Archive for the ‘Stress Management’ Category
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. You may be able to do push-ups all day, but the thought of jumping up onto a box gets you in a tizzy. Maybe you rock at box jumps but you can’t seem to get your chest to the ground on a push up. Either scenario can do a number on your mental state in the gym.
It can be difficult to work on your weaknesses without getting frustrated. Especially if it’s an exercise you’ve been working on for a while. Here are a few tips on how to deal with your fitness frustrations.
The best way to get better at pull-ups is to practice pull-ups more often. It really is that simple. Do a modified version of the exercise you’re working on. Dedicate 10-15:00 each work-out session specifically for the exercise you want to improve on. If you work with a trainer ask them to spend some time with you on your trouble area, or come into your session a few minutes early to work on it yourself.
Improvements can take time. Remember improvements will take place if you put the effort in. It may take longer than you like to build up to the exercise you’re working on, but recognize that you get stronger and closer to your goal every-time you work at it. Go at your own pace and believe that you can get to the goal you want to accomplish. There should always be something you’re striving for, learn to be patient with your progress.
Do some exercise homework alone. The pressure of someone watching you try an exercise can be overwhelming. Even if your in a gym and no one is watching you, the thought of embarrassing yourself can get to be too much. Practice in the privacy of your own home. If your gym has a separate class room that isn’t being used try working on your exercise in there.
Be nice to yourself. If you beat yourself up every-time you try something new, you’ll be in for a bumpy ride. Be proud of the fact that you’re making an effort. Realize that every-time you work at something you’re improving. Maybe you didn’t get all the way to the floor on your push-up, but recognize if you’ve gotten down lower than you ever have before. Think back to when you first started exercising and the areas in which you’ve improved so far. Find something about yourself to praise and you will associate a positive feeling with the exercise you’re working on.
You’re body is an amazing machine, if you work hard you can accomplish anything you desire.
Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night is a crucial part of looking and feeling your best. Exercising regularly is a great way to help you reach that goal. Here is how working-out can benefit your sleeping patterns.
1. Wear Yourself Out
Pushing through a tough exercise session is going to wear you out. You will burn up a lot of energy getting through a challenging work-out, which will help to leave you spent at the end of the day. If you are someone that sits at a desk all day this can especially help you. At the end of your work day you may feel tired but you still have trouble sleeping that night. Your mind has been working hard all day, you need to take some time to wear out your body as well.
2. Release Stress
Stress is a big reason why many people can’t fall asleep at night. You may have a lot on your mind between, work, family and friends it can be challenging to rest at the end of the day. Working out is a great stress reliever. Taking time to focus on your body, will help you to feel better and release tension that has been building up for days, weeks or months. You will have an easier time falling asleep with out the stresses of your daily life running through your mind.
3. Get To Bed
I often hear from my clients that they’re not tired at the end of the day. They’ll stay up, watching their favorite shows or getting work done. Regular exercise can help you to get on a sleeping schedule. If you have an appointment with a trainer or an exercise class early in the morning you will force yourself to get to bed at a decent hour. Your morning work-out will suffer if you’ve only gotten a few hours of sleep.
4. Work Harder
Sleepless nights can be another reason for you to work harder in your exercise sessions. If you leave your gym feeling like you weren’t challenged enough, you may not feel as tired at the end of the day. Be aware of the fact that pushing yourself in the gym is going to help ware you out at the end of the day. It will be another reason for you to challenge yourself in your session.
Use fitness as a healthy way to fall fast asleep at the end of your day!
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and regain focus in your day. It’s a simple practice that can be very beneficial. Here’s how to get started.
Find a comfortable spot in your house. It can be a big chair, your bed or a spot on the floor. Wear comfortable clothing and find a position you feel good in. You can lay down, sit with your legs crossed or lean up against a wall.
Set Aside Time For Your “Time-Out”
Set a timer for 5, 10 or 15:00, whatever you can squeeze in your day. Forget about the laundry, dishes or 80 other things you have on your to-do list today. When your timer goes off you are done and can go about your day with a clear mind and refreshed feeling.
Quiet The Room
Make sure there are no artificial noises like your television or radio in the background. Pick a time when you know you won’t be interrupted by anyone or anything. This may be challenging at first depending on how many people you live with. You may have to wake up 15:00 early or wait until everyone is asleep in your home to ensure your own personal quiet time.
