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The Cure for Sitting Disease

Counteract sitting disease with one hour of exercise per day.

If you have a desk job that leaves you sitting all day–or you’re bingeing out on Netflix for hours at a time, you probably already know by now that you need to counter that with movement. Sitting disease is the new smoking. It’s bad. But so far, no one has been able to give any exact recommendations on what the heck to do about it!

Until now…

This article is a great read if you’re interested in a more in-depth look at the study.

Researchers have come to the conclusion that you should do moderate exercise for one hour per day to counteract the horrible side effects of sitting disease.

Maybe that sounds overwhelming to you. But with a few tweaks, it isn’t be hard to manage. Especially since they say it doesn’t have to all be done at once.

 

Here are a few tips for you 9-to-5-ers to get your hour in:

  • Bike or walk briskly to work. Or park far enough away that it will take you 15 minutes to walk to work.
  • Use your lunch break to get a walk in.
  • Stand for two hours: If you sit for 6 hours, you only have to work out for 30 minutes to counteract it. So, get a standing desk and reduce the number of hours you’re sitting. Feel free to sway to your favorite music or do intermittent calf raises.
  • Move once per hour. Sneak into a conference room and do a minute of squats. Be vigilant about this! It’s easy to ignore the clock, but with vigilance, you can make this a habit.

 

River walk: combat sitting disease with a lunchtime walk!

 Thankfully I have this amazing riverwalk at my disposal!

 

If you want to be fit and healthy, this is what needs to be done! Even if you work out in the morning for a half-hour before work and then you sit your shift out, you’re not going to get anywhere. This could be one of those sneaky reasons you’re not losing weight!

So, get up!

Sitting disease is a real thing, and you sure as heck don’t want to catch it!

What are your favorite ways to break up the workday?

Walking Barefoot in the Grass

I found out something fascinating today.

Walking barefoot in the grass is magical. Like literally and figuratively.

IMG_1149.JPG

I have long been drawn to taking my shoes off and walking through the grass. There’s just something so calming and gentle about it.

Turns out, there’s also something scientific about it.

So today, I found this entire article about how walking barefoot through the grass (officially called “earthing” btw) resets your entire body through electron transfer with the earth. It helps regulate our body rhythms.

Ok, even to me that might sound a little woo-woo. But there’s got to be something to this right? Because doesn’t just the suggestion of walking barefoot in the grass make you want to do it right now?

If you really think about it, shoes do insulate us from the world, don’t they? They disconnect us from the Earth one level.

And that’s before you add flooring and rugs and carpet and cars and concrete….

And if I really start to think about it, my feet barely touch the actual ground during the day and my face barely gets shone the sun. I wake up, get ready (vinyl) and go to my car, which is parked in the garage (concrete). I get a bit of sun through the windshield on my way to work.

Drop off the kids (sidewalk). Go into work (concrete). Don’t see any nature for 8 hours, except when I take a break outside (all paved). Then I go home and I might, only might, go outside. And I might, only MIGHT run my bare feet through the grass.

That’s a whole lot of disconnect between me and nature. And between me and the real actual earth in particular.

Guess what I did on my lunch break today? I totally kicked off my shoes to try and absorb a few electrons…er…run my feet through the tickle of the grass.

Whether or not this reset mIMG_1169.JPGy body, it was an enjoyable experience. Research says it may have lowered cortisol and inflammation levels. I do know that it provided gentle stimulation, it provided a dose of green, it gave me a real connection to the earth, it gave me a little stress relief, at least for a few moments.

 

I challenge you too, dear #flasher, to kick your own shoes off and allow your feet to “feel” and experience something living and be part of the flow of Earth’s electrons.

Alright, #flashme your bare feet in the grass!

 

Make Your Own Sunshine

Can we just put that in quotes and attach my name to it please? Haha! Cuz I just made that up, but it’s so true!

