Category Archives: Wellness

Best Seated Office Exercises For Energy and Performance

Instantly energize your work day and improve your performance with this quick routine of the best seated Office Exercises.

Best Office Exercises For Energy

Photo Credit Mark Kuroda

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Putting in too much time in the chair is dangerous, yet so many of us are pulling crazy hours at work and our health is paying for it. Spending too much time sitting has been linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, metabolic syndrome and earlier death. Not to mention the rising increase of desk job related injuries like: carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, frozen shoulders, wrist strain, neck and shoulder pain, sciatica, hip pain, and lower back pain.

We are built to move. It’s stress and not moving that is the hardest on our bodies and health long term.

Have you ever had an achy back from a long day of sitting? Or a serious headache from too much time staring at a computer screen? Lucky for you the solution is simple and doesn’t require a ton of time. I am here because I want to help you feel better. And I promise you: simply taking the time to move more will dramatically improve how your body feels.

Living a more active life starts with a mindset shift. You have to be willing to drop the all-or-nothing mindset and look for ways to get moving every chance you get. Exercise is not limited to your workouts. Don’t aim only to be active for 30 minutes three times a week—aim to integrate more activity into your daily life. Doing so will help keep you mobile, happy, and fit. You’ll be up for anything—a mover who can handle life’s challenges with ease.

I want to teach you some of my favorite Office Exercises that can be done anywhere for improved energy and performance. These simple movements can be integrated throughout your work day to ease tight, tense muscles and relieve stress. Use the entire video routine or pick your favorite exercises to mix into your busy day to help yourself be your best. I loved filming this routine for you and I hope it serves you in work, wellness, and life.

The Best Office Exercises for Energy and Performance Video Routine

Remember: Wellness is so much more than preventing disease and living longer. It’s the secret to thriving in work and being fully engaged in life. I believe personal well-being drives professional well-being. The healthier you are in your life, the better you are in your life.  

“We have been living under a collective delusion for a long while now that burnout is necessary for success, that if you really are serious about succeeding, building a company, climbing the career ladder, then you just have to accept that’s going to require burning the candle at both ends.”- Arianna Huffington

There is a more sustainable course to success — one that allows time for health, personal fulfillment, joy and giving back. In fact, prioritizing well-being and happiness can actually make you better at your job. You have time for a few quick exercises at work. By taking a little time for yourself and prioritizing your health you will find incredible benefits. 
I want to help you “work smarter not harder” to achieve both professional and personal goals. I am here to help you to continue to develop healthy habits that give you strength and allow you to take care of yourself so that you can thrive in work, wellness, and in life. Next time you are feeling tired or stressed at work, try this simple video routine of Office Exercises and let me know if it helps in the comments below. Make movement a priority in your work day and help yourself perform better.

I hope this video routine serves you in feeling and being your best. If you liked this video, hit LIKE, share it, and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more feel good fitness. 

I’m on a mission to be a positive force for preventative health and help be the change in work wellness. Learn about my corporate wellness services here and contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com to discuss ways we can work together to improve the health of your company.

Caroline

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It gives me great joy to help people enhance their success through health. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve the health of your company, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com

What is My Theme for 2017? Healing.

I set an intention with a “theme” for each New Year. I believe this sets a strong, powerful intention for a desired outcome and allows you to stay consistent in taking action towards a year congruent with that theme. 2012 (“The Year of Self Love”) and 2013 (“The Year of Yes”) have been favorites so far.

What’s my theme for 2017?

Healing.

In the middle of 2016, I was sidelined with a serious foot injury that took me out of my life. Up until that point I was happy running around San Francisco doing as much as possible all at the same time. But this? This was a big large stop sign. It forced me to sit, feel, deal, and re-evaluate things. The only way out was through. I had a choice: shut it out and wallow in self pity, or open up and receive it.

I chose to open.

When you can’t go out, you go within. The journey has been everything (#allthefeels) and despite all the not so fun parts, I feel more alive than ever before. It has been one of the most transformative times of my life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about healing. Each one of us has trauma to heal, loss to mourn, hurts to forgive, or pain to let go of. Sometimes our pain manifests in the physical self and other times it takes form in ways that are not so obvious. As hard as it’s been, I am so grateful my foot pressed pause on my life and asked me to look at how I was moving through it. I needed to slow down, to work on myself, to heal past hurts that prevented me from being my best.

Moving into 2017 the journey continues. I am not in a rush, healing takes time (and I’m pretty sure it’s something that is never really done). Taking the time to generously nourish the body, mind, and spirit is one incredibly hard yet rewarding process. But the cool part? You FEEL results. From all of your efforts, you experience lightness, freedom, and expansiveness in your life and heart.

The process begins with one simple move: opening to what is. The photo above is how I feel going into 2017, empowered from my results and open to receive whatever the Universe has for me next. I believe life gives us great challenges to remind us that we’re alive (what a gift!) and that there is pleasure, and joy, and beauty, and so much room to expand into. And that yes, this journey, this life, is worth it.

 

All we have to do is open up to what is. The rest will take care of itself.

What is your theme for 2017? Have you ever focused on healing your mind, body, spirit? What do you do to heal? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Thank you for being a part of my journey – here’s to a year full of healing.

With love and light,

Caroline

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Struggling with the Holiday Blues? You are not alone. Here’s How to Cope.

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photo credit Kuroda Studios

Struggling with the Holiday Blues?

You are not alone. Here’s How to Cope. 

The holidays are hard.

Wait, did I just say that?

I know it’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of year”, but I’m just going to be real with you. They can be hard for me. And hard for others too.

Sure on Facebook, everyone’s holidays look perfect. Shiny things and families smiling. But that’s just social media for you. Everything looks like a good time when you scroll online. Let’s be real. No one’s life is perfect like a Christmas card and sometimes a smile signals great strength despite life’s obstacles.

