Getting Physically, Mentally, and Financially Fit with Janet Huehls
I spoke with Janet Huehls, the Founder of Exercising Well, LLC., to find out how she helps her clients practice whole-person health and lasting habits.
Janet holds a master's degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology, is a certified health and well-being coach, and is a certified mindful movement teacher. For the past thirty years, she has enjoyed being part of various healthcare teams, teaching people with health concerns such as heart disease, anxiety, diabetes, back pain, extra body weight, depression, and arthritis how to use exercise as part of their plan for improving health.
Janet founded Exercising Well to fill the void for a science-based, whole-person health approach to exercise. Her step-by-step online program and regular telehealth coaching sessions allow clients to discover their own way to use a mindful approach to exercise to restore calm, comfort, and confidence to enjoy whole-person health.
As we get older and healthcare costs increase, what are a few things we can do to avoid medical and prescription costs?
Prevention costs less than cure.
The Big Three: Exercise, eating healthily, and managing stress are the core ways your body heals, grows, and preserves the functions of the systems in your body.
Be Well Now
If doing things for your health is stress-producing, it loses its power. The stress state means less energy goes into healing, growth, and repair. The media is full of health information that has made being healthy stress-producing. To cut through the noise, seek science-based advice for doing the Big Three from degreed professionals specializing in each area. Stay present to how it feels in your body to know if your actions are right for you. One simple rule of thumb; if what you are doing does not make you feel and function better right away, it is not right for your body or your lifestyle right now.
Be smart about meds.
My pharmacist friend and colleague, Donna Bartlet, taught me to have greater respect for medications and supplements. She just published Med Strong, teaching people how to deprescribe and optimize their meds. Many people take too many medications as they are added by different doctors. She shows you how to talk to your doctor and pharmacist about optimizing your meds at each stage of your life.
What are two to three financial benefits of exercising and staying fit?
When done mindfully as your body is designed, exercise can prevent mindless and emotional spending. When in a stressful state, your brain seeks ways to feel better, and your body is ready to fight or flee the threat. In this state, you are more likely to make rash decisions about spending and doing comfort shopping instead of clear-headed shopping. Before spending money, do mindful movements such as simple stretches, a short walk, or dancing to the music you love. This will allow you to make clearer decisions about how to spend your hard-earned money.
People who exercise regularly are more productive at work and have fewer sick days. That gives you a better chance for promotions, business growth, and commissions.
What should we consider when developing healthy meals for ourselves or our families?
Keep it simple.
Complicated, rigid eating plans are stress-producing. I love the Plate Plan because it's a simple, evidence-based template for healthy eating. You can choose the foods in each category that are most cost-effective to maintain a healthy diet.
Buy in Bulk
Choose to buy in bulk carefully. It may cost less, but studies show that people eat more when more food is around.
Related: How to Budget for Groceries
When is it okay to make budget shortcuts vs. when do we think about investments?
This is very personal and will vary depending on what else is happening in your life. Stay mindful, so you are aware of the full spectrum of downstream revenue from your investment in nourishment for yourself and your family. Processed foods can be costly in ways not measured in your food bill. Notice how what you are eating affects your energy level, mood, motivation, and focus. Your energy, mental clarity, and productivity are your best assets for financial success. Foods that make you feel and function better in your whole person are your best investment.
When choosing what to buy, remember that you are paying the price for highly engineered foods. More processed foods generally lose their nutrient value. Know that from the look of the packaging to the feel in your mouth. Companies invest big money to attract you to their product. Stay mindful when shopping to know when you are being lured into buying something engineered to attract your brain to the product.
Stress & Motivation
How can stress affect your overall well-being, and what are some ways to manage it?
Stress is the hinge point for health and well-being. Managing it starts with knowing the difference between stress and stressors. Stress is the physiological response to a threat. Stressors are external factors that lead to that stress response. We tend to manage stress from the outside, but it's the internal changes that happen in our bodies that affect our health and well-being.
The way to manage it is to know how to shift your physiology from the stress state.
Move Well - Stress is your body ready to move. Learn how (or re-learn because you were born with this ability) to move the way your body is designed. This is how moving your body does not add to stress and strain.
Mindfulness - Stress is often triggered by a thought about the past or future. That means the stressor or threat is not here and now. Bringing your awareness to the present moment calms 'faux' threats.
Kindness - Much of our stress is internally fueled by self-criticism. It can keep you in a loop of stress when you beat yourself up for mistakes or doubt your ability to handle a potential threat in the future. Self-kindness calms the nervous system and lets you be your best ally.
When we find it challenging to stay motivated at work, home, or in our business, what are a few ways that exercise can help?
Motivation is best sourced from the inside. Our society spends a great deal of money on gadgets, people, and programs to motivate them. Yet, these external motivators are known to be short-term. Internal motivation is the most lasting. Self-motivation is free.
Build Self-Motivation. To build self-motivation, exercise in a way that allows you to feel and function better now. As I mentioned, if it does not make you feel and function better now, it won't in the future either. When you feel better in your body, your brain notices and remembers that this thing you call 'exercise' is something to repeat. This is how habits form.
Meet yourself where you are. If you feel tired and don't feel like exercising, try my Ten-minute Rule. Start with a light level of movement that would feel good now, like stretching, walking, or dancing. Do it for ten minutes before you decide if you are not going to exercise today. Ten minutes is enough to change your brain chemistry to a more positive state and reduce the tension that could be draining your energy. If, after 10 minutes, you still don't have the energy to exercise, then quit. Your body is telling you that is not what it needs today.
Getting Fit For Free When You Hate Exercise
What are a few ways we can get fit for free?
Use water bottles and detergent bottles filled with water for weights.
Put on music and dance. Dancing is a great cardiovascular exercise.
Stretch! Stretching has so much more science behind it. It is a simple, user-friendly way to feel and function better in just a few minutes, any time of day.
If someone hates exercising, what can they do to enjoy being active?
Get back to basics. Usually, disliking exercise comes from the need for an updated definition of exercise and re-learning how to move well in the body you are in right now.
Rethink exercise. If exercise makes you feel worse, it's not exercising for health. My definition of exercise for health is any time you move for the sole purpose of self-care. Trust your body to find the type, amount, and level of exercise that feels like self-care.
What else should we consider when starting an exercise routine?
Use caution when searching for exercises online. Exercise is medicine. You would not shop for medical treatments online or use treatments recommended by someone who does not know you. Before you do any exercise, ask yourself why you are doing it and who is telling you to do it. If you choose to do it, stay aware of how it feels in your body as you do it. If it does not feel right, the problem is not your body. It's the exercise.
Five Things With Janet
How do you start the day? Stretching in bed before I get up, mindfully, with gratitude. Then I do 10-30 minutes of exercise, alternating days of cardiovascular exercise and functional strength exercises. Doing them mindfully first thing in the morning prepares my whole person for the day!
What's one goal you've set for yourself this year? Do a research study on the outcomes of my Start Well program. I plan to use that data to further improve the program with the ultimate goal of offering it as an easily accessible, cost-effective way for anyone to learn how to enjoy science-based, mindful exercise for whole-person health.
What's your favorite affirmation to speak to yourself? I use my Core Why as a personalized affirmation that brings me back to what is most important. My word is Wholeness. It brings me back to my true motivation and allows me to be more centered and authentic.
What's one thing you do for self-care? Take mindful movement breaks throughout my day.
How do you end the day? I have a cup of chamomile tea while stretching to relaxing music. Then I read something inspiring and write at least one thing in my gratitude journal.
How can someone get in contact with you?