I Broke My Ankle!

248256da-ae20-40d5-b68a-c453f85886c7I am reminded of the old expression, Darkness is to a haphazardly placed skateboard as a sloping countertop is to a fresh egg. Okay, I just made that up. But after spending three days in the hospital and undergoing an operation that involved a metal plate, screws, and some wires, not to mention dining on yummy hospital food, a sense of humor seems in order.

And, in fact, there actually were some humorous moments. Yes, I did indeed trip over an unseen skateboard in a dark garage at night while rushing to go pick up one of my kids. And, yes, I fell hard and did some serious damage to my ankle. But my 14 year-old son who rode with me in the ambulance immediately added levity by exuberantly posting the whole thing on Instagram. He was having a great time!

And when we arrived at the Emergency Room and witnessed all the real suffering, including severely injured people who had been in car accidents, stroke victims, and more, my son hit the nail on the head when he looked at me and said, “Mom, in the universe of things, this really isn’t that bad!”

I had to smile at that, in between winces. May we all have such a healthy perspective that whatever we’re going through, there are nearly always people who have it worse and we likely still have so much to be thankful for!

All of which isn’t to say that it was a pleasant experience — I’ve broken limbs before, and gave birth to three children, but it’s been a long time since I was reminded of what significant physical pain is like. If ever there were a pebble in my shoe to keep me in the ‘here and now,’ the experience of the past few days sure ranks up there!

And not just in terms of being aware of the throbbing of my ankle. The collateral events and feelings served as a stark reminder of the fragility of life, the advantages that most of us enjoy because we live in an advanced society with access to modern medicine, and ultimately of our practically unavoidable need to rely on others sometimes.

I was lucky enough to have my surgery performed by a very experienced ankle surgeon from Westchester Medical Group in Valhalla, which gave me confidence … which was offset by the very real fear that comes from imagination: what if it doesn’t go well, or I can’t be a fitness instructor anymore, or worse?!

Because I chose an epidural and light sedation for the actual procedure, rather than general anesthesia, after the operation when I was lying in the recovery room, I realized after several hours that I still had no feeling in my legs! Wow did my imagination go haywire with that! What if some nerve got cut and I’m going to be paralyzed from the waist down! Sounds crazy, but what a powerful example of how our imaginations influence our thoughts and moods!

The feeling in my legs, of course, came back just as the medical practitioners assured me it would.

My Ankle has been reset, I am icing and waiting for the swelling to go down so I can get a cast next week, and I am home pondering all the things I can’t do for my family, my business, my household … and all the wonderful things my family and friends are doing for me!

At moments when my children are waiting on me, I feel emotionally vulnerable and filled with love and gratitude. And, of course, when they are wrestling each other and fighting over my crutches and the dog jumps on the bed, I feel a physical vulnerability like I never have before.

As many times as I’ve jumped on benches, leapt over puddles, skated on ice, it’s no fun confronting the fact that I’m not indestructible. I know this experience is a new test of strength and endurance. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and so this shall.

Here’s a (real) quote that I like:

The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.
Aristotle

And so I shall.

I’ll keep you posted on my recovery, and share whatever interesting stories just happen to, well, happen along the way.

We still have classes running, so I hope you can get out and keep training — not just for your outer conditioning, but for your internal strength as well!

Lastly, a big “thank you” to Jeannine and Terri who immediately took on some of my classes so we can keep offering a good range of class times!

Healthfully yours,

Tracey

We’re going back outside starting Wednesday!

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We are excited to announce that because the weather is getting nice again — and in honor of Earth Day — FitWalk is officially going back outside starting this Wednesday, April 22.  All classes will be outdoors except the Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 a.m. classes. Those will remain inside until mid May.

So, starting Wednesday, we’ll meet for each class (other than those noted above) in Tuckahoe at the end of Lake Avenue near the Bronxville Duck Pond.

