Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Combating Germs This Season

We have heard it before, psychological stress can negatively affect your immune system and make you more susceptible to getting sick. There is some evidence, from The New England Journal of Medicine, stating that psychological stress increases the risk of acute respiratory illness. Yet it is very difficult, especially this time of year, to decrease your stress when you have a million things to do, people to see, gifts to buy... OK lets stop listing them because that isn't helping anyone. Lets just say we are busy and how are we going to stay healthy?

I am not trying to sound like a broken record but, we all need to make a better effort of taking care of ourselves! We need to learn to manage unhealthy habits. Harvard health talks about  5 ways to de-stress and we have mentioned these steps before but maybe its time to try and do a few while we conclude 2017. 

Picture from a page in Lagom

Personally, I am trying to incorporate pieces of the Lagom and Hygge way of living. If you haven't heard about this, they are both terms about living a balanced happy life from the Europeans. There are a few books out there;
The Little Book of Hygge,  Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living and a new one The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World's Happiest People. I am sure there are many more spin offs but the first two I have read and I enjoyed them. They have some steps that are very easily incorporated into your life!  I plan on giving these books to 90% of the people on my Christmas list! Who doesn't want a few more fresh cut flowers, coffee dates with friends and twinkle lights in their lives? I suggest picking one of them up and giving it a try! 

The second step in Harvard Health is about meditation. In August, we posted a blog about mindfulness and the importance of self care
with some free apps suggestions to download and give it a try. I find myself flip flopping back and forth with being really good at making the time and then going weeks without it. Yet it is like any change in habit, it will take time but if you don't start taking the steps you will never get there. So this might be a great time to remember this post and schedule it in. Hit pause your busy day for 15 - 20 min and open the app for a session of guided meditation to recharge yourself. 

Another big contributor to avoid getting sick is our diet. It is hard to put down the delicious baked goods, you might only get this time of year, especially when other people bake them. Yet remember the points we talked about in a past Wellness Wednesday Keeping Healthy During Cold and Flu Season. Remember, sugar can be a big factor in lowering our immune system! Controlling our diets may just give your family antioxidants they need to battle the bacteria. 

Even after all these great references, what if we still feel something nasty coming on. 

A cup of warm bone broth and rosemary
Well, the old wise tale about having a cup of chicken noodle soup might be more valid than something you thought Grandma made up. Another past Wellness Wednesday interviewed Jill Weaver, owner of Stock Exchange Bone Broth . Who talks about the importance of good quality stock, when making your soups, and even having a cup of bone broth to stay healthy. So Grandma might have been onto something here. A study out of The University of Nebraska  took a look at the effects of chicken soup and why it would be beneficial to upper respiratory tract infections (coughs, colds and flu). They found that the soup had an anti-inflammatory effect and could help with the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection!

And if all this wasn't enough, I have two DIY's you can make easily at home to fight back the symptoms and get on to a speedy recovery. 

Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry Syrup is incredibly easy to make and you will have enough with this recipe to keep in your fridge for a grab and go.  Research shows that elderberry syrup is a great preventative method but also helps you get over the cold faster! 

Vapor Rub
Congestion, runny and stuffy noses. Who likes those symptoms? Besides taking a deep breath being a distant memory, it also makes everyone around you take a thousand steps in the opposite direction! Well our friend Jen, from The Eco Well, has shared a blog recipe to make your own Vapor Rub! It smells delicious and you will be breathing back to normal in no time!

Lets hope we refreshed your memory on the importance of de-stressing yourself  and gave you some ideas to combat any nasty bug that might creep in your direction! 

Stay healthy and happy this holiday season!

Disclaimer: The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. This information shouldn’t take the place of seeing a Naturopathic Doctor or your primary care provider for individualized health recommendations. 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Keeping Fit over the Holidays with Kim Holmes

5 Ways to Make Your Holiday Fitness Routine Stick

by: Kim Holmes, Personal Trainer and Founder of My Fit Coach

Oh the holiday season! It’s a busy time of year and the whole fitness thing is usually the first thing that we knock off our plate. I get it!
However, movement/ activity/ fitness...whatever you want to call it is actually the BEST tool in your toolbox this holiday season. Yes it will  help you to burn off a few extra cookies but it will also help you manage your stress AND boost your mood. ALL very important things during one of the busiest times of the year.

