Tag Archives: motivation

You’re never too old to enjoy exercise!

I recently spent 7 days at my parents beautiful home in a part of Florida called the Villages.  If you’ve never heard of it you should seriously consider convincing your parents to retire here! Check this place out-here is a link to their website!

You must be over 55 to live here (unless you are visiting or work in the Villages) but trust me, youwould  never believe that anyone who lives here is a day over 50! There are so many activities to choose from: pickleball, baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, track and field, billiards, the list goes on! The gyms are beautiful and there are  multiple classes almost every hour of the day.  There is something for everyone, no matter what age or fitness level and the classes were packed!  I did a few classes with my mom (power yoga, spin, body pump) and the people were shoulder to shoulder in these classes! It was so inspiring to see so many active ‘older adults’ as they like to be called (don’t you dare call them ‘seniors!’)  participating and breaking a sweat! Fitness is booming here and the population in the community is growing so much (currently over 100,000 people live here!) that they needed to build another commercial size gym! There are smaller (free) gyms at most of the pool/fitness centers on top of all the other sports facilities. And get this- there is a senior games event in Florida for ages 50-100! Some people are so good they compete nationally!?

Here are a few things I learned observing the people in the Villages gyms…

1- There is no such thing as TOO OLD! Never mind that, I could never guess what age anyone was? This just goes to show how exercising keeps you young!

2-Exercise is fun at any age! I think what brings people together is the socializing! I loved seeing the interactions between the ‘regulars’ at the gym and how the instructors and trainers called most of the members by name.

3- Exercise makes you feel better, stronger, more confident and that you accomplished something! I think that going to the gym or playing sports is the best part of their day! I didn’t see a single miserable or sad person at the gym, and everyone is so friendly, asking where I was from, etc etc.  Whatever makes you happier leads to a longer and healthier life right? No wonder they are so active!

4-Older adults don’t like being called ‘old’…they are all proof that you are only as old as you feel!

5- They respect their equipment and facilities.  I have never seen a more immaculate and cleaner gym than the ones in the Villages, if only younger people would adopt these habits at our gyms in Canada! It makes working out so much more enjoyable when you get to train in a brand-new and spotless facility!

So let’s just say, every time I left the gym while on vacation I had a big smile on my face and left feeling inspired! I couldn’t wait to go back the next day! After all, if they can do it and they are all at least 30 years older than me, I better be able to keep up with them!

Thanks to the many wonderful members and staff at the MVP gyms and to my mother who let me tag along and join her for her workouts and classes for a week in the Villages, I wish I got to live there year round! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Les 🙂

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Do you Practice Mindful Fitness?

We should learn to   live in the present moment....

I recently received the latest issue of CANFITPRO (Canadian Fitness Professionals: the organization I am certified through) and came across a very interesting article called “Mindful Fitness”.  Here is a section from the article I had to share…

“Many of us are constantly looking for an alternative to the non-stop, stressed out, fast food lives we are living which are driving us to exhaustion, and are responsible for the booming rates of conditions such as obesity, drug addiction and cancer.  As fitness professionals we are responsible for illuminating another path that can help save us as individuals and the planet as a whole.  It involves the simple concept of mindfulness. We cannot ignore this movement towards mindfulness and in fact we need to embrace it for our own benefit and the benefit of every life we touch..

Mindfulness is the act of being conscious of our own thoughts, movements, and speech in the present moment and without judgement.  Mindfulness is letting life unfold as we watch, noticing the thoughts and feelings that arise in our minds without necessarily acting on them.  It brings peace to our hectic lives.  It sounds simple but if you’ve ever tried being consciously aware for any length of time you’ll know that it’s something that takes practice.  Imagine what life would be like if we made only conscious decisions and didn’t pay so much attention to the unconscious thoughts and feelings that are constantly driving us to ease and comfort.  We would be living a life on purpose.  The beauty of mindfulness is that it gives us a conscious control over our decisions and allows us to live a life of our own choosing…”

So true right?? Before I started practicing/studing yoga I would’ve read this article and laughed, actually I never would’ve made it past the first paragraph as I was guilty of living life in the fast lane; constantly thinking and worrying about tomorrow, what I was going to do next, what meal I was going to eat, who I was going to train etc.  Now I am the complete opposite!  I really do my best now to live in the present, and I am much more aware of what I am doing, feeling, thinking at the present moment.  Let me tell you, my stress levels have decreased dramatically!  I am also a much better listener as I actually listen and give other people my full attention instead of having 100 thoughts and scenarios going through my mind!

