Know Your Heart Rate Zone

Since it’s Heart ❤️ Health Month, let’s dive into some facts about heart rate zone training, shall we?

Knowing your Heart Rate Zone is something important to know when you are staying active or just starting out a fitness routine.

This is something I do for my clients at the beginning of our coaching where I calculate and let them know their HR max and the HR zone to stay within, even if they just walking.

Heart Rate zones are a % of your max HR. If you exercise too close to your max HR (Mhr) your heart & body will struggle to keep up with the demands. (1)

The goal of Heart Rate zones is to help you work efficiently but to allow you to challenge yourself to improve cardiovascular fitness. It can help make sure your workout is both safe and effective.

You’ve probably seen those charts slapped on your gym cardio machines and confused about it. OR you probably try to reach the ORANGE zone when you are working at Orangtheory but just know it is an “Afterburn” zone to strive for at least 12min but don’t know much else on the zones. (2)

Most of those charts are oversimplified and some don’t take into account your fitness level that you see online or on cardio equipment. BUT with some simple math, you can figure out the right zones for you if you are unsure where to go.

First thing is first. What are the zones and how many are there? There 5 zones from very list to very hard/max. Here is the breakdown.

  • Zone 1: Very light, between 50% – 60 % of MHR. (this is with very little effort)
  • Zone 2: Light, 60 %-70 % of MHR. (this is your fat burning zone and your recovery zone after aerobic/anaerobic periods)
  • Zone 3: Moderate, 70 % to 80 % of MHR. (this is your aerobic zone-endurance, challenging but doable)
  • Zone 4: Hard, 80 %- 90 % of MHR. (this is your anaerobic zone-hardcore training) Stay in this zone only 10% of your time.
  • Zone 5: Very hard, 90 % – 100 % of MHR. (should not be in this zone too long only 5% of your time) only experience athletes should train in this zone for short burst periods like HIIT or TABATA.

If you are unsure what app to use to find your Heart Zone, here is a simple and effective way to find the zones you need to be within. All you are just two things:

  • A calculator and
  • To know your resting heart rate (which is your pulse before getting out of bed in the morning). Bonus tip, if you use a fitness tracker you can easily find this on your tracker.

NOW here is how to Calculate your MAX HR (MHR) with this formula:

220 – your age = maximum HR (MHR)

2. Calculate your HR reserve by subtracting your resting heart rate from your max heart rate (MHR above):

MHR – resting HR = HRR (heart rate reserve)

3. Then, simply multiply your HRR by your target zones … & add your resting heart rate number back in.

(HRR x target zone percentage) + resting HR = target HR

EXAMPLE: Let’s say you are 40 years old and your resting heart rate is 65. Here is how you’d calculate your zones:

220 – 40 (age) = 180 (or, MHR)

180 – 65 (resting heart rate) = 115 (HRR)

For moderate intensity (50% to 70%):

(115 x .50) + 65 = 122

(115 x .70) + 65 = 145

For vigorous intensity (70% to 85%)

(115 x .70) + 65 = 145

(115 x .85) + 65 = 163

The American Heart Assoc recommends staying within a target heart rate ranging between Moderate intensity of 50% to 70% (this is your fat burning zone) and Vigorous-intensity of 70% to about 85% (this is your aerobic zone) (3)

MAKE SURE TO NOT GO OVER YOU MAX HR! If you do, just reduce your intensity. Beware of pushing yourself too hard too often. If you are short of breath, struggling to keep up, or are in pain, your exercise intensity is probably higher than your fitness level allows. Back off a bit and build intensity gradually.

This is where having a fitness tracker or wearing a heart rate monitor comes in handy for you to easily view your heart rates zone and make sure you are within the zones you need to be in while you are working out.

*Some meds (like certain blood pressure drugs) can interfere with your heart rate, always consult with your doctor before starting a workout regimen or kicking up your intensity, especially if you have any heart disease risk factors.

Bottomline, Monitoring your workout and heart rate zones can help you avoid training too hard by knowing exactly when you’re overexerting yourself. It will also allow you to bounce back faster by ensuring you stay in the proper zone on recovery days. AND make sure you are working out safely.

Question ⁇ Do you pay attention to your heart rate during your workouts? Comment and let’s know your thoughts.👇

Mental Fitness

What is Mental Fitness? Maybe you heard this recently or have seen a post from me about it but are confused about what it all means and how it ties in your wellness and fitness journey.

Mental Fitness can be defined as Fitness for your mental health. It is having and maintaining a state of mental well-being and cultivating awareness of how we think, how we behave, and how we feel.  

It is also referred to as a series of exercises that help you slow down, decompress, and improve your mind.

There are 4 components to Mental Fitness that are within the psychological or emotional fitness area which includes self-acceptance, self-esteem, resilience, and the ability to manage or handle strong emotions. Just like physical fitness has a few crucial components of cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility-stability, and body composition. (1)

Mental fitness and your overall mental health is just as important as physical fitness, and shouldn’t be neglected. But, unfortunately, it is the one thing we overlook and push to the side as we tend to focus more on our health and weight loss goals than our mental health goals.

