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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Pulling Out The Weeds

source: gwilmore (flickr.com)
Affirmations are nice and visualizations are useful as well.  List of goals and action steps also are important with personal change.  Another important part of personal transformation is pulling out the weeds, clearing our limiting thoughts and behaviors.  I think this is more crucial than any of the other steps because it gives us a better understanding of ourselves.  Why do you do what you do?  What beliefs do you have about yourself?  How comfortable are you with compliments or criticism? These questions are helpful so that whatever sub-programming we're operating on doesn't suddenly rear its head and snatch away whatever progress we've made in life whether it's with weight loss, a job promotion or a stable relationship.

This is a gradual process and one that needs repeating.  Most of us are unlikely to change overnight or after having done one weeding exercise.  This process could be repeated on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.  It's designed to get us to see whatever beliefs and actions are keeping us from living the life we wish to live, as well as to recognize what progress we have made in life.  If you want you can skip this exercise and go directly to creating your goals and action steps for the New Year.  If, though, you've had difficulty with maintaining change then hopefully this post will help.

What are your limiting thoughts/beliefs?  (Limiting thoughts could range from believing that you're not smart enough to graduate from college to thinking that you can't live without your daily diet soda, etc.)

Where did this thought originate?  From a bad experience?  A TV show?  Something that someone told you when you were 8?


For at least 3 of the thoughts that have the strongest hold on you, list how this thought is helping you and harming you.


What behaviors/habits are keeping you from changing?


How comfortable are you with change?  (Very comfortable, Comfortable enough, Highly uncomfortable)

How comfortable are you with taking risks?  (Very comfortable, Comfortable enough, Highly uncomfortable)


What mistakes/less-than-ideal experiences occurred to you this year?  What did you learn?  How will you do better next time?


What mistakes/less-than-ideal experiences occurred to you this week?  What did you learn?  How will you do better next time?


What are your limiting thoughts/beliefs about 2 of your goals?


As wonderful and beautiful as you are, what's one thought that you will change about yourself/your life this week?


During the week, note any negative comment that you make about yourself...especially the ones that just seem to escape automatically out of you.


Be sure to keep your list of limiting beliefs.  We'll work on it some more next week.  I understand that these questions or inner work business can be tedious for some and perhaps you've read through this post without answering the questions.  I understand:  life is busy.  If you want to make this upcoming year a different one for you, schedule time to return to this post and answer the questions.  Or if one question touches a sore spot then answer that one question.  I'll be answering these questions and doing my inner work as well!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy New Year!!!! (almost)

This morning, I concluded my blogtalk radio series on setting goals, "Goal Getters."  Will be using the strategies myself to stay on track as well with accomplishing my goals in 2011.

Can listen to show at link.  Also, can post the strategies that you've used to accomplish your goals.

Thanks to everyone for visiting my blog.  Your feedback and support is appreciated.  


Listen to internet radio with ShannonMcQueen on Blog Talk Radio



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Business Ready - Post 8 My First Article

Last night, practically on a whim I posted an article on Yahoo!  "11 Simple Fitness Strategies for Losing Weight" which you can view here.  In the future, I want to post more articles so this was a good and gentle way for me to start.  I figure that posting articles would be helpful with expanding my online presence and establishing myself as an expert.

What are some techniques that you can use to reach a larger online/offline audience?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Losing Weight, Finding Yourself, Pt. 3 of 3

source:  fotosearch.com


*Remember to consult a medical professional before launching a health or fitness program.  The strategies below are what works for me but always follow your best judgment.  : )

For the conclusion of our 3 part series, we're going to look at some fitness strategies that help us to maintain our weight.

1. Do something that you enjoy. Find an exercise that you like and aim to practice it at least 3 times a week.

2. Or do something that you don't enjoy...at least not now. If you're someone who disdains the thought of exercise, then it'll probably be hard for you to find something that you like right away. In the meantime, try something that is manageable for you and that also gives you results. You may learn to like the particular exercise and appreciate its positive effect on your overall health.

3. Add exercise to your day. I remember one former co-worker who would walk to a person's desk instead of relying on e-mail or the phone to contact a person. Find a way such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking during your breaks to increase the amount of exercise that you do.

4. Up the intensity or duration. If you've diligently been going to the gym, yet your weight hasn't changed then make some adjustments. You can change the amount or quality of the foods that you've been eating. And you can also change the intensity or duration of your exercise routine.

5. Exercise twice a day. I use this strategy when my weight has increased and I'm annoyed by it! : ) I do my usual morning routine but I also do something brief in the evening such as an 8-minute routine I got from Gayelord Hauser or I just "dance" for 5 or 10 minutes. (Please note I'm being very generous with what I call "dancing.")  I usually drop this strategy once my weight has stabilized.

6. Learn a new exercise. You can find new ways to strengthen a certain body part or of upgrading an old routine.

7. Compound movements. Work your shoulder muscles while you're doing squats.  Work your pecs while you're doing calf lifts. I'm fond of compound exercise to get twice as much from my workout and to also decrease on my workout time.

8. Use weights. I have 2lb weights which I got from Target a few New Years' ago that I use at home. When I finally visit the gym, I use heavier weights. You can, of course, use more weights to strengthen your body. Unfortunately, some women still seem to shy away from weights because they think they'll bulk up which rarely is the case. With muscles, your physique and metabolism are enhanced. Moreover, if you do feel that you're bulking up, decrease the weight or the repetitions.

9. Stretch. You can spend 5 or 10 minutes stretching your body as a way to prepare for the before and after of a workout. Remember to hold the stretch.

10. Be patient and consistent. With fitness as with the other topics covered in this series, consistency is crucial. Sure you can hit the gym 5 times a week for 80 minutes but expect it to take time to see the results.  You have to be patient and consistent. It could take 3-6 weeks for you to see results.  Additionally, if you stop with your usual routine, whether it's yoga or strength training, you'll lose the calm or muscles that you gained.

