Wellness

Wellness

Fall Fitness


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This month offers opportunities for being active in the outdoors without it being too hot or too cold.  It is a fantastic time of year for  enjoying the scenery while walking, hiking or biking along the trails at the parks or conservation areas or just through your neighborhood.  Purposeful exercise can be incorporated into some of the seasonal activities this time of year, either for cardiovascular , strength or both.   You can get your heart rate up with yard work, lawn care, raking, gardening or cleaning house in preparation for holiday guests!

Locally there are still ample opportunities for healthy, fresh produce.  Apples, pumpkins and various types of squash for example can be incorporated into meal planning.  During the next few months the diet typically tends to shift toward richer, denser foods, and less of the lighter, cooler water dense foods, as the availability changes.  The typical “Holiday Indulger” will gain weight during this time.  If you are trying to lose or maintain  weight then  – beware!  Perhaps after the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, you can start a family Turkey Trot, Holiday Hike or whatever you come up with.  the anticipation of moving after your meal may help from having the extras!

Fitness, Wellness

Basic Fitness Components


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MNCCFITNESS COMPONENTS

According to Wikipedia, “Physical fitness is a state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities. Physical fitness is generally achieved through proper nutrition,[1] moderate-vigorous physical exercise,[2] and sufficient rest.[3]”

Although the formal definition of fitness has remained constant, ones perception is variable.   Prior to the industrial revolution  a person was fit if they were able to carry out the day’s activities, and be able to do the same the following day.  With the development of machines, automation and less physical work necessary over the years – and thus more sitting, the definition is more specific.  Physical fitness now encompasses the elective performance and resistance of the body as well.

Body Composition  –BMI stands for “Body Mass Index,” a ratio between weight and height. It is useful as a general guideline. It is a mathematical formula that correlates with body fat.

Cardiovascular Component  – This is the body’s ability to take in oxygen and deliver it to the cells in order to create energy for activity. Any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature.” It is a type of exercise that overloads the heart and lungs and causes them to work harder than at rest.

Muscular Ability –Muscular endurance is the ability to apply force from a muscle over a period of time, or the ability to repeat muscle contractions.  Muscular strength is the ability to generate force.

Balance – Balance is the ability to maintain a specific body position in either a stationary or dynamic(moving) activity.

Flexibility – This is the range of motion that each joint in the body is capable of performing.  Flexibility exercises help stretch muscles, protect against injuries and allow the maximum range of motion for joints.

Other components of fitness include:  Coordination, Agility,  Reaction Time,  Speed, Power, Mental Capability

A complete fitness program is individualized, to the persons current fitness level, daily physical activity, skills, age related needs, and  health factors as a base.   A holistic approach to fitness also includes the mental, social and emotional aspect of physical activity.

Wellness

Rest & Recovery


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women s blue v neck shirt on beige shorts
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There is often so much emphasis on the active part of training that sometimes the rest and the recovery is cast aside.  In order to achieve one’s potential during the active phase of training, one must be attentive to the physical and mental needs for the rest and recovery stage.  Physical and mental performance can be enhanced with planned recovery time and self-care.  We often schedule our workouts into out weekly plan, but neglect to plan for the recovery which is part of  your fitness program.   Sleep is the main recovery strategy and is essential for both the physiological adaptation as well as to the consolidation of skill development.  It is important to training recovery because we release human growth hormone during Stage 3 and 4 that repairs the muscle that has been purposely damaged during training.   Increased duration or quality of sleep can result in overall athletic performance for non-athletes and athletes.   Often nutritional changes and a regular routine can provide highly beneficial results to getting a better sleep.

An increasingly common recovery technique is foam rolling – Studies show that proper foam rolling techniques can lessen decrements in muscle performance caused by DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).  Acutely foam rolling can increase flexibility and reduce muscle soreness and does not hinder performance.  It can work by improving overall circulation.  (arterial function, vascular endothelial function), and improves parasympathetic activity.   For most individuals foam rolling can have a positive effect to reduce muscle soreness, increase flexibility and range of motion before, during or after a workout.  Facilitated stretching, assisted stretches, yoga and massage techniques are other ways to allow muscles to release tension and allow more overall mobility, flexibility, increased blood flow.  These techniques also encourage mental relaxation, which is a component of the recovery process.

The body adapts best when it is given the best opportunity to do so

Wellness

Motivating Yourself


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At some point of time everyone will struggle with a lessening degree of motivation than what they would consider to be their ideal.

Motivation is defined as the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors.  Motivation involves the biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate behavior.  I usually hear the term referred to as in lack of motivation – not wanting to take action.

Motives are the ‘whys’ of behavior—the needs or wants that drive behavior and explain what we do. We don’t actually observe a motive; rather, we infer that one exists based on the behavior we observe.”
(Nevid, 2013)

The reality is that there are many different forces that guide and direct our motivations.

At a workshop I attended with other personal trainers, the instructor asked what we would do when we are not feeling motivated.    The answers that the participant gave were: listening to music, circuit training, work out with a partner, work out outdoors, permit yourself to exercise for less time – taking the pressure off, struggle through it, reward yourself after,  and surround yourself with social cues.   When a regular exercise finds that they are not feeling motivated, I would encourage them to ask themselves why as well.

Is it the time that they are going to spend on the workout?

Do they feel guilty for being away from family, or other obligations?

Is it the fear of failure – or they don’t feel like they are up expectations particularly in a class setting?

Are they feeling tired? Sore?  Afraid of an injury?

The number one predictor of physical activity adherence is fun. 

If any of these factors are getting in the way then it can be difficult to allow oneself to actually enjoy the workout.    Working out with a personal trainer in a safe comfortable environment can not only be a more effective workout but can help one to feel more successful and thus more likely to feel motivated to continue.

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-motivation-2795378

Wellness

Eat your Way to Better Digestion


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When it comes to digestion, there are so many factors at play. Good digestion is not just about the kind of foods you eat, but when and how you eat, too. These tips and tricks can help you on the path to better digestion and help reduce that post-meal bloating.

Chew, Chew, Chew!

It seems simple, but most people do not chew nearly enough before swallowing. Getting your food into smaller particles before it hits your stomach is essential, but often overlooked. Breaking down your food is the first phase of digestion, if you skip this step it means your stomach needs to work twice as hard. When your food hits your stomach, the presence of saliva also triggers the stomach to produce acid and its own digestive enzymes. The more you chew, the more saliva will be present – therefore reducing gas and bloating.

Change your Eating Habits

Do you have the tendency to eat food at your desk or on the run? This can have a big impact on your digestion. Your brain and digestive system are interconnected, so feeling stressed over a deadline or eating your breakfast in morning traffic is going to add to any digestive upsets. Eating in a relaxed environment, free from distraction, will allow you to be more present with the process. This will help you eat more slowly and mindfully. It also means your body will have a chance to prepare for the food that’s on its way.

Consume Natural Foods

Use a whole food diet over one made up of processed foods. Whole foods contain a higher percentage of fiber, which helps your food digest properly. Plus, eating nutrient dense and nourishing foods will give your digestive tract the support it needs. Process foods may contain toxins that can increase the risk of constipation and/or diarrhea, as well as other unfavorable digestive symptoms. Also consider holistic approach to nutrition which has proven to help with digestion.

Staying Hydrated

Water plays a major role in digesting solid food, as well as nutrient absorption. Dehydration can lead to backing up in your gut causing bloating. It is  really important to consider your timing when drinking water. Try to avoid liquids half an hour before and after meals. You don’t want to dilute stomach acids that work to break down food, otherwise your digestion will suffer.