Staying healthy during a busy “Day in the Life”

I’m teaming up with Ricolaยฎ Herb & Throat drops, as part of a campaign with Socialstars, to bring you this sponsored post in honor of “National Family Health Month” in October.

When it rains, it pours, right? Over the course of many years of being a busy person since leaving college, I’ve often found that right before or after a big trip or during my “crunch times” I start to feel a tickle in my throat. Anybody else out there? 

I’m in the midst of one of those busy times with a lot going on in both of my worlds of fitness and writing. But I’ve being doing my best to ward off any pending sickness, and so far it’s working. Knock on wood. 

In honor of October being “National Family Health Month,” and the fact that I’m a proud Ricola Ambassador, I’m going to talk about what a day in my life is like, and how I try to keep healthy, (as well as the members of my little family, including Dave and Rudy the pup).

Here are some of the main things I’m trying to focus on as we get into cold and flu season …

  1. Washing my hands as soon as my workouts and classes are over. Germs.
  2. Drinking plenty of fluids. Hydration.
  3. Sleeping at least seven hours a night. Renewal. 
  4. Getting outside to walk around during the day for fresh air. (Easy when you have a little puppy to take care of.) Steps.
  5. Popping drops whenever I feel like my throat is about to tingle from yelling, screaming or pending sickness. And I scream a lot.

Let’s get to a typical day, broken down by time …

A “Day in the Life” recap from yesterday (Wednesday)

5:55 a.m. Alarm goes off. Wake up. Scroll through emails on the phone. Get up. Make the bed. Head downstairs. Dave is already on a run, so I know he has taken Rudy out. I give Rudy his breakfast and play with him for a few minutes.

6:15 a.m. Answer blog emails. Do some blog social media promotion (with Rudy in my lap). Eat breakfast (overnight oats, a banana and hot tea, of course, which you can see of here). Read a few articles on the SFGate site to get up-to-date with news.

7 a.m. Practice and go over the new BODYPUMP release 95 choreography in my pajamas in the kitchen. (I only started learning it the night before and therefore was spastically trying to memorize it before heading out for class — I’ve been teaching Les Mills classes a long time and seem to get better and better at learning them in just a few hours, but this was the latest I ever waited.) During this time, I also said goodbye to Dave and made sure he took a big glass of OJ and snacks to-go on his way to work. Vitamin C, people!

Learning BODYPUMP choreography via A Lady Goes West day in the lifeAs always, I watch the video, write down notes, rinse and repeat. And yes, my thoughts on the new BODYPUMP will be coming in a review after I teach the class a few more times.

8:30 a.m. Continue going over the choreography with the music upstairs in my bedroom, as I change and get into my workout clothes. After that, I used my foam roller to warm up a bit, and I took all my vitamins. I love my vitamins.

9 a.m. Drive to the gym. Still going over the moves verbally. Also turning on my seat heater to get my legs warm. (Such a good trick for those of you who drive to the gym and have heated seats, it’s a life-saver!)

9:30 a.m. Teach a great BODYPUMP class, which served as my workout for the day. Clean up the equipment. Talk to the members, who were excited to find out that I took over as their regular Wednesday morning instructor as of this week. Clock out. Wash and sanitize my hands from touching so much equipment, as well as people. Pop a Ricola Dual Action Honey Lemon drop to soothe my throat from screaming. (These puppies have dual purposes, as they soothe the throat and help relieve coughing. Plus the flavor is totally delicious.) And by the way, I first introduced you to these Dual Action Honey Lemon drops last month, with a honey-inspired recipe. In case you missed it, check out Honey and nut no-bake pumpkin energy balls.

My bag of loot for a day in the life via A Lady Goes WestI never go anywhere without this big bag of stuff, featuring music, choreography notes, a filled water bottle, throat drops and much more.

10:45 a.m. Drive home, while talking to my Mom on the phone and drinking a protein shake. Careful not to spill it … but of course, I do.

11:20 a.m. Take Rudy on a walk around my townhouse complex, still talking to my Mom on the phone. Enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Wash and sanitize my hands. Drink more water. I need more!

