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family fitness
Fitness
Published Tuesday Apr 24, 2018 by Chiteka Jackson

The Art of Balancing Family and Fitness

Fitness
Motivation
Food

As a mother of four, caretaker of an elderly parent and full-time professional, staying fit has been a challenge for myself and my family. And did I mention turning 46 doesn’t make it any easier? Luckily not all has been lost! In my family, we set an intention to keep our health a priority and focal point—no matter how busy life gets.  
 
So, how do you balance a hectic schedule and your health goals? By creating a plan. It sounds cliché, but the saying is true, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  

Here are five (very realistic) tips my family and I use to stay happy and healthy:
 

1. Who’s Hungry?

meal prep


Meal Planning - Confession: I hated the idea of planning weekly meals and cooking for the week. The thought of sitting at my computer or picking meals on my phone was not a task I looked forward to. When I took the time to plan meals for the week, not only does it help our routine flow better as a family, it makes grocery shopping easier, and we save a ton of money not eating out as much. Stuck on where to find fresh recipes? I get my inspiration from Pinterest and use the app Plan To Eat to ensure healthy, tasty meals are always at our disposal. 





2. No Junk Food Here!

healthy food


Managing Snacking - Eating unhealthy snacks can decimate any healthy food plan and sabotage your efforts to stay fit. Adding dried fruits, nuts, and other vegetables into my family’s food routine helps to manage cravings and can appease my hungry kids’ appetite until the next meal. Having my whole family decide on healthy snacks ensures junk food won’t creep into the refrigerator or pantry—and it’s a fun activity that gets everyone involved!





3. Fitness as a Family


family fitness plan

Prioritizing Exercise - The benefits of getting fit go far beyond just staying in shape. Not only can exercise be done anywhere and with the entire family, but it also gives you a chance to reconnect. My kids and I take walks when they come home from school, and we discuss their day while getting a workout. A little extra afternoon cardio always brightens our moods, even after a long day. 





4. In It to Win It


workout routine

Being Accountable - The definition of accountability is “the obligation of an individual or organization to account for his or her activities and accept responsibility for them.” Having a family workout regimen or eating plan creates a built-in accountability system for myself and all members of my household to adhere to. We become responsible for and support each other’s wellness. Having someone to keep you on track when you fall off your fitness path is always beneficial.





5. Catching Those Zzz’s


sleep

Getting Enough Sleep - Getting necessary shuteye is probably one of the most overlooked keys to staying fit and healthy. In this digital age of computers, tablets, mobile devices, etc., sometimes we find ourselves getting much less sleep than we need for our bodies to properly function. Lack of sleep leads to overeating and tiredness which can destroy your goal of maintaining health. For my family, I make time to “disconnect” before bed. Whether it’s reading or talking, detaching from screens helps to strengthen our bond as a family—making us healthier and happier. 
 
No matter how busy life can be, it’s important to remember that what you make a priority will help you succeed, especially when it comes to your (and your family’s) well-being. 

Chiteka Jackson
Written by
Chiteka Jackson
Contributor
About the author
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Chiteka is currently completing a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Forbes School of Business and Technology in Human Resources and Global Management. As a human resources professional for the last 18 years, Chiteka maintains a professional career as a mother of four and caregiver to an elder parent.
Acupuncture Benefits - MINDBODY
Wellness
Published Wednesday Sep 11, 2019 by Amber Scriven

How Acupuncture Can Benefit Your Body

Acupuncture
Recovery
Expert Advice

Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for various ailments ranging from digestion to carpal tunnel, but the level of effectiveness varies from person-to-person. I’ve had Sciatica patients spend months combating their back and leg pain, and others hop off the table in two hours, never needing a follow-up appointment. Some rotator cuffs take six weeks; others take two years. 

Why is this?

While your body's response to acupuncture depends on the complaint or injury, it also depends on your overall health, and how well you take care of the injured site between sessions. If we eat junk food all the time, are inactive, don’t sleep well, or overwork ourselves, then injury is imminent, and recovery is going to be hard. Equally, if we ignore an injury or don't care for it, then we will likely stay injured for longer. 

So, let’s break down what’s best for you when it comes to acupuncture:

 

Acupuncture Benefits - MINDBODY

 

“How often should you get acupuncture with specific ailments?”
This is different for everyone, but here are some general guidelines.

 

More is better.
Acupuncture has cumulative effects, so while most feel relief after one session, it likely will not have resolved the issue. Multiple follow up sessions are needed, and for your own comfort, it’s recommended that you use sessions before the effects have completely worn off each time. 

Every time you receive a session, your relief should be more significant, and the effects should last longer—bringing the injury closer to resolution. With this in mind; the worse the injury, the more frequent you’ll want to receive acupuncture. Several times a week is standard, that way you will get out of discomfort faster, and you’ll need fewer sessions overall.

 

Understanding acute versus chronic ailments.
Some acute symptoms like nausea, dizziness, bleeding, swelling, or anxiety will clear up on the spot. However, for recent injuries pertaining to tissues, like a strained muscle, you can use three acupuncture sessions in one week with great effect. For example, with strained lower back muscles, you will feel less pain in one session, a significant reduction in inflammation and symptoms within three sessions. An ankle sprain is a little more serious and may take two or three weeks, but the general idea is the same.

With stubborn pain, or chronic issues like sciatica, skin rashes, nerve pain, hormone irregularities, it can take a bunch of sessions to see lingering results. Often there will be relief right after each session, but the symptoms return quickly (albeit with a little less vengeance). This just means the results are happening in smaller increments. For this reason, your practitioner will tell you to come in over three times a week for two or three weeks so you’ll get more relief faster, but you can space the sessions out as you begin to feel better. 

 

Acupuncture Benefits - MINDBODY

 

“What can I do to make my acupuncture benefits bigger?”
As mentioned, how you care for yourself between sessions makes a big difference. Here’s a few pro tips.

 

Immediate aftercare.
Your practitioner will give you specific directions they want you to follow for your ailment, but generally, after an acupuncture visit, it is wise to drink a lot of water and rest. 

 

Between sessions. 
Here’s the obvious thing we don’t often consider. If you get instant relief for your pulled hamstring, but then you go running the next day, it’s going to take forever to heal! That injured body part needs to be pampered and catered to. Your acupuncturist will give you food, supplement, lifestyle, and movement suggestions to use between sessions– use them all. 

I’ve seen countless patients walk in with frozen shoulder, spend 90 minutes in the chair with various points and stimulation techniques, and then leave swinging their arm painlessly with 50% more range of motion. If they eat well, do their physical therapy, and are kind to their shoulders, the effects will last. Then, next time, we can add another 50% on to their range of motionBut, if they paint a house or swing a baseball, then I see them go right back to square one overnight. How we take care of ourselves between sessions really matters.

 

Share everything. 
You will want to note any changes; no matter how small or irrelevant they seem. Your practitioner is armed with many protocols and techniques. They will always start with the combo that they’ve seen work best for your complaint, from there they will work backward or tweak it slightly based on the information you give them. Make sure to tell them every detail, even if it seems unrelated.  

One lady, with unrelenting pain, finally revealed a game-changing nugget to me while nonchalantly laughing about her need to wear neck scarves everywhere. I found out she had been experiencing chills and had a significant aversion to wind during the summer. This “irrelevant” snippet made me radically change the protocol, and she was pain-free and healing rapidly within four sessions.


So, there you have it. How acupuncture benefits various body parts depends on the area concerned, but also on how we treat our bodies before, during, and after injury. 


Want to try acupuncture, or another wellness service? Download the MINDBODY app to book something new! 
 

Amber Scriven Acupuncturist
Written by
Amber Scriven
Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
About the author
A busy acupuncturist, yoga teacher and trainer, Amber has actively worked in the wellness industry for over 10 years. For her, yoga is a form of health care that she uses alongside acupuncture in the form of retreats, injury rehabilitation, and pain relief. Amber is renowned for building emotional strength while cultivating physical health.