08-27-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Last week I mentioned how September is almost here. Well this week it is in the 90s…serves me right for getting too excited for fall to get here.

I’m going to try getting to the beach one more time for Labor Day Weekend – but we’ll see!

Here is today’s featured link:

This looks so delicious! I love cheese and avocados so this is perfect. I’ve made similar sandwiches where I layer turkey, cheese and avocados…yum. Might have to re-create this for lunch this week :)

Are you going anywhere for Labor Day Weekend? What are your plans?

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08-21-2014

Desk Posture Tips

Do you sit all day? Did you know that sitting all day at work can be as deadly as smoking?? While most of you are probably physically fit, I’ve read that even a 1 hour session at the gym after work doesn’t negate the 8 hours of sitting…which seems obvious.

So what do you do about it? Try to get up and take a 5 minute walk every hour. Think about it…that will be 40 minutes of walking in your work day. That’s a good start.

But this post won’t be about how to sit less. I’m going to talk about how to sit BETTER while you’re at work. Because posture plays a huge role in fitness as well. Having bad posture can lead to injuries and affect how efficient you are while exercising.

I have horrible posture – I’ll admit it. Which is why I wanted to write about this. I wanted to do the research and see how I can help myself be better at this.

Have you heard of upper crossed syndrome? Here’s a quick picture:

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Source

Upper crossed syndrome is a muscular imbalance in your upper body, usually from sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time. I have noticed that I have “forward head syndrome” which scares me because my neck bones have now been molded that way it seems!

Here’s what to look for with upper crossed syndrome:

  • Forward head posture – Picture the little old lady crossing the street who can’t see where she’s going because her head is jutting forward of her shoulders so she can only look to the ground in front of her and not up or ahead.

  • Increased cervical lordosis and thoracic kyphosis – The hunchback. Think about how your shoulders must compensate in the overhead position if you have a even the beginnings of a hunchback.

  • Elevated and protracted shoulders – This is when your pecs are so tight and your sub-scapular muscles (the ones between and below your shoulder blades) are too weak to hold your shoulders back so they round forward instead.

  • Rotation or abduction and winging of the scapula – Abduction means the (scapula) bone is moving away from the body which gives it a ‘wing’ looking effect when looking at it from the side or rear views. If someone can slide their fingers under your shoulder blade and grab on to it, your scapulae are winging.

A weak upperbody leads to shoulder tightness and weakness. I’ve seen it in clients before…where doing overhead presses is so hard for them because of their shoulder tightness. 

So how do we avoid all of these postural imbalances?

POSTURE TIPS

I did some Google research and found a few tips to help us all with our posture while at computers. Here’s what I found:

And I found this great infographic from Women’s Health:

posture-tips

Everyday I have to remind myself to do these things, whether it’s at my computer or just driving home in my car. I’m such a sloucher. But I don’t want to have permanent forward head syndrome (or as my sister calls it, “turtle back”) when I’m older.

Do you have good posture? What tips would you add?

If you’re a dancer or gymnast I’m jealous because you all have awesome posture!

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08-20-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Can you believe August is over already? (Cue song August Is Over). I’m so ready for fall though. Surprisingly it’s been an okay summer temperature wise, but I just love the crisp fall weather. Plus, it’s perfect running weather.

Speaking of running, here is today’s featured link:

Featured: 6 Ways To Learn To Pace Yourself (Run To The Finish)

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These are great tips, especially if you have problems pacing myself (I still do sometimes). I like her tip about running with music so you’re more in tune with your breathing and effort…though I hate running without music for this very reason! :)

  • College Apartment Kitchen Shopping List (Lean Clean Brie) – Whether you’re in college or not this list will help you. I just moved into a new apartment, so I’ll be taking this on my first grocery shopping trip.
  • How To Work Out For Free (Nolie’s Place) – Working out doesn’t mean you need a gym membership. There are plenty of ways to be active for free.
  • Training Burnout (You Signed Up For What?!) – Such a great post that talks about exactly how I felt after NYC Marathon in November. Remember – it’s JUST a race!!
  • Training Tweaks For More Muscle Definition (Workout Nirvana) – Bookmarking this for myself because I really want to have more definition in my arms! I know I’m way stronger than I’ve ever been, but really want to see my triceps (as opposed to the “bat wings”)

Do you have a body part you’re working on for more definition?