11:30 a.m. Answer tons of blog-related emails. Answer gym-related emails. Answer additional emails about a few freelance writing assignments I have coming up. Put everything on my calendar, so I can keep track of all of the deadlines I’ve agreed to. Most of which is going to require me to be working all-day on Saturday and Sunday, once again – another weekend full of work. I also used this time to figure out a few logistics for an event I’m hosting in a couple of weeks, which I’ll fill you in on soon.

12:45 p.m. Yay, food! Prepare and eat a tasty lunch (a standard meal of baked sweet potatoes, fried eggs and tomatoes). Clean up kitchen. Drink water. Need more water!

1 p.m. Take Rudy out on a short walk. Read a few blogs on my blogroll and comment on a couple that interest me. Respond to comments on my own blog. Scroll through Instagram to see what’s going on.

1:45 p.m. Finally take a shower and put on a new set of workout clothes. (Don’t judge.)

2 p.m. Begin writing the basics of this post with plans to finish it later. Feeling good I got it started.

3 p.m. Take Rudy out for a short walk. Then take Rudy to the vet to get his stitches out and have a check up. He gets a clear bill of health, and I finally get to take his cone off! Yay! He is super ecstatic and goes crazy for the first few minutes.

4 p.m. Get home and go over the Orangetheory workouts for the day, reviewing moves and timing, which I will lead later. Look on the Orangetheory coach’s website for information on a couple of newer moves that I will be giving options for. Have an afternoon snack (Greek yogurt and sunflower seeds in a little parfait, and sunflower seeds are becoming a favorite around here, by the way). Get ready for class.

Afternoon tea via A Lady Goes West day in the lifeI also had some afternoon tea, with little Rudy eagerly watching my every move.

5 p.m. Pack up and drive to Orangetheory Fitness Walnut Creek. Get set up in the room with music. Talk to members, including new “intro” students, who are there for their first time. Teach two classes at 5:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Once finished, clean up the studio, and wash and sanitize my hands. I also pop another Ricola Dual Action Honey Lemon drop to soothe my throat from another two-and-a-half hours of talking and/or yelling. Head home.

8:45 p.m. Take Rudy out. Make myself dinner (roasted broccoli and a salmon burger, for one). Write and respond to blog-related emails. Write and respond to gym-related emails. Feel like I put a good dent in my three inboxes for the day.

9 p.m. Dave and his parents walk in the door (they stayed with us overnight on their way to a vacation in Northern California). I sit on the couch and catch up with them about the dinner they all enjoyed together (while I was working … Boo!).

9:30 p.m. Getting tired, but work on this post for about an hour, making sure all of my links are correct. Finish it up and get it ready to go live while I’m sleeping overnight.

10:30 p.m. Head upstairs to get ready for bed. Scroll through Facebook and Instagram one more time. Set my alarm to do it all over again the next day. Lights out!

And that was my day! While my wake-up time is different each morning depending on what time my first class is, this is a standard layout for the day. I wake up early, do blog-related work, go to the gym to teach, come home to work on the computer for several hours in the middle of the day, then head back out to teach evening classes. All the while, I’m always preparing for the classes I’m going to teach both mentally and physically — memorizing choreography or writing out plans for exercises. My days are always quite fragmented and rushed, as I’m always trying to fit in as much as I can during that “break” in the middle of the day. It’s funny, because when I used to work in a corporate office from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. all day, I would have thought my days right now sound so simple. But believe me, when you have a lot to get done in just a few hours each afternoon, you’re constantly left wishing you had more time. I’m not complaining though. It’s all good stuff. 

To wrap it up, I’d say so far my attempts to stay hydrated, sleep, eat plenty of nutrients, wash my hands as often as possible and pop some throat drops have helped me stay free of any real illness this year. Here’s to a healthy cold and flu season to us all. 

Wondering what a day in the life of a #blogger and #fitness instructor is like? Check it out ... @RicolaUSA Share on X

*Disclaimer: As part of a Socialstars campaign, this post in sponsored by Ricola. I’ve really enjoyed learning about this family-owned Swiss company, its rich history and the product line available throughout this campaign. However, please know that all the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. For more information on Ricola, you can visit Ricola on Facebook or on Twitter.

