Why Hugs Are Awesome!

Are you a hugger?  I am!  I love a good hug and I’ll hug pretty much anyone who will let me.  Did you know that a hug can lower your blood pressure, ease your stress and even boosts your immune system?  Here’s why hugs are awesome:

  1. Lowers blood pressure.

When you give or receive a hug your body releases oxytocin which is the hormone that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy.  It promotes feelings of contentment and reduces anxiety and stress.

  1. Eases stress.

Hugging eases stress by reducing levels of circulating cortisol (the stress hormone) in the blood.

  1. Boosts your immune system.

Cortisol inhibits the immune system and hugging lowers cortisol so it actually has an effect on the immune system!  There was a study that was done with 400 healthy adults who were asked about their perceived social support.  They were interviewed over a course of 2 weeks and were asked about the frequency that they engaged in interpersonal conflict and if they received hugs that day.  The researchers then exposed all of them to the common cold virus to see what would happen.  They found that the people who engaged in less interpersonal conflict and received regular hugs had less or no cold symptoms as compared to the people who when through regular interpersonal conflicts and did not receive regular hugs.

  1. Increases bonding.

When you hug someone and your body releases oxytocin it increases the bond between you and the person you’re hugging.

  1. Relieves pain.

Another hormone that gets released when you hug someone is endorphins.  Endorphins relieve pain by blocking the pain pathways!  It also increases circulation to soft tissues which can help to soothe aches.

  1. Help to relieve depression.

Hugging increases the production of dopamine and serotonin in your brain.  Both dopamine and serotonin levels are low in people who are suffering with depression.  A simple hug can improve a person’s mood and even boost their self-esteem.

Go Hug Someone!

Any time you get the opportunity to hug someone do it!  I do!

Living Your Life To The Fullest

Are you living your life to the fullest?  You might think you are, or maybe you know you aren’t.  Either way you need to really look at your life and ask yourself if you’re happy with where you’re at.  Are you excited about life?  Do you feel like you’re doing what you want to be doing?

If you’re not sure, I’ve got some tips on how to live your life to the fullest.

  1. Don’t live your life to please others.

If your reason for doing what you do is because you think it pleases others you have to stop and ask yourself if it pleases you.  You can’t make life decisions based on what you think other people expect of you.  Chances are what you think people expect of you is wrong and what the people in your life really want is for you to be happy.

  1. Stop talking yourself out of doing the things you want to do.

Even if what you want to do seems impractical you need to really listen to what your inner voice is telling you.  When you tune into your intuition and act on it amazing things happen.  Most people don’t give their inner voice the respect it deserves.  If there is something that’s really playing on your mind don’t ignore it.  When a thought sits deep with you and continues to pop up in your head, there’s a reason for it.

  1. Don’t wait! Make things happen now!

When there’s something you really want go after it!  Don’t wait for someone to tell you it’s a good idea and certainly don’t wait until the timing is right!  Telling yourself that you need to wait until the timing is right is just an excuse to not do something that scares you.  The time is right, right now!

  1. Stop complaining.

This can be a tough one – it’s so easy to get caught up in a negative mind rut and complain about things.  If you find yourself in this rut get out of it!  Force yourself to either find something positive about the situation or choose to not let it affect you.  You get to choose how you react to things and once you learn this your whole life might change.

  1. Spend time each day doing what you’re passionate about.

Figure out what your passion is and then spend time doing it every day even if it’s just for 10 minutes.  If you can make a career out of your passion, even better but it doesn’t have to be your career in order for you to indulge in it once a day.

Your Life Now!

This is your life and it’s up to you how you live it.  If you’re miserable you need to make changes to turn your life around.  You’re not any good to anyone if you’re miserable and you’re doing yourself such a disservice.  At the end of your life you want to be able to look back without regrets so start living a fulfilling life now!

Wholey Fit Daily Sweat! Work That Butt!

Work That Butt!

 

Round 1: 1 min each.  Round 2: 45 sec each.  Round 3: 30 sec each.  Rest for 2-3 mins then do each for 30 seconds, then 45 seconds then 1 minute.

Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before you start and cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes when you’re done.

