Thank you Ring Fit Adventure, I’ll Take it From Here!

Ring Fit Adventure

In my Ring Fit Adventure Challenge – Reboot post, I posed the question: Can playing a video game really help you and I get fit? More specifically, can Ring Fit Adventure help you and I get fit?

For three months now, I have played 30 to 40 minutes of Ring Fit Adventure a day and my conclusion is: yes, but it takes a lot of time.

Fit Ring Adventure 1
Fit Ring Adventure 2

Ring Fit Adventure was released Saturday October 18th, 2019 for the Nintendo Switch. It comes with a squeezable pilates ring to hold and an elastic leg strap for leg movement. It piqued my interest because the main part of the game is a story where you need to travel across maps and defeat monsters to get to the boss who you also have to fight using different work out moves. The more you experience you get, the more you level up and acquire new workout moves to complete your journey. It is delightfully entertaining, adding plot and challenges or battles to cleverly distract the player from their workout, but if you’re looking to get down to business and workout quickly and efficiently, this is not the experience you’re looking for.

Ring Fit Adventure
Ring Fit Adventure

Ring Fit Adventure

If someone were to play this every day for a long period of time they could make progress, I have lost six pounds since May and the exercises have become easier to perform and sustain, but the amount of time spent playing does not equal the amount of time spent exercising. When I say I played for 30 to 40 minutes a day, that equaled out to about 10 minutes of active workout time (which the game will track for you). The rest of the time is spent going through setup, menus, preparation, and story dialog. Calculating from my experience, you would need to play about 3 hours to reach 60 minutes of active workout time. Unfortunately a lot of people do not have the time for that, including myself.

Ring Fit Adventure
Ring Fit Adventure
Ring Fit Adventure
Ring Fit Adventure

I want to thank the game for its ingenuity and beauty, and for getting me started. I believe it inspired me to get up and get moving, but now I feel I would be more effective working out on my own.

Have you played Ring Fit Adventure? How is your progress? I would love to know!

Let’s try Intermittent Fasting!

I am now a fledgling intermittent faster. Do you want to try it with me?

If you’re not familiar with intermittent fasting, it is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat (although healthier foods yield better results), but rather when you should eat them.

I’ve chosen the 16/8 schedule, which means that I am restricting my eating to an 8 hour timeframe and fasting the remaining 16 hours of the day. This is what is working for me, but there are several other schedules out there if you’re looking for something different.

  • 20/4: Restrict eating to 4 hours of the day and fast the remaining 20.
  • 5/2: Eat regularly for 5 days of the week, on days 6 and 7 only consume about 500 calories per day.
  • 24 hour: Fast for 24 hours straight, once or twice a week.
  • 36 hour: Fast for 36 hours straight once a week.

Why am I doing such a thing you ask? Odd as it may sound, I wanted to conserve food during the pandemic. After breaking my fast, I usually don’t feel hungry again until right before the 8 hours are up. Everything is simpler, there are fewer meals to prepare, cook or clean up after!

In addition to conserving food, I would love to reach my pre-pregnancy weight or lower. As I mentioned above this eating pattern has me eating fewer meals and consuming less calories a day. I’ve also read that intermittent fasting can boost metabolism and that’s encouraging!

There are several other potential benefits, but the best thing I can do is tell you about my personal experience. I will practice intermittent fasting for the next three months at least and report back with my findings. How about you?

Ring Fit Adventure Challenge – Reboot

Fit Ring Adventure 1Can playing a video game really help you and I get fit? I believe Ring Fit Adventure can and I’m going to test it out!

Fit Ring Adventure 2Ring Fit Adventure was released Saturday October 18th, 2019 for the Nintendo Switch. It comes with a squeezable pilates ring to hold and an elastic leg strap for leg movement. It piqued my interest because the main part of the game is a story where you need to travel across maps and defeat monsters to get to the boss who you also have to fight using different work out moves. The more you experience you get the more you level up and acquire new workout moves to complete your journey. It is delightfully distracting and entertaining!

Fit Ring Adventure 3
Fit Ring Adventure 5

Fit Ring Adventure 4Fit Ring Adventure 6
Fit Ring Adventure 7

As you might have gathered, I am not the epitome of health I would love to be, and to speak plainly, I haven’t been for a long time. This is uncomfortable for me to tell you, but I currently weigh 170 pounds. I feel heavier and far less graceful on my feet than I ever used to, and I want movement to feel easy and comfortable instead of a chore. When I was a teenager, I was more active and fortunate enough to have a good metabolism; I weighed 110 pounds and, at 5’2” tall, I felt comfortable in my own body. Since then I have put on more and more weight as my metabolism has slacked off and my bad habits have grown. Now I am a freshly minted, new mama and I’m looking to get back into shape and lose my baby weight plus a little extra! I’ve indulged myself for a little too long and it’s time to get back on track!