The holidays can trigger sadness, anxiety, stress, and depression for a lot of people (eight out of 10 Americans according to the American Psychological Association). I’m one of them. As a recovering perfectionistic people pleaser, the holidays often challenge me to stay well mentally. Over the years I’ve learned how to better work with the season and created self-care strategies to help me stay grounded, positive, and present (which I go into deeper detail in my book). But that doesn’t mean the holidays are a walk in the park.

For me, it helps to identify and be mindful of triggers to seasonal sadness so that I can better move through the holidays in health. Some “holiday blues” triggers include:

  • Financial Stress. Not enough money, fear of not having enough money, guilt around spending money, or feeling like you can’t afford to celebrate or give the gifts you want to give.
  • Too Much To Do. The added stress of events, shopping, and planning when you’re already overworked and tired can feel overwhelming. We try to fit everything into an already tight schedule which can be exhausting. When my plate is too full it makes me feel frazzled and burnt out. I feel defeated when I feel like I “can’t keep up with it all” or “half-ass” on commitments I want to be there for.  
  • Loneliness and Grief. Missing those we love, reminiscing on past memories, or facing deep emotional feelings. Tis the season. 
  • Interpersonal Relationships. There’s no such thing as the perfect family or relationship. The holiday’s can serve up a lot of psychological or emotional stress in dealing with complicated family/friend relationships.
  • Divorce/Breakup. If you’re newly divorced, the holidays may remind you of happier times and accentuate your grief. It’s especially difficult for children of divorce who have to balance seeing two sets of parents. The stress is multiplied for married children who have three or even four sets of parents to visit.
  • High Expectations. Expectations of a magical holiday season can create physical and mental stress. High expectations of a happy family gathering can end in disappointment. We put pressure on ourselves to make the holiday “perfect” and when it doesnt turn out the way we expect it to, we feel let down or sad. 
  • People Pleasing. Trying to be there for everyone and everything – can make you feel guilty and like you’re not doing enough.
  • Holiday Travel. Having to deal with airports, traffic, hotels, and getting from point A to point B during the busiest season for travel can be exhausting. Not to mention dealing with jetlag and maintaining your health while on the road.
  • SAD. Many people experience the blues during gloomy weather due to decreased sunlight, called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I am absolutely one of those people! Summer is my favorite holiday 🙂

Do any of the above factors make you feel stressed, burnt out, sad, sick, or depressed? Well let me tell you, you are not alone. I’m right there with you. But you can make the holidays easier on yourself by following the below tips for success.

Here are a few ways I’ve learned to handle holiday stress triggers and manage the season without losing my marbles:

  • Set reasonable expectations and let go of perfection. Don’t try to do too much or match some ideal of the “perfect” holiday. If you’re comparing your holidays to some abstract greeting card ideal, they’ll always come up short. Strive to keep expectations in balance and drop the need for perfect. The best moments happen when you stop to enjoy them and real is so much better than perfect.
  • Commit to self care. Whatever it takes, take care of yourself. When you are traveling make time for exercise. Commit to getting enough sleep as much as possible. Make time for rest and for yourself. Remember the old airplane order: You put your oxygen mask on first before you can take care of everyone else.
  • Don’t overbook! Leave space. It’s tempting to fill in every waking minute of the season with events.  Don’t do this to yourself.  Leave space. Not feeling overbooked and having space will significantly reduce your stress.
  • Practice healthy drinking habits. Alcohol is a depressant and can exacerbate feelings of stress and sadness. Too much alcohol can also interfere with healthy sleep and interrupt natural sleep cycles.  Not to mention, getting too drunk at your family event might not help you improve relationships. If you accidentally overdo it, read my “holiday hangover cure” here.
  • Move Your Body to Move Your Mood.  While the physical benefits of exercise are great, I exercise to keep my mind in good shape (especially during the holidays). Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce depression and anxiety, decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Endorphins really are the best natural happy drug in the world and even a short daily walk can have a big impact. If it’s too cold in your area to enjoy a walk or run, check out a fun group fitness class or press play on my youtube videos for effective, no-equipment needed home workouts. There are also dozens of smartphone apps that can also guide you through a workout and I include my favorites in my book.  
  • Nourish Yourself. There’s nothing that spells mental meltdown faster than going too long without a real meal (sorry, cheese and crackers at the holiday party do not count as a balanced diet). Make sure to get a solid breakfast, eat all the healthy vegetables you can, and commit to quality nutrition during this time. For me this means eating light, eating clean, and eating often. Keeping myself well fueled with real food helps me maintain my energy levels and keep stress at bay.  I have snacks on hand and prepare healthy dishes to bring to events so that I know I’ll have options.  Real food = happier mood and staying well fueled = keeping your cool.
  • Kick sugar to the curb. Processed white sugar is known to contribute to depression and can exacerbate the holiday blues. Plus sugar is toxic and causes stress on the body (no one likes a sugar hangover). When you begin to notice how what you eat affects how you feel, it becomes easier to make smarter choices with sugar. Being mindful of your sugar intake during the holidays can significantly help manage anxiety and boost your mood.
  • Budget your bucks and get creative with gifts. Overspending during the holidays can lead to continued stress down the road. Set spending limits and stick to them. Or get creative and give gifts that you can’t buy in a store (experiences, memories, homemade crafts, etc).
  • Limit Social Media. Even though you know that most people only post their happiest moments on social media, it’s easy to lose perspective and get a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Comparison is the thief of joy and you can’t compare yourself to others’ highlight reels of their lives. Limit your consumption of Facebook, instagram, snapchat, and instead  reach out to your close friends via phone or text message when you feel like connecting with people. You’ll get more satisfaction from spending real, face time with people rather than scrolling down a feed of tons of people you haven’t seen in years.
  • Create time for yourself during family gatherings. This one is huge for me. I love people and get a lot of energy from social events, but if I don’t have mini breaks, I lose my sh*t. Take a walk outside, find a quiet corner in the house, or make a quick trip to the store to gather your thoughts and relax.
  • Reframe Your Holiday. If you feel isolated, it’s important to remember you’re still in charge of your life. The way to bring more abundance into your life is to give first. Find opportunities to volunteer. Meet people. Attend events. Instead of feeling left out of others’ holiday plans, think of the break as free time to do whatever you wants — even if that means spending the day at home making vision boards or watching movies.
  • Eliminate stress by pre-planning. Plan any shopping, errands, and cooking in advance. Setting a schedule and making priorities will prevent too much from piling up at the last minute.
  • Set Aside Differences. Christmas dinner at Aunt Maud’s house doesn’t have to be the annual free-for-all or tension-filled affair as in past years. Make a pact with yourself to accept family members and loved ones for who they are without any expectations. Hopefully, they will do the same for you. But if they don’t and someone tries to pick a fight, just smile and wish them a Merry Christmas. This is not the time to air grievances, although it might be a good time to walk away.If there is someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, send them a holiday card. You don’t have to say anything other than “thinking of you and wishing you well.” It will make both of you feel better.
  • Talk to someone. If you are feeling down during this time of year, seek support. It’s totally OK to ask for help and talk to someone.  Infact, if you are struggling with anxiety, sadness, depression, or your mind, talking to someone may feel like a huge breath of fresh air. Lean on a friend or family member you trust, or seek out a mental health professional. You can try an online service like Reflect, an incredible online talk therapy resource.
  • Renew Your Spirit. Wellness is so much more than being fit, it’s being fulfilled in spirit. Take the time to connect to the people, places, and things that help you feel most alive and find purpose in your life. If you need some guidance, read the Spirit section of my book which is filled with suggestions, tools, and resources to lift you up.

