, it's the weekend, the Super Bowl is tomorrow, and most people have let their 2020 New Year's resolutions go out the window. Folks are putting off their health goals because it's Saturday, because they have a Super Bowl party to attend, or because they haven't reached their goal to lose 20 pounds yet in the one month since 2020 started. Sound familiar?
I hope not.
What I mean by New Year's resolutions being overrated is that just because it's New Year's doesn't mean that it's the best time to set new goals and make a health change. It might be, but so could literally any other time of the year if you are ready for it and can commit to making it priority. For some, summer might be the best time to make a lifestyle change, because they are off of school and can structure their time around their health priorities. For others, maybe the summer is filled with backyard parties, baseball tailgates, and family vacations - might not be the best time for them to start a fitness journey. Maybe it's a better time for maintenance. Does that make sense?
So what's the point here?
Really, there Is no limit to how many times you can start a health journey. It doesn't matter! If you made resolutions, got sidetracked, and fell off the wagon, it's okay. What's stopping you from starting up again tomorrow? Maybe reassess your expectations a little bit if necessary, and create a new plan for how you're going to accomplish your goals. If a few months go by, and you get distracted by the business of life and things get hectic for a few weeks, again, it's okay. Start again. Pick up where you left off and keep moving forward.
Need support in jump starting your goals? Learn more here.
Lack of success in the short-term does not have to derail your long-term progress. Falling off your routine one month into the year, does not mean that you have to wait until New Years rolls around again to make new resolutions, that's just silly.
Think about it... We've all heard stories about or know someone who tried to quit smoking. They quit, and picked it back up. Then it happened again. Then a third time. Then somehow they finally quit for good. The same type of thing can happen with a health journey. Whether the goal is weight/fat loss, muscle gain, improved endurance, improved strength, you name it, there are going to be bumps in the road. The path to your goals won't always be linear, that's just the reality of it.
The important thing is that you set yourself up for success. Make goals that are challenging enough to be motivating, but tangible enough to be realistic. Surround yourself with people and things that are supportive, rather than oppose what you are trying to accomplish. Perform action that align with your goals, and celebrate the little wins. There will be more on goal planning to come in a future post.
For now, happy February resolutions everybody. If you have something that you are working toward post it in the comments below so that we can support you. Enjoy the game!
We've all been there. You work hard all summer, focusing on your "beach bod" so that you can soak up some sun, get a nice tan, and fit into nice outfits for date nights. Then the seasons begin to change, leaves turn colors, and next thing you know the holidays are here. Now what? Suddenly you're invited to work parties, family gatherings, and treats are everywhere in sight. Not to mention, depending on where you live, your physical activity could take a back seat if you are used to getting outside and now the ground is covered in snow or ice. Wouldn't it be nice if you could keep the momentum going into and through the holiday season rather than take your foot off the gas pedal? You can! Your fitness or health goals don't have to suffer because you want to enjoy socializing during the holidays. Let's talk about how.
1. Keep Exercising
It Is really easy to come up with excuses to halt or disrupt your exercise routine around the holidays. "I'm off of work, so I won't drive past the gym... The kids are off of school... It's cold or snowing outside... I have family in town..." Now I get it, these are legitimate things. The last thing I want to do when I have family in town that I haven't seen in a long time is spend 2 hours in the gym without being able to spend more time with them. But, do these things really have to totally derail your routine? No, but you may have to modify. Maybe you exercise at home rather than bundling up to travel to the gym. Maybe you spend time exploring parts of town with your family, getting a lot of walking in (yes walking counts). Maybe you wake up 45 minutes earlier to use the treadmill because you have some traveling plans later in the day. In the end it's all about prioritizing and modifying to what fits your schedule and keeps you on track toward your goals; and keep your routine.
Check out quick strength exercises here!