Here are some things to start working on to improve your Mental Fitness Game. (2)

  • Affirmations-Harnessing Positive Thinking with Daily Affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements you say to or about yourself that can help you overcome self-sabotaging, self-doubt, and negative thoughts. When you repeat them often and believe in them, you can make positive changes. Performing positive affirmations can be used to re-program your thought patterns and change the way you think and feel about things around you. Doing this will involve positive self-talk, which recruits the “left brain,” which helps promote self-esteem and well-being. 
  • Visualize– Visualizing or Manifesting brings something tangible into your life through attraction and belief. It is an act of daydreaming or imagining everything you want is coming true, using the law of attraction. You do this by visualizing what you want and the feeling of what it’s like to have it. Sitting in that positive vibration signals your subconscious that this feeling and state is your reality. That is where the magic happens within your subconscious. As discussed in Affirmations recruiting the “left brain”, visualizes recruits and activates the “right-brain” that enhances optimism or feeling of positivity, confidence, and personal effectiveness. You can also use the same practice into vision boards, putting everything you desire on a board using paper and magazine cutouts or electronic boards. Then focus and look at it each day. Doing this ends up easier for some people than sitting meditating or with your eye closed trying to visualize. In the end, Visualizations can help you be able to focus on positive things, even if it doesn’t quite go in the direction you want it to. It will help you head into a better path.
  • Gratitude & Journaling– Journaling and writing down my gratitude for the day is one of my go-to’s for my health and wellness practices. Like meditation, I didn’t believe it was something I should do daily and had difficulty committing to doing it for a while. Practicing journaling with gratitude forces you to pause to be grateful and mindful, helps you express and deal with your emotions for that day, helps reduce anxiety and stress, and helps you write down specific thoughts out in your head and manifest them into the universe. Adding this to your routine will slowly change your life and even boost your mood.
  • Breathwork & Meditations-Mediation or working on your breathwork can be a powerful technique that you can access anywhere and anytime by slowing down, deepening your breath, and clearing your mind. Making sure to breathe is obvious; however, when we are stressed or mad, we tend to hold our breath, or our breathing is more shallow or irregular. Deep breathing is an essential part of your daily routine. Practicing deep breathing exercises or even practicing mediations allows us to take fuller, slower breaths that reflect a genuinely relaxed state reducing stress or anxiety and can even be known to lower blood pressure and heart rate. Try closing your eyes and taking in a deep breath for a 3 count, HOLD for a second, and exhaling out for a 3 count. Then Repeat. If you want to go further in breathwork and give meditation a try, remember that it takes “practice,” so be patient trying it 3-5 minutes at a time. BUT, it can help calm the mind, reduce stress or anxiety, reduce blood pressure, improve memory, and lower negative emotions. While exercise is good for the brain and the body, so is meditation. Meditation, this Mind-Body-Connection, is an alternative way to treat depression and anxiety. Calming the mind allows you to problem solve in a more relaxed manner. Meditation can strengthen our ability to watch all the troubling and stressful things our minds do. It also helps us to focus and tune out distractions. You can grab some free apps like Insight Time, Smiling Mind, & Exhale. Did you know that when you work with me as your coach, you even get meditations added in my wellness app to be able to do at any time or schedule at your convenience?sight Time, Smiling Mind, & Exhale. Did you know that that when you work with me as your coach, you even get meditations added in my wellness app for you to be able to do at any time or schedule at your convenience? (3)
  • Relax & PAUSE-We are in a world of always being on the go, working too much, constantly scrolling online, or adding too much to our plate. We need to SLOW down more. While everything around us is in constant motion, finding the time to PAUSE can be good for our mental health and to be able to appreciate all we have around us. Relaxing and Pausing or being Mindful in a more present state can look different for everyone. Maybe you take time to cozy up reading a book, take a long scenic walk or hike on a beautiful day, draw a bubble bath with candles lit listening to some soothing music, get outdoors more or play a sport, sit in a comfy chair taking in the day relaxing with a good cup of coffee or a drink. Whatever you choose to do, the fundamental of pausing and being mindful is the same; it’s about doing activities that help us take our minds off our daily stressors and reboot. AND, don’t forget to make sure to schedule more “ME” time each week.
  • Practice Being Positive MORE-Oh the power of positive thinking. This is something that is often overlooked, and it is an important one. Positive thinking will bring positive results in your life. It also helps with stress management and improves your health and well-being. Believe it or not, if you shift your mindset to a more positive one, you will start seeing shifts throughout the day and week. Why? It is because our moods, behaviors, and thoughts are all connected, so when we make a positive change to one, it can create similar changes in another, creating a positive chain reaction. Thinking about it negatively will make us feel negative and more likely give us the results we do not want in life. Do you think to yourself, I have a black cloud following me around? Have you ever wondered if maybe it could result from how you are thinking and reactions or actions you are taking? Thinking positive is not about burying the negative thoughts or outcomes; it is about changing your perspective into seeing the positive side more in each day. Start every day with a positive thought. This will also help increase your mental fitness, change your outcome, and set the tone for the day’s rest. Here are some ways to work on being more positive: focus on the good things around you, hang around more positive people than negative, tell yourself that it’s going to be a great day and believe it, practice positive self-talk and slowly remove being your own worse critic.
  • Exercise Your Brain Muscles-Reading and doing puzzles help to increase being mentally fit. One of the best ways to train your brain and work those muscles is to play games to keep your mind sharp. Some great games to start incorporating weekly would be doing crossword puzzles, board games like Jigsaw puzzles or chess, and Sudoku. These games are designed to improve memory and boost your mental fitness. Reading is excellent for your brain, helps you stay present, creates visualization, and promotes relaxation. In fact, it is one of the great ways to get you ready for sleep.
  • Stop Multitasking-I know this one may come as a shock as I was one person who used to multitask like no one’s business, proud of how much I could do all at once and handle on the fly. BUT, did you know that it can hinder your performance, making you become less efficient and leaving you having a more likely chance at making mistakes? This is because our brain is constantly forced to switch gears, bouncing back and forth between tasks. Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than focusing on doing a single thing at a time. The study found that people who have regularly bombarded multitasking with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time. That is what Gary Keller talks about in his book “The ONE Thing”, focusing your energy on doing one thing at a time. Even Brian Tracy talks about knocking down one task at a time in his book “Eat that Frog”. Another negative side to multitasking is it takes away from you being mindful and present. As we are more in a present state, we can better retain information, listen, and be aware of, not being sabotaged by distractions. Start carving out a chunk of time on your phone or calendar with each Task TODO or project that you will complete for that day. When working on that task, put your phone away; don’t check emails or text messages or scroll on social media or online during this time. This will help you stay focused and get the work done without distractions.(4 5)

