Embracing Backslides, Relapses and Bitch Slaps on the Quest for Happiness

Doh!If necessity is the Mother of Invention, then I consider the quest for more happiness to be the Catalyst of Good Intentions. Think about all of the times a desire to feel better or alleviate a source of pain has prompted you to eat cleaner, start exercising more, tackle that mound of credit card debt or begin looking for a job you truly love.  Even with strong momentum and support though, the best intentions can be derailed. That’s why I wanted to share how embracing backslides, relapses and proverbial bitch slaps can ultimately help achieve your goals and claim a happier life.

1)      Understand that change can be hard. Even if you are the “little engine that could” surging forward against the odds, sometimes you may take a step backward before regaining your momentum.  Being aware of that fact can help keep deal with relapses.

“Change isn’t a one-off decision, it’s a commitment to a long-term process, warts and all,” says Psychologist Jenna Mayhew, cofounder and therapist of Write As Rain: Written Word Therapy www.write-as-rain.co.uk, an online therapy service for women that celebrates the benefits of writing. “It takes a lot of attempts and ongoing commitment to maintaining the change. However if you aren’t psychologically prepared for periods of relapse, any ‘mistakes’ can be experienced as failures, leading to decreased motivation and confidence, and in some cases, giving up.”

2)      Be prepared. More than just the lyrics from a popular Lion King song or the motto of the Boy Scouts, trying to be prepared for backslides or bitch slaps can help you minimize their damage.  Mayhew advises that relapses should be embraced by planning ahead for them. Her tips include:

  • Take note of times when you think you may be vulnerable to relapsing. Proactively build in strategies that outline how you will stay consistent and committed during these times.
  • If you do backslide, plan how you will deal with this. For example, after you inhale a dozen chocolate truffles at a dinner party after diligently eating clean for the past week, take a journal and write about it. Indentify what happened, the context, influencing factors and how you can prevent this from happening again.

“Willpower is like a muscle that needs to be strengthened over time,” she adds. “Expect backslides, plan, reflect, keep trying, and you’ll eventually master your change.” 

3)      Learn from the experience. Rather than being a linear path, life is often like a game of Candy Land (which I used to play frequently with my niece when she was five years old). The draw of a card can jump you forward towards Candy Castle or set you back into the midst of Lollipop Woods eating the dust of your opponent.  What matters is how you learn from challenges or backslides. Last year, a five year client of my PR/Branding consulting practice decided to take their communications in-house. At first, I was surprised and a little hurt. But stepping back, I realized that their decision made absolute sense, stopped taking it personally and began thinking more about the kind of business I actually wanted to focus on. That’s when I started honing in on clients that made the world happier, healthier or more livable, which was more strongly aligned with my personal interests. Soon enough, new business replaced the departed company that resonated stronger with my passions and now I carefully screen prospective clients to ensure a better fit.

 

Have you ever experienced backslides, relapses or even bitch-slaps from life? How did you handle the situation, and what did you learn from the experience?

Three things the government shutdown can teach us about healthy living

iStock_000020563722Small (1)Remember the game of “chicken,” portrayed in movies ranging from Grease to the Fast & Furious (all seven times), where two dudes pumped up on testosterone drive hot rods at each other at blinding speeds until one blinks first and swerves to avoid the collision? Unfortunately, it felt like politicians on both sides of the fence just did that with the well-being of our country with the government shut down. That 16-day pissing match finally ended yesterday, and in the tradition of making lemonade from lemons, or at least a better-for-you version that foregoes copious amounts of sugar, I’ve identified three things that the shut down can teach us about healthy living:

