SPECIAL EVENT: TOP SPIN 2010! RING IN THE NEW YEAR RIDE!

TOP SPIN 2010!


Friday, December 31st 2010

 

EQUINOX SAN FRANCISCO


12:30 – 115 p.m.

Join me for this special cycling ride

guaranteed to help YOU start the New Year off right.

45 minutes of heart pumping intervals set to all your favorite 2010 hits .

A workout designed to make you look and FEEL fabulous!

Can’t WAIT to see you and RIDE in the New Year!


♥ Leave a comment below of the song YOU think deserves to be on the “PLAYLIST OF THE YEAR”. We will cast our vote after the ride – class participant with #1 HIT gets a special New Years Present! ♥

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!



Best Of The Bay: PSOAS massage and BodyWork!

Best Of The Bay: PSOAS massage and BodyWork!

When your career is to help other people take care of their bodies, it’s hard to remember to take care of your own. In my job as a fitness instructor and trainer, I am constantly working to help people enjoy a healthier life through fitness. It is my passion and has been a fulfilling and fantastic career.

The one downside? Your body becomes your livelihood, and when it’s out of commission…… so is your paycheck. Strains, sprains, body aches and pains happen – from the well trained athlete to the professional shopper, we’ve all had our share of injuries. I’ve been  to see Psoas for Bodywork several times – and I am continually impressed by the professionalism and incredibly skilled therapists. In this economy it is hard to justify spending precious dollars on massage – but the services at Psoas are worth every penny. Thanks to Psoas, I now know how necessary regular bodywork is to prolonging my active career and athletic performance – and that’s an investment worth making.

With Psoas it’s not just an exceptional relaxing massage – it’s an extraordinarily rehabilitative and rejuvenating experience. I highly recommend their services to all my classes and clients – they truly are the a collection of the BEST massage therapists in SF!

Check them out online at: http://psoasbodywork.com/ . Sign up to receive their informative weekly newsletters and enjoy practical advice, insights into massage techniques, stretching tips, community news and upcoming local events. And of course you can join their social network on FACEBOOK or follow them on TWITTER .

This is the year to be HEALTHIER – let Psoas help you ring in the New Year feeling BRAND NEW! Thank you Psoas for all the incredible work that you do, my body loves you 🙂

 

Fearless Fitness Weekly Update 12/26: HAPPY HOLIDAYS and MERRY FITNESS!

Merry Christmas From the Jordan Women!

 

1.) Caroline Jordan Fitness Schedule and Special Events December 26th-January 1, 2011:

Monday 12/27: 12:05pm Cycle Express San Francisco Bay Club, 5:30pm Competition Core and 6pm Chisel’d EQUINOX

Tuesday 12/28: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX, 5pm Ball, 5:30pm BOSU, 6 pm Spin Circuit, and 7pm Sports Stretch Club One Citigroup

Wednesday 12/29: 5:30pm Competition Core and 6pm Chisel’d EQUINOX

Thursday 12/30: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX .

***Friday 12/31 SPECIAL EVENT: TOP SPIN 2010! Join me for a special 45 minute cycling class gaurenteed to make you feel your “NEW YEARS BEST”. Vote on your favorite hits from 2010 and get the endorphin ENERGY you need to get celebrate strong past the countdown’s end. Class starts at 12:30 p.m. at EQUINOX SF – Can’t wait to see you and CELEBRATE a NEW YEAR!

Saturday 1/1: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Find more information on specific club locations by clicking on the links included above.

Whats the SECRET to making  your NEW YEARS resolutions a reality?! Getting quality SUPPORT with PERSONAL TRAINING. Programs are carefully tailored to fit the unique fitness needs of each client and combined with lifestyle coaching for complete health and happiness. With constant support, encouragement, and guidance…. you CAN and WILL achieve your wellness goals this year. . Don’t wait till next year to be healthier: Contact Me for details.

For other wonderful community fitness events, check out the lululemon athletica Grant Avenue community online SCHEDULE.

