When Your World Is On Fire

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How do you keep up your healthy lifestyle when your world is on fire?  Everyone has busy and chaotic lives. We’re all juggling jobs, household responsibilities, kids homework, kids activities, volunteer rolls, caring for aging parents, etc, etc. But I’m talking about when the usual daily craziness blows up into straight-up disaster. I’m talking about even before the corona virus pandemic and the stay-at-home orders affected everyone around the globe. In my world, that just added fuel to the fire.

I’ve talked before about my daughters struggles with anxiety but since she started middle school in September, it has escalated beyond my and my husbands ability to manage it on our own. I won’t go into a lot of detail because that’s not what this post is about but lets just say there has been panic attacks, meltdowns, medication, lots of doctors appointments, a large chunk of missed school, lots of school admin meetings and discussions about whether more intensive treatment was needed. I attended over 20 doctors appointments in 4 months time.

Needless to say, this completely disrupted our normal family life. When your kid can barely get herself out of bed in the morning without having a full-on panic attack or starts to hyperventilate if she has to think about getting dressed, it makes it really hard to stay motivated to exercise and make a healthy breakfast and prep your meals for the day, let alone the week or beyond. 90% of my mental and emotional energy was put into managing her immediate crisis situation. The last 10% was reserved for my other daughter (my son was away at college at that point). Which meant there was nothing left for my husband or myself. It was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. I had no energy or desire to do my regular exercise routine even though I knew it would probably help.

As this crisis situation turned from a few days into weeks, I knew I had to get back to caring for myself before I completely fell apart and then my husband would have two people to take care of. I wasn’t eating well. I was barely sleeping and I definitely wasn’t exercising. I decided that this was just our new normal even if it was a long term temporary situation. So how could I work with it to help my daughter but still help myself? 

  1. Instead of getting takeout or delivery too often because I was too exhausted to cook, I planned super simple meals and had groceries delivered. We don’t eat fancy meals to begin with but I made it even simpler than before. We ate a LOT of pasta and grilled cheese sandwiches! Not ideal but better than a drive through or pizza delivery.
  2. I gave up on exercise because I didn’t have time to complete my program the way I had written it for myself. But just because I didn’t have the usual 45 minutes didn’t mean I couldn’t do 15 minutes of something. I tell my clients this all the time but somehow it wasn’t sinking in for me. So, I scrapped my regular exercise routine and just walked or ran on the treadmill when I felt like it. Running has always been a way for me to mentally focus so when I let go of the “pressure” of a training plan it was actually easier to fit exercise in.
  3. As I had to continue to attend multiple doctors appointments and meetings, I started taking more control of when I was scheduling them. When my daughters crisis first started I was panicked and took whatever appointments were offered whenever I called. That meant I was taking her to appointments at all hours of the day regardless of my schedule. Once I calmed down and realized this was not a medical emergency like an accident or broken bone or something, I could wait a few hours or a day or two for an appointment at a more convenient time. I started trying to schedule appointments on the same days of the week which helped me feel a little more in control.

I know it’s hard to maintain a healthy routine in everyday craziness but we all know how important it is. But when your world is on fire, some semblance of health can be a lifeline. If you feel like things are seriously out of control, manage the crisis first. That’s the priority. But try to get back to your healthy choices, even if they’re limited or modified for now, as soon as you can. Let go of your usual routines and expectations and just do what you can. You’ll get back there eventually.

This is an ongoing situation for us. My daughter will never be “cured” of her anxiety. She will simply learn how to manage it so that she can function. Hopefully. In the meantime, we’ve adjusted to a new normal and my healthy living program has pivoted accordingly. 

Happy Exercising my Fit Friends!

P.S. I hope everyone is finding ways to stay active and release stress during the stay-at-home order. Message me if you have questions or need ideas for home exercise. I’m here to help.

New Newsletter and Reasons for a Home Workout Plan

Hey there my fit friends! I know I haven’t been around for a while. I’ve been working on some other things and had some family stuff going on. But I’m back to focusing on home fitness and healthy lifestyles! Before I get into reasons for home workouts, I want to let you know that I’ve started a monthly newsletter to go along with my website. The newsletter will include workout programs, fitness tips, recipes, frequently asked questions and more. If you’re interested, you can sign up here. I will continue to post to this blog but will reserve this for more personal stories about mine and my family’s fitness journey, product reviews and other anecdotes related to fitness and health. And as always, I welcome feedback on existing content or anything you would like to see more of. Thanks for sharing this fit life with me!


