I have a riddle for you …
What’s an activity that:
- between 200-500 million people across the world engage in,
- has tripled in popularity over the past decade, and
- is believed to improve your wellness, focus, energy, and mood?
Plus, studies show it can help alleviate back pain … improve enzymes in your brain to help fight Alzheimer’s … and even make your sex life better.
Some athletes use it to improve their performance.
It can also be perfect for helping you to cope with that extra stress that pops up during the holiday season, which will soon be in full swing.
If you guessed meditation … you’re right!
Meditation is a GREAT tool to help you become more mindful – which we’re focusing on a lot this month.
That’s because when you’re MINDFUL it basically means you are PRESENT and AWARE – which plays a huge role in your results, motivation, and even your workouts.
Having a meditation practice is a lot more mainstream today than it was 10 years ago.
In fact, almost as many people in the US meditate as do yoga (a little over 14% each).
Researchers are still investigating exactly HOW it works, but we do know that besides slowing down brain waves …
meditation helps you grow more gray matter in your hippocampus (which is linked with improving your mood & focus and slowing down age-related decline in cognitive functioning).
It’s definitely worth considering adding meditation to your wellness/fitness toolkit!
It’s easy to get started – just sit quietly in a comfy chair for a few minutes with your eyes closed, focusing on your breath and feeling your belly and chest rise and fall as you inhale and exhale. That’s it.
Try doing that for a few days, gradually increasing your time as it feels right. I add essential oils to help me deepen my focus.
Or you can use an app – there are dozens out there! (10 Percent Happier, Insight Timer (free, this is the one I use), Calm, and Headspace.) Also, my team put together a text series using Deepak Chopra's guided meditation 21 day series. This is how I started meditating, and it's amazing! Just text: CALM to 801-405-9525 and you'll receive daily text to the guided meditations.
At Elite Physique, we believe fitness is a mind-body experience. We work with clients to develop strategies for living their best life.
Live today with intention! If you haven't download my latest free Ebook all about focusing on mindfulness, grab it here:Mindfulness Workbook
Yours in health,
Join my Facebook Group for more wellness info! Wellness With Colleen
I just HAD to share this with you, because when I read this, it completely blew my mind.
Have you ever …
- Attended a virtual meeting while you scrolled your phone for the latest headlines (or, ahem, checked your social media notifications)?
- Juggled two work projects at the exact same time because you thought you could do them in half the time?
- Listened to a training/course/book while folding the laundry, cooking a meal, and/or caring for a family member?
- Checked your email or phone several times in the middle of a project?
I'm totally guilty of all of the above!
It might seem like you’re streamlining your to-do list by tackling several things at once, but you can actually be cluttering your brain.
This can lead to more mistakes, retaining less info, and actually changing how your brain works (not for the better).
In fact, multitasking on projects that require a lot of thought can make your IQ score dip the same way it does for people who stay up all night!
Check this out: in one study, men who multitasked had their IQ drop 15 points … so that their score was the same as an average 8-year-old child.
This happens because of the way our brains function, according to researchers from the University of Southern California.
When you need to pay attention to something, your brain’s prefrontal cortex springs to action. It keeps your brain focused on a single goal while also working with other parts of your brain to help you finish the task.
And when you work on one task at a time, both sides of the prefrontal cortex work together in beautiful harmony.
BUT … if you try to focus on TWO TASKS at a time, the left and right sides each do their own thing.
You can see how this would make it hard for your brain to FOCUS …
making it even harder to pay attention to the details and retain more info. Plus, researchers say it can cause THREE TIMES as many mistakes!
So, what is the solution? It works like a charm… and it also cuts down on stress – more on that in a sec.
The tip: Set a timer for 20-40 minutes and FOCUS ON ONE TASK. Then, take a mini 5-10 minute “intermission” break, and set the timer again for another period of focus.
BONUS BENEFIT ALERT … people who felt stressed while multitasking ate more unhealthy snacks, according to researchers.
This isn’t surprising, since stress is linked to food cravings!
