Fitness, Mental Health/Wellbeing

Lower Body – May 14th, 2018

I apologize for having disappeared from the blogging world for a few days. Between vacationing in Mexico and going to three day-long trainings for my new job, I had to spend my spare time sleeping and relaxing.

Today, however, is the start of a new week and I came in hot. Got a lot done around the house, workout out, napped, and hung out with my mom; I was in the zone! I definitely realized how bad I had needed rest.

It’s vital to remember to give yourself breaks every now and then. This goes for both mental and physical aspects. Allowing yourself to recharge becomes necessary when you live a modern life that revolves around getting things done and constantly moving.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, so I wanted to base my content accordingly. Psychological health is often not given as much attention as it should get due to negative stigmas and stereotypes found in the media. By employers, teachers, family members, and even those with the disorders themselves, mental health can be ignored or repressed out of fear or denial.

Everyday I make sure to fight this cycle as I acknowledge my emotions and energy levels along with my overall physical health. I’ve stated this so many times before, but that’s because it’s not always known that your mental well being directly influences your physical well being.

Making small efforts to better the two simultaneously through things like exercise, reading, meditation, music, or anything else that makes you genuinely happy is progress towards your overall health.

That being said, if you decide to try out my leg day workout or a routine of your own, make it a goal to implement some mental exercise/care into your day as well.

Circuit One: 2 sets (see below for reps)

  • Dead-lifts w/ 2 (15 lb) Hand Weights — 12 reps
  • Stationary Lunges w/ 2 (15 lb) Hand Weights — 10 reps (each side!)
  • Sumo Squat w (20 lb) Hand Weight — 12 reps
  • Clam Shells w (15 lb) Hand Weight — 10 reps (each side!)

Circuit Two: 2 sets (see below for reps)

  • Side Leg Lifts w/ 2 (5 lb) Ankle Weights — 15 reps (each side!)
  • Super Man Leg Lifts w/ 2 (5 lb) Ankle Weights — 8 reps (each side!)
  • Crunches w/ (4 lb) Medicine Ball — 12 reps
  • Elbow-To-Knee Crunches — 12 reps (total!)
  • Ankle Touch — 20 reps (total!)

For cardio, I did 30 minutes on my cycle. I also made sure to stretch to avoid being super sore tomorrow.

Go at your own pace, change the sets/reps/weights when needed, and just make it your own. Throwing in some stretching and meditation would be a really good way to end this little routine out; speaking from experience ;).

Happy Monday and happy first day of Mental Health Awareness Week. Come back to my page or checkout my Instagram, @ereissen19, for more facts and information about mental health.

 

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Fitness

Tuesday 5/1/2018 – Arms/Back/Chest Day

Happy May! Lately, the majority of my time has been taken up by family and school, but the craziness is sooooo close to being over for a few months! To anyone and everyone out there working, going to school, or pushing yourself in some other way every day: cheers! It takes a lot of determination, self control, and logical thinking.

When I workout directly before something like a final exam, I find that I concentrate better because I got some of my nerves out. It’s like with a baby or puppy, you wear them out so they aren’t too “hyper”.

Anyways, I had my second to last final of my Spring 2018 semester at ASU tonight and squeezed the following workout and 13.5 miles on the cycle in before it. There are other tips I suggest for unwinding before an important event/task which will appear in a later post.

As usual, if you try the workout please leave feedback and do it for you. I felt I needed to push myself a little harder than usual today and was immediately refreshed. Happy sweating and goal crushing!

Circuit One: round 1 (10 lb hand weights & 8 reps each)

  • Close Body Hammer Curl
  • Front Row
  • Elbow Squeeze
  • Shoulder Press

round 2 (8 lb hand weights & 10 reps each)

round 3 (5 lb hand weights & 12 reps each)

Circuit Two: round 1 (10 lb hand weights & 8 reps each)

  • Bent Over Tricep Extension
  • Bent Over Row
  • Bent Over Side Fly
  • Bicep Curl

round 2 (8 lb hand weights & 10 reps each)

round 3 (5 lb hand weights & 12 reps each)

Take this at your own pace, modify it, add to it, whatever you want to do! Just continue on with your journey and I am continuing on mine. It’s both mental and physical, so take care of yourself in every way you can.

