Category Archives: Body

Managing Menopause: A Three-Pronged Approach

BY TAWNYA RITCO, RHN

While some women float through the menopausal years relatively carefree, with little in the way of hormonal disruptions, others find it very challenging and in some cases debilitating. That’s why managing menopause is one of the most important issues for women in their transitional years. Ideally, this is done naturally, with women following a three-pronged approach designed to manage menopause effectively and reduce or even eliminate many of the common symptoms and effects of this hormonal shift.

The Context: Change of Life

We have two significant shifts in life: teenage puberty and the changes leading into menopause. Although these are certainly natural transitions in life, the challenge arises when our bodies have difficulty adapting to fluctuating hormones. Menopausal symptoms can range from hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, irritability, vaginal dryness and sleeplessness…and unfortunately, that’s just to name a few.

How a woman transitions during her perimenopausal years leading into menopause – the phase in life that is marked by one year without menses — depends on a number of factors, from her genetics and diet to overall lifestyle.

A contributing factor that adds to the challenge is stress and this has only become exacerbated for modern day women who have made multi-tasking their middle name.  It is not uncommon in this digital world for our boundaries to be consistently blurred. Women are finding that ideal balance — between the never-ending to do list, career, family, social life and other daily expectations — doesn’t always come easy.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone in that regard.

Recognizing Your Personal Stress Triggers

So the question becomes how does stress play into the equation when it comes to menopause? First, it is important to recognize that as we enter into the period of perimenopause leading up to menopause, our ovaries slow down and produce less progesterone, testosterone and estrogen. This forces our adrenal glands into a taxing back-up role. This is why protracted levels of stress in a woman’s younger years can potentially contribute to a more difficult time transitioning into menopause.

If your current stress level is high or you experienced chronic stress when you were younger, your adrenal glands may not be functioning optimally.  This is often when those nasty menopause symptoms rear their ugly head.  The good news is that there are things that you can do for a more graceful transition.

Positive Lifestyle Solutions

The first step is making some lifestyle adjustments to help eliminate the extra stressors that can tax your adrenals over time. What are your personal stress triggers and how can they be eliminated?  Do you have coping strategies in place to help mitigate the impacts of stress?  For some a walk in nature, yoga, meditation or mindfulness, diaphragmatic breathing can help bring the body into a more parasympathetic state (rest and digest) as opposed to relying on the sympathetic system (fight and flight) commonly associated with our stress response.

Nutrition

Are we fueling our body with whole food nutrition? Eliminating or reducing too much coffee and alcohol, white sugar and other stimulants helps reduce the extra pressure.

Supplementation

Working in tandem with nutrition and lifestyle adjustments, supplementation can play a key role in providing additional support during this pivotal time in life.  When it comes to supplementation, among the leading natural supplements is PURICA Rebalance Menopause Relief, a blend of three medicinal mushrooms and three herbs that work synergistically to support the whole body by naturally rebalancing your hormones.

Headlining the blend of medicinal mushrooms in PURICA Rebalance is Chaga, which helps relieve stress, promotes youthfulness of the skin, hair and nails, and perhaps most important, increases energy.

Certified organic PURICA Lion’s Mane is a mushroom powerhouse that is included to help improve cognition and memory and has the added benefit of helping digestion.  Meanwhile the third mushroom ingredient – Cordyceps – helps enhance vitality and energy and increases libido while providing all important support for the adrenals.  It also increases the immune response.

PURICA Rebalance also includes a blend of herbs such as Giant Angelica, Sok-Dan and Wilfords Cynanchum.  It is present in this menopause relief product as a proprietary blend of three hot water extracts known as EstroG-100 clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, nervousness, occasional sleeplessness and mood swings.

Following this three pronged approach of healthy dietary changes, lifestyle adjustments to manage stress and supplementation on the strength of natural products such as PURICA Rebalance, we can significantly help smooth the transition to embrace this new chapter in life.  And who wouldn’t want a smoother landing at this time in life?

Tawnya Ritco, R.H.N., is Director of Education for PURICA and promotes natural health education and finds inspiration in the connection between nutrition, lifestyle, and vitality.

Your Adrenal Glands – Your Body’s Battery Pack

BY TAWNYA RITCO, R.H.N

The two walnut-size glands that sit just above each kidney are the unsung heroes of the human body.  Our adrenal glands work as batteries to energize our body.  Although they secrete adrenalin and other hormones that play a number of essential physiological processes in our body, they are most commonly associated with their ability to help us deal with stress.

