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Telling Your Story

I have recently had the pleasure of getting to know Sylvia Lovely. An attorney by training, Sylvia is thriving in her role as a Story Teller and Collector. 

I’m so excited to share this conversation that Sylvia & I had recently and hope that you will follow her on her Connecting Our Voices Facebook page HERE and at SylviaLovely.com .

(please ignore the amount of times I say “um” and “you know”)

Exercise timing and cognitive performance

This one goes out to all my high-performing friends!

We all know that  an exercise routine can improve cardiovascular health, increase bone density, maintain body weight, improve insulin response and improve balance and strength…but, did you know that movement can also lead to improved cognitive functioning? Yep, regular activity can reduce the risk of depression & anxiety, improve sleep and overall quality of life and can impact cognitive performance. 

A recent study showed that cortical oxygenation was most improved after moderate exercise while  processing speed was lower after high-intensity exercise, possibly due to fatigue. Researchers have also found that single sessions of mind-body therapies such as yoga have led to memory and processing speed improvement.

While I definitely recommend consistently incorporating a variety of movement modalities, there may be some benefit to the timing of type of exercise  as it relates to cognitive demand and performance. 

So if you have a big negotiation, presentation or meeting, maybe go for a moderate intensity workout beforehand (strength training, perhaps?) and save the HIIT training for another day or after the big *thing*. 

Read more in THIS STUDY.

easy ways to drink more water

We all know that there are tons of reasons *why* we need to drink more water (improved organ function, improved brain function, to keep skin looking good, improve digestion, etc). Generally, ~64 oz or 1/2 your body weight in ounces are the minimum amounts recommended. Ask your doc what’s right for you – it is possible to have too much water, and you don’t want to end up hyponatremic!

Here are my top tips to make it easy to get your water in:

  • Start the day with 8-16 oz of room temp water
  • Invest in some cute stainless steel or glass vessels and fill them with water, infused water, or herbal tea in the morning & make sure to finish them by the end of the day. Sit them out on your kitchen counter or desk so you won’t miss them!
  • Have 1 bottle of water on your commute in the morning and leave another in your car to drink on the way home. I used to keep a bottle of my favorite herbal tea in my car to enjoy on the way home from the hospital – if I used boiling hot water in the morning, it was still warm at the end of the day in my HydroFlask!
  • Try infused water: add some cucumber slices, citrus slices, frozen watermelon cubes, or whatever sounds good.
  • Enjoy added electrolytes (Nuun & Ultima – available at Kroger or Whole Foods – and Omnourish -available online – are the ones I use most).
  • Herbal (no caffeine) tea and mineral water (eg Pellegrino, Perrier) count as ‘water’, but I don’t include sparkling waters and definitely not caffeine. The others are fine to enjoy, but shouldn’t count as “water intake”.

3 (simple) things you can do today to live better

Someone asked me today for 3 simple things they can do to live better starting NOW – so I thought I’d share:

  • Eat more mindfully.
    • Sit at a table and eat from a plate (no snacking in front of the fridge or while standing in the pantry)
    • Before your first bite, take a moment for gratitude and take five deep breaths to get into a parasympathetic “rest and digest” state before eating.
  • Increase your N.E.A.T. (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis which is basically any activity during the day that isn’t sleeping or formal exercise): Look for ways to incorporate movement and activity (note: I didn’t say to workout or go for a run) – just get moving & aim to reduce the amount of time spent sitting.
  • Listen to your body’s cues. Notice where you hold tension – I clench my jaw & make fists; you might hold your breath or your shoulders may creep up toward your ears. When you become aware of these tendencies, observe what may trigger them & note if there’s anything you can do to prevent the trigger. At a minimum, try to let go of the tension in the moment. Try a few rounds of Box Breathing- see the video below for a few minutes of guided breathwork to help de-stress and relax.