Category Archive: Fit for the Road

Aug 08

3 Ways to Help Yourself Survive your Desk Job

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

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I love this infographic published in the Washington Post.

…and here’s why.  It applies to SO many people.  This is a reality!!

 

My job requires me to either be on my feet all day long (when I’m teaching), or has a lot of sitting (non-teaching days when I’m writing contracts/curriculum or when flying long distance).  A lot of people think the part that’s hard on my body is standing all day.  In reality, neither of these extremes is great.

 

Many of my friends, family, and clients have desk jobs that require hours of sitting each day. My son had surgery recently for a herniated lumbar disk so we know, first hand, that these hazards are real.

Short of getting a new job, what can you do about the occupational risk of sitting too much?

 

1. GET UP AND MOVE AROUND PERIODICALLY.

If possible, go for a 5-10 minute walk each hour.

At the very least, employment laws (remember, Human Resources is my “regular” job) require you be provided two 10 minute breaks each day – walk during those breaks, and at lunch. Not only is this good for your body, but also for your mind. You’ll be more productive when you return to your desk.  I had lunch with an executive yesterday, who has “walking staff meetings”.  When her staff meet for their weekly meeting, they bring sneakers and instead of sitting in the office, they all go for a walk.  I LOVE that idea!!!

If you’re not in such a progressive environment, and can’t go for a walk, at least stand up and stretch at your desk for a few minutes. Stretch when you go to the restroom if that’s all you can do!  (Do what you can, when you can….)

If you’re interested in some “at your desk” exercises, let me know.  I’d be happy to send you some.

 

2. EXERCISE.

Giving up on exercise because we’re burnt out from work is common!  But that’s the worst thing we can do.  That means, we sit in our car and drive to work, sit all day at work, sit in our car to drive home and THEN sit on the couch all evening until we eventually lay down.  You can see how all manners of problems can be created in this environment.

Make time to exercise, at a minimum, 20 minutes every day.

Do what you like.  That’s the only way you’ll keep doing it!!  Do what you can.

Remember, though, that there are tremendous benefits to weight training. I’m not talking about becoming a body builder. I’m talking about maintaining muscle (which burns more calories than fat) which helps to stabilize (and move) your body throughout your entire life.

 

3. STAND MORE THAN SIT.  PULL MORE THAN PUSH.

When I work with clients who spend a lot of time sitting, the very last thing I want them to do in the gym is sit down.

Get off the equipment!!

You’ve spent all day sitting down, now is the time to stand. Get on your feet.  Every exercise that a machine allows you to do can be done with free weights, or universal machines.

I have clients do more pulling that pushing when we exercise together.  Why? To strengthen those upper back muscles that have been slumped over all day while you’ve been on the computer.

Jul 28

Tuesday is a Travel Day

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

Depending on whether I’m flying, or driving; and what time I need to leave the house, travel can be a full-day adventure.  I got up at 0530 and have been running since the moment I opened my eyes.  It’s now 2141 (941 pm).

I checked e-mail while breakfast was cooking.

2 egg whites, 1 egg, 1 tsp cocoa nibs, 1 tbsp cocoa, 15 gr protein powder, 1 tsp glucomannen

2 egg whites, 1 egg, 1 tsp cocoa nibs, 1 tbsp cocoa, 15 gr protein powder, 1 tsp glucomannen

 

I like to get a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and some fat with meal #1.  Eggs, protein powder, glucomannen (fiber powder) a little peanut butter and some green grapes did the trick. Big glass of water, multi vitamin, fish oil & of course, coffee.

 

 

 

Warm & Yummy. Top with a little peanut butter.

Warm & Yummy. Top with a little peanut butter.

 

 

Today is a road trip but I have a couple hundred miles to drive.  I don’t like to put the wear and tear on my own car so I typically get a rental.  I’m thankful for public transportation in the city.  I’ll catch the city bus a short distance from the house; take that to the metro and then walk to the rental car location.

 

It was a great day for a walk.  Not too hot as it was still early.

 

Perfect morning for a walk.

Perfect morning for a walk.

