Tag Archives: Fitness

Wellness: Putting the Pieces Together

 It feels good to feel good again.

Wellness: Putting the Pieces Together jillconyers.com

I’ve said it 100 times and thought about it even more, the toll of my injury at the end of last year was so much bigger and longer lasting than ever before. Physically, nutritionally, emotionally and even my relationships, to some extent, were all out of whack. Over time I moved on and let go.

I emailed a friend not too long ago and almost without thinking I typed “it feels so good to feel good again.” It was an ah-ha moment to realize that was exactly how I was feeling! Talking to this friend has a way of doing that. For whatever reason when I’m emailing her I don’t over think everything and there is a clarity to that. Anyway, back to my point.

Looking back, I’m not exactly sure how I moved on and let go, I just knew it had to be done. Now, I feel like the pieces are all coming together…almost.

Wellness: Putting the Pieces Together [Fitness] jillconyers.com

My fitness is better balanced and I’m overall stronger than I’ve been in a very long time.

Wellness: Putting the Pieces Together [Nutrition] jillconyers.com

My nutrition? For the first time maybe in forever, I don’t need an “expert” to tell me what I should eat. I will [always] continue to learn and of course search for new recipes to try but I know what my body needs right now and I know what I enjoy. I’m enjoying a confidence in the kitchen. There is a sense of accomplishment with creating recipes and knowing how to fuel my body for performance and to feel my best.

Now, I’m focusing on the emotional (mental) piece of wellness. This is the toughest piece of the puzzle for me. This is a work in progress and I don’t have a whole lot to share yet.

Where to start? I’m reading this because of my misconceptions about meditation:

Wellness: Fitting the Pieces Together [Emotional] jillconyers.com

and I’m re-reading this book because it refocuses me and gives me a refreshed perspective:

Wellness: Putting the Pieces Together [Emotional] jillconyers.com

I’m excited to see where this personal journey continues to take me. There’s definitely room for more pieces to the wellness puzzle but, for now, I’m I’m taking comfort in the feeling that the pieces I have are coming together the way I’ve always thought they should.

Maybe this comfort with who you are comes with age or maybe the injury needed to happen for me to make this personal journey. Either way the end is the same. Feeling good to feel good again.

Wellness: Putting the Pieces Together jillconyers.com

Ironically this week starts the Believe week of the Lorna Jane Spring Clean Pinterest Challenge! It’s fits perfectly with the emotional piece of the puzzle. Believe in yourself, what you can accomplish and all that you can be! I just created my Believe board. Check it our here http://www.pinterest.com/jillconyers/lorna-jane-spring-clean-believe/

Are any of your puzzle pieces missing? What other pieces would you add to the wellness puzzle? Are the pieces the same for everyone?

Be HEALTHY. Be HAPPY. Be YOU.

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Final Week of P90X3 and Menu Planning

Final Week of P90X3!

P90X3

Scenes from 90 days + 2 weeks

Workouts

MONDAY: P90X3 Isometrix 
TUESDAY: P90X3 Accelerator
WEDNESDAY: P90X3 Pilates X, Run 4
THURSDAY: P90X3 Yoga
FRIDAY: P90X3 Dynamix, Run 4 [Final Workout]
SATURDAY: P90X3 Yoga
SUNDAY: Run 8

Thoughts:

  • Will I do the 90 days again? Definitely
  • the program keeps me motivated to cross train and do more than just run
  • 30 minutes a day is doable with running
  • effective but different results from the original P90X
  • you can have a great workout in only 30 minutes (I’m no longer a doubter)
  • love the variety

P90X3

I’m completing the fit test and taking measurements today to see how it compares to the pre-fit test and measurements. Also on the to-do list, take after shots so I can get the CRUSHED IT t-shirt (preferably with sleeves).

Yoga

45 seconds!

In case you missed it and because I’m so freakin’ proud of this accomplishment, I accomplished a yoga goal of holding the crow pose and coming out of it in complete control of my body!

On the Menu

Breakfast
Smoothies
Juicing

Lunch/Dinner
Pump Up Your Greens Soup
Sauteed Beed Greens with Sweet Potato Rounds
Sweet Potato with Fennel Curry
Raw Pad Thai Salad
Rawsome Tacos
Roasted Vegetable Medley

Snacks
Smoothies
Juicing
Heaven In A Bowl
Spiced Almond Milk

Cocogo

Go to Cocogo: Real Fruit Hydration to find out why Cocogo is my hydration of choice for the Hawthorn Half Day Relay and Ultra and enter to win so you can try it for yourself! Especially if you like coconut water!

Be HEALTHY. Be HAPPY. Be YOU.

