October #WhatFuelsYou

A big thank you to Jon Schiff and Martha Montross for kicking off our #WhatFuelsYou Instagram feature in October. We loved learning more about these two incredible people and what fuels them. Here's a recap:

Jon Schiff: Juice Bartender and owner of Real Good Juice. Jon's passion is his work, sharing locally sourced products with the community. When asked #WhatFuelsYou he said, "My team and community. Building a space to help others eat and live a healthy and balanced life." In addition to making delicious juice, Jon has a great sense of humor and the names of his juices show it - Juicille Ball, Juice Springsteen, Juice-tin Bieber, to name a few. Here's how they were inspired in their naming: "We wanted to have fun with the menu. There is so much good stuff in locally sourced cold pressed juice we wanted to attempt and capture it in one name or story or message. It's not that easy when you're dealing with so many phytonutrients, active enzymes and minerals." Jon's favorite quote is "ME WE".

Martha Montross: HGTV Beach Flip winner and Associate Managing Director in private banking at the Private Bank. Martha's passion is home design and renovation. When asked #WhatFuelsYou she said, "Trying new things, staying busy and creativity." Martha's favorite quote is "It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring." (Tina Fey). Martha starts every Friday morning with a Pilates session with the co-founder of Mindfuel Wellness, Jacquelyn Brennan. After this she is ready to tackle her day. One of her favorite places for home design inspiration is Jayson Home . Most recently, Martha and her fiancé, Alex, launched their new company website, Hunter Road Homes. Check it out - amazing things are coming from this dynamic couple. 

The relationship between strength training, weight loss, & metabolism

Strength Training, Weight Loss, and Metabolism. How do those three words relate? I think it is a pretty good guess if I were to say each of us has tried to lose weight or thought about it.  We play with diet changes, workout fads, maybe even supplements but when it comes down to it calories in versus calories out is how we lose and gain weight.  But, we can help the process of weight loss occur and help to ward of gradual weight gain that happens because of metabolism changes as we age. A few weeks ago I was doing some continuing education and the webinar I was listening to was all about strength training and its effect on weight loss and they had some interesting statistics that have stuck with me.

  • On average our metabolism slows gradually as we age leading to 5-7 pounds of weight gain every decade after the age of 20.
  • Women have an average of 5lbs of muscle loss per decade when no strength training occurs.
  • Strength training an average of 3x/week on a regular basis at a moderate intensity for 20-30 minutes increases your RMR (resting metabolic rate) 5-7%, that's approximately 110-120 calories a day.
  • Strength training reduces fat mass.
  • Strength training gives you an increased metabolic rate that lasts 3 days post workout.
  • 70% of Americans are overweight or obese.
  • Fewer than 5% of the U.S. meet minimal exercise requirements.
  • 99% of people who use diet alone for weight loss, gain all of the weight they lost back within 6 months to 1 year.

The important take away from all of this information: We must strength train to lose weight and more importantly we must strength train to keep our resting metabolic rates up to maintain a healthy weight as age. And...as women we need to strength train to keep our muscle mass up and our bones strong! Oh and 1 more thing, ladies lifting weights will not make you get big! 

Practical Steps to Creating a Meditation Practice

Creating a daily, home practice of meditation eluded me for many years. My experience with meditation began when I started practicing yoga back in 1998. Generally my meditation happened after my yoga practice with Savasana – the final few minutes of practice where you lay still and quiet. For the first 8 – 10 years, I needed the physical practice to support me so I could get to the place where I could sit/lay quietly for just a few minutes.

As I’ve gotten older, as more demands have been added to my life with work, kids, family, I’ve craved meditation as a tool to get me grounded, clear and connected. Creating a consistent practice on my own was challenging. My break-through happened last year when I was participating in Yogaview’s Level 2 Teacher Training. With this training, there was a daily 30-minute meditation requirement, which forced me to develop my own meditation practice. In the beginning, I was anxious about it. At the time of the training my three boys were 3, 6 and 9 and fitting 30 minutes into my already busy day seemed impossible.  Sure enough, it proved to be possible and from this training, meditation became a habit in my life.