11.  The Scale.  Remember muscle weighs more than fat, so you could be doing everything right yet not see a change in your overall weight.  While the scale is useful, don't let it be the sole judge of how fit you are.  Consider how your clothes fit, your overall mood and energy level before you let the scale determine how your state of health.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gearing Up for the New Year

Am gearing up for the New Year.  Have just re-recorded my earlier show on achieving your goals.  If you've been stuck on the same ol' goal, you can listen to the show for some ideas on accomplishing it.  Or even better create your own unique plan for accomplishing your goals in 2011.  I myself will listen to this show as a reminder to myself!  ; )

Listen to internet radio with ShannonMcQueen on Blog Talk Radio

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Losing Weight, Finding Yourself Pt. 2 of 3


source:  fotosearch.com

I've posted pt 2 of this series here.  Pt 2 focuses on eating.  Hope that it's helpful.  Feel free to post any comments on my website http://www.optimalhabits.com/

Will post pt 3 of this series regarding fitness on this blog.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ironically enough...

Below is part 3 of my 3 part series on The Holidays:  Staying Healthy, Staying Sane.  Today's show focused on dealing with holiday overwhelm.  Ironically enough, it took me more effort than I thought to get this show done.  Nonetheless, the show has been recorded and you can listen to it...or my other shows on the recording below.


Listen to internet radio with ShannonMcQueen on Blog Talk Radio

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Business Ready - Post 7 Getting Ready

Yesterday, alas, alas, I managed to finally update my website to optimalhabits.com.  Instead of transferring my domain name.  I have a "pointer" domain, if that's the right word for it.  I now have to work on straightening out my e-mail situation for Optimal Habits since I've updated its name.

This is kinda tricky, techy stuff for me.

Speaking of Optimal Habits, I've added this week's coaching challenge which may require a lot of thought.  You can check it out here.

Tomorrow, I'll air part 3 of The Holidays: Staying Healthy, Staying Sane.  Tomorrow's show will focus on dealing with overwhelm.  A topic near and dear to my heart.  ; )  You can tune into the show or check out other shows by clicking on this link.

All right, enough updates for the time being...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday's Tips - Losing the Weight, Finding Yourself Pt. 1 of 3



source:  fotosearch.com
This morning, I figured I'd write a 3 part series on losing weight, especially with the New Year's right around the corner.  Ideally, I'd like to see everyone get off to a fighting start with their New Year's resolution whether it's losing weight, finding that ideal job or moving overseas.
This series will be divided along the following topics:
Mental
Eating
Fitness

So let's plunge into the tips for today.  I'd suggest that if you find a tip that appeals to you, write it down, schedule when you'll implement it and schedule when you'll assess your progress. Otherwise, you can just read this and then move onto your next Internet concern.  (Yes, this is another speaking from personal experience moment.)

OK, here goes:
1.  Background:  Figure out how you got to your current weight.  In this case, consider the mental, dietary and physical reasons.  Have you been eating more brownies or pizza than usual?  Has your work schedule made it difficult for you to workout?  Is this a temporary or long-term weight issue? 

2. Beliefs:  See if you have limiting beliefs that are keeping you at your current weight.  Do you think you can lose weight and actually keep it off?  Do you think that it's painful to lose weight?  Do you believe that you look unhealthy at a smaller size or do you feel less attractive?  Do you think that the only way that you can lose weight is by undergoing an extreme diet of egg whites and skinless chicken?  Is your definition of exercise limited to visits to the gym?

3.  Environment:  Check your physical and social environment.  Is your environment set up to keep you at a higher weight?  Is there a lot of clutter which weighs you down?  Do you have a lot of pastries, chips, or other unhealthy foods around you?  Do you make it habit to grocery shop in the aisles which sell junk food?  If they're accessible, do you visit healthy eating spots during your lunch breaks or blithely pass them by?

4.  Environment - The Scale:  Determine your "relation" to the scale.  Do you obsessively weigh yourself?  Does your mood go up/down according to your weight?

5.  Describe:  Write a brief paragraph describing yourself at your ideal weight.  How will you feel?  Which habits have you eliminated/reduced and which ones have you now added to your life?

5. Visualize:  Daily visualize a healthier, more vibrant you.  Can you imagine yourself at a healthier weight?  How does the thought make you feel?  Do you feel scared, skeptical, enthusiastic?

6.  Relaxing:  Figure out a non-food related relaxation technique that you can adopt.  What do you now do to relax?  Do you know how to relax?  What are some non-eating related actions that you can take to relax?

Hopefully, these tips and questions are helpful.  Just to mention, I'm not a medical professional and as always use your best wisdom with my tips and be sure to consult a medical professional before embarking on a health/fitness program.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Business Ready - Post 6 A Tale of Two Web Sites

source:  Emily Carlin
I've finished creating 2 websites:
Optimal Habits
http://optimalhabits.webs.com/

Optimal Readers
http://optimalreaders.webs.com/

Optimal Habits will change to optimalhabits.com as soon as the domain name transfer goes through.  I'd imagined that I could have just transferred the name with a couple of clicks but it seems it takes more than that.  I'm using webs.com which allowed me to create my site for free.  I like that I can download audio and video at no cost.  I do though want to increase the size of some of the pre-set tabs.  Also, from my experience, you have to type text directly onto the page.  For most pages, you can't copy and paste not even internally.  Perhaps I should check their support page about this.

Optimal Readers is an online women's book club which will start in February 2011.  My plan is that we'll read books related to self-growth, personal finances and health.  I also hope to do some teleconferencing as part of our monthly meeting.  Members can interact on the forum, create their own members page and access the site's blog.  You can find out more about the site by clicking here
http://optimalreaders.webs.com/.

Also, have completed the Optimal Habits December newsletter.  In preparation for the New Year, I wrote a brief article on mindset.  You can sign up for the newsletter for free on the right.