2. Eat Slowly - Stop when 80% full
I can't emphasize this enough. What's really easy to do, is see the huge spread of food and desserts at the holiday party and just start having some of everything. Sometimes, we eat until we just can't eat any more and then lay on the couch in a food coma (yep, I've been there...). But you don't have to. This is something I work on with clients during all time's of the year, not just around the holidays. Practicing the habit of eating slowly, stopping prior to feeling stuffed, gives you the opportunity to check in with your body's hunger cues. Often times when we eat slowly, we realize that we feel "full" even before we have finished all the food we put on our plate. So then what? Stop! (If you're on a weight loss journey that is). Save the rest for later or share with someone else. No need to keep eating just for the sake of it.
3. Stay Hydrated
Continue to aim for 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water each day. So if you weigh 140 pounds, We encourage you to drink 70 ounces of water each day. Despite helping your body function properly down to a cellular level, drinking plenty of water can also help curb your appetite by keeping your stomach full. We sometimes mistake bodily cues for thirst as hunger cues, prompting us to walk back into the kitchen to grab that cookie. If your holiday parties are anything like mine, there won't just be plenty of food, but there will be drinks available too. Spacing each drink with a glass of water in between is a great way to keep that morning hangover at bay, and also cut back on the amount of alcohol you drink throughout the night; saving you some valuable calories in the long run.
Read "Environment is Strong than Willpower."
4. Eat Vegetables
Though they aren't always the most popular at parties, they're usually there, and everyone is skipping over them. We recommend filling your plate with 1/2 vegetables when you can, or while snacking look for the veggie tray or dish as an option. Not only are vegetables filling, they also are usually one of the most nutritious options. Whenever you can prioritize whole, minimally processed foods. Vegetables usually fit this description and you will feel much better if you are eating these healthier options. Yes the highly processed things take good, but they are usually pretty empty calories. Some of our favorites to snack on are carrots, broccoli or cauliflower. We also really like to make dishes with brussel sprouts or beets involved.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
Zzz... This doesn't change during the holidays, but often our routines get thrown off with all the hustle and bustle. Quality sleep might be the best thing that you can do for your body, hands down. We benefit both physically and mentally from good sleep as this is the time our mind can shut down and the body can rest and recover. Ultimately, we want you to remain energized, avoid illness, and feel good during the holiday season, and remembering to get enough sleep can help you do that. Don't forget that the food and drink you consume can affect your sleep as well. Avoiding caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime can help, as well as herbal teas (that don't have caffeine). Highly sugary foods, or just too large of meals too close to bedtime can diminish your sleep quality, as your body will be busy trying to digest for a few hours.
We hope you find these five, realistic tips helpful. We sincerely hope you have an enjoyable and fun-filled holiday season with your loved ones!
- Andrew & Erin
Have you ever thought that if you just had more discipline or willpower that it would be easier to stick with that healthy lifestyle? Maybe you know "what" to do, yet somehow are not seeing the success that you are expecting. Sound familiar?
I like to think that I have pretty decent willpower. When I'm out grocery shopping I can generally avoid putting the things in the cart that I know are not healthy choices, and that I quite frankly don't need. Potato chips, candy, ice cream, etc. But last night my willpower was tested. Out to eat with friends at a local Mexican restaurant, a basket of freshly made chips and salsa was set right in front of me. Yep, you guessed it... I ate a bunch of them! It was like I just couldn't stop; the hand to mouth pattern was just stuck on repeat, until the basket was empty.
Why can I avoid the chips at the store, but can't do the same thing at the restaurant? Is it lack of willpower? No, its the environment. The same thing happens at home. When I have cookies in the house, I want to eat them. Ice cream in the freezer, it's calling my name in the evening. But if it's not there, then I don't eat it. Simple as that. Change your environment, and seemingly you will start to have more willpower.
Precision Nutrition has a good article on this same topic that goes a little bit more in depth.
The same concept works with physical activity too. Having trouble getting more steps in the day? Park your car farther away so that you have to walk further into work, buildings, the store, etc.