Questions of the day

What time do you normally wake up?

What are your tips for fending off sickness during cold and flu season?

What’s your typical day look like?

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  1. I’m awake somewhere between 4-5am. Definitely an early bird but that’s what being a runner does to you. Funny you mentioned seat warmers. It dropped 20 degrees here and I’m freezing! I had to use mine yesterday. Ok so it was still 80 but I was cold!

  2. I forget how much work and walking it can be to have a puppy! We had a fenced in yard, so it made it easy for us (lazy :D) So much choreography to go over, too! Yet somehow you keep up with it all, and you make it look easy !

    1. Hi Susie! Oh yes, my puppy likes to go out as often as possible. He is quite the time-suck hehehe. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I love him! Happy Thursday!

    1. Oh yes, Stacie — that post-flight sickness is very common. I hope you feel all the way better soon! At least you had a fun trip? ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great day!

  3. Loved getting a peek into your life and what your days are like!

    Staying hydrated is huge and definitely a non-negotiable for me everyday. I’ve been tracking my water intake lately, and for some reason I am able to drink way more water on weekdays than weekends. I need to fix that somehow.

    Happy Friday Eve to you!

    1. SAME thing here, Courtney! I definitely have to force myself to get more water in on the weekends as well. Let’s fix that! heheh! Happy Thursday to you, my friend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Busy day girl!
    I’ve felt like ice been trying to fight off something this week ๐Ÿ™ so I usually skip workouts, try to sleep more and drink lots of water. Boo cold/flu season!

    1. Good plan, Marielle! Lots of water and sleep for you, and I hope you are feeling all the way better before it gets worse. Have a great day, my friend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I love this day in the life Ashley!! Very eye opening, and a testament to how I think that you can easily stuff your days full of high priority work even when you aren’t on the corporate grind! When I’ve had days with no projects on the go at work, they are just jammed with blogging. And amen to staying healthy – I carry around little spray bottles of alcohol so I can wipe down my laptop and phone (hasn’t burned a hole in it yet!).

    Ps. I got my bf to sign up for ClassPass last week, and now he’s a die hard class addict. This inspired him to discover BodyPump at the Bay Club and has gone 3 x this week!! It’s perfect for his crazy finance lifestyle ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I used to teach BODYPUMP at the Bay Club until I moved to Walnut Creek. How funny! He could’ve been in my class, and that’s SO awesome that he’s into it. It’s a great workout. And HA, Jill, I LOVE that you carry alcohol spray bottles. Which reminds, I need to wipe down this laptop … ๐Ÿ™‚ hahah Happy Thursday, my friend!

  6. What a busy day – great post! My alarm goes off most mornings at 6am but one of the boys will wake us up in the wee hours of the morning. And by the time I go back to sleep, it’s time to get up.

    My oldest has a cold and he’s determined to give it to us all. We have to keep reminding him to cough in his elbow but he insists to cough in our faces most time. So hand washing and disinfectant spray is how we’re combating the cold season that’s coming.

    I feel like my mornings and evenings are the busiest with getting myself and the boys out the door and then dinner and baths at night! I try to put together my playlists for class the night before so I can listen and mentally prepare while working.

    1. Hi Bea! That’s actually funny about your son … but I hope you all don’t get sick from his habits! And I can imagine it’s tough to get other people ready in addition to yourself. Props to you for that, lady! ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep up the great work!

  7. I’m definitely an early bird too. Even when I don’t have to wake at 5:00 or 5:15 to go teach I naturally tend to wake up. Like this morning… I never mind though since so much can get accomplished while the rest of the house is still sleeping! Research shows, the most successful people wake earlier than later ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Giselle! I’ve been an early riser ever since college, I definitely need my morning time to get things done. And YAY for that research. I agree heheh! Happy Thursday, Giselle! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I wake up way later then you. What a fun day in the life! Wow your days are busy. I stay out of crowded places, wash hands often , hydrate and get lots of rest to stay healthy. I also eat a lot of leafy greens broccoli and spinach for vitamins. No cold or flu so far for over 20 years. I also get a flu shot every year October 1st.