The adrenal glands are crucial to our overall health and taking good care of them throughout our life is essential as they also work as our back up sex hormones, a role which becomes even more important as we age. In addition, they help manage our blood sugar, regulating metabolism and controlling blood pressure.

So the three big questions are: How do these dynamos work? How do we know when they are not functioning?  And how can we take care of them?

How do our adrenal glands work?

The fact is, we are all subject to stress in our lives and our bodies are hard-wired with what is known as the “fight or flight” stress response. Think of it like pressing the gas pedal on your car. When there is a perceived threat, the hypothalamus sends a signal to the adrenal glands (via the pituitary gland). This causes them to release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. It’s what allows us to spring into action with a burst of energy during times of emergency. For many of us, the challenge to our health arises when we are faced with “chronic stress” for protracted periods of time. Sadly, with modern-day living, this scenario is all too common.

Adrenaline and cortisol are released whether we are undergoing acute stress — such as a death in the family, a divorce, surgery and other forms of trauma — or simply dealing with low-grade stressors such as traffic jams, work deadlines, expectations from family and friends, environmental stressors, or even worrying excessively or just feeling irritated.  Over time, the constant secretion of these key hormones can cause the adrenals to become stressed to the point of exhaustion. The result: Adrenal exhaustion.

Symptoms of weakened adrenals

Knowing when you’re adrenal “batteries” are low and needing a boost has become more important than ever before. Weakened adrenals can manifest themselves through fatigue and lack or energy, insomnia, irritability, cravings, weight gain and ultimately a weakened immune system.  You might find your capacity to deal with workloads has decreased and your overall tolerance to stress and capacity to handling it is much lower than it once was. People often describe what they feel as an overall unwell feeling. For some, just having enough energy to get through the day is a challenge. It’s clear that prolonged stress plays havoc on the body and can potentially create a myriad of issues that can elevate anxiety and potentially affect our working memory.

Recognizing our own self-imposed stress triggers is a huge step towards managing, reducing and possibly eliminating them from our lives. Some of the most effective stress management and lifestyle strategies include diaphragmatic breathing — also known as belly breathing.  Walks in nature, meditation and laughing have all been shown to have positive effects on calming the sympathetic system (the fight or flight response) and activating our parasympathetic system (rest and digest).

The role of adaptogens in supporting our adrenals

That’s where adaptogens come into play in mitigating the effects of protracted stress. They are a group of specialized substances that help normalize the body’s response to stress and rebalance the hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal axis (HPA), which is the body’s central stress response system.  Adaptogens such as those found in PURICA Vitality Adrenal Support can literally help revitalize our adrenals and increase our capacity to manage the inevitable stressors that have become synonymous with daily living.

Inspired by the principles of Chinese, Tibetan and Ayurvedic medicine, PURICA Vitality is a powerful combination of two certified organic micronized medicinal mushrooms (Chaga and Cordyceps) and the herb ashwaghanda.  This powerful blend calms and restores balance within our overworked adrenal glands, enabling them to better deal with the impacts of stress. Especially when used in conjunction with some of the stress management techniques outlined above, it is one of the ways we can replenish the adrenal “batteries” and maintain the kind of energy we need to make the most of our lives, whether at work or at play.

Tawnya Ritco, R.H.N., is Director of Education for PURICA and promotes natural health education and finds inspiration in the connection between nutrition, lifestyle, and vitality.

Why Magnesium Matters So Much to Your Health

BY TAWNYA RITCO, RHN

Among essential minerals, magnesium is truly essential. Always has been. Always will be. It’s only gained more prominence in recent years because of the heightened occurrence of mineral and vitamin deficiencies in many of us. They are deficiencies that have only been exacerbated in this era of protracted, chronic stress.

The important role that essential minerals in general and magnesium in particular play in the maintenance of good health is one that has been recognized for decades. Above and beyond the proliferation of daily stress in our lives, what is new is the science around just how important magnesium is to vital organs and key body processes. Combine that with the fact that over 40 percent of Canadians – two in every five of us — are magnesium deficient!

It’s such an important health and wellness issue because magnesium is crucial for the normal function of our cells, nerves, muscles, bones and heart. In fact, magnesium is a co-factor in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. It’s not surprising, therefore, that entire body systems can be thrown off when we lack essential vitamins or minerals such as magnesium.

