Tag Archives: #wellness

Workplace Wellness

17 Jan

Most of us have full-time jobs that take up a significant part of each day, making it hard to find as much time to work out as we’d like.  Many of my friends, family members and clients have voiced their wishes to try to incorporate things into their work day that would help keep them on the path toward health and wellness.  These things may be small, but every little bit counts.

So here, courtesy of the Colorado Department of Public Health (special shout out & thanks to my friend Colleen for sending this along) are some suggestions about how to boost your workplace wellness and incorporate healthier habits into your life. Whether you’re new to fitness or are a seasoned vet, this chart has something for you.

The key is taking small, achievable steps toward change.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Make one small change this week, stick with it all week & next week do a little something more! I do this every Monday and call it my Monday Makeover

 

workplace wellness

 

Small Steps to a Healthier, Happier You

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Commit to Sit Less

Take the stairs

Begin with 1 flight per day.  Add a flight each week to advance.

Take the stairs at least twice a day.

Always take the stairs (no exceptions).

Stand in meetings

Begin by standing for 5 minutes.  Increase minutes when this is no longer a challenge.

Stand for half of the meeting time.

Balance on one leg, do calf raises, etc to make standing more challenging.

Conduct walking meetings

Start a meeting with 5 minutes of walking or walk around the hallway once.

Participate in at least 2 walking meetings per week.

Participate in walking meetings every day (when feasible).

Make conference calls/webinars active

Alternate between standing and sitting or do some chair stretches.

Use hand weights or resistance bands and do some strength training exercises.

Do whole body exercises such as squats, calf raises, and lunges.

Perform desk stretches

Make a mid-afternoon appointment on your calendar to stretch for 5 minutes.

Take 2 5-minute stretch breaks every day.

Do a stretch every hour.

Commit to Make Healthy Food Choices

Eat away from your desk

At least 1 day a week, eat away from your desk

At least 3 days a week, eat away from your desk.

Eat away from your desk daily.

Eat more fruits and vegetables

Add a fruit or vegetable to a snack or meal daily.

Eat at least 5 fruits or vegetables daily.

Eat 10 or more fruits or vegetables daily.

Eat out less

Bring your lunch at least 1 time per week.

Bring lunch at least 3 times per week

Only eat out on special occasions.

summertime sloth syndrome?

6 Jul

Snow; sub-zero temperatures;  sunset long before the work day ends; layer upon layer of clothes; waiting 15 minutes while the car warms up.  All the tell-tale signs of the dead of winter.  The world goes into hibernation as the temperature drops, and the desire to hit the gym or pavement drops with it.   WHY am I talking about the Winter Workout Blues in the middle of JULY on a 90 degree day?!  Well, because I think some of us experience a summertime version of the Winter Workout Blues- the Summertime Sloth Syndrome.

What is the Summertime Sloth Syndrome?  It sounds a little something like this: Its hot…no, its H-O-T….10 minutes in the sun and it’s a sweatfest.  And did anyone mention the humidity?!?  For some people it can be just as miserable as the snow and bitter cold of winter.  We get fatigued from being in the sun and the thought of exerting any extra energy to work out is nauseating.  All we want is to be inside the A/C or on the beach with a breeze and a cold beverage.   On top of all this, summertime is vacation time.  Whether its a weekend getaway, an extended trip, or even just a bunch of “staycation” BBQs, there’s always something to celebrate during the summer.  And all of this hearty eating and drinking can derail us from healthy habits.   Put all these factors together and Voila!, Summertime Sloth Syndrome (SSS).

How can we beat the dreaded SSS?  Its time to get creative and incorporate exercise into things that are FUN.  Working out does not always mean treadmill sprints, lifting dumbbells, and being confined to a gym setting.   Think about what you like to do, and then add an exercise twist!  If it’s too hot for a run in the neighborhood, try biking or rollerblading along a river, lake, or pond!  Hit the beach per usual, but this time bring your TRX suspension trainerand get a GREAT workout in the sand!  More fun can be had at the beach: play Frisbee, Nerf Football, or have races in the sand!  Want to be even closer to the water??  Go kayaking, water skiing, wake boarding, or tubing!  On a day that’s overcast and a little cooler, go for a long walk or hike.   No matter where you are, there’s always a workout waiting to be discovered.  Get creative, people!!!

This summer there are NO EXCUSES!  Don’t give in to SSS!!!! Reclaim your healthy habits and make your workouts FUN this summer!

What about you? How have you made your workouts fun this summer??