 

Once I got the rental car, my first stop was the gym. With a drive ahead of me, I didn’t want to wait until evening to exercise. You know that when you wait, something unexpected always comes up!!  Or you’re tired, or you just don’t feel like it.  It’s best to get it in when you know you can 🙂

 

I worked my lower body.  This is typically my least favorite day – largely because I have scoliosis and a misaligned left hip from a childhood injury.  The ball does not sit inside the socket on that side of my body, properly.  Weight training has really helped me with both of these things.  Sincerely.

 

I can now squat more than my body weight, parallel.

I can now squat more than my body weight, parallel.

 

With the scoliosis, which I’ve had since I was 13 or 14, I used to have difficulty squatting.  In fact, not too long ago, I could only lift 95 pounds and could only squat half way down.  I have been pushing myself in a safe manner (I never work to the point of being in pain and I listen to my body), by trying to squat twice a week.  I can now lift more than my own body weight and am able to get to a point where my thighs are parallel.  Lifting has increased my mobility!!!  That is good for life!

 

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My spine. It should be straight up and down on the blue line.

 

Speaking of that.  What are the benefits of squats?

Pound for pound, squatting is the best bang for your buck. It hits all the primary movers (quads, hamstrings, and glutes), stabilizing muscles (which help balance), ligaments, connective tissue, core and spine. They are a functional exercise – meaning something you can use in your every day life. You squat down to pick things up (think children or groceries), when you get into you car, sit at your table, or go to the bathroom. Squats help you to build muscle, which, in turn, burns more calories. The increases in mobility and balance, improve communication between your brain and muscles which helps prevent falls. Squats improve range of motion in your ankles and hips. …and we all know that weight bearing exercises are great for holding off osteoporosis.  Are you convinced yet?

Unless there is a medical reason not to, squats are an awesome exercise for all of us!

 

In addition to squats, I did:

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Goblet squats rock.

 

A.  Cable squats (here, I go below parallel – my goal being full movement within the hip joint)

B.  Split squats (working one leg at a time, with the other up on a bench)

C. Hyper-extensions with weight

D.  Goblet squats

E.  Leg extensions, and

F.  Cable crunches (for core)

 

Protein can be the hardest thing to find.

 

After a quick workout, it was home to pack.  I’m only teaching one day so I didn’t bring a lot with me.  That said, I do not have a long enough lunch to be able to go anywhere. Protein can be the hardest nutrient to find so I always make sure to bring some with me.

I packed protein powder, tuna, and chicken breast.  I also made protein loaves for breakfast.  With eggs, protein powder, cocoa and oat flour, they have the carbs, protein, and fat I need to teach all morning.  I brought a couple of apples, some walnuts, and a Quest bar.  The coconut is not my favorite but it’s all that was in the cupboard.

In addition to food, I always have plenty of water, my road ID, my lighted bracelet, and iPad loaded with numerous podcasts and Audible books.  I’ll tell you more about those in a later post.

 

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There was just enough time to check e-mail once more, return a couple of business calls, make some travel arrangements, schedule a hair appointment, and write two formal proposals before throwing everything into the car.

A quick stop for lunch:  half-size strawberry poppyseed chicken salad (yes, I AM obsessed with this salad) with half a turkey avocado BLT.

 

 

Then I was actually on the road.  Five hours later – it shouldn’t have taken that long but I don’t like to pay tolls when I don’t have to so instead of taking the turnpike, I opted for twisty curvy 35-mile-an-hour roads and scenery – I’m all tucked in somewhere in State College, Pennsylvania.

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Jul 25

Getting More Than You Bargained For at the Buffet?

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

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Wow!! My friend, and mentor, Jill Coleman just hit me over the head with something. She said:

“One thing that I think gets missed a lot in the health/fat loss/physique discussion is quality of life. We tend to ask, ‘What will work?’ instead of first considering, ‘What will I enjoy?’ And contrary to what you might think, ‘what you enjoy’ is probably not stuffing yourself and eating to your heart’s desire.“

Oh my gosh! Right? So right!!

 

 

Every single one of the “diets” out there WILL work if they result in you taking in fewer calories than you burn.

The question should not be – which nutrition plan should you follow.

The question should be – which way of eating is conducive to your lifestyle?

Which exercise program are you actually going to do because you enjoy it?

 

…and, while we may think it’s freedom to eat whatever we want, whenever we want, in whatever quantity we want, that’s simply not true!