Listen to internet radio with Shannonmcqueen on Blog Talk Radio

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Standing in Line

The other line moves faster. 
Etorre's Observation

I'm not a huge fan of lines.  My preference is to get what I want, pay for the purchases and then head out of the store.  Well, neither life nor soap operas go exactly as expected. 

Here then are some ideas to manage standing in line while maintaining your glowy aura.  : )  If you wish, you can also listen to "The Holidays:  Staying Healthy, Staying Sane"  which offers tips on holiday shopping, standing in line, and healthy eating while at the mall.  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shannonmcqueen

1. Take 5 slow deep breaths to calm yourself down

2. Repeat a calming affirmation to yourself.  
    Examples from http://bmindful.com/affirmations/calm  
    My mind is calm.
    I take deeper, longer, more relaxed breaths.
   I am always calm and relaxed.  My thoughts are under my control.

3. Practice compassion for the other people standing in line and for the cashiers working at the register.

4. On the other end, maximize your time - read, check your e-mail, update your cell phone’s contacts, input your goals into your cell phone’s memo pad, , review your to-do list, clean out your pockets, adjust your attire, wipe your forehead, etc.

5. Use your imagination and create a story for the other people standing in line. Or imagine how your would photograph or report such a scene.

6. Think of a healthy/relaxing reward, you’ll give yourself for "undergoing" the holiday shopping experience.

See if one of those suggestions work for you. Or create your own strategy for waiting in line.  Feel free to leave any feedback or comments.  Also, I'll finish my website optimalhabits.com soon if you wish to check it out! 


30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 30 The Finale : )

source: commons.wikimedia.org

Alas, this month is over and our 30 Day Life Improvement Plan is also coming to a close.  Congratulations to everyone for making it this far!  Here's the plan for Day 30:

1.  Review our Success Tool Kit

2.  Update our list of completed projects - Which ones did you finish/avoid?  What can you get further help with? (Check or update list of resources from Success Tool Kit)

3.  Review progress on 30 Day Life Improvement Plan - How's your life progressing?  Have you experienced any changes or learning anything new about yourself? 

4.  Decide on a technique to keep us on track beyond this plan - Is there a technique or activity from the 30 Day Life Improvement Plan that you will continue using?

Don't forget you can also, go back to the previous days or themes if you want to review or re-do an activity.  Additionally, if you wish you can have an affirmation/visualization that relates to your main project.  Some of the activities such as tracking your food & mood, unloading your thoughts and so on could be extended for a week or more!  I'd suggest continuing to weekly track your progress in the life categories such as physical health, emotional health, career/business and so on as a way to continue to manage your life.  Be patient with yourself and remember to keep decluttering and deep breathing!  : )

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Latest Show ---The Holidays: Staying Healthy, Staying Sane, Pt. 2 of 3

If you like standing in long lines and buying gifts that people don't need, then this show isn't for you.  You can though recommend this show to a friend.  And for everybody else, feel free to listen to today's show which offers tips on managing holiday shopping and mall eating.

Listen to internet radio with ShannonMcQueen on Blog Talk Radio

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 29 Time Tracking

source: batteryinyourleg.com
Tomorrow will conclude our 30 Day Life Improvement Plan.  For today, we're continuing to work on our final theme of managing time.  Here's the plan: 

1.  Rate our life (see link below) and time management skills
http://coachintraining.blogspot.com/2010/11/30-day-life-improvement-plan-day-2.html

2.  Track how we manage our time from morning to noon/noon to evening

3.  List 3 ways to improve our time management skillsHere are some suggestions -
     Prioritizing schedule
     Planning week
     Weekly tracking progress on a certain goal
     Continuing to track how we manage time
     Delegating?Eliminating
     Doing the hardest...or easiest activity first
     Scheduling time to work on our projects
     Reducing commitments
     "Pausing" before deciding to become involved in something
     Reducing time spent on the computer, watching TV, on the phone
     Knowing priorities
     Venting about having to do something...and then doing it
     Focusing on one task at a time
     Reviewing to-do list throughout day
     Resting - sometimes we feel too tired to do something and procrastinate

Here's a rough idea of tomorrow's activities:
Review our Success Tool Kit
Update our list of completed projects - Which ones did we finish/avoid?  What can we get further help with?
Review progress on 30 Day Life Improvement Plan
Decide on a technique to keep us on track beyond this plan

Sunday, November 28, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 28 Delegate or Eliminate

source: batteryinyourleg.com
For today, we're doing our weekly technology reduction "diet" but we're also doing a couple of other activities.  Here's the plan:
1.  Decrease our technology habit (watch less TV, use the computer only during the evening, turn off the cell phone for a couple of hours, etc.) 

2.  Give ourselves a mini-spa treatment (deep breathe/meditation/foot massage, etc)

3.  List what we want to do less of and think of ways to delegate, eliminate or group such activities

For tomorrow, we'll....
Rate our life and time management skills
Track how we manage our time from morning to noon/noon to evening
List 3 ways to improve our time management skills

Continued to success to everyone!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 27 Declutter Your Schedule

source: batteryinyourleg.com
Welcome to Day 27 of our 30 Day Life Improvement Plan.  As we're nearing the end of this plan, we're working on our time management skills by focusing on our main project.  For this day, we're removing both the physical clutter and the schedule/commitment clutter in an effort to "free" up more time in our lives.  Here's today's plan:
1.  Declutter for 1 hour

2.  Look at our schedule/commitments to see if there's anything which can be "decluttered" as well

For tomorrow, we'll...
Decrease our technology habit
Give ourselves a mini-spa treatment (deep breathe/meditation/foot massage, etc)
List what we want to do less of and think of ways to delegate, eliminate or group such activities

Friday, November 26, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 26 The Main Project

source:  batteryinyourleg.com

Hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  For today, we're focusing on our main project.  Here's today's plan:

1.  List why your main project is important to you.  What's the reason?  How will it affect your life?

2.  Schedule time to work on your main project.  Are there daily or weekly actions that will help you to accomplish your main project?

