June Goals & May Recap

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June! I can’t believe it’s June! I’m still clearing out shows on my DVR from late April, so the fact that it really is June just blows my mind. With a new month comes new goals and a reflection of the goals set for the previous month. Let’s get to it!

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May Goals

ONE // Run 2x/week and begin to increase my mileage again

Grade: B+

The only week of the month I didn’t run twice was last week. I’m not really sure how I managed that, but I’m darn proud!

I’m up to 59 miles for my #100bySummer goal! Will I make 100 by June 20?! #100bySummer tracker by @amylynnntiu on Instagram

You might also like: 7 Goals for 2017

TWO // Leave work most days by 4:15

Grade: A

This was possibly the easiest goal to achieve. In fact, most days I was out the door by 3:45.

THREE // Eat clean 90% of the time

Grade: B+

Last week was rough, but I managed and this week is already off to a better start.

FOUR // Lose 3 pounds

Grade: F

Well… I didn’t gain any weight so that has to count for something, right?

FIVE // Catch up on house cleaning 

Grade: F

Fail, fail, fail. FAIL.

June Goals

ONE // Catch up on housecleaning

Because I’m out of school for the summer, my to-do list has suddenly become a mile long. As you can tell from my April goals, I completely neglected my housekeeping. I’m spending this week doing the “big uns” and hope I can just maintain in the weeks to come.

TWO // Read two more books

Remember how in January, I set a goal to read 12 books this year?! Well, I’m failing miserably at that. BUT! I finally made time to read and finished Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (I’m a sucker for suspense thrillers). I immediately downloaded The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. Have you read that? I’m hoping it’s good!

THREE // Plan the first month of training for the Run Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

I already have a pretty good idea of how I expect to plan this, but I want to sit down and put pen to paper and knock it out. The last time I trained I used a Hal Higdon program, but this time I’m thinking of doing a Jeff Galloway plan.

You might also like: Flashback Friday: Disney Dreaming

FOUR // Find an eye doctor and schedule an appointment

Like I said, my to-do list has suddenly become a mile long. I also need to get a haircut, organize our closets, declutter (a lot), etc., etc… But I think making sure my eyeballs are in working order is at the top of the list. 🙂

I’ve been wearing my glasses more and more because I feel my contacts becoming less effective.

FIVE // Eat clean 90% of the time

I have a terrible tendency to get chubby during the summer. I let my meal planning/prepping routines fall by the wayside and snack willy nilly on whatever I can get my hands on. This summer, I want to fight that head on!

Question: What goals have YOU set for the month of June?

Linking up with Nicole, Annemarie, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday!

Workouts to STOP Doing Immediately

Are you miserable throughout your entire workout and find yourself doing nothing more than going through motions? Or maybe you wake up in the morning and don’t feel motivated to even begin the workout you’ve planned. I’ve been there — more than once — throughout my health and fitness journey. In those moments I tell myself, “Ok, THIS is a workout to STOP doing!”

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Workouts to Stop Doing Immediately

I’m not an expert; I’m not a personal trainer. I’m not here to tell you the workout that is best for your body. What I can tell you is that you should immediately stop the workout you’re not enjoying. Ok, maybe you shouldn’t LITERALLY stop your workout immediately. Finish the workout you’re right in the middle of and then reevaluate your next steps. 🙂

Over the last five and a half years, I’ve done many, many workouts and my schedule has changed and evolved based on my seasons of life. When my lifestyle first changed, I was ALL about boutique studios and group fitness. I joined an early morning boot camp that was filled with women on similar journeys. Through boot camp, I received an all-access pass to every single group class the studio had to offer. Between the fantastic price point and the group atmosphere, it was exactly what I needed to kick my first 15 pounds out the door forever.

As the years went on, I was forced to adapt my fitness routine for whatever reason — cost, travel time, atmosphere. I completed Couch to 5K and did The Color Run with some great friends. I found Tone It Up and finally had the courage to pick up a dumbbell and do something on my own instead of always following an instructor (printables for the win!). A little over a year ago, my in-laws passed on their mostly unused treadmill and I cancelled my gym membership! Between that treadmill, my collection of dumbbells and resistance bands, and the array of DVDs I’ve cultivated, I’ve been able to create a home gym that gives me the same results I used to see in the gym.

