Hello and welcome to the final week of January 2024!
I trust this message finds you well as we near the close of the first month of the year.
As I reflect on this week, I've been wondering if you have been contemplating the introduction of new habits into your routine.
Habits play a crucial role in holding us accountable to our desired activities.
In my household, we've cultivated a particular habit around dinnertime that I'd like to share with you.
Ensuring my children have access to nutritious foods has been a priority for me since their earliest days of transitioning to solid foods. From preparing homemade baby food to offering a variety of healthy options, I've remained committed to promoting good eating habits.
Several years ago, I made a personal vow to include a vegetable tray at every dinner.
Bring on the veggies!
Whether the tray contained one vegetable or five, the presence of fresh, crisp veggies alongside a tasty dip became a staple. Despite children's typical aversion to cooked vegetables, I discovered that presenting them in their raw form led to enthusiastic consumption—so much so that they began to expect it at every meal.
One evening, amidst the chaos of preparing dinner, I decided to forgo the veggie tray assuming other cooked vegetables would suffice.
Big mistake momma!
To my surprise, my children expressed disappointment at its absence, asking "where is the veggie tray, mom?"
This highlighted the profound impact this simple habit had on their expectations and enjoyment of meals.
If only they would form the habit of…turning off lights, picking up dirty clothes from the floor and cleaning out their lunch kits every day after school! 😂
Reflecting on this experience prompts me to ask:
What habits shape your daily life?
Whether related to taking your medications, physical activity, sleep, or stress management, which practices support your well-being?
Which ones did you start in January, if any?
As we approach the end of January, consider revisiting existing habits, identifying areas for improvement, and embracing new ones.
If there's anything I can do to assist you in cultivating healthier habits, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'm here to offer support and encouragement as you embark on this journey of self-improvement. Let's navigate this path together towards a healthier, happier you.
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S., The one 'habit' I haven't been able to get to is reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. Talk about on point. Have you read his book yet? Comment below if you have and let me know your biggest take away from his book! 📚
Can you believe it's been a while since we've delved into the nitty-gritty of COVID-related topics?
Well, this week, something super interesting crossed my desk that I just had to share with you all.
Back in 2020, when this blog first kicked off, we were all about navigating the challenges of lockdowns and staying connected. I used to chat a lot about how COVID was affecting our ability to hit the gym or go for our usual workouts.
But recently, I stumbled upon a research paper that got me thinking. It turns out, medical science has been working hard to connect the dots for those dealing with long COVID, especially when it comes to hitting the gym.
So, what's the scoop?
A group of smart researchers in the Netherlands looked at two sets of people: those diagnosed with long COVID and those who had fully recovered. They ran them through some exercise tests, checked their breathing and blood vessels, and even took muscle biopsies from their legs.
And guess what they found?
It's not just about our lungs – it's all about our muscles!
These individuals with long COVID had some challenges in their muscle system, affecting their ability to handle exercise. The powerhouse of our cells, called mitochondria, had some limitations in using oxygen and producing energy at the cellular level.
Now, here's the kicker: while we've been thinking of COVID as a respiratory illness, these researchers found that the trouble with exercise lies more in the muscles. Long COVID folks not only experienced more muscle breakdown after exercise, but they also used the kind of muscles that get tired more quickly compared to our usual endurance heroes.
You may have already heard of: "post-exertional malaise." It basically means that for some dealing with long COVID, exercise can be a real challenge.
Now, don't get me wrong – staying active is fantastic for most of us. But it's crucial to know that some folks out there might still be wrestling with the aftermath of having COVID.
So, why am I bringing this up? Well, our little community started back in 2020, and I feel it's important to share these insights with you. As someone passionate about exercise science, I find this info pretty fascinating! Supporting clients facing the challenges of long COVID has proven to be a journey filled with progress that often feels like taking one step forward and then encountering the setback of five steps back. It's undeniably a tough road.
For those of you who love diving into the details, I've included a link to the actual research paper. Check it out if you're interested.