There is no fitness tip or challenge this week. GEAR up for next’s weeks GOAL SETTING tips and tricks for a happy, healthy, and vibrant New Year!

TO MY FEARLESS FITNESS FAMILY,


My Happy New Year wish for you,

is for your best year yet.

A year where life is peaceful,

and what you want, you get.

A year in which you cherish

The past year’s memories,

And live your life each new day,

Full of bright expectancies.

I wish for you a holiday,With happiness galore;

And when it’s done, I wish you

A Happy New Year, and many more.

With LOVE and Gratitude,

Caroline

 

BEST OF THE BAY: RUNNING injury FREE!

To my fearless running family….

For those of you that come to class or work with me, you know I’m constantly talking about how much I LOVE running. Recently I was introduced to a well-known running fitness author, Heather Ebright. Heather is considered to be one of the most knowledgeable running experts in the industry and I was extremely impressed with her. Her book, “Pilates for Runners” is a powerful read that really helped me understand the exercises and techniques I’ll need to stay injury free and enjoy running.

Because so many of you have asked about the book, I thought I’d share a little more information about it on the blog.There is a LOT of mis-information out there and it can be confusing for any runner. If you want “The TRUTH” when it comes to running injuries…no fads, no gimmicks, no fancy equipment…this information is definitely for you.

Some of the topics that Heather demystifies regarding running training:

*What exactly running is when broken down to fundamental parts…and why injuries occur among new and expert runners alike.

*The dangers of relying just on running for your training – it’s one of the WORST mistakes you can make, but there is an “other training method” that will keep you injury-free.

*What muscle imbalances inevitably occur when you run and how you can identify your own specific weaknesses.

*Which muscles get short and tight and which muscles get long and weakened among runners.

*What pattern of motions do to your body and why stability is so important.

*The honest truth about leg muscles and why they’re only one part of the answer.

*What simple hip and butt muscle exercises are the key to injury-free running (I was surprised by many of them! Not what you’d think – crazy 🙂

*Everything you need to know about muscular alignment, core stability, and footing!

Im always reading health and fitness books, magazines, and continuing education information. In my opinion, Heather’s book is the best out there – it shares new, relevant, and powerful information for ANY runner. Check out her book on the STRONG RUNNING website and let me know what you think of it! It was an early Christmas present for me…. and now Im looking forward to a New Year full of strong, injury free, RUNNING!

See you on the pavement soon!

Caroline

Fearless Fitness Weekly Update 12/19: TRAVEL fitness tips!

TRAVEL FITNESS! Dont leave home without it!

1.) Caroline Jordan Fitness Schedule and Special Events December 19th-25th:

Monday 12/20: 12:05pm Cycle Express San Francisco Bay Club, 5:30pm Competition Core and 6pm Chisel’d EQUINOX

Tuesday 12/21: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX, 5pm Ball, 5:30pm BOSU, 6 pm Spin Circuit, and 7pm Sports Stretch Club One Citigroup

Wednesday 12/22: 5:30pm Competition Core and 6pm Chisel’d EQUINOX

Thursday 12/23: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX .

Friday 12/24 and Saturday 12/25  I’m off and going home to Davis – HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYBODY!

Find more information on specific club locations by clicking on the links included above.

Give yourself the gift of HEALTH this Holiday Season with PERSONAL TRAINING. Programs are carefully tailored to fit the unique fitness needs of each client and combined with lifestyle coaching for complete health and happiness. With constant support, encouragement, and guidance…. you CAN and WILL achieve wellness. MAKE IT THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS FEELING YOUR BEST. Don’t wait till next year to be healthier: Contact Me for details.

For other wonderful community fitness events, check out the lululemon athletica Grant Avenue community online SCHEDULE.

2.) Fearless Fitness Tip Of the Week: Holiday Vacation Fitness… Don’t leave home without it!