  • Plyo Lunges
  • Pulse Leg Back (left)
  • Plyo Lunges Pulse Leg Back (right)
  • Froggy Jumps
  • Pulse Side Leg (left)
  • Froggy Jumps
  • Pulse Side Leg (right)

How To Overcome Setbacks

Everyone has experienced setbacks in their life.  It could be career related, school related, relationship related or a physical setback such as an injury when training for an event.  Setbacks are a normal part of life and can be a great learning tool as long as you use the information to your advantage.  All you need to do is learn how to overcome setbacks.

You Can Overcome Setbacks!

The next time you experience a setback keep these 3 bits of advice in mind.

  1. Don’t panic!

When you experience a setback it can be very easy to panic.  Your brain will try to go to the extreme possible outcomes of what’s just happened.  You need to fight that.  When I’ve injured myself in the past I’ve been guilty of immediately thinking that I’m going to get fat while recovering from the injury and I’ll be too embarrassed to go back to the gym.  Crazy right?  If this happens to you, you need to stop that train of thought as soon as it starts.  Panicking over the situation will not make it better and will not solve the setback so don’t panic!

  1. Give yourself a small amount of time for a pity party.

Don’t let yourself panic but do give yourself an allotted time to feel bad about the situation.  When something goes wrong you need to acknowledge it and respect the feelings you have about it.  Just don’t get stuck wallowing in self-pity.  Burying and denying your feelings is not at all healthy.  You need to give those feelings a small amount of your time and energy and then move on and get on with recovering from your setback.

  1. Accept what’s happened and move on.

After you suffer a setback accept what’s happened and figure out how to move on.  You can’t deny when something’s gone wrong but you can point yourself in the direction that’s going to allow you to bounce back.  For instance, if you’ve suffered an injury and you can’t train the way you usually do figure out what you can do and do that.  There is nothing more empowering than figuring out a way around an undesirable predicament.

I once suffered a 3rd degree ankle sprain and started to panic.  How the hell was I going to do cardio when I couldn’t even walk?  I made myself stop panicking, had a short pity-party and then started thinking about what I could do.  Here’s what I did: I shadow boxed from a seated position.  I used the energy of my anger and frustration to power myself through shadow boxing combos that I had learned and burned a good 500 calories in an hour.

The Only Thing That Can Truly Set You Back Is You

Setbacks happen and you don’t really have much control over that.  What you do have control over is how you react to the situation.  You can feel sorry for yourself, give up and stay stuck or you can learn from the setback, suck it up and start that forward momentum.  Setbacks are just tests and the more you overcome the stronger you become.

Wholey Fit Daily Sweat! Burpee Mountain!

Burpee Mountain

2 Rounds, focusing on Endurance, do your best to not stop

Rest 2-4 minutes between rounds

Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before you start and cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes when you’re done.

  • 10 Burpees
  • 5 min. Mountain Climbers
  • 10 Burpees
  • 1 min. Mountain Climbers
  • 10 Burpees
  • 45 sec. Mountain Climbers
  • 10 Burpees
  • 30 sec. Mountain Climbers
  • 10 Burpees

Rest for 2-4 minutes before doing the second set!

Benefits Of Being Present

Have you ever been told that in order to appreciate life you need to be present?  Being present means paying attention to what’s going on right here right now and not letting your mind wander.  Let’s look at some benefits of being present.

  1. Less overthinking.

Overthinking usually leads to worrying which usually leads to you not doing the things you want to do.  When you are present and just living in the moment you are not questioning anything.  You’re not trying to analyze the situation.  When you’re present you get to observe your situation without trying to figure out what’s going to happen next.  What happens next is going to happen regardless so why not just be present and experience it for whatever it is.

  1. It creates stronger bonds with people you interact with.

When you let yourself be present with a person you’re having a conversation with, you stop thinking about what you want or ‘need’ to say next.  Amazing things can happen when you let yourself just listen to the person who is talking to you.  You pick up on more of what they are actually saying.  You’re able to have a very bonding interaction with them.  It also helps you to calm your own nerves if you have problems talking with other people.  When you’re feeling nervous while talking to someone it’s because your brain is racing trying to analyze the situation and think about what you’re going to say next.  If you force yourself to be present and really listen to what this person is saying you don’t need to think about what you’re going to say next.  The conversation will just flow naturally.

