Tag Archives: wellness

An Introduction to Arivale

To help better serve our community at ZUM, we partner with health and well-being company Arivale.  Arivale is the Scientific Wellness® company that combines personalized data and tailored coaching, supported by a clinical team, to help individuals optimize their wellness and avoid disease.

We at ZUM have tried the Arivale program and we have found it to be an excellent way to tune-up our nutrition, find out things we didn’t know about in how our genetic make up affects our overall well-being, and how we can get the most out of our fitness regimens.

In this talk,  Arivale representative Morgan Trott introduces you to the Arivale Dashboard and discusses eating like an athlete to optimize your nutritional intake for your workouts.

 

PART 1: THE ARIVALE DASHBOARD

  • Exercise Genetics
    • Trainers using this information to help mitigate injury risk in clients and design exercise programs that are more personalized.
  • Weight-loss Genetics
    • Understanding genetic predispositions can help tailor meals for more efficient weight loss.
  • Lifestyle
    • Monitor physical activity, heart rate, sleep data and more to get regular feedback – not just a snapshot – on how your whole body is performing.
  • Blood
    • What supplements members need and how much of each are required
    • A lens to see how lifestyle choices show up in bloodwork and a person’s overall health

PART 2: EAT LIKE AN ATHLETE

  • It’s important to fuel with nutrients from fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins – not just processed foods – in the days after a workout, not just immediately before and after. Your body is recovering for 48 hours after most workouts.
  • Good grab-and-go options: RX bar, apple and 1 tablespoon nut butter, yogurt (Siggis or FAGE), hummus cups and carrots.
  • Check out the Arivale Pinterest board for coach-approved recipes.

Interested in learning more about how Arivale can help with your optimal health? Call 206-981-5834 to set up a call with an Arivale Coach and see what you can learn.

Arivale videos on Vimeo.

Get more info on the Arivale website.

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The Power of a Meditation Practice

 

What are some of your favorite daily routines? Is it your morning cup of coffee? Listening to your favorite music on your commute? Maybe your nighttime bubble bath? Or even dinner with your family?

 

For me, my favorite daily routine that keeps me centered, grounded and hydrated is my morning meditation practice.  I started this practice 7 years ago, and it is the most impactful and supportive habit I have formed. My morning practice creates a space and place for me to slow down and be with my body, my thoughts and my emotions before the busyness and noise of the day try to pull me in various directions.  When I create that moment to be still, breathe, listen and observe I feel more heard, seen and connected than any other ritual. There is tremendous value in making sure I feel strong and connected before I step into my job, my role in the family or the community at large. It is like the airplane theory. If I don’t put on my oxygen mask first, then I am no help to anyone else.

 

When I first started my meditation practice, I took the approach of “going slow to go fast.” I sat in the same place, every morning for 1 minute. After I worked through the uncomfortable twitchy impulses to be doing something else “more important” I was able to increase my stamina to sit for 3 minutes, then 5, then 10, then 20, then 30, then 45. Currently, I have a daily 20 minutes practice during the mornings. And those mornings I am rushing out the door or have to get up earlier for whatever reason, I still practice my habit to the best of my ability. Sometimes that is me sitting on my pillow for only 3 deep breaths or fitting in 10 minute sit. Whatever I can do, I do. I drop the guilt of it not being “perfect” and instead, celebrate this ritual and myself. Over the years, I have noticed if this daily practice isn’t there, my mind feels more frazzled. I have more anxious energy pulsing through my body. I tend to be more irritable. I even notice I snack and eat more!

 

You don’t have to be a monk or Buddhist to have a meditation practice. As long as you are breathing you have the ability to meditate! When I coach people into starting their own practice, the thing I hear most of the time is “I am not good at meditating because my brain never stops talking.” And I reply “Good! That means you are an excellent meditator if you can recognize your brain is chatty.” The most important aspect to remember, when starting a meditation practice, is observing  what your brain is talking about is awesome. But the deeper practice is to not get caught up in the story and clinging to what you hear. That is why we use the breath as a focal point for you to bring your awareness and attention to, so that the story of your mind doesn’t sweep you off into a novel. Sometimes the focal point could be a mantra, a sound, a body part or even visualization. But to keep it simple in the beginning, begin with your breath.

 

Try these 3 steps to start your own practice:

1. Decide what time of day you want to practice (morning, lunch time, end of commute, before bed etc).

  • Be specific and try to bookend it with some of your other habits. For instance, “after I brush my teeth I want to sit,” or “once I tuck my kids in at night I want to meditate.”

2. Create your space

  • Know where you want to practice. For instance your couch, bedroom floor, car etc. Literally think about where you want to place your butt.