This also relates to success with my workouts.

Here is a list of 4 things you can do to practice “Mindful Fitness” :

1. Make a Plan Including Goals (and Barriers) to Your Success
One of the first things I share with my clients over and over again is the famous quote:
“those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
Hence, in order to have success in your fitness, you must clearly define your goals and figure out why you are motivated to reach those goals. Are you motivated to lose weight? If yes, ask yourself why. Are you motivated to run a 10k? Why do you want to do this?  Be sure that your reasons are YOUR OWN and that you have not become swept up in another person’s dream or vision.  Once you have defined your goals, write down what may get in the way of your progress (barriers). It could be time, lack of equipment, work commitments, childcare or other obligations.  Just know that the same things that have been getting in the way of your success will continue to hinder you unless you avoid those roadblocks with workable solutions. Once your plan is underway and you have begun putting in the work to improve your fitness, there are additional things you can do to practice “Mindful Fitness”.
2. Pay Attention to Your Body by Learning to Differentiate Pain from Discomfort.
Remember, you are not always going to be comfortable while you are exercising (ask my clients, if it burns it means it’s working!). It is tough work and you must get comfortable being uncomfortable. Pay attention to your body by learning to differentiate between pain and discomfort. It is often quite uncomfortable running up a hill. You might be breathing heavy and if you are not used to that you may not like it. However, your foot should not hurt simultaneously. Be aware of pains and twinges that may lead to an injury down the road. If a specific mode of exercise hurts you, then you may need to find another one that suits your body better. Listen to your body and be conscious of what it can do.


3. Keep a Fitness Journal
Practicing “Mindful Fitness” is also about noting your progress so that you have a clear vision of your past when your perception may become skewed. For example, how would your body be affected if you began walking one mile per day? Well, one mile will burn about 85 calories. Therefore you would burn an additional 595 calories per week or 30,940 calories per year if you regularly practice this. That equates to a loss of 9 pounds per year, not to mention all of the other health benefits that you cannot physically see. Sometimes change seems so slight that you feel you are not making progress. If you keep a fitness journal, you will appreciate being able to look back and see how far you have come. Understand that making small incremental changes will eventually lead to big results.


4. Give Yourself Permission to Reevaluate Goals When Natural Backslides Occur
Finally, accept that there will be times when you are going to backslide and miss your workouts. Even the pros go through this. When it happens, revisit your goal sheet and reevaluate your motivations. Give yourself permission to amend your goals or your motivations and become determined to continue moving forward one small step at a time.

“Mindful Fitness” is about creating a realistic plan, listening to your body and being aware of how it feels. Find your balance, choose activities that agree with your body and be willing to work hard to achieve your desired results. You won’t regret it.

Meditation is the ultimate mindfulness activity.  I still have yet to attend a meditation workshop or class.  If you’re intimidated by meditation (as I am) keep in mind that in order to reap the benefits it doesn’t have to be for a long period of time but it should be done daily for as little as 5-10 minutes.

The simplest way to connect with the present moment (as I’ve learned through yoga) is simply sitting quietly and breathing for a few minutes.  Breathing with purpose and noticing how calming it feels to inhale deeply and exhale deeply is the most important and easiest thing you can do 🙂 I dare you to try it…

Speaking of breathing and yoga, I will be teaching a yoga class this Sunday at LC Fitness Studio (1376 Bank Street, B200) at 1pm.  Come and practice “mindful fitness” with me and you’ll leave feeling refreshed, re-energized, more flexible and very relaxed but most importantly you’ll be happy you dedicated 75 minutes of your day to yourself!

 

Les 🙂

 

 

 

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Are you ready to change your lifestyle??