Hope your week has been full of the activity you love, and remember, I'm here if you need any support.
Let's keep this community strong and informed!
Stay well and happy moving,
I'm not sure if your Christmas experience is similar to mine, but every year, Santa Claus brings me a new book to unwrap beneath the festive tree.
This year was no exception, as I eagerly received Michelle Obama's latest release, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times. Having already read her previous book, Becoming, I was intrigued by the prospect of delving into her next book.
In the days between Christmas and New Year's, I found myself naturally drawn to the book, incorporating it into my breakfast routine.
As I discovered, the conversational tone of the book transported me into a virtual morning chat with Michelle Obama, making my mornings feel like intimate discussions with the former first lady.
What captivated me most was the storytelling, not only as the first lady but also her reflections on the pandemic.
Like many of us, she picked up a new hobby during those uncertain times.
Early on in the book, Michelle confesses to indulging in multiple "How To" books and countless YouTube tutorials, all centered around her newfound passion—knitting.
During the pandemic, when time seemed to stretch endlessly, Michelle Obama, like many, grappled with anxiety.
The revelation that knitting became a source of solace for her was both surprising and enlightening. She described how this seemingly simple activity reversed the usual order of things, letting her hands take the lead while her mind took a back seat. It served as a detour from anxiety, offering a much-needed respite.
Reflecting on Michelle Obama's experience with knitting, I couldn't help but connect it to the broader theme of physical activity and its impact on mental well-being.
Her insight into the transformative power of knitting mirrors the broader truth that bodily movements, regardless of their intensity, can teach us valuable lessons.
In her words on page 34, Michelle Obama highlights the unexpected lesson learned during her knitting sessions—allowing her hands to lead provided a reprieve from anxiety.
This resonates with the profound effect that even minimal physical activity can have on mental health, as evidenced by existing research.
Michelle Obama's willingness to explore a new hobby and engage in fine motor movements demonstrates the potential for positive change through moving our bodies. It prompts us to consider how we, too, can incorporate movement into our lives, irrespective of intensity or traditional perceptions of physical activity.
In essence, this narrative reinforces three crucial points:
1. Movement allows us to explore beyond the confines of our minds, achieving great things when we let our bodies take the lead.
2. The mind can take a back seat, and our bodies can become our teachers when we engage in physical activities.
3. Scientific studies support that engaging in physical activity can have a substantial impact on mental health. While knitting may not qualify as intense physical activity, it serves as a reminder of the potential benefits that such activities can offer.
So, the question arises: How can you introduce more movement into your life, embracing the powerful influence of physical activity on your overall well-being?
What impeccable timing to consider your own movement as we start a new year!
Stay well and happy moving,
☝🏼 Ready to embark on a new movement journey in 2024? Join me, in person, for my weekly Everyday Yoga classes. You can find more information here.
Hello and happy 2024!
I hope this email finds you well in the first week of 2024!
This week I have a special treat for you. It’s the next installment of Real Moves for Real Life.
Have you ever been advised to strengthen your hips?
In this new video, I will share with you three notable ways to strengthen your hips while in the hands and knees position.
Let's explore these exercises and learn how they can benefit your overall hip strength and stability. No equipment needed!
Don't forget that there are always opportunities to shift and change movements to suit your needs. I get it. Being in a hands and knees position isn't for everyone. So that's why I provide options at the wall. No need to get down on the floor!
These three hip exercises offer a full range of hip motion which can contribute to your overall body stability AND strength.
Give these exercises a try, and let me know how they work in your body. What was the one exercise that gave you the most challenge? Hit reply to this email and let me know!
If you found this video valuable, don't forget to give the video a thumbs up to support my Youtube channel. I'm on a mission to help people move better and more often and your support would help get my videos out to more people. I would so appreciate it!
Catch you again next week! Until then…
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. Did you know I have a YouTube series called Real Moves for Real Life? If you have missed any of the other episodes, here is a link to the playlist.
Missed my most recent newsletter? Don't worry, I've got your back. Find all my exclusive letters here on this blog. ~Lisa