To celebrate the 15th Annual National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, we asked several Hera Hub members to share one piece of advice.
Feeling sluggish at work? Try adding in more healthy proteins like organic chicken breakfast sausage or organic eggs with healthy fats such as avocado or almond butter for breakfast and keep the carbs to a minimum. If you rely on that morning cup of coffee, try blending in a little grass-fed unsalted butter (like Kerrygold), coconut oil, and/or MCT oil to your java for a delicious “bulletproof” creamy energy boost that won’t make you crash. Keep the healthy carbs such as quinoa, brown rice, or sweet potatoes for dinner only, to help your body relax naturally for a good night’s sleep to keep you bright-eyed and productive when you awake.
Claire Stanley Bissonnette, FDN-P, CHC, AADP, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
If you have problems with your knees, hips, or low back, the cause could be tight IT (iliotibial) bands. This simple practice could eliminate or lessen the problem! The IT band is a tendon which attaches between your knee and your hip and runs on the outside of the thigh. Grab a foam roller, lie sideways on it as pictured. Keep the bottom leg straight, and with your bent top leg, move your body so that your bottom leg outer thigh is rolling over the roller between the knee and hip. 10 round trips per day for a month should help, or even offer dramatic results. And it takes only a few minutes!
Science shows performing mindfully, or focusing our attention on whatever we are doing in the present moment- makes us not only healthier in body and mind, but also happier in spirit. Get a double whammy from the effects of mindfulness by being present with your exercise and eating routines. All you have to do is slow down the process for a moment to notice the direct experience of your mind and body. You’ll be surprised at what you may notice: with exercise- your body naturally wanting to breathe a certain way? Or the warmth or burn in your muscles as they reach fatigue? The mind- with the urge to want to push thru to reach the end? Or with eating- The texture, density and intense flavor in the first 3 bites of food? How are they different from the 5th-10th bites? What do you notice? One thing most notice is the gratitude they feel when they slow down for a moment to take in the details of food, miracle of our bodies, and or the nature of our wandering mind and how we can choose to bring it back… In essence choosing health and happiness. Try it for yourself. Just intently focus your attention on your direct experience, without judging, and see what arises….
To avoid produce drenched in pesticides, download EWG Dirty Dozen App. Choose Organic with the following produce: Strawberries, Apples (juice too), Nectarines, Peaches, Celery, Grapes, Cherries, Spinach, Tomatoes, Sweet Bell Peppers, and Cucumbers. These crops are the most heavily sprayed with pesticides and fungicides.
Integrate exercise into your daily routine to stay physically active, keep your mind alert, and reduce stress throughout the day. For example, dance, do jumping jacks, or stretch while cooking breakfast. Take a walk during your lunch break. Walk, run, or ride your bike to dinner out. You’ll get your exercise on the way to the restaurant and the reward of a good meal.
Heather Conklin, MPA, MA, RYT
Proper sleep supports good energy, weight management, hormone balancing and overall vitality – yet many of us find ourselves struggling to fall asleep, or end up waking in the middle of the night. Establishing a consistent bedtime and waketime will help to get your body in a regular rhythm – if there are any worries on your mind, write them in a journal so you can relax. Use light-blocking curtains, have the room cool, and use white noise to promote a good sleeping environment (even a small amount of light will stop melatonin production – your sleep hormone). Avoid TV and laptop screens an hour before bed – the blue light is stimulating to your nervous system. Use blue-blocking glasses or apps such as f.lux or Twilight to modify your screens. Lastly, limit carbs and sugar (including wine) at dinner. This can lead to a drop in blood sugar, which triggers hormones that wake you up… usually around 3am!
If your romantic relationship is in a state of conflict, and you want relief from the symptoms of pain, grief and heartache (which have a huge influence on your overall health), start taking steps in the direction you WANT to go, rather than staying stuck where you don’t want to be:
– Recognize that the triggers that cause upset and pain are a result of emotional needs not being met, and be willing to respectfully communicate those needs to your partner.
– If you’re holding onto resentment, be willing to learn how to forgive and let go (this doesn’t mean you’re condoning it – it means you’re choosing to put this weight down and move forward, wherever that may lead you).
– If you’re questioning whether or not you’re with the right partner, be willing to get real about that answer, take action in a new direction, and ask for support if you need it.