Getting Active This Spring

Tips for getting active this spring. Springtime is finally here! Seeing the cherry blossoms blooming and watching the grass turn green make my heart leap for joy! :) There's just something about the warmer weather, sunshine and longer days that gives me an energy boost.

I was talking with Caleb the other day on ways we can make exercising a habit. One thing we've decided to do is Crossfit workouts at home (because joining a Crossfit box is expensive). I've also decided to go to the Christian yoga studio across the street a few times a week (yes, there's a Christian yoga studio!).

As we were talking, I realized that getting active really isn't that hard. With a few basic tools, the long-awaited springtime can be full of fitness and fun. Will you join me? :)

Tips for getting active this spring.

Yoga pants: c/o Yoga Outlet Athletic jacket: Nike [similar] Shoes: Nike [similar] Water bottle: BKR

Tools for getting active this spring

A sense of adventure

Keep your eyes open and you may discover that there are opportunities for getting active right in front of you. Do you drive past a park, mountain, or path every day without a glance? Try stopping the car and exploring the area; you may discover some new favorite spaces. Do you reflexively get behind the wheel to do an errand? Try walking there; it may take longer but you will feel great when you return.

Comfortable yoga pants

Yoga pants are my go-to if I'm doing anything active, whether I'm going on a bike ride, practicing some yoga, or simply running errands on a Sunday morning. Not only are they comfortable, but they come in some pretty cute and flattering styles too!

Supportive shoes

Wearing the right shoes while you're doing anything active is important to avoid any joint or back pain. Keep in mind that not all shoes are created equal; the activities that you will be doing matter. Running shoes are not the same as trail hiking shoes, and you want to be sure you give your feet the best shot at supporting your body through your springtime activities.

Hydration

Water, water, water; staying hydrated is key to feeling great as your activity increases and the temperature rises. Carry a reusable water bottle with you to make sure you always have something to drink.

"Getting Active" bucket list

Sometimes the hardest thing about getting active is finding the motivation to do so. One way to get encouraged is to create a "Getting Active" bucket list for the spring/summer. Here's a snippet of mine:

  • Go on a walk around the block after dinner every day
  • Do some spring planting
  • Ride bike on 5 different trails around the state
  • Play frisbee golf with friends
  • Take a yoga or pilates class
  • Do yoga every morning outside
  • Walk around the local zoo or aquarium
  • Bike to the beach instead of driving
  • Play with the neighbor kids outside
  • Rock climb
  • Play tennis with my sister

Something to remember as you're making your "Getting Active" bucket list: Do what you love. If you are not a fan of going to the gym, why go? I'm not big into running, so I didn't put that on my list. I considered training for a 5k that's in the fall, but I decided against it. Why? Not because I'm lazy. Because I simply don't enjoy running. So do what you love. And soon, you'll be checking off items on that bucket list of yours in a snap ;)

Tips for getting active this spring.

What about you? What's on your "Getting Active" bucket list? How do you stay active every day?

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market + Skin Care Giveaway

 

*I was compensated with free products from Fresh Thyme to use in this giveaway*

Fresh. Healthy. Natural. Organic.

Those words are big in today's society. It seems like everyone is jumping on the healthy bandwagon...and that's a great thing! I'm all about eating organic and incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables in our diets.

Last week I had the opportunity to check out a new store here in Lincoln called Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and just had to share my thoughts with you. At first I thought it was just another expensive health food store, but boy was I wrong!

Think Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

Now imagine they both met and had a baby.

That’s Fresh Thyme.

It's relatively cheap, with an extensive produce department with organic and local fruits and vegetables, a natural meat department, healthy deli foods, bakery goods, 400 bulk food bins, dairy and frozen, and health supplement products.

Even better, they carry "normal" foods as well, such as Pillsbury biscuits, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Campbell's Soup cans. What's not to love?

I visited the store twice in it's opening week, and both times the parking lot was so crowded I had to park across the street at Barnes and Noble and walk over. People love this place! Right now, Fresh Thyme is primarily in the Midwest, but it is rapidly opening new stores. I highly recommend checking out if there's a store near you!

