How to Listen to Your Body

Have you ever wondered where the line is between needing a rest day and needing to push yourself? It’s a fine line to dance upon, and I’ve compiled some tips to help you consider which way you should go on any given day:

  1. Do you feel ill/sick/unwell?
    1. Are your symptoms above your neck or below? Above only, such as nasal congestion, sore throat, sneezing, teary eyes? Then you likely can exercise and it won’t make things worse. In fact, it could make you feel better. If your symptoms are below the neck, such as coughing, fever, fatigue, and body aches, then it’s better to rest. (Read more in this article by WebMD
    2. Instead of the workout you were planning for, you may want to take the intensity down and walk instead of run, or take a pilates or yoga class. This can be helpful particularly if you are afraid of breaking your momentum with your exercise and may have a hard time getting back to it if you take time off to rest and recover.
    3. Side note here: exercise does have immune boosting benefits when done moderately. However, intense training can actually lower your immune system. If you’re doing something like training for a marathon or doing intense HIIT workouts a number of times each week, boost your defenses with a multivitamin, foods that are high in nutrients and antioxidants, and get plenty of sleep so that your body can fully recover.
  2. Are you tired?
    1. Are you getting enough sleep at night? Current studies show that the researched and recommended amount of sleep for adults age 26-64 years old is 7-9 hours each night. 6 or 10 hours may also be acceptable, depending on the person. The real question here is: how are you feeling on a regular basis? Do you get sleepy at certain times of the day? Do you need caffeine regularly to function normally? You may need to organize your schedule to include more sleep. Sleep lowers stress, improves mood, helps you maintain a healthy weight, increases your ability to pay attention and recall new information, as well as your creative energy, and also improves athletic performance and coordination. “For many of us with sleep debt, we’ve forgotten what ‘being really, truly rested’ feels like.” (Read more in this article by The National Sleep Foundation
    2. Establish consistent sleep and wake schedules, even on weekends. Create a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or listening to soothing music. Create a sleep conducive bedroom that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool (and leave the electronics far from it!). Exercising regularly can improve your energy and sleep rhythms.
  3. Are you eating nutritionally well?
    1. Do you regularly eat whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats?
    2. Do you eat a moderate amount of food – not too much, and yet not too little, and do you equally space those meals throughout the day?
      1. Eating too little: It’s very easy nowadays to get busy with work and other things to skip meals in the name of productivity, but our health is our best and biggest asset and we should treat it as such. Without our health, we cannot do all of the other things. Assess your priorities, plan, and execute according to a way that nourishes you and fuels your life.
      2. Eating too much: Food can be a comfort, and that is cross-cultural. We may have been raised to eat more when stressed or when celebratory. Moderation is key. Eat to live, don’t live to eat. It feels better. Find other coping mechanisms for difficult, stressful situations and days, such as journaling, talking with a good friend or family member, taking a bath, and practicing other good self-care habits. Yes, they’re habits that must be practiced in order for them to become natural. (For a list of ideas of self-care habits, check out this article by Psychology Today
  4. Do you just not feel motivated to do it?
    1. Many times, we have multiple things in our lives pulling us different directions, to and fro, and we have to recognize that we are the deciders – we are the ones at the helm that ultimately do have the power to choose what gets done today, and what will wait until tomorrow.
      1. Practice strategic procrastination. Chances are, not all of the items on your to-do list are critical for completion today. However, taking care of your health, inside and out, i.e., exercising, has a cumulative benefit. The benefits grow as you practice this habit consistently. Just as with sleep, our bodies need movement and activity in order to perform at their best. You’ll likely find that you can get more done in a day that you take the time to exercise as it produces more energy and focus for other things. Still yet, if you can put another item off for tomorrow so that you can get 30 mins of exercise in today, do it.
    2. Where can you glean motivation and inspiration from around you? Who within your circles exercises regularly and would tell you to do it if you’re wavering in your decision?
    3. Are the long-term benefits of exercise just not MOVING you? Check out this article from HuffPost on what happens in your body after just ONE workout
    4. Can you recall the reasons WHY you said that you were going to do it in the first place? I mean the REAL, DEEP, HEARTFELT ones – like the ability and energy to play with your kids or grandkids, your own self-confidence outside of anyone or anything else, reducing your own self-consciousness, generally feeling better and stronger and more productive, seeing just what you can do with your body, and more? What is it for YOU?

