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For Tariq Brown, the physical fitness running provides pales in comparison to the emotional and mental strength it bestows.

During his hardest times, the sport has provided a gateway to healing. “I ran through my youth as a way to cope,” he says.  “Now, more than 30 years later, I’ve discovered it again, and it has opened up a lot for me in my mid-life journey.”

Along the way, he has gotten fitter and faster. He recently finished his first half-marathon in 1:51.

“Last October I could barely squeeze out a 9-minute mile,” he says. “For the first time since I was 17 I am actually improving and increasing my running. I was very, very happy, and I loved the experience!”

 tariqbrown 1Tariq Brown
Favorite sport: 
running
What’s the secret to your success? A desire to live my life fully.  I seem to be pretty disciplined, too.

What’s the biggest obstacle to moving more and how do you get over it? I have struggled with addiction and depression throughout my life related to PTSD from childhood sexual abuse. I have worked very hard to eliminate from my life anything that would take me away from my true nature -- who I was before that happened.  I have worked very hard to instill a spiritually-based lifestyle.  I ran through my youth as a way to cope.  Recently, at almost 50, I've discovered it again. It has opened up a lot for me in my mid-life journey.

What is the most rewarding part of running? It is so hard to describe to non-runners what a long run does for me.  I have the added gratitude of simply completing a run without being hurt or injured.  For the first time since I was 17 I am actually improving and increasing my running.  I am so grateful every day when I can go out and have this experience. Last October I could barely squeeze out a 9 minute mile.  I recently ran my first half-marathon in May, and finished in 1:51. I was very, very happy, and I loved the experience!

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Many of you have deep struggles.  Find your Community, tell the Truth and don't ever give up.


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Now with Movecoach, you can track the time you spend practicing mindfulness techniques—and earn rewards for it.

We’re rolling out Mindfulness Minutes in response to a growing demand, and the mounting scientific evidence that mindfulness improves physical and mental health.

A growing number of the world’s most respected companies—including Intel, Apple, Google, and General Mills—are investing in mindfulness initiatives for their employees.

Mindfulness is an effective way to take care of your body and mind—even if you aren’t even working out on a regular basis— and earn rewards in the Movecoach Challenge along the way!  Click here for 7 Ways to Take Mindfulness Minutes at Work.

How it Works

There are 4 different ways that you, as a Movecoach participant, can log your Mindfulness Minutes:

  • 1. Manually: You’ll log your activity just as you would for another type of workout. Select “Log,” then choose the “Other” category.  For Activity Type, select “Other”or “Take a Class.” For Workout Type, select “Mindfulness.”

  • 2. Automatically via Healthkit: iOS participants can enter their mindfulness minutes with HealthKit. By syncing Healthkit with Movecoach, the mindfulness minutes will automatically upload to the Movecoach log, and be taken into account as rewards are distributed.

  • 3. Automatically via Fitbit: iOS participants can enter their mindfulness minutes in the Fitbit App. By syncing Fitbit with Movecoach, those minutes will automatically upload to the Movecoach log, and be taken into account as rewards are distributed.

  • 4. Automatically with other Apps: iOS participants can sync their HealthKit Apps with popular paid mindfulness Apps, such as Headspace and Whil.


What Counts as a Mindful Minute?
Apple HealthKit describes Mindfulness this way:

“A state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.”

Like physical exercise, mindfulness isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. You have the freedom to choose the mindfulness techniques that are most helpful to you.

Click here to learn about 7 Ways to Practice Mindfulness at Work.

Any questions? Contact us at coach@movecoach.com.


Click here to learn about 7 Ways to Practice Mindfulness at Work.

Any questions? Contact us at coach@movecoach.com.




1typingatofficeMounting scientific research has proven that mindfulness can be as powerful as some medication in preventing and managing many health issues from high blood pressure to anxiety.  Mindfulness and meditation have been proven to improve sleep, brain function, and even athletic performance.

What’s more,  mindfulness can help you get your work done with more ease and less wear and tear.

“People who practice mindfulness are more effective, less stressed, and have strong relationships at work,” says mindfulness and well-being expert Cheryl Jones, founder of The Mindful Path. “When you go through the day with more focus, you are likely to make less errors, get your work done faster, and have greater clarity to solve problems. It also helps to create a more compassionate workplace.“

What is mindfulness?

Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness is not about clearing out your thoughts, says Jones. Rather, mindfulness involves being in a state of awareness of the breath and to thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations that you’re experiencing in the present moment.. 

“So often the mind is thinking about the future or the past, and we miss what’s happening in the here and now," Jones says. "The present moment is the only time that any of us can learn, change, grow, communicate, and get a task done.”

In order to cultivate mindfulness, you have to treat it like any other muscle: To make it stronger, you have to practice flexing it.

“Just like running gets the body in shape, mindfulness meditation gets our brain in shape,” says Jones. Try meditating for 10-minutes each day.

7 ways to be more mindful at work

To build your mindful muscles, you don’t have to take leave of your life for a meditation retreat. Here are 7 exercises Jones recommends to incorporate mindfulness into your workday.

  1. Raise your awareness. First, notice how you’re going through the workday, Jones advises. Start with one part of your day.  On your commute, are you drinking coffee, texting at red lights, and while trying to find a radio station? Are you trying to respond to an email while you walk down the hallway? How does it feel to move through your day that way? Do you feel clenched and tense, then drained by 5pm? If you’re like most people, you go through the day feeling like your hair is on fire, Jones says. “Most people are in a chronic state of fight or flight, which is toxic to the body and mentally exhausting,” she adds.  Becoming aware of the physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions that go along with distraction and stress will help you identify that and let it be a cue on the road ahead, says Jones. "If you are willing to pause and notice what you are doing and how it feels, you’ll become better able to make choices that create well-being. We create well-being one moment, one breath, one choice at a time."
  2. Three breaths, two feet. Before you enter a meeting, pick up the phone, send an email, or interject in a meeting, pause and follow three breaths in and out , and feel your two feet on the ground.   “This helps you get yourself out of fight or flight,” says Jones. It creates a tiny space to reconnect with your intention. That paves the way for you to act in your own best interest, rather than reacting to the heat of the moment in a way you might later regret. It might help to post a reminder in a place where you’ll regularly see it: “inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, two feet on the ground.”
  3. Take a minute. No matter how busy you are, you have 60 seconds during your workday to turn away from your computer. You can either set a timer for one minute or just count out seven breaths—which takes about a minute. Schedule regular mindful minutes on your calendar.  Or use some other task that you already regularly do—say a walk to the water fountain, or while you’re waiting for your computer to fire up for the day—as a cue to take seven breaths.
  4. Come back to your senses. Any time, anywhere, do a body scan. Bring awareness to different parts of your body. Start at the feet. Then bring your awareness up through the legs, back, torso, arms, shoulders, and head. Are your shoulders hunched up to your ears? Is your jaw locked?  Maybe your hips and back are stiff, because you have been sitting in front of a computer for four hours without a break. This may prompt you to get up and walk down the hallway, which will release tension. You may realize that you’ve been inadvertently holding your breath. “The body is always sending us messages about what it needs,” says Jones. “When we notice sensations within the body, we can take care of ourselves better.”  When you take care of your biological needs, you free your brain and heart to function more effectively.
  5. Put on your listening cap. In your next office interaction, make an effort to tune in to what the other person is saying without drifting off into thought or plotting your response.  “Notice in conversations when you start to get impatient or nervous, and stop listening because you’re planning what you’re going to say next,” says Jones. “Trust that if you’re breathing, calm, and present, you’re going to say something intelligent and don’t need to worry.”  If you catch yourself drifting, don’t beat yourself up. The goal is to catch yourself doing it so that you can tune back in.  This will help you communicate more effectively, forge stronger bonds with your coworkers, and that will help you get through the workday with more ease, says Jones.
  6. Mindfully munch. How often do you end up shoveling lunch in while responding to emails, catching up on texting, and trying to cram three other things into your “midday break?” Even if you can’t break away from your computer, you can take a moment midday to turn away from your screen, and savor your lunch or snack. Notice the color, smell, taste, and texture of what you’re eating.  Pay attention to the sensation of chewing the food and swallowing. “Savor the experience,” says Jones. “You’ll enjoy it more. And your digestive tract will thank you.”
  7. Flex your focusing muscle. Culture tells us to become masters at multitasking— but our brains are not designed to do multiple things at once. And when we try, we suffer the consequences, from spelling errors on important documents, to collisions with coworkers because we’re trying to just get this one text sent while we walk.   “We’ve been so trained to multitask, that our focusing muscles are very weak,” says Jones.  But being so easily distracted, and being in a chronic state of divided attention creates a stress of its own. Identify a task to tackle with single-minded focus. Turn off the notifications on your computer and phone; close all the windows on your computer except for the one you’re working on. “Notice how that feels and what happens,” says Jones. “Does your productivity increase? “ If you hear, see or think of a distraction, notice the urge for diversion, then take a breath and return to the task.  Start small—you may only be able to do this for five minutes at a time, or by tackling a small task—say making a photocopy without scanning social media while you wait. Gradually build up to bigger tasks and longer periods of focus.

Cheryl Jones is a mindfulness and well-being expert, speaker and author of the book, Mindful Exercise. Learn more about Cheryl at themindfulpath.com.



In the Spotlight: LinkedIn
Dan Dancescu
Engineering Manager, LinkedIn Feed dandanescu_linkedin

Favorite Fitness Activity: Cycling

What’s the secret to your success? Being competitive and always wanting to improve my performance compared to previous workouts.  For example, if I go cycling, I want to get there faster than I did last time.  If I get on the elliptical, I want to go a longer distance in the same period of time.

What’s the biggest obstacle to moving more, and how do you get over it? Everybody is busy, and it's not easy to find time to work out, but setting up a block of time, just like a meeting and making a point to always attend it, does it for me.

What advice do you have for other members of the LinkedIn Challenge to Move 1 Million Miles? Set a goal for yourself, then move up the bar higher and higher.

Share your movecoach success story here!

Click here to join the Challenge, and help LinkedIn Moves 1 Million Miles!

Download Challenge App for iPhone or Android.


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Runcoach user Mark Gillis set a new PR at the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon this month. But the real reward was the strength he gained—and the 60 pounds he lost —on the way to the starting line. He's already setting his sight on his next goal, breaking two hours in a half-marathon this fall.

rc_ss_markgillisWhat prompted you to start running? I wanted to get healthy. And it was part of my weight-loss routine.

What was the key to your weight-loss success? Tracking what you eat is critical, because it is so easy to just grab something without thinking. If I don't portion out my meals and snacks, it's really easy to overdo it. I don't deny myself any specific food, but try and limit the salty snacks that I usually crave.

What’s your biggest obstacle, and how do you get over it? It’s fighting the small nagging aches and pains and getting motivated to run in the morning. I have my clothes and shoes beside my bed, so when I wake up, I automatically put them on. Once they’re on, I’m motivated to go out and run.

What advice would you give others? Start small, and keep the progressive increase in your distances small. I started by run/walking a mile. I use music to keep my pace steady. Now my daily minimum is 3 to 4 miles of running. Consistency is the secret to my success.   


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mc_terryhanlin_sheaTerry Henlin
Concierge
Blue Star Golf & Resort

In the spotlight: Shea Companies

Favorite fitness activity: 18 holes of golf.  My husband and I play three times a week, and a boot camp once a week. You can also find us walking in our neighborhood and gardening in our beautiful yard! I also do a boxing class once a week.

What is the secret to your success?   Having a partner you exercise with keeps you accountable! And it is more fun. I just turned the “BIG” 60 and I wanted a physical activity I could do with my husband into our 90s. And we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary this year. This keeps up our energy for our three grandchildren and other activities. When you slow down from raising kids and working full time it is a very important time to keep the body moving.

What is the biggest obstacle to moving more and how do you get over it? To start any exercise it is best to join an organized class that you pay a fee! It is fun to groan with many people and a dedicated partner who holds you accountable to work out with!

What is the most rewarding part of moving more? The health rewards are many! Lower blood pressure, sleeping and a fun activity to do with my husband.

Share your movecoach success story here!

Click here to join the Shea Moves 750,000-Mile Challenge

Download movecoach moves Shea app for iPhone or Android.

 
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Robin Baurer grapples daily with the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis: pain, imbalance, numbness, and trouble seeing.  But she won’t let the disease stop her. She trained with runcoach and completed the 10-Mile Broad Street Run, and after revamping her diet, lost 85 pounds.

“Maintaining a focus on running has brought positive energy to my psychological, emotional, and physical well-being,” says Baurer, who also has Type 2 Diabetes. “I am determined, dedicated and disciplined to beat this mess of a disease.”

rc_robinbaurer_2Robin Baurer

Major milestone: The 2017 Broad Street Run. I ran the entire race and I was not winded!

How did you get started?  In the spring of 2015 my doctor broke the dreadful news that I was Type 2 diabetic and my  [blood sugar] levels were horrendous. I took this awful news very seriously and evaluated my eating habits. I designed a nutrition plan and watched my weight decline. After about four weeks, my energy level increased and my MS symptoms lessened. I incorporated power walking and light jogging.  By fall, my jogging became a run. The Broad Street Run seemed organized, safe, and challenging. The training  was awesome!  I felt prepared going to the starting line, and evidently I was.  I am so PROUD to have participated and completed this incredible race! Next: I am participating in a duathlon in Bucks County.

How does running impact your MS? On a daily basis, I experience pain, numbness, imbalance and difficulties with my sight, and these are  constant reminders that I have this dreadful disease.  Maintaining a focus on running has brought positive energy to my psychological, emotional, and physical well-being . Now, my MS symptoms and flare-ups are less frequent. I have lost 85 pounds since May 2015 and feel amazing.

 What motivates you to keep going? For many, many years I had difficulty walking so I feel blessed to be able to stand up everyday and teach as well as walk, jog, or run.  I not only wanted to show myself but also show others who experience physical difficulties to "push" forward and give it your best.

Regardless of my speed or lack thereof, I am a winner every time I cross the finish line!


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In the Spotlight: Genentech


Kara Teklinski only started running 10 years ago. But she’s already completed more than 85 endurance events, from Ironman triathlons to 100-mile ultramarathons, using the Marin Headlands and Mt. Tam as her training grounds. “I see any race or event I do as an accomplishment‚” she says, “no matter how fast or slow I go.”

Kara Teklinski karateklinski
Group program manager

Favorite fitness activity: trail running 
Are you training for anything in particular? I see any race or event I do as an accomplishment no matter how fast or slow I go. Right now I have my sights on the San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run in June. I did not finish this same race in 2016 due to missing a time cut off by 4 minutes around mile 70. The past 6 months have been complete focus and dedication to finishing it this year. Fingers crossed!

What advice would you give for any aspiring trail runners? Just go out and try it! It may be a mile or ten, but the first step to getting into trail running is taking it to the trails. If most of your running experience has been on the roads though, be prepared to be a LOT slower on trails. And trails mean hills! It’s okay to take a few walk breaks.  a The first and hardest step is getting out the door.  I do most of my training in the Marin Headlands and Mt. Tam, since it is basically out my backdoor. I train for ultra-distance events, so I have been come very familiar with this area. If anyone is looking to head out on the Marin trails feel free to reach out to me with questions!

What advice would you give to other members of the Challenge? Register for an event that takes you out of your comfort level. Train with friends. Have a training plan that you will stick to that is still flexible with your life andwork changes.

What’s the biggest obstacle to moving more?Sitting at a desk all day. I try to take breaks or at least walk to a different building for meetings.

What’s the most rewarding part of the Genentech Moves 500,000-Mile Challenge?  Seeing others move more!

Share your movecoach success story here!
 

 




Here are six tips to help you start charging toward race day.

blackrunningshoeTake it easy. Most of your runs should be done at a comfortable, conversational pace. These easy runs allows you to get time on your feet to build a solid base of aerobic fitness, without getting hurt. Many runners take their easy runs too fast, risking injury, and sapping the energy they need for quality workouts, like intervals and long runs. As a result, they end up stuck in the medium-hard zone,  and frustrated that they can’t reach their goals.

Make some plans. Look at your schedule, and see how your major workouts like long runs and speed sessions will fit in with all your family, work, and social commitments. If you need to move workouts around, that’s typically okay—as long as you don’t do two hard workouts back to back. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Just write to us at coach@runcoach.com.

Get dressed. It’s tempting to wear whatever athletic shoes and apparel you have on hand, but it’s not a good idea. Ill-fitting and worn-out shoes can lead to injury. Clothing not geared for athletics can make any run uncomfortable. Go to a specialty running store and get fitted for a pair of shoes that offer your feet the fit and support they need. Get apparel made of technical materials that wick moisture away from the skin. It will help you stay cool and dry when you feel hot and sweaty, and help minimize uncomfortable chafing. It may seem like a big investment, but it’s money, time, and stress you’ll save by staying out of the doctor’s office.

Eat like an athlete. What you eat and drink will have a huge impact on how you feel while you’re on the road. Eat wholesome, unprocessed foods that will help you unleash your strength and speed. Figure out which pre-run foods will boost your energy without upsetting your stomach. For any run of 70 minutes or longer, you’ll want to refuel while you’re on the road to keep your energy levels steady. Aim for 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour.  Consume midrun fuel at even intervals—don’t wait until you’re tired or hungry, it will be too hard to regain your energy. There are a variety of sports gels, drinks, chews and bars on the market. Experiment with different flavors, brands and formulas to figure out what sits well with you. And be sure to recover right after tough workouts, especially intervals and long runs. Within 30 minutes of finishing your workout, have a wholesome snack or meal with protein and carbs to restock spent energy stores, and bounce back quickly for your next workout.  As you ramp up your mileage, resist the temptation to eat with abandon. It’s shockingly easy to eat back all the calories you just burned – and then some— end up at the starting line heavier than when you started training. The more wholesome your diet, the better you’ll feel during your runs.

Develop good drinking habits. Dehydration has been proven to drag down pace and make even easy runs feel difficult. Sip calorie-free fluids throughout the day to make sure you’re well hydrated going into each workout. Aim for half your body weight in ounces each day. So if you weigh 160 pounds (or 72.5 Kg), aim for 80 ounces of fluids per day. If you weigh 130 pounds (59 Kg), aim for 65 ounces per day.

Buddy up. Join a friend or a running group—the miles roll by faster when you have others to socialize with—especially during speed sessions and long runs.

Reach out for help. Any time you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help! Contact us at coach@runcoach.com.



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