How to Fit Exercise into Your Busy Days

Fitting Exercise into your Day

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Finding time to exercise is not an easy task. Working full time and having kid’s activities most evenings, makes being active a really big challenge. If you can get up early to squeeze a workout in before work, that’s awesome! But, if you’re like me, you enjoy your sleep and getting up early is pretty much out of the question.

So when time is of the essence, it’s a great idea to try to incorporate exercise throughout the day. Here are some ideas that take very little time, but can help add activity into your busy day!

Add a morning stretch into your routine.

I know, I just mentioned this, but I am not really a morning person, especially on work days! However, a quick, easy yoga session is a great way to start the day. You can stretch however you choose, just spend about 10 minutes moving, stretching, and focusing on some deep breathing. Your body will thank you!

If you are not familiar with sun salutations, here is an example of a sequence: https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/ray-of-light

⦁ Mountain pose (standing tall with palms together at your heart center)
⦁ Forward fold (touch your toes)
⦁ Half lift (flatten your back and bring your hands half way up your legs)
⦁ Downward facing dog (palms and feet flat on the floor, so that you are in an upside down “V”)
⦁ Cat cow (knees to the floor, arch and curl your back)
⦁ Child pose (push back so you are sitting on your feet, but your arms are on the ground in front of you)
⦁ Downward facing dog
⦁ Warrior 1 (high lunge position with arms raised, looking up at finger tips)
⦁ Warrior 2 (lunge position, turn front toe facing forward, bring knee over ankle, and arms at shoulder height, reaching out and through finger tips)
⦁ Triangle (legs 3 feet apart turn the right toes to the right wall and the left toes slightly inwards, reach one hand to the ceiling and one to your ankle)

Try this for a week and see how much better you feel starting out the day. As you get use to the 10 minute stretch, you may decide to stretch longer or add in some abs, lunges, and squats into the routine. You can also try adding other exercise throughout the day, the more you move, the better you will feel.


Here are some examples of things you can do to add a little activity anytime of day…

1. Shower squats

While you wash your face in the shower, do 20 squats. Sounds silly, but hey, when you’re short on time?!

2. Hand washing squats

This works best if you are in an individual bathroom. Instead of counting or singing the alphabet like we teach our kids, try doing 10 squats while you suds up your hands.

3. 20 push ups before bed

Make it a routine just like brushing your teeth before bed. Push ups are great for upper body strength and not to mention keeping your arms nice and toned!

4. Calf Raises

This one is simple. When you are standing in one place, maybe while cooking dinner or making copies at work, simply raise to your toes and lower back down 10-20 times and as often as you can.

5. Toy soldiers

You’ll need some room for this one. While walking, bring your leg straight out in front of you like a toy soldier and try and touch your toe, alternating legs as you walk. This is great for your abs. You can do this as you walk around your house from task to task.

6. High knees

Another good ab exercise, bringing your bent knee up to the side, alternating legs. This can easily be done while folding laundry, brushing your teeth, or making dinner.

7. Take the stairs

Always the best option. Try to challenge yourself, set a daily expectation for yourself and stick to it.

8. Park far away

This is an oldie but a goodie, and an easy way to add those extra steps to your day. Pick the furthest away parking spot, the kids may complain, but it’s good for them too!

I know that some of these sound pretty funny, but trust me, with consistency and determination, all of these little exercises will add up to a strong, healthy body.

Most importantly when it comes to fitness, do what works for you. We are all unique and different. Some people love the long runs, some love the gym and that works for them. Meanwhile, a good stretch and a few muscle strengthening moves are just right for others.

Just be active, whatever it takes, it’s really hard to have excuses with so many simple ways to fit it into your day. Thanks for reading and let me know what you do to add activity to your day! – Be well.

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Essential Oils to Help with Detoxification

Essential Oils for Detoxification Support

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Detoxification is a process that the body must go through to eliminate unwanted toxins and chemicals.  Adding essential oils into your daily routine can help in aiding your body in this process.  Your body’s ability to rid itself of toxins is essential for your overall wellness. 

Sadly, it’s nearly impossible to avoid all of the toxins in today’s environment.  They are everywhere, from the air you breathe, to the food you eat, to many of the products you use every day, they contain chemicals that your body must process and somehow eliminate. 

Sometimes your body becomes overloaded with these chemicals and you start to feel tired, have lack of energy, you may tend to get sick easier, it might show in your moods, or you might even have chronic pain because of them.

Thankfully, many companies are waking up and realizing that they are harming people with their chemical additives.  They have found natural alternatives and are learning that consumers are not going to buy their toxic products any longer.  Remember, that what you buy dictates what they will make, if everyone takes a stand and stops buying the chemical laden products, they will have to find healthier alternatives to stay in business. 

Check out https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners for a list of safe cleaners.  (This is also a great site packed full of information about toxic impacts on our environment.)

Which Essential Oils Help Assist the Body in Eliminating these Toxins?

Grapefruit Essential Oil is one of the first oils that I ever purchased.  At the time, I just knew that I liked the smell and taste of grapefruit, and thought it would be fun to add to my water.  I had no idea how much I was going to love it!

I drink a lot of water throughout the day.  I always carry my water bottle with me and highly recommend it. It’s just a great way to stay hydrated.  Water itself is very detoxifying, adding a little essential oil such grapefruit, lemon, or lime, can give your body a detoxification boost.

Photo by Elliot Fais

Lemongrass Essential Oil is a powerhouse decongestant for any system of the body.   Check out my post on Lemongrass to find out how we use it in our family. 

Clove Essential Oil is a powerful antioxidant and can assist on a blood and cellular level.  It also offers great liver and brain support.  This is a good oil to take internally.  Add a drop or 2 to a veggie capsule to support multiple internal functions.

Cilantro Essential Oil can help relieve the body of heavy metals.  Cilantro oil offers support to the kidneys and liver in the detoxification process.  I like this oil combined with a carrier oil and rubbed on the bottom of my feet, it is also a good one to take internally by adding to a veggie capsule. 

DoTerra Essential Oil Blends to Support Detoxification

DoTerra Essential Oils puts together some amazing blends as well, that will aid your body in the process of eliminating chemicals.  Here are the 2 that I’ve tried, and I personally know they work wonders!  My body feels so much better than it did just a few months ago, before incorporating a regular detox plan. 

Zendocrine – Detoxification Blend features tangerine, rosemary, geranium, juniper berry and cilantro.  It is known for purifying the body’s system and supports healthy cleansing and filtering functions of the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, and skin.

I use Zendocrine in my water, usually post workout, for a week at a time and do this about every other week or so.  My body actually craves it now!

DDR Prime is a proprietary blend of CPTG essential oils that help protect the body against oxidative stress on a cellular level.  This blend contains clove, wild orange, frankincense, lemongrass, summer savory, and niaouli.  DDR prime supports a healthy response to cellular stressors, and promotes healthy cellular regeneration.

I like to massage a couple of drops of DDR Prime mixed with jojoba oil into the bottom of my feet morning and night.

Caution

  • Small dosages recommended
  • Dilution with carrier oil recommended. 
  • Not recommended during pregnancy

Always use a pure, superior, therapeutic grade oil such as DoTerra.  If you are not already a wholesale member, and are interested in the benefits, email me and I can help you set up your account. metronomewellness@gmail.com.

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Play Time Before Screen Time

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There’s no denying that technology and screens are a part of everyone’s life today. I know that in my house, we’ve struggled to find a healthy balance of screen time and activity.

By implementing play time = screen time, I feel like I’m finally breaking through and regaining control. Until recently, I felt like I was constantly saying that it was time to shut down the TV, computer, or the Kindle and do something else, sound familiar?

Kids are meant to spend a lot of time running and playing, and not meant to spend too much time sitting.  Movement and activity is necessary for their growing bodies. The following is a list of some reasons why it is so important that they play every day:

Why Play is Important

  • Builds strong muscles
  • Establishes strong bones
  • Creates a healthy heart
  • Boosts their immune system
  • Keeps them lean
  • Improves coordination
  • Boosts mood
  • Curbs the appetite
  • Prevents constipation
  • Improves sleep

Tips for making Play happen 

  1. First and probably most important, is to set a rule that, play time happens before screen time! For every minute they play, they can have equal time in front of a screen. 
  2. Be a good example.  Active parents have active kids.  Let them know that you enjoy working out and exercising, and limit your own screen time.  I know that time is limited, but try to find time to do what you like to do to be active. It doesn’t have to be going to a gym, it could be going for a walk every day after work, joining a running group, yoga, or my personal favorite – playing tennis in a league (check out https://tennislink.usta.com/leagues to find a local team to join, I promise there are leagues for all levels). 
  3. Play as a Family.  When you play together as a family, you are creating lasting memories for your children.  Choose hobbies that everyone enjoys, like bike rides, family walks (do some treasure hunting), games in the backyard or going to the park.  For other ways to spend time together as a family check out my Family Time post: https://www.metronomewellness.com/motherhood/family-time/

What about when the weather is cold and wet?

I realize that this time of year it can be tough in some parts of the country for kids to play outside due to the weather, so here are some fun ideas that kids can do INSIDE the house:

Indoor Play Ideas

  • Twister – an oldie but a goodie, who doesn’t like twister?
  • Dance – (one of our favorites) turn up the tunes and get down!
  • Balloon toss with or without fly swatters, use the swatters to hit the balloon back and forth.  Try to see how long you can go before the balloon touches the ground.
  • Indoor Basketball, with a mini over-the-door hoop.  If you have a ball player in your family and don’t have one of these, you must get one.  My son will come out of his room a sweaty mess after an intense, imaginary game of mini basketball.
  • Indoor beachball soccer.  You’ll need a little space for this one.  Use a couple of cardboard boxes or laundry baskets as goals.
  • Beachball bowling.  Fill empty liter bottles ¼ full with water, dried beans, or sand and use them as bowling pins.
  • Yoga. Have a little mini yoga session with your kids.  We have this yogaspin game, that is lots of fun, and a good way to avoid screens.
  • Have a fitness contest – see who can do the most push-ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, squats, etc.
  • Try an activity video on YouTube.  The only thing I don’t like about this, is that they are still looking at a screen, but if it gets them moving, then go with it! (my kids like GoNoodle).
  • Indoor obstacle course.  Make a tunnel out of blankets and chairs, hop over a step stool, weave around pillows on the ground, use your imaginations to make a fun and challenging course.
  • Play in the garage if possible, (dribble a basketball, jump rope, kick a soccer ball against the wall, hit a tennis ball against the wall – take caution if anyone else is around!)

Make it a priority to encourage your kids to play, EVERY DAY!  Teach them to feel the difference in their energy levels and moods before and after.  By incorporating some of these fun activities, and setting screen time limits, my hope is that they will create healthy habits that will last a lifetime!

Benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil

Amazing Benefits of Frankincense

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What is Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is the “King of Oils.”  Most of us know it from the references to it in the bible (69 in all), the most popular being, when it was given as a gift to Jesus (Mathew 2:11).  Frankincense has been used for centuries. It has so many amazing benefits.

According to DoTerra: DoTerra Frankincense Essential Oil is steam-distilled from wild-crafted gum resins of the Boswellia carterii, frereana, and sacra trees.  Highly prized in the ancient world for its fragrant and health-promoting properties, it is a favorite among modern wellness practitioners for its many emotional and physical health applications.

Main Benefits

  • Helps maintain healthy cellular function
  • Soothes skin while reducing the appearance of imperfections
  • Promotes peaceful, relaxing, and satisfied feeling of overall wellness

Additional Benefits

  • Calms emotions
  •  Unwanted pathogens or bacteria
  •  Insect/Snake Bites
  •  Skin imperfections
  •  Morning Sickness
  •  Mental Fatigue

Uses

  • Add 2 drops to your moisturizer to reduce the appearance of blemishes and rejuvenate your skin
  • Diffuse Frankincense to encourage feelings of peace and wellness
  • Massage into your feet to help stimulate your immune system and promote balance throughout your body
  • Place one to two drops in a veggie cap to support healthy cellular function

My Experience with Frankincense

It wasn’t until recently that I have had the pleasure of experiencing this amazing oil myself.  I started using a couple of drops a day in my moisturizer.  To my surprise, some of my age spots and scars started to literally peel off with a little exfoliation.

I have also seen it work it’s magic on cuts and scrapes that my family has endured.  It is not the cheapest of oils, but I truly believe it is the most valuable one available.  It is amazing, I don’t know how I ever lived without it!

How to Purchase Frankincense

Always use a pure, superior, therapeutic grade oil such as DoTerra.  If you are not already a wholesale member, and are interested in the benefits, email me and I can help you set up your account metronomewellness@gmail.com.  Or visit my Purchase Oil page for an explanation of the different memberships available.

5 Tips for Less Stress

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Do you feel anxious and a little out of sorts when life gets busy? The number one thing that has helped me is having routines in place.  Having a schedule makes family life predictable and less stressful.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a little spontaneity from time to time, but in general, I like the idea of our family running like a well-oiled machine.  It has helped me so much in my mommy adventures.  The kids know what to expect and what is expected so, bonus– they have less anxiety too!