Magnesium is essential in the maintenance of our bones and teeth. It is vital in the regulation of muscle contractions and overall muscle function. Magnesium also helps to metabolize our food and regulate blood pressure and nerve transmission. That’s why adequate levels of magnesium are required in order to for body to produce enough serotonin naturally so as to maintain balanced mental function. Note that serotonin helps regulate our mood, appetite and sleep as well as cognitive functions such as memory and learning.

No outline of the importance of magnesium to health and wellness is complete without acknowledging that it has also been used intravenously in hospital settings to reduce the risk of death after an acute heart attack. It is also deployed in managing acute asthma in emergency situations.

Over the course of time, we have typically received the significant amounts of this macro mineral that we need from a balanced, nutritious diet comprised of nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens and unrefined whole grains. Yet many of us are falling short in this era in which the soil that is the foundation for the nutrients we consume is itself depleted of minerals. Add to that the modern issue of chronic stress, which releases adrenaline and triggers a series of metabolic processes. Since the body’s reaction to stress in turn further depletes the magnesium supplies in our body, the vicious circle continues and we become more reactive to stress.

With many people supplementing daily with 350 grams of magnesium, I recommend one teaspoon daily of PURICA Effervescent Magnesium Glycine as it is a highly absorbable form of magnesium. That’s the good news in an era where many of us are not getting the levels of this essential mineral that we need to function optimally.

PURICA Magnesium

REFERENCES:

Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. 2015 Sep; 7(9): 8199–8226. Published online 2015 Sep 23. doi:  10.3390/nu7095388  / Nutrients

The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare Scientifica (Cairo). 2017; 2017: 4179326. Published online 2017 Sep 28. doi:  10.1155/2017/4179326

A study on the mineral depletion of the foods available to us as a nation over the period 1940 to 1991. Nutr Health. 2003;17(2):85-115.

Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis Open Heart. 2018; 5(1): e000668. Published online 2018 Jan 13. doi:  10.1136/openhrt-2017-000668 Ter Arkh. 2015;87(9):114-122. doi: 10.17116/terarkh2015879114-122.

Magnesium deficiency and stress: Issues of their relationship, diagnostic tests, and approaches to therapy. Ter Arkh. 2015;87(9):114-122. doi: 10.17116/terarkh2015879114-122.

Magnesium for treatment-resistant depression: a review and hypothesis. Med Hypotheses. 2010 Apr;74(4):649-60. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.10.051. Epub 2009 Nov 27.

Tawnya Ritco, R.H.N., is Director of Education for PURICA and promotes natural health education and finds inspiration in the connection between nutrition, lifestyle, and vitality.

Healthy, happy hearts

Provascin is designed to protect the cardiovascular system in a host of ways.

Q&A WITH PURICA FOUNDER JASON WATKIN

Q. We tend to think of heart disease as something that mainly affects the middle-aged or elderly. When does someone need to start thinking about their heart health?

Jason: It’s never too early. Ideally, we’re thinking of heart health in our late teens and early 20’s when we start to reach our full height and our growth hormones start to drop. Our body is at that second stage of life. There’s a higher state of breakdown, with a lower capacity to heal and maintain optimal status of the cells and body overall.

Practically speaking, though, most people don’t wake up until they feel themselves declining—when energy levels drop and their skin and whole body starts to show signs of aging.

It’s important to note that if you tend to be a more “high-strung” person, you are typically more susceptible to heart disease because you have higher level of stress hormones circulating throughout the body. This induces the breakdown of tissue and decreased PH levels, which cause inflammatory bursts and suppression of the immune system. Potential warning signs are you find yourself easily irritated, worrying excessively or having mood swings that are not related to hormone fluctuation. The biggest sign will be low energy!

So starting as early as possible is best, but definitely as soon as you start seeing symptoms.

Q. Is heart disease hereditary? Your father had major heart surgery. How did that change how you looked at your own heart health?

Jason: Instead of being what we would classify as genetically hereditary, it’s more familial. Different families exhibit different traits. It’s related to stress and how people process potential stressors. In my dad’s family, there was a tendency to hold things in.

My uncle had a massive heart attack and died at age 42. That’s why my dad initially got tested—because there was an indication that it could be a familial problem. Sure enough, my dad had six blockages that were over 95% and they rushed him in for surgery. He had six bypasses and had a massive heart attack on the table. Given his congestive heart failure, they gave him a defibrillator and pacemaker and didn’t expect him to live past seven years. It’s now 25 years later.