For tomorrow, we'll....
Declutter for 1 hour
Look at our schedule/commitments to see if there's anything which can be "decluttered" as well

Bravo to everyone for making it this far along in the process!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 25 More time

File:Bratislava New Year Fireworks.jpg
source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bratislava_Ne...

We now have less than 5 days before our 30 Day Life Improvement Plan ends.  With time a'ticking for these last 5 days we'll focus on how we manage our time.

Here's today's plan:

1.  Review our gratitude list (Day 11)
http://coachintraining.blogspot.com/2010/11/life-improvement-plan-day-day-11-who.html

2.  List what we would do with more time

For tomorrow, we'll...
List why our main project is important to us.  What's the reason?  How will it affect our life?
Schedule time to work on our main project

A Big Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  I'm spending Thanksgiving with my parents' and sis which is nice.    I'll go for a pre-meal walk later today.  : )

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 24 Reviewing "Clearing Our Minds"

source:  fitnessgurunyc.com

For today, we're reviewing the first theme of this plan, "Clearing Our Minds."  There are 2 steps for today...plus an optional step.

Here's today's plan:

1.  Pick 1 project from your Projects List to focus on for the rest of this program.  (This can be the same project or a new one.  We're focusing on only 1 project instead of 4 as in the past weeks.)

2.  Review our unloading list from Day 1

Optional -  Unload your thoughts onto a new list.

For tomorrow, we'll start our time management theme.   Since it is Thanksgiving in the US tomorrow, simply do what you can!  : )

Review our gratitude list
List what we would do with more time

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Gearing Up for the Big Holiday Meal

source: dateonadime.wordpress.com

With Thanksgiving coming, I figure I'd offer some suggestions on handling the big meal.  Here are my 4 suggestions on what to do before the meal:

1. Eat during the day -You can eat lighter than usual so you’ll have some room in your stomach for the upcoming meal.

2. Exercise - Take a walk, workout at the gym or at home

3. Visualize - Visualize how you’ll eat during the meal. Will you load your plate up? Are there some favorites that you’re looking forward to eating? Do you want to feel stuffed after the meal or satisfied?

4. Practice deep breathing

If you want, you can listen to additional suggestions on "The Holidays:  Staying Healthy, Staying Sane  Pt. 1 of 3."
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shannonmcqueen

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 23 Reviewing "Creating a Success Environment"

source:  wunderground.com
For today, we're reviewing our previous theme of "Creating a Success Environment."  Below is the plan -  

1.  See if your environment increases/decreases your energy.  Is there clutter?  Items needing repair?  Unworn or...worn-out clothing? 

2.  Decide on an affirmation/visualization technique to use for the remainder of this program.

3.  Re-read an article from your Success Tool Kit - You can read either an informative article about a project that you'reworking on or an article about an inspiring person.

For tomorrow, we'll
Pick one complaint to work on for the rest of this program
Review our unloading list from Day 1

 ..and your daily routine so far-
Continuing to work on your 4 projects

Increasing your sleep, if needed
Deep breathing
Scalp Massage (optional)
Proper posture
Eating more energizing foods
*If you're doing a daily affirmation, that's also great!

Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

On the Air: The Holidays - Staying Healthy, Staying Sane

I figured I'd better re-do this show.  It'll be interesting to try these strategies during Thanksgiving.

Listen to internet radio with ShannonMcQueen on Blog Talk Radio

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 22 Review: Renewing Our Energy

We have 8 days left in our plan.  Hopefully, you're experiencing some positive change in your life.  For this week, we're going to review some of the previous weeks and then go into our final theme of managing time.
Here's the plan for today:
1.  Rate your life and commitment to the 30 Day Life Improvement Plan  http://coachintraining.blogspot.com/2010/11/30-day-life-improvement-plan-day-2.html

2. Review "Renewing Our Energy" 
      How has your energy changed this past week?
      How can you begin to eat your ideal way?
      How did some foods affect your energy?
     Which people/interactions gave you energy?  Which ones strained your

      energy?

3.  Update Completed List (of projects/priorities) - Transfer any completed projects/priorities onto this list and appreciate the progress that you’re making

For tomorrow, you'll
1.  See if your environment increases/decreases your energy
2.  Decide on an affirmation/visualization technique to use
3.  Re-read an article from your Success Tool Kit

...and your daily routine so far-
Continuing to work on your 4 projects

Increasing your sleep, if needed
Deep breathing
Scalp Massage (optional)
Proper posture
Eating more energizing foods
*If you're doing a daily affirmation, that's also great!

Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 21 Have a (1/2) Spa Day!

We've made it to Day 21 of our plan.  For today, we'll continue our weekly process of decreasing technology.  We'll also end this week's focus of renewing our energy by giving ourselves 1/2 of a spa day.  If you can manage an entire spa day, then you're definitely encouraged to do so.

Here's the plan:
1.  Reduce technology habit - Watch less TV, have the cell phone on "Silent" for a couple of hours or limit your computer usage.  Do whatever works best for you.

2.  1/2 spa day - Create your own 1/2 spa day or if you can only "spa" for 10 minutes during the day, then that'll work as well.  This is a chance to renew your energy by relaxing and doing something special for yourself.  Here are some ideas of what you can do for a spa day:
Drink hot lemon water
Meditate for 10 minutes
Read an inspiring book/your favorite magazine
Eat a light breakfast
Have a leafy green salad for lunch
Do a deep breathing exercise
Try some of the flexibility stretches from Day 19
Soak in the tub
Deep condition your hair
Massage scalp and/or feet
Write for 20 minutes
Journal
Describe your Ideal Day (again)
Use your senses to be conscious of what you're doing, your environment
Practice nature awareness during a walk

3.  Review Success Tool Kit - Review your tool kit for inspiration and as a reminder of your strengths.  Can you add any inspiring quotes/affirmations about energy or health to your tool kit?  Is there anything which needs updating?