Coming home after work and struggling to change clothes and get to the gym? Falling into that couch coma with Netflix at your fingertips? Pack your gym clothes and bring them with you to work, no matter how close you live to the gym. Not enough? Change into your gym clothes before you even leave work. Take the potential excuses away and change your environment to change your actions.
Give this whole environment thing a try and see if it works for you too.
Read "Are you surrounding yourself with the right people?"
Do you ever look at someone you know and think "I wish I could just eat like they do, and then I'd be in shape" or "I just don't have time to workout like they do..." or any other line to explain why things are out of your control?
Truly, the majority of healthy people didn't get that way by chance. They also didn't get that way by doing 1000 different things that all add up to what you see. In reality, healthy people tend to follow a few specific guidelines well, and simply repeat them over and over again. That's what leads to the results. Consistency pays off in the end, always. Just like if you wanted to get really good at a particular skill, you have to practice. Take any sport for example, anyone who is very good at a particular sport has spent countless hours practicing and refining their craft. It's the same with health and fitness. When you continue to put in the effort, the results pay off.
So what is it that people do to see success? Here are my five habits to get you started:
1. Eat Healthy
Cliche lines don't get to be that way unless they are true. "You are what you eat". It doesn't get more true than that. Our body literally uses the nutrients from the foods we eat to replenish. What we eat and drink has a direct and indirect effect on how we look, how we feel, what our energy level is, the list goes on. Do yourself a favor and start putting good foods into your body if you aren't already.
2. Set Goals & Record Them
I have found that it is much easier for clients and even myself to stay consistent when there is a tangible goal we are working toward. Exercising just to exercise is great, but when there is something out there motivating you, it's just easier - we have a purpose. It doesn't matter how big or how small - make a goal, write it down and work toward it.
3. Exercise often
Is this even really a question? Do you know any in shape person that does not do some form of exercise? I doubt it. You don't have to run marathons, or be a bodybuilder or athlete, but you do have to exercise. If you want to be able to enjoy the backyard games with your kids, go on hiking vacations with your family or just feel better, you just have to do it. Aim for at least 20-30+ minutes a day of things that you enjoy.
Check out our YouTube channel for quick exercises!
4. Create a Routine
Once you find what works for you the next part is easy. R-E-P-E-A-T. Ideally you find a routine that gives you balance and works with your current place in life. Time for exercise, time for food preparation, time for social interaction, sleep, etc. Find the things that you want to do, schedule them out and create a roadmap to your routine.
Read "Are You Surrounding Yourself with the Right People?"
5. Know When to Relax
Sometimes we just have to chill. This has been by far the hardest part for me to grasp. I have a tendency to "burn the candle at both ends" as my mom tells me, and she's totally right. However, the veterans of this healthy lifestyle know when to pump the brakes, and relax when necessary. The easiest way for me to make sure this happens, is to schedule it in my routine. We need time to rest our body and let it recover, just like we need time to turn off our mind and let it rest.
Am I always perfect with these 5 habits? Of course not! But that's not the point. Perfection is not realistic. What is realistic is to consistently put yourself in a good situation to live the lifestyle you want to live. These five things will give you a better chance to do that.
So start today.
Think about the group of people that you spend the most time around. Who are they? Some of the most common are co-workers, family & friends. What kind of effect are they having on your life, and more importantly – your mindset?
I bring this up because Erin and I just left a conference in Nashville, TN, such a cool city. The Music City Center in downtown is a great venue for a large event. If you’ve never been to Nashville I recommend it. If you don’t mind the warmth and party atmosphere it’s a great place to experience live music, happy people and Nashville hot chicken.
The event was filled with motivating presentations, informational talks, a great expo center with lots of products and goodies, all the things you would expect. But, that’s not what stood out to me. What stood out the most was the atmosphere, the entire vibe of the event. Everyone who came wanted to learn, support one another, make an impact, grow, and everyone was positive. There were people from all social settings… Rich people, poor people, people in the middle. Teachers, nurses, doctors, office workers, you name it. But the one thing that everyone had in common was that growth mindset and desire for self-development. These are my kind of people!