Just something to think about. :-)
I believe it’s all connected. Healthy habits fuel a healthy lifestyle. If you need assistance in this area, reach out. Check out my updated website and see all the various ways I can champion you on your wellness journey. www.ColleenRiddle.com
I use Peppermint Essential Oil to help me focus. Studies have shown it helps with focus and alertness in the brain.
🔥Hot topic alert today! It’s all about getting a GREAT NIGHT OF SLEEP😴 !
One of the top things that can get in the way of your fitness results … is getting enough quality sleep. It can affect your mood, stress, appetite, and recovery … among many other things!
In keeping with our “clean it up” approach to sleep, I want to talk about simple upgrades you can make to streamline your nighttime routine that can actually help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer!
Here are some science-backed tips from the National Institutes of Health:
- Keep your evening routine simple – go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Your body loves having a regular daily rhythm and routine!
- Don’t work out within 2-3 hours of bedtime. This can leave you feeling “revved up” and make it harder to fall asleep.
- Don’t eat close to bedtime, and steer clear of alcohol after dinner. Alcohol might help you fall asleep, but you can get stuck in the “light sleep” phase all night.
- No afternoon/evening caffeine. Did you know it can take 8 hours for caffeine to clear your system?
- Check your meds & herbal home remedies. Some meds (especially for coughs, colds, and allergies) contain ingredients that stimulate your system.
- Take a hot bath or shower before bed. When your body temp drops afterward, it can help you feel sleepy.
- Stay away from blue light from TV, phone, or other devices within a couple hours of bedtime. If you do use a device, install a blue light filter (tip: check your tablet/phone to see if there’s one already built-in).
- Spruce up your bedroom. Make sure it’s uncluttered and free from distractions – lights, noises, etc. – and that your bedding is comfortable. Sleeping in a clutter-free zone can make a surprisingly big difference.
- Make a to-do list for tomorrow. Write down anything you’re worried about forgetting overnight as a quick reminder, and place it far away from your nightstand (so you don’t have to think about it anymore). This is HUGE for me!
- Use a diffuser in y our room. This was a game changer for me. I add lavender essential oil in the diffuser and rub it on the bottom of my feet. This is what made me a believer in the power of essential oils!
Cleaning up your nighttime routine can go a LONG way toward improving your sleep...
But there are things you can do earlier in the day that can help, too. Two big items:
- Get some sunshine & fresh air during the day, if at all possible.
- Make sure to get in intentional movement (i.e., exercise) most days of the week!
When you get a good night of sleep, it can set you up for having a great day. Plus, it’s good for your overall recovery and wellness!
As a side note, please check out my new, updated website: www.ColleenRiddle.com. Make sure and check out the Resource Library for any freebies you might have missed to support your wellness journey!
Everybody’s talking about doing “detoxes” and “cleanses” … but what does that really MEAN, anyway? And is it even a real thing?
I want to flip the script on that idea as we dive a little deeper into “cleaning it up” this month.
I had a big shift about this a long time ago that completely changed my perspective.
So … a lot of “detoxes” focus on eliminating toxins and getting rid of wastes that are in your body.
Here’s the issue with that: Your body already has a complex and amazing built-in detox system, made up of your skin, lungs, kidneys, colon, and liver.
These organs all work together to filter out toxins and waste, and then help you get rid of them by sweating, through your breath, or when you’re in the bathroom. I still believe in a good cleanse/detox once or twice a year, but we can do so much in between!
FACT: If there’s a breakdown in this system, you probably should see a doctor!
BUT … what if the toxins in the foods you eat, the products you use on your body, or the chemicals in your environment start to overload your detox system, putting a lot of stress on it?
It can get to the point where your body can’t keep up with eliminating them as fast as you absorb them, and they start to build up in your body. This isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds.
Since we can’t actually SEE toxins, here’s a stat that can make it real:
Did you know that the average newborn baby has 287 known toxins in their umbilical cord blood (this is according to the Environmental Working Group)? 😳
And the breakdown of those toxins includes 180 that cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 that are toxic to the brain/nervous system, and 208 that are linked with birth defects or development problems in animal research.