Do you usually forget to pack your fitness routine when you leave for holiday vacation? For most of us, healthy eating and exercising are the first things to go when we take time off and enjoy it. But cutting loose for a trip can become a huge set back in your quest to get fit.  Vacations should be a time to refresh, re-energize, and relax – not an excuse to take a break from your health. Being healthy is a year-round gig, so don’t drop the ball when vacation time hits. If you aren’t currently exercising, use your vacation as a time to try new activities—like skiing or taking a dance class—rather than use it as a reason not to exercise. Look at your vacation as a chance to set some new wellness goals for yourself or mix up your current fitness routine. Most importantly, just keep MOVING! Read below for a few tips on how to travel and stay fit.

Stay in Shape on your trip with these healthy tips:

  • Do your Research. Before leaving on your trip do a little research on fitness options at your planned destination. Does your hotel have a gym? Are there fun fitness opportunities or active adventures to sign up for? Have a list of hikes, trails, activities, or fitness options available at your vacation destination. When planning your trip, opt for locations that will allow you to engage in the physical activities you enjoy. Make a daily vacation itinerary and plan to incorporate these into the schedule. Regular physical activity is the key to enjoying your vacation time without bringing home extra weight on your return.
  • Figure Out What Motivates You. Knowing what keeps you motivated to stay in shape while traveling will help you stick with it. Do you love your morning jog? Bring your running shoes. Enjoy the stationary bike? Try to find a hotel gym. Love yoga classes? Research studios and available classes at your vacation destination. By simply knowing what keeps your fitness going – you’ll be more motivated to stick with it while on your trip.
  • Be a workout early bird. Don’t miss out on fun vacation plans because you are stuck at the gym. Instead get to the hotel gym in the morning to workout or take a class while everyone else is still asleep. You’ll be energized and ready for a fun vacation day of play!
  • Explore! Make sure to explore some of the outdoor attractions wherever you’re visiting— this will guarantee extra calorie burn while sightseeing. Take every opportunity to walk and enjoy the sights. This way you’ll be able to see the beautiful surroundings of your location more intimately than if you were driving.
  • Pack to Play. When preparing for your trip make a packing list of the fitness items needed to stay active. There’s no need to overload your suitcase with workout gear, but do pack a couple of workout outfits and appropriate footwear. Make sure to bring extra socks, a swimsuit, and a few fitness outfits that work for the weather expected on your trip.
  • Make Your hotel Room Your Personal Gym. If you’re limited on workout opportunities during your stay, bring your gym in your suitcase. You can easily get a full body workout with resistance bands or simply utilize hotel room furniture as gym equipment. A chair can easily be used for triceps dips and a strong table is the perfect place for step-ups. A jump rope is also a light tool to pack and a great way to incorporate cardio. If your hotel has a lot of levels, take the stairs and make them into a serious stepping workout. Climbing up and down all the flights will get your heart rate up and your butt in great shape!
  • Listen to Your Body. If you don’t have time to work out (or you’re exhausted/don’t feel well), don’t worry about it. You’re on holiday! Make up for it with extra walking and making healthy food choices.
  • Snack Smart. Pack LOTS of snacks and a few empty water bottles to fill up and carry around with you. Not only does this save money, but also prevents random unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
  • Be Restaurant Savvy. When dining out, make every effort to have your food prepared as healthfully as possible. Grilled, baked or roasted foods (without added butter) are great and always get a leafy and veggie-filled salad or broth-based soup to go with your meal. Since you ARE on vacation, indulgences are sometimes necessary but try to limit them to things you would otherwise not be able to have. For example, a frozen dessert that was store-bought and sat in the restaurant’s fridge/freezer all day is not worth it.. while a fresh-made treat (that you’ll never have again) definitely deserves a few bites.
  • Don’t Give Up! Most importantly, if you fall off the wagon, get right back on. No need to beat yourself up about a super rich and indulgent meal or a couple of sedentary days. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not going to make a difference— whether or not you had an awesome time and a memorable trip is what counts.