    1. Hi Lexie! Well with a streak like that you are definitely doing something right to ward off sickness. Keep it up! I also like to get my flu shot, which should happen for me soon. Have a healthy and happy Thursday, lady! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Hello! Congrats on getting a new class! Those lucky participants! And, holy cow you learned that BP release FAST! Nice job! How did it go teaching it? Any moments you got a little scared? I am usually up around 6:30am or so. My kids all get up early, and I do like to be up early. Although, I did teach a few 5am classes while I was in CO, and that was a little too early! I love the Ricola drops – I have gone through a few bags since you introduced them here. I also like to use Plant Therapy essential oils. I use their germ destroyer oil and love it. Of course, I was very sick last month and I’d like to think it was because I hadn’t been using my oils. I’ll never know, but I am using it more religiously now. I also love their peppermint and lavender oils. Have you tried essential oils before? I like Plant Therapy because they have the best prices and there are no consultants trying to get you to buy it, you just go online and order – and it’s free s/h!

    1. Hi Melissa! No, I haven’t really used essential oils all that much. I tried some once and they were okay, I just liked the smell, but I’d be interested in knowing more about them, especially as far as health concerns. As far as launching BODYPUMP 95, it went great. This one was SUPER easy to learn, so I did very well. The only thing I messed up was the super slow shoulder raise in the warm-up (I started it a count early, then did a hold hehhe), but I learned it in just a few hours. Not so much for BODYATTACK, it took a full day to learn. And 5 a.m. classes are EARLY! The earliest I’ve taught has been 5:45 a.m., which was my usual time-slot back in Orlando. Happy Thursday, my friend! Enjoy your time with your MAN!!!

  10. Love this – and I absolutely haven’t tracked my day this closely since I did my restriction diet to figure out food intolerances, ha! Everyone is getting the flu right now, and you’re so right that the small things can make the biggest differences! It was amazing – my fiancรฉ and I got a small flu, but it was super teeny and we got over it SUPER quickly. Seeing people now suffer through illness days and weeks at a time make me SO proud that we stay committed to being as healthy and fit as possible (with balance… I dig my glasses of champagne from time to time after all.)

    Love reading through your day, lady! Glad you get some rest after all that activity, woooo-sahhh!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Jessica! That’s a good thing that you weren’t sick for longer! Keep up those healthy habits, lady! And have a wonderful Thursday too!!!

  11. Thanks for sharing your day with us! It’s really fun to be able to see a day in a life of someone on an alternate work schedule. When I worked at a fitness studio at night I found I came home kind of wired because I was working so late. Do you ever have trouble settling down at night and then waking up so early?

    1. Hi Anna! Believe it or not, I’m able to fall asleep even 45 minutes after getting home and eating dinner hehee. It’s a gifT! ๐Ÿ™‚ But yes, I know that some people feel that way about working late. Glad you enjoyed this post! Have a wonderful day, lady!

  12. Ok Ashley your day makes me smile. I love how active you are throughout the day! And thank you for the tip on the Ricola, I feel like with all the teaching I am doing those are going to be a huge saver of my voice and my sanity!

  13. I am up at 4:30 AM, I leave my house at 5 AM to take the train into town so I can workout before I go to work. Get to the gym by 5:50 AM, workout then walk 1/2 mile to work.

    Work all day, leave at 5 PM. Home at 6 PM to cook dinner for me and my elderly parents. Clean up kitchen and get my clothes ready for the next day. In bed no later than 10 PM.

    Busy day, but working out is a very important to me. It is all good.

    1. Hi Susan! You are dedicated! And that’s the way to do it – make it part of your life. What a busy and full day you have, but you’re doing all the right things! Thanks for sharing, lady! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. There are two things that I think are important when it comes to fighting off colds: probiotics and vitamin D. The gut and immune system are connected so maintaining healthy GI flora can support a healthy immune system. Ever notice how most people get sick in the Winter months? That is when our exposure to sun typically drops. Less sun = Less Vitamin D. Since you live in Cali (and I live in Florida), I’m less worried about our exposure to sun but those poor souls living in the PNW, or Midwest or Northeast might benefit a whole lot from making sure they have healthy Vitamin D levels. D receptors are on SO many cells, including immune cells!

