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Fitness for Body, Mind and Spirit

GreenNote Life

Fitness for the body, mind & spirit

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Reflections on Body, Mind & Spirit: When to do Cardio, Doing "just a little bit", Balanced Mind

If one phrase would capture the month of February for me it would be, “just a little bit”, “just a little bit”.  Case in point - as you may recall from my Things I learned in 2023 newsletter, my long-term goal is simplification.  That all starts with organization.  One area of my home that was screaming for organization and cleaning was the basement storage room.  Much to do and not 100% finished but I tackled the hard stuff.  Even when I didn’t want to go and endure that pain, I knew if I want to simplify my life, it requires organization.  When I didn’t feel like starting, I just said to myself, “just a little bit, just a little bit”.  Then I could look back and say, yeah!  I’m so glad I started.  Sometimes that’s all it takes, just get started; do “just a little bit”.

I am hopeful that you have had a really great month.  I’m excited to share with you a few of my “gems” that have helped me to accomplish my tasks I laid out for the month of February that are attached to my goals.


Cardiovascular Fitness

It has been said that cardio is important no matter what your goals are. This past month I have continued to prioritize cardio fitness.   Here are three ways I use cardio in my training:

  • As a warm up before resistance training.  Generally three to five minutes on a stair stepper.

  • As part of the workout for example using a rowing machine for a set distance, then squat jumps and walking lunges and repeat for as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes.

  • Cardio at the end of my resistance training.  This could be 250 meter sprints on the rowing machine or walking at a good pace.

Another way to use cardio is by itself; have that be your focus for that day's training.  By using cardio and resistance training in the same exercise session it can make the workouts more efficient.  Doing cardio after resistance training may help to increase muscle strength.  Lastly, if you want to improve endurance, doing cardio before resistance would be favorable.

I enjoy mixing it up.  However, I do always use it as a warm up to make sure my body and mind are ready for the training I'm about to do.

Challenge for you:

Last month I asked if your cardiovascular system could use some improvement?  Make sure to make this a part of your weekly routine.


"Just a little bit..." 

This little mantra has been so very helpful in breaking down complex tasks into manageable pieces and I've found that this gives me motivation and satisfaction.  I recently went on a week-long trip.  While preparing for the trip I kept noticing how much our pantry needed to be cleaned out and organized.  With so much to do, I normally would have put it off.  Instead, with my trusty "just a little bit..." I organized it.  When I got back home and opened the pantry door it was so satisfying.  Oh, yeah, I did do that, I'm so glad I did.  

This is a great tool for the mind - breaking large goals into small micro-goals. This has transferred into my writing, reading, mobility, everything.  Studies show that setting micro-goals can rewire your brain by increasing dopamine levels each time one is set and achieved.

Challenge for you:

How about you?  Is there something that you need to tackle?  You don't have to be perfect or complete the whole giant goal.  Do "just a little bit".


Peace in Nature - Balanced Mind

Earlier I mentioned I was gone for a week.  Two of the places I got to visit were Joshua Tree National Park and the San Andreas Fault. Both magnificent - Jumbo boulders and geological cuts created by powerful forces of nature.  There is nothing like nature to remind us how small we really are.

Staring at these marvels, I immediately felt a sense of peace and calm.  Nothing else was on my mind. I was present with my surroundings.  Isn't that a great feeling?  Not on your phone, checking email, or caught up in the busyness of life.

Challenge for you:

Do you feel caught up in the busyness of life?  Where could you step back and look at the bigger picture?  

Quote I’m pondering 

The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process, is its own reward.  ~ Amelia Earhart

To your reflection and health,

Lisa Schaffer

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See my last newsletter Body, Mind & Spirit…


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