Workouts to Stop Doing Immediately

As you can see, my fitness needs go through phases. Sometimes I want to write my own workouts. I love being creative that way! Other times, I just want a follow along printable that I can move through at my own pace, and even still, there are times when I just want to pop in a DVD because I want someone else to tell me what to do. (That’s the introvert in me!)

All this to say, do what is best for YOU in the season of life you’re in at the time. If you’re not feeling inspired by a particular workout or program, it’s ok to stop doing it. If you don’t like “lifting heavy” (I actually hated it), then don’t feel bad about NOT doing it. If you like running, then don’t let the Instagram fitness models shake their heads at you for being a “cardio bunny”. What’s most important is that you move your body and create a habit that promotes health, wellness, and fitness throughout all areas of your life. Get your yoga on in the comfort of your home, shake it in your Zumba class, or go to Crossfit if that’s your thing!

Workouts to Stop Doing Immediately

You do YOU and enjoy every minute of it. ♥ Your turn: What workouts have you given up on in the past?

Fitness Tips for Teachers

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through them helps support this website.

Teaching is easily the most stressful, yet most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I hear it’s second only to parenting… But since I’m not a parent yet, I can neither confirm nor deny. 😉 With so many responsibilities, extracurricular activities, and directives being pushed down on teachers, it can be difficult to make health and fitness a priority.  However, it doesn’t have to be impossible. My fitness tips for teachers can help make the fight a little easier!

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Fitness Tips for Teachers

I changed my lifestyle about two years before I started teaching, so it was an extreme adjustment with lots of trial and error once I no longer had a traditional 8-5 schedule. I was used to leaving for work at 7:45 to make it there by 8:00 (but really, not starting work until 8:15 or 8:30), getting a one-hour lunch break each day, and leaving work and all its baggage at the door at 5:00. Very quickly, I realized that teaching wasn’t going to give me those same luxuries — which I didn’t even consider to be luxuries at all when I was working an office job! I’m in my third year of teaching, so at this point I’ve come up with a routine that is working very well, at least for now.

1 // Take Advantage of Your “Alone” Hours

As a teacher, you probably put in a lot of hours before and after school. I know I do! I have to be at school by 7:30 to welcome kiddos into my room by 7:45. Since I prefer to get a little bit of work done before the day starts, so my commute starts at 7:00 a.m. If I want to get a workout in, I need to do it early in the morning before my day gets going. I’ve talked about how I wake up early to get my sweat on, as well as the advantages of working out before the world wakes up. I find that I’m much more consistent when I’m working out early and I’ve been able to maintain that schedule for the better part of five years.

If you are not an early riser, that doesn’t mean there’s no time for a workout! Schedule your workout just like any other appointment and don’t let yourself cancel. It can be easy to let life and other obligations derail your schedule, but putting yourself first is equally as important.

Fitness Tips for Teachers

2 // Maximize Your Time

As just mentioned, I don’t have a lot of time to work out. This year more than ever, I’ve been taking advantage of shorter, more intense workouts. I like to make breakfast for my husband each morning so I spend a maximum of 45 minutes working out — warm up to cool down — and then I move on to my other responsibilities.

This was a difficult adjustment for me because I’m used to working out for an hour. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that a 30-minute workout could be just as effective as a longer one. To get past that, I started doing a lot of HIIT workouts and AMRAP workouts. I set my timer and went to town! In October, I started a new program and I fell in love with short workouts all over again. Find my favorite program, Jillian Michaels’ BODYSHRED, here!

3 // MEAL PLAN AND PREP

I seriously cannot sing the praises of meal planning and meal prepping enough! In Texas, teachers get a 30-minute duty free lunch. By the time I drop my kids off in the cafeteria, take a restroom break, grab my lunch bag from the teacher’s lounge, and finish eating with enough time to get back to the cafeteria int time to pick up my students, my break is more like 20 minutes. Sometimes it’s even as low as 15! If I didn’t spend the time I do each week to get my meals in order, I would most certainly eat crap for lunch each and every day.

Fitness Tips for Teachers

4 // Take a Midweek Rest Day

I used to think Sunday was the only day for rest day. Most workout calendars suggest Sunday as a rest day, and at some point I pigeon-holed myself into this thought process. Those 4:30 a.m. wake-up calls started to beat me down and I found myself skipping workouts for sleep more and more. I knew something had to change, so I reorganized my workout schedule for a rest day to take place on Thursday. I’m loving this! On Thursday mornings, I sleep in about 45 extra minutes and take my time getting ready. By Friday, I’m ready to roll again.

