Blog

20
Feb
This news was posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
tagged: Uncategorized | tags :, , ,

What to do with unexpected changes in your schedule.

Life is full of change and detours. Can we stay dedicated to our health in the midst of unexpected change?
The answer is a resounding “YES!” . . . with FLEXIBILITY!
There are simple changes in schedule; children’s music lessons change to a new night, spouse decides to drop the bowling league and change to a book study group instead, there is a monthly volunteerism meeting on the same day you normally workout.
Then there are major changes or interruptions; you need to sit with a close friend in the Hospital, a family member dies leaving you executor of the Will, or you are involved in a car accident.
All these events can, and perhaps will, derail your attempts to stay healthy through proper nutrition and exercise. How can you out-wit these “hellions of health”? The answer is . . . drum roll, please! . . . . PERSISTENCE!
Yes you may slip here and there until you get back into your old routine or find a new normal, but keep your eye on the prize (better health to live a more active life) and you will return to a workout of which you can be proud. Final goals do not come to “good” people, or “bad” people, or the most “knowledgeable”, or even the most “educated”. The final goal always, ALWAYS, goes to the most persistent! Just like the Tortoise who won the race over the Hare, do not jump out of the gate at a full sprint and quickly get distracted or bored, but move slowly and steadily to your goal.
Remember, you do not have to dedicate a full hour to a really good workout if your schedule is in turmoil. Sometimes 5 pushups on a Hospital waiting room floor will have to do that day. But if you do those 5 pushups this hour, you may find that you can also do 10 sit-ups the next hour, and have an excuse to walk up 3 flights of stairs later in the day, and before you know it, you have fit in your entire workout. Slow but steady steps are all it takes.
The journey of a thousand miles is taken one step at a time.
How do you eat an elephant? . . . One bight at a time.
How do you get a workout in? . . . One Repetition at a time!
Just look for the opportunities to fit it in.

Now Certified as a Cancer Exercise Specialist

It has always been my belief that exercise can not only prevent various medical concerns, it can also be used to alleviate symptoms after diagnosed.  In accordance with that belief, I am now a Certified Cancer Exercise Specialist!

Cancer patients and survivors can experience many individualized complications such as Lymphedema, swelling at treatment sites, dizziness, pain, and increased risk of infection, just to name a few.  This Certification allows me to give body assessments designed specifically for these patients, design programs specifically for their needs, and work with them and their medical staff to improve their physical ability.  In other words, I can now help to get them back to their active lives!

I am so excited about this new Certification!  It lets me know that there are other like-minded people out there that KNOW that physical movement is important to everyone’s lifestyle and exercise can improve those lifestyles.

If you have a Medical or Physical Education degree, and are interested in obtaining this certification yourself, I highly recommend it!  Please look for information at this website; TheCancerSpecialist.com . I learned SO MUCH with Andrea Leonard, Founder of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute in Portland, OR.  This information has opened a whole world to me.   Andrea’s goal is to educate the general population about the continuing needs of Cancer patients and survivors;  some needs of which even Doctors are unaware since they do not study BioMechanic (the way the body moves and how all the body systems interact during that movement).

If you have ever had a diagnosis of Cancer, I urge you to work with a Certified Cancer Specialist near you, found on that web site; TheCancerSpecialist.com .  It can improve your entire outlook about life!

See you in the gym!

Andra

20
Mar
This news was posted on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
tagged: Disease, Emotional Upsets, Fitness, Tips, Wellness | tags :, , , , , , , ,

Colds/Flu How to avoid/reduce them

Here is a great article by Dr. Mercola about colds and flu that I will be sharing with my class tonight. Some of this information is new even to me. He also has a short video that is very informative!

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/03/16/how-to-fight-a-cold-with-exercise.aspx?np=true

Synopsis;

Something I have been telling people most of my career is that when you get sick it is best to KEEP to your workout routine but perform it at a reduced intensity. Do fewer repetitions and raise your heart rate only to about half of your normal workout.  Raising your body temperature helps to kill-off the offending virus and to circulate blood faster which will help the white blood cells to get to the infection faster.

