Category

2016

A Walk….

run

 

If you have read my past posts, you know that I am a runner, or was anyway. I have completed 5 half marathons and countless 5K, 10Ks and 15Ks.  You also know that it has led to some injuries. Most recently, I have a heel spur and tendonitis in the Achilles. I have not able to run for almost 9 months, so I have been using biking to stay active. Before I was a runner, I walked 3-5 miles every day. I haven’t really walked much since I started running and biking. I always feels like I am not moving fasting enough. Last week, I met a friend for a walk. We chatted the entire time, and before I knew it, we had walked for over an hour. I had no pain and I felt great. I realized how much I enjoy walking.

I recently read an article about a study done by James O’Keefe, a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, MO. His studies outlined the benefits of walking or jogging at a slow pace versus running. One of the studies shows that walking or jogging at a slow pace for 1 to 2.5 hours a week, lowers your risk by 25%. I forget that just because I am not running, doesn’t mean it’s not a great workout.

I scheduled a walk with the girls this week.  It’s great opportunity to catch up while enjoying the benefit of physical activity. I also will get in at least one walk in with the family and one on my own. When you are teaching boot camp classes, you tend to neglect your own workout. I have been so slack with my own diet and workout since I stopped running. I am hoping getting back to the basics of eating right, walking and along with my other planned workouts, I will find my way back into a routine.

Do something for your health today – go for a walk!

-JA

 

 

Ignoring Chronic Pain

Stop the pain

 

Last September, I noticed some pain in my right Achilles tendon. I had just finished a long drive and really thought it was related to that. I was in the midst of training to run a half marathon at the Dallas Marathon and really didn’t have time for an injury. I taped it and kept to my training schedule, secretly praying it wouldn’t get worse. There were days when I hardly noticed it, and days when it was screaming at me, but I did finish training and ran the half. After that race, I decided to take a break and see if it would heal on its own. I had replaced running with biking and that seemed to prevent it from getting worse. Every so often I would feel the twinge. I joined Orange Theory Fitness in June and one day on the treadmill, I was in terrible pain. So, 10 months after I first noticed the pain, I finally decided to get it checked out.

I went to see the ortho who had treated me for another ankle injury and a hip injury. I don’t think he was surprised to see me. Truthfully, running has been so hard on my body.  Every time I train for a half marathon, I end up in his office.  The x-ray showed a bone spur at the top of the heel bone. Apparently this was causing the tendonitis. I was fitted for a heel cup, given some steroids and scheduled for physical therapy.  The heel cup provided immediate relief.  It raised the heel ever so slightly and that released the tension on the tendon. It felt immediately better.

Part of me knows I ignored it because I didn’t want to stop training for the half. I was training with a good friend and it was going to be her first half marathon. I didn’t want to let her down, and deep down I think I knew it would be my last half marathon. After the race, I kept thinking that it would get better if I just rested it. As long as I wasn’t doing anything that caused direct impact to the heel, it was tolerable. I am still in treatment, so not sure how this story ends. But looking back, I really wish I would have gone to see him last fall. The heel cup itself has provided so much relief.

Are you ignoring chronic pain? Get it checked out!

JA

Do you make time for yourself?

findtime

Birthdays often cause us to reflect on our lives. Having just celebrated a birthday, I found myself doing just that, looking back at the past year. While it was truly a wonderful year full of so many blessings, I found myself wondering if I had ever stopped and gave myself time to breath.

Transitioning from a job in corporate America to one where I set my own schedule, has allowed me to do so more things with my friends, at church and at my son’s school. There are pros and cons to that. I love the flexibility, but it leads me to over-commit. I end up cramming so much into the day, that I am practically filling every hour with something. I have a hard time saying ‘no’ when people invite me to social or volunteer activities. Between my work responsibilities, volunteer opportunities, social activities, personal fitness and my family, I find that I am not allowing myself any ‘me time’.

To be honest, the first thing to go when I am strapped for time, is my own workout. This really needs to be in my top 3 to keep every day, family, faith (my own spiritual growth) and fitness. This week, my son is in a karate camp. Due to his drop off and pick up times, it has limited my availability. It’s also my ‘off’ week for teaching my evening boot camp.  I suddenly find myself with wide open windows of time on my calendar! It’s a great opportunity to plan my week, get back into my routine of eating properly and exercising regularly. I do so much better when I have a planned routine. I really can’t believe how little I have been focusing on my diet and exercise. Well, my tight pants remind me every day. It’s time to get back to it!  I have had some health challenges this past couple of weeks, likely due to my crazy schedule. This will require me to ease back into my fitness routine. I will plan for walks or bike rides until I am feeling better, then will increase the intensity.

