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

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