Fitness, in my opinion, is a mental exercise more than just physical. -Anushka Shetty

So as you see, it is vital in your Wellness journey to start focusing on your mental health and become mentally fit. Make sure you start working more on your mental fitness for at least 10 minutes a day or more. Then see how everything comes together in your health and wellness journey once you do.

To everyone who is overworked, busy, and stressed. So you are always busy working, on the go, or taking care of everyone else that you forget to take care of yourself and make yourself a priority. Let’s CHANGE That TODAY! 

Need help working on your healthy habits and mindset? I can help as a Holistic Wellness & Life Coach! Book a 15 min Success Call to see how I can help you in your Wellness & Life Journey this year!

Hello Dry January

Happy NEW YEAR and Hello “Dry” January! As 2022 has approached, we all are shifting our focus on our yearly goals.

Within the last few years, “Dry” January and Mocktails have become more popular as of one new year resolutions to abstain from alcohol use for a month in hopes to reset and lose weight.

Non-alcoholic wine, non-alcoholic liquors, and “Mocktails” are gaining speed in popularity online and in bars. These drinks are as complex and fancy that would impress any mixologist. Some popular non-alcoholic beverages have adaptogens to calm you instead of the hangover after effect. You will also find herbs and superfoods in some drinks besides the sugary mocktails we had as a kid. It is an excellent way for people who don’t drink or are doing 30 days without still wanting to entertain or being social without the awkward feeling of not drinking or ordering a drink with friends.

Why should you give “Dry” January a try?

During 2020, a majority of us drank a little more than we usually do 🙋🏼‍♀️ and picked up an unhealthy habit. As a result, alcohol consumption was up during 2020 and in 2021.

Did you know that an estimated 1-year increase in alcohol consumption during and through the pandemic can result in 8,000 additional deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, 18,700 cases of liver failure, and 1,000 cases of liver cancer by 2040 (1)

Going at least 30-Day without any alcohol helps reset your body by healing your liver, may lower triglycerides levels, may lower blood pressure, help improve sleep, helping clear your focus, clearing up your skin, help aid in weight loss, and may help reduce anxiety or depression. (2) (Make sure if you have a drinking problem to consult your physician before doing anything)

Here are some helpful tips on doing a “Dry’ January or “Sober” October:

  1. Plan. Look up your local bars and resturants where you hang out with friends and see if they have any Mocktails or non-alcoholic drinks. You will be surprised that even some of the higher end and fancy places have more than you think. Look online for some recipes that you can make at home or when hosting a get together. I have a few in my MOCKTAILS blog you can view. Also search online and in stores for some non-alcoholic wine, beer, liquors, and pre-made cockatils. I have tried a few, some are okay and some very good. I keep a variety pack on hand of Curious Exlixirs for nights I don’t drink and wanting a little something. #shakennotslurred
  2. Eliminate. Make sure to put away any tempations that might be staring you down in your house. This way you are not easily tempted to drink. If you are going to a party, bring your own non-alcoholic drink or mix a pitcher of a Mocktail to share.
  3. Support. Make sure to let your friends and family know what you are doing ahead of time so they can be supportive and help hold you accountable. You can also get a friend to join you to be your sober buddy to help keep each other motivatied and it is also fun to have someone doing it with you.
  4. Stay Busy. If your drinking was more of a social thing or of being bored, then try to stay active when you normally would drink is a nice distraction. Try picking up a hobbie, reading more, working out, or even cooking.
  5. Stress Relief. If your triggers come up and you are needing a drink due to stress or emotions then work on those emotions than masking them. Do you yoga, walk, practice meditation, have a dance party, or do something that makes you happy. Try not replacing one bad habit due to emotions with another one like emotional eating, etc.
  6. Keep Going. If you do have a drink and slip up, just like healthly eating; brush it off and don’t beat yourself up. Start right back the next day and put that foot in front of the other and KEEP GOING!

