How fitness can impact your relationship!

Studies show that fitness can make relationships stronger. It can create a fun environment for couples to challenge and motivate each-other while spending time together; building strength not only physically but strengthening the relationship as a whole.

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Below are 5 takeaways of couples living an active lifestyle together!

  1. Unbreakable Bond – Living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your body is very important when it comes to living a healthy and strong life; it’s even better when your significant other is dedicated to health and fitness just like you. It allows you two to spend time together pushing and motivating each-other in ways you never thought possible.
  2. Great Motivation – Talk about some great motivation! When you two are both interested in fitness and have goals you are trying to meet, one of the most motivating factors in your life can be your significant other. For me my boyfriend pushes me and tests my limits in ways I never could do for myself. When couples train together the motivation levels increase dramatically!
  3. Confidence Boost – One of the most important results fitness gives you is self-confidence. Living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your body makes you feel like you are in control. You can change your body with exercise and nutrition and for some people this change brings on an amazing confidence boost! When you are confident in your own skin that light will shine in your relationship!
  4. Improved Patience and Understanding – We all know that training times can range from very short to pretty dang long! Couples who train together understand that some training days may be longer than others and sometimes training has to come before movie dates and dinners. This understanding improves the level of patience in a relationship.
  5. Improved Sex Life – Your active lifestyle in the gym can improve your active lifestyle in bed! Exercise improves your energy, stamina, and flexibility. It also gets your blood pumping and raises testosterone levels. The confidence you get from fitness will give that added boost of confidence and sex appeal under the sheets!

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One of the biggest keys to success is motivation. Whether it is self motivation or motivation from an outside source, it is important for your significant other to be there for you and motivate you in working towards your goals. That is what strengthens and bonds relationships.

Below are a couple of comments my readers left on my blog when I asked how fitness has impacted their relationship!

“Fitness has become a big part of my life in the last 3 years. Robb my boyfriend of the last 3 years has definitely contributed to getting me in the gym especially weight lifting rather than my usual cardio. He bought me a gym membership (which I took no offense too lol) our first Christmas together so that we could workout together at his gym Fitness 19. He made me enjoy the gym and helped me learn how to lift weights. It has never affected our relationship in a negative way, it brings us closer and is just another hobby we have together. Health and nutrition also plays a huge role in our household and we educate each other on how to be healthy and fit together. The gym has definitely helped me with anxiety issues that I have. Some days the gym is therapy for me and I know it’s the same for Robb as well. Nothing is more of a turn on in a relationship than dedication and motivation on yourself and appearance.” – Lauren

With her boyfriend motivating her along the way Lauren is able to live a stronger more healthy life. Proof that fitness can certainly bond two people in a relationship and bring them closer together!

Another reader said,

“I think working out is a fun and healthy way to spend time together. It’s definitely an important part of my relationship with my fiancé considering I have a hard time motivating myself to go alone. It’s good to remember to keep it fun and not take it too seriously, whether working out together or alone. Don’t ever obsess over your body or your significant other’s body which be detrimental to the relationship. Just be happy, love and enjoy each other.” – Shalimar

It seems like the biggest factor that comes into play is motivation. When your significant other is able to motivate you and encourage you to do what you enjoy, your relationship naturally strengthens. When he/she is constantly frustrated with your fitness hobbies motivation can diminish drastically.

So, what if you are someone whose significant other is less than motivated in the gym? I know it can be truly frustrating but you can’t sacrifice your own happiness for someone else’s. If living a healthy and fit lifestyle is something you enjoy, I say take the time you need to satisfy that part of you!

Below are a few ways you can still enjoy fitness when your significant other is less than interested!

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  1. Outdoors Activities – There are many, many ways you can stay fit with your boyfriend or girlfriend. I am a huge fan of hiking. I would recommend researching hiking trails in your area that you two can take a day and visit together. My favorite is Amicalola Falls in Georgia. The hike ranges from beginner to experienced. What makes the trip so much more rewarding is the breathtaking view of the waterfall at the end of the hike!
  2. Races – Races like the Savage race or Warrior Dash are fun way to get involved in fitness outside of the gym. If your significant other despises lifting weights in a room, try suggesting you two take part in a race like this! They are fun, motivating, and the sense of community is truly inspirational!
  3. Walks – Taking walks is not only a great way to refresh and reboot you mentally but is also a great way for couples to bond. I suggest going in the evening or morning and leaving behind any technology. This allows you two to engage in meaningful conversation!

There are always ways around not living a healthy and fit life. I know from experience that it can be frustrating and it can drastically diminish your individual motivation when your loved one doesn’t care about health and exercise; but, it doesn’t have to!

