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. 🙂

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Fitness Tips for Teachers

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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.

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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?

7 Goals for 2017

Happy New Year, y’all! Have a mimosa on me. 😉 This post started out as 17 Goals for 2017… but that’s a bit ambitious. I also learned in a professional development session a few months ago that when you’re listing things for people, the number seven is when the attention span begins to lapse. So, without further adieu, S E V E N goals for 2017 it is.

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ONE // Complete the Tone It Up #LookForLove Challenge, start to finish (and follow the meal plan as closely as possible)

I’ve signed up for many, many Tone It Up challenges in the last few years. I’m also a member of the TIU Nutrition Plan (looove it!♥), but I’ve never totally followed the challenges or accompanying meal plans. This year I want to give it a real shot and see what happens! I’m terrible at following through with things, so completing the challenge will mean a lot more to me than just a few pounds lost.

TWO // Blog at least two times a week

When I blogged a few years ago, I posted five days a week. After a while, that started to wear on me and I lost inspiration. I’m hoping that by focusing on only two to three posts a week I can stay inspired and produce quality content and grow as a writer and blogger.

THREE // Read 12 Books

I set this goal for myself last year and I reached it. However, the Harry Potter series (I’d never read them until last year) made it pretty easy. I was more than half way to my goal by June. This year I want to fill my brain with lots of new books! Recommendations are welcome. 🙂

FOUR // Complete a runDisney race

In 2014, I ran my first (and only so far) half marathon. I’ve taken a break from distance running over the last couple of years, but I’ve wanting to do another race. I’m also a Disneyphile, so a runDisney race would fulfill two dreams in one. I’m specifically looking at this one. If you’ve done any runDisney races, I would love tips and tricks!

FIVE // Close my old 401K

This goal is probably opposite of what most people make — but hear me out. I contributed to a 401K for about two years and then I started teaching. Since I left my old job, that money has just been sitting and gathering dust. I’m an extremely conservative investor, so it really hasn’t grown much either. I’ve known how much I need to do something about it, I just… haven’t. It drives my husband crazy, y’all. 🙂

SIX // Start running again

As mentioned above, I’ve taken a break from distance running in the last couple of years. If I’m going to train for a half marathon, I’m going to have to start running regularly again! I think the #LookForLove Challenge will help with that a lot. Karena and Katrina always promote running and other forms of steady state cardio.

SEVEN // Finish putting our house together

We moved into our new house in November and got all the big things taken care of right away, but there are still a few things we want to do. I need to clear some clutter and finish hanging things on the walls. My husband wants to get a new grill and repave our patio!

Are you a New Year goal setter? What items are you hoping to tackle in 2017? If you enjoyed this post, check out my 2017 word of the year, B A L A N C E.