    Okay – that was probably more than necessary but I love to share! Happy Thursday, friend!

  15. This looks like a busy day similar to mine, only I’m running back and forth to the same gym… and still swimming in emails. Ha, I need to get better at my response time. I’ve also been trying to get more consistent scheduling my posts to publish the night before, but it’s just hard some days when I don’t get home until after 9 and I’m tired… I’m super impressed you’ve stayed on track since I can remember! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Heather! There have been many times when I’ve nearly missed it. But so far, I’m hanging on! The late nights of blogging are not fun, and they happen to me too. ๐Ÿ™

  16. Busy produce day I would say! I like to get up early to enjoy coffee and the news but lately I need to be more productive and work on my blog more. I laughed a little with a your Rudy walks! Life with a puppy! My 2 dogs are older and a 30 minute walk has them wiped out.

  17. My days are never typical. As a stay at home mom and an instructor, who knows where I’ll be at what time. But what’s always constant is the kids’ naptime anywhere from noon to 4pm. And if they’re being nice to me, they will sleep at the same time (which is the current situation now, yay!).

    I’m cramming the new BodyFlow 70 after shoving BodyPump 95 in my head yesterday. Have you launched the new stuff yet?

    1. Hi Julie! Yay for naps for your kids so you have free time ahhaha! And yup … that’s what some of the practice time I talk about in this post! I was prepping for BODYPUMP 95 launch, which I did in just a few short hours, then taught yesterday. I also launched BODYATTCK 90 on Monday! And I’m not teaching CXWORX right now, so I don’t have to learn it. Hope all of your debuts go well, lady!

  18. I am such a creative of habit! My day almost always starts with an early before the sun wake up time, get a workout in, then off to work, I come home around 4:30, relax a little bit, then eat dinner and take Benny for a walk, come in get ready for the next day, and it is sleep time for me!

    1. I’m a creature of habit too, Hilary! But my days are always a little different because of my work schedule. Yay for doggy walks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Thanks for sharing! I just love seeing others’ daily routines!

    I really admire your consistent clean eating. I have no problems getting in lots of exercise, but sometimes I feel it’s almost a bad thing because I have such a big appetite sometimes. I eat healthy meals but have a hard time with my sweet tooth! Any advice for how you overcome cravings?

    1. Hi Erica! Overcome cravings? Well, my advice is to have a small sweet something every night and know when you’re going to have a good big dessert. I usually have sweet milk and something tiny each weeknight, then on the weekend nights (usually Friday and Saturday) I’ll have a bigger more decadent dessert after dinner. I try to eat my sweets only after dinner too — no lunch-time dessert unless I’m out somewhere or something. But I definitely don’t have a perfectly clean diet. That’s just not fun anyhow! Don’t beat yourself up, we all have cravings, just try not to go too overboard. ๐Ÿ™‚ And good work on your fitness!

  20. Loving the day in the life and Yay Rudy being cone free!

    It’s been super crazy at work, late nights and what not… I feel like my system is fighting the cold hard. All I want to do is sleep! Workouts always make me feel better for a bit though :). I am not an early bird, the dog wakes me up between 6-630 AM, and it takes me a bit to become human haha.

  21. I need to try that lunch! It sounds amazing, and quick and easy! How do you prepare the sweet potato and tomato? And what bag is that? It’s so cute!

    Do you schedule your work time, like these 30 minutes for Instagram, this hour for emails, another hour for writingโ€ฆ I find pictures and Instagram eats up a lot of my time. Good thing I love it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Hi Liz! The bag is from Under Armour — gift from my hubs, and it has my logo on it. As far as lunch – I baked the sweet potato in the microwave, and just slice of raw tomato with it. As far as scheduling my time — I don’t put limits on activities, but try to get the essential stuff done before spending too much time on IG! heheh

  22. Wow, you sure are a busy bee! I felt like I kept rereading the same thing, but you’re just so busy that you go back and reply to emails or go teach a fitness class! haha I love day in the life posts. It’s always so neat to see what other peoples’ lives are like!

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