restless leg syndrome: know the triggers that wreck your rest

June 26, 2014 in Blog, Fitfluential, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

I’ve got an interesting read for you today about RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME!  I personally suffered through this for the last few months of my pregnancy and it was just awful.  While it occurs in many pregnancies, this syndrome isn’t pregnancy specific and can effect anyone. 

If you’re suffering from RLS or know someone who does, read below to see how you can cope! 

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You have restless leg syndrome (RLS).  It’s unpleasant, but you deal with it.  But, do you have to?  While many medications are out there that can help, they all come with a side of side-effects.  You don’t want that.  Fortunately, there are some natural ways to deal with the disorder that may even help you live a normal life and completely resolve the issue.

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Reboot Your Diet

It might be time to start a new diet that promotes good health.  While it might seem far-fetched, there are many ways in which a good diet can help improve RLS.  For example, if your diet is low in magnesium, adopt a diet that improves this vital mineral.  Why?  Because magnesium is used for over 300 different processes in the body, one of which being nerves – which is a suspected cause of RLS.

Sources of magnesium are green, leafy vegetables, root vegetables, and legumes like beans.  Surprisingly, dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa or higher) is rich in magnesium.  Even so, you may need to supplement because many adults need anywhere between 300 and 500 mg of this vital mineral.  Some people need more, depending on how efficiently their body absorbs it.

Another change you can make is to eat more iron.  Iron is oddly deficient in some diets, like vegan and vegetarian diets.  Even if you eat a lot of plant-based iron, it may not be absorbed properly.  That’s because the body prefers heme iron – which is only found in animal flesh.  If you are iron deficient, you’ll also need vitamin C, because vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron from both plant and animal sources.

Reboot Your Lifestyle

Get out there and be more active.  But, don’t over do it.  According to Irving Asher, MD of the University of Missouri Health System, “People who have RLS function best with the same amount of activity daily.”  So, if you do ramp up your activity, do so slowly.

That means don’t start training for a marathon if you’ve never jogged a day in your life before now.  At the same time, don’t be afraid to start jogging and don’t be afraid to get in the gym and lift weights.

remedies for restless leg syndrome

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Another thing you can do is reduce your consumption of caffeine.  Giving up coffee is hard for most people – sacrilege even.  But, coffee may be too stimulating for you to handle in the evenings (ditto with chocolate, which contains theobromine – a substance that mimics caffeine).

Finally, avoid alcohol. If you suffer from substance abuse, get help immediately. Don’t want to go through the 12 steps? Sites like non12step-drugrehabs.org are filled with programs that use alternative methods that are both cognitive-based and physical-therapy based.

Stretch Before Bed

Stretching before bed can be like scratching an itch.  It can help you settle down and relieve tension from the day.  It may not cure you, but it might help you unwind and feel good.

Look At Nutritional Deficiencies

Getting non-IgE food sensitivity tests can uncover a lot of food sensitivities.  What are food sensitivities?  They’re immune reactions to foods that you eat that are not outright allergies. Instead, they are delayed hypersensitivities.

Reducing inflammation may lead to a beneficial cascade that ultimate resolves or greatly improves RLS symptoms.  It’s worth a try and you may just end up getting other benefits from it too, like weight loss and a general improvement in your overall mood.

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Steve Tucker

Steve Tucker’s research into neurological issues has resulted in many insights.  With a great love of helping people deal with health issues, he often blogs about his research and experience to help others take control of their health with knowledge and suggestions for treatment.  Follow Steve on Twitter.

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QUESTION:  Have you ever suffered from RLS?  Any other ways of coping?

splendid…lindsay

best decisions (a love story)

June 18, 2014 in Best Decisions, Blog, Blogging, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

Stopping in real quick today with a guest post for you!  (Thanks Wendy!!)  It’s a great love story that I think you’ll want to read!!

Come back tomorrow for a “Body After Baby – Two Month Update” for me and Porter’s Two Month check-in!

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When I thought about the best decision I ever made, it took me about half a moment to decide upon it.  Then I nixed it, thought about other “life changing” decisions, and none of them felt right.  It might be cliché, but it’s true.  The best decision I ever made was marrying my husband 30 days after I met him.

If that sounds crazy, well, at the time it seemed it a bit, to me, too.  Yet, it felt right and I trusted.  I’m so grateful that I had faith during that time, for during those 30 days, I just went with it.  Everything went right during those 30 days, and life truly changed after for the best.  Let’s look back on it, shall we?

The Meeting

Scott and I met at RTC (Reston Town Center) at the fountain.  It was our first “in person” meeting after meeting online.  Incidentally, I knew something good was bound to happen, but I was nervous and thought about ditching the meeting.  There was, however, an empty parking space right in front of the fountain, so I took it as a sign and followed through.

We sat in the cold, talked a bit, and then moved inside to Ice Berry.  On the walk to Ice Berry, I noticed his walk was off and he said, “it’s from muscle atrophy.”  My heart sank, but I slowed my pace to match his.  We talked and talked.  He ordered coffee.  I ordered nothing.  Everyone at Ice Berry knew him.  It was comforting.

The Back Story

Scott was riding his bicycle on 29 April 2010 when a woman made a left turn and hit him.  It was a catastrophic event for everyone.  The woman had no intent to hit him, the intersection was a nightmare with sunlight and trees, and Scott was going about 40 mph (per the police report).  Shit happens.  It did that day.

Before the accident, Scott was a sub-3 marathoner, a sub-5 70.3-er, and about a sub-18 5k-er.  He was working in the financial services world and going through a divorce.  That all changed that day.

My life on 29 April 2010 was a bit more calm.  I was a middle school Spanish teacher almost married to my job.  I loved the structure, but hated it, too.  I was a teacher through and through, so leaving the job at school was tough.

My life was missing what I sought most:  my best friend and the father of the children I knew in my heart.  I was yearning for that perfect partner and to start a family.  I wanted more in life than rubrics and conjugations.  I knew I needed to tell stories, but I felt attached to the stability of a public school teaching position.

To 30 Days

In those 30 days Scott and I solidified our love and respect for each other.  It was warm, it was familiar, and it was built on trust and faith.  We married on a pier at Leesylvania State Park at sunset. The winds were fierce and it foreshadowed a move we’d make two years later.

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Life Beyond 30 Days

Life changed when I met Scott.  I welcomed a step-son. We moved eight months later to Utah.  We lived there for five months before we were blessed with the birth of our daughter, Susanna Hope.

Just after her eight month birthday we moved again, to Enumclaw, Washington at the base of Mt Rainier before moving finally to the coast of Washington where we’ve been since September 2013.

Scott and I both work as writers and are stay-at-home parents now.  It’s crazy, but we do it.  We love it. We have a gorgeous piece of land about half a mile from the Pacific Ocean.  Susanna adores it!  The girl has always been an outdoors girl, as is evidenced by our running on the BoSho (Bonneville Shoreline Trail) the day before we went to the hospital for her birth.

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There are moments when I sit back and go, “Wow! Thank you!”  The moments of, “what the *&^% are we doing?” have lessened.  We know what we are doing and we believe.  Just as we did when we met and married in 30 days.

Some things are just right.

Some things just need to be accepted.

Some things change life forever for the better.

(A few Scott accident side notes.  His injuries were extensive, but he’s defined by more than a TBI, paralysis, crushed ribs, broken legs, punctured lungs, a coma, etc.  All of which have mostly healed, though the TBI remains an ever prominent reality along with a lingering affect from many others.  The driver of the car is an amazing woman.  She’s one of our dearest friends.  We e-mail at least once a week, and she’s a true light in our lives.  She had no desire for that moment to happen, none.  It just did. It changed Scott’s life for the better, but P refuses to accept any good responsibility from it.)

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Wendy is a Spanish and Special Education teacher turned writer.  She lives on the Washington coast with her writer husband, toddler daughter, and baby-on-the-way.

how to use hills to enhance your training

May 29, 2014 in Blog, Guest Post, Workout by lindsaymwright

Any cyclists or runners out there??  Today I have a guest post that should be of interest: using inclines to enhance your training

While I’m not hopping on a bike anytime soon, I have been using hill sprints as a “finisher” to most of my workouts lately.  Killer on the legs and lungs, but helpful in SO many ways. 

Read on to learn WHY.

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Up, Up and Away: How to Use Hills to Enhance Your Training

A good hill will take your fitness program up a notch or two.  Uphill training builds leg strength, prevents injuries, increases stride power, increases your running efficiency, and reduces the impact on your legs.

Hills, including stairs and stadiums, provide an excellent training tool for runners.  You can incorporate a variety of workouts on a long hill and develop the skills needed for almost any race – hills are particularly helpful for long distance runners.  Hills are powerful as long as you take a gradual approach and choose the right workout routine.

Hill sprints

Steep hill sprints are short but intense and provide two key benefits.  They strengthen your running muscles, so you’re less prone to injury.  They also improve the efficiency and power of your stride, so you’re able to cover more ground with less effort.  The results of a few minutes of uphill sprints are definitely worth the effort.  Check out the brands online at www.SportPursuit.com to ensure you have the right gear for hill sprints.

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Uphill bike riding

When you’re riding uphill, it’s you and your bike against the hill.  The ride stretches your body to extremes as you defy gravity and make your way up.

Hills pose a serious challenge on your muscles.  The ride is considered a high-intensity activity that expands the strength and definition of the muscles in your legs.  The individual muscle cells in the legs become enlarged in a process called hypertrophy, and immediately increases your physical power.  The workout also tears myofibrils (individual fibers) within the muscles and stimulates the release of repair cells.  The repair cells attach to damaged fibers and increase the diameter to build your muscles over time.

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Going up

Most runners cringe at the idea of running up a steep, imposing hill.  You must prepare mentally and physically to attack the hill ahead.  Maintain your rhythm and you’ll make molehills out of the steepest mountains.  Here are some tips for uphill training.

  • Shorten your stride.  You need to modify your stride when you’re moving from a flat surface to a hill.  Shorten your stride and slow down your pace so you won’t feel exhausted in the middle of your run.
  • Posture is crucial when you’re going uphill.  Keep your head, shoulders, and back in a straight line over your feet – do not lean back or pull forward.  Your feet should be low to the ground.
  • Pay attention to your breathing.  It says a lot about what your body is feeling.  Faster breaths mean you’re going too fast or bounding too high off the ground.
  • Explosive motions are a waste of energy, so keep your motions light and shorten your stride even more if the gradient increases.  A short and smooth stride is the best way to keeping your breathing in check. You can extend your stride once the gradient decreases.
  • The benefits of hill training depend on the size of the hill.  In general, the training will develop muscle elasticity and power, promote strength endurance, develop control and stabilization, and improve lactate tolerance.
  • Don’t forget to warm up and cool down after your hill sessions.  Two sessions a week will do a lot to improve your running speed and overall fitness.

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Rosemary Schiller has a strong passion for running. From technique to equipment and goal setting, she enjoys blogging about the ins and outs of a successful running program.

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QUESTION:  Do you incorporate incline work into your training protocol?  Any other things that you do to increase speed/strength?

splendid…lindsay

naptime workout…by tara

April 29, 2014 in Blog, Friends, Guest Post, Workout by lindsaymwright

Happy Tuesday!  We’re having a rainy day over here in WNC – supposed to get nearly 3 inches!  We desperately need it because the pollen is outta control – it’s making my family pretty miserable right now. 

Today I’m bringing you my friend, Tara!  She blogs over at Treble in the Kitchen and she’s got a naptime workout for you. 

Will I workout at naptime today??  Probably not -  napping on a rainy day seems like a good choice. 

 But YOU totally should! :)

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Hello Lindsay’s List fans and friends! I’m here with you today while Lindsay spends some precious time with her family that has recently increased in size.  I am so happy for her!

I’m Tara, the blogger behind the health and fitness blog Treble in the Kitchen. Basically, I am a health-nut who loves to experiment in the kitchen with healthy (and sometimes no so healthy!) foods. Currently, I work full-time on the management team of a local fitness center in downtown Indianapolis where I also teach group fitness and volunteer as a running group leader. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time in the gym and a lot of timing creating my own workouts and prepping for my classes.

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When Lindsay mentioned sharing a “naptime” workout, I knew that was something I wanted to share with all of you today.

I created this circuit workout full of bodyweight exercises.

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I love bodyweight workouts because they can really be tailored to the individual completing the workout and they can be done virtually anywhere because the only equipment you need is yourself—for example, this would be a great workout to do at home while the baby is napping! Moving your own bodyweight is a great way to increase core and overall body strength while gaining flexibility and general awareness of what your body can do.

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When women come back to fitness after having a baby, it is also important to ease back into things and not get too carried away at the start. This circuit can be completed 1 or 2 times through at a slower pace for a slightly easier workout, or it can be completed at a faster pace 3 or 4 times through for something more intense. It just depends on where you are at with your fitness level.

This is a great workout to use while your child is napping, if you are on vacation, or just need a great workout with no equipment…no matter where you may be!

QUESTION:  What is your favorite way to get the body moving?

best decisions…by domi

April 22, 2014 in Blog, Blogging, Body, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

Though we’ve never met, I really love this girl! Domi is the blogger behind Eat, Pray, Lift and she’s been a wonderful “blend” for a while now. Listen as she tells you one of the best decisions she ever made…and MAKE this decision if it’s a problem in your life!! Thanks, Domi!

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The Best Decision I Ever Made:

Choosing Health Over Aesthetics

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Hey yall!  I’m Domi, the writer behind Eat, Pray, Lift.  I’ve been reading Lindsay’s blog for about 2 years now, and I look up to her not only as a blogger but as a sister in Christ.  Lindsay has generously let me guest post for her before, and when she mentioned needing guest posts for when little Porter arrives, I jumped at the chance!

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One of the suggested themes for these guest posts was “Best Decision I Ever Made.”  At 23, I have my fair share of decisions that I am thankful to have made (as well as those that I regret), and I am hopeful that the years to come will bring opportunities to make even better choices ahead. So far, though, one of the best choices I have made in terms of health and fitness has been taking ownership of my health.  I’ve been living a “healthy lifestyle” (i.e. training/working out regularly and eating well) since I was about 13, but for the majority of that time, my “healthy” actions have always been driven by vanity.  I know that body image and self-esteem could warrant their own post (or series!) entirely, so suffice to say, those factors were major driving forces in my workouts and my diet choices.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, but it should not be the sole motivator behind anyone’s fitness endeavors, let alone a consuming focus or obsession, as it had become for me. It wasn’t until the past year or so that I began to reorient my focus from aesthetics to health.  By looking at my lifestyle choices as an investment in my wellbeing rather than a means to an end, I found a new level of enjoyment in my training and diet, and I discovered a new appreciation for my body.

There are a few particular ways that I’ve been able to reorient my focus from fitness for vanity’s sake to fitness for health’s sake.  It started when I stopped using hormonal birth control.  I had been on the pill for years as a matter of convenience, and I finally realized that it was silly for me to still be using it when I had not practical need for it and I was not enjoying any of the side effects of hormonal supplementation.  (Birth control can be a very personal issue, so obviously my experience should not be taken as prescriptive. You do you, you dig?)  About 6 months after stopping the pill, all my lady matters were quite self-regulating, and I felt a much-improved sense of overall wellbeing.

After realizing how much better I felt being off of birth control – when I had been taking the pill out of habit for years – I started to wonder what other ways my health might be improved with a little more attention.  I requested a full lipid panel from my doctor, and then put some serious effort into studying up on the numbers I got in my results. For me, this was fun, because I’m a huge geek like that.  But more importantly, this was really valuable knowledge – heart disease runs in my family, and I realize that to be proactive about preventing heart disease in my own life, I need to start now.  By consciously keeping up to date on my test results, I know what improvements I need to work on, and I can tailor my workouts towards those goals.

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Perhaps the most impactful change I’ve made has been incorporating more of a mind-body focus into my approach to fitness.  For years I avoided yoga because I knew it wasn’t going to be something that burned enough calories to “count” as a real workout. More recently, I started incorporating a home yoga practice once or twice a week as a means of giving my body (and especially my joints) a break from the more high-impact/high-stress training I typically do.  What I’ve found is that yoga can actually be quite challenging in its own right, and the physical benefits – flexibility, a better mind-body connection, etc. – translate into my workouts and my everyday life.  It’s also been very helpful in rehabing some chronic overuse injuries that I’ve nursed for years.  In addition to practicing yoga, I started to put more priority into mental health “exercises” such as journaling and simply taking the time to read a good book for an hour a week.  I found that by setting aside time to invest in my mental/emotional wellbeing, I was able to make better choices in relation to my health.  For example, rather than working out as a means of self-punishment, I could choose workouts based on what would benefit my body best.

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I could go on for awhile about all the ways that my workout and diet have changed since I switched my focus from aesthetics to health, but the bottom line is that it has been more than worth it.  It’s ironic – my body has definitely changed for the better since I started working out to improve my health rather than my pants size, but what’s changed even more is how I see myself.  I think it’s important to recognize that there is a difference between caring for your body as a temple, and treating your body as an idol.  I have an incredible appreciation for my body now, one that goes beyond how I look on any given day.  It took me years to realize this, but our bodies are incredible gifts.  To be healthy and have the ability to move, dance, run, squat, swim, jump, and live the way we do is an amazing gift, one that we take for granted far too often.  As recipients of such a gift, we have a responsibility to take care of our bodies and our health, and the more consciously we do so, the more we are able to appreciate and reap the benefits of our health.  By putting my efforts towards maximizing the health I’ve been blessed with, I have become so much more appreciative of my abilities and confident in my potential.

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QUESTION:  Tell me, friends, what is your main motivation behind your exercise and diet choices? Do you try to keep tabs on biomarkers like cholesterol, A1C, triglycerides, etc?  What’s one thing your health enables you to do that you are grateful for today?

reading comprehension

February 21, 2014 in Blog, Guest Post, Homeschooling, Kids by travisvwright

Henry is at the stage where he’s learning to read.  With the right incentives. he’s made rapid progress towards his rewards.  He’s to the point where he can sound out pretty much any word.  Well any word that can be sounded out.  How do you explain to a 5-year-old that the “o” in “both” is a long vowel, but the “a” in “bath” is short.  Or that you can “wind” up the rubber-band fan and it will make the “wind” blow.  Or how about when you have to “read” a sentence twice to be sure you “read” it correctly.

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Founding

English.

Really makes you wish Christopher Columbus and the other guys who found America (collectively known as the “founding fathers”) would have declared independence from a different country, like France.  It would have also been a good idea because there were a lot less French troops they would have had to fight.  When you really think about it, (in addition to the language drawbacks) England was the dumbest country to declare independence from because of their military presence.  Off the top of my head I can just go alphabetically and think of countries that had no military here at all, Azerbaijan, Botswana, Cambodia, etc.  Really the revolutionary war could have taken a lot less than 1,776 years if we had been smart about who we addressed with the declaration of independence.

Lego Creator 3 in 1

But I digress.

English is what Henry is stuck with.  Sounding out words he could do.  But once he got a word, he would go on to sound out the next without remembering any of the words that came before.  His reading comprehension just didn’t seem to be there.  So we decided to hide his incentive (BTW it’s Legos), and plotted a scheme where he could only get them by the power of reading comprehension.  We came up with a scavenger hunt.  He loved it!

splendid…travis