editors note: We’re excited to have Kristin here to share with us today- she’s both Jen and Jena’s personal trainer! We do workouts with her at parks around the neighborhood every week and it’s SO MUCH FUN! She made us both fall in love with exercise again. Portlanders- come join us in gettin’ fit! And now I’ll let smart Kristin take it away…
Hi everyone! I’m stoked that Jen and Jena asked me to share some self-care tips with you.
I gather that a lot of you are crafty, creative superstars and fellow small business owners. I’m right there with you. (Well, truthfully I should take more time to nurture my arts and crafts side, kind of like you may wish you took more time for your health and fitness goals.) Either way, we all can get so focused on our work that we lose sight of the thing that’s most critical to our successes. I’m talking about our health!
Like Jen, Jena and Susan said last week, you wear a lot of hats, so neglecting your health or at least not taking some well-deserved “me time” is not… well, healthy. So, here are a few of my favorite suggestions that I share with clients or anyone else who will listen to me.
Exercise is not just about getting the numbers to move on the scale. Physical activity triggers happy chemicals in your brain so you are more creative, less stressed and just plain happier. Sounds good to me!
To squeeze in short bursts of energy-upping exercise, try these activities: Jump rope, do jumping jacks, burpees or step aerobics on the coffee table, or skip around the block. Looking for something less intense? Try dancing—a personal favorite—or power walking. The aim is to get your heart rate up and those creative juices flowing!
De-stress. . .
Movement is a good thing and most of us need more, but I’m also big on chillin’. When I’m stressed or just stuck in line at the grocery store, I take belly breathing breaks. I just blogged about this. Basically, we have forgotten how to breathe. No, seriously! We are a society of anxious breath-holders. So much so that some experts are calling it “wakeful apnea.” So try this: Lie on your back, place one hand on your lower belly and the other on your rib cage. Take a breath in, expanding your belly. Avoid expanding your ribcage while your fill the belly. Exhale… repeat… relax. It’s pretty amazing.
Reduce aches and pains.
I was hit by a car while riding my bike last year, so I’ve tried to become the mistress of pain relief tricks. I don’t have a lot of tub time, but a foot soak really helps me. Grab a dish pan, dissolve a ½ cup of Epsom salts (or sea salts) in comfortably hot water and soak your tootsies. You can add some lavender, rosemary sprigs or a drop of your favorite essential oil. Bliss, baby!
I’m also a big fan of DIY massage on a foam roller. You can make your own foam roller or just dig out your rolling pin and roll it over your tight muscles. Firm pressure is good, but don’t over do it. It takes time to get those knots out, so go easy. Regular “treatments” can really help loosen tight muscle and fascia adhesions.
Oh, and this is one of my favorite stretches using a yoga ball. This stretch targets the front and back lines of the body. Check it out—I shot some pix to go with it!
You probably already know that yoga balls can make great chairs, but be sure the ball is big enough that your hips are higher than your knees when sitting. I like to bounce and twist while crafting so I avoid stiff, static sitting, plus bouncing is good for lymphatic system.
I have a very sporadic series of workshops and tutorials on my blog called Craft a New Body. I share crafty ideas that lend themselves to health/fitness toys. (Think DIY decorated hula hoops, crochet rag-rug gliding discs.) I figure if we create something cool, we’ll want to show it off and use it. Am I right?
So all you crafty peeps, what can you create and use to get healthy? You could make your own beaded jump rope, a sketch pad and carrying purse for walks and inspiration, bike tire yoga mat. . . . I’d love to hear more ideas, so drop a comment below and, most of all, have fun!
I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. Thanks for letting me be a part of the Maven Circle, everyone!
Peace and health,
Kristin Jackson is an ACE-certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer and the owner of Take It Outside Fitness. Her mission is to help people live healthier and happier lives through movement and creativity. Her latest joys come from teaching her new S.A.N.E. (Senior and New Exercise) fitness classes and leading the South Tabor Neighborhood walks.