Another thing I love about Fresh Thyme is that their body care section is full of natural products. From paraben-free lotions, natural makeup and facial care products, to fragrance-free shampoos and aluminum-free deodorant, all your skin essentials are on their shelves. This is definitely my new go-to grocery store.

And so, to celebrate healthy living and Fresh Thyme new stores, I have an amazing giveaway for all of you! :)

MyChelle Dermaceuticals skincare set AND a $25 gift card to Fresh Thyme Farmers Market!

The set includes:

  • Perfect C Serum, an ultra-nourishing serum that helps brighten and tighten your skin, improving overall skin tone.
  • Remarkable Retinal Serum to help fight fine wrinkles around your eyes! The skin around your eye is thinner, more sensitive, and has fewer oil and water glands, so it needs more moisturization. It's never too early to start anti-aging products. I'm 20 and I use an eye cream at night. Since we're constantly smiling (because we're happy), it causes the skin to crease repetitively, which eventually leads to wrinkles over time. So, the earlier you start using an eye serum or cream, the less fine lines you'll notice later down the road.
  • Sun Shield SPF 28, an environmentally safe, full spectrum, translucent daily UVA/UVB sun protection that contains soothing aloe to rehydrate your skin and calm sun-induced irritation. Perfect for all those trips to the beach!

The set also comes in a cute little MyChelle cosmetics bag. It's the perfect size for traveling!

MyChelle Dermaceuticals is just one of the many natural product lines Fresh Thyme carries. This specific skin care set is worth $110! And you just might win it! :)

Giveaway ends 2/23 at midnight (CST) and is only open to residents of the US and Canada.

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Have you ever been to Fresh Thyme?

 

I Will Flourish...Healthfully

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Photo Credit: Cultura/Hugh Whitaker

Healthy living is a big topic. It encompasses so many different areas of life and everyone's goals are personal and different, which is why it's this month's Flourish linkup topic. Your health goals are one way to becoming the best version of yourself.

I'm really excited to read your posts on this topic, because it sure was one of my favorites! The linkup will be open until next Thursday, so feel free to add your post in anytime before that! I’d love to hear from you! :)

P.S. My goal is to someday do a headstand on a paddleboard, just like in the photo above ;)


 10 Things I Am Grateful For:

  1. A home with family I love
  2. Phones, to talk to loved ones far away
  3. Fresh fruit
  4. Sleep and rest
  5. Ice cream :)
  6. Memories
  7. Long walks on Sunday mornings
  8. Community
  9. The different shapes of the clouds
  10. Wisdom from others

I will flourish healthfully this year by

Being intentional about what I eat. Over this past year I've become more aware about what I'm putting into my body. What you eat has a dramatic effect on how your body functions. Because I'm a firm believer in living a healthy lifestyle, you must read this post by my good friend Gina on 5 truths for healthy living. I'm taking her third tip to heart – my longterm goal is to eat a delicious, healthy, organic, plant-based diet that will help me reach my fitness goals.

Improving my strength and flexibility. In my Currently... post on Wednesday I mentioned that I’m focusing on improving my flexibility and getting stronger through weight lifting. Right now I'm doing at-home routines and in a few months Caleb and I will join Gold's Gym. Our goal is to build enough strength and endurance so that we can join a CrossFit gym later on.

Getting a better night's sleep. I wrote a post a few months back on ways you can ensure a more restful night. Sticking to a sleep schedule can help balance your circadian rhythms and cause you to feel more energized. So even though it's summer, I've been (trying) to go to sleep between 9-10pm and wake up at 6am to get a head start on the day and enjoy the first hours of daylight. My plan is to continue that, even once I head back to college in the fall.

Spending more time outdoors being active. I love the outdoors! Especially when I'm out being active and enjoying nature at the same time. Things such as bike riding, hiking, and canoeing are some of my favorites. I want to make sure I spend more time be active outdoors rather than just laying out in the sun.

