This morning I was watching my son run around the soccer field during practice, out of breath from non stop running and yet giggling and smiling so big! It made me think…
When did exercise stop being fun?? When did it become a chore for you??
I mean, I help people develop effective exercise programs for a living, I have a wide repertoire of exercises in my mental library, I LOVE how I feel after a workout, and still…I don’t always love working out. (It’s true- it’s work for trainers too)
Somewhere along the way, we learned that exercise is an obligation for us as adults. We need to exercise to stay healthy or fit like we need to work to pay bills or clean our houses. But what if we didn’t…
What if we went back to making exercise a game, a chance to connect with friends, a chance to truly be SILLY and laugh the whole time.
When we do this, we actually end up “getting as much out of a workout” as one of those hard HIIT workouts we feel we have to do every week. We really enjoy the movement, making it more likely that we’ll do it over and over again (and the BEST type of exercise is the one you’re consistent with!!). And we get that extra endorphin high- from working out and from laughing while we do it.
This weekend, I encourage you to make exercise fun again. Take a class you’ve never tried, grab a friend to catch up while you walk or bike ride, play in the snow with the kids (don’t tell me walking up those hills in snow gear doesn’t burn calories!). Dance. Stretch. And laugh the whole time
I worked out with a friend this morning and later I’m doing a kids yoga workout with my kids. Tell me what you’re up to this weekend for fun AND fitness!!
Ever set that resolution on January 1st, only to find you’ve forgotten about it by the 14th?? Or committed on Sunday night that you’ll get to the gym five times this week, to find yourself on the couch Wednesday evening?? And the next two evenings after that??
DO NOT start beating yourself up right now. You ARE NOT alone. There are many of reasons our goals my lose traction as time progresses, but today I’m gonna talk about the major one.
You probably didn’t set up accountability. My clients and I joke all the time that they really pay me to be an accountability partner (I like to think the time I spend designing effective workouts is the reason, but it’s not a totally off base thought)
Think back to the times you’ve set a goal in your own head, or maybe just spoke it to the people in your house. The main reason we do that is to protect ourselves from our fear of failure- but, chances are, by doing that, we don’t often see the goal all the way through.
You also may be trying to go it alone. NEVER a good idea. Motivation naturally wears off, life gets overwhelmingly busy, you may not see the progress that someone else does. All reasons we quit too soon.
This is exactly why I run accountability groups. I’ve found that my clients who join either my 11 day or 30 day groups meet the goals they set for themselves. We state our goals out loud, we set daily challenges for everyone, we check in often, we share recipes and workouts and we cheer each other on days when the couch looks more inviting then the gym or when the pizza sounds better than the healthy meal we would need to cook.
So do yourself a favor: this year, this month, this Monday…whenever you set your next wellness goal, find a tribe to do it alongside you and cheer you on. If you need a tribe, I’m always excited to welcome you to mine.
Here are a few transformation from our past challenge groups:
Tell me about your goals this year. Remember, speak it out to the universe- we’ll be here cheering you on the whole time!!
Here we are…the end of another crazy year. A year that started out with some optimism but had lots of ups and downs along the way. Like any other year, I’ve been taking these last few days in December to reflect on it all and I’m choosing to end the year in gratitude, optimism and a plan for healing and growth.
(My daily affirmations from this app have helped to shape this thinking a lot!)
This year, I’ve continued to grow as a person, which has helped me in all of my roles…parent, Occupational Therapist, Personal Trainer and Health Coach. I’ve continued to develop tools to deal with what started as postpartum anxiety two years ago and developed into the anxieties and stress so many of us are dealing with in this pandemic. I’ve focused on healing and facilitating the healing of my students and clients…and I am grateful for what the very hard parts of life have taught me and continue to.
I am grateful for this healthy, strong, beautiful family of mine. My kids have learned to fight with each other, they have some pretty epic meltdowns and sometimes it feels like days are absolute chaos. But we are happy. Most nights, you can find us dancing around the kitchen to loud Disney music, snuggling with our favorite books and building LEGO’s…oh so many legos. When I am stressed or scared, I remember that this home and family Adam and I have built is strong, it’s safe, and it’s capable of holding up in the storms
I am grateful for my work and the chance it affords me to witness the resilience of children and families who have overcome so much. And truthfully, this pandemic has allowed me the opportunity to work with my student’s families much more closely, and see progress like I’ve never seen before.