So no matter if you do a “Dry” January, “Sober” October, or take a week off….. your body and mind will thank you, but your taste buds will still be active and happy with many of the non-alcoholic recipes or pre-made that are out there these days.

I am participating this month in “Dry” January just like I did in “Sober” October, so join me if you want and even tag me on Instagram @erinwhelesswellness if you have any new finds or recipes during your “Dry” January. Cheers.

Welcome 2022

Happy New Year and Welcome 2022! We are officially in a NEW year and a NEW Month! We are facing a new chapter and a clean slate in our lives.

Take this time to look back and reflect on 2021.

Let’s not look back and think of all the things we could of should of have done differently or didn’t do. Remove any negative thoughts of 2021.

BUT let’s reflect on the GREAT & FAVORITE things that 2021 had brought us and everything we are grateful for in 2021. Let’s celebrate those WINS, no matter how small they may be. AND carry those grateful and positive vibes into 2022.

Too many times we tend to focus on our new year resolutions or goals for the New Year AND overlook focusing on everything we’ve accomplished and appreciate everything we have. It puts everything into perspective and shows you where you are and where you need to go going forward.

Every year millions of people make New Year’s resolutions to improve their lives.

Chances are you’ve set quite a few goals in the past that didn’t quite pan out or didn’t come close to reaching whatever goals you may have set in the years past.

BUT, if you didn’t reach those goals or gave up, it is not just you…..did you know that there has been research that around 80% of people GIVE UP on their goals.

One main reason is setting unrealistic goals on yourself that would be hard for anyone to obtain…so it’s not you. 

It is common for people to decide on things that they truly want to accomplish in life, then to set a goal to work towards, but to ultimately come up short leaving them frustrated and discouraged.  In fact, 25% of people actually abandon their New Year’s Goals after just 2 WEEKs!  For those of them that manage to push past those weeks, 60% abandon them within 3-6 months.

What if this year, we expanded the idea of “goals” into something even BIGGER – a vision of SUCCESS. 

Think about what would make 2022 a successful year for you. Write it down and say it to yourself.

Now Visualize IT! What would it look like if you achieved it? How would it feel?

I’m not just talking about health & fitness goals, although those are extremely important to have.

I’m talking about a 360 Wellness approach of ALL ASPECTS of your life…..career, family, social network, mental, spiritual connection…..in conjunction with your health and fitness goals.

What is the one thing that you look back on and think, “Wow, I did that!”?

When you are striving for your goal, keep in mind and remind yourself that you’re on the right track with your “vision of success” when you:

1) Feel yourself start to smile and/or 

2) You feel some butterflies in your stomach

Now, here’s where the rubber meets the road….

Start living your life “AS IF” you’ve already reached that success.

What would your day look like today if you ALREADY achieved that success? Picture it vividly.

What daily habits you would have picked up along the way? 

It’s time to start DOING THEM now – to adopt the habits of that future version of yourself. 

Sustaining Habits is a lot about mindset. It takes 3 weeks of performing a routine for it to become a normal habit. So be patient with yourself and take things one day at a time. YOU’VE GOT THIS! 

Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.” -Robert Collier

Remember, the past has passed, so learn from each year so you are armed and ready for 2022. Don’t just wish for a great year this year; VISUALIZE & CREATE IT! CHEERS to the New Year. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

✨Need help setting your Goals and Habits for 2022? I have created this handy Goal Setting and Habit Workbook to help you set yourself up for a great YEAR! Click to download for FREE!

Foam Rolling into Positive Benefits

The foam roller is one of the best recovery tools available today! If you know me, then you know I have every type of foam roller in my house, car, etc. I love foam rollers and use them in my weekly routine.

Why? Well, they’re affordable, easy to travel with, take to the gym, office, and can make a HUGE difference in your body in a short amount of time.

If you haven’t tried foam rolling before, you’re in for a “feels-so-good-when-it’s-done” treat!

While you’ll likely feel more flexible and “looser” after your very first session. You’ll notice even BETTER results by foam rolling on a regular basis.

What is foam rolling?

Foam rolling, also called self-myofascial release (SMR) is a form of self-massage.

It helps reduce muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation all while improving circulation & range of motion.

To foam roll, just roll your muscles (controlling the pressure) on a dense foam cylinder. You’ll gently move back and forth over any tight areas or sore spots

How does foam rolling work for recovery?