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08-14-2014

A Day In The Life

I’ve seen other bloggers do “day in the life” posts and I always like reading them…it’s interesting seeing how other people spend their days and what they do…or is that just me?

So I wanted to write my own on a whim and I hope some of you will use this as a blog post idea and go with it too! I’d love to see what your day looks like :)

Here’s my day this past Tuesday:

7:00 AM – Alarm goes off. I hit snooze. I always budget in one 10 minute snooze…Usually I’m up at 7:45 but I have an 8 AM cross country practice this morning.

7:10 AM – Actually get out of bed. My routine is brush my teeth, wash my face, put my contacts in, get dressed and then head downstairs.

7:25 AM – Breakfast. Today it’s scrambled egg whites with spinach and an orange. But usually I eat hard boiled eggs in my car on my way to work. Had time to actually sit down and eat today!

7:50 AM – Leave my house to go to practice at a local park. Practice starts at 8, and I just have them do a easy 4 mile loop.

9:20 AM – Leave the park to head to work. I work at my local community college in the Athletics department. I love that they gave me 4 polo shirts that I can alternate on days I’m too lazy to figure out what to wear…like today!

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9:30 AM – Sit down at my desk and catch up on emails and social media. I’m not one of those people who sits down and gets to work right away. I need some time to get in the zone and wake up a little. I used to have a classmate in grad school who would worked with me and as soon as I walked through the door in the morning (no joke bags and lunch box still in hand) she’d give me a list of things we needed to complete that day. Let me settle in first!

10:15 AM – Writing this blog post, and then working on client’s twitter account. Also catching up on work emails and send a coaching email to my team regarding what their running mileage should look like this week.

11:07 AM - Finish writing an article I plan to sell, thanks to a workshop I recently took on this topic. I’ll let you know how that goes :) In between this time and when I leave I’m at the front desk answering questions from students and working on flyers for our department.

So this all happened on Tuesday right? The day before men’s and women’s soccer practice started. And students are coming in to pick up paperwork (like physical papers) because they want to go to try-outs the next day. Why did you wait until the very last minute?!?

12:30 PM – Leave work and drive home. Currently my commute is about 20 minutes, but I’m moving soon and my commute will turn into 40 minutes :’( I love my commute. It’s just one straight long road home passing a few farms. I never have to worry about traffic. And this is also one of my favorite roads to run on.

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1:00 PM – Get home and eat lunch before a 1:30 phone call with a client.

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM – Phone call

2:30 PM – Work on schedule tweets for myself and my clients. My Tweetdeck is out of control. I think I have almost 30 columns on the web version and then even more on my desktop. Hey, gotta track #runnerprobs! :) Work on posting that previous article I talked about to try to sell it.

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 4:00 PM - Head out for a run with my mom. We did 3 miles and it was so humid from the storms were were about to get. But got it done nonetheless. 

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4:45 PM - Drive to the gym with my sister to do our leg day workout. Squats, leg curls, leg press, and hip raises.

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6:00 PM - Get back home & take a quick shower so I can go to happy hour with a friend!

6:35 PM - Get to happy hour. My best friend and I catch up for a few hours over half priced martinis and guac. I had a “Grapefruit Gimlet” that was delicious! Tequila, grapefruit juice, elderflower liquer (What is this??) and something else. I want to try re-creating this drink this weekend so if anyone can tell me where to get this elderflower stuff and what it is I’d appreciate it ;)

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9:30 PM - Get home and watch “The Private Life Of Deer” on Netflix with my sister because we were curious about it. Pretty interesting though we didn’t end up watching the whole thing. Then watched How I Met Your Mother.

11:05 PM - Pass out.

Exciting life I live right?? Most of my day is spent on my computer doing client and blog work. So I really need to be better about reading at night instead of watching Netflix…it can’t be good for my eyes! But sometimes I just need a good laugh from How I Met Your Mother…

What does a day in your life look like? Write a post and leave the link in a comment!

What is the one show that will always make you laugh out loud? For me it’s HIMYM and Friends :)

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08-06-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

My birthday is exactly 1 week from today! But I don’t want to be 26 :( My friends and I are planning a beach trip for next weekend, so this week and next week just need to fly by ;)

Here are some great health & fitness links you need to check out!
 
