Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope your extended weekend has been filled with fun in the sun and good times with friends and family. Today, I offer my “wish list” for you on Memorial Day.

1) Take a moment to stop and remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice so that the rest of us could live in this wonderful land we call the United States of America.

2) Fit some fitness into your holiday fun. Maybe there’s a group exercise class you can take before heading to that BBQ, or take a long walk when you get home from the fun.

3) If you’re spending time outside, don’t forget to apply and re-apply the sunscreen!

4) Whether you’re celebrating the holiday indoors or out, stay hydrated. If you plan to drink alcohol, make sure to designate a driver to ensure everyone gets home safely.

I close this short and simple post with wishes for a very Happy Memorial Day! Here’s to the summer ahead and all the chances we’ll have to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

A Fresh Start

Finding strength in letting go

Finding strength in letting go

On this Motivation Monday, I find myself starting over…yet again.

I have steered my career back on to the freelance highway. The idea is to stay the course until I decide what I really want to be when I “grow up.” The difference this time is that I’m more optimistic than ever that I’m on the brink of actually figuring it out.

Letting go or breaking free of a less-than-ideal situation is never easy. The unknown – daunting and scary – can be an unappealing choice compared to a comfortable routine, even if that day-to-day grind makes you unhappy. However, change can also be liberating.  I look at the days ahead as an opportunity for growth and the chance to explore ideas I never let formulate before, mostly because I was simply too scared to let them move to the forefront of my mind.

At 41, I realize I have many years ahead of me when it comes to working. Of course, if I win the lottery, all bets are off. If that happened, I’d simply volunteer my time as a health coach or something similar. So I thought it was the right time to not stand still in a place where the work was having a negative impact on the rest of my life.

This doesn’t mean the strong don’t get scared. I’m definitely a bit frightened of what lies ahead. However, at all the points in my life when fear has tried to cripple me, I’ve found it’s more important than ever to turn to the constants that provide the strength and fuel needed to move forward. For me, those constants include the love I’m lucky to have from my family and friends; my faith and last but certainly not least, the stress release I find in fitness. Sometimes an hour of sweat is all I need to give me the exact dose of endorphins and confidence I need to take the next step toward something better.

I hope you’ll stay tuned for more pages in this next chapter of my ever-evolving life. Of course, if you ever need a producer, voice over artist or media trainer- I hope you’ll keep me in mind!

Thank you for indulging me with this week’s post. My hope is maybe it gives someone else a push to take a bold step in his or her own life. Sometimes letting go is exactly what we need to do to stay the course on our journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Allergy Season Survival Tips

coldI think it was about a month ago when I heard the first news stories telling allergy sufferers like me to brace for a killer season. The never-ending brutal winter kept the trees and other spring blooms dormant for a lot longer than usual, and then about two weeks ago – BAM! Everything exploded. Now, tree pollen seems to fall like rain, turning cars of every color a bright green shade while lawnmowers can be heard firing up in the ‘burbs to cut the newly awakened grass.

So I thought this Motivation Monday presented the perfect opportunity to offer some tips on how to prevent allergy season from sidelining your long-awaited outdoor workout plans for spring.  Here are a few tricks that help me keep the itchy eyes, sneezing and that uncomfortable sensation of having cotton stuck in my throat to a minimum:

  • Mind the Time: Pollen counts tend to be highest between 5 am and 10 am. Unfortunately, that’s when many people enjoy their get-the-day-started jog, bike ride or walk. If you can move the activity to a time that’s not so pollen-heavy, great. If not, hopefully some of the following tips will help.
  • Wear sunglasses: You can create at least a minimal barrier for your eyes by wearing sunglasses (or even goggles) if you plan to exercise outdoors for a long period of time. Using eye drops before you head outside can help, too.
  • Don’t forget your meds: I got allergy shots for several years when I was a kid. They helped make my acute reactions less severe over time, but I still battle through hay fever season every year. Today there are so many over-the-counter and prescription allergy medicines that can offer relief. (Important note: I don’t like to take a lot of medicine, but as far as I’m concerned, I’d rather take something for a few months that will keep me from scratching my eyes out!) Talk to your doctor about what treatments might work best to alleviate your symptoms. To prevent the onset of those symptoms, it helps to take your medication an hour before your outdoor workout. If you get out of bed and head outdoors immediately, ask your doctor if you can take your medication before bed so it’s in your system when you head outside.
  • Clean up: Get out of those sweaty and pollen-infused clothes, take a shower and wash your hair as soon as possible following an outdoor workout. The longer that pollen lingers, the more severe your reaction can be. (You also don’t want to spread the pollen around your home by sitting on the couch or lying on your bed.)

Probably the best advice I can offer is this: listen to your body. If you’re trying to get your heart rate up outdoors but all you’re feeling is misery, be smart. Stop. Head indoors, shower and re-group. Maybe that’s the day you sign up for an indoor air-conditioned group exercise class or bang out a Tabata derby at home to keep you sneeze-free on your quest to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Feel Like a Kid Again!

photo-3Despite a chilly wind over the weekend, I think it’s safe to say spring has finally sprung here in New York City. That means it’s time to really embrace a whole new season of opportunities to mix up the fitness routine. For me, it’s meant getting back to a sport that was my one true focus on high school – and it’s done wonders for my physical and mental well-being!