I have always has a strong connection to the light. The first time I remember coming to my own realization that sunshine is medicine was in high school. One day, we had a study hall out in the courtyard, and I just soaked up the sun for about 45 minutes. I remember going back into school and feeling…different. I can’t quite explain how it made me feel except to say I felt lighter and refreshed. I made a conscious connection then between the sunshine and the satisfying feelings I was having, long before people started talking about seasonal affective disorder.

To the contrary, when I worked third shift in college, I started to feel the effects of sunlight deficiency. I never got used to third. Our bodies are not naturally in rhythm with that schedule. I had trouble sleeping during the day, I was morose about missing daylight, and I was so unhappy it made my teeth itch! To feel this opposite end of the spectrum was just as enlightening. I knew exactly how much the sun affected me and I knew that I never wanted to return to this darkness.

I’ve noticed too, that all my worst bouts of anxiety have happened in December, February, etc. So, at my last appointment, I asked my doctor what she thought about light boxes. She gave me an enthusiastic, “I love them!” She whipped the one she carried in her purse out to show me, and a few minutes later I had a script for one in my hands and am now the proud owner of a light box to remove the SAD from winter in Wisconsin, where exposure to sunshine is scarce. And my preliminary observations are that it’s working:

There’s a whole lot of science behind this. Here’s an enlightening article about the sun and health.

So, here I am with a therapeutic 10,000 lux sun maker. I really am making my own sunshine!! I love the sunshine and being in the light. I’m drawn to sunny windows like a cat (new poem about that to come). The sun’s energy just penetrates me in places that no other drug or uplifting tool or mood-boosting strategy could touch. And that, my friends, is a great metaphor for anyone who strives to make each day a little better…and brighter. Heh! Make your own sunshine!

Just thinking out loud, but now that I’m starting to make videos, I’m wondering if my new light box will make a good light box for shooting videos too. Haha!

Do you use a light box? If so, how has it affected you?

How to do the LiveFit Series at Home

For those of you that don’t know, bodybuilding.com offers a bunch of free 30 to 90 day fitness programs for both men and women on their website. You can choose a program to lose weight, muscle up and everything in between. I have tried the LifeFit Trainer before in the past and enjoyed it. It’s one of the most impressive workout and clean eating programs that I’ve seen anywhere for free. But, it requires access to a gym. Until now.

Hubster helped me film a video this weekend showing how to do Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer at home. I filmed substitutes for most of the moves that require specific gym equipment. To do the LiveFit Trainer at home, you need little more than a chair, weights, resistance bands and maybe an exercise ball. I did a few moves in the video with ankle weights, but you could even skip those and put a weight plate between your feet instead.

  • Seated calf raise: use ankle weights and/or place a weight plate on top of your knees.
  • Leg curls: wear ankle weights, lie on your stomach and bend legs behind you. Keep upper thighs off floor to make it tougher.
  • Leg extensions: put on ankle weights, use a sturdy chair and do extensions. You may also put a weight plate between your ankles.
  • Adductor: Squeeze an inflatable ball between the thighs.
  • Abductor: wrap tubing around upper thighs and perform an abductor press.
  • Back extensions: perform on ball
  • Reverse Fly: belly on ball, do a reverse fly.
  • Cable Rope Overhead Extension: Stand on one end of a resistance tube and perform a tricep extension with the other end.
  • Leg press: it’s difficult to do this move at home, but you can do heavy squats to get a similar effect. Use heavy weights or resistance tubing to intensify the squats.
  • T-bar row: perform rows with similar arm position using a heavy dumbbell.
  • Incline Press and Decline Crunch: any incline/decline moves can be done on a stepper. Put the risers under one side of the step to create the slant.
  • Standing calf raise: hang heels off any step in your home and lift up onto the balls of your feet.
  • Seated cable rows: I wind my rubber tubing around my treadmill and do them that way. Use thicker brands and choke up on the bands as you get stronger.
  • Triceps Pushdown: anchor the stretch tubing a little higher and perform the move.
  • Lat Pulldown: same position as triceps pushdown, perform a pulldown.
  • Underhand Cable Pulldown: same as lat pulldown, but switch hand position to underhand.
  • Cable Crunch: same anchor point, grab both ends of the tubing in your hands and perform a kneeling crunch.
  • Straight Arm Pulldown: same anchor point, pull arms straight down to your sides.
  • Cable Crossovers: I wound my tubing around both handles of the treadmill and did the crossovers kneeling.
  • Donkey calf raises: my little boy happily obliged climbing onto my back to do these.
  • Roman chair leg lifts: use the corner of your kitchen cupboards to rest your arms on. You can still pull your knees up to target abs.
Not shown:

  • Hanging leg raises and pullups: use your pull-up bar or monkey bars at the park. I don’t have these in the video because I didn’t have the equipment readily available while I was filming.
  • Lying T-bar row: belly on ball, perform a row

I hope this helps some of you tackle this excellent program at home. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

1 Minute Work Meditations

Hey Guys, I am jumping into the world of YouTube videos right now, and I’d love to have you check it out and tell me what you think!

So, I came up with two one-minute exercises that you can practice at work. They seem really simple and shruggable.

But.

Let me give you the lowdown on the profound, far-reaching benefits of mindfulness meditation:

  1. Addresses muscle imbalances (that you might not even realize you have): I specifically designed these exercises to stretch the chest and work the back and combat that hunched upper crossed syndrome that desk workers usually have. Here’s a really good article if you’d like to read more about this chest/back imbalance.
  2. Oxygenate: deep breathing exercises increase blood oxygen levels. If people with asthma can benefit from deep breathing, then that’s really saying something.
  3. Energize: at the same time as your blood oxygen is rising, your energy is increasing, but it’s a calm energy, not a frenzied one.
  4. Anti-anxiety: I have struggled with anxiety-related issues and one thing that kept coming up for potential treatment options was mindfulness meditation. I thought, huh, what’s that gonna do? Then, I saw it over and over and over, and with my arms crossed, I thought “fine, I’ll try it.” Turns out, it’s a pretty darn effective treatment, especially for OCD. It lowers your threshold for anxiety, provides an alternative to rumination, dampens fight-or-flight mode, and keeps your body in a much more relaxed state on a regular basis. The root of anxiety often is bad thoughts (something’s wrong with me, I’m not good enough, etc) that have too much power, and mindfulness meditation reduces that power. But you don’t have to have an anxiety disorder to benefit as it reduces stress and frenzied thoughts.
  5. Increased work productivity. Seriously, a regular meditation practice can restructure your brain! Don’t believe me? Read this. Benefits listed in the article also include improved attention, reduced stress, more compassion, and on and on. These mind-clearing exercises should be boss-approved.
Do you get the idea? I could go on… Meditation might sound new-agey, but it’s becoming more mainstream, and for good reason. If you’re still not sold, here are 100 Benefits of Meditation. If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

There’s no reason you can’t reap some of these benefits in one minute! However, you’ll get a more profound effect if you practice longer, regular meditation.

Here are my brand-new videos. I would appreciate it if you’d ever so kindly check them out, subscribe to my channel and/or leave a comment and let me know what you think. 