  1. Strive for long-term changes. One of the saddest things about the “compromise” is that it expires less than three months from now, potentially setting the scenario up to happen again per this analysis from Time Magazine. You know, kind of like when you decide to lose some extra weight, eat a ridiculously low amount of calories for five days, become surly from the intense deprivation and then blow it all on a large pizza out of frustration on day six? (Can you tell I went through that cycle a lot back in the day?) Taking a more measured, deliberate approach to healthy living for the long-term is going to increase your chances of success rather than a short-term fix.
  2. Be willing to make uncomfortable choices. Let’s say that you are not thrilled with your current wellness. If the closest you come to weight training is placing the extra large frozen lasagna dish from Costco into your grocery cart, and your nightly TV watching routine is incomplete without a heaping bowl of buttered popcorn, then you need to make some changes to your habits. And some, in fact many, might not be comfortable at first. But focusing on one shift at a time or keeping your motivation strong (through means like journaling, setting up a vision board or getting support from an expert or friends) can really help. I went cold turkey giving up caffeine in 1992 in light of my six to twelve pack a day diet coke habit at the time…and it sucked for a while. But the headaches passed and drinking water and adding in exercise helped wake me up in the morning better than a soda ever did, and after a week or two of being uncomfortable, I was fine.
  3. Do put yourself first. America politicians certainly focused on their self-preservation, albeit at the expense of the public they serve. But when it comes to your own wellness, taking care of yourself first can enhance the well-being of your entire family.  Think about it. Mom or dad adopts healthier eating habits, starts exercising moderately most days of the week and sheds 40 extra pounds that was causing knee pain and shortness of breath whenever they used to climb one flight of stairs. Chances are good that those closest around you, impressed by your increased energy and better self-esteem, will also be more interested in their wellness. Perhaps your spouse joins a gym or the family tradition of going out for ice cream after dinner is replaced with a vigorous walk around the neighborhood where you actually talk to each other for more than 10 minutes at a time. Caring for your health can have a really positive domino effect with those you love the most.

What other lessons do you think we can learn from the recent government shut-down? Have you or someone you know made healthier living changes recently that impacted others in a positive manner?

 

 

Seeking great stories of people who got “unstuck”

Woman in a Carboard BoxMost of us have been “stuck” at some point in our lives. I’m not talking about being in rush hour gridlock with squabbling kids or wedged in the middle seat of a packed concert venue when you realize a trip to the bathroom is in order, neither of which is particularly fun. What I mean is that point where you feel overwhelmed or practically paralyzed when facing a circumstance contrary to the life you want to lead. You know, like desiring financial freedom but feeling trapped by a mountain of debt; wanting to meet the love of your life but feeling too scared to check out online dating or other options for meeting suitors; wishing you had a healthier body and lifestyle by lacking the momentum to ever hit the gym, and so on.

As you might have guessed from this blog post title, I’m working on a book project to help people get unstuck and create the life of their dreams. Through my networks and social media, I have been interviewing some wonderful individuals whose stories will motivate and inspire you. Now I’m looking to include insight from a few others who fit the descriptions below (and the more dramatic example they have to share, the better):

  • Someone who forgave themselves for past decisions or behaviors, and it helped them get unstuck and move forward into happiness.
  • A person who suffered major financial set-backs like crushing debt or even bankruptcy, overcame that situation and now enjoys strong prosperity.
  • A subject matter expert (psychologist or coach) to discuss what role gratitude plays in getting unstuck.
  • A long-term weight loss/healthy living success story who can discuss why understanding that “self-care” didn’t mean “selfish” helped transform her life.

Thanks for spreading the word to your friends and networks! Anyone interested can contact me directly. Meanwhile, have you ever been stuck? If so, how did you overcome that obstacle?

 

Three Ways for your Brand to Engage Target Audiences

Brand engagement has nothing to do with the ring!

Brand engagement has nothing to do with the ring!

The term “engagement” typically brings to mind images of diamond rings, creative proposal stories and bridezillas who obsess about finding the perfect white doves to release during their vows. (At least it does for me, a pop culture junkie and relative newlywed.) But when it comes to your brand, engagement is all about connecting with the people most important to the services or product you provide – clients, customers, business contacts and supporters. Here are three ways to engage target audiences and enhance your branding:

  1.  Pay attention. Understand what is most important to the people you serve. Let’s say that you have a food product whose primary audience is working mothers that want easy-to-prepare, healthy and cost-effective dinner solutions for their families. Make their lives easier by offering simple, quick recipes and touting your positive health and taste benefits on an eye-catching label. Consider reaching out beyond the grocery shelves to embrace the causes they and your brand truly care about through a social responsibility marketing effort.  
  2.  Establish a dialogue. One-way communication is more than just boring…it can turn people off of your brand. Rather than just talking “at” target audiences through traditional advertising, use social media tools to listen to their input, comment on their content and truly interact. That’s how you forge a deeper connection and brand loyalty that triumphs slightly cheaper prices or special offers from a competitor. Pressed for time? Focus on two vehicles to start – maybe you concentrate on Twitter and Facebook, and then add Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, Instagram or whatever else fits your needs down the road.  
  3.  Be authentic. Remember how mom always said “just be yourself,” and everything will work out? The same is true for your brand. Embrace who you are and use that distinctive personality to connect with the people most important to you. For example, I spent a big chunk of my career thinking I had to be all glossy and polished, when my true core was as goofy, excitable and demonstrative as a Labrador puppy (don’t worry, I’m past the crate-training phase). Once I embraced that part of me, letting my “freak flag fly,” my business and influence grew. So stay true to yourself while engaging target audiences, and let that authenticity strengthen your connections. 