Of course, if you don’t work out at all, now would not be the time to start. Simply stay as active as you feel able. The more you move the muscles, the more you will be moving your immune system into action.  For people with no scheduled workout routine, you might be better off controlling the symptoms with organic suppliments like Vitamin C (this doctor suggests using acerola for its added properties boosting the immune system), Vitamin D (of course there is no substitute for summer sunshine), and Zinc. Dr. Mercola also suggests using  (some of which are new to me) Oregano Oil, propolis, Olive leaf extract as an immune booster, and eliminating sugar of ALL types, even organic ones. Sugar feeds the “bad bacteria” and suppresses the immune system.

Also suggested in this article is to put drops of Hydrogen Peroxide (about 1/2 capful) in one ear allowing time for it to work for several minutes, then repeat in the other ear. There have been no studies suggesting that this will reduce your viral infection, but this doctor claims to have hundreds of cases of anecdotal evidence that it works. It is inexpensive and if you happen to have some at home, you might want to try it.

Mushrooms, as Dr. Mercela states, if used proactively (meaning before you get the infection) can be used as an immune booster.  As with all immune boosters, they should be taken BEFORE you get sick to ward off the infection as you get it and before you know you have it. Here he does not state which variety of Mushrooms he might be talking about, so I get the impression they all have similar properties. Please make sure you are obtaining them from a reliable source to avoid poisoning.

Stress is another leading factor that reduces your immune system allowing viruses the opportunity to multiply. Stress releases Cortesol which suppresses the immune response. Control stress by reducing the stressors, meditation,  or prayer. For example, if it is your job that is causing the stress, perhaps you should be looking for a different job; one that fulfills you rather than drains you. Meditation and prayer both reduce the body’s fight or flight response and allows it to rejuvenate. Exercise will also help to “burn off” (for lack of a better description) the fight or flight hormones produced by the body. But even this should not be thought of as a “cure for major stress”. The only “cure” is to make lifestyle changes to reduce the stress and use regular exercise and meditation/prayer to manage the daily stress we can’t change.

Please read the article at the link above. I found it very informative.

So get out the supplements, prioritize meditation, and get active!  Boost that immune system before you think you need it!

 

28
Feb
This news was posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
tagged: Uncategorized

How to get started; Which Fitness Center should I join?

When choosing a fitness center, the 2 most important things to remember are convenience and offerings.

Under the subject of convenience, tour the centers between your work and your home. If you have to drive past it every day, guilt will set in when you decide to skip your workout. Also, if you decide to work out on a Saturday, or a day you don’t have to go into work, driving part way to work will not seem like a long trip because you are accustomed to driving a much longer distance every day.

If you cannot find a center between the 2, opt for one close to one or the other. If it is convenient to a place you go to daily, you will be less likely to talk yourself out of the workout.

Under the subject of offerings, look for a fitness center that offers the equipment or classes that inspire you the most. If it looks like fun, you will be more likely to look forward to the workout than to dread it. The center doesn’t even have to have the MOST equipment, or the largest number of classes, as long as what they do have appeals to you.

Cost can be a factor as well. However, I urge you to view your fitness membership as an investment in your health rather than a depletion of your wallet. An investment is designed to cost some now, but pay more in the long-run. Unless you pay for a membership without using it, the cost is not just a black hole, but a wonderful, long-term commitment for your future. That said, there can be a wide variety of membership costs. Weigh the costs against the offerings and choose a center accordingly.

Why choose a Fitness Center at all? Why not just plan to go for long walks outside?

That is certainly an option. Healthful fitness does not have to cost an arm and a leg (pardon the pun, I just couldn’t resist!). In fact, it doesn’t have to cost anything at all. However, if you tend to get bored with the same workout all the time or walking the same 3 routes, the variety of equipment and classes might be just the thing you need to keep going. In some regions/ neighborhoods, walking is prohibited by weather or safety concerns. In that respect, a locked facility where only members have a key can be more secure and keep the participants away from the elements.

So there you have my advice on fitness centers. There are as many types of centers are there are levels of income. Choose the one that makes the most sense to you, and go for it!

 

How to get started; How to set up a home gym

OK, so you have already read my warnings about buying equipment for a home gym but you want to do that anyway! Now you want my recommendations.

First I would recommend going to your public library and ask to borrow a DVD, or 2 or 3 on exercise. I am sure they will have 100′s so you can afford to be particular. Instead of borrowing the ones produced by celebrities with no knowledge of body mechanics or health, bring home only those produced by individuals with degrees in fitness or health. You can alway branch out to the fun, 30 year old, former model later. Right now, you need a knowledgeable instructor.