4.  For 2 minutes, visualize yourself as having more energy

---Remember to do something from your enJoy List (Day 10) today, if you didn't get a chance to do so yesterday--- 

For tomorrow, we'll....
Rate our life and commitment to the 30 Day Life Improvement Plan
Review "Renewing Our Energy" 
   How has our energy changed this past week?
   How can we begin to eat our ideal way?
   How did some foods affect our energy?
   Which people/interactions gave us energy?  Which ones strained our energy?
Update Completed List (of projects/priorities)

Before we transition into our next theme of managing time, we'll spend a few days reviewing what we've worked on so far.  Almost every day we've been doing a different activity so I think it'd be wise for us to pause and review.  ; )

...and our daily routine so far-
Continuing to work on our 4 projects
Increasing our sleep, if needed
Deep breathing
Scalp Massage (optional)
Proper posture
Eating more energizing foods
Tracking how people affect our mood (energy level)
*If you're doing a daily affirmation, that's also great!

Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 20 A Time to Declutter, A Time to Exercise

We' re nearing the end of this week's theme of renewing our energy.  If you've tried some of the activities during this week--sleeping more, eating more energizing foods, tracking your food and mood, doing a scalp massage,etc--and wish to make it a daily habit, feel free to do so.  After all, it's difficult to get the full benefit of eating more energizing foods, if you've only done so for one day!

All righty, so here's the plan for today -
1.  Continue to track how people affect your mood - Just to clarify, you can chart how people affect your mood by noting the time, the person and the effect.  Some interactions can raise your energy levels but the boost could be due to nervousness so for me, it's useful to track if my energy level went up/down and also to specify the reason.  I also include significant online interactions (e-mails, chats, etc) that affect me.  Do be reasonable, if you're reading 20 e-mails or talking to 50 people during the day, then you just note the 5 interactions that affected your mood.

2.  Fitness - Try a new exercise.  If you wish to continue with the additional 5 minutes of fitness (Day 19), you can also do so.
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/videos/total-body-workouts/total-body-recharge.htm
http://crossfit.com/

3.  Declutter - 1 hour:  Decluttering can help if you're low on energy and dealing with overwhelm.  Again, if 1 hour doesn't fit into your schedule, do what's practical and acknowledge yourself for taking action in clearing your space and increasing your energy. 
http://zenhabits.net/15-great-decluttering-tips/

4.  Visualize - For 2 minutes, visualize yourself as having more energy.  (See Day 18)

--Also, today or tomorrow, do an activity from your enJoy List (Day 10)---
http://coachintraining.blogspot.com/2010/11/30-day-life-improvement-plan-day-10.html

Here's the plan for tomorrow:
Day 21
Reduce technology habit
1/2 spa day - soak/facial/pedicure/manicure/meditate
Foot massage
Review Success Tool Kit
Visualize

...and our daily routine so far-
Continuing to work on our 4 projects
Increasing our sleep, if needed
Deep breathing
Scalp Massage (optional)
Proper posture
Eating more energizing foods
Tracking how people affect our mood (energy level)
*If you're doing a daily affirmation, that's also great!

Before we transition into our next theme of managing time, we'll spend a few days reviewing what we've worked on so far.  Almost every day we've been doing a different activity so I think it'd be wise for us to pause and review.  ; ) 

Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 19 Today's Exercise...

For today, instead of tracking food and mood, we'll track how people affect our mood/energy levels.  We'll also work on the more active part of "increasing "our energy by boosting our fitness level.  Here's today's plan:

1.  Track how people affect your mood - As much as possible, monitor how people affect your mood (energy level).  Write down or note in your cell phone's memo pad how some interactions affected your mood.


2.  Flexibility- Do you struggle to touch your toes?  Are you stiffer than you used to be?  If so, try the exercises in the link below to help with increasing your flexibility.  Do, however, use caution and avoid overextending yourself.  (See my disclaimer at end of entry.)
http://www.shapefit.com/stretching-exercises.html

3.  Fitness - Challenge yourself by adding 5 min/more to your fitness routine.  Or walk for 5 min, if you're new to fitness.  If you're just beginning an exercise routine, see if there's someone you trust who can give you advice on fitness. 
Fitness Test
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/SM00086

4.  Schedule an activity from your enJoy List (Day 10) for the weekend
http://coachintraining.blogspot.com/2010/11/30-day-life-improvement-plan-day-10.html

Do what you can manage for today and remember to practice your deep breathing exercises!

Here's a rough idea of what's ahead -

Day 20
Continue to track how people affect your mood
Fitness - Try a new exercise
Declutter - 1 hour
Visualize - 2 min

Day 21
Reduce technology habit
1/2 spa day - soak/facial/pedicure/manicure/meditate
Foot massage
Review Success Tool Kit
Visualize

Our daily routine so far-
Continuing to work on our 4 projects
Increasing our sleep, if needed
Deep breathing
Scalp Massage (optional)
Proper posture
Eating more energizing foods
Tracking how people affect our mood (energy level)
*If you're doing a daily affirmation, that's also great!

Next week, we'll work on managing our time.  We'll focus on our list of projects/priorities and we'll utlilize our Success Tool Kit.
Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 18 Energizing Foods, Energizing You!

We are indeed much more than what we eat,
but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.
Adelle Davis

For today, we'll continue to track our food and mood.  We'll also learn about eating more energizing foods and decreasing the energy zapping foods.  Finally, we'll practice visualizing ourselves with more energy.  All right, so here are the 3 steps. 

1.  Continue to track your food and mood.  (See Day 17 for more info.)
Remember again, to take 2 slowwww deep breaths before eating as a way to relax yourself

2.  Learn more about energy increasing and decreasing foods.  What are two energizing foods that you will add to your eating plan?  Are there any energy draining foods that you need to decrease?  You can click on the links below or learn more about this topic via books/Internet sites.  Also, view your food&mood journal from yesterday:  Are there any foods/beverages which lowered your energy?
Energizing Foods
http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2009/09/energizing-foods-guide-rev-up.html
http://www.prevention.com/health/nutrition/healthy-eating-tips/food-and-energy/article/3c8fd08f88803110VgnVCM20000012281eac____

Energy Zapping Foods
http://www.doityourself.com/stry/energy-draining-foods-to-avoid

3.  For 2 minutes, visualize yourself as having more energy.   How would you feel waking up?  How would you move?  Would you have more patience with people? What kinds of foods would you eat?  You can look at inspiring images to help you with visualizing. 