Don’t sacrifice your own happiness and individual needs for someone else’s. Communication is key. Talk to your significant other about your feelings and hopefully you two will be able to meet in the middle.

-mk

9 Keys to Starting your Day in a Positive Way!

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Marcus Aurelius


Do you wake up immediately dreading the day ahead? Here are 9 ways you can start your day off right!

  • sleep(1)  –  Coffee, tea, or hot lemon water with honey – All three of these have their own nutrients that make them great for our bodies in the morning.
    • Coffee – Coffee contains powerful antioxidants that are known to fight inflammation and ward off free radicals. Also, coffee contains chlorogenic acid that is thought to prevent cardiovascular disease. Coffee also offers a short-term memory boost and is very healthy for your heart and liver. It can help curb depression and boost exercise performance along with revving your metabolism for the day. “Coffee stimulates the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine produces the euphoric and pleasant feelings that people often associate with their first cup of coffee in the morning” (Psychology Today).
    • Tea – There are so many different types of teas so I will only name a couple of the most popular: green tea, black tea, and white tea. Different types of tea produce different feelings ranging from energetic, calmness, relaxation, etc. The link below gives more information on tea and it’s health benefits.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538.php

  • Hot lemon water – There are many health benefits to drinking hot lemon water with honey. Drinking this miracle elixir helps with digestion, weight loss, and can improve your mood (key to have a positive start to your day!).

http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/why-drinking-water-early-in-the-morning-good-for-health-p214/

Starting your day off with something that not only tastes good but is good for your body can help motivate you and stimulate your mood.

  • (2)  –  Motivational Reading – I am a huge fan of self-help books. Whether you think you need the help or not these books contain amazing information that can be applied to your life. My favorite books are:
    • “Daily Love” by Mastin Kipp
    • “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle
    • “The Essential Rumi” with translations by Coleman Barks
  • (3)  –  Quotes –If you have been keeping up with my blog and my previous posts you know by now how much I enjoy quotes. Pinterest is loaded with great motivation and inspirational quotes. Just type in the search bar what you are looking for and bam! Instant motivation. When you find what you like be sure to save them or write them down so you can refer back to it throughout your day

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  • (4)  –  Take a walk – Walking can be very relaxing and a great way to start your day. I never recommend walking alone as a woman for safety purposes so I suggest walking with a friend, family member, or significant other. Not only will the walk relax you for the day ahead but friendly conversation with another person or friend will also boost endorphins which in turn will promote positive vibes.

morning walk

  • (5)  –  Yoga & Meditation –When I first started participating in yoga it was very surreal. The thought that mainly stretching and breathing could put you in such a relaxed and steady state was amazing. For those of you who are constantly stressed and I mean those of you who wake up immediately thinking about the loads of work you have to do … yoga and meditation will work wonders for you! When I first started participating in yoga and meditation I was doing it every single morning as soon as I woke up. I made some hot tea, laid my mat out, pulled up my yoga app and got started. The mornings I did yoga were the best mornings and I started noticing how relaxed I was throughout the rest of my day. I was amazed! Now, I don’t participate in yoga as often as I used to, maybe once or twice a week, but I am still a huge advocate for it. It does wonders for your mood and promotes amazing positive vibes! The app I use is called Daily Yoga. Try it out!

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  • (6)  –  Enjoy Breakfast – I Know you have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I 100% agree! Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I never start my day without it. So many people take on their day without eating breakfast and I have no idea how they do it! If I miss breakfast one day my energy levels are low and I feel like I am dragging the whole day. If you start your day by eating breakfast especially with family or your significant other, I guarantee your mood will shoot through the roof! Not only will it make you happy to have a full stomach but eating in the morning actually gives your metabolism a huge boost and revs it up for the day!

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  • (7)  –  Plan the night before- Make a small list of about 2-3 things you need to take care of the next day. The key here is limiting your list and making it short. It is easier to accomplish the things on your list if it is short. Less of chance to move on to easier tasks and procrastinate the important ones. Some people even like to time block their days. Simply think about what you have scheduled for the next day and block out those times. After you have blocked out those times it will be easier for you to visually see the free time you have left over to go grocery shopping or fit in the gym.

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  • (8)  –  Prepare the night before – Pack you lunch the night before, get together the clothing you want to wear the next day, set up all of your morning supplements and vitamins, program your coffee maker to automatically start brewing at a specific time, etc. All of these things will help you wake up stress free and allow you to relax in the morning instead of rushing to get everything together for the day.