Let’s stay in touch!

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Finding A Stress Busting Combination

You probably know what it’s like to feel ‘stressed-out.’ What you might not know is that high levels of stress left unattended for long periods of time can wear you down emotionally and physically. I work with adults and/or children on a daily basis that are experiencing the affects of stress. The thing is, stress in life is unavoidable. The key is recognizing the signs and learning how to manage them.

What is stress? In its most basic definition, stress is negative or overwhelming physical and psychological reactions as a response to the world around us and how it effects us.

Symptoms of stress? Symptoms of stress are different for everyone. Listing all of the potential symptoms would be endless. The American Institute of Stress lists 50 common signs and symptoms of stress.

Some of the most common physical symptoms associated with stress include rapid heartbeat, headaches, body aches, tight muscles, neck/jaw tightness from clenching your teeth, insomnia, lack of energy, tiredness, high blood pressure, stomach problems, skin rashes, hormonal imbalances, rapid increase or decrease in appetite, sexual dysfunction, and sweating.

Emotional symptoms may include anxiety, depression, unstable mood, extreme anger, irrational fears, repetitive behaviors, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, heightened problems in relationships, feelings of irritability, restlessness, obsessing over things, crying a lot, and nightmares.

Stressed out. I’ve been there more times than once and I’ve always recovered and moved on…temporarily. I’ve mentioned before that sometime close to the end of last year I wasn’t managing stress very well. Instead, the stress was managing me. The one thing that is different about my experience with stress this time was changing my mindset from finding a temporary stress band-aid to finding a long-term stress busting combination. Right now I feel great and even amazing at times. The stress is still there. When did feeling stressed out stop? When did I feel in control again? What made me happy and relaxed. I know the immediate signs of stress on my body. Over past few weeks I kept a daily journal. Now, I know what I need to do to put myself in a better position to handle the stress.

First and foremost it’s time with my family. That should be a given but, it’s not. If we’re not careful, life takes over and family time becomes less and less. Family time is priority!

Nutrition + Fitness = Stress Busting Combination

Disclaimer: This combination is subject to change at any time. 

Nutrition

  • 3 meals and 1 snack (maybe more but definitely no less)
  • the more fruits and veggies the better
  • not fearing the [healthy] fats and including them in my diet on a daily basis
  • eating enough calories to sustain what I’m asking my body to do
  • stop obsessing about protein
  • gluten free diet
  • water, water and more water
  • daily probiotic and digestive enzyme

Fitness

What is your stress busting combination? Do you recognize the early signs of stress on your body? Have  you ever kept a daily journal?

Be HEALTHY. Be HAPPY. Be YOU.

Benefits of Hill Training

Embrace running hills and reap the benefits.

Hills are speedwork in disguise. -Frank Shorter

2 weeks ago Amanda (aka Miss Zippy) and I started a new training cycle or maybe it’s more of a training to start a training cycle. Anyway, my first training plan came and the first thing I noticed was hill repeats. Little did Amanda know the one constant in all the years I’ve been running has been I dread and avoid hills. I know. I know. The benefits of adding hills to your training are many and no matter what running book you read it’s highly recommended by the “experts” and coaches. But, when I run hills (up or down) I feet inefficient and inept at form. My husband runs hills effortlessly. He practically glides on the descent. Me? Not so much gliding going on.

It’s time to change all that. No more avoiding. No more dreading. I’m going to

Embrace the challenge of hill running!

Running hills breaks up your rhythm and forces your muscles to adapt to different stresses. The result? You become a stronger runner. -Eamonn Coughlin

So, with my new attitude and changed mind set I needed to know specifics. What are the specific benefits? What can I do to improve my form? How long and how steep should the hill be? This is what I’ve learned:

Benefits

Mindy Solkin described it best in her article the Ups and Downs of Hill Training, Training the Kenyan Way.

Physiologically speaking, hill running…

  1. Increases your aerobic capacity that enables you to use less oxygen at increasingly longer distances.
  2. Improves your running economy that enables you to use less oxygen to run at a faster pace.
  3. Increases your stamina that enables you to run farther at a given pace.
  4. Builds strength in your gluteals (buttock), quadriceps (front of thigh), gastrocnemius (upper calf), and soleus (lower calf) muscles.

Biomechanically speaking, hill running…

  1. Improves your stride length (from uphill running) and your stride frequency (from downhill running).
  2. Increases your ankle flexion that enables you to “pop” off the ground more quickly, so that you can spend less time on the ground and more time in the air.
  3. Teaches you how to run relaxed.