And I am deeply grateful for the chance to help others find a path to wellness, through both training and my wellness store. Even during this historically stressful time, my clients are focusing on self-care and meeting wellness goals that once felt so out of reach.
And I am so, so, so grateful for community. Five years ago, I found a tribe of entrepreneurs in the wellness field and we have had the chance to lift each other up and make a huge impact on this world. 2022 will only get better and better for our group!!
And lastly, my friends and family. We’ve all had so many ups and downs this year, but knowing I have so many people to call at any time-the importance of that does not escape me, ever
Wishing you all peace, calm, strength, health and pure joy in 2022. Onward!!
Ok, I don’t know about you, but I still have a ways to go with my holiday shopping. As usual…
I have a huge family, but gift giving has gotten more manageable the last few years as we’ve transitioned to Secret Santa’s for the adults. Great, right?!!
BUT, now I have kids old enough to participate in allllll the activities. That means gifts for the soccer and gymnastics coaches, teachers, etc…
It’s easy to run to the local stores and pick up some inexpensive hand lotion, candles or chocolate to go with a gift card. But. I don’t know, I just can’t bring myself to do that this year.
If you follow me. You know my thoughts on wellness, and you know how strongly I believe that a lot of the toxins we expose ourselves to daily are wreaking havoc on our bodies. I’m no where near perfect, but I’m making a VERY focused effort to eliminate toxins in my life. Which is why I can’t just give gifts that are loaded with chemicals or unsafe ingredients to the important people in our lives either.
I’ve done a lot of research this year and have compiled a list of some solid gift ideas for everyone on my list- and hopefully yours too!
Clean coffee! ☕️ I’ve never been sad about a new cute mug and some good quality coffee to sip on these chilly mornings, and I know many people who have a bit of a coffee habit too. But, I know most coffee companies don’t test for mold and microbial activity, and I just don’t wanna mess around with that. So, I bring you my favorite coffee to give as a stocking stuffer and for all the hardworking teachers in our lives:
And, while we’re on the subject of my favorite beverages, let’s talk wine…
I’ve been SUPER impressed with these clean wines, which are free of loads of sugar, arsenic, glyphosate (aka Round Up), ferrocyanide and animal by products. Does it bother anyone else that that means most wines AREN’T free of those???
I’ve loved every bottle I’ve tried from here, and I think you will too. Great gift to bring to dinner/party hosts, gift for family and friends. Oh, and grab an extra bottle or two for yourself while you’re at it:
Another favorite gift for anyone in your life who might be dealing with stress related health problems would be cbd. And again, quality here matters. I love the gummies but this holiday tincture pak looks like a great stocking stuffer or gift for a family member or friend: https://sarahmckinnon.greencompassglobal.com/product/125MGBSTRIOSET
Let’s be honest…delivery drivers are working hard this year. Last year, we decided to make a basket to leave outside the front door the last few weeks before the holidays, and I filled it with my favorite healthy crackers, protein bars and this incredible “functional beverage” to give our postal workers and delivery drivers as they worked tirelessly through the season. The basket was emptied daily and I happily replenished it, knowing I wasn’t just leaving them more unhealthy, processed snacks but was still leaving them something that tasted amazing and fueled them during these grueling days. Here’s a link to my favorite adaptogenic drink, great for your delivery drivers as well as the teachers and coaches on your list: https://jessicatreadwell1.isagenix.com/en-us/shop/feel-better/bea?pid=e422d75c30464bbe9ba4038a53ff0b5a
Have a girlfriend or coworker on your Secret Santa list this year?? I’ve always loved giving some fun hand lotions, makeup, etc…but recent news has me more than paranoid about the level of carcinogens in beauty products. I’ve made the switch to cleaner beauty, and can’t not share the love with those I love. This charcoal mask is incredible and I can’t think of one of my girlfriends who wouldn’t love it, but if that’s not for you, they have some really fun holiday sets:
And finally, while we’re on the subject of cleaning up our products, I’ve recently been introduced to this company and am SUPER impressed. You can get some of the classic gift bundles here (think, candles and lotions) for teacher gifts or Secret Santa’s, and while you’re at it, stock up on some healthy personal care products or household cleaning supplies (the multipurpose cleaner is next on my list): http://www.purehaven.com/joyorpin
I’d love to hear what clean gifts you are buying this year too!!