Have anything to add to the list?

 

 

Why seeking out new challenges can give you a bigger dose of happiness

On top of a mountain during a two-hour morning hike at the Miraval Resort.

On top of a mountain during a two-hour morning hike at the Miraval Resort.

If you want a bigger dose of happiness, try seeking out new challenges and experiences. Whether it involves taking on an unexpected role (my hilarious friend and notable smart-ass Leslie at The Bearded Iris is loving leading her son’s scout troop) or pushing yourself for a huge physical accomplishment, as my husband did in going from no running and swimming at all to completing several Half Ironman triathlons in less than a year, striving to experience something new can go a long way to creating a more fulfilling life. I saw that first-hand during my vacation to the Miraval Spa in Tucson last week.

Growing up, I organized the middle school sleep-over parties and being a Resident Advisor was one of my favorite college experiences – so pulling together a trip for 15 wonderful women to Miraval was second nature. I arrived thinking much of my time would be spent taking fitness classes and working on my book in-between spa services and wellness sessions. Yeah, right. With limited gym offerings available, I found myself instead taking a two-hour guided hike in the Catalina Desert Mountains three mornings in a row…something wonderful I would never have a chance to experience in my suburban Atlanta lifestyle. And instead of writing furiously, I spent more time thinking about the book and life coach practice I’m creating to focus on personal transformations…and gained a whole lot of valuable insights instead.  Those different experiences – one covering physical challenge and the other emotional wellness – really fed my soul.

Many of my buddies stepped outside of their comfort zone, like Nancy Mullin. Her first big challenge was Swing and a Prayer, which involves climbing a ladder and being lifted 35 feet in the air above the desert floor using a rope and pulley system guided by four strangers you just met moments ago.  When you let go of that rope, it is also about releasing your emotional restraints as well. The Equine Experience proved to be just as remarkable for her, where your own attitude, approach and communication skills are enhanced by working with horses.

The impact on Nancy has been profound. “There is not just one word which can truly describe my experience at Miraval,” she says. “Words like unforgettable, once in a lifetime, going outside your comfort zone, memorable and testing your boundaries don’t seem to do it justice. Miraval is a distinct mixture of emotional and physical challenges designed to give you life altering experiences which are 100% usable in your daily life.”

If you are interested in seeking out new challenges for greater personal fulfillment, here are a few steps to get started:

  1. Acknowledge what thrills you. Let’s say you always wanted to be a ballerina and still love watching dance performances on stage and television. Maybe it’s time to  get in on the fun by taking a dance class yourself. Have a lifelong dream of being a rock star? Start jamming with some friends in your garage or check out rock and roll fantasy camp where you get to interact with professional musicians.
  2. Give yourself permission to feel awkward.  Want to do something big and bold, but are scared of looking like a dork? Just let go of feeling like you’ve always got to be smooth and coordinated (heck, I never am either of those things) and jump in. If public speaking scares the bejesus out of you but it would really help your career, try Toastmasters or volunteer to lead tours at the local museum to practice that skill. Want to try skydiving? Sign up for a dive at a locally accredited facility and jump tandem with an experienced instructor.
  3. Create more opportunities for challenge. How many times have you said, “if I only had more time in the day…” Well, let’s call B.S. on that. We are all busy with work and families and commitments and having to watch NBC’s The Voice live so you can vote 27 times for your favorite competitor. Schedule time for new challenges just as you would for a conference call, your kid’s soccer game or a pedicure. Doing so reinforces how much you love and value yourself.
Nancy Mullin experiencing a Swing and a Prayer at Miraval

Nancy Mullin experiencing a Swing and a Prayer at Miraval

When is the last time you embraced a new challenge? What impact did it make on your happiness and sense of fulfillment?

Four Ways to Get Ready for Fall Wellness

With the high today in Atlanta topping 82 degrees and triple-digit temperatures forecast for my impending trip to Tucson, Arizona, it does not feel like summer has relinquished its grip yet.  But on September 22, fall officially begins – and here are four ways to help you get ready for wellness this season.