Since teaching keeps me on my feet, taking a midweek rest day helps give me that “active rest” factor. Most Thursdays I still get my 10,000 steps because I’m running around chasing kids all day! Which brings me to my next tip…

5 // Utilize the “Power Zone”

Do you know what the power zone is? The power zone keeps teachers on their feet and roaming between desks and rows throughout a lesson. When utilizing the power zone, within just a few steps you should be able to reach any student in any part of the room. As a teacher, you probably do this naturally, so use it to your advantage. Think of that power zone time as exercise! This is how I get my activity during the day, especially on my rest days. With intervention groups, read alouds, and other activities, it’s impossible to ALWAYS be in the power zone (and also — you work hard and need a break!), but if you realize you’ve been sitting for more than 10 or 15 minutes, get up and take a walk. Utilize that power zone!

Bonus Tip 🙂

Check out the #tiuteacher feed on Instagram. Those ladies will absolutely get you motivated!

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What are your fitness fail proofs for a busy life?

 

 

How to Workout With Asthma

Asthma: nature’s cruel joke. Trying to workout with asthma? Nature’s even crueler joke! Am I right? (We both know I am.) Trust me, asthma is something I’ve struggled with my entire life. I’ve been where you are, I AM where you are, I will be where you are tomorrow, next month, and five years from now.

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How to Workout When You Have Asthma

I have had asthma for as long as I can remember. I brought my inhaler and spacer to kindergarten with me where it lived on my teacher’s desk until after recess or PE when I would most surely need a puff. However, I’ve also been active for most of my life. I grew up in the middle of nowhere and made mud pies and rode horses with my brother, played youth league sports as a youngster, and was a cheerleader and basketball player in junior high and high school. Track and cross country running is where I drew the line because my asthma was always a limitation. To me, this is funny because I’ve ran more miles, done more sprinting, and jumped higher/broader than I ever did as a teenager. In 2014 I successfully trained for and completed a half marathon — something even my most athletic peers from high school have yet to attempt.

How to Workout with Asthma

So what changed? How did I discover how to workout with asthma, and generally just enjoy life more? I did not “grow out” of my asthma, as many people tend to do. As I see it, two major things shifted in my adult life. I began to “know my body”, which definitely includes my chest and lungs, and I learned to work with my asthma, rather than against it.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. What follows are simply strategies that have worked for me throughout the last 28 years.

ESTABLISH A REGIMEN

This makes all the difference. Modern medicine is a great thing and has made great strides. I have a group of daily prescribed medications I take, as well as some OTC meds to supplement my routine. A lot of my asthma is allergy related (yay, Texas!), so I take a daily Zyrtec to help control my year-round allergies, as well as maintain my asthma. I take these medications regardless of whether it’s a workout day or a rest day, so this routine not only helps me workout with asthma, but make it through life with less attacks.

TAKE IT SLOW

As with any routine, it may not be smart go all-in right away. I used to feel so much shame for taking walk breaks during running, or extending my rest time between sets. This issue was as much mental for me as it was physical. Once I stopped shaming myself for taking the breaks my body needed, I was able to build up the endurance necessary to complete the activities I set out to tackle. When I started running, I used the Couch-to-5K program and I think the built in walk breaks provided not only helped me build up my running endurance, but helped me build up my asthmatic endurance. Remember, there is no shame in giving your body the rest it needs.

How to Workout with Asthma

TAKE A PUFF BEFORE STARTING YOUR ACTIVITY

This doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s worth a shot. If you start to struggle shortly after beginning your activity, try taking a puff of your emergency inhaler before starting your workout. This can sometimes help to head off symptoms before they start.

WHEN AN ATTACK HITS, TAKE YOUR TIME GETTING BACK INTO THINGS

I mentioned that a lot of my asthma symptoms are allergy related. This can mean that I struggle more at different parts of the year than others, especially depending on where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing! If my allergies are exceptionally irritated, or if I’ve been suffering from a cold, it might mean taking an extra rest day. That’s something I still struggle with, but I know it’s better to take the time my body needs to heal than to stop every five minutes to catch my breath or use my inhaler.