It took me a few years to personalize healthy lifestyle habits that help me manage seasonal stress and feel my best. So if you are struggling this year, take some solace in the fact that no one’s life is perfect and you are not alone. It can be the most bittersweet, highly charged time of year (even though that’s the part that we don’t talk about). But I’m positive that this can be your best holiday yet if you are open to changing some of your old traditions that bring you down and trying new holiday habits that can lift you up.

Want more tips so you can keep your mind in good shape no matter what life brings you next? Check out my new book  Balanced Body Breakthrough. There is an entire section of the book dedicated to mental wellbeing with tools, resources, and suggestions to keep your headspace in good shape. Wellness starts in the mind and spirit. Pick up your copy here and help your mind feel better.

Do you struggle to cope with any of the above? Are the holidays challenging for you too? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and blessed holiday full of health. Always here for you –

Caroline

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Give the Gift of Happiness and Health.

Holiday-Gift

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Give the gift of Happiness and health with my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough. 278 pages full support to help readers clarify values, create a plan and set smart goals, manage time, feel healthy, get fit, and enjoy life. The perfect resource for a new year full of wellness.

You can help someone start their fitness journey, be successful in their goals, make healthy habits that stick, find balance, beat stress, and live a vibrant life with this book. Paperback on amazon or Inkshares. Order your copy at the links below!

Inkshares: https://www.inkshares.com/books/balanced-body-breakthrough

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Balanced-Body-Breakthrough-Caroline-Jordan/dp/1942645112

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/balanced-body-breakthrough-caroline-jordan/1124453267?ean=9781942645115

Thank you for your support with this book and for helping me share my message of wellness with the world! I believe everyone deserves to feel good and live lives they love. This book is a tool that can help you. I cant wait to share this resourceful read with you and support you in living well.

Here’s to your health and a full, vibrant life.

Love, Caroline

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Cut Down on Desk Aches and Pains

be-the-change-in-work-wellness

Hi Friends,

I just returned home from an incredible trip to Dallas, where I presented “Wellbeing Refresh”, a corporate wellness session for Vista Equity Partners. I worked with the company to create a custom evening for their team of high performance leaders. The session was engaging, informative, resourceful, and fun. I taught their group of high level professionals how to up-level their game through fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, and meditation. I believe it is personal wellbeing that drives professional wellbeing. The healthier you are in your life, the better you are in your work.

At the end of the session, one of the partners turned to me and said, “You know I was skeptical at first. I didn’t think this would really have an impact. But I’m truly impressed. I now know small things I can do to manage the stress of my job and feel my best.”

Success! Yes this stuff WORKS. You can work smarter, not harder to achieve both personal and professional goals. I was made to help others beat stress, find balance, and reach their full potential. It gives me great joy to help people enhance their success through health. 

Putting in too much time in the chair is dangerous, yet so many of us are pulling crazy hours at work and our health is paying for it.

Spending too much time sitting has been linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, metabolic syndrome and earlier death, and unfortunately even the most dedicated exercise regimens won’t undo all the damageNot to mention the rising increase of desk job related injuries like: carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, frozen shoulders, wrist strain, neck and shoulder pain, sciatica, hip pain, and lower back pain.

I believe we are built to move. It’s stress and NOT moving that is the hardest thing on our bodies and health long term.
99% of my corporate clients struggle with pain from too much time at a desk and dealing with work related stress. Lucky for you the solution is simple and doesn’t require a ton of time. I am here because I want to help you FEEL better. And I promise you: simply taking the time to move will dramatically improve how your body feels. Want more ideas to counteract the negative effects of sitting all day? Use this graphic  for easy-to-implement tips.

Office Stretches to Prevent and Reduce Desk-Life Pain

Want more? Press play on one of these at corporate wellness office exercise videos I’ve made for you. Movement exists everywhere if you look for it and I promise you, getting moving is one of the best things you can do to feel your best.