For those of you who have been FitWalk members for a while, you know the routine. For those of you who joined us after we moved inside for the Winter, here are a few things to expect and prepare for:

  • FitWalk‘s foundation is walking, interspersed with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which means that when we’re outdoors, we cover a nice distance along the path, get some strength training while moving, and stop at certain points to enhance our workout using benches, bridge railings, and the natural “tools” that are there to use.
  • We recommend using hand weights during all of the walking phases of the workout, which we make great use of along the way. Please bring a pair of 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, or 5-lb. hand weights to class with you (whatever you feel comfortable with). If you don’t own hand weights and can’t purchase them before your next class, don’t worry — we have some we can lend you until you have a chance.
  • Because you will have your hands occupied during the entire session, a “fanny pack” or suitable pockets for your keys and phone will be helpful.
  • The weather is warming up nicely, but if it’s a little chilly, an extra layer might be advisable. Keep in mind, though, that we workout hard, so you will generate a lot of internal heat — you’ll likely need less than you think.
  • Lots of people like to have water with them during workouts, but keep in mind that your hands will be occupied a lot. A belt water-holder might be a good option.
  • Regarding footwear, we recommend “whatever is comfortable for you” when it comes to distance walking — maybe sneakers, maybe jogging shoes, maybe cross trainers.  We’ll be on a mostly flat surface, so “hiking” treads are unnecessary.
  • There are no public restrooms in the Park. So plan to (ahem) “go” ahead.

We always stay together as a team, and no one EVER gets left behind. Even though our classes include members who may be at different fitness levels, that’s fine:  advanced students work harder, beginners progress according to what’s right for them. That’s how it should be, AND THAT’S HOW IT IS!  

We’re going outside! It’s about time! Goodbye Winter!

Let’s have fun, breathe the air, get some sunshine, and get fit!

Healthfully yours,
Tracey

A Love Selfie

“To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die.  If you wait, you die now, if you love, you live now.”

Alan Cohen

Brene Brown, Author of The Gifts of Imperfection tells us one of our greatest fears, is to not have truly meaningful relationships.

In order to have truly significant relationships we need to begin with loving ourselves. All areas of our lives can improve from self-love.  Once we recognize this and give ourselves love, much of our lives will improve.

It’s okay to put yourself on the front line. Ask yourself “what can I do to show myself self-love right now”? Can you choose a healthy dinner to make, take a walk outdoors, meditate, sing, take a nap, call a friend?  Give yourself a “time-out”. Start to think about the things you can do that help YOU feel love for yourself.

Here are 3 ways to create a practice of self-love:

1.   Clarity:     Take a moment to sit quietly with yourself.  Place a hand over your heart and close your eyes.  (this will help secrete the hormone Oytocin, giving you a calm sense of well-being)   Focus on any area in your life that you are struggling with-imagine if the issue was no longer a problem and it was thriving.    How would you feel if it’s no longer a problem?    Allow yourself to feel that joy and completeness.

2. Compassion:    We all mess up, it’s human, we get angry or say or do something stupid and out of character.  Did you snap at a waiter?  Yell at at a loved one?   Cut yourself some slack.    We all do it.  Forgive yourself for messing up, you are still love worthy. Break the pattern.  It’s okay, you can still love yourself and move on.

3. Care:   We have to care for ourselves the same way we would for someone we love.    We wouldn’t put down  our child if they broke a glass or did a sloppy job on a project.    No, instead, we’d tell them it’s okay honey, you’ll improve or do better next time.    It’s not the end of the world.    To be able to care for ourselves, to step away and see ourselves from the outside and then be loving with who we are. 

You yourself are deserving of the same love and affection you give,  give yourself some love and see if that love will sprinkle in all the other areas of your life.

The 13 Days of “Healthierness”

Hope you’ve been having a truly wonderful holiday season! With all the feasting and good cheer- I have a little present to help bring you into the NEW YEAR!

The 13 Days of “Healthierness”TM

Sung to the tune of “The 12 Days of [Whatever Holiday You Celebrate]”

On the first day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Do some pushups every single day

Pushups are the single most comprehensive exercise that you can do because they affect just about every major muscle group. Approach it at your own level! If that means starting with your knees on the floor, so be it-you’ll feel totally empowered when you work up to raising your entire body weight. The value of this exercise is a solid “10”!

On the second day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Get two dumbbells so you can build lean muscle

Resistance training helps to maintain and combat the loss of muscle mass by increasing muscular strength. Lifting, curling and pulling and pressing weights will put lean muscles on your skeletal system. Plus, dumbbells work the glamour muscles when lifted to the front, back, or side, or straight up-start pumping!