So you’ve decided that this is the year, month, week, day, moment that you are going to commit to living a healthier lifestyle! AWESOME! CONGRATS! BRAVO!! But are you ready???  So many times I’ve  heard people say “yes I’m seriously going to get in shape starting today” or “I am sooo over eating out” or “I am going to start going to yoga on a regular basis starting today” or “I’m going to the gym everyday, no matter what!” and then 2 weeks later they are back to their old ways of no exercise and unhealthy eating.  Why is that??  Well there are many reasons but I believe the real reasons are you AREN’T READY TO CHANGE or you LACK MOTIVATION and DISCIPLINE or you expect IMMEDIATE RESULTS.  You need to be honest with yourself, what’s worked or hasn’t worked before?  As my dad always tells me “past behaviour is the best predictor of present/future behaviour”.  Before you begin your journey to improving your fitness and health from where it is now take a few minutes to complete these quizzes/questionnaires…

Click on this link to complete a quick quiz….

Or answer this questionnaire to calculate your “readiness to change” score….no cheating!

So what did you notice?? Are you surprised with the results?? Probably not right?

If you are one of those people who is on the fence or maybe you’re totally apprehensive about the process THAT IS COMPLETELY NORMAL! The hard part is overcoming the doubts and making the decision to TAKE ACTION to improve your lifestyle.

I’ve been following Tim’s blog called “Minimalist Workout” where he writes about ways to minimize workouts for maximum effect (awesome concept right?) and I asked his permission to repost his blog from a couple days ago.  It’s called the 7 Point Plan to Fitness Success. I couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂 so thanks Tim!   Here it is…

I’ve been reading a lot about motivation lately. It seems every fitness website and blog has a simple plan to become more motivated. The problem is, most don’t address the real reasons you are lacking in motivation. Most people aren’t simply lazy but they lack motivation for many reasons. Most of the reasons, I am finding, come down to reward and discipline.

In your life you learn by trial and error. If you try to walk through a wall and bump your head then you wont walk into the wall again. When you see someone walk through a door you’ll realize you can get to the other side of the wall by going through the door.

The same is true with exercise. If you attempt to run a marathon when you’re out of shape you will fail after about a minute. This would make a couch potato out of anyone. If you run 1 minute intervals with periods of walking for 20 minutes as instructed in couch to 5k then you’ll be rewarded with the satisfaction of a job well done and confidence in yourself. Below is my seven point by step plan to reaching your goals.

Data Collecting Phase – Spend a week logging your bad habits. Don’t attempt to change any of them at this time.
Recognition Phase – During this phase you will recognize where your problem areas are. Consider this your project to work on. If you watch TV all day and never get up then say “when I get up to use the restroom (or go to the kitchen) I will do a couple reps”. Pretend you’re a lawyer and find some loopholes in your routine and bad habits.
Social Phase – State your intentions verbally to your friends and family. You will then commit yourself and inspire others. Inspiring others is like a stock that pays dividends.
Trial Phase – See how many push ups, sit ups and squats you can do. If you can do 1 that is fine. If you can’t do floor push ups then do wall push ups. Take the next couple of days off.
Journal Phase – Start a journal. A blog is a great way to journal or just buy a notebook. You’re going to log your exercises so you can track your success.
Action Phase – Do 50% of your max reps per set every time you go to the rest room or kitchen. If you were able to do 10 push ups then do 5 per set but shoot for 3 or more sets. Do one of the workouts (push ups, sit ups, squats) per day. Drink plenty of water and eat something with protein.
Success Phase – Pat yourself on the back. You’re working out. Do this every day, tell your friends how well you’re doing and they will celebrate with you.

I love the steps he has come up with and find that they work best for fitness and nutrition goals.  So if you’re struggling to get started on your path to a healthier lifestyle start with Step 1: Start logging all your bad habits for a week…then once you can identify what they are you can begin to break them down and work on 1 at a time.  Don’t overwhelm yourself and try to ‘fix’ or ‘correct’ everything at once, or you’ll become overwhelmed and most likely give up or quit before you even begin.

And some thoughts to leave you with today…

 And…

Les 🙂

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