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  • (9)  –  Don’t rush – Rushing can immediately bring on anxiety and stress. I am famous for rushing. You know what else I am famous for as a result of rushing? Forgetting. I always, always forget something important when I rush. It is kind of like Murphy’s Law! Whatever can go wrong will go wrong. By taking on your day one step at a time, one task at a time, moving slowly allows you to remain stress free and at ease. It’s certainly better than being overwhelmed with everything at once!

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Living in the positive light is a learning process. Our happiness can only be found by changing our perception of the things around us. Our happiness and positive vibes get buried under all of the negative rubble the world hurls at us. It is up to us to slowly pick up and carry that rubble away to uncover our true happiness.

-mk


“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”
Buddha

Does fitness have a positive or negative impact on your relationship?

I am putting together some ideas for a future blog post and I need YOUR help. I have actually seen a couple posts about relationships and fitness but I really wanted to find out for myself from all of you!

Here is my question:

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  • Does health and/or fitness have a positive or negative impact on your relationship? Whether it is yes or no, can you explain why?

Fitness and health play huge roles in my relationship. My boyfriend Joey trains in Jiu Jitsu about 4 – 5 days a week. I weight-lift about the same amount of days. We both encourage and motivate each-other to work hard doing what we enjoy. He is okay with the time I take to weight-lift and I am okay with the time he takes to train. Two people in a relationship should be able to take time to do what they enjoy even if it involves being apart. Don’t get me wrong we workout together too! 😉

Please comment and leave me your thoughts and opinions. Your comments will help me write my next blog post on Fitness and how it impacts relationships!

-mk

T.G.I.M: How to Look at Monday in a Whole New Light!

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Monday; the day of the week everyone seems to share so much disdain for. Why is that? Maybe you hate your job … or, maybe it’s because it is the first day of the week making it the day furthest away from our freedom (aka Friday)? Maybe you hate Mondays because you have the hardest time “gettin’ goin’” for the week ahead. Either way, everyone seems to have some sort of negative feelings towards Monday.

Try looking at Monday in a completely different light:

Monday; a fresh start. The day of the week where you can take care of the things you couldn’t accomplish last week. Maybe last week you made some mistakes or maybe made the wrong decisions … Monday forgives. Monday allows you to start over new; to start over fresh and rejuvenated. So what if you went off track with your diet and fitness regimen last week. Enjoy it, let it go, and get back on track Monday. With each new day comes a new start.

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s amazing how when you change your thoughts your whole world can change.

“A man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks he becomes.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Question:

  • What do you do Monday morning to get yourself motivated for the week?
  • Starting my morning with a fresh cup of coffee & positive thoughts always sets me straight for the day & week ahead!

-mk

Achieving Balance in an Unbalanced World: Is it possible?

Is balance possible? In a world where we are constantly juggling responsibilities is it truly possible to achieve perfect balance in our lives?

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We are constantly being pulled in so many different directions: work reports, deadlines, children’s play dates, hobbies, school, part-time jobs, etc. The list goes on and on … and on. Even your house is calling your name! The front door needs to be fixed, there’s a leak in your bathroom, and you have to paint the living room walls because your children “ran out of paper”. Yikes! You think, “Gosh, there’s not enough time in a day!” A strenuous work load and  having to make time for your family along with household chores is difficult to balance. You feel absolutely exhausted even though you’re not pushing forward or making any progress with anything. Why do you feel this way? Because you are trying to balance everything in your life.

If balance is so impossible to achieve then what are we doing every day to make time for the different responsibilities in our life?

It’s called counterbalance.

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Counterbalancing is simply prioritizing. It is the constant shift of our attention from one thing to another to make time for everything in our lives. This will naturally force you off-balance. That’s okay, as long as it is done so for the right reasons. Sometimes you have to be at the top, the bottom, or to the extreme left or right side in order to give your attention to your priorities.

There are two parts of your life that you will continually attempt to balance out:

  1. Work and life
  2. Within work and within life separately

There will be times at work where you may feel like you are being pulled in different directions. Priorities at work are ever-changing which is completely normal. You will be at extreme ends of the scale much of the time.

In order to counter balance your life there are three things that need constant attention:

  1. Family and friends
  2. Body and spirit
  3. Personal needs

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Family and Friends

  • Make time to spend time with those close to you, especially family; even if it involves putting household chores, work responsibilities, and hobbies on the back burner. Just be sure when doing so, it doesn’t produce negative effects. You have to pick and choose what needs to be taken care of and what can be put off.

Body and Spirit

  • I am a huge advocate for taking care of your body and spirit. Whatever direction you choose to take for physical activity: yoga, weight lifting, running, walking, etc. It is truly important to take of yourself. When it comes to spirit everyone has different beliefs. You can take care of your spirit by joining a church, meditating, giving back to the community, etc. Exercising your body and spirit is important to living a healthy lifestyle. Stress relief will naturally help balance your life.