1)      Add warmth with functional, fashionable layers

Chances are good that the “go-to” running tank top and shorts look that so efficiently wicked sweat away this summer isn’t going to give you enough warmth during outdoor exercise in the upcoming months. No matter where you reside, you will also need something to wear post work-out before hitting the shower. I don’t spotlight many products in this blog, but here are two that I use for functional yet fashionable exercise cover-ups:

  •  At first glance, I don’t have much in common with Olympic Volleyball Gold Medalist and tall, blonde goddess Kerri Walsh…okay, make that a second and third look too. But we both dig BORELLI active performance scarves, which can be turned into wrap-around jackets and even sarongs depending on size. While some women “glow” after killer workouts, I am sweating hard and appreciate how this item wicks away sweat four times faster than cotton while helping me vie for the title of gym fashionista.  A triathlete herself, founder Marissa Borelli Casellini is passionate about creating products that marry fitness and style; you can wear her creations to ward off post-workout chills or as a chic accessory in daily life. Never very intrepid when it comes to geometry and angles, I found their demo video essential in figuring out how to wear this with flair.  Visit http://www.borellidesign.com/ to learn more.
  •  Then there is my lululemon hoodie jacket. Perfect to wear while driving home after an exercise class or running errands, I love its vibrant purple color and how it keeps my nicely warm before changing. Plus it lasts. I’ve had this jacket for three years now and it keeps on ticking.

2)      Embrace Seasonal Foods

If you’ll miss summer offerings like strawberries and watermelon, take heart with all of the seasonal foods options like cranberries, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, apples, winter squash and much more. Here’s a handy guide to fall produce from Cooking Light magazine that spotlights selections and recipes. As for me, I’m all about the pumpkin, opting for smoothies over pies these days. Here is my favorite pumpkin smoothie recipe:

PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIE

Courtesy of Citron Nutrition, adapted from Tasty Yummies

¾ cup cooked pumpkin (you can use canned, but fresh is much better)

1½ cups unsweetened organic vanilla almond milk

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced

2-3 Medjool dates, pits removed (soak first if they aren’t soft)

Clean additions:

1 scoop of vegan protein powder or 1 tablespoon ground flax seed

Directions: Add all of your ingredients to the blender. Puree until smooth and creamy. If your pumpkin and/or almond milk isn’t cold, you could add a handful of ice, although this may make it less creamy. You can also add a splash of water or additional almond milk if your smoothie is too thick. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or nutmeg.

 

3)      Plan workouts to take advantage of seasonal changes

Consider changing up your exercise routine to enjoy the crisp fall weather. If you typically run on a treadmill or cycle city streets, head out to the countryside or mountains to experience these activities and more while savoring the beauty of changing leaves. I found great resources such as Hike New England and Autumn Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains with a quick online search and am sure you can do the same for your own area.  

4)      Focus on blossoming internally

There might not be flowers outside, but the fall is a wonderful time to start blossoming internally through personal growth. You don’t face the stupid pressure of New Year’s resolutions and with school back in swing, it feels like the season to learn something new. Last fall I took swimming lessons to combat a long-time fear of being in the water. While I’m never going to be Diana Nyad – and have no desire to ever wear a jellyfish-proof mask or adopt a distance swimming-friendly hairstyle – I can now get in a pool with a kickboard and sometimes no accessories at all without freaking out.  Or maybe you really want to meet your soul mate and it’s time to push yourself to put up an online dating profile to start getting out there. Whatever the case, nurture yourself and see how the happiness grows within.

What is your favorite part of fall? How do you plan to challenge yourself or grow during this season?

Can you tone your body while expanding your mind?

Erin Stutland, creator of Shrink Session

Pardon me for sounding like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, but two of my favorite things are personal growth and exercise (much better than raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, right?). So you can imagine my delight in discovering Shrink Session from Erin Stutland, powerful movement classes which create a change in your body and your mind simultaneously. If you want to learn more about stepping into a more empowered, ass-kicking version of yourself, read on!

I first heard about Shrink Session when I met Erin, whose positive energy is off-the-charts, at the 2012 Fitbloggin conference. A high-octane blend of cardio-dance, HIIT, kick-boxing and yoga, Shrink Session integrates powerful mantras and joy in movement to help you feel and look your best, inside and out. “It’s so damn fun, you don’t feel like you are working out,” explains Erin.  “That said, your thighs are going to burn, your face is going to glow and your heart is going to be opened. You will stand taller and prouder than ever before.”