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. At first it may be difficult to focus. It will blow your mind how noisy your thoughts are until you try to quiet them. Try counting your breaths or repeating one word over and over. If your mind starts to drift don’t get discouraged just come back to focusing on your breath.
Forget About The “Noise”
So much of our days are spent worrying about ourselves and the ones close to us, taking a 10-15:00 break to think about nothing can be very liberating. We are exposed to so much noise through out the day. Television, radio, billboard advertisements, magazines, iphone applications, it’s all noise when you think about it.
Give this time-out a chance. If you feel silly don’t worry, no one is watching you!
Photo Credit: downtowndharma.com
Need a reason to get to the gym today? How about ten of them…..
1. Stop Wasting Your Money
2. Spring Break
Are you taking a vacation soon? Look and feel your best, by getting in some extra work-outs. Also, think about how much you probably won’t be exercising while you’re away.
3. What Else Is There On A Wednesday Night?
Sure there are some good television shows on tonight, but that’s what DVR is for. Going to the gym has a great social aspect in a healthy environment.
4. Sleep Better Tonight
Do you sit at a desk all day? Getting in a good sweat session will help you fall asleep easier than if you spent most of the day in front of a computer.
5. Bragging Rights
Play up the fact that you’re working hard. Talk about some new accomplishent that you achieved at the gym. Maybe you ran a mile without stopping or did ten push-ups in a row. Either way celebrate your successes.
6. Get On A Roll
Once you get out the door and into the gym you start to build momentum. This one night can lead to many others, once you see how good it feels to exercise again.
7. Relieve Some Stress
Working out is a great release from the stresses of your job and other daily activities that can sometimes weigh you down.
8. Break From Your Home Life
Put the housework on hold and spend some time for yourself. Forget about the dishes in the sink and escape to the gym.
9. Wear Your New Gym Outfit
Break out the new work-out clothes you got for Christmas and put them to work.
10. Listen To Some Good Music
When else do you have the time to listen to an hour or so of your favorite music. Good music is mood lifting!
Stop making excuses and head to the gym. Most of the time just getting there is the hardest part.
“Here’s the good thing about running. You just put on your shorts and your shoes and you go.” David Letterman
Of all the things I love about running, one of my favorite aspects is you can go anywhere and anytime. Go for as long or as short of a run as you want. Go fast or slow on flat or hilly surfaces, it’s all good to me. Sure there are products that can enhance your running experience; Ipods, Gu, dry-wick clothing, but none of it is truly necessary in order to run. I’ve been running regularly for 8 years, long distance for 3. It is something that I cannot imagine my life without. Nothing makes me feel better than a good run. Running is the one thing I can always count on to pick me up. Even if it’s a bad run, it’s still good to me.
Running is Empowering
I find when my clients try running they feel empowered. Especially the ones that believed they could never run. Accomplishing something they have been afraid of proves to them that they are in control of their lives. I don’t push running on my clients. If they show an interest then I encourage it.
I’ve found over the years running has helped my clients build inner-strength and courage, relieve stress and heal other parts of their life. Exercise in general can provide the benefits I see in running. It’s just my favorite catalyst to a healthier, happier life.
The Running Network
For a sport that is usually practiced alone, running has a lot of social benefits. Local road races and running clubs are a great way to meet people. Training for a running event with a friend or significant other establishes a bond that can’t be matched by any other experience.
Road races are commonly used to honor loved ones or fund-raise for a charity near and dear to a runner’s heart. One of the most amazing examples I’ve seen of this, is a runner that I follow on Twitter, Elizabeth Trask or @fiftyforbilly. She is running 50 Marathons in 50 States, 1,310+ Miles in Memory of her Dad & to Benefit The Center for Grieving Children in Portland, Maine. What an inspiration!
A Running Joke
Running is often used as a conversation icebreaker. If you have this hobby in common with someone, you can talk for hours. Below is a video of actor Jake Gyllenhaal on the David Letterman Show. He is there to talk about his movie “Love and Other Drugs”. They end of spending a good part of the interview talking about running.
Photo Credit: http://www.arunningmom.com
Temperature drops, shorter days and lots of snow are enough reasons to make most people unhappy. Exercise is a great way to improve your mood and quality of life through the winter months.
When you exercise your brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that act as your body’s natural pain killer, similar to morphine. When you work up a good sweat through exercise not only are you becoming stronger and more fit, you’re also fighting off the negative feelings that are commonly felt in the winter season.
