Live Your Best Life

 

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New Years is a time of reflection, goal planning and reinvigorating our commitments to live the best life possible. If we renew our focus on our health, wellness and social networks, we can increase our energy to pursue the things we believe are important. Here are a few tips that will help you to rest and recover from all the fun and indulgences of the past few days. These will get you back on track and ready to take on the year ahead with revitalized energy.

  1. Start the year with exercise or planned activity. 

After the abundance of delicious foods and drinks over the past weeks you might feel like it’s time to curl up and take a long winter’s nap. Resist, please. Motion is energy! You don’t have to go out hard, start with gentle exercise like a yoga class, a walk around the block, or some light stretching all will get your blood flowing, and help your digestive system process the indulgences. Walking by yourself provides opportunity to reflect, meditate and organize your thoughts. Walking with a neighbour, colleague or friend, builds vital social networks.  For some ideas about how to move more in your daily life – park farther away from the grocery store door, turn music on and take a few dance steps as you move about the house….

Allison’s Tip: Exercise stimulates the natural contractions of the intestinal muscles and helps to move waste products out of your system.  Good elimination helps to reduce bloating and makes you feel lighter. Remember to drink lots of water to help your body flush out waste and restore your energy.

Your Plan: How will you get back in motion?________________________________ Take a few minutes to jot down your back in motion activities.  

2. Gentle exercise is revitalizing and restorative
You might be wondering why gentle vs vigorous exercise. A good heart-pumping workout can be great, but after a busy time when energy levels are low, slowing down helps the body recharge. Some of us love to push our bodies, but we don’t want to push right into adrenal fatigue or exhaustion. Honoring the body, like you’ve honored the festivities, will get you back on track and ready to live your best life.

Allison’s Tip: If you have been relaxing without heart raising exercise for more than a week or feel tired, exercise for no more than 20 mins at a time until you build back up to a level where you can sustain the exercise and feel invigorated and refreshed.  

Your Plan: What gentle exercise will you do today? _________________________________________

3. Timing is everything
You’ll want to give yourself an hour after eating before you start touching your toes and exercising. This first hour is dedicated to digestion. Exercising too soon after eating slows down the digestive process and can lead to bloating, hiccups, gas, nausea and constipation says Dr. Daniel Vigil, health sciences associate clinical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Allison’s Tip: One hour after eating, decide if you want an invigorating walk, a cosy waltz in the living room with your partner or grandchild, or some time to reflect on your good fortune as you walk in the crisp air. Try to exercise for at least 20 mins at least once a day. 

Your Plan: What do you feel like doing for 20 mins that will raise your heart rate today? ____________________

4. Share your restorative tips: Share your tips in the comments below.

If you would like to kick off 2016 with an assessment by Allison click here.

I hope you have a fantastic New Years and use these tips to welcome in a restorative post party weekend that will up your energy and help you live your best life in 2016.

Share your restorative tips below, I love to engage and share the love.

Here’s to your best 2016!!!!

Allison

Friends Inspire New Behaviours

Walking Grp

How do you start your day?   Mine usually starts with a refreshing dip and a few 1000 meters in the pool.  But on this day I opted out to sip a warm cup of java (coffee) and read a good book.  Since I had a little extra time on my hands I took the opportunity to whip up a batch of mini banana loaves for the kids breakfast.

This act was inspired by a fond memory from my days in Lebanon.  Myself and a group of ladies joined the Global Corporate Challenge, which had us wear a pedometer and walk a ridiculous number of steps each day, for 4 months.

It was brutal, especially in the peak of summer, but it was one of the best girl bonding experiences ever.  We’d walk the Naqoura hill (South Lebanon) and talk and talk and talk.  In the process we went from acquaintances to lifelong friends.  Maria would often share stories from her youth in Italy and how she would wake to the smells of fresh baked goods and how she now did the same for her daughter.

Breakfast Banana BreadI had never contemplated baking in the morning as part of healthy lifestyle, but her stories enticed me to try it with my own children and every time I do the rewards of big smiles make my day.  This is smiling, for the morning:)

 

 

 

Here’s the Mini Banana Bread recipe. Give them a try and if you’d be so kind, leave a comment below to share what your kids thought of their special morning surprise.

Enjoy!!

Allison

 

 

I Have Muscles I Forgot Existed: Rest, to Create Energy

Training for St. Patrick's Day RunIn setting out to train for a fun 5 km run I’ve come face to face with the harsh realization that I’m not in good shape.  I’m in shock! and very sore:).

My quads and shins are not just sore, they’re screaming at me and demanded I take the day off today and so some self-love aka, sit in a hot bath.

As you can see my training has not been grueling, I’m on day, but I did manage to run at least 15 minutes yesterday which is likely the cause of my pain.  Note to self – start slow and edge up.