Do you remember how crappy you feel when you overeat?

 

I certainly do!!

I used to do that every time my family went to a buffet. I literally could NOT walk out of a Golden Coral without feelingScreen Shot 2015-07-25 at 5.37.50 PM sick. I never intended to start out that way. I always began with a salad. Always. Then I just wanted a l
ittle of this, a little of that, a little more of something else, and I couldn’t possibly leave without getting dessert – plus, it was just a little. A little piece of carrot cake and a little sliver of chocolate cake, and some ice cream, and maybe a cheesecake square… I wasn’t hungry. Far, far from it. But I HAD to have dessert because it was there.

I’m not exaggerating! Either of my kids, or my husband, could confirm this behavior to you.

 

 

What to hell? Why? If all of that food is available, we think we need to:

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For some reason, we feel like we need to, “get our money’s worth”. If we don’t stuff ourselves, we feel like it, “wasn’t worth it.”

 

It took me a long time, and a lot of hard work, to get out of that mindset. I stopped going to buffets for a very long time!!

 

Whether I stuff myself, and get sick, or I eat enough to satiate myself, I got my money’s worth!! I don’t need to set some record in eating a week’s groceries in one sitting!!!

 

Now I KNOW

– and I did then but this does take conscious effort

– I KNOW that I don’t need all of that food.

 

I don’t like feeling stuffed.

I don’t like heartburn.

I don’t like being uncomfortable and bloated.

 

Eating like that is not fun.

It’s not what I want to do.

 

….and if I don’t eat chocolate cake today because I ate hickory bourbon chicken and I’m really not hungry, I can have it tomorrow if I want, or the next day, or the day after that.

 

Here’s a story I shared with Jill. This happened just last night and shows how far I’ve come in my journey to embrace moderation. Last night my husband and I went to Panera Bread for dinner. He got home late and the restaurants around here fill up quickly on Friday nights. This is close to home and we both like it. I ordered a strawberry poppy seed chicken salad (not because I “had to” but because I truly love that salad!). I also ordered a piece of carrot cake since yesterday was our wedding anniversary (and I love carrot cake). I ate half of it. My husband asked if I was going to eat the rest (he doesn’t like it so we weren’t sharing). I said, “No. I’ve had enough.” I wrapped up the cake and brought it home.

 

Today I saw it in the refrigerator. There is absolutely NO reason that I need to eat that cake. We’re not celebrating. I’m not punishing myself and I have zero guilt about eating cake yesterday.

The entire piece of cake was 99 cents and yet I felt a pang of guilt as I threw it in the trash. That’s ridiculous!!! If I had eaten it, since I’m not really in the mood for carrot cake today, it would have been purely out of guilt. That would have been MORE ridiculous!!

 

Likely, if I were to drive to Panera right now, I could buy another slice. Carrot cake still exists in the world.  I’m sure of it!!!!

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Jul 13

KISS: Keep it Simple, Silly!

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T. 

Walking

 

Tonight’s blog is simple, intentionally.  Things don’t always have to be complicated or “just perfect”.  Wow!!!  I really must be recovering from being a perfectionist if I actually just wrote that last sentence!!  Sometimes a plan is what we need.  Sometimes all we need to do is keep it simple, silly!!

Did you know that one of the easiest ways to boost your overall health is by walking?  Yup, walking!!  Simple, right?  I can hear the fanatics now…”that is such a waste of time.”

Calm down!

I’m not saying you’ll get shredded, or competition lean by merely walking.  I’m just saying you can get healthier.  You could lower your blood pressure, improve your diabetes, sleep better, feel less stressed, enjoy better digestion, and, yes, you can even lose fat if that’s your goal.

 

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but there is a huge movement afoot in the fitness industry preaching hard-core training. “If exercise is good, super hard exercise must be better!”  If “some exercise is good, more exercise must be fantastic!”  I hear people refer to working out as “doing battle”. I see posts on my newsfeed of trainers saying such things as, “I made two people puke in class today!!” and those students responding, “it was awesome!”…like this is a badge of honor.

In reality, it’s very sad.

Vomiting is a sign that your body is in distress. That’s not what you should (ever) be trying to achieve with your workout. Trust me, I have worked out VERY hard.  I have left bootcamp and boxing sessions dripping in sweat.  I have done enough repetitions weight training that it was hard for me to use the toilet, get in my car, or raise my arms.  I push myself.  When I’m working out, I’m working out.  I completely get that part.