Taking a week off probably won’t make much of a difference but, after 3-5 weeks, your aerobic power can decline 5-10 %. Don’t let the ball slip – stay active while on your trip! Getting away from reality is good for the mind, spirit, and body. A holiday vacation is the perfect time to refresh your fitness routine and learn new ways to enjoy moving. On your next trip, challenge yourself to explore new activities and healthy habits. You’ll have a great time and enjoy an invigorating, stress free holiday vacation!

3. FEARLESS FITNESS CHALLENGE of the week: FIT fitness IN this holiday!

Headed home this holiday season? Or taking a well-deserved winter vacation? PLAN ahead and prepare to stay in shape while you travel.Here’s what I pack when I take a trip:

Caroline’s “In SHAPE” suitcase must haves:

-Ipod

-Ipod charger

-Running/Training Shoes

-weather appropriate workout clothes – dont forget socks!

-bathing suit, cap, goggles

Workout podcasts. I love the NIKE coaching workouts offered online at iTunes. 30-45 minute “SPORT MIXES” are special coaching mixes with music and voice over instruction from athletes such as marathon legend (and personal favorite!) Kara Goucher. There are many great walk/run/strength training workouts you can do ANYWHERE. My favorites are Serena Williams “Interval Run” and Ok Go’s “Master the Treadmill” Mix. Here’s the link to another one of my favorites “Anywhere Anytime: Outdoor Conditioning” workouts – Stacey Lei Krauss is fabulous! 

Workout DVDs /Videos. Prefer to do your workouts WITH someone while on vacation?! No problem! Check out my online workout videos and stay fit with me while traveling. These 10 minute “Take with you Anywhere” videos are perfect for when you are short on time or want to fit a quick sweat session in. Do them in the morning before your “busy” day of holiday vacationing begins! You can find all of my videos at my online Youtube Channel. Let me know what you think!

Staying fit on vacation doesn’t need to be stressful or crazy. Keeping up with a modified fitness routine will give you more energy to enjoy traveling! Plan ahead, set realistic goals, and keep yourself and your suitcase in great SHAPE!

Heres to a HAPPY HOLIDAY and safe travels! ENJOY and get ready for a ROCKIN New Year!

Check back next week for goal setting tips for a STRONG, HEALTHY, and FABULOUS 2011. This is YOUR year to reach your goals and SO much more. See you in class this week – lets celebrate our HEALTH with fitness!

Merry Fitness Everybody!

Caroline


Best Of the Bay: Lyon Street Steps!

Lyon Street Steps: BRING IT!

 

Winter Workout boredom making you want to throw in the towel?

Stop counting minutes and start counting stairs !!

Stair running is an intense, high impact cardiovascular workout guaranteed to work you into shape. Just 30 minutes on the stairs should be plenty to get you sweating. And in San Francisco you have the opportunity to stair climb through the best possible scenery, allowing for an amazing mental and physical workout. The Lyon Street Steps are the perfect place to start – the  stair series will help you become a serious stepper in no time! Here’s to getting your rear into gear!

A few things to keep in mind before you start sweating……

**Make sure to WARM UP with some light jogging, quadricep/calf stretches, and a few flights of stairs at an easy pace.

**Bring water – stay hydrated before, during, and after your workout.

**Always wear good running shoes – stair running can be really hard on your joints and you’ll want to keep your knees/ankles/hips happy.

**Make sure to watch your foot/knee alignment as you step, placing the full foot on the step and keeping the knees behind toes.