This is an extremely important topic when we start talking about improving your health and wellness. Whether it be a weight loss journey, training for a fitness competition or even just wanting to start eating better so that you can feel better. You are going to be doing something that is outside the norm, which is going to lead to resistance from a number of people. Some of those might be the ones you thought about above when you started reading this blog. We’ve all probably had this happen to us before. We have an idea of something that we really want to do, or that we think is going to be a good thing… And then someone shoots it down, perhaps someone that we are really close to and value his or her opinion. After that you might feel disappointed, or at least begin to second-guess your idea. It happens all the time, especially when people are on a weight loss journey. If negative people who don’t support your goals surround you you’re going to have a harder time achieving them. Period.
Read "Five Habits of Healthy People."
They say that we are the average of the five people that we spend the most time with. Think about who those people are. Do you want to be surrounded by pessimists or optimists? Someone who supports you and lives the same lifestyle, or someone who does the opposite? Make the decision to put yourself in the right environment to succeed and watch what happens. Your mindset will change and the belief about what you can achieve will change with it.
Today it seems like everyone is doing something to improve themselves. Trying a new diet, joining a gym, even changing jobs. It's easy to see what someone else is doing on social media or TV and get caught up comparing yourself to them. Maybe you want to look like that model on the cover of a magazine, or be able to run a marathon like your friend just did. Maybe you just "wish you had the self-control" that others seem to have.
As hard as it is, you have to stop worrying about what they are doing and focus on yourself. I'm guilty of it too that's for sure. I've found myself comparing my life to others all the time. Some of them were friends, family members, and others, people that I don't even know. It's hard not to. But regardless of the situation, one thing is certain... Their situation doesn't determine yours. At the end of the day it doesn't really matter what they are doing. Your life, your aspirations and your success depends on YOU.
The problem with comparing yourself to others
So what's the solution?
In order to be happy and satisfied, you must look inward rather than outward.
Thanks for reading. If this post resonates with you, please let me know. Leave a comment below, and share this with someone else.
Welcome to the All Journeys Fitness blog page.
Thanks for joining me!
I never imagined that I would be starting a blog page, but here we are! I recently decided to start this website in order to interact with people just like you. I appreciate you taking the time to visit our site. I hope you find something of value while you’re here and look forward to connecting with you. One of the reasons I decided to start this company is so that I can reach more people. I interact with people every day, but there is just so much more that I would like to provide that doing it with the internet just makes sense.
I am a physical therapist by training and have been working in the healthcare industry for the past 5 years. I have been able to treat in several states across the country. Although each region has their differences, one thing always remains the same. The more I interact with patients and their families the more I realize the importance of listening. I think that's the most important part of my job actually. Really listening to what each patient is telling me and communicating with them effectively. Building relationships with my patients and clients is the most fun part of what I do.
My personal experience with health and fitness started at an early age, playing softball and football when I was 6 or 7 years old. As I continued playing sports through college the rush of the competition along with the camaraderie and struggle of practices are things that I'll always remember.
I never really realized the impact nutrition and lifestyle choices have on our body's ability to perform until late in my college career. After taking a few nutrition courses I began to experiment with my own diet and wouldn't you know it... Started to physically notice some changes as I made small changes in my eating. Whether just doing everyday activities, walking your dog, or participating in recreation, what you put into your body makes a HUGE difference.
This is also something I discuss with my patients in the physical therapy setting. The impact that lifestyle choices have on our ability to recover and heal is tremendous. I would argue that it's even more important than the rehabilitation that you're doing. Sleep, stress management, nutrition and activity all play vital roles.
I'm so grateful for the experiences that I've had as well as the opportunity to create this blog and this site. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes and how it is shaped by the interaction with everyone who visits.
Thanks again and have a great day,