Changes!

I wanted to take the time to thank you for following me on this blog. I have been slowly growing into my own business and have now come to the point that I am bringing my bogs all together in one place. So please visit me at: http://sensiblesolutions360health.wordpress.com/

I hope you will continue to follow me at this site. I look forward to interacting with in the future!

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100 Day Challenge Check In

So how is everyone doing with the 100 Day challenge? Have you been able to get in 30 minutes of purposeful movement every day?

I have to admit that the snow has forced me to be very consistent. I really hate the snow (as you already know) but when it comes down like it has been it requires attention. I am thankful for my snow blower but it is still a lot of work.

The challenge has also forced me to think more creatively. I would run everyday if I could. Sometimes though my body has other ideas. I decided when we started the challenge that I had to add purposeful stretching to routine or else I would really start to suffer. I had attended a great yoga class in the beginning but then I went out of town. when I came back I forgot about it until yesterday the instructor for the weight lifting class boldly said, “You are a mess! You have to start yoga!” Then I thought, Oh, yeah! So back to yoga I went this morning. I wish this yoga instructor taught this level of class more often. He is often. His moves are methodical and slow. I take a long time to get into get pose but then he stays there so I always have enough time to really work at that pose.

I know I should continue to look for interesting ways to move. It is a great opportunity to try new things. I must admit that the snow has my creativity a bit buried. Hopefully as spring comes to life (and it will!), I will be able to explore other fun things outside.

Curious…what have you been doing for the challenge?

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The Mind

I just had a great meeting with a friend. We were discussing the importance of the mind when tackling weight loss. What we think and feel plays such an important part in how we act. The primary focus of our conversation was on how many people would agree with this statement but when asked to look at what they are thinking or feeling in regards to their journey then they back off. I know change is scary and difficult under the best of circumstances. But if we are afraid of exploring our own feelings and thoughts so that we can conquer life’s challenges, then how are we suppose to get anywhere.

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is INSANE!

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52 Small Changes: Let’s get some sleep!

 

 

Studies show that sleeping seven to eight hours per night is instrumental to our health and well-being. Prioritizing a good night sleep every night will do you wonders.

It is often called sleep hygiene. Just like you have a routine for keeping clean you should have a routine for getting enough sleep. We are also talking about more than just being in the bed for 8 hours, you want the sleep to restorative.

To create an optimal sleep environment, consider the following:
Lighting: you know what you can tolerate. Excess light can make it difficult to fall asleep and then stay asleep.
Sound: Ensure that your bedroom is isolated from a lot of noise. If your room is situated so that noise can’t be avoided, purchase a white noise machine to help mask the worst of it.
Linens and Sleepwear: Use what is comfortable to you. I love my flannel no matter what time of year. Other can’t stand it. If a fabric irritates you, avoid it!
Temperature: Again, you know who your body responds. Either extreme is not good for sleeping. Find that comfortable middle ground.
Humidity: Just as extreme temperatures can disrupt our sleep patterns, so can extreme dryness or humidity. If your room is abnormally dry, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. If, on the other hand, your room is extremely humid, use a dehumidifier to remove some of the extreme moisture.
Develop a Sleep Schedule: Sound sleep patterns depend on a sleep schedule that is predictable and repetitive. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day helps keep you in balance. If you are currently getting under the seven-hour minimum, figure out how early you need to go to bed so that seven hours are achievable. Slowly shift your schedule each night by going to bed fifteen minutes earlier than the night before until you have reached your seven-to-eight-hour requirement.
Time Exercise Wisely: Exercising too close to bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep. Ideally, you should exercise in the morning or afternoon. If you exercise after work, do so by early evening so your body has enough down time to relax and become ready for sleep.
Create a Bedtime Ritual: In order to prepare your body and your mind for sleep, create a bedtime relaxation ritual. If you have trouble clearing your mind, journal your thoughts and your to-dos for the next day. Make a list of all of the things you want to tackle so your mind relaxes more easily.
Avoid Sleep Inhibitors: Avoid substances late in the day that stimulate the brain, such as sugar and caffeine. This was a huge one for me for so long.
Limit Alcohol: Although alcohol can relax you and help you fall off to dreamland, it can also disrupt sleep patterns and hinder your ability to sleep soundly. Alcohol tends to keep you in lighter stages of sleep, which can cause you to awaken easily during the night. This deprives you of valuable REM and deeper, more restorative stages of sleep.
Smoking: Although smoking is detrimental to your health in general, it’s also detrimental to sleep patterns. Heavy smoking causes individuals to sleep very lightly, ultimately reducing the duration of REM sleep. Further, smokers tend to wake up after three or four hours because the body goes into nicotine withdrawal.
Eating: It is best to finish eating at least two hours before bedtime, and no later than nine p.m. Otherwise you run the risk of being kept up by an active digestive tract. Make sure your dinner is well balanced with complex carbohydrates and lean protein, and not too high in fat or simple carbohydrates (sugars and foods made with refined flour). Finally, avoid eating foods that cause discomfort, acid reflux, or excessive gas, as they will surely keep you awake.
Fluids: Unless you want to run to the bathroom several times during the night, it is best to avoid drinking a lot of liquid (water included) two to three hours before bedtime. Make sure you drink the majority of your liquids during the earlier part of the day.

