Thursday, September 22, 2011
In my experience, it is helpful to chunk things down that are easier to digest mentally and thereby incorporate into our weekly practice. Early on in my training as a Personal Fitness Trainer, I was introduced to five components of physical fitness and they have proven to be invaluable. As I present this material it will allow you to see where and how you can immediately intersperse it into your present fitness program or create a new one. So, let us begin.
The components for physical fitness are; muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and coordination. Most people utilize a number of these aspects however, when care is taken to meld them all, tremendous improvements are realized. Let us first differentiate between strength and endurance. Strength training is when we use 75-90% of our maximum capacity for each exercise performed. Obviously, this program would cause fatigue to be reached after a very low number of repetitions, hence, heavy weights, low reps (usually between 4 and 8 reps/set) and fewer sets (2-4sets). T his is strength training and it conditions the body to comfortably lift extremely heavy objects for a relatively short period of time. For example, picking up an 80 pound bag of mulch and carrying it to an area in your yard. Endurance training is all about conditioning the body to comfortably preforming something fairly moderate for an extended period of time. For instance, hiking a moderate trail for 3-6 hours requires endurance. In this type of training we utilize lower weight (40-70% of your maximum capacity) and high repetitions (15-30 reps/set) and more sets (3-10 sets). Can you combine strength and endurance workouts within the same day? Of course, or not, your choice but doing both types of training is highly recommended plus, it will provide you and your body a great deal of variety and that is always optimal. Cardiovascular fitness training, better known as “Aerobics” is any activity that drives your heart rate (HR) into its training zone (TZ). The formula for determining an individuals’ TZ is: 220 - your age – your resting heart rate (RHR: a pulse taken after being at rest for 30 minute or more) x .60 + your RHR, repeat this formula with the exception of multiplying by .85 instead of .60 and will have calculated your T.Z range of 60-85 % of maximum. To train the cardiovascular system basically keep your HR in its TZ for 15-60 minutes and do so 3-5 days/week. This is the most popular training due to its fat burning effect however, just because strength training burns glycogen as fuel (using your anaerobic system) does not make it less important than endurance training. Obviously, the more muscular strength as well as endurance one has, the more proficient one becomes at cardiovascular sessions but I digress. The heart and lungs is the primary benefactor in cardiovascular workouts; for this reason this component is a must to include in a well-rounded fitness program. Finally, flexibility and coordination; these are the unwanted step children of fitness. It is a rare individual that spends sufficient time lengthening their muscles post workout, the optimal time to do so. Research has proven that proper flexibility training enhances athletic performances by 25-35%. It makes sense that when the body is lithe and limber, as well as a strong and endurant, it can move supremely. Holding a stretch for in minimum of 20 seconds, longer is better (30-60 sec. is best), is imperative. Muscles are equipped with a mechanism that prevents lengthening until it is sure the muscle is safe from tearing. The main objective to stretching that I experience is, “It takes too much time and is boring.” I say, “Relax into it and think of it as an ideal time to tune inward, breath and enjoy some much needed de-stress time.” Coordination comes primarily through consciously challenging the body with exercises and combinations of exercises that are new and unusual. In this way you place demands on the neuro-muscular system stretching it to function in ways that are unfamiliar. Again, most avoid changing their workouts due feeling comfortable in the routine however, change is VERY good and benefits the body and mind on multiple levels.
Consider what you have been doing for your training sessions; add a shift in some way to incorporate one of these components every time you train. Decide to shake it up and to try new things often. Experiment with strength workouts one week and endurance the next. Gradually add combinations that tax your coordination and please, please add 5 minutes of mindful stretching to your post workout repertoire. In a very short time, you WILL see benefits that will surprise and delight you. The next article to follow will address the aspects of our minds and the mental patterns that limit our progress to success. So for now, choose happy mind, body and spirit fitness often.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Now, to prepare yourself to be shown possibilities that, at first glance, your ego will say, “Oh no, that is definitely not for or about me” takes a bit of fore site. The ego, though our alley especially when we were young, is terrified of change or anything that resembles change. Why? It fears a new perspective will cause a reduction in its power or worse, it fears being dethroned. Honestly, in my humble opinion, we have given it way, way too much power over the years and it is now high time that it become ‘right’ sized. The ego has most of us imprisoned and honey; it’s time to make a break! Each time resistance comes up in the form of blatant objections, be willing to stop and at least consider the possibility. Tune into your heart and ask yourself, “Does this feel like the truth for me?” Remind yourself that it is likely that the ego is at work doing its best to distract and discourage you. As you take the time to do this over and over again with each roadblock that arises, you will discover that there are in fact alternative ways of thinking and feeling that actually resonate with your core, your heart, the essence of who you really are. Those will slowly take the place of old worn out beliefs most of us inherited from our parents. Those limiting beliefs imbedded in our subconscious are the exact culprits we are attempting to uncover and replace.
Does this take time? Sure. Does this mean releasing patterns that feel familiar and often comfortable? Yes. Does this work mean that I will release victim consciousness? Absolutely and as you do you regain your innate, natural born power. You will once again be the responsible, awake, heart based individual you truly came forth to be. Glory day! Empowerment is delicious beyond description and yet it has a price. If you do the work, I can promise you that joy and clarity of being your authentic self will be absolutely worth it!
Happy mind, body and spirit fitness to all.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
We humans, as a species have reached a pivotal point in our evolution and growth, the time has now come to step up to the plate and decide. There is nothing to be gained from cowtowinng, people pleasing and living in fear of disapproval. We are being called to remember that we are powerful creators who, if conscious, if self- loving have unlimited resources available to us to give and give. We are supported in our efforts to be authentic and to be of genuine service, first to ourselves and then to all other brothers and sisters, in our immediate circles and beyond. I find when I regress and forget this I am instantly made aware of my poor decision by experiencing an emotion hit of some kind and if ignore that, it is soon followed by a physical hit. The Universe is no longer playing, I believe it has grown tired of our petty adolescent games and is inspiring us to mature. With maturity comes an increased level of responsibility and wisdom. Let us all begin today to willingly take on the responsibility for our own well- being and trust that by honoring our needs and heart felt desires first, we automatically have more to share, more to give and become a beacon for others to follow their hearts as well. There really is no time to waste, nor is there time to continue making the same mistakes over and over again. Take some time to evaluate your own life and begin to make decisions based on what your heart guides you to do, that is best for you and I promise you as you do this gradually in all areas of your life, you will find your personal health and well-being improving in leaps and bounds. This is both urgent and necessary for all of the people on our planet to begin doing. I trust that our Creator knows what is best for all of us and is doing its best to urge us forward…before it is too late.
Greed, selfishness and envy have ruled our planet long enough. It has been the demise of many and as contradictory as it may sound, our only hope is to administer self-love, self- respect and self-integrity for ourselves and then for all others. As respect grows from within each of us, it will spread to our family members, our communities, our states, our country and eventually our entire world. Love is always the answer and it must begin within the hearts and minds of us individually and radiate outwardly. Time is of the essence so please begin today to honor you by choosing from a place of integrity, love and truth. Everyone benefits as we all begin living from this honorable and loving space. May you feel and see positive evidence of your progress swiftly. Blessings to all and much happiness in your mind, body and spirit.