Autoimmune Warriors, How Are Your 2023 Resolutions Going?

We’re 10 days into the New Year, and I wanted to check in with my fellow Autoimmune Warriors to see how your 2023 resolutions were going.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to get back into doing yoga. I started doing yoga as a teenager, and then moved into doing more team sports like field hockey or doing other fitness classes like pilates and spinning. But I realized these past few months how much I missed doing yoga. I think it’s great not only as a form of exercise, but to help with stress relief as well. The problem is, I moved to a new neighborhood and wasn’t familiar with the local studios in my new hood.

The great thing about the New Year, is that if you have fitness and health related goals, that there are plenty of gyms, fitness centers, and health products doing promotions around this time to get your business. I ended up finding a local yoga studio on the MindBody app that was doing a promotion for only $10 for your first class.

It’s been ages since I went to a yoga class, and although there are similarities between yoga and pilates, which I had more experience with, it’s still not the same! Doing the class made me realize how important flexibility is in yoga; at one point, we were doing a stretch where everyone ended up in the splits…except me. But I was surprised by how flexible I was given that I hadn’t been to a yoga class in ages.

Other than getting back into yoga, another resolution of mine is to be more proactive about my health. In the busyness of life, it can be easy to slip with your healthcare routine. As an Autoimmune Warrior, you probably spend a lot more time than the average person when it comes to going to doctor’s appointments, ordering and picking up prescriptions, sorting and taking your medications, getting lab work done, preparing healthy meals, and more. It’s basically like having a part-time job, on top of all of the other work that you have to do!

In my case, this means making sure I make those appointments with my various specialists, ensure that I’m getting my lab work done on a quarterly basis, making any follow-up appointments if any abnormalities arise in my labwork, and ensuring that I’m always fully stocked on my meds. It also means ensuring that I get a good night’s sleep (at least 7 hours) and do daily exercise. I’m also putting more effort into making healthier meals, and using more fresh produce from our home garden.

The interesting thing about having an autoimmune disorder is that it’s chronic in nature, meaning that autoimmune symptoms are continuous and never-ending. So it’s not like a weight loss goal, where I can say, “I want to lose 20 pounds” and then I’ve achieved the goal once I’ve lost that amount of weight. In other words, there isn’t an exact ‘outcome’ that we can really strive towards or predict. This makes measuring your goal progress a little trickier.

However, I remind myself that it’s not always about achieving a specific outcome (i.e. lose 20 lbs) but more so about adopting an overall healthier lifestyle. Do you notice that the people with the greatest longevity in the world, who live in the so-called Blue Zones, don’t ever count calories or even own a scale? It’s their daily habits that contribute to their overall healthy lifestyle.

So cheers to 2023, and I hope that your New Year’s resolutions are going well so far and continue to progress as the year goes by. Let me know your goals (health-related or otherwise) in the comments below!

7 Products to Crush Your 2022 Health & Fitness Goals

Happy New Year! As many of us start putting into practice our New Year’s resolutions for 2022, I wanted to share seven products that will help you crush your health and fitness goals this year.

1. Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Stay hydrated with a high-quality, stainless steel water bottle that you can bring with you anywhere- whether that’s to the gym, work, school, going out for a hike, or a jog around the neighborhood. I love this water bottle from the Austin, Texas-based company YETI, which makes high-quality stainless steel drinkware for those with an active lifestyle.

YETI Rambler 18 oz Water Bottle

2. Weighted Blanket

Everyone knows the importance of sleep, and how getting adequate levels of deep sleep can make or break your health. That’s why I highly recommend using a weighted blanket if you suffer from insomnia, including both poor or disrupted sleep. A 15-lb blanket like this one below from Amazon will weigh your body down in bed, helping you to not only fall asleep quicker, but stay asleep too!

Waowoo Adult Weighted Blanket

3. 23andMe Genetic Test Kit

Your genetic makeup has a huge impact on your health; that’s why it’s important to learn about how your genes can contribute to the development of health issues later in life. With a genetic test kit like this one from 23andMe, you can learn about your genes, including if you have a genetic predisposition for or if you’re a carrier of any health conditions. Thanks to my 23andme results, I learned four years ago that I have two genetic variants for early macular degeneration, and since then, have been religiously taking lutein and omega-3 supplements to improve my eye health.

23andMe Genetic Health Service

4. Running Shorts

A solid pair of running shorts is a must-have for anyone looking to add jogging to their 2022 fitness routine. Plus, running shorts are loose and comfortable, perfect for not just jogging, but practically any kind of physical activity, from playing a round of tennis to hitting the gym. Here is a highly-rated pair of running shorts for both men and women from Under Armour.

Under Armour Women’s Fly By 2.0 Running Shorts

Under Armour Men’s Tech Graphic Shorts

5. Yoga Mat

A yoga mat is a must-have for doing mat workouts, like yoga, pilates, or even when performing certain floor exercises with free weights, or when using a workout ball or band. I’ve owned my yoga mat since I was 12, and I’m now pushing 30 – so think of your mat as a long-term investment. A thick, non-slip mat that’s lightweight can easily be carried to your yoga studio, gym, or around the house.

JELS Extra Thick Yoga Mat (2/5″)

6. Rowing Machine

With the advent of working from home, at-home fitness equipment has become increasingly popular. At the beginning of the pandemic, my husband and I got a rowing machine, which is great for a simple, at-home workout, especially if you want to tone up your arms, shoulders, and upper back. I would recommend getting a water rowing machine, as the resistance it provides imitates the feel of rowing through water in real life. While pricier than other home workout equipment, a good rowing machine will last you for years to come.

Xterra Fitness ERG600W Water Rowing Machine

7. Airpods

Staying motivated and ‘in the zone’ is an important part of maintaining your fitness routine. That’s why, when I’m working out, I like to listen to fast-paced music or to an interesting podcast on Spotify or Pandora. According to the Scientific American, listening to music or other entertainment while exercising can distract us from pain and fatigue, elevate our mood, increase our endurance, and reduce our perceived effort, among other benefits. That’s why I would recommend getting a solid pair of earbuds, such as these airpods, to become your best fitness buddies to accompany your workouts.

New Apple Airpods Pro

So there you have it, folks – seven products to help you up your game and crush those health and fitness goals in 2022! What are your go-to companions for your workouts? Let us know in the comments below!