**End your workout with a solid cooldown that includes walking, hamstring, quadriceps, and calf stretches.

Ready to get started?! Below is my favorite Lyon Street workout…. let me know if you try it! And as always, honor your injuries and needs. If you’re injured or feel pain (as opposed to workout intensity), don’t do it! Double-check with a trainer for proper form on exercises and with a doc if you’re beginning a new fitness program

Caroline’s favorite Lyon Street Step Workout:

  • Begin with a light jog down Van Ness to warm up.
  • Turn left onto Green Street.
  • Charge up the hills of Pacific Heights and wave at the mansion millionaires as you speed by.
  • Turn Left on Lyon Street and UP you GO! Take each one solo or stride up multiple. PUMP your arms and make each step POWERFUL.
  • Stop and Swivel and the top. Take a few refreshing breaths and ENJOY the view – you deserve it!
  • Then its back down you go – the steps are STEEP….be careful!
  • Loop back around and up the steps. Or jog down Lyon Street to visit Chrissy Field, the Bridge, or the pretty palace.
  • Take an easy jog/run through Pacific Heights and back up Van Ness. Shake it out, stretch, and “WA-LA!” – you’re finished!

Grab a friend and take a step in a new direction. This winter,  I challenge you to rediscover the fun in fitness with this scenic San Francisco stair workout.  Get outside, enjoy the BEAUTIFUL city, and sweat – I guarantee your body and mind will THANK YOU you for it!

Lyon Street Steps: BRING IT!

Reader Request: Is Yoga the Same as Strength Training?

Q: Can yoga replace strength training? I switched from doing two full-body strength training workouts to doing two hour long power yoga classes each week. Can my yoga practice count as strength training or do I need to do both?”

A: Great question! Your concern about losing muscle and slowing your metabolism is a good one. Muscle loss begins in your 30s and continues at a rate of about 3 percent per decade without adequate exercise and good nutrition. The latest government guidelines recommend two days of full-body strength training for optimal health and weight maintenance.

If you know me… you know i LOVE yoga. I try and take at least one class a week and LOVE visiting San Francisco studios and learning from the city’s amazing Yogi’s. Yoga is an AMAZING strength and flexibility workout that provides countless mind and body benefits.  But if the question is, “Can yoga REPLACE strength training?” in my opinion, the answer is no. I believe yoga is an excellent workout to combine with a standard weight training and cardio program. Yoga is naturally weight bearing in many of the postures, as you lift limbs and hold poses in the process of the practice. The ability to move your body weight through all of the poses IS a great strength challenge and will help your muscles build a foundation of strength.  So why doesnt yoga count as strength training? Two reasons: 1. Progressive Muscle Overload: yoga does not work the muscles to the point of fatigue. Your body will eventually adapt to the body weight challenge of planks, chataraungas, and lunges of a consistent yoga practice. Besides holding the chatarunga for longer, the only way to progressively make the exercise more challenging is to add weight. And who wants to hold weights when they practice yoga? 2. BONES: The bones are not stressed so there is no increased bone density impact. For more on the bone density building benefits of strength training, check out this post. It’s important to note too that yoga classes come in all different instructors and styles. A vigorous 90 minute POWER flow is MUCH different than a gentle Yin yoga practice.

I advise clients who are just trying to stay fit and healthy to get a mix of both body-weight exercises and workouts with weights and/or resistance fitness tools. Most studies have shown that the more VARIETY in your workout routine, the faster you’ll see results.Continue to challenge your body beyond what it is used to you WILL see results and benefit from your routine. To add yoga into your workout schedule, I suggest practicing yoga on a non-consecutive weight training day or on a light cardio day. I always try to practice yoga on a day I have a short run or a few days after my last weight workout.

I believe the most important thing is to find a form of exercise you love and can see yourself doing as a lifelong habit. I encourage YOU to continally try new and different forms of exercise. If you always MIX it up, you’ll be sure to challenge your body in different ways and continue to grow as a fitness enthusiast.

This is just my opinion on the matter – and for the rest of the Fearless Fitness Readers, Im more than open to hearing YOUR thoughts and having a conversation! We can always teach eachother more 🙂 Either way, I hope the above helps answer your question! Looking forward to seeing you in the yoga studio or for a strength session soon 🙂

Caroline

CREATE AND CELEBRATE! First Annual Lululemon Ambassador Night at lululemon athletica GRANT AVENUE!

