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Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Dr. Christine Carter Tells Us How

Written on October 19, 2012 at 9:22 am , by

Happiness expert, Dr. Carter says routine is key, embracing color-coordinated calendars with non-negotiable exercise time and pancakes for dinner once a week. (Photo courtesy of Blake Farrington)

As the 80s hit goes, “everybody’s working for the weekend” and now, thanks to a recent Hampton Hotels survey, we know why. The survey, which examined how Americans feel and spend their time during their two-day respite, found that happiness tends to peak on the weekend—no surprise there!

What’s startling, however, is that one in three of the surveyors reported that they feel as though they have a completely different personality on Saturday and Sunday—one that is more engaged, creative, agreeable and spontaneous. “We clearly need our weekends,” said author of Raising Happiness, Christine Carter, Ph.D., who worked with Hampton on the poll. Interested in bringing the “Weekend State of Mind” to your workweek? Here are Dr. Carter’s tips for a healthier, happier you:

Recharge and Refuel: Fifteen percent of the surveyors said that they missed having a structured schedule on Saturday and Sunday. “We really are creatures of habit and routine,” said Dr. Carter. “When you take that structure of a routine out, you’re having to consciously make decisions around it.” Retain your productive workweek structure by creating a fit plan of healthy eating and exercise for your weekend, making sure to use your rest days to do just that—sleep!

Habits Make Perfect: “I’m a huge proponent of consolidating decision-making so that you’re not making decisions about food and exercise always in the moment when you’re less likely to make the right decision for your health or your happiness,” said Dr. Carter. Create prompts for your fit routine during the week and anchor them to healthy choices you already make so that eventually, you won’t even think about it! Try putting your workout clothes on immediately after waking up, for example, so you hit the gym before work or make the exercise commitment the night before by leaving your sneaks by the door. Blocking off time in your calendar for exercise and keeping the order of your day relatively the same also helps. Read more

Go on a Good-for-You Mini Getaway

Written on July 20, 2012 at 8:50 am , by

Are you escaping for the weekend? (Photo courtesy of Ford)

Half of all U.S. adults will take at least one weekend getaway this year, according to a Harris poll commissioned by Ford. Are you one of them? We’re definitely down for a quick roadtrip, but after all the planning, packing and driving, 48 hours can seem like seconds. We talked to Julie Morgenstern, an organizational pro and author, to get tips to make your weekend escape as smooth-sailing and relaxing as possible.

Here’s what you need to do before taking your car for a ride:

1. Always be prepared: Keep these things in your vehicle in case of emergencies:

  • Tools and a spare tire
  • Phone/iPod charger
  • Travel information (reservation documents, maps)
  • Change/dollar bills for parking and tolls
  • A small medical kit (band-aids, aspirin, Neosporin)

2. Snack smart: Bringing healthy snacks will help you save money and eat well on the go. A cooler or insulated bag will help keep fruit and vegetable slices fresh. Non-perishable foods like nuts and energy bars are also good for on-the-go eating.

3. Log on: Use programs like SYNC and MyFord Touch to input rest stop destinations — food, bathrooms, landmarks — into your navigation system. Ford’s innovative technology lets you  find hotels, restaurants, tourist destinations, visitor centers, with more than 14 million businesses in the directory.  “It’s best to plan to stop every one and a half hours to stretch and change scenery,” says Morgenstern.

Read on for simple yoga techniques you can do in your car to stay stress-free.

Read more

Fun Weekend Event: Free Fitness Classes at Nordstrom

Written on May 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm , by

The Zella Movement

The Zella Movement (Photo courtesy of Nordstrom)

Shopaholics like myself probably consider shopping their cardio (one hour actually burns about 150 calories for a 140-pound woman), but this weekend, going to a mall can actually give you a real workout! This Saturday, Nordstrom stores nationwide are hosting The Zella Movement, a day of free fitness activities, from yoga to boot camp classes to celebrate the Zella women’s activewear line.

Visit Nordstrom.com today to find the Nordstrom nearest you and RSVP for some fun, fit classes this weekend!

Now tell us: Planning ahead is a great way to ensure that you squeeze in activity into your schedule. What fun, fit plans do you have for your days off?