 

Still have questions that pertain specifically to your circumstances? Reach out to me and let’s talk about it. I’d love to see what I can do to help!

 

Have an amazing day!

 

Aubrey Eicher

Owner, Personal Trainer

Richmond Wellness

richmond-wellness.com | 804-367-3589 phone

aubrey@richmond-wellness.com

My Fitness Journey

I understand that video is a more effective tool for connecting and communicating, so I am working to share more via this medium!

In this video, I tell a bit about my background and my journey from not playing any sports in school, to getting my first gym membership (and WHY) and my journey ever since. I believe our stories are powerful: not only where we have been, and where we are, but maybe even more importantly – where we want to go from here!

You have the God-given right to creative power within you to create what you really want.

What is wellness to YOU? 🙂  Please send me a line to tell me a bit of your journey! I would love to hear it.  Have an AMAZING week! And write your story!!

Nutrition: Meal Prep Tips

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Do you find yourself having trouble planning meals from day to day? Do you ever scramble at the last minute to get food, only to grab something that isn’t optimally nutritious just for the convenience of it?

Planning and execution are essential to success. How can you plan your meals to eat what it is that will fuel you and keep you in alignment with your health, fitness, and wellness goals?

Here are some simple meal prep tips to help you get and stay on track throughout your week!

  • Plan ahead: Try to at least have enough food for 3 days at a time to take out the guess work. Taking 2 hours on a Sunday to prepare will save you several hours throughout the week! Throw on a good music station or motivational talk to jam it out and feel inspired. Make it a fun, enjoyable experience!
  • Roast a whole chicken: This gives you tons of meat to work with throughout the week! Get creative with it; Make chicken salad, chicken tacos, or mix it in with gluten free light soy sauce, veggies and quinoa for stir fry. The possibilities are endless! I am also a huge fan of getting a big package of chicken breasts and slow-cooking them overnight for easy prep. Mix in a low-fat, low-sodium vinaigrette or marinade of your choice for good flavor!
  • Add a mix of your favorite veggies (i.e.: kale, peppers, cabbage, radish and spices) into several mason jars or Tupperware for the week. Throw it on the skillet for a fresh sauté or squeeze a lemon and make it a salad!
  • Bake a handful of sweet potatoes!
  • Grill a bunch of veggies: Nothing is better than some fire grilled asparagus or zucchini! Pick your favorites and flavor it up with spices like cumin, red pepper, or basil.
  • Keep a favorite protein bar on hand in your bag or in your car so that you are not forced to eat something you don’t want to just because you don’t have anything else on hand.
  • If a friend or relative invites you to a dinner, event, festival, etc., where there will be food that does not support your goals, here are a few helpful solutions:
    1. Don’t go hungry! In other words, eat the foods and meals you have pre-planned to eat and go to the event satiated.
    2. Consider explaining to them your journey and the lifestyle changes you are making. More often than not, the friend or relative will be supportive.
    3. If all else fails, remember the 80/20 rule. Eat nutritionally well 80% of the time.

This gets you started! Want to explore more ways that meal planning and prepping can work for you specifically, with your life variables, goals, and schedule? Reach out to me and let’s talk! 🙂

 

Fitness: It’s So Much More than Physical

You’ve probably heard me talk before as a holistic personal trainer how fitness is more than just physical. The benefits extend far beyond that.

Many people start an exercise routine to lose weight and trim down. Even within that very goal, so many other things happen – your movement becomes easier, your flexibility and range of motion can increase, your muscle tightness and discomfort can alleviate, and your energy can increase.

But wait – there’s still SO much more! We were not meant to be sedentary beings. My reasoning in that claim is that we have arms and legs and the ability to move and travel our bodies without the use of equipment (like, a car).

So much of LIFE is enriched when we move more! Movement:

  • gets our creative juices flowing
  • it can help us to get emotions out, whether good or not so good feeling ones
  • it strengthens our bodies, from our muscles (heart included!), to our arteries and veins
  • it gives us time to FEEL life, versus just thinking our way through it
  • it can rejuvenate us after a long day or week
  • it can give balance to our life – scheduling and taking the time to take care of our bodies
  • it can preserve our bodies from illness and disease
  • it can increase our mood, naturally

Most marketing that I’ve seen for different products or services project this message: buy this, or do this, and you will be happy/life will be easier and more enjoyable. Think about it. Do you agree?