I’ve also discovered that I don’t look at all like the young lady in green pictured on the first post in this series, who sportily bounds along.  But hey, appearance has nothing to do with it.  I can tell you I’m feeling encouraged, and motivated and I am definitely in need of more quad muscle work-outs.  Onwards and upwards.

How is your training coming along?  Leave a comment to share.

Hugs, A very stiff Allison

Zero to 5 KM in 18 days
Date Exercise Feeling
29-Feb 30 min run/walk,run/walk ok, a little out of breat
1-Mar 30 min run/walk about equal distance muscles tight and sore this morning
2-Mar rest ouch, you’ve got to be kidding me

Make a Commitment: To Up Your Energy

St Patty RunWhen energy wanes, it’s not so much about having the energy as it is about generating the energy to complete the task. So today’s post is on how mentally and physically to do that, generate energy.

Create a Committment

I opened my mail and there it was, a link for the St. Patrick’s Day fun run.  My friend casually invited me to check it out, “it sounds fun” she said.  She’s an avid runner, of course it would be fun, for her.  But….

A voice somewhere deep inside was encouraging me to get out there, to pound the pavement and benefit from the endorphins of a more aerobic exercise than my regular 15 minute Versa Climb.  I thought, ” what the heck, why not” and in a crazy, fun inspired, moment I pulled out my credit card and registered for the run.  CRAZY!!!

I haven’t ran a kilometre in more than 14 years, with this one exception, and this event was just 18 days away.  Thankfully, I registered for the 5 km, not the 10 km run. Whew, sometimes my brilliance amazes me: )

Ask me if I have the energy to train for this event.  Answer NO!

Do I have the time to train for this event, I would say no. Except, I’m on a no excuse diet where I can’t use time as reason for not doing things.  A fascinating experiment, more on that later.

The Conundrum

I’ve committed to the run, but I don’t have the energy to get out and run.  As you see I have a small problem.

The Solution

Get out of my head and develop a plan to make this fun experience happen.

The Plan and How to Create the Energy 

  • Identify the why, behind the Yes  – I want to have this experience because 1) I’m feeling socially isolated, the joy of moving to a new city.  And 2) I could use some additional endorphins. Yes, the lack of sunshine on my skin is getting to me. I’m a bit of a sunshine junkie, it comes from living and working in warm climates for the past 16 years.
  • Set an objective –  This is not about winning the race. I’d love to run the whole 5 k, but I’m ok with a walk/run. I’m going to train and give it my best.
  • Make a schedule – What gets scheduled get’s done. Isn’t that the truth!  I will get out there 6 out of 7 days and do a 30 minute walk/run.
  • Keep yourself accountable or get an accountability partner-  I’ll record my activity by creating a simple excel spread sheet with the days and fill in how long I spend walk/running each day.  When you keep a record you hold yourself accountable.
  • No worry allowed – This is going to be fun.  I’m not going to worry about how I look, what others will think, who will laugh at my turtle like jog, or any other crazy worry that might pop into my mind. These worries are external to me and are fabrications of my mind scheming to stop me dead in my track.
  • Hydrate for Success  – dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, headaches and other nasties.  I’ve built it a water intake of 3 L/day into my daily plan.
  • Eat for Success – eating a balanced diet, which for me excludes grains, will keep my physical energy up and prevent my body from metabolizing itself for energy.  It will also help me rebuild muscle that will be broken down during training.

I’ve created energy by getting fired up about this event.  The commitment came first, then the plan and with the planning came the excitement and motivation = energy.

What have you been wanting to do but don’t have the energy for?  Make the commitment and trust yourself to create the energy. That’s what Up Your Energy is about, creating energy to do the things you want to do in life.

I invite you to join me on this journey of zero to 5 km.  I’ll post my daily training and the trials and tribulations I experience in the process under the Exercise with Me topic.  If you live in Calgary why not sign up, have some fun, get in shape and make some new friends while raising money for Diabetes.  Here’s the link to join.

http://www.calgaryroadrunners.com/events/original-st-patricks-day-road-race-28th-anniversary

Calling for advice, exercises or strategies that will help me – get stronger and fitter and – beat myself and stay motivated.  After all, the only thing that can stop me, short of breaking my leg, is me or more correctly my mind and it’s crazy excuses.

Here’s to creating energy to for life and fun runs.

Hugs Allison

 

 

 

Exercise 15 Minutes a Day to Up Your Energy

Before You Sit. Do This!Research shows a single bout of exercise lasting 15 minutes is effective to raise metabolism, reduce stress and increase energy levels and improve mood.

Do you have 15 minutes to dedicate to feeling good? 

Let’s look some other Benefits of Exercise

  • Releases feel good endorphins
  • Improves circulation
  • Improves heart and lung capacity
  • Builds muscle
  • Helps to eliminate waste through sweating and eases bowel movements

With all these benefits could you  build exercise into your life?   With so many benefits from exercise you’ll want to do it everyday to feel and look great.