Last night lululemon athletica Grant Avenue hosted their first annual AMBASSADOR night. The 8 san francisco Ambassadors joined together with the incredible San Francisco store managers for an inspiring evening of goal setting and festive Gingerbread House / Hanukkah Hut making. I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of such a talented and loving lululemon community. It was a beautiful evening of relationship building and “big hairy goal” setting (more on THAT later!). I wanted to share a few photos from the evening of our lululemon athletica Grant Avenue family. GO into the store this week to see our Gingerbread Houses – cast your vote on which one YOU think is the hottest! I’ll see you there in my POWER PURPLE!

Keep your eyes out for a GOAL setting guide post this week – 2011 is YOUR year – you WILL reach your goals and live happier and healthier!

Power POW-WOW at lululemon athletica Grant Avenue

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting with the Team!

Graham Crackers and Frosting!

Gingerbread Houses and Hanakuah Huts!

lululemon athletica Grant Avenue Ambassadors and Managers - OUR FAMILY 2010!

CREATE AND CELEBRATE!

LOVE YOU lululemon athletica GRANT AVENUE!! xoxo

HOLIDAY HOTNESS PLAYLIST!

Well check YOU out! Your playlist is HOT!

I hope you enjoy this month’s high-energy workout mix to help keep you moving though the holidays. Some are perfect for sprints – others great for some serious tempo or climbing work. And of course, I had to throw a couple of holiday songs in there 🙂  Let me know what you think… leave a comment below or on my facebook page. Thanks, everybody!  I wish you all a very happy, healthy & cozy holiday season.

Your trainer,

Caroline

 

HOLIDAY HOTNESS PLAYLIST.

  • “Café del Mar (Deadmau5 Remix)” Café del Mar: The Ibiza Clubmixes
  • “All I want for Christmas Is You” Mariah Carey
  • “White Knuckle Ride” Jamiroquai
  • “That’s All She Wrote ” T.I. (feat. Eminem)
  • “S&M”  Rihanna
  • “Teach Me How to Dougie” Cali Swag District
  • “Who Dat Girl (feat. Akon)” Flo Rida
  • “Who’s That Chick?”  David Guetta & Rihanna
  • “Higher” Taio Cruz
  • “Only Girl (In the World)” Rihanna
  • “Dancing On My Own” Robyn
  • “Church”  T-Pain featuring Teddy Verseti
  • “Release (Featuring Delano)” JJ Flores & Steve Smooth
  • “9 PM (Till I Come) [Club Mix]”  ATB
  • “What You Waiting For?” Gwen Stefani
  • “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That” Robert Randolph & the Family Band
  • “Smack My Bitch Up” Prodigy

For COOLDOWN? Try these two:

“Shake It Up Christmas” Train and “Make You Feel My Love” ADELE

ENJOY and MERRY FITNESS EVERYBODY!!

Fearless Fitness Weekly Update 12/12: Tis the Season for STRESS REDUCTION. Beat stress and breathe easy with these tips!

ONLY 2 WEEKS and 18 Caroline Workouts left in 2010!! MERRY FITNESS EVERYONE!

1.) Caroline Jordan Fitness Schedule and Special Events December 12th-18th:

Monday 12/13: 12:05pm Cycle Express San Francisco Bay Club, 5:30pm Competition Core and 6pm Chisel’d EQUINOX

Tuesday 12/14: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX, 5pm Ball, 5:30pm BOSU, 6 pm Spin Circuit, and 7pm Sports Stretch Club One Citigroup

Wednesday 12/15: 5:30pm Competition Core and 6pm Chisel’d EQUINOX

Thursday 12/16: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX .

Friday 12/17 : 12pm Abs and 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX

Saturday 12/18: 10 am Chisel’d and 11am Cycling EQUINOX

Find more information on specific club locations by clicking on the links included above.