We all have a common goal: to feel good. (Who doesn’t want to feel good?)

We have a tool for massive happiness right at our fingertips and toetips. Many studies are now showing how exercise can combat and ward off depression and anxiety. No price needs to be paid, except for some time and energy. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving – energy expended in this way equates to more energy produced and available to us for other things!

I’m a huge fan of looking at how everything in our lives is intertwined and affects the other things. Don’t just take my word for it – test it yourself. How can you incorporate more movement into your day? Maybe you already exercise consistently. Can you take walks on your lunch break, not for the caloric burn, but for the rejuvenation? How about a walking meeting versus a seated one, to inspire more creative conversation?

How about stretching for 5-10 minutes instead of grabbing a coffee break?

If you’d like to discuss how more movement can impact your life in ways other than physical fitness, reach out to me. I’d love to have a conversation with you about it!

Aubrey Eicher

Owner, Personal Trainer

Richmond Wellness

richmond-wellness.com | 804-367-3589 phone

aubrey@richmond-wellness.com

 

Curriculum Info Session – Saturday, Oct 28th, 2017!

As a holistic personal trainer, I’ve always had the goal of teaching my clients how to listen to their body – what to do, when to do it, how often, how hard, how easy, and more. And within all of that, doing it within the resources (time, energy, equipment, money, and interests) that they have, what works for them and their specific life variables.

I have created a curriculum to teach this. It is a one-year program to take you from wherever you are today – whether you are a newcomer to exercise and healthy nutrition habits or a seasoned athlete – to wherever you are wanting to take your health, fitness, and wellness.

Within this info session, I am going to go through a number of the resources I use with my clients. You’ll leave with valuable resources to start or continue your health, fitness, and wellness journey! You’ll also have the opportunity to ask any question you like. If it makes sense for us to work together, we will discuss that, as well!

What is your fitness goal? How often should you exercise? What type of exercise should you do? How intensely should you exercise? What should you eat? How often? When? Bring your questions and I will answer them for you individually!

RSVP or ask questions by reaching out to me at aubrey@richmond-wellness.com!

Bring a friend!

I look forward to seeing you!

Date: Saturday, October 28th, 2017

Time: 8:00 – 9:30 am

Location: The Richmond Wellness Studio; 8 N Robinson St, Richmond, VA 23220

Cost: $15

 

Aubrey Eicher

Owner, Personal Trainer

Richmond Wellness

richmond-wellness.com | 804-367-3589 studio

aubrey@richmond-wellness.com

 

Inspiration/Habits: It Doesn’t Always Have to Feel Good

 

I’m always talking about the positive side of fitness, nutrition, habits, and more. I prefer this viewpoint because I believe and have experienced both with myself and with most of my clients, that inspiration (excitement from within) is more effective than motivation (from outside sources) in beginning and sustaining habit changes.

That being said, it’s true, also, that there will be some days where you just don’t feel like doing what you need to do for your health, fitness, and wellness goals. Some days are challenging.

There is a balance to be found within acting from inspiration and acting out of motivation or discipline. This is why planning and following a plan is so important. The plan in itself is an accountability tool.

For example: I’m training for the Richmond Marathon that is now less than a month away. I created a plan (I am a certified run coach) back in April. I’ve been running consistently 4 days a week since then. I had progression and recovery built into it, also, so my boyfriend, who is also running it as his first marathon, and I both would not get injured.

There were many mornings, especially in the beginning, where I did not feel like getting up early to go running. With our schedules, we would have to get up at 4:00 am to run at 5:00 am. But we did it anyway. And as I got up earlier, I finally got to the point where I was consistently getting to bed earlier, too. That made everything easier.

Still yet, with a conservative training plan over the course of the past 6 months, we had a very tough 20 mile run the other Sunday. The weather was not great for running – 74 degrees (in the morning) and 95% humidity. (You never want a run to go poorly or feel awful, but especially when it’s a LONG one, haha). So we laced up our shoes and went out to get it in. It was the most difficult run we have had all season. And it was not our first time running 20 miles, either. This was our second go at it. But miles 16-20 felt terrible.

We had to laugh, though, because 95% of our runs have felt great, once we got the consistency down. I’ll take 5% not feeling great for 95% of awesomeness.