I recently re-connected with one of my high school gal pals, Rita Joan, who was also a teammate on our high school’s varsity tennis team. We had the joy of being varsity champs in our division during our senior year in 1991! However, I’m sorry to say when I went off to college, I didn’t really keep up with the game. Then after I finished graduate school, my tennis racquet followed me to several states for several jobs, but all it really did was collect dust in the back of a closet. I think I managed to play a game now and then on various vacations, but that was about the extent of keeping up with my skills.

Then just last week, thanks to Rita Joan’s coaxing, I was trying to find my old stride to hit some solid forehands and backhands on a clay court in the middle of Central Park. It was probably the nicest evening we’ve had in the city since winter finally left town, and being in an oasis amidst the concrete jungle seemed surreal. Even better was the adrenaline rush I felt running from side to side on the court, and putting my body behind those shots to get that little yellow ball over the net. To say I was rusty would be a huge understatement. Still, it felt so good to get back into a sport that I absolutely loved playing in my younger days – and I was also glad to find my skills weren’t completely gone. They’ve just been on hiatus waiting for a spark to reignite them into high gear.

The next day, I was sore in places I hadn’t been for awhile – the heel of my hand hurt from gripping the racquet, my shins and forearms were tweaked and even my obliques were more tender than usual. The soreness felt really good because it was a sign of re-awakening parts of my body that had maybe been ignored for awhile on my fitness circuit.

I am beyond grateful Rita Joan got me back in the game and I can’t wait to play again next week. On this Motivation Monday, I encourage anyone who’s been missing a sport from yesteryear to think of a way to get back into it. Even if it’s once a week, or every other week, it’s a great way to put some variety into your routine and enjoy some nostalgia, too.  Why not consider bypassing the bar this week for that happy hour and instead get some co-workers together for a game of dodge ball or kick ball? Sometimes , bringing a bit of kid-type fun back into your routine is the kick you need to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Overwhelmed? I Feel Your Pain!

Weekend paperwork

Weekend paperwork

With this Motivation Monday post, I throw my support behind anyone struggling to get it all done. I’m with you. Lately it seems to take me longer to cross the tasks off even the most organized to-do lists. So, I offer a reminder  that sometimes you simply need to take a deep breath, remember you’re human and accept the reality that the world won’t end if one or two things have to wait until tomorrow.

Where is this all coming from? Last week, I posted about renewing my adult CPR/AED certification with the American Red Cross. I left that requirement until one of the last weekends I could get it in and still get my paperwork in for my NASM personal trainer re-certification. Two days ago, I blocked out time to take a NASM Integrated Flexibility Training online workshop so I could obtain the last continuing education units (CEUs) needed to actually get re-certified. The deadline is only a few weeks away. I got through the material, passed the online test and  rushed all my paperwork to the post office. Now I wait for it all to be processed, approved and then hopefully receive my new NASM certificate in the mail sometime next month.

I got it all done, but I have never been one to wait until the last-minute to get important items like these off my plate. But the clock seems to tick at a faster place lately, the work days bleed into the all-too short weekends and then the cycle repeats on Monday. I am looking to the energy of the new season to figure out new ways of doing things. That includes possibly re-vamping plans on how I schedule everything from my workouts to overdue catch-ups with friends and family.

Through any stressful time, working out and eating healthy always help me keep my cool. However, I hate to admit, over the past month, the frequency of my workouts has taken a hit thanks to longer-than-expected work days and overall fatigue. But there are peaks and valleys in every relationship – including the one we have with the gym.

So here’s to the new week with the NASM re-certification application crossed off my to-do list and the chance to find new energy to tackle what lies ahead. If today gets a bit manic, like Mondays often do, take a breath, close your eyes for a moment and remember this one thing: you are stronger than you think. Sometimes we all need a little reassurance to stay on the path to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous.

Why Not Spend a Few Hours Learning How to Help Save a Life?

CPR picEvery couple of years, something great happens. Not only do I get to re-certify for my AFAA & NASM credentials in the fitness world, but part of that process involves me getting some life-saving reminders that could hopefully make a difference in the event of an emergency.

Last night, I took an adult CPR/AED course at the American Red Cross. In just three hours, I learned the basic  skills needed to help someone in the event of a choking situation or cardiac emergency. This marked the third course I’ve taken since 2010, and I’m always grateful for the reminders. On this Motivation Monday, I simply encourage everyone to consider taking a similar course to learn the basics about administering CPR, operating an AED and just being able to help if the unexpected happens. Even if you don’t work in the health or fitness industry, you never know when someone you care about could need your help in an emergency.

Click here to find a course near you. Doing something good for people around you is a great way to stick with your plans to have fun, be fit & feel fabulous!

Six Months and Counting…

I Need YOU to Help Me Re-Unite with Sue and all the other Walkers in October!

I Need YOU to Help Me Re-Unite with Sue and all the other Walkers in October!