There are lots of different styles and ways to meditate - from guided meditations to vision meditations to walking meditations to mantra meditations, and that's just to name a few. If you are new to meditation, I recommend starting with a guided meditation, like Headspace.

If you’ve wondered how to start to meditate, if you’ve meditated before and want to get back on the path or are just curious, here are some practical steps. Enjoy the journey!

1. Make meditation a priority in your life. Make time to meditate everyday. Add it to your calendar and make it a priority in your life. Yes, you have enough time to do this.

2. Choose an amount time that you can commit to every day. I suggest a minimum of 10 minutes to a maximum of 30. Choose a duration that is going to be a bit of a challenge and is also attainable. Set a timer when you go to sit or use an app, like Headspace, to guide you for your chosen duration.

3. Choose a time of day that you can commit to sitting. By creating a set time (morning, afternoon, night), meditation becomes a part of your routine. By choosing the same time every day, you will develop the habit of sitting. You and your body will anticipate your allotted sitting time.

4. Have an accountability buddy. Enroll your friends and your family in creating a mediation practice with you. When trying something new, it’s always helpful to have someone to share the experience with. It’s really comforting to know that your family and friends are doing this as well. You are making a shared commitment.

5. Find a place to meditate. Choose a place that is quiet, a place you can close the door and not be interrupted, a place you are comfortable sitting with your eyes closed. I recommend sitting on a raised surface – a meditation cushion or other hard cushion is great for support and comfort. You can also sit upright in a chair with both feet grounded on the floor. You want to feel comfortable in your body and supported so that you can sit for the full duration of your meditation.

6. Be consistent and committed. Set a time-frame for your meditation practice – 7 days, 10 days, 30 days – and commit to it. Some days it is going to be hard, some days it will be easier – it will be different day to day. Stay with it. Make this a habit and a part of your routine.

Post written by: Kelly Moore

10 Minute Morning Mobility Session

We have created a comprehensive 10-Minute morning mobility session. This is the first in a series of short sessions to get you moving even on your busiest days. It begins with some gentle hip lengthening, working into extension, spinal mobility exercises, flexion, rotation, lateral flexion (side bending) and some deep hip openers. This session will take you through different spinal mechanics into stretching to help you start your day feeling elongated, mobile, and strong. Below each photo you will find simple descriptions. Complete 4-10 repetitions of each exercise and hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds allowing your body to relax into the position.

Build a strong foundation with Pilates & Yoga

I love a hard hitting intense workout session just as much as anyone. My love for movement came from years of soccer, gymnastics, running, softball, and swimming. As I got older and my passion turned to training specifically for sports the how and they why of movement became fascinating to me. I wanted to be more faster, stronger, and more fit. With more intense training came aches, pains, and a few injuries. I knew something had to change if I wanted to keep up the level of intensity and the frequency. At this time I found Pilates and a few years later added yoga to my practice. 
Upon walking into a Pilates studio for the first time I had a minor injury but felt like I was still very strong and could do most any form of exercise. After just a few sessions I learned that this was going to be a very challenging journey and that I needed to switch my mindset of harder, faster, more to slower, deeper, and more precise. 
In sports, training is very specific to the movements needed for the actions you will be completing. The body however will find the path of least resistance to get the job done. So, when training for a sport when doing the same repetitive movement over and over again our larger muscles begin to take over and create compensation patterns leading to less than ideal movement patterns, unbalanced musculature and weakened structures. Here is where Pilates and yoga come into the picture...
Pilates and yoga practices both require a lot of mental focus and attention. They require you to slow down and think about where the movement is coming from and by doing this you start to build a stronger foundation to then more successfully move from. By gaining awareness of what muscles are working versus what should be working you can begin to change your muscle patterning. When we begin to strengthen our smaller muscles, that are used for stability we increase our overall balance within the body. This is very important, now when asked to do a larger movement you have the base of support to work from. Once your foundation is strong you can move faster, add weight and increase the frequency and duration. When working with clients I always use this model of training whether it be in Pilates, running, or strength training; stability, strength, endurance, and power. Each step is a building block and until we can successfully move with stability there is no need to add in weight, you wouldn't drive a car over an unstable bridge, would you? Sometimes it can be hard to slow down but I promise it's worth it.

Post written by: Jacquelyn Brennan