In addition to the game, let’s talk about my variables:

  • I’ve been practicing up to 20 minutes of yoga daily.
  • I’ve been taking my daughter out in her stroller for 30 minute walks daily.
  • During this shelter-at-home order, I’ve started intermittent fasting and only feel like eating 2 large meals a day.
  • I am making an effort to drink at least 78 oz. of water a day.

Confession time: I started this challenge back in October when the game released, and I dropped the ball. Months went by and I started doing my daily yoga and walks. This has made me feel better than I have in a long time (being pregnant and having a baby is no joke on your body) and with a stronger foundation, I wanted to give this challenge another try!

Let’s do this! Follow along with me on here and Instagram!

Coconut Oil for Health

CoconutOilThe more I research and use coconut oil, the more I am convinced it is one of those rare ingredients (much like apple cider vinegar) that can be used for all kinds of good in your life. Some of these remedies will take more than one application to work, so don’t lose hope if you apply once and your acne doesn’t immediately vanish!

  • Acid Reflux – Take a small spoonful of coconut oil with meals to help prevent acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Acne – Coconut oil gently fights the bacteria that cause acne. Dab it directly on the offending pimples and watch them shrink.
  • After Shave – Coconut oil soothes sensitive skin and promotes healing
  • Age Spots – Coconut oil has beneficial effects on any skin blemish. Use it to help fade age spots with powerful antioxidants.
  • Athletes Foot – The powerful antifungal properties of coconut oil make it perfect for any fungal infection. Add a few drops of oregano or tea tree oil for more antifungal power.
  • Bones – Coconut oil aids the body in the absorption of calcium and magnesium. Both minerals are important for strong bones and teeth.
  • Bruises – Rub coconut oil into bruised skin to speed healing and watch the bruises fade fast.
  • Canker Sores – Dab coconut oil on canker sores to kill infection and speed up healing.
  • Chicken Pox  – Ease the itch and encourage healing with dabs of coconut oil.
  • Cleanser – Coconut oil makes an effective and gentle cleanser to remove the grime of the day.
  • Cold Sore  – Coconut oil has antiviral properties that will help the body get rid of the virus that causes cold sores. Rub it on when needed and add a drop of oregano oil to speed healing.
  • Conditioner – Coconut oil conditions, strengthens, and repairs hair. Massage it in and rinse it out after ten minutes. A small amount can be rubbed in to dry hair to tame frizz.
  • Cooking – Coconut oil doesn’t transform into harmful by-products when heated like most other oils and animal fats. Use it to replace butter, cup for cup in recipes. Sauté, cook, bake, broil, braise, and more using coconut oil as a healthier alternative.
  • Cradle Cap – Coconut oil is gentle and safe for infants and helps ease the itching, pain, redness, and flaking associated with cradle cap.
  • Curb Appetite – Take a spoonful before meals to curb appetite so you don’t overeat.
  • Dandruff – Massage coconut oil into the scalp to ease symptoms of dandruff, both itching and flaking.
  • Deodorant – Mix coconut oil with cornstarch, baking soda, and your favorite essential oils for a natural deodorant that smells fantastic.
  • Diaper Rash – Coconut oil can help heal mild diaper rash gently and effectively.
  • Earaches – Earaches, swimmer’s ear, and ear infections clear up fast with a few drops of coconut oil mixed with garlic oil.
  • Energy – Coconut oil and its medium chain triglycerides make it an excellent energy source to improve stamina, endurance, or just to give you a boost through the day.
  • Eye Cream – Reduce puffiness and dark circles with a few dabs of coconut oil.
  • Fitness – Coconut oil boosts energy, increases metabolism, improves thyroid function, and aids healthy weight loss.
  • Furniture Polish – Coconut oil gives a protective shine to wood furniture. Test on a small area first.
  • Gum Removal – Coconut oil gets the sticky stuff out of hair, carpet, and anywhere else it doesn’t belong.
  • Hemorrhoids – Coconut oil eases the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids and encourages natural healing both internally and externally.
  • Lice – Coconut oil kills and removes this pesky problem.
  • Lip Balm – Coconut oil hydrates and protects lips and offers some protection from the sun (spf 4).
  • Lubricant – Coconut makes an all-natural personal lubricant for intimate moments without chemicals.
  • Makeup Remover – Coconut oil removes oil-based makeup easily, like mascara. It cleans, hydrates, and makes skin glow.
  • Massage Oil – Coconut oil soothes tired and sore muscles. Add a few drops of essential oils for more effect.
  • Moisturizer – Coconut oil is an excellent way to soften and hydrate dry, rough, or damaged skin.
  • Nose Bleeds – Rub a bit of coconut oil in nostrils to fight the dry cracking that can lead to nose bleeds.
  • Nursing – Coconut oil works great to repair dry, cracked skin, including sore nipples from nursing.
  • Pet Health – Coconut oil can do a multitude of things for pets, both topically and internally. It improves breath, makes for a shiny coat, eases joint problems, cleans ears, gets rid of fleas, and much more.
  • Ring Worm – Rub coconut oil onto affected area to kill the fungus that causes ringworm. Add tea tree oil to clear the infection even faster.
  • Shaving Cream – Coconut oil keeps the razor gliding smoothly while leaving skin smooth and soft.
  • Skin Condition – Coconut oil reduces the itchiness, pain, flakiness, and dryness of eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
  • Skin Irritations  – Ease the itch of poison ivy, poison oak, mosquito bites and other insect stings or bites, and encourage healing with dabs of coconut oil.
  • Sore Throat – Dissolve a spoonful in your mouth and let it slowly roll down the throat. This will coat and protect the throat, boost the health of mucus membranes, and fight any infection.
  • Stretch Marks – Prevent and soften stretch marks with coconut oil for soft and supple skin.
  • Stys/Pink Eye – Rub a small amount of coconut oil on the sty or around the eyes to get rid of these infections.
  • Sunburn – Coconut oil can help prevent sunburn for short exposures. When you are sunburned, applying coconut oil will speed healing and take some of the sting away. Wait 24 to 72 hours after the burn to allow the heat to dissipate rather than seal it in.
  • Toothaches – Coconut oil strengthens teeth and helps soothe painful toothaches. Adding a drop of clove oil can almost instantly relieve the pain.
  • Toothpaste – Mix one part coconut oil with one part baking soda and add a couple drops of peppermint oil. This makes a refreshing, natural toothpaste that whitens and cleans without added preservatives, fluoride, sweeteners, or other chemicals.
  • Urinary Tract – Treat urinary tract infections with a spoonful of coconut oil.
  • Warts and Moles – Rub oil into area and cover with a bandage. Rub in fresh oil and place a new bandage each day.
  • Wrinkles – Rub into lines, creases, and wrinkles to rehydrate skin and soften those wrinkles away.
  • Yeast Infections – Coconut oil fights these fungal infections internally and externally.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Health