On the third day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Three’s a crowd, and that can really help

It’s not always easy to motivate yourself to get all the exercise that’s good for you. Surrounding yourself with motivated people by attending fitness classes, or by inviting friends to do active things biking, hiking, or shooting hoops, are surefire ways to inspire yourself!

On the fourth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Eat four times a day for better health

The old idea of eating three meals a day was never based on any real scientific evidence, yet many people still stick with that routine. Four times a day is most likely healthier…about every three hours…and it’s probably best to eat “while the sun is shining.” (There is growing evidence that it’s healthier to eat only during daylight hours.)

On the fifth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Take five steps for every minute of sitting

A lot of us do a lot of sitting, whether it’s at a desk or behind a steering wheel…and that’s not healthy. Take as many breaks from the routine as you can, and make a point of walking during those times. If you sit for two hours, during your break try to take at least 600 steps before you sit down again. (If there isn’t enough time, try to make up for it later.)

On the sixth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Pick six times a day to work on your breathing

Deeper breathing that fills your abdomen first and then fills your chest is the way to go! Most people only take shallow breaths all day long that only use about a third of their lung capacity, don’t give their diaphragm any exercise, and miss out on a really easy way to add valuable oxygen to their blood cells. So slow it down and breathe deeply!

On the seventh day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Exercise on every day of the week

Our bodies need exercise to stay at peak health, and we evolved in a way that relies on getting that exercise every single day. That doesn’t mean that you have to take a class everyday (even though that would be great for you), just that some real physical exertion in an intentional way everyday — even for just 15 minutes — will do wonders for your health and longevity.

On the eighth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Eight glasses of water is just too much!

Staying hydrated is really important for health, but the common misconception that you need to drink eight glasses of water a day is not based on reliable scientific research. Not everyone is the same;most of us get a lot of water from the foods we eat; and, outside temperature and how much we sweat make a difference, too. The best rule of thumb is to “drink when you’re thirsty until you’re not thirsty.”

On the ninth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Say nine nice things to people you know

We sometimes take the people we’re closest to for granted. Showing appreciation for even small things can do a lot for another person’s mood, and can leave us with a feeling of connection and warmth for another person. “Thanks for making the coffee, it’s great” or “Great job getting ready for school so quickly,” go a long way.

On The tenth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Workout smarter not longer

Extensive research shows that just 10 minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) can do wonders for your body and mind, and efficiently help you change your physical condition for the better. Done properly, HIIT can significantly increase aerobic and anaerobic fitness, decrease fasting insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce both subcutaneous fat (under the skin) and dangerous abdominal (“visceral”) fat that can build up around internal organs. So push “smarter!”

On the eleventh day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Connect with eleven friends

Reaching out to a friend or acquaintance with whom you haven’t spoken in awhile will bring both of you a sense of belonging. By building a community we feel more connected and life can become more fulfilling.

On the twelfth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Eat foods with 1/12 the ingredients as usual

We all know that eating “real” food is important to our health, and the more ingredients a particular food contains, the more likely a lot of those ingredients are artificial. Try to prepare all natural meals as often as possible — which means avoiding heavily processed “factory foods” — and aim for dishes with 5 or fewer ingredients.

On the thirteenth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Write down thirteen good experiences from the past year

For some people 13 is lucky…for everyone else, it’s easy to make it so! Think of 13 experiences you had over the past year that brought you good feelings or happy memories and write them down. The simple act of writing down these experiences on paper helps our memory as well as recreates those good moments…and can even ignite your dopamine receptors!

Enjoy The Process!

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Everyday we are faced with choices and decisions.

When we finally make up our mind and are ready to change, then it’s important to enjoy the process.

Besides if it was very easy then you may not value it , and the healthy habit would never stick.  Loosing weight or getting Fit are great decisions, but you can’t get get descouraged if you make the decision and then after a week of eating healthy and working out nothing happens.   You will get there, it’s just 10 years of bad habits don’t go away in just one week, it’s a process.  When we plant vegetables in a garden, we water and soil and wait.  When the crop starts to appear we can’t abandon the process, we still need to attend to the crop.