I thought I was stressed before the pandemic, but the last few years brought it to a WHOLE new level. I don’t know about you all, but I still am very anxious about COVID, I’m balancing work and mom life and it’s only getting more complicated to balance as this pandemic goes on. Oh, and then there’s the normal fun of those two year old tantrums we navigate every day…
I wouldn’t trade my work or the chance to parent these beautiful humans for the world, but that doesn’t mean that the chronic stress of “fight or flight” mode can’t wear me down. In fact, chronic stress, from any source, is downright dangerous. Here are the 3 types of stress that we all face in life:
1. Emotional stress: This could be the rage that arises when someone cuts us off in traffic, or when we’re facing financial difficulties. 2. Physical stress: This can come from some sort of physical injury. For example, bumping your knee against a chair or cutting a finger while cooking. 3. Chemical stress: This results from exposure to toxins, such as pesticides, processed food, dirty water, and so on.
All stress is handled in the same way: the adrenals kick in and release anti-inflammatory hormones (such as cortisol). So, based on all this, we can start to see why chronic stress of any kind is harmful. This highlights just how strongly we need something that can help us manage stress. (excerpt from livewellzone)
That “something” for me is Adaptogen Elixir
I’ve been taking this elixir since August, and it’s fair to say I was skeptical at first. Like, super skeptical. But I’ve truly noticed a difference- namely just an overall feeling of calm and feeling less prone to react so strongly to stressors throughout the day. And, taking it closer to bedtime definitely helps with sleep!!
Gratitude journaling, daily affirmations, meditation, high quality CBD and ADAPTOGENS….all part of my stress relief toolkit. Because it takes a lot of tools to combat a lot of stressors. Oh, and exercise OF COURSE!! What do you find is the best way to relieve stress in your daily life???
Here’s a link to my wellness store if you want to try the elixir, risk free. Let’s look get ready to calm the chaos!!
Guys- these last few weeks have been CRAZY at work. I’m a school based Occupational Therapist, and the fall is always busy with evaluations and documentation…and the pandemic has only made things busier (if you know a teacher or school therapist, give them some love these days!). Needless to say, it’s been hard to squeeze in a full gym workout, or even anything longer than 20 minutes at home.
So today, I took out these new bands and quickly ran through this routine (note my super adorable workout partner):
✨squats (20 reps)
✨curtsie lunges (15-20 reps per side)
✨fire hydrants (15 per side)
✨clam shells (20 per side)
✨bridges (20 per side)
✨leg lifts to the side (20 per side)
3 rounds in 20 minutes and my legs were burning! What I love about these bands is that they’re durable and don’t dig in or slip like the rubber ones. If you need a band upgrade, here’s where I found them:
This weekend, Adam, the kids and I had the most FABULOUS weekend in New Hampshire (with my lovely mother in law joining us for a day too!) The weekend was full of some hikes, exploring the polar caves, lots of kids activities, arcades and shopping. We stayed in a great condo, but there was no gym there to use.
I could have definitely written off the weekend as a “rest weekend” from working out. We were averaging 10-12,000 steps a day and eating pretty healthy (thank you condo- I hate eating out 3x a day!!)
But I also know “crabby mommy” comes out when I skip my workouts too many days in a row. I also love the energy and mindset that follows a morning workout. So, I committed to doing just 10 minutes of a workout each day. I went beyond that ten minutes all three times, because we all know getting started is the hardest part. But either way, I know I was gonna start my day off with some movement and enjoy vacation more because of it.