My youtube channel is a great resource to inspire movement wherever you are. Subscribe and stay motivated to move and feel your best. You deserve to feel good and live without pain.

How do you stay active and pain free throughout your work day? Let me know in the comments below.

If you liked this post, please SHARE it with your friends on Facebook, twitter, or email. Everyone deserves support in training a positive mindset and living a life of health.

Till next time, keep moving my friends.

Caroline

Companies who live well together work smarter together. I offer corporate wellness consulting and custom corporate wellness programs to support your employees in beating stress, finding health, and maximizing their productivity.  I work with both large and small companies as a wellness speaker, consultant, teacher and coach. My programs are geared towards changing company culture for healthy employees. I drive wellness programs in and out of corporate settings to enhance the health of the community. Clients include: Genentech, Google, Fitbit, Sephora, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Reed Smith LLP, RMC Water & Environment, DDB California, Credit Karma, TaskRabbit, Litekey Technology, and Hines. 

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve the heath of your company, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com 

Did you like this post? Please SHARE this with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves to be healthy and live a life they love. 

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How to Listen To Your Body

Struggling to find a balance with fitness? Here’s how to learn to listen to your body and enjoy exercise in a healthy way.

Have you ever had one of those days where you were tired? You started a workout, but then felt heavy, exhausted, and needed to rest?

I have those days. I get excited to sweat, but just don’t seem to have any gas in the tank. My mind feels tired, my legs are like lead, and my body is asking for rest. So I listen, call the workout, and stop.

I wasn’t always like this. Growing up in a strict school of ballet I was taught the “no pain no gain” philosophy. Self-sacrifice, self-discipline, and “pushing through pain” was celebrated. You were a good dancer if you gave your all, no matter what, all of the time. No days off.

My life moved on from dance, but it took me a long time to change this mindset. There was never a specific moment that changed things for me, that turned me from self-sacrificing to self-loving. I just started to evolve over time. I learned many hard lessons. I began to see how pushing through the pain wasn’t actually helping, but rather hurting my fitness goals long term. I changed the way I viewed exercise and training. It wasn’t something to “be good at” or “win”. It didn’t have to hurt or leave me drained. It could actually make me feel strong, confident, energized, and balanced. It could enhance the quality of my life – if I chose to listen and train smart. So I learned to listen to my body. I developed my fitness plan that met my needs, preferences, and energy levels. I found a way of exercising that made me feel happy, healthy, and whole, all because I took the time to listen and figure out what that felt like.

Being a wellness coach, I work to help others find balance. And I can honestly say that today I practice what I preach. Now I train with a self-compassionate mind, a training regimen I would prescribe to a loved one. It’s always a work in progress and my body changes all the time. Every day is an invitation to choose to check in, listen, and find a healthy challenge. One that makes me feel amazing.

I believe exercise is one of the most powerful ingredients in having energy and living a healthy life. The hard part is figuring out when enough is enough and when it’s just too much. The good news? Your body is SMART. You just need to train your brain to recognize the signs for when to put the pedal to the metal and when to pump the brakes—and actually do it.

Here are my thoughts on how to learn to listen to your body and enjoy exercise in a healthy way.

How to Listen To Your Body

Check YoSelf before You Wreck YoSelf. We move so fast these days and follow our busy schedules from start to finish. It’s rare that we take the time to slow down to notice how we are feeling or if our plans are in-line with what we need. Every day is an opportunity to pay attention. Before exercising, take a few moments to do a mindful check-in to get in touch with your body and mind.  How does your body feel? How is your energy? How is your mood? Notice where you might be storing stress, tension, or emotion. With all this in mind, what kind of exercise is right for you that day? Do you need a hard cardio workout to burn off stress? A strength workout to feel grounded? Some functional movement to address muscular imbalances? A few exercises to boost your energy? A yoga workout to stretch out tight hamstrings? By noticing how your body and mind feels in the moment, you can move forward in choosing a workout that meets your needs.

Give it 20 Minutes. If you are feeling tired and are not quite sure if you should or should not workout, give it 20 minutes. Start slow, ease into it, and check in with how you feel. Sometimes a workout can completely transform your energy and turn you from sleepy to energizer bunny. And sometimes it doesn’t work that way. It’s always worth getting moving for 10-20 minutes to see how it goes. If you feel good and end up exercising for more time, then great. If not, at least you got some movement and found out how your body felt. It’s always worth it to try a few minutes and check in with your physical self.

Be Mindful of the Fitness that surrounds you. Those “motivational” quotes that tell you “Unless you puke, faint, or pass out keep going”? Yea thats just plain stupid. That’s not motivating, that’s body shaming. Those types of mantras will end up hurting you mentally, physically, or both. Get away from that sh*t. Also be a conscious consumer of what fitness classes, instructors, and groups you choose to be around. If a class or an instructor ever makes you feel pressured to push or compromise your health for “conquering” a workout, it’s probably not a healthy source of fitness support. There are plenty of fitness classes and coaches that can help you challenge yourself in a positive way, so if you haven’t found them yet, keep looking. You should feel encouraged to listen to your body and supported in doing what you need to do to be strong.

If it hurts, stop. This seems really straightforward but I can’t tell you how many people I know who push through the pain. If you feel sharp pain or discomfort during any type of workout, don’t keep going. Doing so can result in serious injury that will sideline you for a long time—talk about frustrating! Pain signs are not hard to recognize, they HURT. Be smart and listen to your body if it’s telling you to slow down or stop.