I can tell you, though, I have never puked.  Guess what else, I never plan to.

It’s not necessary.

No matter whether your goal is to lose fat, or get better at a particular sport.

Vomiting provides zero benefit.  It’s absolutely not necessary.

 

And exercise doesn’t have to be hard-core to provide benefits.  Walking works!  The American Heart Association, Diabetes Association, and dozens of other health care associations preach its benefits.  30 minutes a day can help you reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Walking has numerous cognitive benefits and helps to alleviate stress.  It aids in digestion when you walk after eating.

It’s simple but it’s very good for you, silly!

 

While walking itself can be easy to do, getting started with a plan to do it (or any kind of exercise at all, for that matter) on a regular basis can be a bit more challenging.

Here are three challenges that I frequently hear, and suggestions for how you might address each one.

 

1.  I don’t have enough time.

Who does? You have to make exercise a priority. The thing is, few of us have an extended time to workout every day.  Maybe you can’t fit in 30 minutes.

Do what you can!

If you can only walk for 5 minutes, do it for 5 minutes. If you only have an extra 10 minutes, do it for 10 minutes.

Is this going to provide an optimal level of cardiovascular exercise for health or fitness? No. Is this 5 or 10 more minutes than you would have done otherwise? YES!!

 

2.  It’s cold (or hot), raining, snowing, or too humid (or too dry).

I’ve lived in Maine and Nevada so I know about extreme weather!  We can’t control it.  Sometimes it doesn’t even seem like we can accurately predict it.

Is there a way you can work with the weather?  Could you walk earlier or later (when it might not be as hot)? Can you carry an umbrella and learn to enjoy a walk in the rain?

Can you walk somewhere inside?  Could you walk at the gym, in the mall, or even in your office building? The Baltimore Airport actually has a marked out fitness loop right inside the airport! I’ve walked more than a few flights of stairs at my hotel.

 

3.  I don’t know how to get started and I can’t walk very far at this point.

Just do it. Don’t worry about how long or how fast you’re walking in the beginning. Do what you can, when you can, where you are right now.

Walk at a pace that is comfortable for you. Walk as far as you can, or for as long as you have. As time goes on, push yourself a little – either walk a little faster, a littler further, or both.

 

References:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/17-reasons-to-walk-more-this-year/#axzz3fpEhfYWb

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2013/06/03/dc13-0084.abstract

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0081098

 

Jul 11

Photo-Blog of This Week’s Travel

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T. 

 

I thought I’d try something new today.  A photo-blog complete with creative hashtags (just because).  Let me know what you think of this format.  It was fun for me to put together.

This week’s travel has been unusual for me, for four reasons.

1.  My husband is with me.  I typically travel alone.

2.  We’re driving.  I’m typically on a plane a couple of times a week.

3.  This is for semi-pleasure.  We have work to do for my mother in law who’s turning 90 in a few days, but it’s not a business trip.  I have seen a lot of people posting travel articles recently, making it seem that travel for pleasure and business are the same.  I can tell you – without question or hesitation – they are very different.  #businessisntvacation

4.  This trip showed me how firmly moderation has taken a hold in my life!  #moderationiskey

 

Yes, I bring food with me.  That’s because I like the choice of what to eat to be MY choice regardless of where we are.  It’s no longer a compulsion.  Years ago I would only eat what I carried with me.  Yes, I try to get in some exercise at least every other day.  That’s because it makes me feel good!  My body appreciates the movement!!  Years ago I could not, would not, miss a workout ever!  #loseextremes

 

So, on Wednesday morning we packed up the truck and hit the road just after 5.

IMG_7864We took our time driving from Washington DC to Burlington VT.  My road trip cooler staples are:

Various fruit (for this trip that consisted of watermelon, apples, peaches, and blueberries), various veggies (zucchini, corn, carrots, pea pods, tomatoes – and, yes, I do realize those are a fruit), grilled chicken and turkey burgers, homemade soba noodles with chicken, Fiber One cereal, nuts, and protein powder.  Oh, and a couple gallons of water.