I say all that to say this: that it won’t always feel good. Yet, I know, that run made us stronger, not only physically, but also mentally and more confident in our abilities to finish what we started.

There is a balance between doing what you feel like doing and doing what you committed to do. There is a balance between good feels and hard discipline. There’s also a difference between hard discipline and compulsive discipline .. I’ll share about that next week, how to listen to your body when it’s begging you for rest.

I can help you in this area – to find where you should be pushing and where you should not be, in terms of increasing your fitness and health, or your nutrition habits. It’s different for each individual as well as each individual day. I can help teach you how to intuitively guide your body to greater health and fitness. Want to know more? Reach out to me and let’s have a conversation.

Have an amazing week! And take good care of yourself! 🙂

Aubrey Eicher

Owner, Personal Trainer

Richmond Wellness

richmond-wellness.com | 804-367-3589 phone

aubrey@richmond-wellness.com

 

 

Nutrition: Balanced Breakfast Ideas

Last week I promised I would share with you some simple, easy, balanced breakfast ideas.

Well, here we are!

In planning any of your meals, you want to have a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. A good general rule of thumb is 50% of calories of the meal coming from carbs, 25% from protein, and the other 25% coming from healthy fats.

Side note: contrary to popular culture, neither carbs nor fats are evil, only the overindulgence of either can be detrimental to healthy weight management and/or weight loss.

Breakfast will get your metabolism going and fuel your mind and body to tackle the day. It will also support healthier eating habits the rest of the day – you will be less inclined to grab high-fat, high-sugar foods to curb your hunger.

Here are the resources!:

This list is NOT exhaustive. I hope that I have, however, given you a number of good ideas to start from. Stay in the realm of that macronutrient breakdown that I gave above – 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 25% healthy fats.

If you want even more ideas, check out this artlcle from Greatist  – 56 Cheap and Healthy Breakfast Recipes. They’ve also got a great article on 33 Healthier Breakfast Alternatives. The last one that I enjoyed looking through was 39 Healthy Breakfast Recipes for Busy Mornings!  Just remember to balance your meal!

Next week, I will be sharing meal prep tips to help you stay on track with your nutrition goals and eating habits. Stay tuned! 🙂

Want more help in planning your meals and nutrition? Reach out to me and let’s have a conversation about what your goals are, where you are today, what challenges you’re facing, and how I can help! As a holistic personal trainer, I work with each of my clients individually to help you to create solutions that work for you – your tastes, your resources, your lifestyle!

Aubrey Eicher

Owner, Personal Trainer

Richmond Wellness

richmond-wellness.com | 804-367-3589 studio

aubrey@richmond-wellness.com

 

Upcoming Events: Will I see you? :)

October is such a good time to start thinking about and planning for the holidays (if you haven’t yet!)
 
Specifically, I want to address how you’re going to care for yourself this holiday season. It’s easy to get wrapped up in gift giving, parties, and more, only to finally think about ourselves and our own goals after Christmas and as January 1 approaches.
 
What if you did it a little differently this year? What if you stuck to your own personal goals while giving to others and socializing?
 
Here are a few upcoming opportunities to help you get your mindset set:
 
 
Come and learn about the one year curriculum I have created for mastering your fitness! Leave with valuable resources to help you on your health, fitness, and wellness journey, no matter where you are at: the newcomer or the seasoned athlete!
 
Cost: $15
Location: Richmond Wellness Studio, 8 N Robinson St, Richmond, VA 23220
RSVP: aubrey@richmond-wellness.com
 
 
Did you know that the average weight gain between Halloween and New Year’s Day ranges between 7-14 pounds?
Join us on Thursday, November 2nd, at 7:00pm at Richmond Wellness to plan healthy holiday lifestyle choices. This session will be hosted by Aubrey Eicher, Owner of Richmond Wellness, and Jodi Sheakley-Wright, PhD, Health and Wellness Coach with KK Wellness Consulting, LLC. In this “Take the Coaches to Task” one-hour session, you’ll have the chance to tap into their expertise and discover successful strategies on how to avoid holiday weight gain!
Why not get a jump-start on 2018 and start your New Year AHEAD of your game? Join us to learn how!
 