A network of connective tissues (fascia) surrounds and supports your muscles.

When part of that network becomes blocked – by either too little or too much activity – your fascia can become dehydrated. This can create a painful adhesion or knot (aka  “trigger point”).

Those knots can limit movement in the muscle as well as create painful chain reactions in other parts of the body.

Foam rolling can help break up these muscle adhesions, reduce pain, and improve movement!

When should you foam roll?

You can foam roll anytime. Before working out to get the blood flowing in the muscles, help prep your muscles, and improve performance. After working out as a post-workout recovery with stretching can help speed your recovery and reduce any post-workout soreness. AND on your days off or any time of the day. Setting aside a few minutes to use the foam roller outside of your exercise routine can help you focus on any stubborn spots. It is not just for working out, it is also great for days you are sitting a lot or on your feet.

Hurts so Good Positive Benefits of Foam Rolling

  • Reduce soreness and recover faster.
  • Improve your flexibility and range of motion.
  • Help improve pain.
  • Help relieve back pain.
  • Great for rehabilitation.
  • Temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite.
  • Helps reduce stress and relax.
  • Improves flexibility without impairing strength.
  • Improves posture.

Types of Foam Rollers

Did you know foam rollers come in all shapes and sizes? From long to short, to smooth to textured or ridged, vibrating, sticks, and even balls. I use my long smooth roller to get more areas I am trying to get or to help aid in more of a deep stretch. The ridged trigger point roller I have is fantastic when I need to get deep into the tissue and knots in very tense areas. I have a few balls smooth, ridged and bumpy to work my feet, hands, shoulder blades/ upper back and to focus on trouble areas a roller can’t get to. And my stick is perfect on days I am trying to get to those sore quads, glutes, calves, or IT band.

If you are wondering what type of foam roller you should get and use or how to incorporate it into your weekly routine. I have a great Foam Rolling guide for you to download that is perfect for beginners and for users that have been dabbling into rolling.

The takeaway is adding foam rolling to your weekly routine can be a great recovery and relaxing part of your routine with great added benefits. Do note that foam rolling can be painful, especially in the beginning similar to a deep tissue massage but with staying consistent, foam rolling can start to feel good afterward. Your body will thank you later.

AND don’t forget to download your FREE Complete Beginners Guide to Foam Rolling. This guide has everything you need to know to become a foam rolling pro.

Do you foam roll? What are your takes since starting it in your routine?

Get your FREE Foam Rolling Beginners Guide

At Erin Wheless Wellness, I believe a holistic approach to your health, wellness, and fitness is the most effective.

It’s not just about sets, reps, and distance-it’s about supporting your body before, during, and after your workouts. Making the time for recovery. And also during your everyday life!

I am all about finding healthy solutions that work with your lifestyle – especially those that keep you feeling motivated and feeling successful!

And it’s one of the things I do best in the 360 Holistic Wellness Program. This program is specifically designed to give you exactly what you need when you need it and help you reach your goals, no matter how those needs may change.

Reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4299735

Working out in a Time Crunch

Working out in a time crunch seems impossible. We all know how important it is to move your body and get in regular exercise, but we get busy or life gets in the way at times. Things pop up all of the time and make it challenging to stay active.

You know that exercising or staying active is good for you, can help you lose weight, boost metabolism, improve your mood, and even sleep. But I know what you are thinking, who has the time?

It’s all too easy to move your workout to “tomorrow.” And guess what? In reality, that’s what most of us end up doing and a lot of times, “tomorrow” doesn’t come. After all, you’re busy with everyday responsibilities at work and home with your job, family, children, home chores, cooking, and just plain tired.

If you’re not currently working out, the idea of getting started can seem overwhelming and dreaded.

But getting regular exercise is less of a time commitment than you may think, and the PAYOFFS are definitely worth it … both now and into the future!

Why should I make the time for Fitness? Here are a few benefits why you should rethink and try to add in at least 10-20 mins of exercise a few days a week. Heck, start with 5 min and work up.

  • Cut your risk of heart disease. Working out strengthens your heart and improves your circulation, boosting blood flow and oxygen levels in your body. This helps lower your risk of high cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, heart disease, and heart attacks.
  • Improve blood sugar and insulin levels. This cuts your risk for type 2 diabetes – and also helps manage it if you’ve already developed it.
  • Boost your mood and mental health. When you work out, your body releases chemicals that help reduce stress, lift your mood and leave you feeling mentally refreshed.
  • Build your bones and muscles. Regular exercise can help build bone and also slow the loss of bone density that comes with age. Plus, strength- training workouts can help you maintain / increase your muscle mass and strength.
  • Improve your sleep. It can help you fall asleep faster AND stay asleep longer.
  • Keep your brain healthy. Regular exercise encourages your body to release proteins and chemicals that improve your brain’s function and structure.
  • Control your weight. It helps you burn more calories, a key part of weight loss, and helps you build and maintain metabolically active muscle tissue.
  • Lowers risk of falling. Especially for older adults … doing balance and strength exercises (on top of moderate cardio workouts) can reduce the risk of falling down.
  • Improve longevity. Being active helps protect you from dying early from the leading causes of death, like cancer or heart disease.