To visualize, you can start by simply sitting still/lying down, closing your eyes and imagining a more energized you.  Also, if this is new to you, have patience.  Below is further info on visualizing.  Just an FYI, the visualization exercise in the posted link will take longer than 2 minutes:
http://www.life-changing-mind-power.com/creative-visualization.html
http://www.lawofattraction123.com/benefits-of-visualization.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_4721123_create-powerful-visualization.html

Here's a rough idea of what's ahead:
Day 19
Track how people affect your mood
Flexibility
Fitness - Add 5 min/more to routine or walk for 5 min, if you're new to fitness
Schedule an activity from your enJoy List for the weekend

Day 20
Continue to track how people affect your mood
Fitness - Try a new exercise
Declutter - 1 hour
Visualize - 2 min

Day 21
Reduce technology habit
1/2 spa day - soak/facial/pedicure/manicure/meditate
Foot massage
Review Success Tool Kit
Visualize

Here's a reminder about our daily routine so far-
Continuing to work on our 4 projects
Increasing our sleep, if needed
Deep breathing
Scalp Massage (optional)
Proper posture
Tracking our food and mood
*If you're doing a daily affirmation, that's also great!

Next week, we'll transition into managing our time.  Again, do what you can for this week!

Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 17 What's Your Eating Philosophy?

Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are. 
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

For this week, we're continuing to focus on renewing our energy.  Recently, we've worked on improving our sleep, practicing deep breathing and paying attention to our posture.  For today, we're going to consider our eating habits. 

1.  What's your eating philosophy?  Do you eat what you crave?  Do you eat a certain way for religious or health reasons?  What do you expect to get from the food that you eat--nourishment, energy, comfort?

Briefly, describe your present eating philosophy and your ideal eating philosophy.  Your ideal eating philosophy is a long-term manageable way of eating that you'd like to achieve:  It's not a short-fix diet.  For instance, if you often eat fast foods and drink soda, then your ideal eating philosophy could be to eat more home-cooked foods and to drink more water.  Here are some related links. 

2.  Tracking Your Food and Mood  - For today and Day 18, track the foods that you've eaten, the time eaten and your mood.  If you want, you can track your mood both before and after you've eaten certain foods.  That way, you may be able to see how certain foods affect you.  If it's not too much work, you can include beverages as well to see how your mood could be affected.  You can make up your own chart or use this link: 
Quick Tip - Before at least one meal, take 2 slowwww deep breaths before eating:  See if it helps to relax you.

3.  Foot Massage - Give your feet a break:  Massage them at least twice during this week.  Massaging your feet helps to relieve stress and imrpoves overall circulation  http://www.lifescript.com/Life/Timeout/Chill/Knead_to_Relax_Give_Yourself_a_Foot_Massage.aspx

Today provides an extremely general look at eating and the different reasons for our eating habits.  If you'd like to learn more about emotional eating, overeating, nutrition and so on, feel free to explore those topics further.  I've had one nutrition class and I do like to eat but I'm not an authority on nutrition.  : )

Day 18
Visualizing
Tracking food and mood
Eating more energy foods

Here's a reminder about our daily routine so far-
Continuing to work on our 4 projects
Increasing our sleep, if needed
Deep breathing
Scalp Massage (optional)
Proper posture
Tracking our food and mood
*If you're doing a daily affirmation, that's also great!

Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 16 Posture, Posture, Posture

  I want to get old gracefully. I want to have good posture,
I want to be healthy and be an example to my children.
Sting

Today on our 30 Day Life Improvement Plan, we're going to go a li'l "old school" and focus on our posture.  We're focusing on posture because usually poor posture is a sign of low energy.  Hopefully, by being more aware of how we carry ourselves, we'll impove our energy in turn.

As a bonus for today, we're going to give ourselves a scalp...so, let's head right to it!  OK, pardon the cheesy pun.  ; )

Today's plan -
Posture - For part of the day, observe the people around you.  Notice the ones who have a confident, upright---but not military stiff---posture.  Similarly, notice the people who have poor posture.  Pay attention to what makes their posture poor:  forward hunch, drooping head, a jutting chin. 
 Now, for the second part of the day, observe your own posture.  Is your chin parallel to the ground?  Do your shoulders slouch?  Do you hunch often when seated?

Make a conscious effort to be more aware of your posture.  Below are some related links.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MIZ6Fl2BTY
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/healthy_living/back_health/hic_posture_for_a_healthy_back.aspx
http://www.bhg.com/health-family/fitness/workouts-programs/exercises-to-improve-your-posture/

Bonus - Scalp Massage:  If you wish you can begin a daily/weekly practice of massaging your scalp.  As with most things in life, be firm yet gentle when massaging your scalp.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLt8sPoGsp8
http://www.ehow.com/how_7254810_scalp-massage-instructions.html

And next....
Day 17
Eating Habits
Tracking Your Food and Mood
Foot Massage

Tomorrow, we'll begin to look at our eating habits and on Friday, we'll start working on our fitness.  For this week, do what you can.  Again, congratulate yourself for making an effort to change your life.  This 30 Day Life Improvement Plan is jam-packed so have patience with yourself and if you only do one activity a week...at least that's something!

Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here.

Tuesday's Tip - 7 Healthy Habits

So, say you're reading this post and you're in your late 20s or 30s...early 50s or whatever.  Have you thought about who you'll be in your 80s?  Do you shut down at the thought, as if 80 is a far away place in some long distant fuzzy future? 