Reflection:

Last month we wrote on how we planned to flourish emotionally.  One of my goals was to exercise more patience. By actively trying to live out a list of 50 values to renew in your life, patience has slowly become easier to manage. Instead of nagging people when we're going to be late or getting frustrated when something is taking too long, I've learned to calmly wait and even enjoy the few extra moments that I'm given by making the best of every situation, another one of my goals.

Things don't always go as planned, but a positive attitude can change everything! I’m really glad I took time to focus on flourishing emotionally, because whether it’s an area of life that most people don't actively think about trying to improve.


Next month’s prompt is how you will flourish in your daily habits and routines. Examples would include: simplifying your morning routine or work routine, how you spend your free time, a daily schedule to stick to, etc. If you’re new to the linkup, you can find all of the details right here! I hope you join us sometime, because I’d love to read what you have to say!

If you’d like me to send you a reminder email the week before the linkup, sign up using the link below! I promise to only send you the reminder email and not spam you with random junk.

Sign up for the Flourish linkup email reminder


The linkup will go live the first Friday of every month at 6 am CST. You’ll be able to submit your take on the week’s prompt, as well as discover how other’s are planning to Flourish in the different aspects of their lives! My hope is that this linkup will encourage you to take steps, however big or small, towards becoming the best version of yourself. Don’t aim for perfection, but refine what works for you. Here’s to Flourishing in 2015!

[inlinkz_linkup id=533048 mode=1]

Fun and Easy Ways to De-Stress

Need some ways to de-stress after finals? We've got you covered. #relaxationtips Life has gotten so busy these past few weeks. I'm taking six finals in three days, starting today! Wish me luck! The great thing is that once the tests are over, summer is here. And although I'll be taking summer classes, I absolutely can not wait to sit back and relax for a bit. So if you're trying to get through finals week (like me) or are just simply looking for easy yet fun ways to de-stress, this post is for you. Have a great day everyone!

  1. Sleep. Many of us are overworked and overwhelmed. We have so much to do in so little time. But the thing is, getting enough rest is even more important. What better way to lessen the fatigue than to curl up under the covers and catch some much needed z's. To help you out even more, here are 10 secrets for a better night's sleep.
  2. Treat yourself. Indulge in that ice cream. Buy yourself some flowers. Schedule a massage. Whatever you do entirely up to you.
  3. Don't do anything. This might sound contradicting and dull, but just sitting and not thinking about anything for 5 minutes straight can do wonders. Find a quiet place and just sit and breathe. Your body will be able to wind down and relax easier.
  4. Stretch and deep breathe. Nothing feels better than a deep breathe and a good, long stretch. It helps eliminate tension and stress by bringing more oxygen to your brain and also loosens tight muscles.
  5. Read. No, you don't have to read another (boring) textbook during your free time. But studies have shown that sometimes moving to fun read for enjoyment is a good idea. Get lost in some books!
  6. Attend an event. Check your city website, local newspaper, or college campus bulletin board to find fun events to attend (many are free!). Maybe it's a summer festival, a monthly art walk, or a concert. Find something that you would enjoy.
  7. Dance. Listen to music for the sake of listening to music. Dance to your heart’s content. It can revitalize your energy, especially after you've been stressed out.
  8. Get some exercise. For a quick de-stress, take a quick jog or run. An energizing exercise can help clear your mind and calm you down.
  9. Spend time in the park. Nature is one of the most calming de-stressors out there. Nothing feels more freeing than feeling the sunshine on your back and the wind blowing across your face. The simplicity of nature is calming and the it's beauty is soothing to the eyes. Take a trip to the park and take a deep breath of some fresh air.
  10. Hang out with friends. Chances are that when you're stressed, you're not in favor of spending time with other people. But you're most likely not the only one who needs to de-stress. Take time to catch up with friends, especially funny ones. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
  11. Create a relaxation space. Bring in things that personally help you de-stress: candles, a book, a blanket, a sketchbook, magazines, etc. Use this space to remove yourself from the usual routine of life.
  12. Shift your focus. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, try distracting yourself by doing a different activity. Paint your nails, straighten your desk, do you laundry, THEN come back to the task at hand. Don't confuse this with procrastinating! You're simply taking a break to clear your mind so you're better prepared to conquer whatever it is you're doing.