Burlington is a great town!  We didn’t go to Ben & Jerry’s, the Cabot Cheese Factory, or any of the many wineries on this particular trip but I refused to skip the Lake Champlain Chocolate factory.  I’ve been telling Brent about this place for a while; it was nice to find that he liked it as much as I do.  Dinner on the lake was a fresh salad with salmon, and local hard cider.  That’s a vegetable, right?  #chocolaterocks #Iluvvermont #localfoods

 

Burlington
Thursday was a full day.

I got up at 6 and headed to the hotel gym.  Nope, I don’t have to workout!  I did for several reasons.

1.  I have scoliosis.  Sitting for long periods of time hurts.  My body appreciates the movement.

2.  I had a slight headache on Thursday.  The increased circulation and oxygen helps.

3.  I woke up early and my husband didn’t.  They gym was available.  Why not?

 

Breakfast (and coffee!!!) on the road.  Is it okay to say we went by the chocolate factory again on the way out of
town?  Yes, we did!!!!  #allaboutthecoffee #workin4alivin

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In the picture, you can see that my husband had Mt Dew and donuts.  I chose a Quest bar and water.  Some people pass judgement on these choices.  I’ve been asked, how I can “let” my husband eat this way.  They ask, “Doesn’t it bother you, that he eats that way?”  No, it doesn’t.  He is a grown man. He eats what he wants – as do I.  I help people learn how to make better choices with food.  I teach nutrition and exercise.  I do not judge anyone’s choices – that includes my husband’s.  By the way, neither one of us eats like this all the time.   #nobannedfoods #nojudgementzone

I work in the truck so you can see a shot (lower left) of my “mobile office”.  I have my computer, paperwork, and books (options for business and pleasure) with me at all times. #roadwarrior

Lunch was at a cute diner in Bethleham, NH. Chicken salad with apples, pecans and balsamic for her. Burger and fries for him. I don’t pick my food based on “being better” than my husband.  I LOVE salad.  It is truly, one of my favorite things.  #BAS IMG_7933

 

 

 

After spending a little time at this really cool shop where a guy builds large sculptures out of old motorcycle and car parts (#ckoutoptimus), we continued on up Mt Washington, NH.  Did you know that Mt Washington holds claim to the worst (recorded) weather in the world?

We both grew up in Maine but neither of us had ever been up this mountain before.  As a person who studies clouds and weather, I found it fascinating!  Rime ice is amazing!!

MtWashington

 

Foodontheroad

 

We continued on, to Maine, after a snack on the mountain-side.  (Red velvet protein powder shake and watermelon – both from my cooler).

 

It was a beautiful day for a drive!!

Dinner was one of our typical “go-to”s:  Chipotle Mexican Grill.  I had a salad with either chicken or sofritas.  My husband gets a bowl with chicken and cheese.  There are many judgements about this choice too.  There’s a large faction that LOVES Chipotle because they are known for organic, non-GMO food.  There’s a large faction that HATES ChipIMG_7739otle because they are know for organic, non-GMO food and are; therefore, “feeding into fear mongering.”  We love Chipotle because the food is good, and we can put it together any way we choose.    #chipotlerocks #trysofritas

 

Here’s the final picture of these two day:  checking into our hotel in Augusta, ME.  Yes, that’s a Bud Light cooler.  I won it at the restaurant in Vermont 🙂

 

Tomorrow will be spent weeding the garden, cutting limbs, washing windows, and painting ceilings.  #worktodo

Check_in

Jul 08

Build Your Best Self While You Sleep. 10 Tips to Help You!

Guest blog by Stephanie Williamson | Inspired Training

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While my grandchildren have NO problem sleeping, and my husband is very good at sticking to a regimented set bed time each night, I never seem to get enough.  Never.  I’m tired around 3 or 4 in the afternoon but I wake up around 6 or 7 and before I know it, it’s 11, 12, or even later.  Pretty typically, I get up at 5 or 530, so this is not ideal.  It’s not great for my mood, my health, my appearance, and definitely not for my concentration.  Did you know that a lack of sleep can affect everything from your heart to your weight?

I’ve tried many tips, and done a lot of reading about getting more sleep.  I know it’s important to have a bedtime routine and to limit both caffeine and technology before bed.  I know that I personally do better if I have a little something to eat before bed (something like maybe a protein waffle or cottage cheese – nothing major).