If you're over 30, think back to your childhood.  Thinking back to that time, how did you imagine yourself at your present age?  Back then, did your late 30s and 40s, also seem to be some fuzzy far away future?  And now--congratulations!---you've reached that point.  That once far away future is now your present.  Likewise, with your 80s, hopefully, that far away future will one day be your present. 

What can you do to ensure that you make it into your 80s and beyond with an agile mind and flexible body?  Even if you're in so-so health today, you can begin to take some small action to improve your health.  Whether it's visualizing yourself as healthier or taking a walk during your lunch break.  To tweak a quote, I heard from another life coach, "Age reveals who we really are."  Thus, with time, the effects of our habitual actions and thoughts will show themselves.

OK, so before I step off my soapbox here's a recap of the 7 healthy habits for healthy aging which I gave for my radio show (still gotta get used to saying that.):

1. Research - Read books or articles on longevity. You can also check out Ti Caine’s website at http://futurevisioning.com/.

2. Attend to your environment - Strive to keep your surroundings uncluttered and surround yourself with people who encourage and inspire you

3. Eat sensibly--have a diet that’s high on fruits and vegetables and low on sugary or fried foods

4. Get enough sleep--I’m learning this one myself

5. Exercise--Exercise helps with your mood and your health.

6. Do something that energizes you--Whether it’s exercising, birdwatching or discussing movies with a friend:  Do something that you enjoy

7. Laugh - Maintain a sense of humor.

A bonus suggestion, if you know someone who's healthy and 80 or older, ask for his/her advice on healthy living.
Today's post and yesterday's show was inspired by an interview I heard of Ti Caine on Sherri Nickols' show "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."  Part 2 of the interview will take place this Friday, Nov. 19. 

Related Show
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shannonmcqueen

Sherri Nickols
http://www.unleashyoursparkle.com/

Ti Caine
http://futurevisioning.com/
http://ticaine.com/Future%20Worksheets%20v15.pdf

Monday, November 15, 2010

Earlier in the day...

Early this morning, I did another show for blogtalkradio.com.  Today's topic was "You at 80:  Healthy Habits for Healthy Aging."  I'll blog more on this subject tomorrow. 

Next week's topic will be coping strategies for the holidays. 

Listen to internet radio with ShannonMcQueen on Blog Talk Radio

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 15 Sleep on it

I'm not asleep... but that doesn't mean I'm awake. 
Author Unknown

For today, we're focusing on sleeping and breathing.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need 7-9 hours sleep yet 33% report getting less than that.*  From personal experience, I know what it's like to have too little sleep and too much caffeine so I'm working on this habit as well.

In addition to sleeping, we'll work on improving our breathing.  When stressed, our breathing becomes constricted and as a consequence we take in less oxygen.  It can be helpful to remember this, especially during a tense situation. 

Here's today's plan:
1.  Sleeping - Are you getting enough sleep?  If so, keep it up!  If not, decide what you'll give up in order to go to sleep earlier.  You can increase your sleeping by going to bed 15 minutes earlier or by setting an alarm to remind you to prepare for bed.  During the remainder of this 30 Day Life Plan, aim to get as much sleep as possible, especially since the holiday season is fast approaching.   
http://www.bodybuildingforyou.com/articles-submit/gobala-krishnan/7-sleeping-tips.htm
http://helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/sleep-disorders-overview-facts

2.  Breathing --Are you breathing properly?  Have you paid attention to how you breathe?  Proper breathing oxygenates our blood cells and as a result gives us more energy.  Either daily or weekly, try to practice a deep breathing exercise.  (Check links for more info.)
http://www.path2healthyliving.com/breathing.html
http://www.womentowomen.com/fatigueandstress/deepbreathing.aspx
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3k_-mciE6o

3.  Time for our weekly rating:  Rate your life and your commitment to this plan (see link below)
http://coachintraining.blogspot.com/2010/11/30-day-life-improvement-plan-day-2.html

Bonus:  If you want, you can use this diary to track your sleeping habit: http://helpguide.org/life/pdfs/sleep_diary.pdf

And...up next:
Day 16
Posture

Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here

*http://www.comfortaire.com/documents/SleepHabits.pdf
 http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

Sunday, November 14, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 14 Cover Page

Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.
Bobby Unser

For today, we'll make a cover page for our Success Tool Kit* which we've been working on.  We'll also see how we're progressing with our list of projects and we'll aim to reduce our use of technology for today.  Here's the plan -

1.  Reduce our technology habit---Watch less TV, silence the cell phone for 2 hours or to decrease our use of the computer..  As always, do what works for you.


2.  Make a cover page for our Success Tool Kit - For this you can use the computer or design a cover page by hand.  A key point to remember is to be creative.  You can create a cover page with some of the inspiring images that you viewed yesterday or use an image of yourself   You can also give the cover a title and/or decorate it with positive words.
http://www.creativeaffirmations.com/positive-words.html

 
3.  Review our progress with our list of projects/priorities.  Are there finished projects that you can now transfer to your completed list?  Are there projects that are no longer important to you?  Or on the other hand, are there projects that you need to remind yourself about?  During the week, aim to work on 4 projects at a time.  (You can review Days 3 and 5 for more information about making a list of projects.)

*Your Success Tool Kit should have the information which we've worked on gathering this week.  You can put your tool kit in its own binder or use a divider to separate it from the other material we've been working on.  Your Success Tool Kit should have the following--
Lists of
 Strengths
 What you enJoy
 "Gratitude"
 Resources (supportive people & resources that can help you with your goal)
 Inspiring Quotes
 Empowering Affirmation(s)
 Completed Projects (an ongoing list)
Ideal Life Description
Articles on
 An Inspiring Person
 Your Main Project
Motivating Images

Day 15
Rate yourself on plan
Sleeping
Breathing

Tomorrow, we'll move into our third theme for this plan which is renewing our energy. We'll be working on our sleeping, eating and fitness habitsIf you want to be ready for our third theme, you can decide on 2/more energizing foods to add to your "menu."  Using the links below, find what works best for you.  For instance, I don't "endorse" all of the foods mentioned in the prevention.com article but it may suit someone else's eating style.
http://www.eatingforenergy.ca/ 

http://www.prevention.com/health/nutrition/healthy-eating-tips/food-and-energy/article/3c8fd08f88803110VgnVCM20000012281eac____

Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 13 Affirmative!