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Now go home and watch the videos. You can try some of the movements, too, if you want to, but for now I want you to do more watching than doing. You should be looking for the types of equipment they use and the movements they do with them. If any of these movements looks particularly awkward or too difficult for you, plan to go get some water or just take a brake during those portions. Pay attention to all of the non-motorized equipment you see on the DVD’s; those are the pieces of equipment you want to start with.

Go to your fitness outfitters store and ask for some (not all; remember to buy just enough to get started, not ought to outfit an entire ) of the Non-motorized equipment and plan to spend up to, but not over, $100.00 on 2-4 pieces.

For that money, you should be able to get some;

light hand weights
ankle weights
elastic bands
Skater’s Slide
Stability Ball (be careful before deciding on the ball; they can be fun, but they take up a lot of space!)

Mix and match from this equipment list; remember to start slow. Later, when you have been consistent in your workouts for about 3 months (yes, I said Months), instead of rewarding yourself with ice cream, try making your reward a new piece of equipment.

Change out the DVD’s every month so as not to get bored with the same workout.

If you find you need aerobic equipment, the skater’s slide, or a non-powered (hydrolic) stair stepper could be right for you.

Powered equipment

The first piece, in fact the ONLY piece, of power equipment I would suggest putting into a private home is a treadmill. They are versatile with speeds from snail-pace to Olympic sprinter, can be raised to simulate a moderate or steep uphill grade, and most have pre-programed workouts built in. If you can walk, you can work out on a treadmill and it can grow with you as your strength and endurance progresses.

Non-powered machines

Treadmill

I have not yet seen a Non-powered treadmill that was worth the materials it took to create it, and I would certainly NOT pay for one for ANY money!

Stair Steppers

You can buy powered stair-steppers, but why bother when there are so many really good, non-powered models out there. Gravity works really well with body-weight for this type of machine and you don’t need to turn the volume up on the TV to hear it over the motor like you do for a powered machine. The best type works arms and legs together, but make sure the arm motion is not actually connected to the legs so you can’t cheat by only moving one, without actually working the other. If space is an issue, then forget the arms and just plan on using hands with arm movements for the upper-body workout. There are many, simple hydrolic stair-steppers that only work the legs that take up a fraction of the space.

Stationery Bicycle

These are also good for an aerobic workout and tend to take up less space than a treadmill, but they only work the legs and circulatory system. They have no benefit to anything above the hips except for the heart.  If you are a beginner, it can be a very good place to start an aerobic workout, but plan to graduate to something more well-rounded very quickly (within a year).

Weight Machines

My opinion; Very Expensive, space hogs, and there are MUCH BETTER ways of getting a workout. Even if your goal is to “bulk-up” (increase the size of your muscles), free weights are usually a better bet for the home gym.

Elliptical

Ellipticals are probably the best “bang for your buck”, non-powered machine ever invented and my hat goes off to the designers. They take up no more space than your average stationery bike (although most of them require more “movement space” surrounding the equipment), they have a simple design so there are few parts that can break, they are smooth in their motion, and pack a whollup in a workout! Beginners through Olympians can always get a good workout with an elliptical.

Brand Name Equipment

NordicTrack
Bowflex
Stairmaster

As with any Name Brand, you will pay much more for the Name than you will for what you get out of the equipment. There are better ways to spend the same money and get a better workout out of it. You can usually find something decent for half the price.

Best places to buy equipment

DO NOT BUY MACHINES RETAIL! There are plenty of people wanting to get rid of their equipment just to get the space back that you can make them a low offer and they will generally take it! Look in the local newspaper, Craig’s List, and free local advertising first. If you don’t find what you want, wait a week and look again. DO NOT BUY ANYTHING ON A WHIM. Think long and hard about your needs and goals, then look for something to match those goals. The longer it take you to find something, the longer is it likely to last as part of your workout.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get Started

Get Started

1. Get a check up and ask your doctor if you are healthy enough for physical activity. He/she might have ideas of the type of program that might be good for you.
2. Begin with a small class AND do your own simple workout in your home or walking in a safe neighborhood with a friend on the days the class does not meet.
3. Remember that just because the instructor and the class is doing it, does not make it right for you. If it hurts don’t do it! Just continue to move in a way that does not hurt until you can rejoin the class activity.
4. Start with small, simple movements and slowly work your way up to more difficult movements. Remember to patient with your progress.

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