Featured: 5 Ways To Speed Up Muscle Recovery (Marcia’s Healthy Slice) – These are great tips to utilize in your every day training. I totally agree with the supplements (and with all the tips), as I regularly take BCAAs and Glutamine to help recovery when I’m marathon training

  • 7 Ways To Stay Safe On A Run (Divas Run For Bling) – These are great to keep in mind next time you’re on a run. I’ve been reading too many articles about runners being attacked. It makes me kind of paranoid but also more aware of things I need to do for my own safety.
  • Swimming Tips For Beginners (Skinny Fitalicious) – I just started swimming last week. I’m sure my form is awful since I never took real lessons, so who knows what I’m doing. My goal is to swim once a week as cross-training!
  • Female Low Testosterone Epidemic (T-Nation) – This was a very interesting read on effects of birth control on testosterone.
  • Benefits Of Water Tracking Apps (Stay Healthy N Fit For You) – I really need to be better about drinking water. I love the concept of the Plant Nanny app!

Do you use a tracking app/any thing to track your water intake?

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07-23-2014

8 Ways To Reward Yourself For Working Hard

Sometimes, we all need a little extra motivation to push us towards our goals. For me, in a time where I’m not really training for anything, this is especially true! Or even if you are working towards something, a little treat always feels good.

I like to reward myself when I complete a goal, like finishing a marathon, or setting a PR. My favorite way to do so is adding in an extra rest day so I can truly relax ;) But here are 8 other ways you can reward yourself for working hard in the gym & out:

ways-to-reward-yourself-for-working-out

Photo Credit: kaneda99 via Compfight cc

1. Buy new workout clothes, sneakers, etc. Who doesn’t love going to the gym in new gear? I love splurging on some items (hello lululemon), but also find great things regularly at T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, Target and Old Navy. I think buying clothes is great for when you hit mini-goals…or basically, at any time ;)

2. Pamper yourself. If you’re like me, you don’t pamper yourself enough. I get manis and pedis occasionally but not that often. Whenever I do this, or get a new haircut, I always leave the salon feeling confident and well-manicured. Don’t get massages often? Save it for after your longest run ever, or after a tough race…what a great way to relax and work out those knots.

3. Save up. Pampering yourself costs money. A great idea I saw on Pinterest a while ago was to put $1 in a jar every time you hit the gym. If you go 5 days a week for a month, you’ll have about $20 at the end (thank you captain obvious, I know). $20 = two manicures! Or save up for a big workout clothes shopping spree…or a massage…or a blowout…or new running shoes (that’s what I splurge most on).

savings-jarSource

4. Eat dinner somewhere new. We’ve all heard the saying “Don’t reward yourself with food, you’re not a dog.” That’s not what I mean. Find somewhere with a great, healthy selection and go out on a dinner date. Nothing better than a delicious salad or a good chicken dish after a hard workout.

5. Be a tourist in your own town. Visit a new museum, park, etc. in your town. I can name probably 10 places in my area that I haven’t been to in all the time I’ve been here. Hey, I’m 45 min outside of the city and I, myself, haven’t been to the Statue of Liberty yet. Also, check out your library for special coupons or deals. I just found out my library gives away passes/tickets to the Guggenheim Museum and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I need to do this before the summer ends!

6. Take a new fitness class. After training for a race for months, I need a break from running. Same with lifting. Taking a new fitness can help reignite your passion for fitness, and you may also find your new favorite way to exercise. If you’re in a plateau, either physically or mentally, find a new class or club (like a running club), to try out.

7. Get someone else to reward you. Hey, massages are expensive…so why not get someone else to buy one for you ;) This is a good incentive for couples. Perhaps you and your significant other (or you could also do it with your best friend) make bets based on your goals…winner gets the reward! Who else is competitive? ;)

8. Buy something you’ve wanted for a while. Recently, I splurged on a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers. I’ve wanted them for so long but never bought them because I rarely spend a lot on myself. I always tell myself that money is put to better use. Well, this time I got the sunglasses I’ve been wanting for years. I bought them to reward myself to getting new clients for my business, and you can do the same for any big goal you set and achieve.

What’s the last thing you splurged on for yourself?

Do you like to splurge or are you like me?

What would you add to this list? Leave a comment below!

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07-21-2014

Things I Learned In South America

I’m back in the USA!! I can’t explain how good it felt to be flying into JFK after 3 weeks away from home. While I love visiting family in Paraguay, 3 weeks is a long time to be away from your bed and pets! :) I was homesick towards the end and more than ready to come home.

I am grateful that my family got to go away for 3 weeks, and visit Rio De Janeiro while we were down there. It was all an amazing experience and I really want to go back to Rio…2016 Olympics anyone?

Before I get into a few things I learned about South America, I wanted to share a few pictures from my trip:

Me and my siblings at the top of Sugarloaf (Pao De Acucar) with Copacabana in the background

Me and my siblings at the top of Sugarloaf (Pao De Acucar) with Copacabana in the background

 

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Dinner in Copacabana…if you’re ever there check out Boteco Da Garrafa!

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FIFA Fan Fest on the beach in Copacabana for the Brazil vs. Colombia game

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Cousins in Paraguay :)

I’ll be posting all of my pictures in a Facebook album, so for those who want to see travel pics, I’ll link to it once I do.

Okay so here’s what I learned while on my trip about South America:

  • Ordering a coffee to them automatically means coffee with heated up milk (cafe con leche). Even when someone makes coffee for you in their home they heat up milk on the stove top to add to the coffee. I usually just add cold milk so my coffee isn’t too hot.
  • When saying hi and bye you need to kiss everyone on both cheeks…which makes for very long hellos and goodbyes.
  • Most younger people address older people by Tio or Tia (aunt or uncle) even if they aren’t related at all. This was weird for me because I would call someone by their name but my parents would insist I call them Tio or Tia.
  • In South America (except Chile from what I noticed in the airport), you don’t throw toilet paper in the toilet. You throw it into the garbage can next to the toilet. I’m sorry but I could not adjust to this! No clue why they do it like this…does not seem sanitary at all.
  • People in Rio are very nice and everyone says Bom Dia to you (good morning) as they pass you. They didn’t care that their city was overrun with tourists, they were still nice!

And the main thing I learned?

That I am grateful that my parents emigrated to the United States when I was 1. Going to another country, especially a third world country, makes you realize all the opportunities you have.

I realize the sacrifices my parents made by leaving their entire family and friends behind in Paraguay, and coming to the US to try to build a better life. Who knows where we would be had they not done that. They have some crazy stories from their earlier time here, which I’ll have to share at some point, because it really puts things into perspective.

Anyway, I’m happy to be back and am excited to get back to blogging and reading your posts as well!

Have you gone away for an extended period of time? Did you get homesick?

Are you going away this summer?

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06-24-2014

21 Day Fix Review

So a few weeks ago I posted about being unhappy with myself. I was not happy that I had gained weight, and even less happy that I seemingly lost all motivation to eat healthy or exercise at the intensity that I used to.

During this time, my mom and I had been seeing more and more about 21 Day Fix by BeachBody.

Autumn-Calabrese

I looked up reviews and others who had tried it had good things to say about the program. I wanted something to hold me accountable and get me back on track with my nutrition.

I’ve heard a lot of great things about BeachBody in general, so I was excited to try this. Of course, there were some nay sayers who said “Why don’t you just count your calories/macros” but this seemed much simpler especially for someone who hates counting calories.

I didn’t write about it, and specifically said I’d wait until after I finished the program to document my experience. I wanted to do it on my own and see whether I truly liked it or not before talking about it on here.

PROGRAM OUTLINE

So the program comes with several different containers as well as 2 workout DVDs with 4-5 workouts on each.

What are the containers for? For portioning out your food. I have had major issues with portion control in the past, even while trying to eat healthy. You can easily eat too much “good fat” in a day without even realizing (hello cheese and hummus).

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But you can easily NOT be eating enough veggies and protein as well. I noticed that once I started this program I was eating way more vegetables than I normally do.

In the handbook, there is a calorie calculator depending on how much you weigh. I know those aren’t the most accurate…so I was a bit skeptical of this, but ate in my calorie range (around 1,500 calories) to test it out. With each calorie range, you are given how many of each container you can eat. I was able to eat 3 veggies, 3 fruit, 4 proteins, 1 healthy fats/cheese, 1 seeds, 1 oil, and 2 carbs.

On days that I did two workouts (like running + one of the workout DVDs) I did let myself have another carb or some extra fruit. Occasionally I did eat extra fruit because I’d get hungry after dinner. Fruit won’t kill you ;)

I also love that 3 days a week you can swap out a carb container for something like a glass of wine, or a cookie. It’s not restrictive. And even though I have a MAJOR sweet tooth, I actually didn’t use up many of those days. The first week I didn’t use any!

The book also comes with a few recipes to make your own healthy sweet treats. Like oatmeal cookies or double chocolate brownies. I tried the oatmeal cookies and my whole family loved them.

THE WORKOUTS

The plan comes with a workout DVD. They are pretty good workouts. Here they are:

  • Upper fix
  • Lower fix
  • Cardio fix
  • Dirty 30
  • Pilates fix
  • Yoga fix
  • 10 min. abs

They are pretty good workouts and only 30 minutes. Perfect. I did like the videos but some of them were not challenging enough for me. Sure I was sweating but I felt like I could get a better workout in on my own at the gym. So some days that’s what I did. I think the DVDs are good for those who need accountability when it comes to working out. Plus, it’s only 30 minutes so what is your excuse??

I will say the pilates one is hard! Who know leg circles could burn so much?

You only take about 10-15 second breaks which is another thing I like. Sometimes you go to the gym and don’t realize you’re taking way longer breaks than you should be if your goal is to burn calories. That definitely made it a tougher workout. My first workout was cardio fix and my mom and I were sore for days after that!

RESULTS

Okay so I have never posted progress pictures but wanted to show what you can do in 21 days with eating pretty clean. I’m too embarrassed to show my front view (maybe one day when my “after” pic is a 6 pack lol). Before starting this, I really did feel so bloated and heavy. Weeks of unhealthy eating/eating whatever you please will do that to you. Here’s my back progress pic:

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I’m not proud of this picture, and I have a long way to go to get back to where I used to be, but it’s progress!

I have felt more in control recently with food than in the past couple of months. This program really helped put me back on track, and control my portions better. It also helped that my mom did it with me, as well as my best friend. Accountability and a support group really help!

Speaking of support groups, if you’re planning on trying 21 Day Fix, definitely join a Facebook support group. I’ve found great recipes and tips through them. These are 2 groups that I am a part of.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I really liked this program. I’ll admit I was skeptical at first – especially because the containers look so small when you first get the program.

Pros:

  • Helps with portion control. You may be surprised by how much or how little you are eating of certain types of foods!
  • No calorie counting or macro counting.
  • A lot of freedom with what types of food to eat/recipes to create.
  • Not ridiculously strict – you’re allowed 3 “cheats” per week in exchange for a carb container.
  • Surprisingly fills you up (the amount of food you eat).
  • 30 minute workouts are perfect for busy people.
  • At-home workouts that only require a pair of weights or resistance band.
  • Helps with accountability with your food intake.

Cons

  • Workout DVDs may be less challenging for those who are experienced lifters.
  • Booklet does not say how many calories you should eat if you are running AND doing a workout DVD (or other type of workout).

And that’s really all I’ve got in terms of cons. I really loved it. One tip would be to not actually eat out of the containers. They’re not the sturdiest things in the world, so I’d just use them to measure and put my food in other containers if I needed to pack a lunch bag.

So there you have it folks…my 21 Day Fix review. I would definitely suggest it to anyone who is looking to get back on track with nutrition and also does not enjoy calorie counting/tracking. I really do hate that. Once the 21 days are up, they offer a maintenance calorie calculator so you can alter your intake (for maintenance) or you can continue if you still want to lose some weight/bodyfat.

I think that once the 21 days are up, you’ll also have a better idea of how to eat on your own. You won’t need to rely on the containers as much. That’s where I’m at right now! I’m still continuing the plan even though I’ve had a few treats since then. I’m traveling to Paraguay on Thursday so my goal is to eat healthy until then!

Okay, my long @$$ post is over now ;)

Please let me know if you have any questions at all! I’ll be happy to give you my thoughts on my experience.

Have you tried any BeachBody programs?

Do you count/track calories?

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06-17-2014

20 Questions

Time for 20 questions – blogger style! I found a list of questions I wanted to answer, and then have you all answer them if you’d like! I’ve done surveys here before and a few other bloggers joined in as well. I always love learning more about you! I’ll re-post the questions at the end so you can copy and paste into your own blog :)

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  • 1. First thing you wash in the shower? I always shampoo first. 
  • 2. Are you more of a coffee or alcohol drinker? Definitely coffee. Minimum one cup per day, but usually two. I only really drink when I go out with friends or to happy hour.
  • 3. Do you plan outfits? Not really. I’m lucky that my job gave me some polo shirts so on my lazy days I just throw those on with pants. The days that I have to be up early to pack lunch and stuff I mentally plan my outfit the night before.
  • 4. Tell me about the last dream you remember having? I had a really vivid dream last night but don’t remember it! The last one I remember was my scheduling tweets for clients and being stressed about it lol. I’m dreaming about work – cool.:)
  • 5. What are you craving right now? I’d love to go buy a nice, hot panini for lunch, but I brought my lunch. Just a boring salad.
  • 6. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it? I just lick it. I like to savor it as much as possible!
  • 7. Have you ever met a celebrity? Does meeting elite runners count? I’ve met Kara Goucher and Jenny Simpson and both were so nice! I was definitely star struck.

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  • 8. How many countries have you visited? Canada, Bahamas, Paraguay & Brazil. My next goal vacation is somewhere in Europe! Ideally, France :)
  • 9. Are your parents strict? They were when I was growing up. Since they were born and raised in Paraguay, their culture was totally different than my friends’ parents, which was really frustrating at times. For example, they didn’t understand sleepovers, so I rarely was allowed to go to sleepovers!
  • 10. Would you go sky diving? I don’t think so. I don’t think I’d be able to jump out of a plane. And what if your back up doesn’t open!?
  • 11. Whats your zodiac sign? Leo! And my friends can attest that I really am “such a leo.” 
  • 12. Brown or white eggs? I didn’t know it mattered? Do they taste different?
  • 13. If you were paid 1 million dollars to spend the night in a supposed haunted house, would you do it? I think I could do it but only if I had company! I’d need someone there to be scared with me lol. 
  • 14. As your walking down the street you find a suitcase full of money sitting next to a parked car, would you take it? No because I’d be scared someone would see me and confront me about it. I hate confrontation! Also, even if no one saw me, I’d still feel guilty about it or paranoid forever that a cop or the government would find me.
  • 15. In front of you are 10 pistols, 5 of which are loaded. If you survive you’d receive 100 million dollars. Would you be willing to place 1 to your head and pull the trigger? No way!! Would you be able to do this??
  • 16. Do you believe in ghosts, werewolves or vampires? I believe in ghosts and aliens. Not sure about werewolves or vampires though. But aliens DEFINITELY exist! My brother and Dan don’t believe in aliens. I don’t get how you can’t!
  • 17. If you could live forever, would you want to? I think I would but only if I could stay in a young-ish body. It’d be cool to see how the world changes throughout time. And you’d have forever to do everything you want to do. Though I guess it’d be sad when all of your loved ones pass away and you’re left alone. I guess you’d make new friends?
  • 18. If you could go back in time, which time period would you visit? I’d love to re-live my life starting from high school. I was looking through my brother’s high school yearbook the other day and was so jealous of all those students. They don’t have a care in the world other than getting into college! I’d love to go back and go to all the fun dances and school spirit events. Such a fun time in life.
  • 19. If they were to televise a live execution, would you watch it? Ehhh…I don’t know about this one. I mean, on the one hand, I think people like the Boston bombers 100000% deserve to be executed. But could I watch it? I’m not sure. 
  • 20. Would you rather live longer or be wealthy? I would like to be comfortably wealthy. I want enough money to travel and buy things I have always wanted and just be comfortable in life. I’d rather that than live a long life but be poor or and not able to enjoy life.

I’d love to hear your answers to these questions! Please copy and paste into your own blog, or answer some in the comments…can’t wait to read your answers :)

  • 1. First thing you wash in the shower?
  • 2. Are you more of a coffee or alcohol drinker?
  • 3. Do you plan outfits?
  • 4. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?
  • 5. What are you craving right now?
  • 6. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?
  • 7. Have you ever met a celebrity?
  • 8. How many countries have you visited?
  • 9. Are your parents strict?
  • 10. Would you go sky diving?
  • 11. Whats your zodiac sign?
  • 12. Brown or white eggs?
  • 13. If you were paid 1 million dollars to spend the night in a supposed haunted house, would you do it?
  • 14. As your walking down the street you find a suitcase full of money sitting next to a parked car, would you take it?
  • 15. In front of you are 10 pistols, 5 of which are loaded. If you survive you’d receive 100 million dollars. Would you be willing to place 1 to your head and pull the trigger?
  • 16. Do you believe in ghosts, werewolves or vampires?
  • 17. If you could live forever, would you want to?
  • 18. If you could go back in time, which time period would you visit?
  • 19. If they were to televise a live execution, would you watch it?
  • 20. Would you rather live longer or be wealthy?

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06-10-2014

How To Fall Asleep (When You Can’t Fall Asleep)

Those nights where you’re wide awake and can’t fall asleep are the worst. Especially when you know you have to be up early, and then that just stresses you out/frustrates you even more, making it harder to fall asleep.

Some nights it is just so hard for me to fall asleep. I’ll either be stressed, or have a million things on my mind, or just am not able to get comfortable. Last night I had a lot on my mind about my social media clients and a presentation I’m doing this week…my dreams were all about Twitter and me talking about what time I should tweet things (??!!). 

So I wanted to write something with tips that have helped me fall asleep in the past, as well as tips and facts I have found online. Hopefully it helps you next time you’re tossing and turning!

how-to-fall-asleepPhoto Credit: ubon via Compfight cc

Here are some things that help me:

  • Cover your head with a pillow. Someone once told me that when you can’t fall asleep, cover your head or put on a knitted cap and it will help you fall asleep. Not sure of the scientific legitimacy of this, but I’ve found that when I do this it does help me relax more. Actually, I just Googled it and it seems it is a common thing babies to do fall asleep (which makes for nervous parents I’m sure). Try it next time!
  • Switch sides of the bed. Sometimes when I really can’t sleep, I switch positions so where my feet were, my head now is. Not sure why this helps either.
  • Change locations. Go sleep on the couch!
  • Keep a notebook by your bed. If you know you have a lot on your mind right before you go to bed, keep a notebook there so you can scribble it all down. When I don’t have a notebook by me, I’m worried I’ll forget my idea or to-do list, which means more trouble falling asleep.
  • Go pee. This is random, but sometimes I don’t feel like I have to pee, but I go to the bathroom and lo and behold, I had to empty my bladder. You might be tossing and turning because your bladder is full (just not to the point where you “feel” like you have to go).

I also did some research and found some other tips, which you may or may not have known about already.

This tip from the Huffington Post kind of goes along with my change locations one, but actually suggest you get out of bed and do something. I’ve done that a few times, but not actually out of bed. I just grab a book and read until I get drowsy. I feel like cleaning would wake me up more? 

If you’re unable to sleep for about a 15- or 20-minute stretch, slip into your bunny slippers and out of the room. Try something relaxing and non-stimulating. Listen to music. Read a book. Even consider cleaning the house or doing the dishes, Olson suggests. A bath might do the trick, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, because sleepiness can brew from the post-bath drop in body temperature. Whatever activity you choose, do it away from bed, and return when you’re feeling drowsy.

Here’s an interesting one from Lifehacker:

Get 7-9 of night time hours a night. So, for example, if sunrise is at 6am, then sleeping from 2am—10am is eight total hours, but it’s only four night time hours. Sleeping at night is a big deal.

My mom always lectures me on how going to sleep at 2am and getting 8 hours isn’t the same as 8 quality hours of sleep (going to bed earlier). I remember also reading somewhere that athletes who want quality sleep go to bed before midnight, and the later after midnight you go to bed, the less quality sleep you will get. Sigh – guess mom was right again!

I like this tip too from Lifehacker:

Start a bedtime journaling habit. Go over what you’ve accomplished that day, what problems you’ve had and make your to-do list for the next day. This puts your mind at ease, ensuring a worry free rest.

I started doing this a few months ago and fell off with it. I remember in middle school I used to keep a diary…oh the things I wrote…

But anyway, I should really get back into it. It feels good to write out your feelings and worries, and then look back and realize how trivial some of them really were.

I try to get minimum 8 hours of sleep a night, but aim for 8.5-9. My bf and friends know how important sleep is to me :) If I get something like 6 hours, I’m an absolute zombie the next day.

What tips would you add to my list?

How many hours of sleep do you get per night?

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