Act like a toddler for better health!

That’s right, throw your BEST tantrum at work today and if there is no chocolate milk with lunch, you’re OUTTA THERE!

Just kidding 😉

Acting like a toddler, however, can be a great tool to make healthier choices and to move your body better.

For a moment, try not to compare yourself to your own 2-year-old, or that screaming kid in the grocery cart ahead of you. Let’s think of what it’s like to be a toddler in these three areas.

Movement 

When toddlers learn to walk, they do it starting in a squat position (NO, she’s bringing up squats again!) That’s kind of backwards from how we approach it now. You go to the gym, loosen up or walk into your favorite fitness class, and *grunt* you can’t get your butt down, your back is supposed to be straight and why are you losing feeling in your right foot?

Can we start from the bottom? Why not relax into the posture like garland or squat pose in yoga. Gently press your arms into your leg muscles and picture those legs opening like a book. You don’t need to ace this on the first try, but research suggests it’s better to know the movement that you are trying to achieve in order to be better at practicing it. That’s what exercise is anyway: us practicing over and over, each time trying to get better form or more repetitions in a set time. Now after you’ve tried that, stand back up and gently lower yourself to your point of comfort or challenge, take a deep breath in and see if you can sink down one more inch! In what ever exercise you are doing, meet the exercise at both ends! Now you can have your cookie 😉

Eating

Every see a toddler eat? I recently had a girlfriend over and her 1 ½ year old (or however many months I’m supposed to say) was eating a delicious snicker doodle! But, instead of gulping it down like I just did to my breakfast bar, she took a bite, then ran a few laps around my giant living room, played with her toy, and a few minutes later she returned to take another bite. BRILLIANT! Slowly savoring her treat. Again, please don’t take me literally and go run around the restaurant or your dinner table in between bites. Take this as an opportunity to be mindful and remember to savor your food. Enjoy then have a conversation with those around your dinner table or take a sip of water and relax.

Napping

I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to my mom for not taking naps as a child. With my sincerest apologies, I am trying to make up for that in my adulthood. Seriously though friends, napping is AMAZING for you. Here is a great summary of a scientific study that examined the effects of sleep on body fat percentage. We need sleep and yes, you have stress, life, kids, it all piles up. But if you can’t get good sleep, you are disrupting the most important rhythm our body has: the circadian rhythm. That ever important internal clock that helps our brain signal our body when we need to shut-er-down and rest. When this is disrupted, your life is disrupted. I know you are busy and swamped, but please PLEASE pay attention to getting rest each night. Make it a priority and I can tell you, you will feel better and more balanced. 

Squat, eat and nap!

Britt

britt.fitnessmail@gmail.com

Conquer your 2016 – best ways to achieve your goals

“What’s your new year’s resolution!?” asked every retail clerk and friend in the country. Are you feeling that pressure lately too? People asking you what resolutions are this year, what you are going to do differently this year? Then you start thinking of last year’s resolutions, and 10 points to the person that can remember what those were!

Ok, let’s break this 2016 down!

Goals vs Resolutions: There is a stigma out there that resolution setting doesn’t work. Well one person put that to the test to find out why. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor, found that we increase our success rate for our goals when we have accountability, commitment, and we just write the damn things down! Here is a great article about her research.

So this year, set your goals and write them down! Maybe try ordering them in order of what is most important for you so you focus. Then tell a buddy, find a friend, hell, post it on social media and hold yourself accountable to your goals.

Vision statements: So this mentor of mine asked me if I made resolutions for the new year. I’ve made a couple in the past but in the last 5 years, instead of resolutions, I’ve written my hearts desires on a piece of paper with my close girlfriends and we stuff them in a bag and open them again the following year. The purpose is to write it down and put it out in the world. Set the intention and see how it unfolds. (Anyone read the Secret?!)

Well my mentor suggested I take that a step further and make a daily vision for myself. “um what?” I asked. She said that if I would just write down how I want most of my days to look, it will add so much power and motivation to my vision because I will have a daily reminder of the intentions I am setting.

Challenge accepted – I wrote down my typical day. I won’t bore you with the deets but here is the basic premises:

–   I will wake up next to my husband and puppies and smile, because I am grateful for all of them

–  I will get out of bed with energy because I have purpose for each day

–  I will meditate for 15 minutes because it is my intent to remember the things I control, and the things I do not

–  I will nourish my body with good food and beverage choices because that will make me stronger and healthier

–  I will have the opportunity to exercise most days because I love what it does for my health – and I really love yoga pants

–  I know that my family will have enough money to pay bills, buy groceries that we need and want, and be more than able to save for our future

–  I know that I will have time to make a good dinner and share it with my family most nights

Affirmations: I’m going to add that your daily vision should include telling yourself a daily affirmation. I know, I feel the eye-roll coming but just hear me out. Write down phrases or ask a friend or your partner to write down things they think about you. “I am awesome” “I am loved” “I am worth it” – and use those to tell yourself something each day you can this year.

Fear not: She also said “The opposite of fear is love.” Read that again – love. Love beats fear, so when you are afraid of changes, paying bills, losing friends and family, or whatever you have in your life’s bucket right now remember, on the other side of that fear is LOVE. For me, it’s not so scary when I’m able to remind myself that the fear is only an emotion, it’s not concrete. It doesn’t have teeth or rope to hold me back. And when I can get past that fear, there is love. I don’t know about you, but in my life, love has been pretty awesome.

Write down your goals, review them daily, and share them with a friend or loved one so you have accountability! Or try a vision statement for your days of 2016! Or do both!

Much love and new year’s sparkles

Britt