If you feel tired, do less. I love hard workouts, but I definitely don’t do maximal, high-intensity workouts every single day of the week. In fact, I usually let my energy levels and body awareness dictate how hard I work. While I love to go fast and do a million burpees, some days I head into the gym for a workout and my body feels low on energy. I take that as a sign that I need to go easier that day. I’ll slow down, ignore my pace, do a little bit of feel good movement, or focus on recovery foam rolling. Using this strategy allows you to take care of yourself, stay active, and make fitness a habit, but without overdoing it.

What would you tell a friend to do? Would you tell a client or friend to train the way you do? If the answer is no, you might want to re-think how you workout. Exercise is supposed to help you not hurt you. Would you tell a friend with achilles tendonitis to go run a hard 6 miles? Or someone who pulled their lower back to toughen up and do their workout anyways? Probably not. But would you encourage a friend who’s feeling down to join run club? Or tell your stressed out colleague to go to yoga? Or suggest some fresh air and a walk outside when your friend is feeling tired? I would too. Sometimes we take better care of others than we do of ourselves. When you are not sure how hard to push or whether or not you should do a workout, think about what you would tell someone you care about to do. Then listen to your own advice.

The younger version of me would have felt guilty for stopping a workout early. Old dance mantras and “fitspiration” quotes would run around circles in my head. I would have continued to workout. I would have pushed past the fatigue. I would have seen “conquering” a tired day as a win.

But today I know better. I know to listen.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for challenging yourself to be your best. But there’s a line between healthy challenge and just not smart. Your body is the only place you have to live and it deserves to be respected. Learning to listen to your body may be one of the best things you ever choose to do. There’s no quote or class out there that can teach you how to find the right balance between push and recover. It’s on you. But the beautiful thing is every day is an opportunity to check in with yourself and choose to do what YOU need to do to feel your best. This process of listening, honoring, and giving to yourself will allow you to find your strongest self, inside and out.  

Do you listen to your body when it comes to planning, modifying, or sometimes skipping workouts? Does this habit work for you? Let me know in the comments below.

I wish for you the wisdom to listen, the strength to find your own challenge, and the courage to do what YOU need to do to be well.

Here’s to you my friend, listening to yourself and living a feel good life.

Caroline

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

Please SHARE this with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves to be healthy and live a life they love. 

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Will Eating Before Sleep Make You Gain Weight?

Will Eating Before Sleep Make You Gain Weight? Pre-Bedtime Snacks that Won’t Make You Fat . 

Will Eating Before Bed Make You Gain Weight? With Mini Wheats and Lays Chips It Might! Read this before you have a Pre-Bedtime Snack! Eat Well and you will Sleep Well.

Will Eating Before Bed Make You Gain Weight? With Mini Wheats and Lays Chips It Might! Read this before you have a Pre-Bedtime Snack! Eat Well and you will Sleep Well in your Life.

It’s 10pm and you are winding down for bed. You feel that familiar pang in your stomach. Shoot, you’re hungry. And breakfast is a long night away. 

You don’t want to go to bed hungry, but you’ve heard that eating before sleep causes weight gain. What do you do? Toss and turn or get up and have a snack?

There has been a lot of research on eating before sleep. For the most part, studies have concluded that meal frequency or timing doesn’t really matter. Calories can’t tell time. 

What DOES matter is the types of foods and quantities that you are consuming. If you eat 2,000 calories in a day and burn 2,000 calories, you’ll maintain your weight. If you eat more calories than you burn you’ll gain weight. If you eat less calories than you burn (safely through diet and exercise) you’ll lose weight. It’s a simple equation of calories in vs calories out. So no, if you eat a healthy diet and balance calories in vs. calories out, eating before bed won’t pack on the pounds. 

The reason eating before sleep is tied to weight gain is because if you wait to eat until late at night, it can lead to overeating. Yet remember, it’s the food that is making you fat in this case, not the fact that you’re eating before bed. If you must eat later at night, plan your meals out ahead of time and don’t eat more than you intended. 

Also remember, there’s a big difference between a bag of Lays and a nutrient dense snack. And there’s also a big difference between mindful eating (eating when you are hungry) and mindless eating (eating when you are bored, stressed, anxious, sad, etc). Listen to your body! 

If you are physically hungry before bed, then your body is asking you for nutrition. It’s important you give it something wholesome, a choice that will help you sleep well and recover. Remember, food is fuel. As long as you eat the right things, it’s absolutely fine to eat at night—and unless you’re really off on your portion sizes, your body will actually be stronger and fitter because of it.  

Personally, I eat a pre-bedtime snack almost every day. My life in San francisco moves fast and I find myself needing more fuel to support my lifestyle. When I listen to my body and honor it’s hunger cues, I get the nutrition I need to move at top speed and sleep like a baby. And even with a pre-bedtime snack, I still wake up still hungry for my favorite meal: breakfast My metabolism moves fast thanks to regular, healthy meals and exercise. 

Here are some of my favorite pre-bedtime foods that help me sleep soundly and feel strong the next morning.

Bedtime Snacks That Won’t Make You Gain Weight

Vega® Clean Protein Chocolate Milkshake. 

This sweet treat is filled with a good for you plant-based protein blend made from pea, hemp, alfalfa, and pumpkin. With 130 calories a serving and 25 grams of complete, premium protein, this shake is sure to fill you up and help you recover while you sleep. 

Ingredients:

Directions: Put in blender. Blend. Simple and fast bedtime snack!

Late night omelette.

Another great option full of protein and fat to keep you full. If you like savory, eggs are a good pre-bedtime snack for you. 

Berry Chocolate Protein Pudding:

Here’s a recipe for sweet dreams with chocolate protein pudding. Fill your tummy with fuel and satisfy your sweet tooth too. 

Ingredients:

Directions: Prepare in the morning and blend all ingredients until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Grab a spoon and enjoy!

Growing Oatmeal recipe. 