“cheat days”- we all have them

1 Jul

I get into conversations with people ALLLL the time about my diet- what I eat, what I don’t eat, and how I manage to “eat so healthy all the time!?”   I get asked questions like “Don’t you ever crave cookies or cake??”, “How can salad be so satisfying? Wouldn’t you just rather have pizza??”, and “Oh come on, eating so healthy can’t be that satisfying!”.

Truth is- yes of course I crave sweets and other “forbidden foods”;  while I absolutely truly love salad, sometime I DO want pizza; and eating healthy IS satisfying but I fully admit that I have my “cheat days”.  I break the rules every so often- I eat candy, cake, cookies, hamburgers, french fries, nachos, and maybe even some Munchkin donuts!!  Not all at once of course; but in small bits and on an infrequent basis.  Yes you read that right- I sometimes eat the food I consider to be JUNK!    And I do it because its only human to have cravings and equally as human to allow myself a treat every once and a a while.

I truly believe that it is because of the occasional treat and “cheat” that I am otherwise able to keep a healthy diet full of whole, REAL foods.  95% of the time I eat unprocessed foods that came directly from the ground, a tree/vine, or an animal.  I am aware of what I choose to eat and drink, and I compliment my healthy eating habits by exercising regularly and maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle.  Because this is the case 95% of the time, I allow myself to enjoy and splurge the other 5% of the time.  The key here is that the splurges are the EXCEPTION and not the rule.  Save them for special occasions- holidays, birthdays, important dinners, etc.

With the 4th of July holiday weekend here, it will no doubt be a time where we are surrounded by tempting foods at parties and BBQs.  Whether its potato chips, double chocolate brownies, BBQ ribs, cookies, ice cream cake or anything else that makes you salivate, don’t restrict yourself to the point of being miserable.  Instead do the opposite- plan to indulge during this special occasion.  Pick your favorite treat and allow yourself a small portion of it.  Be sure to take your time eating it- don’t shove it all in your mouth at once.  Enjoy each bite, savor the texture and flavors and really let it be an experience.  It’ll satisfy any cravings you’ve been having, and you’ll be less likely to binge on unhealthy foods in an unplanned way.

Food is delicious and fun.  It is made to be enjoyed so do just that!  All foods can be enjoyed in moderation and even the fittest, most health-conscious person can “Cheat” once and a while!

Have a HAPPY and safe 4th of July!!!

pre/post workout eating

1 Jul

Recently a Lucky13Fitness fan posted on the Facebook page asking me to write about the specifics of pre/post workout eating.  I thought it was a GREAT idea for a blog post!  So, here goes- my take on pre/post workout eating.   [Now, I MUST say that this is just that- MY take- and should be read as such.  Additionally, this is a basic outline that can be altered to meet individuals’ specific dietary needs/requirements.  Remember, not everyone’s needs are exactly the same, so its important to take the information supplied and use it in a way that works for you!]   Alright, here goes:

Pre-Workout

As a general rule, pre-workout food should consist of carbohydrates, a little fat, and some protein.  The main source of energy for the body comes from carbohydrates so you should NOT be afraid to consume this important food group, especially before working out!  Depending on the way your daily schedule unfolds and the time at which you workout, the pre-workout food could be a significant meal (400-500 calories) or a smaller snack (100-200ish calories).  If you are having a meal, make sure it is consumed at least 1 hour before your workout, so that there’s plenty of time for digestion.  If its a smaller snack, you can move it up to 30 mins before your workout.  There is a bit of trial & error with how close to your workout time you can eat.  Ideally you want to eat as close to the time of your workout as possible WITHOUT feeling ill!

Some of my favorite pre-workout snacks are:  apple & natural nut butter;  1 slice Ezekiel sprout bread toasted w/nut butter and sliced banana; greek yoghurt w/granola; 1 slice Ezekiel sprout bread with 1 string cheese; homemade smoothie w/1 cup milk and 1 banana or other fruit.

Post-Workout
It is absolutely IMPERATIVE to eat after a workout.  I have talked with so many people who think “I just worked out SO hard and burned ALL These calories.  The last thing I want to do is go ingest them all again! I’m not eating!”  I promise you, that’s not the way our bodies work.  After a workout, our bodies are depleted of glycogen stores and we are in somewhat of a starvation mode.  The main purpose of the post-workout meal is to stop protein breakdown, start protein resynthesis, and replenish glycogen stores.  Basically we need to give the body food to replenish itself, and build lean muscle.  And the sooner it happens, the better.  Immediately after and up to two hours post-workout is the key time to eat.