Always on the lookout for new creative workouts, I interviewed Erin to learn more:

Q; How does Shrink Session empower you?

A: It’s not often that we walk around speaking words of empowerment to and about ourselves. Shrink Session gives you that opportunity. For 45 minutes, you are focused on words that empower and lift you up while you are sweating, and it’s impossible not to feel the positive effects. Throughout the workout you and I are saying mantras, out loud. Not just thinking them but actually SAYING them. That can sound a little weird and some people are like, “There is no way I am going to say something out loud while I workout.” But those are the same individuals that usually end up crying during the meditation because they are so moved by what the workout brought up within them.

Q: What prompted you to create it?

A: Having worked with mantras and affirmations since I was 18 years old, I realized that moving myself into an empowered physical state while focused on these words made me feel and act completely different. So I used to say mantras while in dance class or going for walks. Studying with a teacher who encouraged me to speak these words out loud while working out really changed my life, because it combined what I was already doing and took it to a new level. As time went on, I took what I learned from this teacher and all my other spiritual teachers and artistic folks to create my own thing.

Q: What has the reaction been so far?

A: Outstanding. The thing that blows me away is that the ‘target market’ keeps expanding. At first I thought only women aged 25-40 years old who are fairly fit are going to like this, but then it got introduced to a market of 40-55 year-old females who were not nearly as fit. In fact some had not exercised in years and Shrink Session was moving them to tears as they were “in” their bodies for the first time in years. That is when I realized this is bigger than originally thought and has the ability to affect millions.

Shrink Session classes energize and empower participants.

Intrigued? I am, and wish that I could take a Shrink Session class in-person. But since New York City is a thousand miles away from my life in Atlanta, and I don’t have a private jet at my disposal, that isn’t going to easily happen. Luckily, Erin has launched a video series that you can do at home, and offers a free, 15 minute workout on her website to test it out – http://shrinksessionworkout.com/

Have you ever combined personal growth with exercise? Tell us about the last time that a workout inspired you on a mental or spiritual level as well!

Miley Cyrus: Brilliant Branding or a “Wrecking Ball” Train Wreck?

miley-cyrus-300x400Between the MTV Video Music Awards and the release of her new birthday-suit clad music video, the former Hannah Montana has been getting lots of attention lately.  Admittedly, many of her actions have been questionable and sometimes downright skanky. Parental groups are in an uproar over their teenager’s former role model now twerking instead of teaching life lessons in a heartwarming manner, and Vogue just dropped her as a cover model. But from a branding perspective, her actions have been just short of brilliant. Want proof? Read on…

1)      Generating off-the-charts buzz. According to Twitter, the “We Can’t Stop” and “Blurred Lines” medley garnered 306,100 tweets per minute during the East Coast airing of the show and she also gained 50,000 Facebook likes during the night of the VMA’s. And the momentum continues. As reported in this article from the Los Angeles Times, the premiere of her music video for the single “Wrecking Ball” gained 19.3 million views in the first 24 hours, breaking all industry records. People can’t seem to get enough of Miley, and her music, with the recent spike in exposure.

2)      Following a tried and tested path. Think about other musical icons who made a name for themselves with “shocking”(at least at the time) antics. Madonna, Lady GaGa, Britney Spears, Prince…as you can see from this list, Miley is keeping good company. Admit it, her actions wouldn’t have been as shocking if they came from Ke$ha or Nicki Minaj. Along with all of the buzz, she is making money – “Wrecking Ball” sold 90,000 downloads following it’s debut at #13 on the Billboard charts.

3)      We are still talking about her. The VMA’s took place over two weeks ago, and public fascination with Miley remains at an all-time high.  I’m a forty-something blogger who focuses on branding and healthy living topics, but the uproar/strong sales success had promoted even me to write about it. Personally, I hope she has some grounding forces in her life to give positive support and guidance during this crazy time. But one thing is for certain – Miley’s been a marketing maven with her recent moves.

What do you think?

