Blog

Frankie says Relaxxx…and breathe.

Ok, ok, I added the last part. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Too often we find ourselves under some sort of stress. Work, school, holidays, family, health, even exercise is a state of stress you put your body in. One thing we can do to get through it is take a breath to allow ourselves to reset. I found this gem recently and thought it was worth a share.

Give it a shot. Did it work for you?

You can check out Rachel Brathen on her blog yogagirl.com or podcast Conversations with Yoga Girl.

🚴🏻‍♀️🚴🏻‍♀️🧡🧡

Stressed? You Always Have the Perfect Remedy With You – Your Breath

Whenever you find yourself in tense or stressful situations, your breath probably becomes short and restricted. Maybe you hold it altogether!

This tightened breath creates tension in the body, and that, in turn, increases the stress you are experiencing.

Directing your awareness back to the breath and learning how to slow it down in the anxious moments is the most valuable thing.

Take a moment right now to notice how you’re breathing. Maybe you’re barely breathing and you didn’t even realize it! How does your body feel? If your breath is tight, your body probably feels the same way. They work interdependently.

No matter how you’re feeling right now, a deep round of breath always feels damn good. Do it now: deep breath in through your nose, complete breath out through your mouth. Make some noise on that exhale if you need to!

The next time you’re in a stressful situation, take a moment to bring your awareness away from your thoughts and back to the breath.

Back to the breath,

Back to the breath,

Back to the breath.

  1. Breathe in and out of your nose. 
  2. Relax your tongue and soften your jaw.
  3. Draw your breath down toward the bottom of your lungs, feeling them expand. 
  4. Exhale slowly, mindfully emptying the lungs.
  5. Continue this slow, mindful breathing until you feel your mind steadying and your body beginning to relax.
  6. For extra anxious situations, try adding a mindful pause between the inhales and the exhales. Notice the simple peace that rests in between the doing.

Every time you inhale, you have the opportunity to invite in more of what you need. And every time you exhale, you have the choice to send out more of the love our world needs.

Yoga Girl 016190

Breathing is a divine miracle and a responsibility.

That mantra, “inhale the good shit, exhale the bullshit” doesn’t make any sense to me. Where are you exhaling that bullshit to? Who’s going to absorb it? Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be altered. Don’t leave your shit for someone else to fix. Or think of it this way: don’t put even more bullshit out into the world.

Be the magical alchemist that you are and change that bullshit into something useful and healing – for yourself and all beings. When that’s extra tough and you need help, ask the earth. 

She knows how to transform mud into a lotus and she’ll show you how.

How did you feel before this mindful breathing exercise? How do you feel now? Let me know in the comments!

X, 

Rachel

Sleep Quality: Tips for a Good Night’s Rest

It’s that time when we will be sharing other blog posts that we like about life “stuff”. This blog by Lynnetta Bonsu MPH, CHES – Jan 2018 is a great one on sleep. She mentions nutrition, supplementation and exercise- 3 topics you’ll read about from us as well! Enjoy!

We all know that proper nutrition, supplementation, and regular exercise are the foundation of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But, did you know that getting enough sleep each night is just as important for your health? Let’s talk about some of the facts about sleep quality, along with some tips to help you get a good night’s rest.

Sleep quality and your health. What are the facts? 

Nearly 40 percent of Americans get only six hours (or less) of sleep per night. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionrecommends that adults (including older adults) get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep quality impacts various factors of overall health and wellness including:

  • Stress hormone production
  • Energy levels
  • Mood
  • Cardiovascular, immune and brain health

Sleep deprivation may impact your weight loss goals, even for those who exercise regularly and maintain a balanced diet. Leptin, a hormone that transmits signals to the brain to regulate appetite control in the body, is dependent on the amount of time we sleep. Those who do not get enough sleep could be more likely to have larger appetites due to a normal drop of leptin in their bodies.

Inadequate sleep can also affect the process of muscle development in our bodies.  Anabolic hormones regulate the process of protein degradation (the breakdown of muscle), while catabolic hormones regulate the process of protein synthesis (the building of muscle). Anabolic hormone levels have been shown to increase as a result of poor sleep. Similarly, catabolic hormone levels have been shown to decrease as a result of the same.

Vitamins and supplements that may help with sleep include: multivitamins, melatonin, valerian, 5-HTP, magnesium, and calcium.  Please consult with your healthcare provider if you are having trouble sleeping or having trouble sleeping or to discuss sleep disorders.

Here are five tips to help improve sleep quality.

1) Create a sleep routine (yes that means even on weekends).