The same goes for our goals,  we have to live in the present and enjoy the steps we take toward our goals.  Each Workout, every healthy food , is part of the process to enjoy. When our challenges align with our goals we are taking steps and making changes to get to the next level.   Keep your goals, focus on the changes, enjoy the process, you are living out your dreams……

Tracey G.

 

FITWALK IS COMING MAY 12!

More classes, More times = A better you!

Mojo Mantra

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This week I will be positive, productive and playful!

The Power of 3 P’s!  Did you know that our self-talk can really inspire us to live happily?   When we focus on the good things we have today, nothing will get in our way:-)

Anything we put in our mind can create a ripple effect in our lives.   So when you say I am sick, or I am tired, then you are giving yourself permission to feel BLAH.   However, when you say I AM healthy, I AM strong, I AM productive…..You are bringing all that goodness into your life.

So often when things don’t go our way, we let that affect our internal voice.  If we keep our internal voice healthy, our outer world will shine brighter and open up the doors of possibility.

When things are going well we feel lighter and hopeful.    A healthy mind compliments a healthy body.

Using MOTION to create positivity is a great tool to have in your tool box. MOTION can be moving from one room to another, or taking a walk, just get up and go.   Notice how movement can shift you back to your true self and lets your energy radiate to those around you.

To your success!

Tracey G.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree

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You know the saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” When it comes to our eating habits, quite often this can be true. The way we grew up and our emotions around food usually are taught from our parents. If you are having any struggles with your eating habits or your children’s eating habits, it’s a good thing to take a look back at how your childhood experiences influenced your current views. This being said, whatever negative habits or emotions around food that you’ve developed can be changed for healthier ones. Even more so, we can set the stage and improve the future of our eating and our children’s eating by bringing awareness to our patterns. We all want to live happily, so adding healthy eating patterns to our life can really make a difference in how much energy we have and our mood. Knowing YOU are in charge of your emotions around food and letting go to BE PRESENT at the table will make the difference.

Let’s start with our kids; do you have anxiety over what your kids are choosing to eat?

  • Most parents would say yes, and that’s because kids go for flavor, cravings and taste before they use their minds and think nutrition. This is where we come into play by not letting them see or notice our anxiety by offering healthy alternatives and turn eating the healthy alternatives because we like them and they fuel our bodies and mind. If the children see you react, then they think it’s forbidden and want it more. Save the lecture and explain the difference of having a healthy snack such as fruit and yogurt versus a cupcake.
  •  If snacking gives you anxiety then break them down to mini meals. Chances are if you or your children are hungry, you need to eat. By saying no to a snack you are only suppressing your metabolisms and creating negative emotions around food. By eating a mini meal (aka real food) you will know if you or your child is actually hungry.
  •  Set a designate time for meals. By having breakfast, lunch and dinner around the same time, your body and mind will have a natural rhythm and this may help avoid unnecessary snacking. If however you or your child were particularly active or had irregular sleep then the body may need more food before the designated time. As long as you are aware of such activity you can make arraignments for a healthy snack or earlier mealtime.

By approaching food with awareness and listening to our body we can teach our children and those around us how to have a healthy approach to food. Listening to our hunger signs and making healthy choices is really the key to controlling anxious or emotional eating.

The Take 3 method from my Tabata Bootcamp training is what I use when I am not sure if I am making a healthy decision.

  1. Am I hungry?
  2. Is it smart?
  3. How much do I need?

Those 3 questions can bring awareness and control so you can feel confident you are making the right choices for your healthy diet. If we are going to change how we eat, then it starts with changing how we think.

Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” – Hypocrates

I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below!

Tracey G.

A Fat Free Snow Day

Are all these snow days dampening your spirit, or are they giving you a much needed break to the routine? It’s how you answer that question that may affect the amount of fat you accumulate around your mid-section.

You may be aware that just diet and exercise are only one component to get you fit.

The big picture, when it comes to loosing fat is keeping your hormones at an even pace. The good news is a few minor tweaks will set you on the path for success.

Here are a couple suggestions, including my favorite number 5!