Personal Needs

  • Let’s face it. We just don’t put aside time for ourselves. When you work full-time and have a family to take care of, it’s easy to put your own needs on the back burner. The thing is, setting aside time for yourself is very important. Even if it’s just 5-10 minutes every morning before the kids get up or on your lunch break from work … 5 – 10 minutes alone to reflect will relieve so much built up stress! Go get your nails done, a massage, go for a walk, read a book, go to the gym, go shopping, go to a gun range, meditate, participate in yoga, etc. We don’t utilize these things as often as we should.
  • Not only should you set aside time for what you love but you should take care of yourself just as well as you take of your family. If you have a family, I’m sure you are strict in making sure your family eats three meals a day but do you, yes you as an individual, make time to eat? Probably not. Here’s an example; my mother played such a huge roll in my health when I was growing up. She made sure my brother and I ate 3 meals a day, that’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The problem? She doesn’t eat breakfast, never has, and rarely eats lunch, if she does its very small maybe a granola bar. She is such a hard worker that she puts her work and family needs before her own. I am sure she is not the only one that does this. You, the one reading this, probably falls into this same routine. You have to make time to nourish your body.

Below are a  few simple ways you can satisfy your own personal needs at home and/or at work. 

  1. Snacks – If you are a person who doesn’t eat enough or your work doesn’t allow you take very long breaks, buy snacks specifically designated for your office. You go to the grocery store for your family right? Well, buy your own snacks you can take with you to work. You can also meal prep if you have the time to cook your meals for the week.
  2. Music – Music is extremely underutilized as a stress reliever. Maybe your office doesn’t allow you to play music. That’s okay. Bring some headphones with you. When you go on your break walk outside, sit down, plug-in and relax. Whatever music relaxes you is what I recommend. When I am trying to clear my mind I use an app called Spotify and type in “Relaxing Music” in the search bar. It brings up different playlists I can choose from. I choose one, sit back, and chill.
  3. Meditation – This may require some practice but once you learn how to meditate and clear your mind it works wonders! There are also apps out there that will walk you through the meditation and breathing process.
  4. Reading – Reading a book is an easy way to escape the real world. Whatever interests you, fiction, science, fantasy, romance, etc, bring your favorite book with you and read on your break. It will refresh your mind and allow you to escape reality!
  5. Manicures & Pedicures – I am targeting mostly women with this one, not saying that there aren’t men out there who love these, but a large majority of women are fans of manicures and pedicures. This is such a great way to clean yourself up, especially if it’s been a long week planting or playing with your kids. The plus is that it’s relaxing! (They have massage chairs that will make you feel like jello) ;).
  6. Date Night – Let’s face it, when you have a family it’s difficult to designate time for dates but I think it is a necessity. Now, you obviously can’t go on a date at work but you can certainly make time for it. Making time for date night with your significant other is very important not only for you as an individual but for your relationship. It’s refreshing to get that alone time and chances are you probably need that “connection” (you pickin’ up what im puttin’ down?)
  7. Set aside alone time in the morning or at night – Talk to your family or significant other and just let them know that you want ten minutes alone just to relax and de-stress. It can be in the morning before your kids wake up or at night after they go to bed. For those of you who don’t have families to take care of setting aside time should be easier! No excuses! 😉 Setting aside mental time will help you rejuvenate and recharge.
  8. Lists – Now, I know some of you are list people. If there are multiple things you need to take care of make a list AND prioritize; key word being PRIORITIZE. That is how you truly counterbalance.

Join the conversation

  • Do you think it is possible to achieve true balance in life? Or, are we constantly shifting from one side to the other counterbalancing our work responsibilities and life responsibilities?
  • What are some things you do to either counterbalance or achieve true balance within your own life?

-mk

10 Success Quotes that will Skyrocket Your Motivation!

10 Success Quotes that will Skyrocket Your Motivation!

“Inspire to Motivate”

I am a quote fanatic! They are all over my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages; not to mention all over my walls in my apartment! They inspire me and help motivate me to take on my day! It helps to see someone who has experienced life give you a piece of their wisdom; something that they learned from living their life, right?