Is it me, or do these Motivation Mondays seem to arrive faster and faster? I can hardly believe we’re already done celebrating Easter and Passover and for many others, spring break 2015 is a happy memory, as well. With time flying by so quickly, I hope you won’t mind this early call for support as I try to make my way to the finish line of my second Avon Walk to end breast cancer. The 39.3 mile journey takes place here in New York City in six months.

As you longtime readers may recall, my experience in last year’s Walk was truly life-changing. (Click here for a re-cap of what made the weekend so special.) My goal this year is to re-unite with fellow St. Mary’s Gael Sue and hopefully encourage other classmates, friends and family to put their best feet forward, too! It’s simple. The more people who walk, the more money we raise and the better our chances of wiping breast cancer off the planet once and for all. While I look forward to participating in as many Walks as possible in the years ahead, it would be absolutely amazing to know the event became obsolete in my lifetime because doctors and researchers found a cure.

Before I walk a second time for my mom who beat breast cancer in 2008 and two women my age who went through hell and back to battle the disease during this past year, I need your support. Each walker needs to raise a minimum of $1,800 to lace up. No donation is too small. Just think, if you donate early, you can consider it a good deed crossed off your list for spring.

The link below will take you to my personal page on the Avon39.org website. You can make a donation online, or if you’d rather mail something in, email me and I’ll gladly send you the paperwork.

http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR/Walk/NewYork?px=7671099&pg=personal&fr_id=2406

I thank you ahead of time for your support, not only for the Walk, but for all my efforts aimed at helping others have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Let the Easter Bunny Motivate You To Move!

photo-30If you need some motivation to get moving on this post-Easter Monday, let me direct your attention to the empty Easter basket in your house.

If you were lucky enough to get your own personal visit from the Easter bunny or perhaps you simply swiped some of your kids’ loot, you joined thousands of others in a sugar-filled holiday celebration. After Halloween, Easter is the second-largest candy-giving holiday. So if you enjoyed savoring some sweetness, now’s the time to work it off!

Still need a shot of motivation to kick the candy coma and get your butt to the gym? Here are some calorie counts of some of the most popular treats:

  • Cadbury eggs – my all-time favorite! One egg = 170 calories; 6 grams of fat
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs (probably my second favorite) One egg = 180 calories; 11 grams of fat
  • Solid chocolate bunny (small, 1.75 ounces) = 298 calories; 18 grams of fat
  • Jelly Beans: 20 candies = 160 calories, 0 grams of fat (But oh, the sugar!)
  • Jordan Almonds: 13 almonds = 140 calories, 5 grams of fat
  • Peeps: 5 Peeps = 160 calories, 0 grams of fat (Again, the sugar!)

For those celebrating Passover, here’s how a few menu items break down:

  • Dark chocolate covered matzah: 3 pieces – 200 calories; 11 grams of fat
  • Coconut macaroons: 2 cookies = 142 calories; 7 grams of fat
  • Chocolate coconut macaroons: 1 cookie – 190 calories; 11 grams of fat

Remember, whatever and whenever you celebrate, enjoy the quality time with family and friends and don’t sweat the extra calories. There’s always post-holiday time to get back on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

More Fit, Fun and Fab Tips for Spring!

CaptureAll you repeat readers know how excited I am when my fitness and production worlds collide!

Recently, I was able to share some springtime health and fitness tips with stations and blog sites around the country. I hope you find some helpful information in the interview I shared below.

Thanks to my wonderful crew at VIDICOM and to LG and Cold-EEZE for giving me the opportunity to spread the world about a whole new season filled with opportunities to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

 

 

Quick Hits

iStock_000018191976XSmallOnly one way to say this: it was a hell of a week. So on this Motivation Monday, I’m offering a simple post with three simple tips to get you even more excited about the start of spring!

  1. Leave the winter behind: Did you pretty much hibernate all season, skip gym classes or miss those daily runs thanks to dangerous weather conditions? Maybe you indulged in more than your fair share of calorie-loaded comfort foods. Don’t sweat it. Leave the sins of the past where they belong, take note of any updates to the spring schedule at your gym and stock up on some colorful produce and healthy food options. It’s time to get your mind focused on a fresh start!
  2. Don’t forget your core: It’s been awhile since I reminded everyone about the importance of incorporating core strengthening exercises into any fitness routine. I know everyone’s excited to start pounding the non-snow covered pavement for long runs and enjoy some outdoor calorie-burning fun like basketball and softball. If you’ve been less active than normal all winter, do your body a favor and don’t forget to incorporate some planks, crunches and bridges into your daily routine. You can do them when you first roll out of bed, when you’re watching TV or just add five more minutes to your workout at the gym. Click here for a reminder of some of my favorite core exercises.
  3. Workout for your skin: Spring makeovers are all the rage right now. I’m here to remind you of another great benefit of exercise – it’s a natural way to make your skin more radiant! Exercise improves circulation which increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your skin. It’s also been shown to reduce wrinkle-causing inflammation.

So, there you have it. Three easy reminders on how some easy tweaks to your spring routine can help you stay on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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