FIND AN ACTIVITY YOU ENJOY

Whether you play pick-up basketball (like my brother, who is also asthmatic!), run miles upon miles, or gargle your heart in crossfit, finding a workout you enjoy is important. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll be more likely to seek out ways to overcome your obstacles. My turning point was finding group fitness! I loved the classes I was attending and I never wanted to stop participating!

Do you have asthma? Do you have other health issues making fitness difficult? How do you overcome those obstacles?

 


I’m linking this post up for Wild Workout Wednesday with Fitful Focus and Fit Foodie Mama! (I can’t get the link-up button to show up, so links will have to do. Wah wah!)

Work-Life Balance as a Teacher

I used to think that being a workaholic was the only way to do a job, and do it right. As my life morphs and changes, I’m realizing that work-life balance is just as important as the effort I put into my 9-5 (or my 7-4:30, as a teacher). By nature, teachers give (and give and give), but it’s important to remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Work-life balance as a teacher is something I’m always working to master. Since my guiding word for 2017 is balance, I’m making a concerted effort to focus on it from the get-go.

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work-life balance teacher

I thought when I started teaching I would be working shorter hours and have more free time. Ha! I couldn’t have been more wrong. I work more as a teacher than I ever did at my 8-5 desk job, even though my “office hours” are only 7:45-3:20. I am by no means an expert in anything. I figure life out as I go by trial and error. What follows are a few tips that help me balance and keep me living the healthiest life I can.

ONE // Make a list of your Must Do tasks each day

This probably seems like the most simple and obvious tip. Like, duh. But really, I am so much more productive when I have a list to follow and I can mark things off as I go. Everything goes on that list: Grade daily warm-ups, start lesson plans, make copies… The list goes on (literally). Even something as simple as “Update objectives and date before leaving” goes on my list or I may not do it. And if I don’t do it, then I come in stressed the next morning because I already feel behind and that stress affects other areas of my life. Following a list each day has done more for my work-life balance this year than anything else I’ve done.

TWO // Use your planning period for planning

This seems unheard of, am I right? Between staff meetings, 504s, parent conferences, restroom breaks, that 45-minute planning period can fly by faster than Christmas break! Take the first 5-10 minutes of your planning period for yourself. Check –> Facebook <– (shameless plug), eat a quick snack, go to the restroom without asking, “Hey, can you watch my class?” first. Whatever. Take those 10 minutes and then close your door and just bust it out. Grade if you need to grade. Lesson plan if you must. Doing as much as you can while still in the four walls of your classroom will keep you from working more at home.

THREE // Take some time for yourself every day

My “me time” consists of a workout and some Bible study time first thing in the morning. First of all, I’m so much more awake and alive for my students after a morning workout! Second of all, spending time with the Lord does wonders for me in all areas. The sense of calm and balance I feel after prayer and time in the Word changes my entire day. Find something that brings a sense of calm to your life and promotes the person you are all the time, not just in “teacher mode”.

FOUR // Say… NO!

I’m a “yes man” for sure. It’s hard for me to say no to anyone, but I’m beginning to realize there’s nothing wrong with saying no every now and again! I get very overwhelmed very easily, and when that happens, my husband always says, “Nothing is going to change if you don’t do something about it.” I finally had to buck up and gain the courage to stand up for myself and I think I’m respected because of that. All that to say, it’s ok to say no when you’re feeling overwhelmed. You can’t do everything or be on every committee and no one should expect you to!

FIVE // Set a time and shut it off

As I mentioned, I work more as a teacher than I ever have in any job. I work at school, I work at home, I work on the weekends. However, each day I try to set a time that I will no longer work on school things. Usually, that’s when my husband walks in the door from work. If you feel like you are constantly working at home, pick a time after which you’ll shut it down. Or pick an activity that won’t allow you to multitask. That could be cooking dinner with your significant other, fitting in a workout, or reading a book.

SIX // Get it done early

Each school year is different, but this one especially, I feel like I’m constantly behind. I try to complete my lesson planning by Wednesday so I have the end of the week to fine-tune and prep materials. Sometimes working ahead is impossible, but most of the time it will work to your advantage if you can get it done.

SEVEN // Do the work you hate the most at school

I read this tip once and it was like a lightbulb went off. I used to bring home stacks and stacks of grading each night, just to take them back to school the next morning. I don’t like grading at home and I’d rather not do it. I try to grade one assignment per day before I leave school to make it easier on myself by the end of the week. This also gives me more time at home for activities unrelated to school.

Ok, your turn. How do you balance work and life?