What other ways to you use to relax and de-stress?

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10 Secrets for a Better Night's Sleep

10 secrets to a better night's sleep. As a college student, sleep is one thing I cherish. Sleep helps your body rejuvenate and keeps your brain to operating at its best. Too many times, I have gone to bed late and gotten up early. And if I do have time to get to bed early, falling asleep is another story. My goal is to begin a healthier sleep routine. Following these simple tips, we all can benefit from a better night's sleep and a more energized day.

1. Make a bedtime routine

For a great night’s sleep, give yourself a bedtime routine to alert your body that it's time to sleep. Put things away, take a bath or shower, and start dimming the lights up to two hours before your planned bedtime. If you're busy up until the point you crawl into bed, your body might still be awake even if you're exhausted.

2. Get up around the same time every day

Our bodies love routine. Your internal clock has the ability to wake you up without an alarm clock. The only catch is that you must be consistent with your sleep schedule. Drastic changes in your sleep pattern can actually cause you to be even more tired than you were before. Try to be consistent. Your body will thank you.

3. Avoid any mentally stimulating activities before bed

This includes reading, watching TV, and checking social media sites (we've all been guilty of that, haven't we). Activating new thoughts can be very counterproductive. 30 minutes before you climb into bed, make it an effort to not check any screen devices, especially in the dark. The light emitted from your device stimulates your brain and causes it to be more alert, not what exactly what you want late at night.

4. Avoid eating close to bedtime

Eating one to three hours before bedtime can decrease the quality and length of your sleep. Avoid snacking or eating a big meal right before you go to sleep. Give your body time to properly digest your food so it can give you energy when you need it.

5. Avoid caffeine intake after midday

There's no doubt that drinking caffeine will make you stay awake. Getting into the habit of consuming caffeine throughout the day may be the reason you have a hard time falling asleep at night. Try to avoid caffeine intake in the afternoon, or better, avoid it altogether.

6. Use earplugs and/or an eye mask

This is such a simple solution for those who are light sleepers. If you have a roommate that wakes up earlier than you or a husband who snores, there's no need to lay awake wishing you were asleep. Grab a pair of earplugs or slip on an eye mask to block sound and light. They're great for traveling on planes too!

7. Keep your bedroom cool

Most sleep studies recommend setting your thermostat to about 65ºF. That may seem a bit cold to some of you, but before you go to sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops, which helps promote deep sleep. Setting your thermostat to around 65º will help your body get to that temperature faster, which will let you fall asleep faster and sleep better.

8. Exercise daily

Try to get in at least 15 minutes of exercise a day. Not only does exercising keep your body healthy, but it can relieve pent-up stress and energy that keeps you awake at night.

9. Do a brain dump before bed

I've mentioned this before, but doing a brain dump right before you go to bed can really help clear your mind and keep you from staying awake. It's very simple. Just take a piece of paper and write down everything and anything that comes to mind. Don't think, just write. In the morning, take a look at the list and organize it in whatever way you choose.

10. Use a sleep tracker app

Hate that feeling of waking up groggy and tired? It might be because you were woken up in deep sleep, the most restful sleep. Studies show that waking up in a light sleep stage cause you to feel happier and more rested. The Sleep Cycle app analyzes your sleep and finds the optimal time to wake you up during a 30 minute window that ends at your set alarm time. Graphs provide you with information about your sleep quality, what times you went to sleep in the past 3 months, the average time you spend in bed, and your sleep quality on certain days of the week.

Sleep has never been better.

What do you do to get a good night's sleep? What does your bedtime routine look like?

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P.S. Check out these 8 Ways to Simplify Your Life!