Give yourself the gift of HEALTH this Holiday Season with PERSONAL TRAINING. Programs are carefully tailored to fit the unique fitness needs of each client and combined with lifestyle coaching for complete health and happiness. With constant support, encouragement, and guidance…. you CAN and WILL achieve wellness. MAKE IT THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS FEELING YOUR BEST. Don’t wait till next year to be healthier: Contact Me for details.

For other wonderful community fitness events, check out the lululemon athletica Grant Avenue community online SCHEDULE.

2.) Fearless Fitness Tip Of the Week: Tis the Season for Stress Reduction!

The holiday season is in FULL force this year. Welcome to the whirlwind of gift giving, holiday parties, activities, and endless to-do lists. And while the season is meant to be merry and cheerful, it can also bring A LOT of stress to people. Infact, according to a recent Medical Review Board poll, more than 80% of us find the holiday season to be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ stressful. The holidays combined with the “end of the year” work pressure can cause a mid-season meltdown and other disasters. So I thought this would be the perfect time for a fearless fitness update on Stress Management. Below is an article I wrote for a health publisher with some information and  helpful tips to help you beat stress. Enjoy – and let me know what you think of it! 

Stress. Can’t live with it and cant live without it. Everyone experiences events that they find difficult or stressful to cope with. Common stress reactions include tension, irritability, insomnia, and a variety of physical symptoms like headaches, a fast heartbeat, or an upset stomach. It’s impossible to live without some stress, and most of us wouldn’t want to as it adds excitement and variety to our lives. Yet some side effects of stress can be dangerous and cause serious damage to your health and happiness. Learn how to recognize harmful symptoms of stress and use these successful strategies to manage it before it affects your life. You can save yourself from chronic stress…your body and mind will thank you for it!

Stress is defined as any emotional or physical reaction caused by the challenges of living in the modern world. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, two-thirds of all visits to physicians are for stress-related problems. Recent evidence indicates that the physical changes associated with stress may contribute to the leading causes of death – heart disease and cancer. And sadly, stress-related mental disorders have been called the fastest growing work-related disease in the U.S. Some of the serious health related issues associated with stress include some of the following:

Health related effects of Stress:

  • Insomnia, chronic fatigue, headaches (from mild to migraines), stomach upsets, and back pain.
  • Increased blood pressure and increased risk of stroke.
  • Stress weakens the immune system and causes you to be more susceptible to colds and other illnesses.
  • Stress triggers other unhealthy behaviors that can contribute to a shorter life including drug abuse, alcoholism, over-eating, under-eating, over-exercising, or smoking. These addictions are attempts to “switch off” the symptoms of stress, yet do not address the underlying problem.
  • Suffering from chronic stress makes it MORE difficult to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle like giving up smoking or eating better.
  • Increased risk of a heart attack from constant tension, anger, irritability, or other negative emotions.

Get into the habit of noticing early signs of stress before it hurts your health. Symptoms of stress vary from person to person; identifying your personal stress signs will help you learn how to stop them before they harm you. Learning to spot signs of stress instantly just takes practice. Regularly scan your body, behavior, feelings, and thoughts for symptoms of stress. Make a list of your personal “warning signs” so that you can recognize them when they start to come on. Identify the external or internal triggers that stimulate your stress. You may not be able to remove the cause of stress, but you can certainly change the way you deal with it. These tips help with immediate stress relief:

  • Take a TIME OUT. Take yourself out of the stressful situation if you can. Step out of the room, stop the conversation, take a short walk, or even close your eyes.
  • Inhale-Exhale….repeat! Whenever you are stressed, worried, or tense, use your breathing to help calm yourself down. Take a few deep breaths and quietly let stress go with each exhalation. Simple breathing techniques can aid in immediate stress relief, all it takes is practice!
  • Positive Affirmations and Thought Stopping. Negative thoughts and feelings cause a lot of internal stress. When you notice negative thoughts popping up, challenge them with positive thoughts. Simple phrases like: “I stay calm under pressure.” “Today I choose happiness” “I can handle whatever comes” or “this too shall pass” might help the negative thought battle. You can also simply tell your negative thoughts to, “STOP.” This technique may sound silly, but it works! Find an affirmation or word that resonates with you and repeat it as much as needed till your stress is gone.

