Category: Fitness

How to Incorporate Movement while Caregiving

How to incorporate movement while caregiving


A guest post written by Erica Hornthal, founder and president of Chicago Dance Therapy. I had the pleasure of meeting Erica at the 2016 National Caregiving Conference and attended her movement breakout session. Her techniques opened my eyes to a fresh new tool for our caregiving toolkit.

As a dance/movement therapist, I have the opportunity to connect with individuals through their bodies, not just through “dance” but through non-verbal expression, communication, and body language. Our bodies have a wonderful way of expressing wants and unmet needs. Martha Graham said, “The body never lies.” This is true as long as we look and listen.

In this post we’ll explore several ways to blend movement with caregiving. (more…)

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2016 Reflections & Accomplishments – A Year to Remember

A lot can happen in a year and yet years seem to go by faster and faster. 2016 just flew by!

With hundreds of days in a year, we have good days and bad days but collectively my wish for you and for me is that our days roll up to a year of new learnings, opportunities, hearty laughter, memorable moments, and genuine health & happiness.

I wanted to create this ‘year in review’ wrap up blog post, partly for you and partly for me. Since the years do seem to rush by, capturing it in writing in some small way seems like a small way to cement the accomplishments and memories.

I’m also guilty of just plugging on to the next thing and not taking time to savor and celebrate the accomplishments. It’s been fun to reflect and recognize the fruits of my labor and to highlight what was really great about 2016. (more…)

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Self-care daily habits that are doable, energizing, and uplifting

I believe many family caregivers think of self-care as a weekend retreat, a night out with the girls or a relaxing day at the spa. Those activities do sound and are amazing! However, self-care can be a collection of tiny little daily habits that allow you to nurture and energize yourself.

In this post, I want to focus in on those daily self-care habits. The little things that you do or could do to take better care of you.

Does anything come to mind?

If you got a decent night’s sleep last night, that’s a good start. If you ate an energizing healthy breakfast this morning, you are starting to seize your day.

Wouldn’t be great to have some little self-care breadcrumbs sprinkled throughout your day for you to savor?

(more…)

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Natural Energy Sources are the key to Caregiving Success

Ashley Poptodorova Expert Interview

Expert Interview – Ashley Poptodorova

Ashley Poptodorova herself is a natural energy source. Spend five minutes with this certified fitness professional and you’ll leave recharged and wishing you could wear yoga pants, tanks, and flip flops to work every day.

A and A Wellness small group energizes me

Ashley and her husband Alex have been my training team for two and a half years. A friend of mine was their client and I had watched her achieve amazing results. I was frustrated with where I was with my health goals, had tried dozens of diets and exercise regimes on my own, and decided I had had enough of navigating through all the different health and wellness information on my own and it was time to bring in the experts. When I first met them at a local coffee shop, I shed tears of frustration and they assured me that it would take time but that they could help. Little did I know then, what an emotional journey I would start. Soon after hiring them to create a personal nutrition plan for me and start my group strength training sessions, my mom was hospitalized and I’ve shared the rest of the story in several posts on my site (here and here).

Ashley is also a professional speaker and aspiring author who has such a drive and motivation for encouraging others to see the best in themselves. Ashley embarked on her own journey to health with the help of her husband Alex. At one time Ashley weighed 208 pounds and successfully lost 80 pounds. To me, Ashely is more than an expert, she is a friend. I strength train with her twice a week and she has pushed me to new heights, physically and emotionally, including sharing my personal stories and starting Happy Healthy Caregiver. She’s positive, encouraging, beautiful on inside and out…and the strongest woman I know!!! (more…)

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Caregiver Spotlight – Cindy

Caregiver Spotlight

Each month, I have a one-on-one call with a caregiver in the Happy Healthy Caregiver Community. I call each of these recorded conversations a ‘Caregiver Spotlight’. I started these because each caregiver journey is unique and I know every time I talk to another caregiver I learn something new and I leave that conversation knowing I’m not alone and feel a little bit stronger.

This month, I spoke to Cindy who lives in Georgia with her husband and two daughters. Cindy knows the challenges well of helping to care for aging parents out-of-state while juggling a job and being involved in your children’s busy lives. Cindy helped her mom care for her dad who suffered from Alzheimer’s. He passed away 3 years ago. Cindy is currently the primary caregiver for her mom who lives in Florida and she is planning to move her mom close by. This is no easy task since her parents had a independent business and lived in their home for 48 years. (more…)

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20 Happy & Healthy Songs for your Workout Playlist

My Spotify workout playlist is constantly a work in progress.  I know for my music to continue to motivate me and keep me moving, I need to keep my workout playlist fresh and fun.  Music is a must for me during a workout because:

  • It offers a distraction – I forget how hard I’m working or how long I’ve been exercising
  • It makes me exercise to the beat! I try to add songs to my workout playlist that have between 120 and 140 beats per minute.
  • It speaks to my soul! I love songs about getting stronger, achieving greatness, and being happy.

Since we are all caregivers interested in achieving greater health and happiness, I am sharing ten of my favorite songs in each of these areas – happiness and health.

(more…)

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Making myself a priority

making myself a priorityA guest post written by Jen Robinson, Lifewrangling blog

As parents we are always looking for ways to give our children opportunities.  We sign them up for sport, music, scouts, things that enable them to develop their talents and find enjoyment in learning new skills, working as a team and achieving their goals.  We realize the importance of this for our children.  Why then do we find it so difficult to understand the importance of these things for ourselves?  We often believe that we don’t have the time and stop doing those things that are good for our physical and mental health including healthy eating, exercise routines and hobbies.

It doesn’t have to be that way though and with a little bit of planning these important activities can return into our lives. (more…)

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30 Minutes for 30 Days: Making Exercise a Habit

bicycle 30 minutes for 30 days2A guest post by Elizabeth Hubbard

There is a truism about me: the only thing I’ve ever been able to quit cold turkey is exercise. Elizabeth of Happy Healthy Caregiver would find that unacceptable and, as much as it pains me to admit it, she’s right.

 

With a husband, three children and a mother that depends on me, by not taking proper care of myself, I’m making things more difficult. When I’m not taking care of myself, I’m weighed down with guilt and embarrassment. I’m also frequently in a less-than-fabulous mood, which means I’m bringing down everyone around me. That’s why I cooked up the following experiment: exercise at least 30 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days in an effort to make exercise a habit. (more…)

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A day in the life of a sandwich generation mom

mom cardigan or supermom cape

You just never know what the day will bring.  Each one is a new adventure.  Here’s a diary of what happened today:

5:55 am – Rise and shine!  Got up after one snooze even though I wanted two…my dog Shadow was ready to get up so he jumped from the bed when I turned to snooze the second time.  Got up since he’ll just bug me until I do.  Put workout clothes on that I had set out night before.  Swallowed morning prescriptions and vitamins.  Gave hubby a quick smooch and headed downstairs.

6:10 am – Chugged pre-made morning cleanse juice and took my Shih Tzu Shadow for a quick ‘squirt’ (the kids walk him when they get up).

6:30 am – Listened to Chalene Johnson’s Build Your Tribe podcast while I drove to my trainer’s facility for our scheduled workout. (more…)

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