Monday, June 30, 2014

Guest Post: Move More, Drink More!

Join me in welcoming Andrea Cordes, owner of Formation Power Fitness, in her sharing of the importance of movement and hydration which ties directly into my awareness challenge for July! As you may know, every month for the first ten days I offer a challenge to support our wellness journey. In months past, we've done ACV shots, oil pulling, juicing, and being kind (to self, the planet, and each other), and more! 

For the month of July, I have asked Andrea to share 10 different fitness challenges that I believe we all can freely incorporate; however, you're always encouraged to modify as necessary. If you're stumbling upon this article after the Facebook event is over, why not leave a comment with your commitment to adding more movement over the next ten days while hydrating yourself with water. 

Move More, Drink More!

Water, that is. Drink more water. And while you're at it, go ahead and add some more movement to your day.

Here's the thing being active and fit: At the end of the day, the purpose of any kind of exercise is to IMPROVE YOUR ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIFE. The reason we work out, lift weights and run is because doing so conditions our bodies to be more adept at the challenges we face each and every day.

What I want to impart to you is the following:
+ You do NOT have to go to the gym to work out.
+ You do NOT have to block out an hour for a workout.
+ You do NOT have to jump on with the latest fitness craze in order to improve yourself.

Here's the secret: Every. Movement. Matters.

Little changes DO add up to big results. I want you to realize, you do NOT have to spend hours at the gym to improve yourself. I understand many of us don't even want to go to the gym, we feel like we have to get into some kind of good shape before we are even good enough to walk into the gym. I'm going to share with you some very easy ways to integrate more movement into your day.

Train For Movement: 

Next, I want us to think about training our bodies for movement, not muscle. If you train for MOVEMENT, muscle will naturally follow. What happens when you get this backwards? A perfect example is those big time body builders. Sure, they can push around a ridiculous amount of weight, but have you ever watched them do an everyday task?! They can barely walk! They are stiff and swollen and their huge muscles do them no good.

Train in such a way that your body will more easily accomplish the tasks you face every day; such as heaving that 20 pound bag of dog food into the shopping cart, without throwing out your back. Or being able to squat down IN APPROPRIATE FORM to pick up the toy car that has been dropped AGAIN...!

You can accomplish everything needed for an improved quality of life, all without ever joining a gym. It's so overstated that no one pays it any mind anymore, but adding small, extra movements into your day will make a difference. I promise.

Daily Challenges: 

I have partnered with Conveying Awareness in offering simple challenges to put more movement into your day. I am good at the fitness side of things; Jessica is good at the nutrition side of things. She invited me to link arms with her, and together we provide a very well rounded approach to wellness. So, for Jessica's Water & Movement challenge in July [1-10], I encourage you to embrace each daily challenge. Let’s begin! 

Day 1 - Hydration Basics!

Let's start with the basics. Are you getting enough water?! The baseline is eight, 8 oz glasses. Every day. Here's a great visual prompt to see if you're getting enough water. Take 8 jelly bracelets and start the day with all 8 of them on your left wrist. Every time you drink a serving of water, take one bracelet off the left and place it on your *right* wrist. Because you just did the right thing. It's such a great way to SEE and measure how you're doing. Try it!!

Also think about finding a local Tabata Bootcamp Trainer for an incredible 8 week fitness program! 

Day 2 - Push Ups!

Microwave push-ups. Every time you are waiting for food to cook, it's an opportunity for extra movement. Go ahead and knock out some push-ups while you wait. By doing them off an incline like the kitchen counter, you are able to use full range of motion. Come on down, all the way. Let your chest touch the edge of the counter. Exhale as you push up for a little extra umphh. Your shoulders need to be lined up right over your hands and brace your core to keep your whole body in a nice, straight line. 

Day 3 - Take the Long Way!

Park as far as you can! At the supermarket. At work. When you're going shopping. Park your car as far as you possibly can from that entrance! Those extra steps will make a difference. 

Day 4 - Do Something New!

Wahoo! Independence Day! Today, do something new. Try a new movement. Never held a plank before?! Look it up and give it a try. Or maybe you've always wanted to try out a yoga class. Go find one! I recently challenged myself with a mud and obstacle run put on by the US Marine Corps. But if swimming through mud isn't your idea of a great challenge, fear not! There is so much out there to try. And the payoff for this one is both physical and mental. The feeling of accomplishment, of having conquered! Go conquer!! 

Day 5 - Set Your Time!

Let's set up our phones for an alarm every hour. When that alarm goes off, do SOMETHING for 20 seconds. It's only 20 seconds. Do whatever makes you feel good. Squat, jumping jacks, run up the stairs. Have a dance party in your living room. Just MOVE!! It makes a difference! This is also a great way to demonstrate to our families the importance of physical activity. Get the kids in on it, too!

Day 6 - Stretchhhhhh! 

What kind of flexibility do you have? This is an important counter-balance to muscle strength. Chronically tight muscles can lead to improper posture and movement, again leaving us susceptible to injury. Stretching is a vital part of any exercise regimen. The proper time to stretch for FLEXIBILITY is AFTER some kind of exercise. (Pre-exercise stretching should be very light and for the purpose of loosening up to prevent injury.) Post exercise your muscles are warmed up, therefore stretches should be deeper and held for a minimum of 20-30 seconds. 
Avoid "ballistic" stretching (bouncing out of and back into the stretch) and do NOT push the stretch so deeply that it is painful or uncomfortable. Ease into it slowly and don't force anything. Flexibility takes time, just like strength. 


How's that water challenge going?! Let's revisit this one because it is so crucial. Your body needs water. Be mindful about hydrating again today. 

Day 7 - Posture Awareness

Time to talk about posture. Did you know, if you catch yourself in a cowering or less-than-confident physical posture, that your mind actually takes cues and follows suit?! Stand tall! Be confident! Shoulders back, chest up! Today I want you to be very conscious of how you carry yourself. It's subtle, but it has a huge impact on your mindset and well-being.
Oh, and consistently poor posture will lead to changes in your muscles which then reinforces that bad posture. Break the chain!

Day 8 - Take 2!

Start your day on a positive note. Take 2 minutes to move before you jump into the rest of your day. 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest and then do it again. By starting your day with movement, you jump-start your metabolism. Oxygenate your blood. Kick start the day with a very positive, affirmative tone. Want to amp-it-up a bit? Pick a short phrase or intention to repeat to yourself as you do the 20 second work-intervals. Good for the body, good for the soul. If you do nothing else today, you can still feel good and feel accomplished that you have done SOMETHING. Because something truly is better than nothing. I promise. 

Day 9 - Squat

Have you ever thought about the distinction between a full squat and a "Western squat?" When you squat down, to pick something up for example, what do your feet do? If you pay attention you will notice your heels automatically raise. Now think about how a toddler squats...they drop right down, heels planted and hang out in that position like it's no big deal. This is a prime example of use-or-lose. We are born with the flexibility to keep our heels grounded, but over time we lose it. A big culprit is that we wear sneakers with elevated heels. And that we don't think about it. So today, think about keeping your heels pressed to the floor as you squat down. You may have to start with a wide stance, but stay with it. I've been working at this for the last 6 months, and only now have I been able to drop into that toddler squat comfortably. Learn more here 

Day 10 - Be Creative! 

Your turn!! What are some creative ways to add more movement into the course of your day?! Find a challenge that works for you and PLEASE, share with the rest of us!! The whole point is finding something you enjoy doing and are likely to KEEP doing. I want to hear what you come up with, and all the readers can benefit from it too. We are all in this together, this thing called life. What can you offer, uniquely you, to the rest of us? To help us better ourselves!

Fitness is an attitude. It's a way of life, a mindset. It's not just going to the gym for an hour and then forgetting about it. You need to eat, sleep, breathe a fitness attitude. So, start wherever you are, use whatever you have, DO what you can. And be PROUD :)

Last words, to stay up to date on the next awareness challenges, be sure to *like* Jessica David's page and *like* Andrea Cordes' page as well! 

Jaysen Kim of Studio Icon, LA
Andrea Cordes grew up in Cincinnati, OH and graduated the University of Cincinnati in 2002 with a Bachelor degree in Psychology. Upon graduation, she also commissioned into the U.S. Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. Andrea completed Joint Undergrad Navigator Training at NAS Pensacola, FL and continued onto Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC for the F-15E Formal Training Unit (FTU).

In February of 2005, Andrea achieved "mission ready" status as a Weapons System Operator in the F-15E Strike Eagle. Training now complete, Andrea was assigned to the 336th Operational Squadron. During her time with the 336th, Andrea deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After a short assignment in the Wing Plans Office and then as an assistant to the Wing Commander, Andrea was asked to return to the FTU squadron as an instructor. 

Andrea completed her service obligation and discharged honorably in 2010. Not one to sit idle, Andrea quickly found her niche in the fitness industry. Andrea achieved her Group Fitness Certification from both American Council of Exercise and the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America, and became an instant favorite for teaching aerobic classes at the Beaufort YMCA. Andrea next got certified in the trademarked program Tabata Bootcamp. The creator of Tabata Bootcamp, Mindy Mylrea, asked Andrea to join her team of Master Trainers and Andrea is now the representative for Southern California.

Andrea currently works at In Shape health club in Ridgecrest, primarily as a Schwinn certified indoor cycling instructor. She also leads 8 week Tabata Bootcamps in addition to holding workshops to certify new Tabata Bootcamp trainers.

When Andrea got out of the Air Force in 2010, she finally joined husband Neil in Beaufort, SC after 5 years of "commuter marriage." Daughter Madeline was born in 2009 and son Alex in 2011. Husband, Neil, is still active duty USMC and the family is currently stationed in Ridgecrest, CA. 


  1. I love this! As a stay at home mom and blogger, it takes all of my willpower to focus on my health. I thought in order to it "right" you had to join a gym and food journal. I'm excited about this challenge! Thanks for the motivation.

    1. The food journal is a plus though because it allows your advisor to reshape your patterns, but I do agree that joining a gym isn't the only way to get into shape. Dr. Bill Sears says the best exercise is the one that you'll actually do. So, what is it that you like Johnnie? Belly dancing, running, yoga, walking, Tabata, Zumba, water aerobics, etc. There are so many options to choose from! To your wellness! =)

  2. What an awesome article! I love the challenges and that each day you incorporate something new to your routine. My favorite is posture awarness - I need to work on that, especially when I am sitting at my desk.

  3. Hi Jessica,
    Thanks! This is just the easy-to-incorporate movement advice I need to fit more fitness and water into my busy schedule--which includes too many hours at the computer and too little time on my feet. I love the way this program challenges us to simply allocate a small amount of time to movement and increased hydration. But it all adds up."Every. Movement. Matters." This may become my new mantra.Thank you for sharing wonderful "Move More. Drink More." Challenge" with us at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop! I'm going to catch up and do it!

  4. Yes, yes and YES!
    I'm so glad to hear such positive feedback on this challenge!

    Hey Deborah, did you know standing burns 50 calories more per hour, on average, than sitting does?! Have you ever thought about ditching the desk chair and just standing instead?! No joke, I don't have a chair at my desk.
    And Anna, standing will help with posture, as well as productivity at work! Try it out for a week, let me know what you think :)

    Keep moving, you guys are rocking the challenge! And be sure to help your friends find their way to Jessica's great blog.