Breaking Down Barriers To Starting

All this month, we are are knocking down barriers to movement so you can be more active more of the time! 

If Not Now When, appearing behind torn brown paper.

Here is a huge barrier to movement. Just getting started! If you have been sedentary for a while it can seem very difficult to start moving again. And the longer you are sedentary, the harder that becomes!

So, no matter how long you have been inactive, here are some simple ideas help you bust through that barrier and get started again.

Get With A Group.

Look for community runs/walks in your area. These are often for a good cause, and you will be surrounded by people just like you who are just starting to move again. Also, there are entire sections of these races that are just for walkers! You’ll meet others during this event, and feel great afterwards as well.

Get a group of friends and form a team. The accountability that this brings can be just what you need to get going again. Just remember to focus on fun and train together whenever you can. On days that you cannot train together, keep in touch with your teammates and send fun pics back and forth.

Get Crazy.

Try something new, out of the box, and interesting. It doesn’t have to be hard or difficult, just interesting. If you do not know how to swim, sign up for lessons. If you’ve always wanted to learn the tango, sign up for a dance class. Ever take horseback riding lessons? What about beginner rock climbing? Awesome new experiences can shake you from your routine, and get you moving again.

Get Out.

Being outdoors is a meditation, and there are great data showing the positive impact it has on your physical AND emotional heart. Do a little web searching for a hike in your area and commit to completing it. Choose a date, and then train yourself to get in good hiking shape. Enjoy.

 

Once you get going, it is easier to sustain the momentum you build up. But often times breaking from from the lethargy can keep your from moving more. Focus on any of these three ways to get started. Pick one or more and start moving. Now is the time!

Cilantro and Carrot Rice


This recipe works well to complement some grilled shrimp or fish.
You’ll Need
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 large red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups long-grain white rice
  • 6 ¾ cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Diced tomato

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Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts

This is a unique dish that makes wonderful side dish! Swiss chard is a great green to start adding more of into your diet.

You’ll Need
  • 1 ½ pounds Swiss chard (preferably rainbow or red)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (2 ½ ounces)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup water
Directions
  • Tear chard leaves from stems, then coarsely chop stem and leaves separately.
  • Toast pine nuts in oil in a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderated heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 1 ½ to 2 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and season with salt.
  • Cook onion in  remaining oil in pot, stirring occasionally, 1 minute, then add chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
  • Add raisins and ½ cup water and simmer, covered, until stems are softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add chard leaves and remaining ½ cup water and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until leave are tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts.

 

 

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Breaking Barriers To Movement By Adoring The Boring

All this month, we are are knocking down barriers to movement so you can be more active more of the time! 

Happy young mother pushing children sitting in laundry basket. Mother and children playing at home.

Many of us would like to have more time to participate in physical activities that we enjoy. But as we all know, it’s not always practical in the course of a crazy busy life to fit in movement into the class 5 rapids of our lives.

One strategy to break through this barrier is to make movement work with our daily chores. These are not the wanna-dos but the boring gotta-dos, and they can fill up the space in our lives with drudgery. To make movement work in this case, weld the gotta-dos into the wanna-dos. Here’s how that goes.

Think about those commitments as a vehicle for more movement. cleaning the house and doing yard work are great examples of chores that you can turn into meaningful activity.

When we were raising kids, we would have them look about on Sunday and estimate the time it would take us to all run through the house can clean it from stem to stern. The goal was to get the closest number, but also to see how quickly we could do it. We queued up some rocking upbeat music that we started at the moment we said GO.

“Pick your time. Get ready. On your mark … get set … GO!!” Then, running up the stairs, skipping to the beat like a whirlwind we cleaned until the entire house was done and we were ALL out of breath!

This is just one example, and you can think of others for your specific situation, but the idea is to take boring chores and make them more upbeat. Below are tips that can help turn these chores into a win for more movement!

  • Put on music while you clean inside and dance to the beat as you bustle around the house.
  • If you are doing yard work, estimate how long you think it will take you to finish, and then try to beat that time!
  • When you have to carry something up and down the stairs, take them two stairs at a time.

If you think about chores as a vehicle for movement, you’ll go up and over that barrier, get fit, and the boring chores won’t be so boring any more!

Hummus

hummusThis recipe will work well for various meals. Use it as an appetizer and serve it with slices of carrots, bell pepper and celery. Or use it as a sandwich topping. 