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Fitness

Wednesday 4/25/2018 – Upper Body/Ab Day

Hello all! Today was arm/back/chest and ab day, and I am sore. Just like before, I am going to list the workout I did with my reps/sets as examples; go at your own pace. As always, if you feel pain, stop performing the exercise. You can also look online for modified versions of the move, alternatives, or explanations/demonstrations.

If you have any suggestions or feedback, all is welcome and very much appreciated. I am sharing my fitness journey in hopes of inspiring and encouraging others to pursue their own health goals.

One thing we do have influence over is our health, so why not build the best you inside and out. It’s a process, but the rewards of confidence, amazement, and knowing you do your best are way worth it.

Below is my upper body/ab workout. Enjoy!

Circuit One: 12 repetitions 2 sets

  • Side Arm Raise w/ (two 5 lb) Hand Weights
  • Front Row to Shoulder Press w/ (two 5 lb) Hand Weights
  • Bent Over Row w/ (two 5 lb) Hand Weights
  • Bent Over Side Fly w/ (two 5 lb) Hand Weights

Circuit Two: 2 sets (see below for reps)

  • Wide Hammer Curls w/ (two 5 lb) Hand Weights — 12 reps
  • Pull-Ups — 2 reps or until exhaustion
  • Chin-Ups — 2 reps or until exhaustion
  • Windmill — 12 reps (per side!)
  • Standing Weighted Twist — 24 (total!)

Personalize this workout by adjusting reps, weight, or sets or even add something new in! However you choose to burn some calories, make sure you enjoy it and listen to your body.

P.S. Sorry I had no music to share today, I finished the last season of New Girl on Netflix! My next workout post will definitely have some beats, and maybe even some photos!

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Fitness, Mental Health/Wellbeing

Easy To Follow Tips To Make Your Lifestyle A Little Healthier

Fitness isn’t for everybody, I get that. It requires a lot of commitment, patience, and drive. But it doesn’t have to be so hard! There are little things you can do to help ease you into your fitness journey and that’s what I am going to talk about today. These are just some tips I’ve noticed really helped me implement health into my busy life and as always there are a TON of more hacks you can find on Pinterest or other fitness blogs/websites so feel free to explore and only pick things that work for YOU!

1. Carry a water bottle with you EVERYWHERE. This will make it easier to remember to drink water. The recommended amount for water is 2 liters per day, but you don’t have to start out with that if you don’t drink water regularly. Ease yourself into this practice and up your water intake as needed. The more water you drink, you’ll start to feel yourself maintain good energy levels and your skin, organs, and entire body will thank you!

2. Limit, but don’t eliminate junk food. You never want to suddenly change your entire diet. This will just make it easier to quit as you’ll be miserable without some of the foods you love. Of course, don’t just eat whatever you want whenever, but instead PORTION. Moderation is key here and if you’re like me and get overpowered by junk food cravings, portioning out your guilty pleasures ahead of time will help to ensure you’re not overindulging. Your diet doesn’t need to be strictly healthy things and make you miserable, you just need to find a healthy balance. You can still eat what you want, just pay more attention to how much you eat. Moderation, moderation, moderation!

3. Substitute fruit for a healthy, sweet snack. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s easy to curb those cravings with fruit. If you really need an extra kick of sweetness, add some sugar (I always do when I eat strawberries).

4. Start yourself on an easy and doable workout system. There’s no need to jump in and start working out everyday. You’ll end up wearing yourself out way too much and will be more likely to quit. Scheduling a simple program that works with your schedule is very important. All you need to start is a dedicated 3-4 days a week for cardio and 2-3 days of strength/weight training. You can even mash some of these days together and knockout both workouts if you really want to, but remember to also give yourself rest days as your muscles will need time to heal.

5. Don’t stress if you slip up. Even if you consume a large amount of unhealthy food or miss a workout or two, don’t beat yourself up over it. You will face road blocks and failures on your fitness journey, but it shouldn’t discourage you. Of course, you can’t let these slip-ups happen all the time, but every once in a while is reasonable. Instead of punishing yourself for it, push yourself harder. Use your failures as motivations and your journey will continue on the right path.

6. Get cute workout clothes and lay them out ahead of time. If you like your outfit and feel confident in it, you’re more likely to workout and look forward to it. You don’t need to have a set for everyday of the week of course, but having 2-3 outfits of your liking can really help. Then, if you lay out your clothes ahead of time, it’s one less thing to worry about before going to the gym and you may be more likely to go and to feel a little guilty if you don’t since you already had it all planned out and ready.

7. Share your goals and plans with friends. By inviting friends to join you on your fitness journey you are not only bettering yourself, but helping them to do the same while also improving your relationship with them. It’s encouraging to have someone with the same goals and to have someone to lean on when you are faced with setbacks. It’s a win-win for both of you!

8. Take the stairs every time you can. This may sound silly, and I know everyone hates stairs, but choosing to take them rather than the escalator or elevator can add just a little bit of a physical challenge to your everyday life. You’ll feel better knowing you chose the healthier option too!

9. Walk everyday. Even if you only have time for a brisk 10 minute walk, this can hep to get your blood pumping. It’s also easy to incorporate into almost every lifestyle! You can even grab a friend or your pet to accompany you to make it that much more fun. It may not seem like a lot, but over time, walking everyday can really improve your health.

10. Positive affirmations. Now this tip is more for your mental health, but definitely has an impact on your physical health as well. By telling yourself, writing out, or even just reading daily positive affirmations, you can help to improve your confidence and to motivate yourself. Both of these things can help you in your fitness journey as they will make you look forward to your workouts and to focus more on your accomplishments and goals rather than failures. As I’ve said before, it is vital to work on improving both your mental and physical health simultaneously as they go hand in hand.

I hope these tip help or encourage you to start your fitness journey. It doesn’t have to be hard or scary, it just needs to be for you. Everyone is different, so of course your journey and the steps you take will be different and unique as well. Have some other daily practices that help you maintain a healthy lifestyle? Feel free to share!

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Uncategorized

Hobbies That Help Combat My Mental Illness

<Possible Mental Illness Trigger Warning>

When it comes to coping with both anxiety and depression, life can get pretty confusing. My anxiety acts almost as a motivator, ensuring I become prepared for every somewhat possible outcome of every single event that occurs in my life. The depression part of me, however, does the exact opposite and convinces me that laying in bed all day for multiple days at a time, to binge television, excessive sleeping, and loads of eating junk food are more productive than actually getting any work whatsoever accomplished. I’m sure many of you have had a similar battle. I used to allow myself to be dragged this way and that by my anxiety and depression, until I realized one super important thing: they don’t control me, I control them. With this realization came a new attitude. This is where I currently am on my fitness (mental and physical) journey.

As I have come to terms with and turned around my outlook on my mental health, I have picked up quite a bit of tools along the way that help me throughout both my ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days. These things won’t be the same of course for all people who live with these disorders, but the general goal of each can be applied to a multitude of activities, hobbies, and practices. Basically, each individual’s tool-belt will be unique and subjective; base it off of things you like and enjoy, especially the ones that have proven to have some sort of positive impact on your health and happiness.

1.) Taking Care of Plants/Animals

  • Depending on skill level as well as interests, this can be very therapeutic. I have one dog, a cat, and a snake as well as a small windowsill collection of cacti and succulents. Something about having direct responsibility over a life (or lives) other than my own gives me a small purpose and duty to maintain everyday or every couple days in regards to plants. I also love to watch the plants as well as my pets grow. The bonds formed between us humans and these two organisms are good for our own souls. If you ever get into a fit of depression where you feel overwhelmingly alone or unimportant, this small hobby can aid in slowly eradicating that feeling from your life. Without your love and care, your pets (whether they be furry friends or green ones), wouldn’t be here. You have a purpose in this hobby always, and results and companionship to show for it too!

    2.) Journalism Or Keeping A Diary

  • I know this might sound so little-girlish, but I really find writing my thoughts about the day or whatever is bugging  down helps me to get a more solid perspective and view on things that are important or confusing. Plus, since the only person that’s going to see this information is you (unless you choose to share, which is completely fine! Sometimes I share mine with my therapist!), you can literally has out anything and everything you can possibly think of. Journalism doesn’t have to be strictly “Dear Diary…” either. As you can see in my photographs below this bullet point, I have three different workbooks. One is for a new list to make each week for 52 weeks. I already make TONS of lists in my everyday life, so this was a big hit with me. It really gets you thinking about positive things you may forget about during daily stress. The other two smaller books get you to focus on and really reflect on yourself, your life, and the things that surround both. All three of these books were gifts to me by my mother and they are by far some of my favorite things to do. Introspection is very crucial in the process to healing and being you and these books are easy ways for people who dislike free-writing in journals. Another thing I wanted to highlight as a practice I find very beneficial to myself  is tracking your anxiety level (1-10; 1 lowest/10 highest), exercise completion (write workout type and length), mood for the day in one word, and hours of sleep the night before everyday. These things may seem trivial and insignificant, but once I started paying more attention to these areas, I had a better idea on what easy improvements I could make for a happier me! One last journal-related activity I have tried and liked before is keeping a small pocket journal, specifically for anxiety. I carried it around in my purse/backpack everyday, and quickly jotted down any instances throughout the day where I was anxious, why, and how bad on a scale of 1-10 it was. This helps to see things that are a main source of anxiety which can then lead to finding ways to cope, overcome, and control these anxious feelings. I also left some pages designated strictly to “go to phrases” of encouragement and strength, as well as bullet points of things to do in height of an attack, and my main triggers. If you feel you need to get a more zoomed in look at the sources of and ways to better manage your anxiety, try tracking it!

     3.) Exercise/Yoga/Pole/Hiking

  • One of the things I found to be the quickest way to relieve a bout of depression or extreme anxious feelings that just won’t disappear is by getting my blood pumping. We all know, of course, that exercising release endorphins and this creates the feeling of happiness while also acting as a main stress reliever. Being someone who loves being active, I know that even in my lowest of times, just 20 minutes of any kind of workout lifts me up just enough. The exercise doesn’t have to be hard either. It can be anything from a short walk in the warm, afternoon sun to a full on aerobics class at the local gym. This activity should be completely individualized and done at the proper fitness level for you. I have found yoga, indoor cycling, hiking, pole fitness, and weight lifting to be my favorite go-to relievers. Yoga is awesome for flexibility, relaxation, strength, and can even be wrapped in with meditation. I find strength training/weight lifting useful for releasing more negative emotions and gaining confidence. Hiking makes you feel at one with nature, allowing yourself to take a small break; you also burn calories, get in the sun, and get your heart rate up! Indoor cycling is a favorite of mine because it is at my disposal, as I have a very reliable bike I bought for cheap at a yard sale; I mainly use it to get that small burn on my lazier days… something is more than nothing at all! Lastly, I didn’t stumble upon the absolute greatness of pole fitness/dancing until the summer of last year (2017), but all I can say is I’m SO  thankful I did. Not only does this hobby increase self esteem and confidence (which I have struggled/still struggle very badly with), but you get to build up crazy strength and skill too! In some later posts I’ll share some of my favorite channels/accounts for these different types of exercise practices so you could explore them as you wish. As I said before, you need to start at YOUR own fitness level, no what others are doing. There’s no need to hurt yourself as that will only further set you back from your goals! Slow and steady wins the race, for sure.

    4.) Routine Self Care and Beauty

  • One of the last things I put on my priority list every week is to keep up with necessary self care. No, this doesn’t mean I paint my nails and shave my legs all the time. What I mean when I say take care of myself, I mean: keeping nails clean and smooth, keeping eyebrows in nice shape and controlled, making sure hair stays soft with routine hair masks and the use of oil for dry/frizzy ends, weekly face masks and daily acne scrubs as well as the use of rejuvenating face lotion, flossing/rinsing once a day and brushing twice a day, and anything else you feel you need to keep up with to stay up to date on your hygiene. This area is really based on personal preference. Not everyone’s skin is in need of as much care as others; same goes for nails, hair, etc. I do what I need to do to feel good and comfortable in my own skin. It has been proven that when you take good care of your physical appearance (not over the type, just basic care), the psychological part of you can improve as well as long as you have an open mind set. Self care is beauty; beauty is not pain! P.S. Self care also comes in the form of taking time for yourself to relax, reflect, and re-energize!blog26* What ways do you find useful in managing your illness? Leave in comments below or feel free to email me directly! Share this post with friends! Thank you for your time!