Q. Was this family history the inspiration behind Provascin?

Jason: It started with my uncle dying and then my dad having his heart attack, which literally happened within just a few weeks of each other. The shock was that my uncle was in great shape! His death caused me real concern, especially given that he died so young and in such good shape. It shouldn’t have happened. I was already interested in cardiovascular health, but finding out my entire family had abnormal blood markers only increased that interest, but now on a personal level.

Q. When we refer to heart disease, what conditions are we actually talking about?

Jason: Artherosclerotic, arteriorsclerosis, valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, angina, arteriol stenosis, ambiliousim. These are some of the conditions that define heart disease.

Q. What are the causes of cardiovascular disease? What are the risk factors to look for?

Jason: Using an analogy, let’s say you have a small leak in plumbing that you don’t notice and then over a long period of time it creates rot and swelling on the floor. It’s the same kind of idea with heart disease. For instance, high blood pressure is an after effect of something that is already going on. The key question is where is the source? The damage is happening underneath. That damage leads to breakdown of tissue and inflammation. It happens way before the blood pressure and cholesterol issues arise. Often you don’t notice it until the damage is already done; again, just like with the leak in the plumbing.

Our culture is set for go-go-go and we are often in a state of accelerated aging due to stress. Even low-levels of stress are very common in modern-day living. Whenever you stress, you are breaking down. This can manifest itself in mild on-going stressors such as irritation, worry, frustration, blood sugar issues and mood swings. Over time these things start to become more pronounced. Subconsciously, our bodies are always in a state of tension, in that fight-or-flight state of readiness, instead of the restand- digest parasympathetic state.

We need to try to reduce and mitigate the stress response that leads to that damage. That’s why PURICA Provascin was formulated: to provide broad spectrum cardiovascular support and help to mitigate the stress response. Heart disease is not from one single cause, so addressing it from a number of different angles is what PURICA Provascin is intended to do.

Q. People often don’t think about how important cardiovascular support is. So what advice would you give baby boomers and others in terms of monitoring their heart health?

Jason: I would say to eat as many antioxidant-rich foods as you can, along with supplements. Try to change your dietary habits by minimizing those simple sugars and trans fats. I also really believe it is very important to learn how to manage stress through meditation or other relaxation techniques.

Q. As someone with heart disease in your family, what message do you want to send people who may find themselves in the same situation?

Jason: The good news is that there definitely are ways to deal with familial predisposition to heart disease. The key is the earlier the better. Heart disease is the number one killer. Signs often show up after the damage has already started. I encourage people to start changing their dietary habits to reduce those simple sugars and trans fats. Stop cooking with cheap oil. Incorporate as many antioxidants as possible. It’s certainly not always easy, but strive to “let go” mentally where possible. As I often say, it’s simple but true: ease is the opposite of dis-ease.

Introducing PURICA IonicBone Vegan Bone-building Formula

Strengthening Your Framework

Strengthening your own body foundation is much like choosing a well-built house to live in. That’s always better than being forced into one that is on a shaky foundation. Simply put, the well-built house will serve you for the long-term, whereas the other one will need constant maintenance and repairs.

This is an important consideration because up to the age of 20 we continue to build our bone mass and by the age of 30, we generally reach peak bone mass. Many of us become vulnerable to deteriorating bone health in the years that follow. That’s why protecting your bones early on and throughout your life is the key to avoiding fragile bones as we age.

The good news is that nutrition and lifestyle factors can help you build and maintain strong bones as you age. Supplementation can help bridge that gap where there are deficiencies.

For those at risk of bone loss, PURICA® IonicBone™ Vegan Bone-building Formula is designed to make a difference in ensuring optimal bone health throughout adult life, especially in seniors and post-menopausal women and those at risk of bone loss.

PURICA® Ionicbone™ supports the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth and helps to maintain normal muscle function, metabolism, tissue formation and electrolyte balance. These are all vital for bone health and overall wellness.

Combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, this new formulation may also reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. It is powered by K2VITAL® and features natural calcified Atlantic Seaweed (CAS®) mineral complex, it has 32% more elemental calcium than other leading organic calcium sources.

Rich in calcium, magnesium and iron, it is free of chemicals, additives and solvents. PURICA® IonicBone™ works on the strength of 28 bone-building elements made from sustainably harvested Atlantic red algae.