Lavender Earache Compress

Kayne complained one day when he had a cold that he had an earache. Unsure whether we needed to call the pediatrician for antibiotics yet, I thought I’d give a home remedy with essential oils a shot.
First, I consulted my book about essential oils for children. Did you know many essential oils that are safe for adults are not safe for children and especially babies? Do a little extra research before you use them with abandon. I also consulted the book for advice about earaches.
Out of the essential oils I already had in my cabinet, what I found was that lavender and tea tree (melaluca) are great for children’s ears. So, here’s what I did:
Supplies:
Sweet almond oil (or other carrier oil)
Lavender essential oil
Tea tree oil (optional)
Washcloth
Warm water
Directions:
  1. Pour a small pool of oil in the palm of your hand. Drop in one drop of lavender oil. Add one drop of tea tree oil if you wish, too. Use your finger to stir the mixture in your hand.
  2. Rub the mixture around the outside of the child’s ear. DO NOT put any inside the ear.
  3. Dip a washcloth in a bowl warm water (you can add a drop of lavender to the water too) and have your child rest their affected ear on the washcloth for about 10 minutes. You may want to put a plastic bag underneath so the wetness doesn’t get on your furniture. Re-warm the washcloth if necessary. Alternately, you can have the child rest their head on a low-heat heating pad.

My son said his ear didn’t hurt anymore after using the heating pad method. So, it worked! Some of the cure might have just been the coziness and tender loving care from his momma, but that just comes with the recipe:)
Any other home remedies for earaches that you’ve tried with success?

Free Fall Fit Club

Because I love fitness so much and I want to help people as much as I can, I am offering a free 21-day fitness club.
It’s so easy to start slacking on your fitness goals when fall rolls around, so it’s the perfect time to re-commit to your health goals. With this 21-day fit club, you’ll have access to workouts, meal plans and ME as your fitness coach.
You read that right! You get the benefit of being coached by an NASM certified personal trainer for FREE, so don’t pass up this opportunity.
The fit club consists of an accountability group on Facebook, led by me. We’ll share slimmed-down comfort food recipes, cheer each other on, participate in challenges and reach toward our goals together. But you have to be committed to participating.

Yes, it’s completely free. You don’t have to buy anything! Just comment or email me if you’d like to join. Share the post if you know anyone who might be interested.

A Drum Circle Experience

There’s a little bit of hippie in me and every once in awhile it comes out in a free-spirited blend of essential oils, a backyard tepee, a flowy bohemian skirt, or a community drum circle.

This past week, Kayne and I participated in our local drum circle. He had experimented with drumming at the farmer’s market and was willing to give the drum circle a try. Plus, I like to treat him to special one-on-one time when I can, and this was a great opportunity to do that. I’ve always thought he might enjoy something like this.

The drum circle was set up at a park in town instead of their normal headquarters in a nondescript storefront. The outdoor setting had a nice nature/community/open air element to it. Passersby would stop to watch and passing kids were handed maracas and other noise-makers to try.

I love what it says on their website: “Rhythm is universal. It is inside and all around us. From our heartbeat to the cycles of the seasons, it is more a matter of opening ourselves up to remembering and feeling than a music lesson…Using creativity we all possess we will make beautiful music ‘in the moment.'”

Drum circles are really both a physical and emotional experience. I’ve been trying to incorporate more spiritual and mental fitness into my life, and I think drum circles encapsulate a whole bunch of wellness practices:

1. It’s a community builder and great social activity. You’re meeting people and you’re all working together to build something pleasant. A drum circle is a very open group of people.
2. It’s a practice in mindfulness. One of the frontline treatments for my anxiety-related issues is mindfulness. Meditation not only lowers your threshold for stress, but it also helps you live in the present and let worrisome thoughts pass on by. It may sound a bit new-agey, but it’s really grounding. And it’s really effective. It sounds too simple to be very effective, but it is profound!
3. It’s creative.
4. It’s physical and gets me out of my head, where I spend too much time ruminating and analyzing.
5. It’s therapeutic. There are studies about the use of drum circles, and music in general, as an effective form of therapy.
6. The being outside part is also therapeutic.

Bottom line: I’m kinda hooked!