1) Sleep in!
You know you have a delay or school closing, so why not catch up on a few zzzz’s. Sleep also helps regulate your metabolism and sets your rhythms so you can be alert and healthy.

2) De-Stress
The stress hormone cortisol blocks your efforts to lose weight by slowing down your metabolism. High cortisol can trigger stress eating by stimulating cravings for high-fat and high-carb foods. Managing stress on a snow-day, can be an early morning break if the kids sleep in. A mid-afternoon tea or meditation.
For info on how to sit quiet try downloading the APP (Headspace) for free.

3) Cook something
A snow day means you are all stuck inside. Without a hectic routine, this is a great time to cook because you can take the time to try a new recipe or involve the kids. Wholesome slow cooked food made with natural ingredients gets us healthy and fit.

4) Eat Protein for breakfast:
Jump start your metabolism! Eat protein within 30 minutes after waking up to start burning calories and keeping your sugar levels even. Try eggs, yogurt, or any type of nut butter are excellent choices.

5) Get up and move!
Exercise is so beneficial to cognitive function and can ward off boredom by stimulating creativity. Shorts bursts of movement are proven to burn more calories and create lean muscle than steady state workouts.

Try one of these:
a. Shoveling burns up to 400 calories an hour and uses almost every muscle in the body.

b. A quick walk in the snow is similar to walking on sand. It recruits more leg and core muscles than ordinary walking.

c. Sledding and Skiing are both a great bang for the buck because it’s family time and a calorie burner.

d. For an Indoor workout try a 20 minute Tabata workout, a game of tag, or freeze dance with the kids!

“No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.”

THE TWELVE DAYS OF FITNESS!

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THE TWELVE DAYS OF FITNESS

FEEL BETTER—LOOK BETTER—LIVE BETTER!

 

On the first day of Fitness my Trainer gave to me…

1.         A Partner to work out with me

Having a healthy support system keeps you motivated, and on the right track.

On the second day of Fitness my Trainer gave to me…

2.         Dumbbells  

Adding resistance, weights, tubes, body weight, builds lean muscle tissue, burns more calories, increases bone density, and makes you stronger.

On the third day of Fitness my Trainer gave to me…

3.         Hours to eat within

Eating every three hours keeps your metabolism churning and working at a higher rate. (www.mypyramid.gov.)

On the fourth day of Fitness my Trainer gave to me…

4.         Times a day to sit up straight

Activate those spinal muscles, alleviate back strain, look taller and feel better in the process.

On the fifth day of Fitness my Trainer gave to me…

5.         Ways to stimulate your intellect!

Read books, learn a new trade, find a hobby, take an Adult Ed class, or start up a musical band!

On the sixth day of Fitness my Trainer gave to me…

6.         Days to exercise

Try to move your body every day, even if it’s not a “workout”… ex: a walk, washing the car, sledding with the kids.

On the seventh day of Fitness my Trainer gave to me…

7.         Solid hours of sleep

8 hours are preferred, but 7 without interruption will help.

On the eighth day of Fitness my Trainer gave to me…

8.         Bottles or cups of water daily

Our body is 60% water. Increasing your intake helps your organs, skin and metabolism.

On the ninth day of Fitness my Trainer gave to me…

9.         Inches lost

Drop the scale…muscle weighs more than fat. If your clothes are fitting nicely you are losing inches.

On the tenth day of Fitness my Trainer gave to me…

10.       Mind/Body classes

Mix it up! Try new things like Yoga, Pilates, even Martial Arts, if challenging, may help you achieve new fitness goals.

On the eleventh day of Fitness my Trainer gave to me…

11.       Deep Breaths

Stress can lead to many problems including hypertension, stroke and other illness. Try to find some time to unwind, giggle and reflect!

On the twelfth day of Fitness my Trainer gave to me…

12.        People shouting…You go!!!

A healthy lifestyle not only makes you feel better, it makes your entire world brighter!

Enjoy the Magic of the Holidays!

Transform YOUR Lifestyle This Season! BeFit Westchester Winter Schedule Is Here!

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This winter BeFit Westchester is offering a new series to GET IN SHAPE and STAY IN SHAPE! If you’re looking a head start on that New Years resolution or just want to stay active the Transformation Series will be great for you!

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