I am a mom of a 12 year and 9 month old. I understand how it feels to have a baby at 26 and 37! I also understand how easy it is to make having a baby an excuse not to exercise. Sure you're sleep and energy deprived. Your breastfeeding baby is taking all of your body's nutrients. Your extra pregnancy fat is unmotivating. Your body has seemed to lose all ability to exercise. Your baby needs you so you don't have time to exercise. All of these are valid complaints, but not excuses! I have dealt with all of these myself, but with support from my husband, I started corrective exercise 4 days after my baby was born, even after having a c-section. And just because I am a personal trainer doesn't mean that I don't have struggles too ladies! Getting back to exercise post pregnancy will give you more energy, help you sleep better, burn the baby fat, help you fight stress, boost your immune system, and allow you to be more focused on your baby because of the focus on yourself. There are even classes and facilities catering to moms. Here at my studio, we have a room where baby can sleep or play safely in your sight or you can have baby right by your side if needed. If going to a studio or gym is not your thing, then exercise at home. Whatever works best for your family is important. So take time for you mom!
The Biggest Loser is a reality TV show/contest that awards obese contestants for losing crazy amounts of weight. I used to think the show was a great motivator until I watched the season premier last week. As I watched the show, I found myself feeling frustrated by what I saw. First, the show is far from reality. If you take anyone out of their normal environment, have them work out with personal trainers for hours a day, cook them healthy food, and provide support from medical staff, trainers, and fellow contestants, you have a winning combination that is sure to promote huge weight loss. Losing over 10 pounds a week is NOT the norm. Second, I question the ethics of these training practices. Pushing clients to the point of injury or exhaustion is not appropriate in any way. The approach seems to be break them down before you build them back up. I cannot imagine what would happen if this type of training took place at a local gym. I would hope it would be shut down. I don't want this type of training to set the standard for what personal training is about. I see changes in exercise and training taking place in a negative way. CrossFit and bootcamp-style training may be appropriate for some, but I am seeing over and over again, clients that are getting injured in the process of trying to be healthier. Health does not have to be so difficult. Progressive training and diet changes are the most successful and allows the body to adapt both physically and mentally to new challenges. No, you won't lose 20 pounds in one week, but 1-2 is not too shabby. And your body will be sure to thank you 20 years down the road for not over-training to reach an unattainable goal.
Do you want to exist in life or live life like an amazing journey? Sometimes life can feel out of control and it can make you feel like you are sitting in the backseat simply watching it go by. What if I told you that your life can be what you imagine it to be. Remember when you were a kid and you had big dreams of what you wanted to be and do when you grew up? Did you become what you dreamed? If not, it is never too late. Maybe you are stuck in a job you hate, your relationships are not healthy, or you are living in an unhealthy body. All of these are modifiable problems. In your journey, you are only halfway through. You have many more adventures to enjoy and I bet you would like the remaining ones to be the best. Making your NEW JOURNEY the best yet will take planning.
Now you are starting your NEW JOURNEY that will help you reach your dreams. Just because you are all grown up doesn't mean you can't wish and attain the life you dream of...it actually means you have more control over your dreams than ever before.
It is human nature to feel like we have to live up to some expectation, whether it is our own or someone elses. Society dictates how we are supposed to look and bombards us with stereotypes and information on fitness and nutrition that is "guaranteed" to work. When we finally decide to take control and make a change, we often do so based on what someone else said worked for them. Just because someone else lost 25, 50 or even 100 pounds using a specific diet or supplement does not mean you will. For example, cutting calories is a common diet and the thought process of less calories in and more calories out seems like a great way to lose weight, but this is often not the case. Did you know that eating significantly less can actually make your body go into starvation mode in which it will hold onto the fat in a protective response against starvation? It is important to understand the physiology of the body to truly understand how to lose weight. Supplements are another issue. Some are great, but many are expensive and may show quick results, but are not affordable for the long term. Without the proper tools of a LIFESTYLE change, the weight will come right back once the supplements are stopped. Hormones, blood sugar, digestive problems, toxins, medications, and mental health can all play a role in the inability to lose weight. This has been frustrating for me to watch people fail time after time because they were not running their own race, but instead someone elses. Making a LIFESTYLE change is attainable with the proper coaching to help build on your strengths and making steady, safe changes to your diet and exercise program. A true LIFESTYLE change has to be based on your lifesyle and not someone elses. So run your own race, go slow and steady, or all out fast, either way if it is something you help to design, you will be far more successful.