Talk about a toxic load!
What if instead of focusing on CLEANING OUT toxins from your body ... you did your best to avoid them in the first place?!
That way, you’re “detoxing” your INPUT as much as possible, before it ever hits your system.
You can do that by upgrading the quality of what you feed your body and also what you surround it with. This will help reduce your overall toxic load. (I have a ton of info about this in my Clean It Up Challenge Guide.)
I’m talking about:
- Foods with fewer pesticides, antibiotics, contaminants, etc.
- Personal care products with fewer known toxins
- Staying away from plastic water and food storage containers
- Using more green home care products
With a little intention, you can lower the number of toxins you’re exposed to in the first place!
It’s a much more PROactive approach to your wellness.
So: I have a little bonus challenge for you today! One of the best things you can do to help your body’s detox system do its job is to DRINK WATER! (From a BPA-free container, obviously – and bonus points if it’s filtered water!)
This helps your system flush out all those waste products.
Exactly how much water you need every day depends on (among other things) how active you are, any health issues you may have, and your size.
But as a general rule, shoot for at least half of your body weight in ounces (Ex: 150lbs shoot for 75 ounces of water). If you struggle drinking water try adding a drop or two of Young Living Vitality Essential Oils (my go-to is peppermint, grapefruit, lemon, or lime)!
Track your intake today and post in the Facebook group!
It’s not the big things we do once in a while, but the small things we do CONSISTENTLY that bring results. Make sure and download my free 5-Day Clean It Up Challenge to give you a step-by-step guide to help removed the daily toxins!
This month we are getting real with ourselves and moving past our unhealthy coping mechanisms to do the real work, and we are using the Feelings Kit from Young Living Essential Oils to help us release past trauma and emotional blocks.
Yes, I'm normal and have my own coping mechanisms. Most of the time it's wine. Yup....I'm a personal trainer and I love wine. There's no problem with drinking wine, but I know that sometimes it's an automatic "go to" when I'm stressed out or angry. Instead of digging in and "feeling," I grab the glass of wine.
How about you? Do you flip on Netflix to escape and grab a bag of Doritos? Hop on Amazon and shop the night away?
As the gatekeepers of our homes we have such a great opportunity to bring in healthy products and create healthy habits for ourselves and families! Join us as we detox our emotions this month and switch out conventional coping mechanisms for healthier, healing options!
For May, we are focusing on digging deep to release all our comfort vices, sit with and honor our experiences and trauma, and do the emotional work needed to move forward in healing and self love. Instead of turning to things like detachment, Netflix binges, alcohol, food, sugar, shopping, work, projects or any other comfort measure that keeps us from truly processing the emotions beneath, we are going to pull out the Feelings Kit and use these oil blends with intention and consistency!
Why use these essential oils (or oils at all?!) for this process? Because of the power of aromatherapy and the limbic system. Our sense of smell is directly related to our emotions and mood. The cranial nerve associated with smell sits next to the hypothalamus - the area of the brain responsible for mood, feelings and emotional processing. Further, the Feelings Kit blends contain a combination of oils high in compounds that can cross the blood brain barrier to reprogram bad coding from the cells. Then other compounds rewrite that code to restore the original perfect copy, one that will not keep us pulled into the physical and emotional effects of stress. This is a process, but the great thing about essential oils is that we have a CHOICE to embrace that process instead of loading our bodies up with lots of toxins and other things that create more confusion in the cells.
The Feelings Collection includes six essential oil blends, each of which is a powerful tool for supporting and releasing emotional patterns. Use in the morning and evening to promote peaceful thoughts and spiritual harmony. To learn more click here and check out the fascinating Feelings Kit. https://colleenriddle.lifestepseo.com/resources/90d956aa-f545-4b26-9613-3ebcd41efbf9
Reach out if you'd like more information or to get started with us. There's a group of us doing it together and we have extra, helpful information to go along with the kit! I'm on Day 3 and loving it!