What can you actually do in 10-15 minutes you ask?? Well, anything!
💪If we’re driving somewhere, I love to bring a kettlebell and do a circuit of 5 different moves (kettlebell swings, goblet squats, one legged deadlifts, windmills, one arm swings), 50 reps each
💪 you tube a fun cardio or dance workout to get the heart rate up without any equipment or even much space
💪do a circuit of squats, push ups, lunges, tricep dips and bicycle crunches, 3 times through
💪 you can find lots of yoga and barre workouts on all the popular workout apps or you tube
💪 head outside for a 1-2 mile jog or run
When the workouts were done, I enjoyed my post workout shake, my pumpkin spice coffee and lots of fun with the fam. WIN/WIN!!
These are ideas I share with my clients when they travel, but they’re great ideas for your super busy workweeks too. Please remember you don’t have to do the perfect workout, you don’t need the perfect workout space, and you DEFINITELY don’t need hours…just get your heart rate up, sweat out those toxins and have fun!
Tell me your fave workouts for traveling or busy days!
It’s been a minute since I’ve checked in with you all. Things are good here…still plugging away at the busy-ness of daily life with pandemic worries piled on top. The kids are 2 and 5 now (how is that possible??), my husband recently made a big job change and work is the busiest it’s EVER been for me. Basically…life is busy, stressful and beautiful all at once.
I’m getting a chance to write this morning because I have a client who is out of town. That’s rare, and I’m grateful for the few extra minutes to breathe while my husband feeds the kiddos. So, I spent an extra few minutes meditating and journaling this morning, and it made me think I ought to share my morning routine here too.
One thing that changed for me during the pandemic, a little over a year ago, was re-engaging with my daily gratitude journal and committing to meditation every morning even if for 5 minutes. And guess what, guys…it’s really changed things for me!
At the start of the pandemic, I was dealing with postpartum anxiety…which felt a bit out of control when pandemic anxiety piled on top. Because of that, I started to have some health issues that impacted my daily life. I don’t expect anything to be perfect, but after struggling for a few months, things really did start getting better. I’ve found a good mix of tools to help me live with anxiety, but one of my most favorites is my daily routine.
Starting my day with gratitude and my intention statement is SO easy. Even after the hardest day the day before, there is something I can be grateful for…sunshine, the sound of my kids’ laughter, a conversation with a friend, or maybe just a hot cup of coffee and hot shower. The longer my gratitude practice has gone on, the easier it has become to list MANY blessings in our lives.
After journaling my gratitudes, I almost always feel more positive. If the rest of the day is rainbows and sunshine from there on out, awesome! My gratitude grows. And if the rest of the day is quite the opposite of that, as it often can be, I make myself recite the list of gratitudes that I made that morning…because even in the midst of the most stressful or painful day, no one can take away the sound of my kids’ laughter from the day before or the sunshine that bathed us as we were playing in the yard. Even on those hard days, I know that the laughter and sunshine will return 💕💕
I’d love to hear about how you set yourself up for positivity each day too!
I’m off to build legos with my son (his new obsession) and enjoy that hot cup of coffee. Wishing you all a beautiful Monday and a beautiful week ahead
Hey readers! My friend Lauren (an incredible yoga instructor and reiki practitioner) is sharing some great tips for our self-care series this week!
Written by: Lauren Tamburello
Bio: Lauren found yoga when she was in the final months of her master’s in public health program. During this time in her life, she was anxious, burnt-out, and running on little sleep. She was not taking very good care of herself. Yoga helped (and continues to help!!) Lauren to sloooooow doooooooown, be more centered, and take better care. Just months after finding yoga, Lauren knew it was a practice that she needed to adopt as a lifestyle. Lauren completed her 200 hour teacher training at Lexington Power Yoga in Vinyasa Yoga. She is passionate about practicing and teaching safe and functional movement and making yoga accessible to all bodies. In addition to yoga, Lauren is a reiki practitioner. She believes in the healing power of touch and relationships. When she is not teaching, practicing or trying to incorporate yoga philosophy into her meetings and interactions at her day job, Lauren can be found dancing, cooking, reading self-help books, listening to live-music, drinking coffee, and having deep conversations with friends.