I know you are thinking that is great and all, but I do not have 45-60 min to workout with everything I have going on in my life

What if I told you that you do not have to work out that long? I talked about this a few months ago in my blog “How much Exercise Do You Need” that working out just 10-20 minutes every other day or 3 days a week is sufficient. You can even do two 5min workouts in the morning, during break or lunch, and after work to break it up.

That is why I have a FREE handy dandy Time Crunch Workout Guide for you to download and use as a guide to help you get more bang in your exercise buck in a short amount of time.

Which in this case means TIME, EFFORT, and ENERGY.

Health experts recommend that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity.

"A 30 minute workout is just 2% of your Day"

Moderate activity includes things like walking, swimming, hiking, or mowing the lawn. Vigorous activity includes jogging/running, kickboxing classes, HIIT classes, or indoor cycling.

STOP pushing your health and well-being to aside and start making time for yourself TODAY!

Go ahead and download my Time Crunch Workout Guide where you’ll find results-driven workouts that will fit into even the busiest schedule and for ALL fitness levels!

Bottom line: Your fitness doesn’t have to suffer because you have a jammed schedule. In fact, making time to improve your fitness can help you bring MORE energy to the rest of your life! Finding even 5-10 minutes to crank out a quick workout can leave you feeling stronger, refreshed, and ready to take on your day. So, what are you waiting for?

At Erin Wheless Wellness, I am all about finding healthy solutions that work with your lifestyle – especially those that keep you feeling motivated and feeling successful!

And it’s one of the things I do best in the 360 Holistic Wellness Program. This program is specifically designed to give you exactly what you need when you need it and help you reach your goals, no matter how those needs may change.

*Always contact your physician before performing in type of exercise or nutrition program.

Are Sugar Substitutes Good or Bad?

Looking to Reduce your Sugar addiction? Try my 7-Day Sugar Detox

There are countless reasons to eliminate added sugar from your diet.

  • It saps your health,
  • contributes to a growing waistline, leaves you feeling tired, moody, and blah,
  • and it fills your body with empty calories that can make you feel like you’re riding a blood sugar roller coaster.

If you’ve ever tried to cut back on sugar before, you know it can be a real challenge! This is one reason a lot of people lean to artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes, but are they any better for you?


There have been so many health controversies and heated debates on whether or not artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes are the best substitutes for a sugar-free lifestyle.

One thing to remember is that these sugar substitutes are synthetic chemicals, the reason they are called artificial sweeteners nor are they a whole food even though some might have come originally from a natural source. They are still considered processed food.

Artificial sweeteners have that sweet taste, actually, some have a sweeter taste than regular sugar. They all offer zero-calorie and are labeled as sugar-free or low in sugar so they are a no-brainer for those looking to lose weight. (1) BUT, their effects on appetite and weight loss or gain vary among studies.

Did you know that non-nutritive sweeteners are far more potent than table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup? Just a very small amount produces a sweet taste comparable to that of sugar, without comparable calories. That leads to an overstimulation of sugar receptors from frequent use of these hyper-intense sweeteners may limit tolerance for more complex tastes.

So what does that mean? It means that if you use these sweeteners on a daily basis it eventually changes your taste buds and things that were once were very sweet seem not as sweet anymore and vise versa.

It might also result in you craving more sweets and reaching for something sweet and processed over highly nutritious food, and even gaining weight. Participants in the San Antonio Heart Study who drank more than 21 diet drinks per week were twice as likely to become overweight or obese as people who didn’t drink diet soda. (1) Some studies believe that artificial sweeteners might even increase appetite and promote weight gain (2). Regular consumption might also lead to lowering your metabolism which in the end will increase your hunger that will eventually lead to weight gain. (3)

Some artificial sweeteners have been linked with potential health issues and digestive upsets or poor gut health.

Now, I am not saying all of the sugar substitutes are bad….they do offer benefits if you are trying to lose weight cutting calories, helps people who have diabetes to reduce their sugar consumption without raising their blood sugar, and they don’t cause tooth decay. (4) (5)

So what should you do? If you must use sugar substitutes be mindful, treat it like processed food, and use it in a limited moderation within conjunction of a healthy whole foods diet. Try adding some natural sugar source like fruit when wanting something sweet. Natural fruits are whole food, high in nutrients, and high in fiber but if you are watching your sugar intake just make sure to keep in moderation to 2-3 servings a day.

Need help in reaching your Wellness Goals? If you are looking for guidance, coaching, accountability, and motivation in your health, nutrition, and fitness….I can HELP! Schedule a 15min Success Call to ask any questions or see if you are a good fit for my 360 Holistic Wellness Program TODAY!

What’s Zapping Your Energy?

Do you feel like your energy is drained by the end of the day? Too tired to work out or be active? You might not know that many everyday habits can leave you feeling tired. 

Here is a list of 12 Things that is Zapping Your Energy

1. TOO Much or TOO Little Exercise. Being sedentary not moving your body can make you want to move even LESS! Making time for exercise can get your blood pumping, improve your endurance, improve your mood, and boost your energy. Try walking more stairs, getting outside for a quick stroll, or getting up off the chair or sofa every hour. See how you feel. BUT on the other hand, too much exercise could also present a problem. Overtraining depletes our energy reserves, breaks down muscle, and eventually makes us weaker, not stronger. Make sure to take plenty of time off for recovery and add in rest days. (1)

2. SUGAR! If you have done my 7-Day Sugar Detox you know that sugar not only zaps your health, but also contributes to a growing waistline, leaves you moody, and blah. It ALSO leaves you feeling tired. WHY? Sugar provides quick energy, but after pick up, it drops you hard and leaves you looking for more energy. Why is this? It fills your body with empty calories that can make you feel like you’re riding a blood sugar roller coaster leaving you feeling tired. (1)

3. Eating processed and refined carbs. Too many carbs, especially refined carbs can actually cause you to feel tired throughout the day. These might give you a quick shot of energy thanks to the blood sugar rush, but when your body sends out insulin to remove the sugar, it can make your blood sugar level plummet – leaving you tired and drained. (2)

4. Loss of Quality Sleep.  Getting a good night’s sleep is important for your health and well-being. Your body needs sleep to fully recover and recharge. You might not realize this, but your body does a lot of things while you sleep, including store memory and releasing hormones that regulate your metabolism, muscles, strength, and energy levels. Did you know that studies have shown that insufficient sleep can also impact your waistline? Not only does it affect your willpower but a lack of sleep can boost your body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. When your cortisol levels rise, it causes your body to store fat, particularly around your midsection. So as you see, getting a good night sleep is extremely important.

5. Food sensitivities. One side effect of eating foods that your body is sensitive to includes fatigue. If you think that you might have sensitivities, it’s worth checking with your doctor. Common culprits include gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and eggs.

6. Not Eating Enough. Not getting enough calories (i.e., food) can make you feel tired, and so can eating a poor-quality diet without enough nutrients. Make sure to eat more of a whole foods balanced diet throughout the day and do not miss meals. Try NOT on being too restrictive on your eating or consume fewer calories than your BMR (basal metabolic rate) as this will not only deplete your energy but also affect your metabolism and hormones, but not in a good way.

BUT, do also know that overeating or indulging will also cause a dip in energy levels as well. Food is fuel! Taking in too little (or even too much over-stuffing yourself) can leave you fatigued. Making sure to eat smaller healthy meals more frequently can provide energy throughout the day.

7. Not getting enough protein. Studies show that eating protein boosts your metabolism, and scientists believe this may help prevent tiredness. 

8. Not being Hydrated. Studies show that being even a little dehydrated can make it harder to stay focused and leave you feeling drained. Lack of water can cause you to experience periods of fatigue and low energy as your body tries to function without enough water. If you’re constantly feeling sluggish and tired despite getting a quality night’s sleep, you may need to boost your water intake. Make sure you are drinking a minimum of 8-8 oz glasses of water daily to stay hydrated.

9. Caffeine. Like refined carbs and sugars, these can send your energy up before crashing back down. Not only that but caffeine can take up to 8 hours to clear your system, making it harder to get a good night of sleep, adding to the energy drain. If you keep reaching for caffeine instead of focusing on a good night’s sleep you could be throwing off your natural sleep cycle.

10. Stress. Feeling constantly stressed can definitely deflate your energy, both mentally and emotionally. Just another reason it’s important to have (and follow!) a plan for managing stress. 

11. Being in a negative environment. It’s possible to “catch” the moods of the people around you, but being aware of it can help lower your susceptibility, as can finding things that make you feel positive! (3)

12. Underlying Health Problem. (4) Your fatigue feeling could be more than just tiredness. If you are having constant fatigue, extreme lack of energy, or even falling asleep a lot during the day. Make sure to always check in with your physician first as you might have an underlying health problem you are unaware of or might be under the weather.

Bottomline, make sure to move your body, eat healthy whole food balanced diet, stay hydrated, watch your sugar-caffeine-processed foods, get quality sleep, and surround yourself with a positive environment. Your energy should quickly return. If it doesn’t, make sure to see your physician to rule out any underlying health problems or issues.

At Erin Wheless Wellness, I believe that your results are all connected – sleep, stress, nutrition, fitness, mindset, and more. 

Looking to work with me? Check out My Services or current Programs, or BOOK a FREE 15 min Breakthrough Call to talk! 

Make it a great day!

Client Spotlight

Client Transformation ALERT!

Let’s meet today’s fantastic transformation client. Barbara came to me a few months after the shutdown last year. She felt lost on what to do after CoVid hit because she could not do her Yoga or Tai Chi classes since the shutdown. In addition, she was looking to lose weight, particularly in her midsection, to improve her stability and tone.

