Get Your Blood Flowing With This 20 Minute Circuit

This week’s blog is written by Tracy Treible, a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor. You can find out more about Tracy and the services she offers by visiting our team page.

Movement; it’s important. Now that I’m not 18 anymore, things hurt. Sometimes I wake up with a stiff neck from sleeping in an awkward position, or my sinuses get irritated and a pounding headache ensues. Whatever the reason, my body doesn’t always feel great. While my state of health is ahead of the majority, my body still aches and I know how easy it is to give up and spend the day on the couch. Tempting, yes, but I put on my big girl pants and I move. I stretch, I walk, I yoga, I MOVE. I promise that 9 times out of 10 you will feel better after you move.

Circulation

Brisk walking or hopping on the elliptical can elevate your heart rate and increase circulation. Increased circulation can help bring blood flow to the areas that need healing like that sore muscle, that throbbing head, or menstrual cramping.

Mind over matter

Getting yourself moving can also take your mind off of whatever is ailing you. Taking the time to breathe and do some light stretches allows you to focus on the current movements and not on the discomfort elsewhere.

Endorphins

Exercise releases endorphins; we’ve heard this since forever because it’s true. These happy little neurotransmitters help to reduce our perception of pain and stress, so why not let your body do its job and get the chemicals flowing!

Remember, everyone is different, and may have different levels of tolerance. If the pain is so bad that any movement seems impossible then you should probably go to the doctor. If you have a fever, stay in bed. If you can’t put weight on your ankle, DON’T. Be sensible while keeping in mind that bodies in motion tend to stay in motion, and bodies at rest tend to stay at rest.

Here is a quick 15-20 minute circuit you can try at home to get your blood flowing and raise those endorphins. Do each movement for 30-45 seconds and move on to the next. Run through the entire circuit 4-5 times, stretch and be proud of yourself!! Happy Moving!

  • Squats (aka sit in a chair and stand back up)
  • Bicycle Crunch

  • Front kicks
  • Pushups (if you can’t do a pushup from the ground, do it from the wall or counter top)
  • Plank

  • High knee march
  • Lateral Lunge to vertical reach

  • Single v-ups

  • Glute bridge

  • Jumping jacks

What Makes You Happy? And How Can You Do More Of It?

I woke up this morning and reflected on a meeting I had last night with John (name has been changed), a very smart, successful businessman and father of two young children who found out last year he had a tumor and that he might only have a week to live. To make a long story short, further testing revealed that the tumor was treatable, and with chemo, he would most likely make a full recovery. The moment John found out the new prognosis, he felt like he had a new lease on life and vowed to live different from that point forward. He promised to no longer procrastinate on doing the things that he loves or has always wanted to do and to focus more on the people and activities that bring him joy.

 

Upon completion of six months of chemotherapy, John realized that getting the horrific news was the best thing that could have happened to him. On the work front, he changed things in his company and started only doing business with clients he actually wanted to work with. He also invested more time with his family and friends and started focusing on causes that are close to his heart.

 

As I was reflecting on John’s story it got me thinking about how it took a life-threatening diagnosis for him to decide to make a change and dedicate more of his life to the people and things that truly make him happy. Do we all need to get bad news before we do what makes us happy? What if we stop everything we are doing right in this moment and think about what happiness really is?

 

Clearly, I’m not the first one to ask this question — this is an age-old story. But the more I thought about what this means in my own life, the more I wanted to share my conclusions with others and inspire them to think about feasible changes that could start right now. All too often we put off happiness because we wait for external forces. How often do you think, “If only I had more money, I could travel more and vacation more with my family.” Or, “I never have time to relax. I would be a happier person if I just had more time in the day to spend focusing on me.” The truth is, we all probably know people with more money or who seem like they have more time or who get to go the places we always dream about. But are those people actually happier?

 

Seeking happiness starts from within, and the best thing to do is to come up with a clear understanding of what actually brings joy to our lives. So, a great first step is to meditate on what truly makes you happy internally. I encourage you to close your eyes for a few moments and try this guided mediation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDAIO74O27s

 

Then, create a list of things that make you happy or a list of goals that you want to achieve. For some it helps to think of this as a bucket list — what would you do if you only had a short amount of time to live? I took a break from writing to meditate and create my own list, and here’s what I came up with:

 

  1. Spend more quality time with family and friends
  2. Get my Book published and help inspire and empower others with my story and coaching Method called KARMA
  3. Invest in my health and wellness (work out more/do Yoga/eat healthier)
  4. Help people on a larger scale (more talks/presentations)
  5. Work with people, groups, causes on the prevention of mental illness and promotion of wellness
  6. Travel to India and Thailand and other countries and learn as much as I can about other cultures
  7. Empower at risk youth with skills and tools that can help them become more successful in our society

 

I think I could probably spend hours coming up with more to add to this list, but I figure this is a good start. What did you come up with? I’d love for you to share what’s on your happiness list in the comments section here on the blog or on Facebook.

 

Then the question becomes, how can we make this list actionable? I suggest reviewing your list and focusing in on one thing that you currently do, but not as often as you like. What would it take for you to do more of that tomorrow? The next week?

 

What if we set a reminder on our phone to remind us to do one thing each day that makes us happy. It can be a very small thing like getting your nails done because you know that will relax you or reading a book with your child (without thinking about your long to-do list or looking at your phone every few minutes…). The point in actually doing what makes you happy is to FULLY be present while doing it. If achieving your happiness goals seems impossible, break a larger goal into smaller, more manageable ones first! Feel free to share your goals and consult with a professional if you need some guidance and support.

 

I will end with one of my favorite quotes:

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” — Abraham Lincoln