Here is a list of the Top 10 success quotes I compiled to help inspire you! I also included some fun and unique ways for you to keep your favorite quote(s) readily available in case of emergencies! 😉

  1. “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”– Eric Thomas
  2. “The will to succeed is important but the will to prepare is just as important.” – Eric Thomas
  3. “Don’t expect anyone else to believe in your doggone dream, it’s yours!” – Eric Thomas (you can tell I love Eric Thomas quotes huh?)
  4. “The most important thing is this: to be able at any moment, to sacrifice what you are for what you will become.” – Charles Du Bos
  5. “There will never be a right time to do a great thing. You have to create that time. You have to create that opportunity.” – Eric Thomas
  6. “No one is going to hand me success. I must go out and get it myself. That’s why I’m here. To dominate. To conquer. Both the world and myself.” — Anonymous
  7. “Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get where you want to go, no one else.” – Les Brown
  8. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” – Farrah Gray
  9. “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”– Bill Cosby
  10. “My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” – Oprah Winfrey

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “ I have a favorite quote that motivates me so much but I have such a hard time remembering it.” Well, today is your lucky day! I am going to give you some unique ways for you to keep inspiration and motivation around you throughout your day!

  1. Inspirational Jewelry – Inspirational jewelry has blown up within the past few years and is something I am completely in love with! What better way to keep inspiration and motivation with you than around your neck or on your wrist; some place where you will see it daily! Small boutiques have great assortments and also online. Click the link below to find jewelry that speaks to your heart!

https://www.etsy.com/search/jewelry?q=inspirational+quote+jewelry

  1. Inspirational Wallet Cards – You can order a personalized wallet sized card that you can have with you wherever you go! This is such a great idea, especially for those of you men who aren’t really into the whole jewelry thing. These would be great small gifts for friends, family, or your significant other! Click the link below to look at inspirational wallet cards.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/riskybeads?ref=l2-shopheader-name

  1. Do – it – yourself Picture Frame Quote – I am sure you have seen something like this in department stores or home goods stores but why spend $20 on something you can make yourself at home! All you need is a printer with ink and an old picture frame. Of course if you want to get all fancy you can spend the extra few dollars and buy a new frame. Either way all you have to do is type up your favorite quote on a program like Word, Publisher, or Photoshop. Edit it however you would like (change the fonts, colors, background colors, etc.) save and print! After that all you have to do is cut it down to size, stick it in the frame and BOOM! You just made your very own picture frame quote.
  • I recommend hanging it or sitting it somewhere you will see it every morning and night like your bathroom counter or on your night stand!
  1. Set your favorite quote as your wallpaper on your cell phone, Ipad, laptop, and desktop computer! We live in an ever-growing technological world. Everywhere you turn there is a piece of technology to look at … why not add inspiration and motivation to it that will keep you on track throughout your day?
  1. Create easily accessible bookmarks on your computer that will hold any and all links to your favorite motivational and inspirational quotes! All you have to do is open your preferred search engine, for me it is Google chrome, and when you come across a link you want to save just click the star at the right hand side. It will then ask you to add to folder OR you can create a new folder. You can name it “My Inspiration” or “What Motivates Me”.

There are so many unique ways to keep yourself motivated and inspired throughout your day! Utilize some of these and you will be amazed at how your motivation sky rockets! Know someone who could use some inspiration today?

Share this post!

“We rise by lifting others.”

Meagan Kunisch

The Glorification of Busy: Slow down!

I recently came across a post on pinterest while searching “relaxation quotes”, it reads,

nature

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished,” by Tao Tzu.

It reminded me how much of my day I spend rushing. From the moment I wake up to the moment I sleep I try to fit in as much as I can into my day. I think that is normal for everyone don’t you think? It’s no surprise stress and anxiety are at an all time high. We expect so much from ourselves to accomplish as much as we can in our day that we forget to “stop and smell the roses” (too cliché?), it’s true! Everything in nature is never rushed. Flowers bloom in the spring, trees lose their foliage in the fall, and animals hibernate in the winter. Everything is completed in a timely manner and is never rushed. Why should we rush? Why should we carelessly throw our mental health out the window just to meet a deadline? Why should we have to take anxiety medicine that masks the problem without treating the root of the problem?

The root of the problem is us. We don’t care enough to allow ourselves time to clear our mind and relax. Just like we make up excuses not to work out, we make up excuses as to why we can’t relax; “I’m too busy”, “I don’t have time”, “I have kids, do you know how hard it is to get even a minute of time to yourself?” the list goes on and on. Here’s the thing, it has become routine, like a habit. Have you ever tried to kick a habit? It’s really difficult! Once you realize you are not getting enough time to yourself to rejuvenate your mind you need to FIND and MAKE time in your day where you can relax if even for ten minutes. Stop the glorification of busy and learn to enjoy life again!

M.

Check out the following link for ideas on how to de-stress throughout your day.

55 gentle ways to take care of yourself when you’re busy busy busy

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