AppleCiderVinegar copyThe more I use apple cider vinegar, the more i’m convinced it is one of those rare tinctures that can be used for all kinds of good in your life. I have known people who are able to drink or gargle with straight apple cider vinegar and I tip my hat to them, it is strong! I personally tried gargling with it undiluted for a sore throat and it stings! After the stinging went away my sore throat was gone, but I highly recommend diluting it with water and in some cases honey.

  • Acne – Wash your face morning and night with one part apple cider vinegar to two or three parts water to clear acne.
  • Bad Breath – Gargling or drinking one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in water will kill the odor-causing bacteria found within your mouth.
  • Dandruff – Mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup water in a spray bottle, and spritz on your scalp. Wrap your head in a towel and let the mixture sit for fifteen minutes to an hour, then wash your hair as usual. Do this twice a week for best results.
  • Diarrhea – Mix one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into water and drink to soothe intestinal spasm.
  • Cholesterol – Drink half an ounce of apple cider vinegar (diluted in water if you prefer) on daily basis to lower cholesterol.
  • Headache – Mix ten grams of apple cider vinegar, ten grams of honey and dash of chamomile extract to create soothing balm for tension headaches.
  • Hiccups – Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and it’s sour taste will stop hiccups immediately.
  • High Blood Pressure – Drink two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted into one average glass of water 1 to 3 times a day to lower blood pressure.
  • Indigestion – Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey into warm water and drink it 30 minutes before eating to relieve indigestion.
  • Leg cramps – Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey into a glass of warm water and drink to boost your potassium levels and relieve leg cramps.
  • Sinus Congestion/Pain – Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and drink to help sinus drainage.
  • Sore Throat – Gargle ¼ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted with ¼ cup of warm water once every hour or so to remove germs.
  • Weight Loss – Start your day with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted into two glasses of water to suppress your appetite, reduce water retention and increase your metabolism.
  • Whiten Teeth – Gargling with diluted apple cider vinegar once a day can help remove stains, whiten teeth and kill harmful bacteria in your mouth and gums. Brush afterwards.