The key to PURICA® IonicBone™ is how its ingredients work together in the body. The ingredients have been carefully balanced to include the most effective forms of Magnesium and Vitamin D3; both of which play a key role in calcium absorption.  Magnesium bisglycinate is highly-absorbable and crucial in the development of the bone mineral complex, as is the bioactive, plant-based Vitamin D3 from lichen.

The Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone K2VITAL®) activates the protein osteocalcin, which stores calcium in the bone mineral matrix. It regulates the usage of calcium, ensuring it is kept in your bones and not in the blood streaming through your arteries. This is critical for both bone and heart health.

With PURICA® IonicBone™ Vegan Bone-building Formula, you’re building a stronger and healthier body to help you live better – and thrive – in middle-age and beyond.

Ionicbone - Now available

Tawnya Ritco, R.H.N., is Director of Education for PURICA and promotes natural health education and finds inspiration in the connection between nutrition, lifestyle, and vitality.

How to Beat the Sweets: The Gradual Approach

BY MELISSA TUCKER, RHN, Training Coach & PURICA Ambassador

If the thought of cutting out every last gram of sugar sounds impossible – especially the idea of going cold turkey – maybe we could simply reset the goal. Cutting back gradually may be more effective in the long run.

Here are a five Fitlicious ways to help cut your sugar intake without feeling deprived. I really believe they’ll give you big returns:

  1. Start your day with a no-added-sugar breakfast, because starting your day right sets the tone and balances your blood sugar for your remaining meals;
  2. Use cinnamon and 1 tablespoon protein Chaga powder instead of sugar in your coffee. It helps curb sugar cravings and balance energy;
  3. Replace sugar and fat laden ice-cream with Fitlicious 3 ingredient banana ice cream (yes, only three ingredients);
  4. Craving a chocolate fudge Brownie? Have a Perfect Date instead! For a single serving after dinner dessert, simply remove the pit of a Medjool date and replace it with a tablespoon of almond butter and 1 teaspoon of raw cacao nibs and unsweetened coconut flakes. You’ll love it;
  5. Make protein, fibre and healthy fats the building blocks of your meals and snacks. These nutrients slow down the digestion process and prevent quick blood sugar spike and crash. That’s important, because a sudden drop in blood sugar can cause extreme sugar cravings.

Most importantly remember, you’re human. You don’t need to be perfect. Give your taste buds and brain time to adjust to lower sugar intake by reducing your sugar intake a little bit each week until you reach your new goal.

(Recommended PURICA superfoods and supplements: PURICA Trimactiv, PURICA Power vegan protein powder; PURICA Nopal, PURICA Fiberlicious and Garcinaia Cambogia).

Just Because It’s Common, It Doesn’t Mean It’s Normal

BY MELISSA TUCKER, RHN, Training Coach & PURICA Ambassador

At least 85 per cent of menstruating women experience a symptom of PMS every cycle. Does this staggering number mean that having PMS is normal? No, it means it’s common. Just because something is common, does not mean you need to accept it as normal.

In my experience as a woman and health coach, I’ve concluded that by reducing inflammation in the body, many if not all premenstrual symptoms of cramping, bloating, sugar cravings and mood swings can be reduced and often ultimately eliminated.

For my clients who report mild to extreme PMS, I apply system support on the strength of the following PURICA products:

A recent study found that women who have higher levels of inflammatory proteins are more likely to suffer from PMS symptoms such as mood problems, cramps, back pain, cravings, bloating and breast pain.

To lower inflammatory proteins you must detox your body: Remove alcohol, caffeine, sugar, processed flours and inflammatory fats such as those found in full-fat dairy products, red meats, peanuts, margarines, shortening and hydrogenated oils from your diet.

Incorporating some vegan meals or days into your weekly nutrition program can also help lower acidity and inflammation. With the new PURICA Power vegan protein powder, it’s easy to incorporate an alternative to whey isolates. PURICA Power also has the added antioxidant support of Chaga. The fermented PURICA Power vegan protein powders get my two thumbs up first of all because they taste great and also because they are more bioavailable pre and post workout than other non-fermented, or soy- based vegan powders.

The best way to make PMS “MIA” is to:

  • Rest. Drink More Water.
  • Limit Alcohol, caffeine and salt and at any time of month stay committed to healthy whole foods.

Balance lean proteins such as organic chicken, turkey, fish, nuts, omega-3 eggs and legumes, healthy fats such as coconut, olive oil, avocado, nuts, etc. and a variety of complex carbohydrates including vegetables, fruits, kamut, beans, rye, oats, and quinoa every three to four hours during the day. This will stabilize blood sugars and avoid undue stress and hormonal imbalance because of skipped meals.