She had not done strength training as much but was familiar with stretches and yoga. So she picked up doing strength training with me 3 days a week, walking every day, and yoga once or twice a week.

For a woman in her 60s, she has impressed me each week by crushing Personal Best each week (9 on one day), being able to perform challenging and advanced moves like a champ, and all while staying committed, not missing a beat. We also incorporated healthy habits in her daily routine to increase her performance, health and transform her into a better version of herself.

Over the year we have worked together, she has lost a whole size or more (her leggings were too loose.😬). She has gained muscle while losing fat, gained strength, stability/flexibility, looking toned, energy has increased, and reduced that jiggy midsection she wanted to eliminate. These outstanding results were ALL done with NO Restrictive or Fad dieting but on being active, strength training, and being mindful of your eating while still enjoying her wine and treats. 

She is another client of mine who is living proof that age is ONLY a Number. Heck, she could kick my butt on a few workouts. But, it only shows you that you can accomplish anything regardless of your age, fitness, or health level.

 “Erin works with care with me as an individual and tailors my workouts to meet my needs. She also recommends modifications to specific exercises. She is very attentive to proper form. Erin is also very knowledgeable about nutrition questions. She is truly a blessing for anyone interested in getting into shape and feeling healthy and strong!” Barbara M

Feeling lost? Do you need Motivation, Accountability, or Help on your Goals? Message me today at erin.wheless@gmail.com or book a 15 min Discovery Phone Call to ask any questions or concerns you may have. As a Wellness & Transformation Coach as well as an Online Fitness Trainer, I can help you reach your GOALS and get your LIFE Back!

CURIOUS about my services and Wellness app? Did you know you can also TEST Drive my App and Program for FREE for 7 Days, NO STRINGS ATTACHED?

Power Walk into Healthy Benefits

Are you looking to increase your endurance and cardiovascular but also want to lose weight? There is a debate that running or jogging trumps walking for fat loss, BUT have you ever tried Power Walking?

If you have bad knees or are unable to jog or run, well look no further than trying to Power Walking. Power walking is done by using a brisk walk speed of 3.0-5.0 mph and pumping your arms.

Did you know that power walking burns the same or similar number of calories as running or jogging? You heard me correct, power walking at 4.5 mph for one hour would burn the same as jogging at 4.5 mph for one hour. (1)

If you are starting out Power Walking, start by doing intervals of normal walking pace and then increase your speed for 1-2 minutes and then reduce speed for a minute. Then REPEAT. Each time you increase your speed try the next round just a little faster or longer time or you can even add inclines in during your Power Walking. You can increase the effectiveness if you are walking on an incline and making sure you are pumping your arms.

Here are some great benefits to adding Power Walking to your weekly routine.

  1. Cardiovascular and Endurance -Walking at a fast pace will improve your cardiovascular, bringing up the heart rate into the fat buring and endurance zone, strengthen your heart, and even help lower blood pressure. It gets your heart pumping stronger and faster, moving oxygen-rich blood more efficiently to all the muscles, organs and tissue throughout your body. (2)
  2. Helps SHED those Pounds-Power walking just for 20-30min for at least 3 days a week, along with a healthy diet is an effective way to lose weight. Did you know that you could burn off off approx 564 calories an hour? (at a 4 to 5 mph pace). (3)
  3. Strengthen & Tone your Muscles– When performing power walking you will be working and toning the glutes, thighs, calves, hips, shoulders, upper back and abs. Increase the incline and you will get those legs, glutes, and core really working.
  4. Great for Beginners– Power walking can be performed by all ages and for anyone at any fitness level. It is a lower impact cardio exercise than doing running, jogging, HIIT, or Tabatas.
  5. Easy on the Knees and the Body– Power Walking is a lower impact exercise than running or jogging in which is easier on your body and reduces the risk of injuries.
  6. Reduces Stress and Anxiety – Just like a runner’s high, power walking can release endorphins, in which helps ward off anxiety, reduces stress, and can help boost self-esteem.
  7. Great for Joint Health– Just like walking, Power Walking can help protect your joints, including your knees and hips. Your muscles and joints become more flexible, and the stress on your knees is significantly less than if you’re pounding the pavements jogging or running. It also can help lubricate and strengthen the muscles that support your joints.

TIP-As with walking, jogging, or running make sure you invest in a comfortable pair of shoes and buy shoes for your gait. Pick shoes that have well-cushioned heels and arch support. Make sure to warm up at a walking pace for 5 minutes, keep good posture, and always stretch afterward. AND HYDRATE.HYDRATE.HYDRATE

If power walking or speed walking is not for you and you prefer just walking at a normal pace, then look at my previous blog Walking into Surprising Benefits to see the amazing benefits you get in just getting out and walking.

Bottom line, if you are looking to break your plateau and looking for a way to boost your cardio fitness try adding power walking into your routine.

You should not rely on this information as a substitute, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. None of my services shall be used to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease. I cannot and do not provide medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before altering your diet or starting any fitness program