Ways to Wellness

By Anna Sachse

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Posted December 18, 2008 in Mind Body Spirit

The holiday season is here once again, and with it comes the spirit of giving. So, as a gift to you, I asked a few of my favorite SoCal friends to dig deep and share the different ways in which they strive for better health and wellness. The responses I got were just too good, so this one is going to be a two-parter. Not only is fitness free, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

 

Melissa Beery, a production supervisor for DreamWorks Animation

I have a hard time keeping my spirits up unless I’m physically active, so I’ve made conscientious life choices in an effort to stay both fit and emotionally balanced. These choices sometimes conflict with social appointments: I don’t stay after work for drinks with co-workers because I want to make sure I get my workout in and that I eat at a reasonable time at night. My workouts (CrossFit) are usually timed and done at high intensity so I don’t run the risk of the dreaded workout “plateau.” As I’ve gotten older I’ve shifted my goals from “I want to look good naked” to “I want to be strong enough to climb a rope and lift 95 pounds and squat with it over my head.”  

 

Jennifer Schuur, a television writer

I’ve been an athlete all my life—gymnast, diver, triathlete—and at the height of my fitness in my mid-20s, I was a huge proponent of lifting weights. I had no desire to be a burly, muscle-obsessed she-hulk, but I knew that lean muscle mass is the greatest determinant of your body’s ability to burn the calories you consume the rest of the day. However, lifting weights is hard, and you can’t read the New Yorker while you’re doing it. So, as the years passed, I committed to cardio and cursed the pounds that crept up on me. Finally, three months ago, I decided to lift harder and more often than I have in years. And I’ve been shocked by the results. I can work out less often and for less time and still feel a real difference in my body and fit better in my clothes. I often feel like a totally different woman in my 30s than I was in my 20s, but I just might have known a thing or two back then.

 

Misty Tumino, a special events manager

I have low blood sugar problems (minor hypoglycemia), so I’m extra careful about eating often and watching what I eat, but I find that maintaining your blood sugar seems to be important for everyone. If I don’t eat regularly or if I have too much sugar or white processed carbs, I am irritable, shaky and all around just don’t feel good. I try to have one meal that is full of whole grains and protein and then go mainly with protein the rest of the day, plus lots of snacks to help keep my blood sugar nice and even. I always eat breakfast . . . eggs and toast every morning. I think people make a huge mistake when they limit their fat intake, carb intake, etc. too much when they are on a diet. 

 

Susan Hebert, a freelance production manager 

Travel can be incredibly invigorating—stepping out of your routine and comfort zone to explore new places and people is essential for a happy and contented life. That said, sometimes being worn out from a busy year might make a vacation at home more beneficial. (Plus, it’s more affordable.) The key is to schedule your time the way you would on a trip: enjoy great food, read books, see new things, get a massage, etc. Don’t spend all of your time doing taxes and cleaning out the garage. A smaller version of this is that I try to limit how much time I spend on the computer and phone outside of work. It’s incredibly relaxing to disconnect for an entire weekend.  Despite popular belief, email can wait. Meet up with friends and family instead.

 


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