 

 

 

Five Things I’d Like to Tell My “Heavier” Self

Call me sentimental, but this time of year always prompts me to reflect on my wellness journey. After all, I consider September 4, 1992 as the start date of the healthy habits that have also provided me with a happier, more fulfilling life.  In lieu of an official time machine, I’m going to close my eyes, click my ruby slippers – okay, cute blue flats – and turn back the hands of time to tell my heavier self, circa 1992, a few things:

  1. Just because you heard “but you have such a pretty face…” with the implied disappointment at the rest of your size for many years, it doesn’t mean that the rest of you can’t match.
  2. Eating better and exercising is a beautiful way to show how much you love yourself, even during the most difficult of times.
  3. Aim to feel better in body and spirit. Don’t give a damn about changing to make yourself more appealing to others.
  4. Thank you for slathering on the sun screen and accepting the Casper the Friendly Ghost jokes with ease. Your 46-year-old skin is very appreciative!
  5. Sure it’s 1992 and fashion sucks. But do you really have to wear shoulder pads like a linebacker while making your hair as tall as a lamppost?

And to mark this occasion, here are some before shots and an after from now, 20 years later. Yes, I finally dropped the shoulder pads and excessively big hair along the way!

What messages would you like to go back in the past and tell yourself at an earlier time? Do you have any special milestones or achievements you are currently celebrating?

Walking on Sunshine

Think exercise has to involve complicated moves that feel like you are being deployed to a war zone, or prepping for a “Dancing with the Stars” audition?  You might actually get more bang for your buck by kicking it old school and taking a walk. It’s easy to get started as a newbie, and even hard core fitness types can sweat like crazy by putting one foot in front of the other.

For me, walking often gets overlooked as I head to the gym instead five or six days a week. Then after nearly a two week stint with bronchitis sidelined my regular exercise schedule, I decided to slowly get active again with a walk around the neighborhood. What I didn’t expect was how much that time outside in the sunshine clarified my thinking and improved my spirits. So I donned a heart rate monitor and did it again yesterday for over an hour, adding in an elastic band and bosu strength routine my trainer taught me afterwards. And I ended up burning up just as many calories as I would at the gym, but had more fun in the process.

Here are five tips to help you start walking on sunshine:

  1. Protect your feet. A supportive pair of shoes is critical for healthy fitness at any level. Rather than just buying the coolest looking sneakers on display, consider visiting a sports specialty store that can fit you into the right pair. I did this two years ago, and was surprised to learn my feet responded best to size 8 ½ athletic trainers, rather than the 7 ½ I’d incorrectly worn for years which probably contributed to past injuries.
  2. Dress to promote movement. If you want to roll out of bed in a t-shirt and sweats and stroll around the neighborhood, go for it! But as you increase your distance and intensity, investing in supportive active wear that wicks away sweat can improve your performance and motivation.
  3. Plan the experience. Warm-up and stretching is just as important as the walk itself.  Check out these helpful resources for creating a personalized walking, stretching and strength-building plan that have been developed by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) in collaboration with the American Heart Association. The same is true if you’re looking to add something different to an established fitness routine. Plan ways to add strength training into the walk itself, or immediately afterwards. For ideas on effective moves that don’t require a visit to the gym, check out Workout Nirvana, Fun and Fit, Fitknitchick and these tips from Greatist.
  4. Partner with a friend. Ever take a walk with a buddy and because you’ve had so much fun gabbing, suddenly 45 minutes have passed and you feel a lovely surge of endorphins? Find someone who lives nearby with the same schedule that can join us, so you motivate each other. The American Heart Association shares these great tips for creating a walking club to ensure there’s always someone available to keep you company.
  5. Move to the music. Making walking fun increases your chances of stepping out into it! Load up on great tunes that motivate you while increasing your heart rate. Here’s a walking playlist that I’ve created just for you:

Shira’s Walking Playlist:

  • The Walker – Fitz & the Tantrums
  • Twisted – Usher
  • All Night – Icona Pop
  • Let the Groove Get In – Justin Timberlake
  • Yeah Yeah – Willy Moon
  • Turn Me Lose – Madcon
  • Run – Gnarls Barkley
  • Before We Fall in Love – Damato
  • Women’s World – Cher
  • Applause – Lady GaGa
  • All Things (Just Keep Getting Better) – Widelife & Simone Denny
  • Dancing the Whole Way Home – Miss Li
  • Merry Go Round – The JaneDear Girls
  • The Boots Were Made for Walking – Nancy Sinatra
  • Take a Walk – Passion Pit

Do you incorporate walking into your fitness routine, or have you ever thought about it? Have any other tips to share with people interested in walking for exercise?

Additional Resources:

12 Week Walking Schedule from the Mayo Clinic

Overview: How to Start Walking – Runner’s World Magazine

Walk Off 10 Pounds – Fitness Magazine