Recently I’ve considered setting an alarm when it’s time for me to shut everything off and head to bed.  Today, though, as I have been up since 430, following 4 hours of sleep, I turned to my friend, Stephanie Williamson, at www.stephwillinspire.com for suggestions.  Steph is the creator of Inspired Training and promotes the {Eat Well, Train Smart, Love Always} Lifestyle. She was nice enough to provide these 10 tips for getting to sleep a little easier.

*****

I love sleeping!  In fact, my bed might be my favorite place on earth. Not everyone feels the way I do about sleep, but maybe you should allow yourself to explore the wonders of good sleep. Maybe you’ll even apply my “early bed time” rule. I am in bed either reading or relaxing by 9 PM… 8 PM if I’m extra lucky!

Phrases like “Sleep is for the weak” and “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” are going out of style. The importance of sleep is being researched and proven true. Not only does it make us more productive and alert, it can help our performance at the gym! When we sleep our bodies do amazing things. We release HGH which is a Human Growth Hormone. HGH helps us build and repair muscles which can improve our fitness level and our performance at our next work out. Research backs up the theory that it is not the training that improves our performance, but the sleep we get while recovering that really boosts our personal best. Now it is important to mention that quality of sleep counts too.

When we sleep we go through 5 stages of sleep. Each stage is important to our bodies, minds, and ability to perform daily activities as well as fitness goals.

 

Here is a short overview:

Stage 1: Light sleep. Loss of self awareness, start to relax

Stage 2: A light dreamless sleep. Breathing and heart rate slow down.

Stage 3: First stage of deep sleep called slow-wave sleep. HGH is released

Stage 4: Deep slow-wave sleep. Helps replenish physical and mental energy

Stage 5: REM sleep. This is where dreaming occurs.

 

You want to be able to get through multiple sleep cycles each night.  If you are tossing and turning you are most likely not getting into stages 3-5 which is what really helps us recover. You want better results, don’t just focus on going to bed early. Work on getting better quality sleep.

Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, unfortunately most of us are only getting about 6.5 hours a night. This is quite an issue in our society today. Some people sacrifice sleep not knowing the full effect of what they are doing. Losing 1-2 hours of sleep a night can really impair performance, memory, attention, and judgment. Chronic poor sleep can cause that awful feeling we get that we cannot catch up. This includes being irritable, getting muscle ache, headaches, unable to focus or complete the most simple tasks. We all know how that feels right?! Did you know that lack of sleep contributes to other issues like: diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression? That pillow is sounding better and better!

The icing on the cake here: You naturally eat less fats and carbohydrates when you get enough sleep!!!! So if you’re still awake to finish this paragraph I can explain. Lack of sleep messes with our hormones. Men and women both have this issue. Sleep deprivation can cause a rise in cortisol (a stress hormone) which makes us crave high fat comfort foods. When we are tired we also mess with the hormones that send signals to our brain that we are hungry or full, causing us to overeat when we do not need to. There is an average gain of some where around 1-2 pounds in a study done on people not getting enough sleep. Put down the peanut butter and crackers and just head to bed, trust me, you’re probably more tired than you are hungry.

Bottom line: Getting more sleep will help improve our lifestyle and get the results we want in the gym.

 

Here are 10 Quick tips to help you get to sleep:

  • Limit Caffeine and Alcohol consumption right before bed
  • Try to limit your use of electronics 90 minutes before bed. LED screen signal our brains to stay awake
  • Keep the house a bit cooler near bed time, our bodies like to sleep in cool conditions
  • Use your bed for only sleep, snuggles, sexy time, and relaxation reading
  • Your last meal should be at least 90 minutes before bed time
  • If you cannot fall asleep, get out of bed and do something productive until you feel tired enough to sleep
  • Limit lights and sounds in your bedroom, and make sure you have a comfy bed and pillow

 

  • Square Breathing Technique Stress and Sleep

Sometimes our bodies and minds are still too active at night to fall asleep. Often times this is a result of stress from our day. The Square Breathing Technique can help you calm yourself during stressful times as well as help you calm yourself into sleep. Here is a simple info graphic to show you how it’s done.