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5 Reasons You Should Have a Home Workout Plan

If you work out in a gym every week, you’re probably used to the equipment and routine. You like the variety of exercises or classes offered. You might enjoy the social aspect of a gym and seeing the usual people at the same time every day. Your monthly membership fee is a totally worthwhile expense and you feel right at home at the gym. 

But what happens when you can’t get to the gym?

Do you have a backup plan? 

There are a number of reasons to have a plan for working out at home. Even if it’s as simple as running up and down the stairs, knowing what you’re going to do before you need to do it will help you stay on track.

  1. First, if the weather is treacherous and you don’t want to drive, a home workout plan will save you that headache. Then you don’t have to worry about cleaning snow and ice off your car (Unless you still have to go to the office, I guess) to get a workout in. You don’t have to concern yourself with trying to navigate sketchy traffic in bad weather. Just stay safely at home and still get your workout in with your home exercise backup plan.
  2. Second, nothing will derail your gym workout plans like a sick kid coming in to your room at 4am. When this happens, having a home workout backup plan can keep you from losing your mind caring for those sick kiddos.
  3. Speaking of 4am, what if that’s the only time you have to workout? Work and activity schedules change all the time. Whether its a permanent change or temporary, your gym hours may not mesh with your current schedule. Sure, there are 24 hour gyms but maybe not near you. And you might not want to be part of the 4am crowd at a gym. Just sayin.
  4. If you don’t want to skip your workouts when you travel for work or when you go on vacation then a home workout plan is in order. This plan might need to be a little different to accommodate what you can do in a hotel room but the idea is still the same. Lots of hotels have in-house gyms or equipment you can borrow to use in your room which will make planning your travel workout routine much easier but it will still be different than your regular program so planning is important.
  5. The last reason for having a home plan is simple convenience. Sometimes you just don’t feel like schlepping out to the gym. Sometimes you just don’t feel like putting clean clothes on. (No judgment, I do it!) Having a plan in place for when you need (or want) to stay home just makes sense. As I stated above, it can be as simple as running stairs or jumping rope in the driveway or it can be as complex as a full body strength plan with multiple sets and makes use of some equipment you have at home.

Now that you have the reasons for a home plan, you need to create the plan. Think about your space. Do you have stairs you can run? Do you have a backyard you can do sprints across? Think about bodyweight exercises you can do such as pushups, sit-ups, squats, mountain climbers or burpees. A super easy way to get a workout in is to stream something online. So clear some space in front of the tv and do a quick YouTube search. The bottom line is that having a plan before you need the plan is what will keep you consistent even when life gets in your way.

Happy Exercising!

P.S. Here’s the newsletter link again!

Be Proactive with Your Health

I know a lot of people avoid the doctor’s office at all costs unless they are deathly ill, but here’s the thing…regular check ups are important. Don’t wait until something is wrong to go to the doctor. Preventative health care gives you the power over your health. Annual physicals and health screenings find minor issues before they become major issues. Early detection can provide more treatment options and a better chance for a good outcome. It can even provide the chance to reverse certain conditions if they’re caught early enough. Good doctors can also guide you to healthier lifestyle choices and help you find ways to make that happen with resources and support.

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Regular blood panel screening

People in my personal life who know my medical history get concerned and assume there’s a problem or recurrence if they see or hear that I’ve had an appointment. I know that’s just a knee-jerk reaction but I have regular appointments to make sure there ISN’T a problem.

I know we can’t control everything about our health but I believe we can control more than we think. By eating well, moving a lot, resting when you need to and checking in with your doctors regularly, you could be doing yourself a whole lot of good.

 

Some regular appointments I have are:

  1. Annual physical with general practitioner
  2. Annual check with my dermatologist
  3. Annual check with my gynocologist
  4. Annual check with my vein specialist
  5. Every 6 months with my oncologist
  6. Annual check with my breast surgeon
  7. Every 6 months with my dentist

I’m probably missing a few but you get the idea.

Some common tests and screenings women should have are mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies, blood pressure and cholesterol checks, blood panel screenings, eye exams, skin checks and bone density screenings. Some common tests and screenings men should have are blood pressure and cholesterol checks, blood panel screenings, eye exams, skin checks, colonoscopies and prostate cancer screenings. Your doctor will recommend other tests or screenings based on your individual situation. But the doctor can’t recommend anything if you don’t go see them!

Take the time and make yourself some appointments today! Now!