3. Breathe & Be

  • Close your eyes and start to focus on your breath for just 60 seconds. Resist the urge to get up and say to yourself, this is only 1 minute. Allow yourself to let go of impulses and focus on your breath. Breathe in for the count of 5 and out for the count of 5. Let your breath wash over the mind and body like a wave. Try to feel your breath in every inch of your body. If your mind wanders away from the breath, notice what thought or sensation is wonders to and then gentle bring you attention back to your breath.

 

For an added bonus, keep a meditation journal so that you can record and take note of what you experienced. Observe if that was difficult/easy, what your body felt, what thoughts were persistent, the texture of your breath etc.

 

Try to maintain a consistent practice for 5 out of the 7 days of a week for this next month and then you can decide if this is a habit you truly want to incorporate.

 

If you want more tools, support and community around meditation, join us for Monday’s Mindful Sit @ 8am-8:30. As one ZUM member shares: “Monday’s sit supports me gaining the focus I need in order to have a productive week.” Another member adds: “It is a great transition space from the weekend to then step into the work week and not feel so flustered.” And if you want to practice on your own, check out my meditation recordings on my Centered in the City podcast (http://www.wadebrill.com/centered-in-the-city-podcast/).

Walk for Mental, Physical, & Emotional Well-Being 

The fitness industry is full of different training methods that are “backed by research” and “scientifically proven.”  A dominant trend over the past decade is the promotion of higher intensity training approaches like Crossfit, Insanity, and P-90X.  No doubt these approaches can help people reach fitness goals, but they must be balanced with moderate intensity approaches to prevent burn-out and injury. Walking is arguably the best moderate exercise, with proven physical, mental, and emotional benefits.

 

Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.

Carrie Latet

 

Regular walking and other forms of moderate exercise has tremendous positive impact on your health with very low risk of injury.  Over time, walking makes your heart and lungs function more efficiently and keeps your blood vessels relaxed and flexible, qualities that lower blood pressure.  It also regulates your blood sugar to keep the risk of diabetes in check, while reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke by 32%One study even showed that a daily walk can add seven years to your life.  Walking is movement medication.

Perhaps the most potent way walking benefits your health is that when you’re walking, you’re not sitting.  A lifestyle of sitting an average of eight hours a day is associated with a 90% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, along with a higher incidence of heart disease and cancer.  Unfortunately, the average American spends nine to ten hours sitting each day.

 

Consistent walking can also contribute to losing and managing weight.  Here’s a guesstimate of how many calories you burn in a mile walk, according to a Harvard Health Publication:

120 lbs = 85 Calories
140 lbs = 95
160 lbs = 105
180 lbs = 115
200 lbs = 125
220 lbs = 135

 

Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.

Henry Thoreau

 

Have you ever gone on a walk when you’re stuck on a problem, or left in the cold by your muse as you wait for inspiration to spark, and return to your desk with greater clarity and innovation?  The better question is how often does this happen to you?

Stanford University research has found that walking boosts your ability to find solutions to problems and gets the creative juices flowing.  Some of the highest regarded thinkers in history had a regular routine of walking, like Charles Darwin, Soren Kierkegaard, and Fredrick Nietzsche, who said “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”  Facebook front-man Mark Zuckerberg has been known to hold walking meetings, as did the late Steve Jobs of Apple.  To bolster the mental benefits of walking, research shows that it protects against dementia and improves sleep quality.

These mind-clarifying benefits come whether you are walking on a treadmill at ZUM or walking in the beauty of the Arboretum.

 

The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.

Jacqueline Schiff

 

Needing to ease a bout of anxiety, deal with some anger, or make yourself feel better on a melancholy day?  Walking can help.  It gives you time for nurturing connection, with yourself or with someone else.

Walking has been an potent ally in helping me through a few big changes I’ve had in the last couple of years.  A simple technique I use to enhance the calming effect of walking is to put my attention on the different sensations I feel and the things I see as I walk.  I notice how my feet connect with the ground, I feel the rhythmic, automatic swing of my arms and the fullness of blood flow in my fingers.  The gentle breeze on my face.  The varieties of smells.  Sometimes I just feel my breath flow in and out of my nose.  When I catch myself indulging anxiety-ridden thoughts I just bring my attention back to all of these simple but wonderful experiences.

 

Walk to be healthy, walk to be happy.

Charles Dickens

 

Walking nourishes your health in ways that intense exercise doesn’t, and can’t be overlooked in its time-tested contribution to our health and well-being.  It invigorates the body and nourishes the soul.  There’s no better activity to welcome you to our Feel, Perform, and Look Your Best challenge.

ZUM Fitness in the heart of downtown Seattle

Get to Know the ZUM Team – Wade Brill

 

You have a really powerful story about how you found your way into fitness and wellness, but many people might not know how your passion for helping people in this way began. Would you give us a little insight into the trajectory?

Of course! My passion for fitness and wellness began with a combination of life events that sparked a wake-up call for me. First of all, I grew up in a family that was extremely passionate about exercise and eating well. My mother mediated and influenced one of my biggest food values – eating your veggies.

My whole family was into yoga, but I decided I wanted a different path, so after being introduced to Pilates in school when I was 14, I decided that would be my practice. I became addicted by Pilates’s ability to make me feel internally long, strong and centered after every class. My love of Pilates continued to grow, so when I was about 19, I became certified in Mat Pilates through Power Pilates after one of my instructors encouraged me.

 

That’s pretty young! Did you know then that you wanted to teach Pilates and pursue a career in wellness?

Not exactly. I taught off and on while in college at the University of Michigan. But my real wake up call to the wellness world, came in 2010 while I was studying abroad in Argentina and was diagnosed with cancer – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

I flew home to NYC to start 6 months of chemotherapy. In the midst of going through chemo, my family and I suddenly lost our mother due to complications with her 10-year battle with Leukemia. This “life interruption” made me realize how precious life is and sparked me to truly listen to myself, find my inner passions and power, and live the life I want to be living.

 

That’s an incredibly sobering, yet powerful realization. How did wellness factor into it for you?

I experienced first-hand the power of wellness as an active practice. In order to help manage my anxiety and support my mental, physical, and soulful body, I deepened my meditation practice and made working out part of my daily ritual. Through meditation, especially, I survived and thrived while going through chemo and grieving my mom. The experience made me passionate about helping others discover the power in caring for themselves.

So, I finished chemo, graduated from Michigan a semester later than all of my friends, and decided to move back to Argentina by myself – a place I fell in love with before getting sick. I started my own Pilates and meditation classes in Buenos Aires, teaching mostly to the expat community. My favorite being Sunday evening sunset Pilate’s class on my roof.

 

What a brave move that sounds like resulted in an incredible experience!

Yes, it was amazing. Not to mention, I met my fiancé, Quintin while I was there too! However, as much as I loved working with people physically and mentally, I was craving more tools to be able to support people emotionally too. So, after a year and a half in Buenos Aires, when Q wanted to move back to his hometown of Seattle (as a Manhattanite, I had no idea where Seattle was, by the way), we moved here, and I decided to go to coaching school at iPEC to further develop my skills to support people caring for themselves holistically.

 

It sounds like you do a whole lot more than just teach Pilates?

Yeah! In addition to teaching Pilates and meditation, I spend a majority of my time working with 1-1 coaching clients, running group coaching programs or facilitating corporate workshops around the country. I specialize in supporting busy professionals by strengthen their mindfulness muscles, so they can make more intentional choices in life.

 

That’s fantastic! You mention teaching mediation. We’re thrilled to have your Monday Morning Mediation class on the ZUM schedule!

Me too! I’m so excited to finally be able to offer a regular mediation class to the ZUM community. Meditation has become the foundation of my life in a very realistic way. It’s the cornerstone of my morning, allowing myself to ground my mind, body, and thoughts, so I don’t let my monkey mind or external thoughts or forces rock my boat. I’m thrilled to create space for ZUM members to explore mediation and develop their practice.

 

Can you tell us a little more about the class and what to expect?

The class is designed to help you ground in mind, body, and breath before your work week begins. You’ll feel more centered before noise, priorities, and obligations pull you away from being fully present in the moment as you move through your week. The goal is to emphasize the importance of being present. When we detach from thoughts from the past or future, we experience incredible freedom and clarity and are able to just fully be.

 

Who can benefit from meditation?

Everyone who has an open mind! People who are looking for help managing stress, improving sleep quality, and dealing with anxiety – to name a few specific examples.

 

What would you say to someone who is new to meditation or might not think it’s for them because they can’t imagine quieting their mind?

That’s great! You’re not supposed to shut the noise down. You can’t stop the waves from coming, but you can learn to surf.  Come experience it and try to stick with it. When I first started meditating it took about 6 months before I really began experiencing the benefits. A lot of people don’t keep practicing because they don’t experience immediate feedback like they do when they workout; however, daily ritual and sacred time for yourself is invaluable.

That’s another reason I was so excited to start a meditation class at ZUM. I’m passionate about helping people prioritize themselves.

 

It sounds like that’s at the heart of everything you do professionally. 

For sure. When people don’t prioritize themselves, they don’t have energy to give to those they love. My goal is to help people fill their cup of self-care. Within all my work, I emphasize that self-care isn’t selfish, it’s smart.  It’s about taking control of what you can (what you feed yourself, how you treat yourself, move your body, what you surround yourself with, and how you restore) and being able to let go of what you can’t.

If people want to learn more, they can check out my website – they can get a free guided meditation to try on your own if you can’t make it to class. There’s also info there about my upcoming group coaching program Summer of Self Care. It’s a great opportunity to support you gaining that summer glow and feeling your best from the inside out.