Information taken from:

Blumenthal, Brett (2011-12-28). 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You (p. 23). AmazonEncore. Kindle Edition.

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PMA

I feel like I am just resurfacing after falling off the edge of cliff. My parents had been talking about taking a vacation for several months and the idea of Disney World kept coming up. So I did some research and we decided to go. I say we because they could not go independently. My dad is 77 years old and is legally blind. For him, blindness is not so much the issue. He also has poor endurance and can not walk more than a block without stopping to catch his breath. My mom is 82 years old and has dementia. Physically she is capable of walking but cognitively she psychs herself out or forgets what she is doing. So for the last 7 days I was navigating the world of Disney through the eyes of two elderly folks. I learned a lot.

When obstacles came (and they came fast and often), my parents tended to the negative side of things. I realized I used to be like that too. Of course I can still go there in a heartbeat. However, I have learned over the years how exhausting and counterproductive that type of mindset can be. I struggled throughout the week to maintain a positive attitude. I found myself sleeping for only an hour or so at a time because my mom got up frequently in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and could not navigate it herself. My patience was tested as she would throw herself on the floor of an exhibit begging for someone to help her get out of there because she was scared. (Mind you we were trying to leave but she refused to pick up her feet so we could move the wheel chair.) My impulse was to scold her but I needed to remind myself over and over that she was overwhelmed and acting out in the only way she understood.

Each day I learned a different trick and used it to make our vacation as enjoyable as possible. The primary thing that saved my sanity was to maintain (or return quickly) a positive healthy attitude. It would have been easy to allow myself to get sucked in to the negative but then we would have ended up sitting in the room crying. What kind of vacation is that after all?

Positive mental attitude + difficult situations/circumstances = the best outcome for everyone

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I am in Portland for several different reasons.  But today I was able to travel around the city via public transportation.  We explored all sorts of neat things.  The one thing I noticed about the city is that it emphasizes riding your bike.  The trains have special hooks to hang the bikes.  There are bike racks…serious bike racks all over the city.  There are designated bike lanes everywhere.  This is a bike parking lot outside the hospital campus.  What you see is only about one-third of what was there.

Beside being environmentally sound, riding your bike offers great health benefits. By using your bike to commute to and from work as well as run errands, you ensure you get enough exercise everyday.

I bought bikes for John (my boyfriend) and I last August.  I rode my bike as much as I could before the dreaded cold and snow came.  Unfortunately Chicago is not ideal for winter bike riding.  However, there are many in Chicago who disagree.  I commend them for being faithful.

I feel like now that we have made it half way through January we are well on our way to spring and then I can get back on my bike instead of driving!

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Week 1 Challenge: Drink Water!

Most people I know do not drink enough water. The general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. So if you weight 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces. Then if you exercise you need extra water. If you drink coffee or soda you need extra. If you travel especially by airplane, you need extra.

Let me share how the extra actually works. If you have a 8 ounce cup of coffee, you 8 ounces of water to just neutralize the effects of the coffee (in regards to hydration). So back in the day when I drinking eight 44 ounces diet cokes a day and drinking two gallons of water, I was still dehydrated. In fact I didn’t even get to the break even point…352 ounces of diet coke versus only 256 ounces of water. So glad I gave that up!

So this week, drink an adequate amount of water each day to maintain a healthy level of hydration.

Let’s talk about how to get it all in.

  • Start your day with a glass.  When you get up in the morning have a nice cold glass of water while you are getting ready.
  • Drink a glass before each meal.  It is a good water to help begin the filling process.  Research shows that people tend to eat less when they drink a glass of water before each of their meals.
  • Drink a glass with your meals.  Really there is no reason to be drinking your calories.  Water is calorie free, sugar free, chemical free!
  • Having a snack? Include a glass of water.
  • Do you take vitamins or other pills every day? I am one of those people who can take a handful of pills and swallow them with a bit of water.  But if you take them one at a time and drink a large sip of water.  You could easily get in another glass.
  • I keep a jug or two of water in the refrigerator so it is cold whenever I want it.  I then do not have an excess.
  • Get a water bottle that you can continually refill and have with you.

So this week drink up!

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