Regular work-out sessions will help you get to your ideal body composition. When you slack off in the winter you’re setting yourself back with your fitness goals. This set back will only add to the list of negative things you associate winter with. Stay on track with your fitness regimen and give yourself something to feel good about.
Your Immune System is your body’s defense against disease. Winter is known for being the cold and flu season, you should take any precaution you can to stay healthy and aid your immune system. Exercise can be a great way to accomplish that. Studies have shown that the increase in your body temperature during exercise can help to kill bacteria. Also, your white blood cells that fight off infection work at a more efficient rate in individuals that exercise regularly.
You can’t control how many inches of snow we’ll get this week, you can control how you feel about it though. Keep up with your fitness regimen to stay happy and healthy this winter.
Photo Credit: http://insiderspassport.com
This month you’ll notice more people in the gym than in the drive-through at McDonald’s. To the people that are faithful to exercising year round, January can be a nightmare. Your favorite machine is in use, your classes are crowded, there’s no room to stretch and all for these resolution junkies that won’t be here a month from now.
January gym-goers offer more than you would think. While it is annoying that you have to wait for a machine that is barely used in any other month, there are some positives to the increase in your gym community.
Take In The Support
Think about some of your friends and families’ behavior over the past few months. If you told them you were going to the gym or tried to pass on dessert what was their typical response? It was most likely something like “Oh, come on it’s the holidays.” or “The gym will be there in January.” Responses like this aren’t very helpful or supportive of someone trying to keep on track with their goals.
Now think about the same friends and family members these days. If you told them you were heading out for a run or a boot camp class, their response is probably something like this.”Can I join you?” or “Where’s the class, can beginners attend?” These responses are much more supportive and helpful to you.
Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Use this inconvenience to try something new. If your usual machine is in use and you don’t have time to wait, go for a new work-out. When your bike is taken, try the rower or the stairclimber instead. You may come across a different machine that you really enjoy and would never have tried otherwise.
If you’re a cardio addict, give resistance training a try. Circuit training can be done anywhere, even in your own home. Discover some new work-outs and you won’t care who is on that machine that you use every other day.
Be A Helpful Gym Citizen
When other’s feel inspired to make a healthier life for themselves we should encourage that. Sure it’s a bit of a disruption to our normal gym routine, so what. This country is becoming sick with diabetes, obesity and heart disease to name a few issues. Let’s not put each other down for when we decide to start our steps towards healthy living. Instead offer some encouragement and you may find yourself a new gym buddy.
Make the best of this month by taking in the support from others and offering your support in return!
Photo Credit: http://granthestonfitness.com
This year I have two resolutions. First is to be able to do more pull-ups. Second is learning how to cook. Here are the steps I’m taking so these resolutions don’t get pushed to 2012!
No matter what your goals are you will benefit from having a plan of attack. For the cooking I’m going to try one new recipe every week. This is a realistic goal for me and by the end of the year I will have tried 52 new meals! I also intend to work on pull ups every other day. This will give me enough practice and enough time to rest between sessions.
Ask For Help
Talk to friends and family of yours that have tried and succeeded in the areas on which you’re wanting to improve on. My first receipe attempt is going to be sauce and meatballs. For this I’ll turn to my family because no one can make sauce and meatballs like my mother. I also will be working on my pull-up technique with a couple of my co-workers that have mastered the pull-up.
Document your progress
It’s always helpful to keep tabs on how you’re doing. If your goal is to get into better shape, keeping a journal is essential. Take your waist and hip measurements every two weeks. Write the details of your work-outs down including how you felt during and after the session. These details will help you to see clearly what is working for you and what isn’t.
Make a resolution buddy
Find someone that has a similar goal to help keep you on track. There will be days where you won’t feel like going to the gym, having a friend to go with helps to keep you motivated. If your New Year’s resolution is to spend less money, see if any of your co-worker’s are doing the same. You can encourage each other to bring your own lunch to work instead of ordering out.
Whatever your goal is remember it’s a commitment for 2011, not just for January of 2011. Good luck and Happy New Year to all of you!
Photo Credit: http://www.soul-cycle.com
One moment can change your life, it’s incredible to think the all the things that happen in a whole year. Here are my highlights and low-lights of 2010.