Instead of eating oatmeal at breakfast, you may want to consider consuming it as a pre-bedtime snack. Oats contain melatonin, which will aid your body in relaxing and falling asleep. It’s my favorite pre-bedtime choice. 

Apple + 1-2 Tbsp nut butter

I love this as a late night snack especially with a good, chilled, crunchy apple. You can use almond butter or any other nut butter.

Bottom line: Listen to your body and honor it. Focus your efforts on the quality and quantity of what you eat more then when you eat it. Do this and you’ll always be fueled for success!

Do you eat before bed? What is your favorite pre-bedtime snack? Let me know in the comments below. 

Sweet Dreams my friends,

Caroline

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve your health and happiness, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

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Sitting At A Desk Hurts. How to Get Fit and Get Fixed Fast.

Sitting Hurts. Here’s How To Get Fixed, Get Fit, and Feel Good During Your Work Day. 

Sitting Hurts! Here are my tips on how to feel your best throughout your work day.

You’ve been working working working day and night and now all of a sudden everything hurts. The last thing you feel like you should do is exercise, you think it will make everything worse. But actually, exercise is exactly what you need to feel better fast.

Typically, when we think about enduring an injury, we imagine we have to do something — and usually do it wrong — to bring on the pain.

But sometimes discomfort is due to doing nothing whatsoever. Case in point: sitting at a sedentary desk job.

Spending too much time sitting has been linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, metabolic syndrome and earlier death, and unfortunately even the most dedicated exercise regimens won’t undo all the damage. Not to mention the rising increase of desk job related injuries like: carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, frozen shoulders, wrist strain, neck and shoulder pain, sciatica, hip pain, and lower back pain.

I believe we are built to move. It’s stress and NOT moving that is the hardest thing on our bodies and health long term.

Have you ever had an achy back from a long day of sitting? Or a serious headache from too much time staring at a computer screen? You are not alone. 99% of my corporate clients struggle with pain from too much time at a desk and dealing with work related stress. Lucky for you the solution is simple and doesn’t require a ton of time. I am here because I want to help you FEEL better. And I promise you: simply taking the time to move will dramatically improve how your body feels.

If you work at a desk and/or spend a lot of time on tech, I’ve got some life hacks you can use to get rid of nagging pain in your life. Here are my secrets to success, are you ready to feel better yet?

Sitting Hurts. How To Get Fit and Get Fixed Fast. Guide for a Feel-Good Work Day.

  • Move every hour. Aim to get up and out of your seat at least every hour. Since most desk-related jobs demand your constant attention, it’s important to remind yourself to move around. Try setting a small timer to remind you when your break is due. A kitchen timer, watch, or smart phone is simple and easy to use. Eventually you’ll look forward to this break and find it only helps your concentration, energy, and mood. 
  • Move at your desk. Improve your concentration and work out the kinks with simple seated desk exercises. There are SO many ways to move more without even standing up. The video gives you simple stretches you can do while sitting at your desk

  • Boost circulation with large movements every hour. Get up and walk, take the stairs, march in place… whatever works. It doesn’t need to take more than 2 minutes. Researchers find that adding two minutes of light exercise to each hour of your day lowers your risk of dying prematurely by 33 percent. Get your blood flowing, heart pumping, give your energy a boost, and rev your metabolism every hour with 2 minutes of large movements.
  • Use the yoga tune up therapy balls as often as possible to soothe tight muscles and improve mobility. You can use them right at your desk or against your office wall. The video below demonstrates how you can use the yoga tune up therapy balls against a desk to self massage tight forearms and tricep muscles from typing and overuse. You can find more Yoga Tune Up video ideas and resources here on my YouTube channel.
  • Use An Activity Tracker. Working with a step counter or more sophisticated activity tracker can tell you exactly how active you are during the work hours. This may provide you good insight as to the importance of fitness during your hectic workday. Im addicted to my fitbit 🙂
  • Have walking meetings. Is your day jam packed with back to back meetings or calls? Walk as you talk. Invite colleagues to join you on a walking meeting or take your calls on a headset and walk around. Researchers at Stanford University found that the creative output of people increases by an average of 60 percent when they are walking. Indoor walks were found to be just as effective for boosting creativity as outdoor walks. Get “sweatworking” and find a way to incorporate movement into your meetings. 
  • Never go 2 hours without moving. You can do it!
  • Set aside specific times to unplug from your tech, connect to yourself, and enjoy your life. It’s happening outside of the screen

Your body was not meant to sit at a desk attached to tech. A muscle in tension stays in tension until you change its position. Want to get rid of aches and pains? Unplug for a second and move around.

If you don’t make your body a priority it will get cranky and create pain in your life. But I believe that if you follow my suggestions above, you will feel better. When you feel better you work better. It is that simple.

My youtube channel is a great resource to inspire movement wherever you are. Subscribe and stay motivated to move and feel your best. You deserve to feel good and live without pain.

How do you stay active and pain free throughout your work day? Let me know in the comments below.

Till next time, keep moving my friends.

Caroline

Companies who live well together work smarter together. I offer corporate wellness consulting and custom corporate wellness programs to support your employees in beating stress, finding health, and maximizing their productivity.  I work with both large and small companies as a wellness speaker, consultant, teacher and coach. My programs are geared towards changing company culture for healthy employees. I drive wellness programs in and out of corporate settings to enhance the health of the community. Clients include: Genentech, Google, Fitbit, Sephora, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Reed Smith LLP, RMC Water & Environment, DDB California, Credit Karma, TaskRabbit, Litekey Technology, and Hines. 

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve the heath of your company, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com 

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

If you liked this post or have a loved one who could benefit, please SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves to be healthy and live a life they love. 

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How To Stop Taking Things Personally.

Want to stop taking things personally? Read this helpful article on how to not take things personally to feel better in your relationships and life.

How To Stop Taking Things Personally. 