So now, when I’m at work, you might find me listening to drum circles on YouTube which sort of produces calm energy and helps with my concentration. It’s like the musical rhythm gets me into a good work rhythm too. Ok, hippie moment over…

Farmer’s Market Kale Salad

I know that one of the most persistent comments I hear about going to the farmer’s market is “I love getting fresh veggies, but I don’t know what to make with half of these ingredients!” I myself have fallen into that rut myself. But I’ve made it a point to be intentional about my farmer’s market shopping, picking out recipes that I’ll actually make and eat. I’m dedicated to living healthier and just love knowing that all the little pieces of fresh veggies go to work inside my body. So, maybe I’ll make “farmer’s market recipes” part of my new blogging repertoire. We’ll see;) I usually only like to make simple things. I also like things that can be tweaked based on what I have on-hand. If that’s your jam, stay tuned.

So, kale! It looks like something you probably never want to touch. It’s such a weird thick lettuce-y vegetable that no one knows what to do with, let alone WANTS to do anything with. I happen to love it when prepared right. The secret is in the marinade. You have to marinate kale to soften it up and give it good flavor. You have to massage the marinade in so it really absorbs, like sunscreen on the human body. See how that sounds like more like an “interaction” than a recipe? You actually have to interact with the kale to get it how you want it.


Farmer’s Market Kale Salad

Ingredients
1 bunch kale
4 green onions, chopped (also from the farmer’s market)

Toppings
2 Tbsp craisins
2 Tbsp almonds
2 oz cheese, cubed (found THE best mushroom cheese at the market)
Other toppings of choice (other nuts, raisins, cherry tomatoes, feta, etc)

Dressing
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil


Directions
Shred the kale and put it in a bowl. Toss in diced green onions, cheese and toppings of choice. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Massage the dressing into the kale. You might even want to put the salad into a plastic container with a lid and shake it up, especially before serving. That’s it!

This is the one type of salad where you actually want the leaves to “marinate” in the dressing. They won’t get soggy! It will only taste better. If you want to add other greens to your salad, add before serving so they don’t get soggy.

What would you buy at the farmer’s market if you knew what to do with it?

Ultimate Tone it Up Bikini Series Printable

TIU Printable
Anyone else super excited for the annual TIU Bikini Series? Last year, I was unable to participate because I was very pregnant and very mobility-challenged. This year, I intend to rock it! Basically, the Bikini Series is an 8-week workout plan that leads right up to summer. You follow the workouts that are posted by Tone It Up each day. If you have the Nutrition Plan, you’ll be choosing recipes and following along with that (or just eating clean). Their are daily prizes and huge incredible grand prizes for the winners. Check out last years’ winners!
What I love most about Tone It Up is their community of women. They’re all about making girlfriends for life and it’s like a close-knit group of friends, bringing each other up. Everyone is encouraged to make connections on Twitter, Instagram, the TIU community pages, in real life, etc.
By the way, I will be doing daily/almost-daily check-ins on Twitter/Instagram. Let’s follow each other! Twitter: @BounSee_Jess, Instagram: @Boun_SeeJess. The hashtags for the series are usually #toneitup, #BikiniSeries #100bysummer, #150bysummer, #tiumeals, etc.
Now, because I’m a super Type-A organizer type, I just had to design a printable for the upcoming Tone It Up Bikini Series. I’ve designed a few others in years past, but wanted to make a fresher, more comprehensive printable. I like things concrete, on paper, in front of me, especially when I’m doing my daily planning and goal-setting. 
So, I designed the ultimate Tone It Up Bikini Series printable. You can print the entire set of printables HERE. It includes eight trackers:
  1. Workout Planner
  2. Daily Checklist (Bombshell Spell, Booty Call, Workout, Check-in)
  3. 100 by Summer Tracker
  4. 150 by Summer Tracker
  5. Meal Planner
  6. Goal Tracker and Reward Sheet
  7. Summer Bucket List
  8. Measurement Tracker

Hope this printable helps you achieve your goals. Please Pin and Share away! If you use them, I’d love to see pictures. Tag me or leave a message so I can see! 
These are just for personal use though, not intended to be sold or distributed. The logos belong to Tone it Up.