"Growth is not steady, forward, upward progression. It is instead a switchback trail; three steps forward, two back, one around the bushes, and a few simply standing, before another forward leap." - Dorothy Corkville Briggs
It can be discouraging when you attempt to make changes in our lives only to fail over and over again. But this brings up the question, was it really a failure? The fact that you tried means you made it to the 4th level of change and you were only 1 level away from a permanent change. Good for you! The reason why most people are not successful with change is the plan for success was not fully laid out. The key to successful change is more than simply setting a goal. The goal must be smart and achievable and you must identify your motivators. You must address the barriers to progress. This is the part were most people lose their way. Either you did not effectively identify the barriers or you simply blew them off in an attempt to make a run at your goal without a clear path. Your must be honest with yourself when planning for success by not overlooking these barriers and then make strategies to help you mange them. Wellness coaches are trained to help you grow and avoid to many steps back, too many steps off the path, or standing still. Lets take that leap!
No one likes to feel hungry, just the stomach growling alone is very annoying. What many people don't realize is the effect being hungry has on your mental state. Brain fog, confusion, and emotional intensities are often associated with low blood sugar. Glucose (blood sugar) increases your level of self-control. Therefore when your blood sugar is in the normal range, you make better choices. Now take a minute to think about how this can effect different aspects of your life. For example, a recent study performed at Ohio State University, found that married couples acted more aggressively and were more frustrated with their spouse when their blood sugar was low. Getting mad at your spouse is a part of being married, but if you can better manage your anger, it would improve your marital happiness.
So how can you avoid being hangry, yes it is a word?
We are vastly different in how we look, feel, act, think, and believe. But we all share one thing in common, our need for empathy. Empathy can be described as a respectful understanding of someone's unique experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Empathy is the abililty to put yourself in someone's elses shoes and let go of your judgement. We have a need to be heard and understood by others. Think back to a time when your need for empathy was met and how it made you feel to know that the other person was able to understand where you were coming from. Often the most memorable moments are the ones where someone totally opposite of you or a complete stranger provided empathy. Empathy does not require you to agree with the other person. Your beliefs and values make you who you are just as they do for someone else.
I challenge you to remember empathy when dealing with others. Sometimes just listening to someone without judgement, criticism, or fixing can provide a path for a connection. You may find that embracing empathy can open your heart and mind to the uniqueness of the world around you.
Stretching helps improve flexibility. Did you know that the type of stretching you perform can make a big difference in how much and how long you will maintain flexibility? Static stretching is no longer the gold standard. Here are the reasons why:
1. Time consuming- the stretch reflex will cause the stretched muscle to contract therefore requiring a prolonged hold time to allow for the muscle to habituate and relax before the lengthening can occur. This typically takes 20-30 seconds for 1 repetition.
2. Reduced blood flow- therefore decreased oxygen and nutrients to the stretched muscle during a prolonged hold. This can lead to muscle soreness.
3. No education- the muscle may lengthen, but will progressively lose the length over time. With dynamic stretching, the agonist (contracting) muscle is learning to move through new ROM and the antagonist (stretching) is learning to allow the new ROM. The active component provides the needed education for lasting results. A recent study comparing active stretching and static stretching on hamstring flexibility yielded interesting results. The study used active knee extension ROM to determine hamstring flexibility. After 3 weeks of stretching, the active stretching participants showed improvements that almost doubled the passive participants. By the end of 6 weeks, the passive participants caught up slightly, but were still significantly less. This shows active stretching gains occur more quickly. The most interesting finding was in the maintenance of the ROM. The stretching was stopped and the participants were retested at 4 weeks. The passive group lost almost all the gained ROM while the active group only lost about 25%.
Active Isolated Stretching is one very effective type of active stretching that uses a 2-second hold time allowing for more repetitions, maintenance of blood flow and neuro re-education.
What a wonderful day friday is. It is the day that reminds us of how hard we have worked all week and to start to slow things down for the next two days. Unfortunately that is where we go wrong. We don't slow down for those two days. What ever happened to relaxing on the weekend? In today's fast paced world we have to remember to take care of ourselves. Even if we have the weekend jam packed with activities here is a great way to just relax and be in the moment.
Sit or lie down outside for 15 minutes. During that time start by looking around. What do you notice? The trees starting to bud, the branch broken by the winter ice...I guess I should trim that right now before I forget. WAIT! Make sure you are keeping your mind clear of the things that are in the future and just be in the moment. The green grass that is starting to peak through, the squirrel running up the tree. Now close your eyes. What do you hear? A bird singing, the wind blowing through the trees. What do you feel? Warm sun on your skin, gentle breeze blowing through your hair, the spider crawling on your arm! After 15 minutes you will feel centered and relaxed and more in touch with the world around you. This is a easy practice that can be done everyday to improve your wellness. Take time for you. YOU ARE WORTH IT!