Have you ever found yourself ruminating and overanalyzing what someone said to you hours after a conversation? Or worried that when a friend doesn’t text you back that they are upset with you? Perhaps you feel hurt by your co-workers actions and feel like they are “out to get you” in the office. Or maybe someone says something which you take as an insult or you assume a person doesn’t like you if they walk past without saying hello.

Why is it so hard not to take things personally? We are human and we all struggle with this from time to time. It’s easy to feel unloved and unwanted when people aren’t able to communicate and connect with you in the way you expect.  And it’s so hard not to internalize that disconnection as a reflection on your worth.  But the truth is, the way other people behave and function is not about you.  In one of my favorite books, “The Four Agreements”, author Don Miguel Ruiz writes,

“Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

This concept seems easy on paper, but it can be hard to put to practice in our lives. When it comes down to it, you’re in control of how you interpret things. Think of how much happier you’d be with a new perspective. Here are some suggestions on how to shift your mindset and adjust your interactions so you can live in peace.

How to Not Take Things Personally.

  1. Realize: It’s just not all about you. Other’s interactions and way of being is a reflection of them and it’s nothing personal. If someone is being unkind to you, remember that they’re probably behaving this way because of something that’s happened to them in the past or present; which has nothing to do with you. They might be having a bad day, going through a rough period, or it might just be their personality. Everyone has their own issues they are working through. Once you realize that the world isn’t all about you, you will be happier.
  2. Wait to respond. Controlling your response in any given situation allows you to reflect on what’s happening and calmly communicate with the person that might be getting under your skin. Before reacting to another’s actions or saying something you might regret, STOP. Pause and take a deep breath. Resist the urge to act immediately through a difficult emotion. Instead, create space to develop an appropriate response and then act with intention.
  3. In difficult conversations, use Nonviolent Communication. Nonviolent communication is also known as Compassionate Communication or Collaborative Communication. It was invented by Marshall Rosenberg in the 1960s and focuses on self-empathy, empathy, and honest self-expression. It’s a four-step process based on (1) observation, (2) feeling, (3) need, (4) request. When I went to wellness coaching school, we studied Nonviolent communication as a technique to have difficult conversations.
    1. For example: “Dan, when I (1) see dishes in the sink, I (2) feel irritated because I’m needing (3) the kitchen that we share in common to be clean. (4) Could you please do your dishes?” You’re not taking the fact that he hasn’t done the dishes, personally; you’re communicating how you feel without being irrational or demeaning. You can learn more at The Centre for Nonviolent Communication.
  4. Have Empathy. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes by trying to understand what the other person might be feeling/thinking/trying to convey to you and what his or her circumstances are that may influence their behavior.  
  5. Seek clarification before jumping to conclusions. Instead of making an assumption, first ask the other person for more information and give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s too easy to assign motives to others. You think they say something a certain way and before you know it you’re getting mad at them before you even speak to them. A better option is to give them the benefit of the doubt. If they do something that confuses you, ask them about it without judgment.
  6. Be okay with being vulnerable and expressing when someone’s actions hurt you. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable by expressing our feelings can help resolve conflicts. My friends know, when there’s a disagreement or mis-understanding, I want to talk it out right away. I believe it’s far better to be uncomfortable being vulnerable and have a difficult conversation than to live with upset in your heart.
  7. Take comments or criticism in a constructive way. If you are criticised, ask yourself if there’s any truth to it, and what you can learn. Even if it wasn’t said in a nice way, you can still learn something. Take the lessons and choose to see the positives in every experience.
  8. Dont dwell on it. Every moment we spend dwelling over the past, even minutes ago, we lose precious time Now. Obsessing over what happened and holding on to anger, resentment, or hurt only causes pain in your life. Learn what you can from the situation and then let it go. I know it can be hard to do, especially if you feel upset and hurt. But it’s very important you don’t obsess over past pain and problems. For these things have the power to poison your heart, your mind, your body, and your life.
  9. Realise that you can’t please everyone. No matter who you are or what you do, there will always be people who dislike or criticise you. You can’t change other people and all you can do is be yourself. At the end of the day, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  10. Distance Yourself from Toxic People. Sometimes it’s extra challenging not to take things personally because you are around toxic people. If you know someone who insists on destructively dictating the emotional atmosphere, then be clear: they are toxic.  If you are suffering because of their attitude, you’ve tried the steps above, and it doesn’t seem to help or they don’t seem to care one bit, then ask yourself, “Do I need this person in my life?” When you delete toxic people from your environment it becomes a lot easier to breathe.  If the circumstances warrant it, leave these people behind and move on when you must.  Be strong and know when enough is enough!  Letting go of toxic people doesn’t mean you hate them, or that you wish them harm; it simply means you care about your own well-being. Don’t let toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and get them out of there.
  11. Make sure you have plenty of time for Self Care. Think about how you feel when you haven’t slept, had enough quality nutrition, or haven’t had enough time for yourself. Cranky, moody, and easily upset, right? If you don’t make enough time to care about yourself, you will be more sensitive to taking the words and actions of others personally. But if you give yourself the consistent self-care and love you deserve, you will feel strong and grounded within yourself and other people’s actions and words won’t get to you as much.
  12. Learn to love yourself. Realise that your self-worth depends on you. It does not depend on what others say about you. We take things personally when we care too much about what others think. Instead, give that validation to yourself, so you don’t have to rely on other people to make you feel worthy of love and care. It’s natural to want to feel accepted and loved, but don’t give your power away to other people. When you don’t feel confident in yourself, you will always seek that feeling from other people, but it will never totally satisfy you. Stop relying on others to fuel your self-esteem and love yourself.  The love and attention from others should just serve as an added bonus to what you already have cultivated within.