You can learn how to prevent stress before it affects your health. These lifestyle habits will improve your health, sense of well-being, and ability to manage stress symptoms:

  • Daily meditation and relaxation. Set aside 10-15 minutes a day for uninterrupted “you time”. Allow this to be time that you dedicate to an activity that de-stresses you. Listen to music, stretch, meditate, practice yoga, take a hot bath, read, or simply sit and just be.
  • Healthy Eating. Eating well will help you feel good and fuel your ability to fight stress symptoms. Make sure to eat regular meals and snacks throughout your day. Focus on nutritious, real foods and always incorporate lots of fruits, veggies, and fiber.
  • Regular Exercise. When you are physically fit, your body is better equipped to manage stress. Regular exercise is a great way to manage the stress you face everyday. Exercise improves your sleep, concentration, energy levels, self-confidence, looks, and works to battle other harmful diseases and health issues.
  • Avoid abusing alcohol or drugs. When stress levels are high, it’s common to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.
  • Limit caffeine and sugar. Both provide temporary highs that cause jitters, headaches, and harm energy levels. With a reduced amount of caffeine and sugar in your diet, you’ll be more relaxed and improve your sleep.
  • Fit Friends IN! Make sure to surround yourself with those that bring joy to your life. Laughing releases muscular tension and can help maintain a positive perspective. Spending time with those you love can provide a psychological lift and have a nurturing effect. Regularly make time for fun and relaxation, so you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they come.

Most important, understand that your thoughts, emotions, schedule, lifestyle and environment are UNDER YOUR CONTROL. Take charge of your stress levels. Change the way you deal with stress and improve your health. Balance your life with work, relationships, relaxation, and fun. Live a balanced, positive life and you’ll be prepared to handle stress when it comes!

3. FEARLESS FITNESS CHALLENGE of the week: Inhale….Exhale…REPEAT!

How do YOU manage your stress levels? This week,  I challenge you to explore the things that help you stay balanced and sane – no matter what your schedule may bring. Sit down and schedule in some quality personal time for you this week. Take some time to laugh, relax, and BREATHE. It’s wonderful to give love to others during the holiday season – but its also important to remember to give some to yourself as well. Below are a few quotes to inspire you to relax, breathe, and let go…. this season, give yourself the gift of breath and enjoy the holidays FREE from stress!
“I had to hit burnout more than once before I understood the wisdom of BALANCE – of coming back to my center for rejuvenation. For me, that now comes once a week on Sundays, when I clear both my schedule and my head to regather myself. If you neglect to charge a battery it dies. And if you run full-speed ahead without stopping for water, you lose momentum to finish the race.” – Oprah

“Every time you say no to a less-than-appealing request, you say yes to something else. Maybe it’s one golden hour to take a bubble bath, read a good book, or play with your kids. Saying no frees you to pursue a dream – to take a class or develop your potential, or to work for a cause you believe in. The more time you can give to the things you truly care about, the more satisfying your life will feel.” – Connie Hatch, author

“When we finally learn that self care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.” – Jennifer Louden, author

“ALL YOU NEED ARE SNEAKERS. When you feel better you act better, you have a better outlook, and you eat better. Im the one who says, “Just One More Mile! Lets just go around the next corner.” I love the way it feels. It’s exercise that lets me do everything else – that’s where I get my strength from, knowing I CAN DO IT.” Jo Shenk, marathon runner and double mastectomy survivor.

Heres to breathing easy and having a HAPPY HOLIDAY season! HAVE A GREAT WEEK this week fearless folks! I hope to see you in a class or two before the NEW YEAR 🙂

Caroline