mindfulness

Best reads in health, fitness and wellness on the web this week

the best reads in health and wellnessHappy Friday, friends! How was your week? Have you finished your Christmas baking/shopping/decorating? Are all your Starbucks-holiday-drink-consuming, Christmas-movie-watching, annual-holiday-traditions activities well underway?¬† If they are, I hope you’re taking a moment to truly enjoy the season and not get caught up in the stress of “needing to to do it all.”

But speaking of needing to do it all, my Erin Condren customized planner arrived yesterday, and the type-A in me is SO EXCITED to start planning out my entire 2016 with customized stickers, a budget book, notes, colourful markers, and tabs. (more…)

Friday Favourites: The best reads of the week in health, fitness and well-being

the best reads in health and wellnessHappy Friday, friends! How was your week?

Despite my bad news on Wednesday, I had a solid week of workouts, client training and program developing, freelance writing and actual work-work. Thank you all for your comments on yesterday’s post — though I’m disappointed I won’t be getting to experience Boston this year, I know I’ll get there eventually. I was kind of hoping to take a break from structured marathon training for awhile, but in order to attempt another BQ between now and September I’m going to aim for a March-May race. There’s the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 1, a race I’ve done and really enjoyed, though I hear the full marathon route is rather hilly. I could also travel to a destination race, like the Phoenix Marathon in February, and combine it into some kind of a vacation. But I think I’d rather stay closer to home in a climate similar to what I’ll be training in.

Next weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving AND the Goodlife Victoria Marathon, of which I’m running the half. I haven’t trained much other than a few 15 km runs on the weekend since I’ve maintained a good level of fitness since the Finlayson Arm 28K. I almost considered signing up for the full just to see how fast I could run… but logic won. Ange is coming to stay with me for the weekend which will be super awesome as well.

Some other highlights from the week: (more…)

{thinking out loud Thursday} The one question you need to answer to help stop the cycle of shame

you will not get what you truly deserveHave you ever been in a situation where you shared something that was important or meaningful to you with another person or group of people, only to have it ignored? Or to not illicit the reaction you were hoping for? Or maybe even you’ve set some kind of expectation for yourself and let your own self down by not following through. If you have — like I have regularly — that sinking feeling you feel is most likely shame, according to bestselling author Brene Brown in this INC.com article I came across yesterday. And there’s only one question you need to ask yourself to combat that emotion of shame you’re feeling in that moment: “What story am I telling myself right now?”

UGH. That’s so me. The spinner of stories. You could be thinking/feeling something completely different than what I perceive, and one wrong gesture or voice inflection and I’ve made up an entire scenario in my head about why you don’t like me/don’t agree with me/are mad at me/think I’m stupid. Ridiculous, I know — but as a highly sensitive person, I’m hyper aware of verbal and non-verbal cues and the general energy of other people, and can pick up quite easily on when things aren’t all rainbows and puppies. The problem is, I always assume it’s because of something I said or did, not because the person might be feeling upset/low/irritated/stressed due to something else going on in their life. (more…)

Guilt and the art of letting go: Why it’s okay to feel like crap sometimes

buddha-thoughtsSay you had a particularly stressful day at work and you came home and finished off a bag of chips before dinner instead of snacking on something more nutritious. Or maybe you fully intended to go to the gym before work, but your bed was just too darn comfy. Or perhaps you had planned to stick to the vegetables and lean protein offered at that dinner party, but those buttered dinner rolls were calling your name.

So you give in to temptation. And you immediately feel crappy about your decision.

But then you think, I shouldn’t feel this way. Tomorrow is a new day. It’s just a bag of chips; I can start again tomorrow, right? I feel guilty, but I feel silly for getting upset over something like this because I read this post on Facebook/inspirational quote on Pinterest telling me not to feel that way, that I shouldn’t beat myself up over things like this, and now I feel bad for feeling bad.

Sounds like a vicious cycle, right?

Well I say feel all the feels. (more…)

Can meditation make you a faster runner?

The Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson uses it with his players to prepare for NBA games. Top mixed martial arts fighters like¬†Georges St-Pierre and Diego Sanchez use it to calm the mind and enhance focus before fights. Even the U.S. Army uses it to increase mental toughness.

Since endurance sports takes a whole lot of mental focus, pain management and rumination avoidance, you’d think meditation and running would go together like CrossFit and the Paleo Diet.

Although there have been several scientific studies published over the years about the benefits of meditation, I couldn’t find anything but anecdotal evidence when it came to endurance sports in particular. Even the big running mags only covered the topic of meditation and running just a smattering of times.

While we wait for researchers to study the connection between mindfulness and improving your running efficiency, there’s no harm in trying it out for yourself (unlike going paleo and eating a ton of bacon all the time, which CAN actually harm you). (more…)

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