The question becomes: how much do I eat after I workout?  What if its late, and its right before bed? Do I eat a snack or a full meal?  The answer is- it depends.  People who work out first  thing in the morning will have a small pre-workout snack, and then can eat a proper breakfast when they are done.  If your workout takes place in the middle of the day after lunch, a post-workout snack will do the trick.  Those who work out later in the evening may have a small mid-afternoon snack before the workout and then should have a proper dinner afterwards.  People are often wary to eat a meal close to bedtime, but it is my belief that to omit a meal entirely is more detrimental.  A meal consisting of lean protein, some carbs, and veggies is a perfect thing to have after a workout, even if it’s an hour before bedtime.

Some of my favorite post-workout meals/snacks :  milk or greek yoghurt with cereal; egg whites w/spinach, tomato, mushroom and part skim mozzarella; apple with natural nut butter; grilled chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread.

The bottom line is this: there is no single “correct” way to eat pre/post workout.  Aim to follow key principles outlined here and tailoring them to meet your dietary needs, and schedule.  If you find it overwhelming or difficult, try meeting with a personal trainer or a registered nutritionist and talk detail about a specific plan for YOU!

June Newsletter

6 Jun

The summer is finally here! After all the rain, gray days, cold spells and yucky weather, I think the sun is finally here to stay!
The days are longer, people are a bit more laid back and the vibe is just so chill.  At the same time, summer always brings me a new energy- a positive mental state that has me smiling and putting extra pep in my step.  I can’t help but be in a great mood on a gorgeous, sunny day.  No more bundling up and shoveling snow just to get out of the house.  Just slide on flip flops (or running shoes!) and go!! Its instant happy!
This energy undoubtedly transfers from my daily activities, to my job, to my relationships, and to my workouts.  I am in a positive state of mind, and ready to give 100% in everything I do.
The key is to keep it that way as much as possible, and maintain a healthy balance.  When something gets you off track, and sours your mood, stop and take a deep breath.  Think about how much ACTUAL irreversible damage this person/thing is causing your life.  Is it WORTH getting so upset about?  Stop and look out the window, let the sunshine warm you, and  breathe in new air.  Try as hard as you can to keep the negative energy OUT of your life.  Summer should be about being HAPPY and having FUN!

BADONKADONK BONANZA 2011
If you have not yet experienced my version of outdoor bootcamp, you are MISSING OUT.  Take your fitness to another level by participating in a SWEATFEST 1hr workout that will get you in shape. I promise.

Physically it will challenge your strength, endurance, flexibility and agility.  Mentally it will help you to push  past your comfort zone, break through your supposed limits, and achieve goals and expectations…it’ll make you dig DEEP to bring your BEST.  Most importantly- it will be FUN!  Your fellow Bootcampers will provide both motivation and a little competition to get you going in high gear!!  Show up once a week for an hour and BRING IT, and I promise to do the same.
Spots are limited and WILL fill up fast so email me at lucky13fitness@gmail.com to reserve your spot today! Come sweat it out with me!!!

What You’ll Get: Badonkadonk Bonanza- a 1hr per week Bootcamp-styled group fitness class that will get your BADONK tight and your life right, emails from ME to help keep you on track to meet your goals, the valuable motivation from your fellow bootcampers.
Where You’ll Get It: Nunziato Field, 22 Vinal Ave., Somerville, MA, 02143
When You’ll Get It: Sunday evenings 7-8pm ALL SUMMER LONG!!!
Cost: $25/session.  Pre-register for a month and SAVE $5 per session. Get 4 sessions for $80!!!

How much a month do you spend on new clothes? food/drinks? makeup? jewelry? lottery? $80/month on your health and wellness is WELL worth it!!   Make the commitment to yourself and get results you DESERVE!

Stay Connected with Lucky13Fitness
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for exercise tips, healthy recipes, a whole lot of motivation, and DISCOUNTS on Badonkadonk Bonanza enrollment!!!

In The News
This past weekend I completed the Renegade Playground Challenge in Loudon, NH.  It is a 5k run with 25 crazyyyyy obstacles to conquer. Think mud, monkey bars, ladders, crawling in/around ropes, swamps, etc.  It was CRAZY!! It was most definitely a huge challenge and I was excited and proud to cross the finish line with my fellow Renegades.  This race is along the lines of the Tough Mudder, and Warrior Dash.  They are all incredible goals to work toward.  They give you a reason to train, and to push yourself FURTHER!  If you aren’t already signed up to take on a similar challenge this summer, i urge you to get a couple friends together and DO IT! It is so much fun!

SCHEDULE/TRAVEL
Lots going on this month!
I am teaching THREE Bootcamp sessions per week:

Wednesday evenings 6-7pm – Beacon Hill Athletic Club, Brighton
Thursday Noon-1pm- Beacon Hill Athletic Club, Brighton **NEW**
Sunday evening 7-8pm- Nunziato Field, Somerville

Travel- This month I am lucky enough to travel to China! I am very excited for my first trip to Asia, and can’t wait to share stories and pictures with you when I return!

June 20-29th- gone to explore Asia…

BUT Badonkadonk Bonanza WILL HAPPEN!!!  My friend and wonderful fitness colleague Paige Crowther will be leading BB on Sunday June 26th. Paige has been a veteran of BB and is FULL of motivation and energy. I have full confidence that she will lead an amazing camp!!!!

Subs for Wed/Thurs bootcamp at BHAC are TBD. I will let you know as soon as I find out!

WORKOUT WITH ME!!!
Whether you like the energetic environment of a group fitness class, the helpful motivation of working out with a friend or two, or the individualized attention of 1:1 training, I’ve got what works for you!  Let’s make 2011 your year- email me at lucky13fitness@gmail.com and lets get it startedddddd!!!!
Doesn’t matter if you live in Boston, Braintree, or beyond, we will make it work!!

MUSIC IS FUEL FOR YOUR WORKOUT
Every newsletter I include music that helps to get my Badonk in motion during my workouts, and share it with you!  This month, I’m giving you a track that will keep your sweatfest going!!!

Marry The Night- Lady Gaga

This song, and actually the whole album are GREAT for working out.  She’s gotten some flak for this record but i LOVE it.  It gets me into a great groove on a long run.  Enjoy!
Persistence. Determination. DREAM IT, THEN DO IT!

Much love,
Michelle

“To be your best, you gotta bring your best”

Does that really work??

24 May

Lets talk fitness, people.  Lets talk about the tried and true way to keep your body healthy and fit: exercise.  That’s right, I said exercise.  Not to be confused (or substituted) with: Toning shoes or clothing, pills/powders/bars, Shakeweight, or other gimmicks that promise your Best Body EVER.  Nope,  none of those will do the trick. If all those claims were true, everyone would look perfect and I would be out of a job.   But still, every day people fall victim to countless gimmicks that claim to be easier than all the rest, with quicker results too!  It is the nature of our society to desire immediate gratification for the least amount of money and effort.  The quicker we can get something, the better.  Unfortunately, this quick-fix mindset is doing us no favors.  Gimmicks and fads may produce some miniscule change (as a result of simply doing something different), but it is never long-lasting or quality.  Anything worth having takes time and effort.

But don’t take my word for it.  Go ahead, look around… find the person in the gym who has the body you want….the person who is fit and strong, has plenty of energy, and appears confident in the way they carry themselves.  Ask that person what they do to keep themselves looking that way.  I guarantee you that their response will include both healthy eating and a serious workout regimen on a CONSISTENT basis.  They do the REAL stuff that works- running, squats, lunges, planks, dead lifts, presses, flys, etc.  They eat real, whole foods and steer clear of processed, preservative-laden junk.  They do the stuff thats been around forever, because it WORKS.  The stuff that takes more effort than just strapping on a pair of shoes to tone your booty, popping a pill or mixing a powder to suppress your appetite and prevent fat from entering your bloodstream, or using a “magic” piece of fitness equipment for 10 minutes per day.

Real effort produces real results.  So that means, if you want to achieve your goals and make your body a healthy, fit, strong, confident entity, you’re gonna have to do the work too.   Think about how much effort you put into other aspects of your life:  your job, your relationships, your home.  If you only showed up to work 2 days per week, what would happen?  You’d probably get fired, and you sure wouldn’t get that raise you hoped for.  What would happen if you only spoke with your significant other once a week for a few minutes?  Well, I bet that relationship would go nowhere fast.   The same applies to your fitness.  You can not expect to put in minimal effort and get maximal results, it just won’t happen.

So, figure out exactly what it is you WANT…write it down…and then DO the real work required to get it.  Get on the treadmill, hit the pavement, pick up a weight, get SWEATY!!!!  Achieving it this way will taste so much sweeter!

EXTRA EXTRA!

18 May

Hi all! I know i already posted a blog today, but I was just making my Bootcamp playlist for tonight and wanted to share a particular song that i put on the list

I HIGHLY recommend downloading it, its a great tune.  Its called  “Until the End” by Breaking Benjamin

Here’s the youtube  link incase you wanna check it out.

Let this song fuel your day and help you stay strong Until The End!!

BRING IT!!

🙂