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
Epictetus

Believe it or not but we're close to the half-way mark for our 30 Day Life Improvement Plan.  We're also almost finished with creating our success environment.  Today's exercise could take about 2 hours:  Tomorrow's exercise will be "lighter" in case you need to catch up with the past week's exercises.

Here's today's plan -

1.  Create empowering affirmations - Create an affirmation that connects with you
Related Links
http://www.creativeaffirmations.com/list-of-affirmations.html
http://hubpages.com/hub/List-Of-Positive-Daily-Affirmations

http://abundancejournal.com/2007/how-to-get-rid-of-your-limiting-beliefs/
**This is a more involved way of creating an empowering affirmation but you can first examine any limiting beliefs that you may have and extract affirmations from that.  Some limiting beliefs could be:  Life is hard; Work shouldn't be fun; I never have good luck; Rich people are greedy; Exercise is painful.   

2.  Look at inspiring images--In books, magazines or on the computer look at images which inspire you.  You can do a search in Google by selecting "Images" and then typing keywords such as "dream house" "calm" "Kyoto" "healthy food" or any phrase that relates to your priorities.  You can print images from the computer or if the magazine belongs to you, cut out inspiring images.

3.  Declutter for 1 hour--I've noticed that when I declutter I am more at ease and my place feels lighter.  If you're emotionally up to it, remove items that don't fit into your current life and that keep you from moving forward.  (For instance, junk food if you want to be healthy or outdated clothing if you want to have an updated look)  If an hour doesn't fit into your schedule for today, you can declutter for whatever time is manageable for you.  Or schedule decluttering for later this month. 
Bonus - You can make a list of items that need fixing and also of equipment/material that you need to accomplish your priorities--running shoes, ink cartridge, water filter, etc.  With the holiday season coming up, this list could be handy.  : )

For tomorrow we'll...
Reduce our technology use (Watch less TV/silence the cell phone for 2 hrs/no computer during the evening)
Make a cover page for our Success Tool Kit
Review our progress with our list of projects/priorities

For next week, we'll focus on improving our energy. We'll be working on our sleeping, eating and fitness habitsIf you want to be ready for next week, you can decide on 2/more energizing foods to add to your "menu."  Using the links below, find what works best for you.  For instance, I don't "endorse" all of the foods mentioned in the prevention.com article but it may suit someone else's eating style.
http://www.eatingforenergy.ca/ 

http://www.prevention.com/health/nutrition/healthy-eating-tips/food-and-energy/article/3c8fd08f88803110VgnVCM20000012281eac____

Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 12 Research

source:  travelingproject.com
In order to get from what was to what will be, you must go through what is.
 Anonymous

For today, we'll continue to build up our Success Tool Kit by doing some research.   We'll be reading about someone who inspires us, getting some ideas on our main project and gathering some inspiring quotes.  Today's exercise will probably take about 40 minutes. So, here's today's plan:

1.  Read & print an article about a person who inspires you.  Suggestion:  If you're interested in a certain profession, then you can read about someone who's excelling in that field.

 2.  Read an article related to your main project.  What useful ideas did you get from the article?  How will you apply it to your project?  When will you apply it to your project?

3.  And for the list-lover in all of us!  ; )  Create a list of at least 5/more quotes that inspire you.  For ideas, you can enter "inspiring quotes" or "motivating quotes" into an online search engine, i.e., Google or Yahoo!

For Day 13, we'll...
Create empowering affirmations
Look at inspiring images
Declutter for 1 hour

For next week, we'll focus on renewing our energy. We'll be working on our sleeping, eating and fitness habits. If you want to be ready for next week, you can decide on 2/more energizing foods to add to your "menu."  Using the links below, find what works best for you.  For instance, I don't "endorse" all of the foods mentioned in the prevention.com article but it may suit someone else's eating style.
http://www.eatingforenergy.ca/ 

http://www.prevention.com/health/nutrition/healthy-eating-tips/food-and-energy/article/3c8fd08f88803110VgnVCM20000012281eac____

Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 Day Life Improvement Plan - Day 11 Who Encourages You?

source: travelingproject.com
Continuing with our Life Improvement  Plan, we're now working on creating a Success Tool Kit.  The list of our strengths and of what we enJoy will be part of our tool kit.  Today's exercise should take about 30 minutes.  Here's the plan for Day 11:

1.  List people who support/motivate/encourage you.


2.  Review your list of projects/priorities:  Is there someone with specialized knowledge who can help you with your project?  Create another list of people who can help you with your priorities.  On the same list, make another category of resources which help you with your priorities, i.e., books, videos, Internet sites, organizations

3.  What are you grateful for?  "What's great about your life?" as Tony Robbins would say.  : )  In other words, make a gratitude list. 

Coming next....
Day 12
Read & print an article about a person who inspires you
Read an article related to your main project
Create a list of at least 5/more quotes that inspire you

Also, this weekend we'll work more on decluttering and for next week, we'll focus on renewing our energy. We'll be working on our sleeping, eating and fitness habits.  If you want to be ready for next week, you can decide on 2/more energizing foods to add to your "menu."  Using the links below, find what works best for you.  For instance, I don't "endorse" all of the foods mentioned in the prevention.com article but it may suit someone else's eating style.

http://www.eatingforenergy.ca/ 

http://www.prevention.com/health/nutrition/healthy-eating-tips/food-and-energy/article/3c8fd08f88803110VgnVCM20000012281eac____

Of course, use common sense on this program and the standard of checking with a medical professional before beginning a health/fitness program applies here.