  1. It allows you to appreciate the small pleasures of life.

Be present in a situation and just notice how great everything is.  Don’t get caught up in your thoughts.  Don’t miss out on all the wonder around you.  Take the time to really see things and appreciate them.  You’ll be surprised by how joyful this will make you feel.

  1. It will let the ones you love know you love them.

Being present when you’re with someone is something a lot of people no longer do.  Everyone has a million thoughts going through their head.  They’re thinking about their day and what they have to do.  They’re so caught up in their own drama that they have no room for the person they’re interacting with.  When you’re with the people you love and appreciate force yourself to be present.  When you’re present with another person a bond is created and you both walk away from that interaction feeling happy and energized.

  1. Helps you to become more open minded.

When you shut off the preconceived thoughts you have about something and just let yourself observe without judgement you allow yourself to have some pretty great experiences.  You also give yourself the opportunity to learn new stuff that just might change your life.

Try It!

If you have a habit of multitasking all the time start practicing being present.  The next time you’re having a conversation with someone force yourself to shut off your mind chatter and focus on what the other person is saying.   When you’re out and about force yourself to focus just on what’s happening as it happens and don’t let any preconceived notions take over your brain.  Being present lets you explore and learn and will leave you with a sense of calmness as well as a sense of excitement about your life and the endless possibilities.  Just try it!

Wholey Fit Daily Sweat! Build It!

Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before you start and cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes when you’re done.

10, 20, 30, 40……

10 Squat Jumps
10 Jumping Jacks
10 Alt Lateral Lunges

Rest for 30 Seconds
20 Squat Jumps
20 Jumping Jacks
20 Alt Lateral Lunges

Rest for 30 Seconds
30 Squat Jumps
30 Jumping Jacks
30 Alt Lateral Lunges

Rest for 30 Seconds
40 Squat Jumps
40 Jumping Jacks
40 Alt Lateral Lunges……

Focus On Your Strengths Not Your Weaknesses

Everyone has something they excel in and things that they struggle with.  You need to focus on your strengths not your weaknesses.

Quite often the thinking is that if you’re bad at something you need to work on improving it.  Take for instance a child’s report card.  If the child is doing poorly in a certain subject the parents will most likely encourage them to work harder at it.  They may even hire a tutor to help them get better at something that they clearly are not at all good at.  But why waste time and energy trying to become good at something you lack the talent for? Why not focus your time and energy on the things that you’re already good at and become great at them?

What Are Your Strengths?

Here are some things to consider when trying to figure out what your strengths are.

  1. What gets you really excited?

When you’re great at something you get excited when you’re doing it or even just thinking about it.  What do you get fired up about?

  1. What activity causes you to lose all track of time?

Think about the last time you were doing something where you totally forgot about the time.  Nothing else mattered to you except what you were doing?  That thing you got so completely absorbed in that it made you forget about everything that was bothering you.

  1. What do you find yourself preoccupied with most of the time?

When you excel at something it’s only human nature to want to do that thing as much as possible.  You’ll find yourself thinking about when you’ll get to do it next and when you’re thinking about it you feel happy and fulfilled.

  1. What do people compliment you on the most?

If you’re really not sure what your strength is, think about what you get complimented on the most.  When you’re great at something, sometimes you don’t see it because it’s just something that comes natural to you.  If people are constantly telling you how great you are at something, that’s your strength.  You need to focus on that.

So Why Focus On Strengths?

No one wants to waste time and effort so why put pressure on yourself to be good at something you’re just not good at.  You could spend a ton of time, money and effort trying to get good at something you lack a natural talent for and at best become okay at it.  Or you can focus your time, money and energy on the things you’re already good at and become great at them.  You can completely change your life when you focus on your strengths.

Think about some of the greatest people you know.  Chances are you know them for being great at one thing, such as painting, or playing a particular sport or being an amazing motivational speaker.  These people who you view as great, maybe you even idolize them, are not great at everything.  These greats worked on their strengths and became huge successes so why don’t you do the same thing?