Tag Archives: mental health

Good things come to those who SWEAT

good-things

Hope your week is off a to a great start – mine certainly  is.  Last week was quite hectic for me. I had to travel to both Memphis and Salt Lake City for work.  When the weekend came I was completely exhausted.  Needless to say, I did not feel like the hitting the gym on Saturday nor doing anything that required even the slightest bit of energy.  Fortunately, the thought of hanging out with my “fit friends” was enough motivation to keep me from skipping my Saturday morning workout.  Afterwards not only did my body feel better, but I was less stressed and had a more positive attitude overall.  It was like magic – lots of good vibes and positive energy.  That’s the beauty of exercise, it’s great for the mind, body and soul.  Activity generates the energy that brings about good vibes.  Good things come to those who sweat!

On that note, here’s some fitspiration to get your sweat on –  20 Minute Calorie Blaster treadmill workout from the GRIT by Brit archives.  You can check out the original blog post for detailed instructions.  I highly encourage you to give this bad boy a whirl some time this week.  I am.

short-sprints-equal-long-strolls2And finally,  check out these 13 Mental Health Benefits of exercise.  On the list, Stress Relief ranks #1.  I can attest to the accuracy of this claim.  Just for fun, here’s a pic of me and my girlfriends on Saturday night enjoying the residual good vibes from my morning workout.

Wishing you a wonderful week with lots of sweat and good things!  xoxo, Brit

Feeling rejuvenated after a good Saturday Sweat sessions and enjoying a lovely evening with my lovely girlfriends.

Enjoying a lovely Dallas evening with my lovely girlfriends!  Feeling rejuvenated after a solid Saturday morning Sweat session 🙂

5 Reasons Fitness is a Mental Health Miracle Drug

True Beauty GRIT by Brit

I know I’m always talking about the external, physcial benefits of working out (6 pack by summer, J-lo legs, Michelle Obama arms).  But, let’s not forget about all of the ways that fitness helps us on the inside.  Maintaining our mental health is critical for overall wellness.  Here are the top 5 “non-physical” reasons I believe exercise is a mental health miracle drug.  Keep these in mind during your next sweat session!

  1. Super Self confidence – Pushing through physcial challenges gives us confidence which spills over into other areas of life.  Nothing is sexier than confidence 🙂
  2. Less Stress – Studies show that the most common mental benefit of exercise is stress relief.  Boss getting on your nerves?  Go walk it off.  Angry is not a good look.
  3. More Memory – A good sweat session boosts our memory capacity and brain power.  Jocks are smarter after all…and smart is HOT
  4. Addiction Control – Since our brains releases dopamine “the happy chemical” during exercise, we get a natural high – goodbye addictions!
  5. Real Relaxation – Moderate exercise can have the same effect on your body as a sleeping pill.  Who needs chemical drugs for a little R&R?  Not us!

When we are healthy on the inside, we are beautiful on the outside! xoxo, Brit

10 Minute Legs & Thighs Workout Video: Complaining Won’t Burn Calories!

complaining wont burn calories

In the spirit of it being Sunday afternoon, I want to share some good old fashion inspiration.  It goes like this “Always be joyful.  Always keep praying.  No matter what happens, always be thankful.”  (1 Thes. 5:18-16) This is easier said than done, but the truth of the matter is that complaining or having a victim mentality will do us no good in life.  Life is hard.  It always will be.  We know this.  HOWEVER, when we learn to always be thankful we make ourselves STRONG enough to endure and thrive under the most trying circumstances.  This week, I challenge you to practice being joyful.  At the end of each day, think about 5 things that happened in your day that you are grateful for.  It’s amazing how practicing gratitude can totally uplift our outlook on life, energize us and give us more #GRIT.

With that in mind, here’s a new leg workout video that I made last week. It’s HARD but guess what, you CAN do it!   Be thankful for a healthy body that’s able to workout and know that complaining won’t burn calories 🙂  Make it an awesome week.  Lots of luv, Brit

Love Your Body Day #1: Get HATE out of your HEART

love your bod image 3

Happy February!  Today marks the beginning of my “Love Your Body” series.  For each of the next 5 days I’ll share a healthy, body-lovin’ tip.  Our health is essential to our being, so cherish your precious temple of your soul – your BODY!

Lots of luv,

Brit 🙂

Get HATE of out of your HEART

Let the grudge go.  Holding a grudge does NOT cause any pain to the person who hurt you (they couldn’t care less).  Your grudge only causes pain to your body.  Several university studies have proven that holding a grudge is bad for your health.  Joseph Neumann, PhD, a clinical psychologist explains, “When I treated patients with cardiovascular disease, I was struck by how many were bitter, angry, and depressed,” says Neumann. “It clearly affected their health and their ability to heal.”  On the flip side, a study by Harvard Women’s Health Watch found a link between forgiving and improvements in heart rate and blood pressure.  