How to Build a Successful Exercise Routine

The key to building a successful exercise routine is to start slow and build.

Start with 15, and let it grow.  A balanced lifestyle is one that you can live and accomplish no matter where you are or what’s happening in your life.  Walking is a great way to get your 15 in, and it’s available for you anywhere.

You’ll be amazed how 15 minutes of exercise a day can transform your life.   Add to this healthy food choices and a balanced diet low in highly processed food, fast food and junk food and you’ve got the makings of  a healthy lifestyle

What type of exercise are best?  There is no magical formula, we’re all individuals with different fitness levels, loves of sport and time available for exercise.  If you’re new to exercising, before you start, I suggest you consult a doctor to get the all clear.

For overall health, do a mixture of three types of exercise:

  • Strength training
  • Flexibility training
  • Endurance training

Strength training – Weight bearing exercise builds metabolically active lean muscle mass.  Muscle burns energy and food is energy so if you’re wanting to shed a few pounds instead of eating less having more muscle mass will help you achieve greater success. I prefer to move rather than starve, how about you?.

Flexibility training – flexibility reduces your risk of injury.  15 minutes of light yoga or stretching are both relaxing and calming to the mind.  Lowering stress levels improves the bodies ability to digest food meaning you’ll have more energy to do more things you love.

Endurance training – Cardiovascular exercise puts a healthy stress on the all important heart muscle and releases those feel good endorphins.  I love to feel good and cardiovascular exercise definitely delivers. 15 minutes of getting you heart pumping at 70% of your maximum heart rate is all you need.

Make a commitment to exercise 15 minutes a day to feel great!    Mix it up or do the same thing everyday, what ever you decide your body and mind will reap the rewards and you’ll have more energy and feel good.  The hardest part of exercise is starting to this end my advice is Just Do it.  If you need a little help getting on track or  an accountability partner, drop me a line here to see how I can help.

I’m cheering you all the way to feeling great and having more energy.   Leave a comment below to share know your exercise of choice and how great it makes you feel.

To feeling good and being energized!

Love Allison

Apparently, I’m Wonder Woman!

gloss-magazine-coverI am so excited and humbled to share with all of you my recent interview that has been published in the latest issue of Gloss magazine!

This was such an honor. Not only is Gloss a fantastic publication, but I got to be interviewed by my great friend, Chris Allen. And to be sharing this with all of you makes it that much sweeter.

It’s always a little intimidating to share so much of yourself with others. But knowing that people would see this article, my hope was – and continues to be – that it will inspire and make even a small difference.

So, without further ado, please take a look. We talk about health, stress, nutrition and the things that really matter and impact our lives.

Gloss Magazine Interview

You’ll find me on page 21!

I can’t tell you how much I’d appreciate you sharing this with others….and sharing your comments or questions with me below!

Here’s to your energy and the choices you make that help you to be healthier and happier.

With Love xox

Allison

Exercise With Me – Let’s Get Moving!

Hey, everyone!  It’s time to get moving!

When we get our bodies moving – and focus on our workout – great things happen. We stop over thinking and stressing, we sweat out toxin, increase our metabolism,  burn more energy and make our bodies stronger, sexier and more toned.

Take some time today and Up Your Energy and get your body moving. Whether it’s a hardcore workout or just a few push-ups, you’ll reap the benefits!

Before you get moving, I’d love for you to join my newsletter and kindly click like on your favorite social media network.

Thanks a zillion.

Choose exercise, you’ll feel great and Up Your Energy!

xox

Allison

The choices we make determine our energy levels.

Exercise with Me – D9

It’s Day 9…..how’s your energy?

Let’s get down and blast our abs with this bicycle side-to-side ab blaster.

When your workout is complete, please take a moment to share this on social media and email (check out the icons below!) and help spread the word about health and fitness. Let’s get this fitness and lifestyle transformation happening.

Exercise with Me – D8

Welcome to Day 8 everyone!

We’re rocking the abs today with a simple plank pose. This pose will have your tummy tighter, your core stronger and your strength ramping up. Want to look better? Get down and join me for some planks.

When your workout is complete, please take a moment to share this on social media and email (check out the icons below!) and help spread the word about health and fitness. Let’s get this fitness and lifestyle transformation happening.

Exercise with Me – D7

Welcome back!  We’re in our seventh day of improving our health and fitness.  Are you ready?

 

 

Are you prone to headaches? Well this is one workout you won’t want to miss. Today, I am sharing tips on getting rid of headaches the all natural way. That’s right….no pills, no potions….just a good ol’ fashioned blood to the brain pose.

When your workout is complete, please take a moment to share this on social media and email (check out the icons below!) and help spread the word about health and fitness. Let’s get this fitness and lifestyle transformation happening.