Cost: Free
Location: Richmond Wellness Studio, 8 N Robinson St, Richmond, VA 23220
 
Hope to see you soon! 🙂

Master your Fitness Info Session – 10.28.2017

Ever since I created Richmond Wellness, my mission has been to teach what I’ve learned to my clients so that you know how to move your body, how often, and how to fuel it best. I’ve wanted to make it personally sustainable for you – so that one day, you won’t need me but for a resource to bounce questions off of.

I’ve created a curriculum to do just that – to help you to create movement and eating habits that work for you and that empower you with a greater level of health and fitness.

Truly, you’re about 90 days away from a radical life change. Whatever it is you’ve been dreaming of – more vibrancy and energy, easier movement in day-to-day life, a higher level of fitness and mobility, a sharper mind, greater creativity, and the confidence to not be concerned with how you look in public – no matter what you’re wearing.

Realistically, the entire process of lifestyle change, done right, takes about a year. From there, you keep on growing, but you’ve got a lot of great habits in place that you’re feeling great about.

If you invested a year of your life to figure out how to master yourself and your fitness in order to enjoy it the rest of your life, would it be worth it? Would it be worth the investment to give up countless hours, days, and weeks of fretting over the scale or tight-fitting clothes?

Come and learn about my curriculum, process, and philosophy, and explore whether it’s right for you. The session is $15 to attend and will last 90 minutes. You’ll leave with valuable information and some tools to get you started (or continued) on your own fitness journey.

And remember: fitness isn’t just physical – it’s mental and spiritual as well! This curriculum will inspire you to dig a little deeper and really figure out what’s going on that’s been holding you back from the health and fitness you desire.

Date: Saturday, October 28th, 2017

Time: 8:00 – 9:30 am

Location: The Richmond Wellness Studio, 8 N Robinson St, Richmond, VA 23220

Cost: $15

RSVP or ask questions by emailing aubrey@richmond-wellness.com, or visit our website at richmond-wellness.com!

Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies

  • Great ingredients?
    • Frozen fruit > fresh fruit
      • Why? Flash frozen fruit will retain its nutrients as opposed to a fruit that is fresh and sitting on the shelves at your local Kroger, Walmart, wherever. You don’t always know how long ago it was picked, how long it took to get there, or how long it has been sitting on the shelf. Frozen is your best bet. It’s also more economical.
    • We also like to get our frozen fruit at a wholesale club, such as BJ’s, Costco, or Sam’s Club. These places will typically have larger quantities for less dollars per serving.
  • Is weight loss your goal?
    • Berries > oranges, bananas, mangoes, etc
      • Why? Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cranberries are much lower in sugar than fruits like oranges, bananas, and mangoes. If you are going for weight loss, initially when changing up your eating habits, I would recommend scaling back your sugar consumption.

We keep our smoothies fairly simple; usually using whatever is in possession at the moment before going out and getting more items. It is more convenient and economical to do so.

You are more than welcome to substitute out the almond/coconut milk (my fave blend) for almond or cashew milk.

Keep in mind: these are single-serving smoothies, and they are not very sweet. They are meant for nutritional benefit and weight loss, not for appeasing your sweet tooth.

Take the time to learn to enjoy an absence of a lot of sugar. I know, it’s addictive, but give it a shot. Try something different for a change. If you are motivated, I promise you’ll enjoy the results from scaling back your sugar way more than the temporary “fix” of taking it in.

  • If you are eating one of these as a post-workout meal, always opt for 2 eggs versus 1.
  • If you absolutely detest the idea of raw eggs (again, please try something new! Lots of people eat raw eggs; they are good for you and contain BCAAs (amino acids) that get cooked out when we cook them, and 1/20k has salmonella.) You can substitute 1 scoop of a vegan protein powder.

Side note, food, like eggs, that can grow bacteria .. are actually a lot better for you than foods that bacteria won’t touch .. like fast food .. that can sit out for days and not have anything growing on it. Why eat something that even bacteria won’t eat?


Strawberry Yum

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 raw eggs, whole
  • 1 cup almond/coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds

Strawberry/Blueberry Happiness

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 raw egg
  • 1 cup almond/coconut milk

Straw-Cran Goodness

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
  • 2 raw eggs
  • 1 cup almond/coconut milk

Berry Goodness

  • 1 cup frozen blackberries/strawberries/raspberries
  • 1 raw egg