 Form

  1. Look about 15-20 feet in front of you (chin and neck neutral, e.g visualize yourself holding a softball between chin and chest)
  2. Drive hips forward and maintain a posterior pelvic tilt while engaging lower abdominals and glutes
  3. Keep body upright with shoulders back and a slight lean forward
  4. Arms are at a relaxed 90 degree angle, swing from top of shoulder to hips and avoid crossing in front of body
  5. Slightly decrease stride length and increase leg turn over (speeding up arm swing helps to increase leg turn over)
  6. Lift knees high & forcefully push off the balls of the feet to avoid shuffling and increase power production of stride

(Source: Enduranceworks)

Choosing a Hill

The ideal hill for a strength and stamina hill workout should take you about 90 seconds to climb. The grade should be steep enough that you “feel the burn” in your legs over the last half or quarter of the hill repeat, yet not so steep that your normal running form is significantly compromised.

Don’t forget about our coffee date! Join Grab Your Kicks, fitnessmomwinecountry and myself this Saturday for coffee, chatting, and catching up! Get the details at The Ultimate Coffee Date link up.

One more thing before I go! My friend, Laura, at Mommy Run Fast is hosting a 21-day spring reset. It’s the perfect way to clear your mind and body of the winter blahs and refresh for the spring season!

The 21 day Spring Reset Challenge is an opportunity to clean up your eating, overcome cravings, and get energized and lighter for spring.
The group coaching program will include delicious recipes, a 21 day sample meal plan, a supportive Facebook group, and daily emails with holistic health tips.
Laura has generously offered my readers a $10 discount. When you sign up enter the promo code “JillC” for $10 off.  Get all the challenge details are here.

Tell me. What else do I need to know to learn how to embrace the challenge of the hills? Do you avoid running hills?

be HEALTHY. be HAPPY. be YOU. 

 

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Benefits of Maca Powder

What is Maca?

I am not a licensed nutritionist, dietician or medical professional. Views expressed on this website are based on my own personal research and experiences. Please consult with your doctor regarding any concerns you may have regarding your health and/or diet.

After sharing my Vega One Peanut Butter Maca Chocolate Chip Delight recipe I received emails and comments about what is Maca. Off the top of my head I believe the first time I read about Maca was in, ultrarunner extraordinaire, Scott Jurek’s book, Eat and Run, An Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (a book I highly recommend!).

While writing the #OneChage post I found out that you can order Vega Maca. According to Vega:

Native Peruvians used maca root for thousands of years as both a food and a tonic.

Maca is an exceptionally hardy root plant native to the Andean mountain plateaus of Peru. A member of the brassica family, maca is grown at altitudes of 14,000 feet in an extreme climate of freezing cold, fierce winds and intense sunlight, where no other crops can survive. Herbalists believe that resilient plants are especially valuable; from an herbological perspective, maca’s resiliency knows no equal.

Taking 2,500 mg of Vega Maca daily can help:

  • Promote vitality
  • Metabolize carbohydrates, fats and protein
  • Develop and maintain strong bones and teeth
  • Form red blood cells and support their proper function
  • Contribute to a feeling of overall well-being
  • Maintain good health
  • Provide antioxidant support50

Side Note: You might be wondering what is an adaptogen. I’d never heard of it until I started reading about Maca. It really is an amazing concept and the adaptogenic potential happens naturally.

Also known as Peruvian ginseng, maca shows great potential as an adaptogen, according to foremost maca researchers; this adaptogenic potential may account for the balancing, energizing and stress-reducing effects reported by some maca users.

You can use Maca to:

  • Promote vitality
  • Contribute to a feeling of overall well-being
  • Maintain good health
  • Provide antioxidant support

An excellent, plant-based source of vitamin B12, maca provides 70% of your daily value of B12 (as cyanocobalimin). Per 2,500 mg dose, maca also provides a wealth of important minerals, including:

  • 37% DV manganese
  • 20% DV calcium
  • 14% DV iron
  • 10% DV potassium

My personal experience with Maca? After I started adding Maca to one meal a day I experienced a clear headedness. Seriously, it was like a fog that I didn’t even realize was there was lifted. I experienced an energy or maybe it’s more of a vitality and an overall feeling of well being. I don’t know. There is little scientific evidence to support the benefits of Maca but it’s the one supplement that I physically noticed some of the benefits. Theoretically, the Maca adapted to what my body needed to create a balanced affect. How cool is that?

Most often I either add 1 teaspoon of Maca to smoothies which give it a great malt flavor or I mix 1 teaspoon in with salad dressing which doesn’t change the taste at all.

Have you ever heard of or used Maca? Did you notice any changes in how you felt?

Be HEALTHY. Be HAPPY. Be YOU.