As a Personal Trainer, I really really want to help you keep fitness in the mix this holiday. So I’ve compiled a few of my best tips to make your Holiday Fitness Routine stick this year.

1. Just Move

You don’t need any more stress at the holidays. So let’s NOT stress about HOW you workout. Just plain old MOVE your body in ANY way that works for you. Walk, run, stretch, toboggan, go ice skating. Don’t overthink it. Just move as much as you can whether it’s “traditional” exercise or not. You’ll still reap all the benefits including boosting your mood, decreasing your stress levels and you MAY even have fun!

2. Keep it Quick

Your fitness routine does NOT have to take a ton of time. And since the holidays are busy, why not look at a short but effective way to train? HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts can help you increase your aerobic capacity, increase your strength AND  lower your risk of diabetes in as little as 4 minutes. Check out the HIIT Cardio Workout in the FREE 12 Days of Fitness Online Challenge to get you started today.

3. Schedule it in

You may have heard the saying “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” This couldn’t be MORE true, especially when it comes to exercise. Let’s face it, exercise is NOT easy and when we’re busy we are far more likely to put it on the back burner until January. My clients have had great success from planning their workouts ahead of time and I’d love for you to do the same.

   Sit down with your planner on the weekend and look ahead at the following week. Decide what days are absolutely “off limits” and what days you can fit something in. Aim to schedule 3 or more workouts in on those days. Bonus marks for putting in  EXACTLY what you’re doing as well as time of day. The more specific, the more likely you are to stick to it.

4. Buddy Up

We are human and we will all come up with every excuse in the book to skip our workout...especially when your holiday to do list needs some checking off. Everyone needs a little bit of accountability here...including trainers and coaches!

Join a fitness class with a friend, hire a trainer, challenge your office to a fitness challenge or post your goals on social media.  Whatever option you choose, building in some level of support is key. A coach or friend will challenge you to work harder, push through obstacles or call your bluff when you are making excuses.

5. Skip the Gym

Yup you heard correctly. Skip it altogether.

Instead, try moving your workout to your living room. You’ll save a ton of valuable time and stress (holiday traffic anyone?!). Think about it,  by the time you pack up all your gym stuff (and maybe even your kids who may or may not want to cooperate with your plan) and drive to the gym, it's already been 30-45 min and you haven't even worked out yet!
You don't need a lot to get started on home workouts and you don't have to invest a ton of money. Grab a few sets of dumbbells, resistance bands, a stability ball or just use your own bodyweight. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just move your body, get a little sweat going and I guarantee you’ll be done your workout in no time.

While all these tips sound great on paper, it can be difficult to actually implement them Or to know where to start. I don’t want you to worry about one more thing this Holiday season. So I’ve taken care of ALL the fitness stuff for you with my FREE 12 Days of Fitness Online Challenge. This is the year you will:

  • take care of yourself over the holidays so you feel strong, fit and healthy every single day
  • Keep your bod moving in December (even if it’s only a little bit each day) rather than waiting until Jan 2nd. Every little bit counts!
  • Manage the Motherload of stress that comes with being a busy lady at the holidays

Every day from Dec 11th- Dec 22nd, you'll receive:

  • A 12 minute "real time" strength, cardio, core or Yoga workout video that you can do at home

  • A health, fitness or nutrition tip to help you navigate the holiday season healthfully.
  • Access to the 12 Days of Fitness Facebook group where you can interact with me as well as other challenge participants and receive a ton of support.

Can't wait to sweat with you! Have a wonderful, healthy and Happy holiday season from My Fit Coach.
Kim Holmes is a Personal Trainer and the Owner of My Fit Coach. She helps busy Moms and women care for their bodies (and minds) through Online Fitness and Nutrition Programs. As a Mom of two young sons, she understands that you don’t have hours to spend at the gym. Her Online Programs are efficient, fun and most importantly, they make fitness fit into your REAL life.
Follow along at:

Instagram @myfitcoachkim

Youtube: My Fit Coach