Crazy About Cardio!

When it comes to exercise, I’ve always been a crazy cardio lady! Anything that involves running or high intensity work, you can count me in! I’ve been a runner for most of my life. I’ve completed several 5k’s and even all the way up to a double marathon. But hey, I’m married to an ultra-runner so what once seemed like many miles doesn’t anymore. To be completely honest, I run for the fun/health of it now! And because I like to eat!  It’s a social thing for me usually, but when I run alone (more often now with social distancing) it’s more on the therapeutic side.

With the current health pandemic, now really is a perfect time to get outside and start walking/running/biking or any cardio activity you think you might enjoy!

Since this month we focus on cardio, let’s think about the benefits. Aerobic exercise helps reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke, increases bone density, increases lung capacity, increases energy, decreases stress while increasing quality sleep, and helps burn fat and calories.

Have you ever “woken up on the wrong side of the bed?” Basically just felt irritated and grumpy?! That was usually me before I started running most mornings. It truly is THE best way to start my day! Don’t discount what cardio can do for your mental health as well. It’s just as important, if not more, for mental reasons as physical.

Getting outside and getting fresh air and sunshine…those two things alone can help boost mental and physical health. When you add in some aerobic exercise it can double those benefits. Think about boosting your Vitamin D levels, decreasing depression, increasing gratitude and appreciation, breaking through the boredom (especially now) and experiencing greater levels of happiness. What we usually think will make us happier statistically doesn’t. Similarly, what we think is difficult and don’t want to do (exercise), usually rises our levels of happiness. So get out there and get your run on! I’ll be right here cheering you on!

Fitness From Home

As I am writing this blog it is day 30 of the Michigan stay at home order. People talk about the new normal- I hope not…but it is what it is. If you have not already done so, it is time to consider a home strength training program. It has been my experience that unless you have a home gym already, it is awkward if not difficult to strength train at home. However, you can do a program that will at least allow you to maintain your current level.

My first suggestion is take advantage of one of the number of organizations offering paid or free online workouts. Don’t forget there is a home exercise program on the PPW site. If you’re not into structured classes like that, be creative. Follow these principles and use what you have around the house to design your own program:

• Work the total body

• Work both sides of the joint (push/pull)

• 8-12 reps with a resistance that fatigues the muscle to a 6 or 7 on a scale of 10

• 2-3 days a week

One last suggestion, any cardio should be done outside!! We need to get out and get fresh air. Be respectfully of “social Distancing” but get outside. Stay Healthy

The Latest on the Science of Intermittent Fasting

Welcome Spring! The weather is warming up, and with all seasons of spring we start stripping off the layers. So naturally, people begin their‘Spring Break Bod’ plans [#SpringBreak2020]. There are so many different diets out there that claim to help with weight loss and disease prevention: low-fat, low-carb, ketogenic, paleo, whole 30, vegetarian, vegan, DASH, Mediterranean, MIND, etc. But I want to talk to you about one of the latest trends: the science of intermittent fasting, otherwise known as IF in the world of food and nutrition.

You may be used to eating three meals every day, plus snacks. That’s pretty common. With intermittent fasting you can essentially eat how much of whatever you want—but here’s the catch: you have to stay on schedule. With intermittent fasting there are scheduled periods of time when you can eat and others when you have to fast. Unlike most other diets, intermittent fasting tells you when to eat, not what to eat.

And, many people say that it can help lead you to better health and a longer life.

Sound interesting?

Let’s dive into some of the pros and cons of intermittent fasting.

How to intermittently fast

Most of the diets that help achieve weight loss work by reducing the number of calories consumed. Intermittent fasting does the same thing, but in a different way. This way of eating significantly limits calories (requiring fasting) for certain durations of time (intermittently), while allowing little or no restrictions the rest of the time.

Intermittent fasting essentially means skipping meals on a regular basis, sometimes daily, weekly, or monthly. Here are a few different approaches:

  • Time-restricted feeding—Having all of your meals during an 8 to 12 hour window each day, drinking only water the rest of the day.
  • Alternate day fasting—Eating normally one day but only a minimal number of calories the next; alternating between “feast” and “famine”.
  • 5:2 eating pattern—Consuming meals regularly for five days per week, then restricting to no more than 600 calories per day for the other two. This happens by eating very little and drinking only water on those two fasting days.
  • Periodic fasting—Caloric intake is restricted for several consecutive days and unrestricted on all other days. For example, fasting for five straight days per month.

Sleep Tips!


What are you planting?

Have you checked out our latest Lunch and Learn yet? Now that many of you are stuck at home, now might be a great time to start your garden!