Many people look at the start of the calendar year to make changes. I have not ever been one to make resolutions, as I think they can be a let down. However,  I am going to use the first week of my 48th year to focus on getting back to a healthier me.  It will get challenging as each week passes, but I will plan my meals, schedule my workouts and scale back on other commitments, as needed. It’s time for a change!

So my friends, if you are finding yourself in a similar situation, please take the time to step back and reevaluate. Make your diet, exercise and sleep a priority. Take care of your body, it’s the only one you have!

JA

Accountability

accountability

I came across some interesting stats about goals and accountability from the American Society of Training and Development.

The probability of achieving a goal is:

  • 10% when you think of a goal
  • 40% when you  make the decision to pursue a goal
  • 50% when you develop a plan on how to achieve your goal
  • 65% when you make a commitment to someone else that you will follow the plan
  • 95% when you have an accountability appointment  with this person.

I know when it came to training for my half marathons, having running buddies was so important. When its 30 degrees and lightly raining, you may opt to stay in bed and skip your run. However, when you know your training partners are waiting for you, somehow you find away to get yourself up and moving. We all had decided to train together. We had a set training plan and schedule. We met weekly for our long runs. If I had to run 10 miles on my own, I may have found 10 excuses to skip the run that week.  Meeting up with my group ensured I kept to the schedule and ultimately allowed me to meet my goal.

Accountability partners would be helpful in any diet or fitness program. I know I am more likely to get to boot camp class if I know my friends will be there. I hadn’t consider this approach for other areas of my life, but I could see the benefits of having someone keep me accountable with any goals I might set.

Do you have an accountability partner? When has it worked or not worked for you? Email me your thoughts and I may use them in a future post.

-JA

*I came across these stats while reading Made to Crave, by Lysa Terkeurst.

 

 

New Year, New Resolutions? Not for Me.

TakeFive_ResolutionsList__web_V

 

 

Happy 2016! Yes, it’s the beginning of another year. Along with that, so many people make new years resolutions. I recently took a poll on my personal Facebook page asking what kinds of resolutions were being made. Not many people admitted to making them. The ones that did, said they were working on organization, less screen time, more service time, etc. No one mentioned health and wellness, yet most everyone I have spoken to, is making some kind of health or fitness resolution. While I always encourage everyone to focus on their health and fitness, I do not encourage people to make weight loss resolutions. While it may work for some, for others it can have the reverse effect.

I no longer make resolutions. My experience is that it generally set me up for a big let down and feeling defeated. I understand why people do it, but to try and implement a huge life change all at once at the beginning of the year is too much pressure.  When I had my weight loss success, I started in March and it was a phased approach. I did not make huge changes across the board.  There are some things I do want to focus on this year, but I am not calling them resolutions. I am approaching them as simple lifestyle changes and I am certainly not trying to do them all at once. My tendency is to over-commit. I sign up for everything, agree to take on more than I can handle,  and then I am running around stressed. After a long conversation with my husband who is generally on the receiving end of my stress, we came up with a plan on how to better manager my commitments. I have prioritized them and then have made decisions on how much time I can devote to each per week, etc. I am not giving anything up, just paring it back. We are into the 2nd week of using this method and so far, I do not feel overwhelmed.  My new scheduled allows me some downtime each day. This is critical for me to keep from becoming overwhelmed.  The biggest adjustment for me will be learning to say ‘no’ to some things. It is difficult for me to do that, but that is exactly how I get over committed!

So, enough about my changes. Let’s talk about yours. Are you looking to make lifestyle changes with your diet and exercise? If so, here are a few tips:

  • Avoid burn out. Don’t make all the changes at once. Suddenly restricting your diet and increasing your exercise all at once, can be overwhelming. Start with one change. Work on it for a week, then add in the other. For example, this week focus on getting up from your desk or couch and walking more. Next week, add in a few dietary changes while you increase your walking.
  • Make small goals.  Rather than say, ‘I want to lose 10 pounds this month’, commit to making one change that doesn’t involve the scale, like walking 3 days a week. As you successfully hit each goal, you will begin to see changes in yourself and on the scale. Those little successes will keep you going. This is a healthier approach than throwing you hands up and quitting because you were not able to sustain all the HUGE changes you implemented at once. Slow and steady….
  • Find a buddy to help you stay motivated and hold you accountable. I like using the My Fitness Pal app with my friends. It help keeps me accountable and I enjoy the positive encouragement I received from my friends.
  • Choose an exercise program that suits your fitness level. If you are just starting out, a PiYo class may not be the best choice. Start with biking, walking, or a beginners Yoga or boot camp class. Build from there. As you need more, find new challenging programs that keep it fresh for you.
  • Not sure what is best for you? Consult with a trainer for some ideas, but remember to speak to your doctor before starting any new program.

I want to help you be successful. Send me an email with what type of changes you are looking for, and let me help you come up with a reasonable plan to get you going!

 

JA