1. Starting Fitness By D
While I’ve worked in different facets of the fitness industry, this was the first year that I’ve ventured out on my own. It’s an amazing thing to have your own voice and watch people respond to it. I’m so grateful for the ones in my life that have supported me and helped Fitness By D get off the ground. I want to say a very special thank you to Rebecca Churt, with out her this website and company would not be what it is today.
2. Becoming A Physical Education Teacher
The opportunity to work with children twice a week in a field I am so passionate about is truly a gift. Every week I get to influence young minds on the importance of sports and fitness. I love that I get to teach them how crucial it is to get moving and I’m looking forward to another year of teaching and learning from their responses.
3. Coaching my clients to running a half marathon and then to a full marathon.
Watching my clients progress over the past year has been an inspiration to me. Many of them had never run a road race until last year. Every week from January until May they trained for The Boston Run To Remember Half Marathon. Watching them cross that finish line was one of the best moments of my year. Two of those finishers went on to train for the Chicago Marathon in October and the feeling of joy they had at the finish was another priceless moment.
1. Not Qualifying For The Boston Marathon
In 2009 I ran The Boston Marathon. I received a number through Mass General by fundraising for their Pediatric Cancer Unit. I was grateful for the opportunity to support this cause.
Since then it’s been my own personal goal to get a qualifying time for Boston and earn a number on my own merit. This summer I gave everything I had to training for The Chicago Marathon in the hopes of breaking 3:40 and securing my spot for The 2011 Boston Marathon.
Long runs, ice-baths, no-life outside of training and working was pretty much my whole summer and fall. I put so much pressure on myself that my mind was not where it should’ve been on race day. That combined with an unseasonably hot day (85-90 degrees) by the finish resulted in my time of 4Hrs. 9Min. Not my best race finish and not my worst, but not good enough to secure a number to the sacred Boston Marathon.
This was a heartbreaking moment for me and a true learning experience. I know I will earn that number someday, and the good news is I’m not a quitter so I have the rest of my life to keep trying!
2. Going Through A Break-Up
Break-Ups are hard no matter what the circumstances are. It can feel like such a clear decision but the aftermath is never easy. One thing that I was very grateful for through this was exercising. Even if it was a 30:00 session, that was time spent feeling good about myself and improving my mood.
3. The Economy
For a good part of this year finding work was not easy. This recession has caused people to cut back and personal training is considered to some to be a luxury. The good thing about this was is launched me to start my own business where I’ve learned to market myself. While it’s not always easy, I’ve been able to find more people that understand that taking care of themselves and their health should not be considered frivolous spending.
As 2011 approaches this is what I hope for the new year for myself and all of you……..
“May the best of your today’s be the worst of your tomorrows”
Photo Credit: http://fallforward.wordpress.com
As a trainer my goal is to get you to your fitness goals. Along with that I want you to leave me with as much knowledge about the process that got you there as possible. Here are five things I hope every client of mine takes away from our time together.
1. You are capable of much more than you know.
Many times exercise is mind over matter. Don’t stop when something gets hard, stick with it and you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish. Never say “I can’t do (fill in the blank)”, because there is nothing you can’t do.
2. Always do push-ups from your toes.
I don’t care if it takes you three times as long to get through a set, it’s worth the work. You will progress faster if you do push ups from your toes and go down a 1/4 of the way then going all the way down from your knees. You want to support your own body weight. When you do push-ups from your knees you’re missing half the exercise, and if you do them from your knees you’ll always do them from your knees.
3. Pay Attention to Recovery.
Taking the time to do recovery work is going to keep you injury free. When you are fully recovered you can get the most out of your next work out. Make sure to stretch and foam roll after every session. If there is a particular area bothering you (knee, hip, shoulder) be sure to ice it to reduce inflammation. Lastly, eat after your work-outs to help you’re muscles rebuild and replenish the calories that you burned off.
4. Manage your time.
Find the time to work-out, even if it’s for 20:00, squeeze it in. You will feel much better than if you abandon exercising completely. If you do miss a week or two, don’t be afraid to get started again. Don’t dwell on the time you’ve missed, just be grateful that you’re getting back into it.
5. Nothing is more important than your health.
If you are sick nothing else in your life matters. Always put your health first. When you are healthy and feeling good you’re a better parent, sibling, co-worker and friend. When you put you’re work-out aside you’re not helping anyone, especially not yourself. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first when it comes to exercise and meal-planning.
Photo Creadit: www.leisureindustryacademy.com