Can you imagine how many problems could be avoided or solved by practicing this concept and following the steps above? It does require awareness, effort, persistence, and time to stop taking things personally, especially when it’s something you are used to doing. It’s well worth the effort. You will find that your self-esteem and overall quality of life will improve when you stop taking things personally. Commit yourself to self-awareness so you can monitor the times that you’re reading too much into a situation. Practice the suggestions above so you can resolve conflicts externally or internally with calm. Little by little you’ll see a change in your perspective that will positively impact your relationships, especially the one with yourself.

It all boils down to a choice. A choice we sometimes forget we have, but one that can either strengthen us or weaken us. Next time an opportunity arises to take something personally, which will you choose, fear or love? The reality is: the world is impersonal and people do annoying, painful, unimaginable things every single day. That doesn’t mean you have to let that get under your skin. The more you focus on things that make you feel good personally, the less you will take things personally, and the more you will enjoy life.

Writing is one of my personal passions and I loved writing this piece. I hope it helps you in your life, let me know your thoughts in the comment section below and thanks for sharing this article. If you don’t like it, I promise I won’t take it personally 😉

In health and gratitude,

Caroline

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My mission is to help you develop a positive relationship to self and exercise that adds to the quality of your life. Check out my list of services, stay connected about upcoming events by subscribing to my email newsletter, or contact me at carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com to discuss ways we can work together and live well.

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Prevent Burnout, Find Balance. Corporate Wellness at Sephora Headquarters.

Presenting "Wellbeing At Work" at Sephora H.Q. San Francisco, CA

Presenting “Wellbeing At Work” at Sephora H.Q. San Francisco, CA

Ah Sephora. One of my all time favorite brands. Even as a little girl I was fascinated by beauty products. I remember playing with my mother’s lipsticks and eyeshadows, strutting my stuff around our home with purple eye color, bright red lips, and my little feet swimming in Mom’s high heels. The love continued through my dancing days and I got to play with makeup for hours backstage. Each performance brought the opportunity to experiment with lashes, lipsticks, liners, and sparkle. I bonded with dance friends under the lights of the dressing room mirrors and cherished my purple kaboodle tote of beauty toys. As an adult I still find ways to have fun with makeup. From social nights out to working on a new photo shoot for a project, it always brings me great joy to get creative with the art of beauty products.

My days of dress up have never stopped :)

My days of dress up have never stopped 🙂

When Sephora contacted me about working with them on their corporate wellness goals for 2016 I instantly said yes. (I may have even done a little happy dance). Do the work that I love for a company I love? Sign me up! I was thrilled and instantly got to work creating custom content to support the Sephora staff in their wellness.

I was asked to come in a speak to their leadership team on work wellness, preventing burnout, and finding balance. A few weeks before the event, I had a phone consultation and visited the Sephora office to learn more about their unique work environment in order to customize content tailor fit to their team. I then put together a detailed agenda and crafted up a two hour program designed to raise awareness of wellbeing resources, promote healthy work and lifestyle habits, encourage an environment of support, and allow participants to personalize their approach to healthy living to take action towards lasting results. To sweeten the deal, I also arranged to have my nutrition partner, Aloha ( https://aloha.com/home ), come on site and set up a healthy snack demonstration for the workshop.

work wellness Sephora Sephora work wellness work wellness Sephora

I hosted the program February 10th from 9-11am at the Sephora Headquarters 425 Market. It was a full morning of movement, team building, and uplifting information to promote wellbeing in the Sephora workspace. From the energy, smiles, and feedback I’ve received post workshop, it was an extremely positive and well-appreciated experience. A few weeks later my Sephora contact emailed, “The workshop has created a chain reaction over here at Sephora HQ. It’s becoming a company wide thing, we are starting a movement here!”. I plan to continue to support Sephora in the growth of their wellness initiatives and enable them to achieve their goals for both individual and company wellness.

Working Fit and loving it! All smiles and endorphins at Sephora H.Q.

Working Fit and loving it! All smiles and endorphins at Sephora H.Q.

This is work I jump out of bed for. I see it work wonders in people’s lives both in and out of the office. I see these workshops and events influence individual and company culture for a happier, healthier, more powerful work world. I’m excited to continue this positive momentum, be the change in work wellness, and host more programs and events with lasting impact.  

The truth is, even if you love your job, it’s common to struggle to juggle the important priorities in your life and find health. Burnout — the mental and physical exhaustion you experience when the demands of your life consistently exceed the amount of energy you have available — has been called the epidemic of the modern world. We are seeing alarming increases in mental and physical disease either caused by or exacerbated by stress. One in two men and one in three women are projected to develop cancer in their lifetime. Forty million adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety disorders. And 47 percent of our physicians report at least one symptom of burnout.

When you love your job the thought is work harder and longer to climb higher up the ladder. But one thing I know for sure:  killing yourself over your work is not going to help you succeed. Think of how you feel after a poor night’s sleep or how you feel when you go too long without a nutritious meal. If your health fails your performance in your life does too. It’s all backwards. Your health needs to be #1 if you want to perform your best.
Its time to stop working harder and start working smarter. We all need regular reminders and support when it comes to taking care of ourselves so we can live our best lives. No person is an island, we cant do it alone. My goal is to make my workshops and coaching a source of inspiration, information, encouragement, and support to help you personalize your approach to balance and find health.  The information in my programs are REAL, tested, and are ready to powerfully impact lives. I truly believe in my work and am positive it will continue to “start a movement” and inspire a world that is healthy both in and out of the office.

Does your workplace support you in your health? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you do to find balance at work.

I put my heart and soul into my corporate wellness programs and customize my services to benefit the unique needs of the company and the individuals within it.  If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve the health of your company, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com

Here’s to working smarter and thriving in life.

Caroline

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

If you liked this post, please SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves to be healthy and live a life they love. 

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