The Benefits of Meditation

MeditationBenefits_small

For positive reinforcement I’ve rounded up a comprehensive list of the benefits of meditation. Please share with us if you’ve had personal experience with any of these benefits or experienced any other benefits.

EMOTIONAL

  • Boosts positivity
  • Decreases feelings of loneliness
  • Helps with depression
  • Reduces stress

HEALTH

  • Boosts your immune system
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Lowers your oxygen consumption
  • Minimizes pain
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces your cortisol levels

PRODUCTIVITY

  • Boosts your creativity
  • Improves multitasking
  • Improves your memory
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Lengthens your attention span
  • Makes you more attentive

SOCIAL

  • Builds on your compassion for others
  • Helps regulate your emotions
  • Increases social connection
  • Lowers anxiety

The Key Benefits of Yoga

YogaBenefits

In case you needed all the reasons why practicing yoga is beneficial to you inside and out, I’ve rounded up a comprehensive list. Please share with us if you’ve had personal experience with any of these benefits!

BODY CHEMISTRY

  • Balances hormones
  • Boosts lymphatic system
  • Boosts Vitamin C
  • Increases red blood cell count
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Reduces sodium
  • Reduces triglycerides

EMOTIONAL

  • Builds a mind-body connection
  • Improves attention span
  • Improves concentration
  • Improves memory
  • Improves mood
  • Improves self-acceptance
  • Improves self-control
  • Improves social skills
  • Increases positivity
  • Promotes calmness
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Reduces depression
  • Reduces hostility
  • Reduces stress

EXTERNAL

  • Boosts anti-aging
  • Boosts energy
  • Builds core strength
  • Builds endurance
  • Builds strength
  • Improves balance
  • Improves dexterity
  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Improves posture
  • Improves sexuality
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Increases bodily awareness
  • Lowers the risk of injury
  • Promotes weight loss

INTERNAL

  • Boosts immunity
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Builds cardiovascular endurance
  • Builds pain tolerance
  • Improves depth perception
  • Improves circulation
  • Improves gastrointestinal function
  • Improves organ function and health
  • Improves reaction time
  • Improves respiratory function
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers pulse rate
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Strengthens bones

SYMPTOM REDUCTION OR ALLEVIATION

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Back pain
  • Cancer
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Constipation
  • Epilepsy
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Menopause
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis

Dialing down Caffeine

Caffeine_small

Nearly a year ago I wrote this:

Growing up, I remember when fast food was a treat we were bought every other week or so and I remember when I wasn’t allowed to drink any soda with caffeine in it, not to mention energy drinks. If I was allowed soda at all, it had to be something caffeine free.

As I grew up I was given more allowances and I was allowed to start making my own decisions. I was introduced to caffeinated soda and still maintained a healthy distance.

As an adult I’ve started an office job that is relatively stressful, but not painfully so. I started buying caffeinated sodas and eventually graduated to energy drinks to “treat” or “reward” myself during the work day, but it’s become too frequent. I can feel the negative effects of the sugar and caffeine in these drinks on my mind and body, but I still crave them anyway! As we plan on starting a family I think it’s time to find some healthier “treat”  or “reward” options and get back to my healthier habits. As of last Friday, I’ve stopped drinking sodas and energy drinks. It’s definitely rough while my body is figuring out how to cope without all the sugar and caffeine, but it’ll pass!

This didn’t last long, and before I knew it I was up to consuming one sugar filled energy drink or soda every day. I’m not kidding, every day. I knew they were bad for me, I’ve known it for a long time (hence my writing of the post above), but I wouldn’t break the habit; I needed my sweet treat.

The 10 day smoothie cleanse I imposed on myself last month really helped snap me out of those bad habits and carried me through the withdrawal period. I won’t say I will never have an energy drink or soda again, that would be a bald-faced lie, but I feel like I have a better handle on my willpower than I ever did before.

Lesson learned: There is no magic trick to make you stop drinking or eating the things that are bad for you. You need to decide when enough is enough and have the willpower to steer yourself away from that vice. If you need to use a 10 day cleanse to get you started, then use it, but you are the ultimate factor.