The reality is that life isn’t fair.  People will treat you unfairly, hurt you, cheat you and, on top of that,  get away with it.   But we must CHOOSE to not let our pain or anger ruin all of the good things we have in life.  Eventually, we reap what we sow.  So don’t worry about getting back at that awful person, just let the grudge go!

Love your body today by forgiving and letting old hurts be history #GRIT

Weighing In on “Weighing In” – Facts about stepping on the scale every day

Guest post by FalafeLover, Grit by Brit Nutrition Expert – A registered dietitian, psychological counseling grad student, former Israeli professional basketball player, former college teammate of Brit.

Imagine if you stepped on a scale every day, recorded your weight into an excel spreadsheet, and then created a chart representing your weight trajectory for a whole year. What, if anything, might you learn about your body weight pattern? And what, if anything, would be the effect on your weight itself?

My dear friend Carly Pacanowski, a Cornell nutrition researcher and fellow Registered Dietitian, has spent the last 3 years investigating these types of questions. And her research as yielded some pretty remarkable results: Carly and her team found that people who simply stepped on a scale and recorded their body weight each day were more successful at losing and/or maintaining their weight!

Recommending daily self-weighing as a weight loss tool remains controversial though, and for good reasons. Although daily weighing may help some regulate their body weight, critics have expressed concern about the impact this routine might have on the psyche. After all, we are not robots, and for a lot of people, weight is not just a number. Would seeing your weight pop up on the scale can negatively impact your self-esteem or trigger upsetting emotions? Even if daily self-weighing does help you lose or maintain your weight, would it cause you psychological distress? Could it lead to a weight obsession, or in extreme cases, lead to an eating disorder?

 I sat down (well, actually, went on a walk 🙂 with Carly to get her thoughts on the practice of daily self-weighing. Read on for her expert opinion, so that you can decide for yourself whether or not self-weighing is a habit worth incorporating into your daily routine.

Lindsay: How does self-weighing supposedly lead to weight loss/maintenance?

Carly: This is actually still not completely understood. There are a few different mechanisms proposed for how daily weight monitoring can help prevent weight gain/may even facilitate weight loss. One idea stems from the school of thought behaviorism – that the feedback (weight) of the consequence of our actions (eating/physical activity) is necessary to inform future behavior. The way I like to think about this is like a long term biofeedback. This includes not only weighing oneself daily, but also viewing a graph of their weight trajectory over time. All participants in the studies we do use a computer program to view the graph as well.

 Lindsay: What are the potential benefits of daily self-weighing?

Carly: Benefits of self-weighing include increased information about body weight and body weight patterns/fluctuations, which can lead to increased awareness of your eating behavior. An added benefit of daily weighing for women is that they learn to expect a monthly change in weight when they are menstruating. Daily self-weighing may help women recognize and become accepting of this natural change when they see that it is a normal part of their monthly cycle.

 Lindsay: What about the potential risks of daily self-weighing?

Carly: For some, daily self-weighing is clearly not a good idea. Other researchers have found associations between frequency of weighing and unhealthful weight control behaviors (excessive restricting, excessive exercise, purging, etc.). On the other hand, there are also associations between daily self-weighing and healthy weight control behaviors (consuming more fruits and vegetables, improved portion control, etc.) More research is needed to identify those who will benefit versus those who might be adversely affected by this practice.

 Lindsay: What would you tell someone who is considering daily self-weighing?

Carly: I think I’d first be curious to know their intention for adopting the practice. There is better data showing that daily self-weighing is effective for: 1) preventing gradual weight gain that comes with age, and 2) for preventing regain after weight loss. There is less evidence for self-weighing leading directly to weight loss. But then again, this could simply be because there have not been many studies done on the latter.

Lindsay: Anything else GRIT readers should know about daily self-weighing?

Carly: Whether this practice is beneficial or not really depends on the person. While some may find it to be psychologically detrimental, it works very well for many others who find it to be a useful tool to help them notice a small weight gain before it gets out of control. If you do decide to weigh yourself daily, it is important to be both aware and honest with yourself about the trade-offs.

To learn more about Carly and her research on weight regulation, check out her page: http://www.human.cornell.edu/bio.cfm?netid=crp56

GRIT readers, feel free to share your thoughts, reactions, and personal experiences with daily self-weighing. This is a very new topic, and it would be great to hear your feedback too!