Check out this link to hop into one of Lauren’s classes:
Yoga has been my lifeline – primary self care tool – during the covid 19 pandemic. I have found myself pulling it out of my tool box at least daily – often multiple times a day. It has helped my physical body through movement and stretches after long days at work and excessive time sitting. It has helped my mind (and preserved some degree of my sanity :)) by providing me the opportunity to slow waaaaaaay down, let go of stress and anxiety from the day, and create a quiet space for me to process, reflect, and connect/check in with myself.
I have found it helpful to start and end my day with the practice – typically with just 15- 30 minutes. I have started leaving my yoga mat unrolled and favorite props <yoga blocks and foam roller> out for easier access and as a reminder. Sometimes I follow along to a class (I’ve included some of my favorite resources below) or sometimes practice without instruction and focus on moving my body organically and intuitively, sometimes with my favorite music playing. My practice looks different every day as I adapt it to meet my needs.
Where to start? Body & Breath I always begin my practice with a few minutes in stillness (usually in child’s pose or constructive rest) and focus on slowing/ elongating my breath and checking in with my physical body and mind. I ask myself How am I doing? and force myself to slow down and answer honestly. (Please note- this is not that easy to do! How many times when someone asks you “how are you?” and you automatically, without even thinking, respond “good” or “busy”. Try to answer with more depth next time you’re asked the question.) I often do a body scan, a tool that involves bringing awareness to the entire body, part by part. You can notice any tension, discomfort, etc. and work to let it go. I typically start at the crown on my head and work my way down my body to the tips of the toes.
Before/ after connecting with my physical body, I work to focus my attention on my breath and often will play with counting my breath – maybe you start with 5 cycles of breath (1 cycle = inhale & exhale) and work towards 10 cycles. I focus on sending my breath into my chest, my lungs, and into my belly and allowing my exhales to be just as long as my inhales. Sometimes I will try to take the deepest breath I have taken all day.
I follow this body and breath work with an instructor-led class or unstructured practice or will end my practice here.
Here are some of my favorite shapes-
Back, shoulder, spine mobility
Stretch Backs of the legs
Viparita karani (legs up the wall or block at lower back)
Figure 4 (can do this at your desk while seated or on your back.
Mantras that have helped me through this time-
I can do the hard things.
Do small things with great love.
Here are my favorite FREE classes/ instructors-
YMCA of Greater Boston You can check out my weekly live classes here!!! I teach a live virtual gentle flow yoga class on Tuesday and vinyasa flow class on Friday. I also teach in person classes at the Oak Square YMCA on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30a.
Yoga with Kassandra
It feels appropriate to be writing this blog on my busiest day of the week (and probably my busiest work day so far this school year). But self-care is just as important on our busy days (arguably more so), so here I am…
Let’s talk about walking!! You might expect me to pop on here on a Wednesday and talk about Workout Wednesday. And while I ALWAYS encourage a good sweat session, I think it’s more important to take the stress away from exercise and focus on movement…especially on our busy days.
Today I worked two jobs. I rushed around getting the kids ready for school this morning, trained clients, and worked at 3 different schools throughout the day. Then pick up, baths for the kids, dinner, bedtime routine…you get it.
So today I didn’t get a workout in. But I did commit to fresh air and movement, walking between school buildings during the day and a quick walk with my son after preschool pick up. It was COLD and crazy windy here, so I did have to convince myself to do those walk…maybe a few times!!
Was I glad I took a break from the never ending “to dos” to move my body and get some fresh air???
Did I feel happier and more energetic because of it???
I’m not here to tell you about the NUMEROUS health benefits of walking those 10,000 steps a day. Hopefully everyone knows that by now.
What I am here to say is that, no matter how tired, anxious or overwhelmed I feel on a given day, the gift of fresh air and movement does not escape me. And, like the ADAPTOGENS I wrote about last week, walking is a non-negotiable part of my day that truly makes a difference.
Pic of my two favorite waking partners…from sunnier days, of course!!