You’ll Need
  • 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • ¼ water
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice from a fresh lemon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Spices and herbs to season: examples: cumin powder, dried or fresh parsley, sweet paprika, curry powder

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Tabouli Salad

The dish makes the perfect side dish for many meals. Tabouli highlights the herb parsley which does wonders for our health. So put on some music while you chop away. 

You’ll Need

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 ½ cups fresh chopped parsley
  • ½ cup chopped green onion
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • 3 medium size tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups warm water
Directions
  • Soak bulgur wheat in 2 cups of warm water for 35-40 minutes.
  • While wheat is soaking finely chop all the vegetables, parsley and mint.
  • In a large size bowl combine all chopped ingredients, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice.
  • Drain and dry wheat and combine with ingredient mixture. Mix well. Adjust salt and enjoy!

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Breaking Down 4 Barriers To Movement

All this month, we are are knocking down barriers to movement so you can be more active more of the time! 

Stopping the domino effect concept for business solution, strategy and successful interventionWhen someone says that you should just “make activity happen”, it sounds very easy on its face. But there are some serious barriers between people and a routine of daily movement — personal, professional, physical, mental, etc. Breaking through those barriers is the key. Throughout this month we are providing ways to bust through those walls, to make movement a part of your daily routine.

We know how important physical activity is for us.  Research continues to demonstrate the benefits of regular physical activity to help lower the risk of diabetes, improve heart health, and emotional health as well. In fact, physical inactivity is thought to be one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States.

 

Breaking Down Barriers

Exercise drudgery is a barrier for sure. So to start breaking through, find the activity that brings you enjoyment. When you choose an activity you love, you are more likely to engage more often and less likely to sustain an injury. Activities that you enjoy are also better for your mental health. List those, and when you read them over again the one that makes you smile is the one you should start with.

Living crazy lives at a zillion miles per hour can be a definite barrier. Write your activity down in your schedule, like an appointment with yourself. This elevates the importance of movement by putting in right beside other errands and tasks that make it to your schedule. The other benefit is that this can help prevent it from being overlooked in the middle of our busy lives.

Weather can be a huge barrier. If the weather does not permit you to participate in your activity outside, have a backup activity that can be done in the comfort of your own home. There are many calisthenic exercises that build strength, flexibility, and can be done inside. The easiest thing in the world is to do sit ups and push ups (I call these S&Ps). You can fit them in at any time, and they don’t take long to complete.  

SSDD (same “stuff”, different day) gets in your way. Think about the above advice to do sit ups and push ups, and how boring this might seem. There’s nothing sexy about it, there’s no fancy tech involved, and you’re just doing the same thing over and over.  The way through this barrier is to measure improvements that you can see happen over time. How much easier do your sets seem over time? Your muscles will be sore, but you know this will go away over a week or so as your muscle tone improves. After two weeks, how do you feel, how much more energy do you have? Tracking these variables will focus you on the things that change, not the things that stay the same.

 

There is no denying that barriers exist to keep us from being as active as we need to be. But practical tips can help us help ourselves over these hurdles to regain our fitness and get the benefits we know are waiting for us once we do engage.

The Energy Drain Hiding In Plain Sight

During the month of April, we will explore all the ways you can increase your energy levels.

Man Fatigued at the ComputerWhy are you fatigued? Why are you sapped of energy? The reason for may be hidden in plain sight.

For example, Dr. Christopher Starr of the ophthalmology department at Weill Cornell Medical College explains that many of us are using electronic devices at least nine hours a day. But what does that have to do with fatigue? After all, this requires no real energy expenditure on your part!

But Dr. Starr points out: “You can imagine if you were at the gym and you held a dumbbell, your bicep would be extremely sore nine hours later. The same thing happens for your eyes. You have to take breaks to relieve those muscles.

We don’t think about the muscles we take for granted, until we take them for granted and they create issues for us. A perfect case-in-point can happen with eye strain. We never think about the muscles required to maintain focus on something like an electronic screen for hours on end. But these small muscles can become fatigued due to overuse. In fact, often when you feel fatigue it is simply your eyes asking for a rest.

Electronic devices are definitely a part of our lives now, so it is our responsibility to take breaks and care for our eyes. Create pauses from the screen. This can be as simple as setting an alarm to notify you to take a short walk, do some stretches, or simply shut your eyes for a moment, relax, and take some deep breaths.