The following are 5 very simple suggestions that you can easily add to your daily routine today to make for a less stressful tomorrow:

  1. Drink more water (and less caffeine).  Being dehydrated will make you tired, irritable and anxious.  Try toting around your water bottle everywhere you go and see how many times you can fill it up, each day aim for a little more – sip, sip away! (This is my favorite water bottle). Water is vital to detoxification and overall health of your internal organs, so drink up!
  2. Clean Sweep before bed. Before you and the family call it quits for the night, take about 10 minutes and have everyone help put things in their place.  You may get more accomplished and less flack if you assign everyone a task, like wiping down counters, folding blankets, picking up toys, nothing out of place in the living spaces of the home!  The next morning you wake up without the stress of clutter and start your day anxiety free.
  3. Make a To Do List. You can use your phone to make a “to do” list or if you’re old school like me and like the art of checking things off, use a small pad of paper. Keep it in the same place all the time so you can go to it every evening and write down your list for tomorrow. OR I use a bullet journal these days, and always have it with me. It has been so helpful at keeping me organized and creative! I highly recommend giving a bullet journal a try if you haven’t yet. They can be as simple or complex as you’d like, mine’s pretty simple. Overall, having a list helps you feel more in control and less anxious and forgetful!
  4. Stretch.  Give your body some love and stretch.  Maybe it’s while you’re watching TV at night, maybe it’s before you crawl into bed, but stretch!  Whatever feels good.  Try a quick yoga sequence or something as simple as neck rolls and arm stretches.  Stretching is a great way to release stress and anxiety, not to mention will help you be more comfortable as you sleep.
  5. Go to Bed Early (and without electronics).  Do you get 7-8 hours of sleep?  If not, aim for getting that tonight.  Shut the electronics down an hour before you plan to sleep to give your body and brain a break from the “blue” light.  This is a great time to do a few of the things listed above.  Read a book, or do a simple meditation before bed, and soon you will be drifting off to a peaceful rest and less anxious tomorrow.

How to get more Vitamin D

Beautiful Sunshine

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Oh, beautiful sunshine, how we all need you.  If you are like me, you are easily affected by the weather. When it’s cold and gray, I’m feeling a down and unmotivated.  If the sun is shining, I can take on the world. 

However, growing up in Indiana, it felt like there were more gray, cold days than sunny warm days, hence that is why I no longer live there.  A move that I have never regretted, and I am not alone in this town.  So many people have moved here to get away from the cold winters of the northern states. 

I’m pretty sure that, although never clinically diagnosed, I have mild SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and I still do, only less of it living in North Carolina.  Working in the hospital where you can go 8-12 hours without even knowing whether the sun came up that day, gets very hard. 

Therefore, I blame the long days at work coinciding with the short days in the winter for my fatigue and sadness in orth Carolina.  The days I am not working and able to get out in the sunshine and fresh air, my energy level is completely different.

Vitamin D

So, I know there must be a correlation between sunshine and feeling bummed out.  It has to do with our bodies depending on sunshine to make vitamin D.  Vitamin D is unlike any other vitamin, in that our bodies convert sunshine into it, crazy, huh?  Unfortunately, the number a people with vitamin D deficiency has been on the rise.

Having vitamin D deficiency is no joke.  A simple blood test can determine your levels.  If you suffer from symptoms of depression, extreme fatigue, bone pain, muscle fatigue and weakness, you may want to get your levels checked just to make sure. 

So how do we get the Vitamin D we need when our days are spent at work? 

  • Make a point to get outside on your lunch break.  Hopefully, you get a few minutes for a lunch break (although I know all too well that this is sometimes impossible to come by.)
    • Step outside for as long as possible and make sure you expose as much skin as possible
    • Eat your lunch outside, hopefully your place of employment has a place for you to sit outside, if not bring a blanket and pop a squat.
    • Go for a walk, get your exercise and vitamin D at the same time!
  • Eat your Vitamin D according to www.livestrong.com/article/19023-foods-high-vitamin-d/  foods high in Vitamin D include:
    • Salmon
    • Trout
    • Canned Tuna
    • Fortified OJ
    • Eggs
    • Fortified Milk
  • Supplements.  Hopefully just temporarily, but in the winter time, supplementing Vitamin D may be necessary to keep you from experiencing low levels and symptoms of SAD (I am not a physician, please ask your doctor before taking any new supplements) This is the Vitamin D supplement that I use, purchased from Amazon.

In conclusion, this is all just another great reminder of why it is so important to listen to what our bodies are telling us.  If you are having any of the above symptoms, think about your lifestyle, and try to make an effort to get outside when the sun is shining.  Ask for a blood test to check your levels, adjust your diet or add a supplement if needed. 

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