  • Practice doing the same tasks each night before you go to bed to promote consistency in your pre-bedtime routine.
  • Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning.
  • Consistency is the key! Your body will gradually start to anticipate when it is time to go to sleep and wake up.

2) Create a comfortable and relaxing sleeping environment.

  • Environment (aka your bedroom), should promote a sense of calmness and coziness. Strive for an arrangement that fosters a good night’s rest, based on your personal preferences.
  • The area where you fall asleep should be cool (somewhere around 65 degrees F), dark, quiet and free of distractions (i.e. television, computer, phone, etc).
  • If necessary, try using black out curtains, sleep mask, earplugs, AC unit or a fan to further reduce distractions and/or noise disturbances.

3) Avoid heavy meals and limit fluid intake before bedtime.

  • Avoid food and drinks high in caffeine like soda and candy bars.
  • Try not to consume spicy food that may cause heartburn.

4) Maintain an active lifestyle.

  • According to various research studies, increased physical activity often leads to increased sleep duration.
  • Sleep experts recommend exercising at least three hours prior to bedtime. Exercising at this time is beneficial because body temperature is related to sleep. The rise and drop of your body temperature may cue your body to begin feeling sleepy.

5) Manage stress daily.

  • Those who suffer from high stress levels tend to have poor sleep habits.
  • Try breathing exercises or yoga to help relieve daily stress.
  • Exercising regularly not only helps you stay physically fit, but is a great way to both relieve stress and improve sleep quality alike.
  • Put away cell phones and laptops. Discontinue answering emails and messages for at least 30 minutes before bed time.

How will you incorporate some of these tips in your everyday lifestyle to ensure that you get enough Zzz’s and consistently enjoy the many benefits of a good night’s rest?

Flo-Rida State #10 🏝✅

This was a much needed trip and ride for the both of us. September was a break on the bike while we each had huge plates of life to get through but we pulled it off!

Thursday night we did the tradition pre-airport dinner and sleep over at Casa de Mills! We got to Logan and got on the plane mostly unscathed (sarcasm 🤮) and made some friends at the Jet Blue front desk.

When we landed we got the usual “is that a piano in that bag” questions (ugh) but the bikes made it just fine and were assembled (Rachael nailed it). We met up with some old Bike MS friends and made new ones (our newest Passport buddy Phil) at the Ride Registration.

Early morning we got up, had breakfast, and got ready to roll with our new friends Deb and Janie. Since Team Left Hand took us under their wing we took off with them for the 78 mile trek to Daytona. A huge shoutout to Scott from Open Road cycles and Ralph From The Bike Bus who helped with some last minute maintenance.

Pirate rest stop. Hands down #1. Need we say more? Best lunch, first aid, and friends. CCG must have a rest stop like this (Jared wait till we tell you about it!)

The ride was amazing. The heat felt so nice coming from the cooler temps of the Northeast and the route was pretty flat except for bridges. Although no alligator sightings.

We had the option to do either 100 or 78 on Day 1, opted for the 78 as many people warned us of the headwinds and crosswinds on the way back!

We finished in Daytona, added many names to our champion bandana, a few of which were just amazing having beat cancer with MS- a true inspiration and the reason we do this! Immediately after finishing and putting our bikes on the rack, we went right to the massage tables. We had all the kinks worked out since it had been a crazy past few weeks. After hanging in the Team Left Hand tent with our new friends, we got some beach time, found some turtles, ordered room service and called it a night.

It was good we did the 78 on Day 1 because we have headwinds and crosswind for the majority of Day 2 that wouldn’t quit. We played it smart with the nutrition and hydration and nearly bonked at just about the finish line. Our new friend Kim was with us for most of the morning and then we caught Bill’s wheel for the remainder of the ride. Since it was a straight shot on the route (literally) there was a lot of time to clear the head and take in the views all while at 20mph.

We crossed the finish line and made more friends, had massages, and caught a ride to pick up our bike boxes. Overall, our favorite ride aside from CCG. We can’t thank Elli, Sydney, Eden and the entire staff enough for their amazing hospitality and for taking us in and making us feel at home!

We ended the night with a huge seafood dinner with Rachael’s colleague Demi who took us in for one more night. The weekend was topped off with a Pats win and then it was off to bed.

If you or someone you know is impacted by Multiple Sclerosis, please send us your/their name so we can make sure they are with us on this journey!

See you next weekend in New York City! And get ready for our 2019 schedule!

🚴🏻‍♀️🚴🏻‍♀️🧡🧡😘

Journey to our #UltimateSelf

www.thirteenfitapparel.com/blogs/news/custom-design-2-girls-2-bikes-50-states

wow! Thank you #thirteenfitapparel and Paige for this awesome plug! But most importantly for supporting our journey!

The shirts are making their way to other states in support of our journey! Our journey not only is in support for #MultipleSclerosis as we truly are activists but also a journey to our #UltimateSelf as well! With busy lives, work, moves, and everything else in between these rides allow us to free our minds while we pedal to truly find whats deep inside!

We’ve been quiet on posts, and we truly are sorry. But, we promise to sneak in and surprise you with some good stuff! Like this awesome blog from Paige!

If you need custom work, I wouldn’t go anywhere else but to one of the most talented designers out there. Did I mention she’s an athlete, has a heart of gold, and truly is one of the easiest people to work with Bc she just understands life as it is!

Thanks Paige!!! And Thirteen Fit Apparel! 🚴🏻‍♀️🚴🏻‍♀️🧡

When life gets in the way

It’s crazy how time flies. One week ago we had finished state 9, New Hampshire. Life sure happened between work and moving, moving and work. From talking everyday to not having talked since last Saturday… blogging and posting was easy, and now it’s hard to find the time to get it in. But we are still here! But we also promise you we will not be as prompt as we were before, unless we have an airplane or car ride together when we can get it done right away.

Life, it happens.

It seemed as though all we got to do was travel and ride our bikes, but you’ll now see the reality of how we live!

Adulting sucks!

There will be work travel, moving, business meetings, holidays and so much more through September that we may completely forget about our followers as we are engulfed into the next 4 weeks.

We are truly sorry!

We are very thankful of the support you all have given us. It means a lot.

So since our schedules are about to take a crazy turn, we will be posting blogs from others, stuff we can all learn from. Stuff that will benefit us each day.

There may even be days of just an inspirational quote.

But we do not want to desert you, like it’s been the last few weeks. Life is about to get even more busy then what it’s been.

Our next ride: Nations Capital down in Virginia. We will be riding with Passport friends, a few TVR members will be joining us, and we may even get to see some of my old friends from when I lived in Arlington.

A new champion to join our support from the NH Seacoast ride:

And a HUGE congrats to Candace for riding in her first bikeMS ride!

Rain rain go away

A week late with this update! Life sure has gotten the best of the both of us.

But better late then never right?

it started with randomly 😉meeting up at the New Hampshire welcome center. Thanks Rachel for snapping the funny photo of the two of us.

When we got to University of New England in Biddeford Maine, we decided to walk a mile or so down to the ocean. Must be nice for all the students to have the water that close! Dayle and I both went to school in western New York, and had the lakes around us, but I’d say it just isn’t the same.

we also had to mark our spot! we checked in and brought everything up to our dorm suite and then Lucinda showed up and we headed downtown for dinner. There were a lot of cyclists at the pub we went to. loved the way the light hit this tower.

set up and ready for great Maine getaway

We got incredible lucky. Rain was in the forecast for the day. Not a drop during the entire ride. jess and her fiancé were in from Colorado! Josie Benassi is truly one of the strongest women I know living with MS. She continues to pedal her tandem bike at all the GNE rides with her husband Joe! the Bush compound is right around the corner from where we took this picture. the bean boot even was at the finish

we went into Kennebunkport for lunch as a team. A team that sticks together raises more dollars together or something like that. Ps so proud of Pete for finishing his first 50mile ride for bikeMS! 🚴🏼‍♂️🧡thanks Joe for rocking the 2girls2bikes50states T-shirt for us! You and Josie are amazing. It was a wonderful evening at the candlelight ceremony. This truly is an event that reminds you why we are all out there riding #iloveyouAB 🧡

and this ones for you Jon! Rockin our Southbridge Bicycle Road Dawg t-shirts!

We will be riding next weekend in New Hampshire for our 9th state. Many of our teammates from TVR will be joining us!

Thank you for continuing to support us. Our bandana is growing. We would love for you to spread the word on our travels. If you have a champion that you’d like for us to ass their name to our bandana please let us know.

We will be sharing Micah’s story when we travel now as well. Micah touched our hearts in Texas. His book has recently been published. We will be joining forces sharing his story in the states we visit. Josie Benassi was our first recipient of Micah’s Story.. who will be touched in New Hampshire 🤷🏻‍♀️

👍🏼 us on Facebook & Instagram. And hopefully wherever we travel to next we will have to opportunity to meet you!

Xoxo Dayle and Rachael