morning exercise

When is the best time of day to exercise?

As we find ourselves nearing the end of February, many of us might be looking back on those New Year’s Resolutions and reconsidering. You might be wondering, is it really realistic to squeeze in a workout every day? After all, we’re busy women! Some days it might just be impossible between juggling work and family responsibilities. However, all you really need is 11 minutes a day to receive a boost in health benefits from exercise. But when is the best time to exercise? Is it better to exercise in the morning? What about night workouts? 

It really all depends on you. There are benefits for both morning exercise and night workouts, but the key to choosing any workout is: consistency. 

If you’re a morning person, or find yourself with lots of free time in the early hours of the day, then a morning exercise routine would probably suit you best. However, if you’re a night owl, you may benefit from night exercises. Or maybe you’re only free in the afternoons. 

That being said, morning workouts, afternoon workouts, and night workouts all have their advantages and disadvantages as proven by decades of scientific research, so let’s breakdown the pros and cons of each. 

morning workout, best time to exercise

Rise and shine with a morning workout. (Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash)

Benefits of morning workouts 

Help you establish a fitness routine: People who exercise in the morning are often more consistent simply because morning workouts leave less room for excuses. If you workout first thing in the morning, you can’t skip it in the evening because duties piled up. 

May improve your sleep cycle: Waking up early might be difficult at first, but research suggests that a morning exercise habit can shift your circadian rhythm, making your body naturally more alert in the morning and more tired in the evening, so you fall asleep earlier and can exercise in the morning again. Morning exercise also seems to boost deep sleep more than evening exercise, according to some research

Might burn more fat: Exercising on an empty stomach — in the “fasted state” — has been proven to burn more fat than exercising after a meal. This happens because your body utilizes fat stores that already exist to fuel exercise, rather than use the food you just ate as fuel.

Can make you more productive: Research has found that exercising in the morning has a beneficial effect on energy levels, alertness, focus and decision-making, resulting in a more productive workday.

May boost your mood throughout the day: Morning workouts are a great way to start each day on a high note — the endorphins or “happy chemicals” your body produces in response to exercise can keep your mood elevated long past your hour-long workout. 

Drawbacks of morning workouts 

Running on low fuel: If you didn’t eat enough the evening before, you might find yourself battling serious hunger mid-workout. If you wake up hungry most days, try eating a larger dinner or a small, protein-dense snack before bed. You can also eat a small, carb-heavy snack before your morning workout, such as a banana, to help avoid hunger and hunger-related fatigue. 

Physical performance isn’t at its peak: Most of us don’t roll out of bed feeling ready to do an exercise routine. You might experience stiffness in your joints and temporary inflexibility. You should loosen up as you warm up, but studies actually show that certain strength markers, including peak power, are higher in the evening.

It takes longer to warm up: Speaking of warm-ups, there’s a key reason you might not feel as strong or powerful during morning workouts: Your core body temperature is lower. This makes warming up crucial for morning workouts — jumping into a workout, rather than slowly easing in, can result in injury. This is true all of the time, but especially when your body is cooler. 

Benefits of afternoon and night workouts 

night workout

Photo by Zac Ong on Unsplash

Improved physical performance: Research shows that most people function better physically later in the day. Muscle strength, flexibility, power output and endurance are all better in the evening than they are in the morning. Plus, people who exercise in the evening take up to 20% longer to reach the point of exhaustion.

Your body gets warmer as the day goes on: Since your core temperature is warmer later in the day, many people can get into the groove faster for afternoon and evening workouts. You should still warm up though!

Late-day exercise can relieve stress: Exercise is a great way to relieve daily stress, but working out at night can really help you blow off some steam. The surge of endorphins you get during and after exercise can help you wind down before bed after a long day.  

Might help replace bad habits: If you have some evening or nighttime habits you want to replace — like snacking, drinking, smoking or binge watching TV shows — exercise can be a good replacement. Once you get into the practice of exercising at night, you might find yourself surprised that you don’t even miss your old habits. 

Drawbacks of afternoon and night workouts 

Might interfere with sleep: It’s a myth that night exercises are detrimental to one’s sleep. In fact, scientists have found that exercising at night may have no effects on sleep at all, and some may even get a better night’s sleep. However, some people might experience jitters if they work out too close to bedtime, though this usually only applies to high intensity workouts like CrossFit or HIIT.  

May cause problems with consistency: For many, exercising at night does not work, simply because people are too tired after a long day. Afternoon and evening workouts might interfere with daily responsibilities, especially if things tend to pile up during the day. If that sounds like you, try shifting your daily routine to fit in a short morning workout. 

Ultimately, the right time to exercise is not about how many calories you burn or how much weight you lift — it’s more about how you feel while exercising and how exercise fits into your own personal daily schedule. The key to finding the best time to exercise, is to find a time you can consistently stick to. Consistency is key. So, don’t go throwing your New Year’s Resolutions out the window just yet. You got this!  

working out from home

Reach your New Year fitness goals with just 11 minutes of exercise a day

Every year we all make the same New Year’s resolutions. This year will definitely be the year you say, as you head back to the gym for the first time in months. However, this year, the gyms are closed, throwing yet another frustrating road block against our New Year fitness goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic has kept us all inside and sedentary for much longer than any of us would like, raising some concerns about the long term health effects of sedentary lifestyles.

We already know sitting at a desk for hours a day isn’t good for us, but it often seems impossible to squeeze in a daily workout, especially when for years we have been told to live by the “1 hour of exercise” rule. Some days, one full hour just isn’t possible. Luckily, a new study has found that we can still reap health benefits by exercising for just 11 minutes a day. Maybe we won’t have to scrap our fitness goals just yet.  

Benefits of just 11 minutes of exercise a day

In the study conducted by the Norwegian School of Sports Medicine, researchers found that just 11 minutes of moderate exercise per day can give you long-term health benefits, offset the effects of prolonged sitting, and add years to your life. 

The study sampled 44,000 men and women for a period between four and 14 and a half years, using activity monitors to measure “moderate-to-vigorous” physical activity. Researchers used these calculations and compared them to participant’s time while sedentary. Through their data they found that overall, people who exercised for 35 minutes a day saw the biggest results in terms of health, but the study also showed that those who exercised at least 11 minutes a day also saw benefits. 

Reaching your New Year fitness goals doesn’t seem so daunting when it’s just 11 minutes, right? But 11 minutes is much less than the “1 hour” previous studies have reported, so what’s changed? Well, nothing, except how researchers approached collecting their data. Previous studies relied on “self-reported exposure data,” meaning exercise times were based on people’s recollections of physical activity, rather than hard data. Human memory is flawed, as we all know, and many people are prone to either overestimate their exercise time and intensity, or underestimate the amount of time spent sedentary. 

You might be interested: Wheatgrass: How you can boost your health while working from home

Reaching your fitness goals: Exercises to try at home

So what can you do to reach your 11 minute exercise quota and stick to your New Year fitness goals? 

There are tons of options. Here are our top 5: 

office exercises

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Yoga: Practicing yoga is a great way to get your body moving while also relieving stress and fostering your mind-body connection. If you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, just unroll your mat, set a timer for 11 minutes and go through any number of combinations of your favorite yoga poses. If you’re new to yoga there are also many resources online. Just open up YouTube and search for some beginner yoga videos to get yourself started. 

Full body workout: When selecting your exercises, try to pick a sequence of movements that will engage your body in a workout of moderate effort. Mix in cardio and weights to reap the most benefits. There are plenty of great short workout routines to follow online, many of which require no equipment either. This 10 minute standing abs workout is one of my go-tos. 

Dancing: Who doesn’t love to dance? This one is pretty easy and requires no equipment. Just pop on some of your favorite upbeat tunes and get moving! Dance like no one’s watching. You only need about 3 – 4 songs to reach your 11 minute mark, but you’ll likely want to keep going once you get into it. 

A brisk walk: Many of us underestimate the power of a good walk. While winter months may make it more of a challenge or daunting task, a short brisk walk every day will do wonders for your health. Additionally, just spending time in nature while you move will also help improve your mental health. However, if you really can’t get outside for a walk, then try this indoor walking routine.

Bike riding: Lastly, like walking, bike riding often gets looked over. But again, the benefits of a quick bike ride are so worth it. Just take a spin around the block. You can even go on a social distance bike ride with friends or family. And being out in nature will boost your mood too.

wheatgrass

Wheatgrass: How you can boost your health while working from home

Superfoods are nutrient-dense foods that provide you with a ton of health benefits in a single serving. Famous superfoods include kale and, of course, the acai berry. But did you know that a superfood exists that you can grow and harvest right in your home? Enter wheatgrass.

wheatgrass

Photo credit Pixabay.com

The year 2020 has opened new doors for working culture, and many working adults have had to learn how to adjust to the new normal. Working from home, once seen as a rare privilege, has now become the standard procedure for many businesses. While it does have its benefits— no more commute is one, and reduced chances of getting sick is another— there are still a few challenges that require a bit of creative thinking.

Getting and staying fit is one of those challenges. Heading to the gym right after work no longer possible? Our article on ’10 Easy Office Exercises’ has got you covered. Need to improve your diet but lack the time and motivation? Try doing some research on superfoods.

What is wheatgrass?

 Wheatgrass is the name for the young grass of the common wheat plant Triticum aestivum. Usually harvested when it’s around 4-6 inches in height, wheatgrass is packed with a ton of health benefits that would surprise even the most discerning health buff. Maintaining your own wheatgrass supply is as easy as filling a planter box with seeds, and it grows quickly enough that you’ll have a constant supply throughout the year.

What does wheatgrass do?

working from home, wheatgrass

Photo credit Andrew Neel – Unsplash.com

But why choose wheatgrass? It turns out that there are a lot of good reasons for integrating wheatgrass into your diet. Greatist reports that wheatgrass has no less than 10 essential nutrients, maybe even more. These nutrients include iron, vitamins A, C and E, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and amino acids.

Wheatgrass can help improve your immune system and reduce your chances for getting sick. It can also help ease digestive issues, fight infection, help wounds heal faster, balance blood sugar levels, and promote healthy cholesterol. With so many benefits packed into such a small package, it’s no wonder that this unassuming plant has exploded in popularity in recent years.

How can you use wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass is generally versatile, and can be integrated into a variety of foodstuffs. Harvested fresh, it can be dried and crushed into powder, or eaten raw as a topping or as part of a salad. According to Mayo Clinic, it’s popularly consumed as a smoothie, although people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities may want to check in with their doctors before consuming.

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If you don’t have the space or time to grow your own wheatgrass plant, there are tons of supplement options available on the market. For example, the wheatgrass supplement by Brightcore is certified organic and GMO-free, and can be consumed either in powder or capsule form for maximum convenience.

Not sure how to integrate wheatgrass into your daily diet? Choc & Juice lists 7 easy recipes for consuming wheatgrass, including as a latte or even as ice cream. Wheatgrass is easy to grow, easy to harvest, easy to procure, and easy to integrate into your daily diet. And if you’re working from home, it’s one of the best ways to boost your overall health without having to buy expensive organic produce, so you can be as fit and productive as possible.

working remotely, business financing

Is working remotely a pain? Tips to be more comfortable and productive

If you’re new to working remotely and could use some guidance on how to be more comfortable with it, here are some tips to help you be less stressed and more productive. It may be easier than you think to master the art of working remotely!

working remotely

Please don’t work like this! (Photo credit: Courtesy Creative Writing)

Having have been a “remote worker” for seven years, I have mastered the art of working from home, and it’s how I prefer to work. But working remotely does require certain adjustments, to help you avoid becoming stressed out. Since many people have suddenly been forced to work from home, due to the need for social distancing during the Coronavirus health crisis, I’m sharing some important tips that can help you be as productive and comfortable as possible.

working remotelyToday’s focus: Don’t let working remotely become a pain in the neck…and back…and wrists. Your desk setup is key to being pain-free. Here’s how to do it.

1. First and foremost, do not sit on the couch or curled up on a bed working on your laptop computer — while that sounds comfy, you’ll wind up in knots.

2. Accessorize your laptop:

    • Use a mouse — not the laptop’s trackpad. It’s not only better for your wrists, hands and arms. It also helps you get work done much more quickly and efficiently by making it easier to do functions like select, copy, paste and scroll, and to access shortcuts that are available by right-clicking.
    • Use a real keyboard — either the kind that plugs into a USB port (if your laptop has one), or a wireless one. Position it as ergonomically as possible, to avoid tensing up your shoulders and straining your wrists. Your shoulders, wrists and elbows should all form one 90-degree angle, with your wrists kept loose and hands in a straight position (not bent up or down). Depending on your height, this may require your keyboard to be below your desktop. If so and you don’t have an under-desk keyboard tray, try having the keyboard on your lap, elevated a by a firm pillow.
    • Raise your laptop so it’s at eye level, directly in front of you, to avoid neck strain. A stack of books can do the trick, or use a laptop stand that can provide some additional space for storage.
    • Have batteries on hand (and nearby) if you use a wireless mouse and/or keyboard. You don’t want to wind up suddenly out of commission when you’re on deadline or on a conference call!

3. It’s imperative to have a comfortable chair, and maintain good posture. If need be, add a pillow to support your back, and/or a cushion so you don’t get achy from sitting against a hard surface. Your feet should rest flat on the ground. If you’re on the shorter side (like me) and they don’t, add a footrest.

    • If you’ll be working remotely long-term, it’s wise to invest in an ergonomic chair that’s suited to your size and the way you work. Do some research online and look for features that match your needs — including adjustability, maximum user weight, seat height, seat depth, lumbar support, and back tilt. You’ll find free ergonomic calculators that can help you with this. If you can, wait until stores reopen and be like Goldilocks: Go test a variety of chairs in-person and choose one that’s “just right.” If you can’t wait, be sure to buy from a company that has a generous return policy.

working remotely

4. Go hands-free with your phone. Use speakerphone, a Bluetooth earpiece, or cell phone earbuds. This will enable you to take notes or continue using your computer, while sparing you from the special kind of pain that comes from holding your phone with your shoulder.

5. Don’t just sit there! Get up and move around for at least a few minutes every hour — walk, stretch, breathe deeply, refill your water glass. Setting a daily “steps goal” and sticking to it can be a good motivator. Taking these little breaks will help you loosen up, and also clear your head so you can be more creative and think more effectively. Set a timer, or set your fitness tracker to vibrate with reminders to move. While it may sound silly to set reminders, it’s easy to get “in the zone” and lose track of time when you’re working.

    • When you’re the phone, walk around if you can (or at least stand up). Studies show that movement is associated with higher creativity, and standing makes your voice stronger and clearer by allowing you to breathe more deeply and naturally. Walking around can also help you focus on the conversation and resist the urge to engage in counterproductive multitasking.

If you (or your employer) need to buy any new equipment, I encourage you to shop locally and patronize small businesses, if possible. Your local merchants will really appreciate it, especially as the necessity of social distancing has hurt many of them financially. See if you can order from them online or by phone. At this writing, many will offer delivery or curbside pickup.

What are your desk setup questions, or tips for working remotely? Please share!

Wishing you good health and a positive, successful experience working from home.

You might be interested: 5 Remote recruitment tips proven to actually work

healthier choices latino family-owned business

4 Tips to health proof your work day with healthier choices

Healthier choices help us stay on track on those hectic work days that can cause us all to let our nutrition fall to the back-burner.

healthier choices latino family-owned business

A wide variety of snacks, mostly candy, on display at a bodega in Park Slope, Brooklyn. (Photo credit Jeffrey O. Gustafson at the English language Wikipedia)

Your boss is demanding, your client is driving you nuts, you are behind your deadline… We all have those days when you look at the time and realize you cannot remember the last meal you ate. Or you find yourself grabbing anything in sight (probably sugary, processed foods) to ward off your hunger. Doing this all the time can place your health at serious risk. It can also impact how you perform.

Incorporating these simple tips and tricks can help you “health proof” your work day.

1.Your first line of defense

Fuel yourself with a healthy breakfast that includes at minimum:

  • A complex carb with fiber to keep you full longer such as oats and multigrain options
  • A lean protein like eggs, cottage cheese, or turkey bacon to feed all of your muscles (including your brain)

A big bonus is adding a dark leafy vegetable such as spinach, kale, or asparagus because they provide a boost of vitamins and minerals. Or choose a vegetable higher in water content like peppers and cucumbers to fill you up. One easy way to sneak in fruits and veggies into your breakfast is to make yourself a smoothie. Anything you can prep the night before will save you time in the morning!

2. Join the “Pack Your Lunch” club

Aim to bring your lunch at least 3 times a week so you can ensure you are making healthier choices and also saving money!

healthier choices

Photo credit: National Institutes of Health, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

3. Build your own vending machine

Stock those drawers with whole grain crackers and cereal, plain popcorn and small portions of unsalted nuts. If you have a fridge at work, fill it with healthier choices of nutritious snacks such as fruit, raw vegetables, lower fat cheese and yogurt, and hummus.

Stay hydrated!!! Often times we think we are hungry when instead our bodies are dehydrated. Keep a water bottle with you at all times. Even setting a timer is a great way to remind you to guzzle! You want to aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces.

You might be interested: How to tackle stress in the workplace with effective strategies

4. Bonus tips for healthier choices

Don’t work while you eat…this can set you up to eat more than your body needs…put your work to the side for 15 to 20 minutes…

If you absolutely MUST grab something on the go or are eating out do your best to find healthier choices that are higher in fiber, lower in sugar and includes a complex carbohydrate, a lean protein, and a vegetable so you are eating a more balanced meal. If salads are your go-to make sure to ask for the dressing on the side.

Practice these tips consistently and you will reap the benefits long-term! If you need Nutrition and Fitness advice, or have a question, feel free to contact me on the form below!

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brain fog

Brain fog can be alerting you about these medical conditions

Brain fog is not a medical condition but it can alert you from other medical conditions associated with inflammation, fatigue, or changes in blood glucose level that cause mental fatigue.

Often times throughout your day it might be challenging to maintain your focus. Perhaps your mind is wandering or drained of its energy. You might experience what many call “brain fog.”

brain fog

Brain fog or “mental fatigue” can creep up in the following ways:

  • memory problems
  • lack of mental clarity
  • poor concentration

Being at work for long hours daily can definitely hinder your focus. Especially when we find ourselves sitting for long periods of time.

Here are three simple ways to lift the fog:

Get moving

brain fog

Brain Fog (Credit https://draxe.com/brain-fog/)

Simple aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up immediately leads to improved focus and concentration.  No gym required! A quick walk up and down the stairs or even walking outside for a few blocks has also been shown to improve problem solving, attention and memory.

Now what if you simply cannot leave your desk or your office? You can perform simple stretches that will also increase blood flow to your brain and help release any tension built up over the course of your work day.

Eat protein

Today’s Standard American Diet (SAD) is typically high in simple carbohydrates and low in protein. Protein contains very important amino acids essential for the production of key neurotransmitters that regulate brain function.

Women especially tend to be undernourished when it comes to protein. If you’re not getting enough protein throughout the day consider supplementing your diet. You can also pack a protein rich snack, like hard boiled eggs, jerky, dried fruit with nuts, or Greek yogurt.

Drink water!

Dehydration can wreak havoc on our bodies, especially our brains which are made up of 75% water! So drink up! You should aim to drink at minimum half of your body weight in oz, but for maximum benefits drink 8 extra oz.

If following these two simple steps does not help consider consult with your doctor. Determine if there is an underlying medical condition you might not be aware of.

Medical conditions associated with inflammation, fatigue, or changes in blood glucose level can cause mental fatigue. Individuals who have fibromyalgia may experience similar fogginess on a daily basis and other conditions that may cause brain fog include anemia, depression, diabetes, migraines, hypothryroidism, and lupus.

 

cravings

Holiday parties: Control workplace cravings with these simple tips

Cravings!!! We are rapidly approaching the Holidays and that involves a lot of parties: workplace Holiday parties, end of year celebrations, galas and the like. Control your desire to eat junk food during these celebrations with these simple tips.

cravings

(Photo credits: by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash)

We all get them…CRAVINGS…that intense desire to have something sweet…or something salty…or maybe you want BOTH! The desire can be so great that you find yourself lacking control and not feeling satisfied till you give in.
These uncontrolled desires can be especially difficult to conquer in the workplace where we likely spend most of our time…you experience that mid-afternoon crash…the one that calls for a nice nap or grabbing something to boost your energy levels and your focus…

During the Holidays, breakfast and lunch can be especially tempting… Homemade cookies, Christmas doughnuts, cold cut platters or salty snacks…  So before we dive into how to control these cravings let’s first address why we get these cravings….

Where do cravings come from?

cravings

(Photo credit by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash)

There are several theories about where cravings come from. The main causes fall into three buckets:
1) Emotions may be involved in producing a food craving, especially if a person eats for comfort.
2) An imbalance of hormones, such as leptin and serotonin, can also cause food cravings. It is also possible that food cravings are due to endorphins that are released into the body after someone has eaten.
3) Lack of nutrients in our body can cause these yearnings. For example if you crave salty foods like pretzels or potato chips you might have a mineral deficiency or are lacking healthier fats, like Omega 3s, in your diet.

Curb them, size them, control them!

There are plenty of ways to curb these cravings, even in the workplace! Once you implement these strategies CONSISTENTLY, they should minimize and put you back in control so you can perform your best!

  • Reducing stress levels
  • Increasing water intake
  • Getting adequate restorative sleep
  • Eating enough protein
  • Packing healthy snacks you can munch on or even chewing gum
  • Eating enough healthy calories instead of starving yourself
  • Portion control so you are not necessarily depriving yourself but controlling how much you consume to avoid overeating

You might be interested: How to fuel your brain and triple your productivity at work

Healthier alternatives for top food cravings

cravings

(Photo credit by Vitchakorn Koonyosying on Unsplash)

Replace potato chips with a salty snack that is higher in healthy fats and protein, such as cashews and walnuts. But beware…nuts are high in calories, so eat them in moderation. Popcorn is also a great alternative!

My chocoholics…. opt for dark, milk-free chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. The intensity of dark chocolate makes it easier to feel satisfied with less. Or try carob or cacao nibs!!!

Satisfy sugar cravings with whole fruits. And having dried fruits on hand is a huge help for cravings on the go!

Sparkling water with a squeeze of fruit juice or a slice of fruit provides a similar feeling to soda but with way fewer calories and no caffeine!

Swap that cheese for nutritional yeast which has a savory, cheesy flavor and fewer calories than cheese. Did you know it is also rich in B-complex vitamins and folic acid, and is often fortified with vitamin B12?

Knowing where cravings come from and having strategies and healthier alternatives to choose from can help you say goodbye to those cravings!!!

empathy in the workplace heart disease

Heart disease among Latinas reversing the trend

Latinas have a higher risk of developing heart disease and it is the leading cause of death among this population. However, few Hispanic women know about this killer disease. Here are some easy steps you can take to prevent heart disease happen to you and your family.

empathy in the workplace heart disease

While heart disease doesn’t discriminate, it does have a “racial preference” where Hispanic and Latina women are concerned. And statistics are proof. According to Go Red for Women:

  • On average, Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than non-Hispanics.
  • Only 1 in 3 Hispanic women are aware that heart disease is their No. 1 killer.

As a Latina I had to find out why and share how we can educate ourselves, reverse the trend and become preventive in our health instead of reactive.

But first let’s dig deeper into the why….

Heart disease is a “familia” affair

Family history most certainly plays a huge factor. But another overlooked cause is that many Latinas are predominantly the primary caretaker for their family and often neglect their own health…sound familiar? And often being the caretaker largely involves cooking for your family because it truly is a genuine act of love that can involve unhealthy pork products, loads of unhealthy carbohydrates and lard.

The assimilation to American traditions has also increased contributing to the quality of our diets deteriorating. Health concerns or problems are faced alone because you would not even think about burdening your family. And lastly, we are not educated enough about heart disease and how to prevent it.

Latina leadership

So what can we do about it?

First and foremost, we must commit to taking care of ourselves first! As I often tell my clients, “you cannot pour from an empty cup.” This requires you to make your health a priority in your life.

So now that you have made the commitment you might be asking yourself, “How do I start?” Here are some easy ways to start investing in your health.

  1. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of heart disease… knowledge is power.
  2. Take note of what you are cooking and how. Take a journal and track it for just 7 days. Our nutrition should be viewed as “fuel” for our bodies. If you fuel your body poorly, your body will function poorly.
  3. Learn how to find healthy swaps of your favorite ingredients so that you can still enjoy your treasured recipes but with a healthier twist! My free community on Facebook, DECIDE COMMIT SUCCEED, offers many alternatives and ways to bump up the health factor in your cooking.
  4. Incorporate daily physical activity…Just 20 minutes a day can help strengthen your cardiovascular system.
  5. Pay attention to saturated fat. Not all fat is bad, but anything with high levels of saturated fat should be avoided.
  6. Make it a lifestyle and not a quick fix…daily consistent habits turn into routine and routine becomes a way of living!

You might be interested: How to fuel your brain and triple your productivity at work

It is possible to create a heart healthy lifestyle that honors and celebrates our strong ties to cultural and family traditions. Start today!

 

family and career Balance in relationships, unhappy couple

7 Steps to master family and career balance

Striking family and career balance -between caring for family and your home while having a career too- is something all women struggle with.

Balance in relationships, unhappy couple

Growing up in a Puerto Rican household it was no secret that family ALWAYS came first. I watched my mom dedicate her entire life to raising my twin brother and I and caring for her 13 plus brothers and sisters! It wasn’t until I was in high school that she started a part-time job. You could see how proud she was to contribute to our household while also still taking care of all the cooking, cleaning and keeping up with our activities and school obligations.

Honestly, now that I am a mom and running my own business, I do not know how she did it! Within the Latino culture the mindset surrounding your family obligations runs very deep and spans many generations. Many Latinas are caring for their grandparents and siblings in addition to their own family.

brain power

Erica Pagano is the Founder and CEO of Total Fitness Evolution

So how can you balance caring for your family and your career? Here are some tips I have discovered to help me create my own balance. It is important to find what works for you and trust me every day is a work in progress!

1) Create a weekly game plan and prioritize it daily…This has been a game changer for me because the reality is that your TO DO list can be never ending..it can feel like you are not getting much done when that list keeps growing. Set 3 “must get done” tasks daily and reevaluate at the end of the week your progress.

2) Learn to say “no.” This was a big one for me. I am a people pleaser and always wanting to help! But we must learn to minimize activities that zap too much of our time and energy and are not really helping us achieve our goals.

family and career balance

3) Check email, messages, social media at designated times if possible. Being plugged in all the time can be a time zapper and takes away from getting other things done. Unless it is a dire emergency or a project that requires being on call all the time, those messages will still be there!

4) Work smarter, not harder…if you have a job filled with a million little tasks break them into chunks, set a timer and complete as many of the tasks as you can within that time.

5) Schedule time for fun and exercise. It is so easy to get into a routine of just work, work, work, or one family obligation after another. We all need to have fun and we need to take care of our bodies. Doing so positively impacts our mind so we overall are happier!

6) Prioritize sleep! This is a tough one…we all are guilty of staying up late either working, binging on NetFlix or cleaning the house! Do your best to get 7-8 hours of sleep. This will keep you healthier in so many ways including muscle recovery and repair, strengthening your immune system and sharpening your focus and attention the next day.

7) Get your family involved in household chores and tasks. Your family is your team and we can tackle more together! On Sundays my family and I work on meal prep. It helps us all stay on track during the week with less stress and meals are pulled together quickly!

You might be interested: Meej Chaparro-Traverso successful workplace relationships depend on a balanced life