Square Breathing

 

 

 

[Debbie’s note:  I DO this.  It is fantastic for shutting off all those noises in your head.  Things like, “Tomorrow I need to xyz.  Did I abc? etc.  Give it a shot!!]

 

 

 

  • Yoga for Relaxing in Bed

 A night time yoga class can help you wind down after a long day, and help you slip into bed with a relaxed state of mind. I count on my gently yoga at night to help me get my best sleep. If you don’t have the option of a night time gentle yoga class try these few poses from Fitness Magazine Online

Yoga

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/yoga/poses/yoga-routine-before-sleep/?page=1

 

  • Herbs and Tea to help you get better ZzZzZzZz

If you need a little extra herbal support to help you catch your zzz you can use an herb capsules. Please ask your doctor or health care professional if these are right for you. They should only be used as a short term solution not a permanent or on-going solution.

Valerian Root – Is often used to help promote sleep. You can get this in capsule or tea form from your local health food store

A warm tea can help you relax before bed. It helps soothe you, and set you up for your best relaxation. I suggest drinking the tea about 30-40 minutes before bed. That way you have a chance to empty your bladder before sleep. No one likes to be woken up in the middle of an awesome dream session just to go pee!

My favorite pre-bedtime teas are:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.58.02 PM

 

I am not affiliated with Traditional Medicinals Teas, but I do love them for all sorts of tea remedies =)

I hope this information and helpful tips can help you get the sleep you and your body deserve. Get better results with better sleep!

That being said…I’m off to bed now. Good night!

– Steph

Jul 05

Fit for the Road Series: Part I. Sunday in the Park.

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

Running

For the past decade – actually, going on 11 years now – I’ve spent 200+ days a year on the road. I’ve been in just about every state in the US and many locations throughout Spain, Portugal, Germany, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Staying healthy while traveling that much can be challenging.

 

I plan to share several of my road-warrior tested tricks in this series. Chances are, even if you don’t travel as much as I do, there are times you’re going to be away from home. If you’re on vacation, vacation. Relax. Enjoy the local culture and food. Get your exercise by walking around and taking in the sights. If you’re on the road more than that week or so vacation, though, you may want to have a few of these tips in your back pocket.

 

Many hotels have improved their fitness centers with the addition of free weights, and the occasional universal machine. For the most part they remain cardio-centric with a treadmill, recumbent cycle and/or stepper. I’ll provide some hotel exercises, and tips for finding a gym while traveling, in one of the future pieces of the series.

 

To stay fit while traveling, bodyweight exercises are a super convenient option. I mean, you need nothing except your body.

 

I travel as a single female so I have to consider my safety when I travel. My preference is a good balance between too many people (so that it’s crowded) and too few. If I’m outside, local parks can provide the perfect location. For example, three of my favorites are:

Minuteman Park in Concord, Massachusetts. This is trail running at its best, not to mention the history! I ran there last year on the 4th of July – it was kind of cool to be there on that day.

Altus City Reservoir in Altus, Oklahoma. The downside of this location is that it’s just a loop. The upsides include geese, ducks, benches by the water, beautiful sunsets, and pull-up bars. It was here that I did my first EVER pull-up three years ago. You’re also free to do walking lunges and skip here, without anyone giving you so much as a second look.

Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock, North Carolina. Stairs. Lots of stairs. There are also numerous picturesque trails.

 

Today I spent a little time at Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge, Virginia. It’s going on my top 10 list, too. Not only were there running trails but also a “fit trail” consisting of several bodyweight workout stations. Here’s how you can use the park.

 

Warm up with balance squats, high knees, toe touch rotations, and jogging.

Balance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Station:  Push-ups & Pull-ups

Pushups

 

 

 

 

 

Pullups

 

Jog to Second Station:  Crunches & Ab Rotations (straight legs, up & over, rotating right and then left.

Abrotations

Crunches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jog to Third Station: Monkey Bar Shuffles

Hangs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jog to Fourth Station: Dips & Inverted RowDips

 

Jog to the Fifth Station:  Press-ups

IMG_7769

 

A quick Google, Yelp or Trip Advisor search can provide you with locations, and feedback, of local parks.

If you’re on Yelp (Debbie H) or Trip Advisor (ChprChk), look me up.  I am a top contributor on both sites and have LOADS of evaluations posted.

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