Is it a Cold or Just Allergies? How Do You Know the Difference?

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips.

With the change of seasons and temperatures getting colder, Tis the season for runny noses, sore throats and fatigue. What do you do when your co-worker, family or friend shows up with a full-on case of the sniffles, red eyes, a runny nose, and a sore throat? When this happens to me, I’ll ask if they are feeling sick or have a cold.

They most often reply, “No, I think it’s just allergies?”

They say its allergies. I’m concerned it’s a cold, which I don’t need to have or want to pass along a scratchy throat and headache to my other clients.

This time of the year, how are you supposed to tell?

Keep this quick reference chart handy for the next time you or someone you know is feeling under the weather.

Cold or Allergies?

Supporting your immune system with proper nutrition, rest and supplements, like Immune 7 can all help minimize your chances of getting a seasonal cold or flu and can also minimize the effects of allergy symptoms.

Research indicates that humor may increase immune function by increasing levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA), a protein found in your eyes, ears, mouth, throat, and nose that protects against infection. So if you feel a tickle in your throat, go ahead and rent a funny movie or laugh with a friend — anything that gives you the giggles may help you feel better!

For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email PURICA Ambassador Melissa Tucker at melissa@melissatucker.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

Heart disease and women – knowing the signs

In a powerful message delivered with humour, popular actress Elizabeth Banks plays an example of a modern day woman coping with the everyday demands of raising a young family. She might even be playing you and the lengths many women with great intentions like you go to be everything to everyone; often even at the expense of their own health. This video shows common symptoms of heart attacks in women that are critical to recognize. Do you listen to your heart? Do you act on warning signs?  Do you protect it? Elizabeth Banks may help you answer those questions.

Combining the demands of training and family

Adam O'Meara - PURICA Ambassador
Adam O’Meara
PURICA Ambassador

Adam O’Meara, a Victoria-based professional triathlete, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors who are committed to promoting positive lifestyle solutions, including healthy eating and training tips. Here are some of Adam’s suggestions – as a father and husband – on how to balance the demands of a training lifestyle with the responsibilities of family:

You don’t have to be a high performance athlete like myself to understand that it’s not easy to combine the rigours of working out and training with the responsibilities of family life.

A father of two recently told me that the fondest memories his children (now aged 12 and 8) have are of the times they’ve experienced together.

I understand that myself, having transitioned from living in my own little world as a professional triathlete to married life and now being a father of our four-year-old Max.

For me, the biggest challenge in the last 5 years has been finding the balance between family life and my long-distance triathlon career.  It’s not so much getting the training done, even though it is tough going. The hard part is making sure that my wife and Max get the time they deserve; especially when I have to head out and close the door behind me while Max is idling for attention.

Here’s how I’ve kept up with my training while not missing out on my family and the memories of our time together. I hope these tips help you make the most of your active lifestyle and your quality family time:

  • Communicate your plans and needs to your spouse / partner, children, other family members and friends;
  • Learn what works best for you as an individual when it comes to your training approach. We are all different, for example – you may not be a morning workout person, so be present and engaged with the family at that time of day;
  • Plan outings, events and other activities with your family and friends. And then make sure you stick to that plan;
  • Know your spouse / partner and respect their needs. This is vital.  It doesn’t happen very often but sometimes I have to make a decision to simply not do the 2nd or 3rd workout of the day because I see my family needs me;
  • Remember that a missed workout here or there does not affect your overall fitness, health and wellbeing. The most important thing when it comes to training and exercise is consistency over long periods of time;
  • Listen to your body: If you are feeling overly tired and not motivated to perform your planned workout then change it to the next day, put it out of your mind and make the most of your new found time and spend it with your family and/or friends;
  • Include family when you can. Max has run a few kids running races over the past few years and it has been an absolute blast for him;
  • Become time efficient. I save this point for last because it’s a skill that needs to be developed. It isn’t that tough to do; it just takes practice.  For example, combine the stops to the gas station, grocery store, library or chiropractor with when you are going to be travelling to and from the gym or pool or run location.  Every time you run an extra errand it takes time; time which you could be spending with your loved ones.

For more information, check out www.adamomeara.com or email PURICA Ambassador Adam O’Meara at adamomeara@gmail.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness.