Latest "Health" Posts
Have you been on the roller-coaster ride of health improvement wins and fails;on your journey to wellness success? Do you notice that when what you’re doing works, your excitement, motivation, and results are amazing. And sometimes when it’s not going as well as you’d like, you find yourself screaming (on the inside) as you hit another loop-de-loop, and realize that you’re frightened more than focused; perhaps spiraling into self-sabotage, and may to not be setting yourself up with the best strategy for the wellness success results you really want?
Let’s discuss this in a little more detail, because I believe there are a LOT of different strategies out there that do work to help you reach your health and wellness goals. But there are also a lot of crazy, life-style unfriendly options that will never help you achieve the optimal good health you desire.
Being clear on what you want and making smart choices in how to get to your goals, is the difference between your next failure and achieving wellness success.
I believe there are “3 Secrets to Wellness Success.” When all three of these key action steps are put in place, it becomes much easier to gain momentum and get results. I’m going to use “exercise” as my example to explain this, but please note it can be ANY health-related goal and you can swap the words out and fill in the blanks. Whether it’s exercise, weight-loss, weight gain, improving sleep, lowering your stress level with meditation, controlling blood sugar levels, training for a marathon, competing in a triathlon, improving your golf game, or even a daily-life goal of climbing up the stairs without knee pain, or fear of falling! YOUR health goals are personal… and your ability to achieve wellness success hinges on your clarity of what your goals really are, and why they are important to you. Then we add in the 3 Secrets to Wellness Success, and start moving in the right direction.
3 Secrets to Wellness Success
I came up with the acronym M.O.V.E. when I was doing a radio interview with Chris Robrahn for the “Spirit of Fitness” program. I’ve been a featured guest for several shows over the past 3 seasons. You can listen to past Spirit of Fitness shows here. New programs are aired each Tuesday on the Church Broadcast Entity.
What does M.O.V.E. mean?
Muscles Only Value Exercise. That’s right, the only way to improve strength or flexibility of muscle tissue is to MOVE it! We can talk all we want about improving our health and fitness, but until we take ACTION, and get MOVING, we’re not going to see improvements that lead us to wellness success.
And just so we’re clear, in my opinion, it’s not about ripped abs, bigger biceps, or being able to get your nose to your knees. Maybe when you’re in your teens and 20’s that what you want, but ultimately wellness success is about better health, optimal function, and living in a pain-free body that has the strength and stamina to do what you want, when you want, without question or risk of injury.
- Pain Does NOT Equal Gain
I know phrases like “Suck it up Buttercup,” “Go for the burn,” and “No pain, no gain,” are catch phrases we’ve been told for years. But come on, how about a little common sense… PAIN is the only way that your body can tell you that there is something wrong. Your muscles, bones, and organs, don’t have vocal cords, or lips, they can’t speak to you directly. The only way to protect yourself, from hurting yourself, is to learn to listen, and respect what your body is trying to tell you.
And here’s another thought or two on this topic. If you always over-ride the pain signals your body gives you, and brag about what a high pain tolerance you have, congratulations… your body doesn’t trust you anymore. It knows that when something hurts and it tries to let you know, that you’re going to ignore it (until you can’t…) and at that point it’s a big fat major problem – like surgery, or the end of an athletic career, or the inability to work, or you’re no longer able to participate in activities you used to enjoy because you CAN’T… and things will never be the same again. How’s it going to work out for you to push for pain? Have you already experienced this?
Lastly, in Pilates we work to make the last repetition of every exercise the very best one, to leave our muscles with the memory of how to function correctly for whatever the task or movement pattern might be. IF you’re going for the burn and then keep pushing, there’s a 100% chance that the correct muscles are too fatigued to function and some other muscle group that shouldn’t be involved has taken over. You’re now training your brain and body to use the wrong muscles to do the work. Since it’s the last thing it did, your brain will remember how do to it wrong instead of right. What do you suppose this does to your potential risk of injury? Yep, you’ve just increased exponentially, the risk that sooner or later you’re going to get hurt!
Learn to work and play in a Pain-free zone! Sure it’s okay to feel some fatigue and to push your limits and strive to lift more weight; walk or run longer distances, or faster; try new exercises and activities. Just be sure that you’re tuning-in to what your body is telling you and learn the difference between pain and work, to stay healthy while you continue moving forward towards your wellness success goals.
- The RIGHT Exercises will Give You the Right Results
Let me reinforce this third secret to wellness success… The RIGHT exercises will give you the right results. Now there is one additional caveat here. The right exercises have to be done correctly! And sometimes that’s no small task. If you want to improve at a sport, you’re going to have to participate in that sport. But chances are, there are other cross-training exercises that could be added to your weekly workout program to help you improve your skill level and get results faster. You might be advised to seek the help of an expert to guide you in selecting the right exercises and understanding what you need to focus on to do them well.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had new clients come into the studio after being released from PT. I always ask them to bring in the exercise sheets from Physical Therapy so I can see what they’ve been doing and what has been recommended for their recovery. Usually patients get released from PT when their insurance money runs out or they stop making progress (and they’re told, “This is as good as it’s going to get!”). Most of the time, the exercises are good but the client’s execution isn’t helping them maximize the benefits. By adding a little more thought from a Pilates perspective to posture, breathing, body alignment, form, function, and muscle firing patterns, new levels of progress continue to unfold. I believe that “as good as it’s going to get” can be a never-ending continuous progression to excel and improve if you’re willing to do the work and have the right exercises in your training plan. If you’re comfortable where you’re at, you can continue doing what you’re doing to maintain your health.
If you are not getting the results you want, the exercises / action you’re taking is not congruent with the goals you have for wellness success. Take a closer look at your goals. Seek help and get a fresh perspective from an expert that can best guide you to shift your thinking to better align your actions and exercises with your goals to achieve wellness success.
We’re focusing here on Wellness Success, but these three secrets to success can be applied to anything and everything you want to accomplish in life. Whether it’s a healthy body, healthy relationships, or a healthy business. Take action and M.O.V.E in the right direction. Keep in mind that pain does not have to be a part of the equation – learn to listen to and respect your body. Use your intuition to help guide you to make great decisions that are congruent with your goals. Seek help when needed from an expert in whatever field is appropriate to assist you (Physician, Chiropractor, Massage Therapist, Kinesiologist, Pilates Teacher, Physical Therapist, Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Sports Coach…). Remember, the right exercises and actions done correctly to the best of your abilities will always help you maximize results for wellness success.
Go forth and conquer your goals; keep these 3 Secrets to Wellness Success in mind, and apply them!
The best way to be successful with a healthy lifestyle is to have a plan. It can be as loose or structured as it suits your personality, but no plan usually leads nowhere. If you haven’t been successful in the past, now is the time to focus on your healthy lifestyle goals. Use these ten tips to designing your healthy lifestyle to help you get started formulating, re-formulating, and fine-tuning your plan for wellness success.
1. Define Your Wellness Goals
What do you want to accomplish to live a healthy lifestyle?
2. Answer these 4 Questions about Your Wellness Goals
- How will you know you’ve achieved your goals?
- What will your healthy lifestyle look like?
- How will you feel?
- What will you be able to do that you can’t do now?
3. Make a list of fitness, sport, and recreational activities that you enjoy
Put as many different activities on this list as you can think of.
4. What will your Fitness Workouts Look Like?
- How many days a week are you committing to exercise?
- How long will your workout sessions be?
- What is the optimal time of day for you to exercise?
5. Develop Your Healthy Lifestyle Professional Support System
Make a list of professionals that you can call on to assist or help guide/mentor you along your journey (Doctor, Physical Therapist, Pilates Teacher, Personal Trainer, Dietitian/Nutritionist, Health Coach, Chiropractor, Massage Therapist, Acupuncturist, Rossiter® Coach, and others…)
6. Create Your Healthy Lifestyle Personal Support Team
Determine which of your friends and family members can be in your inner-circle for support, and perhaps as a workout-buddy to help keep you motivated to move. Tell them what you’re doing and ask for their positive encouragement to help keep you on track.
7. Clean out the Fridge, Freezer, and the Pantry
Donate any food you know is good but you’re not going to eat with your new healthy lifestyle, to your local Food Bank or a Shelter.
8. Make a List of Stress-Relieving Activities that You Enjoy
These can be anything from knitting, reading a book, soaking in the tub, getting a massage, meditation, painting or drawing, singing, video games, to watching a movie… what’s on your list? Strive to do one daily or at least pick one from your list and do it a few times a week!
9. Get Plenty of Rest
Ideally, how many hours of sleep do you need at night to wake up refreshed and re-energized? Plan your bedtime so you can wake up each morning feeling good while also allowing your body the rest it needs needs to feel refreshed and re-energized.
10. Invest in your Healthy Lifestyle
Be sure you have what you need to get started without any more excuses. Healthy food in the kitchen, a good supportive pair of tennis shoes, comfortable workout wear, bike tuned-up ready to roll, other sports gear easily accessible, any fitness tools you need for at-home workouts, a health club membership… Make it easy to get started TODAY!
YOU are worth the investment in time and energy it will take to design your healthy lifestyle! While it might seem a little overwhelming to get started, if you’ve given these ten tips serious consideration and are designing your healthy lifestyle with each of them in mind, you will find it’s easy to stay on track to reach your wellness goals. Why wait another minute? Get started now creating the healthy life of your dreams.
If you are ready to get started designing your healthy lifestyle plan and want to include Pilates and functional fitness training, contact me today to schedule an initial consultation. Let’s work together to keep you strong, fit, flexible, and injury-free.
Bladder Control and Exercise: Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is Not OK! (For Women, or Men)
Do you have a bladder control problem? If you pee when you workout… Don’t just go and buy adult diapers, you need to read this!
An article about women, exercise, and urinary leakage just popped up on my Facebook page. And as a woman, an athlete most of my life, and a mind-body mentor who is in the business of helping BOTH men and women improve functional fitness, and improve healthy movement habits, I felt compelled to comment on this.
Here’s the thing… If you pee during your workouts, you’re not using the muscles of your pelvic floor correctly. And these muscles don’t just affect bladder control during exercise. The pelvic floor is the basement of the spine. It’s the anchor point for you to be able to lift the rest of your torso UP off your hips. In a nutshell, if your pelvic floor isn’t working correctly, you will NEVER have good postural support. This can create, not only urinary incontinence issues, but can also be a huge contributing factor to chronic hip pain, lower back pain, upper back and shoulder pain, and even neck pain.
Correct pelvic floor support is also a stabilizing force in the center for the pelvis, to get both the legs and lumbo-pelvic complex working correctly for gait. (Which means, having a healthy stride to walk and run, hinges on good pelvic floor, and core support!) Your pelvic floor (along with some deep low ab support) is a part of what helps lift your pelvis UP off your legs so you can get the ball of the leg bone to swing freely in the hip socket. And then there’s all sorts of other movement, in multiple-directions, that needs to happen with the hip bones for a truly healthy stride.
This means that learning and doing the RIGHT exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, (on a regular basis) YOU can potentially CORRECT the leakage problem. How’s that sound? Bladder control based on YOUR muscles doing the job they were designed to do.
Would you rather invest in adult diapers for the rest of your natural life, or discover how you, can strengthen your own muscles to stay healthy? (Let’s keep you out of diapers for as long as possible. Doesn’t that sound like a good choice?)
Because there is a ton of bad information out there, and sadly, many fitness professionals are still telling telling people to do Kegel exercises to improve bladder control…
As a public service announcement Please Note:
A KEGEL is NOT going to help you improve what needs to be working correctly at the bottom of your crotch to support bladder control, posture, alignment, and functional firing patterns for movement and exercise. Practicing Kegels might help improve your sex life, but otherwise, ladies, there is no good reason to practice sucking your vaginal muscles up inside your center, or for you men, pretending you just jumped into a cold swimming pool and your testicles are trying to hide up inside. (Men, if you’re reading this, the reality of the situation is urinary incontinence and poor pelvic floor use is every bit an issue for you too.)
And AUUUUGH even worse, NEVER stop peeing in the middle of your stream, to practice strengthening your pelvic floor. Best way to end up with a bladder infection! Pee full stream from start to finish into the toilet people. Practice pelvic floor strengthening exercises any other time of the day.
When you know and understand what you’re doing for proper pelvic floor contractions, this muscle support should be used throughout your day, and on every single fitness exercise you do! It will be easy to accomplish sometimes, and very difficult on other exercises. But not learning how to use your pelvic floor muscles correctly is a crime, because it’s not that difficult to learn, and practice will help these muscles get stronger to better support bladder control, posture, and gait.
Remember, the right balance of strength and flexibility with every muscle group = good health and a body that functions normally, in all situations.
Recently, I started seeing a Physical Therapist for my own personal pelvic issues. And while my post-menopausal pelvic floor issues were not related to bladder control and SUI, I can say with confidence that in my opinion, every women over 40, (or if you’ve had children, perhaps after each pregnancy,) would be well-served to see a PT that specializes in this area. Issues down in our “nether region” are not something that we spend a lot of time talking about with friends, family, or our physician. And whether its pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, or something else… these issues are NOT “normal.” You shouldn’t have to just grin and bear it, believing that you’re just getting older and there is nothing you can do to fix it. I complained for almost 10 years to my OB/GYN before he finally suggested I try Physical Therapy! TEN YEARS!!! Nobody in their right mind should wait that long to address a chronic problem. Speak up, and be the squeaky wheel until somebody takes you seriously enough, you’ve tried multiple solutions, and you’ve gotten the positive results you’re after. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! (Please don’t lose hope, or stop trying to improve your health, until after you’ve taken your last dying breath!)
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles! For each and every part of our body we are challenged with dominant and weaker muscle groups, and when things are out of balance – injuries result. With every muscle we’re faced with a “use it or lose it” dilemma. So if you don’t even know it exists, much less how to use it properly, doesn’t it make sense that it’s going to get weaker?
The first real sign you’re going to notice for a weak pelvic floor just might be when you start leaking! Before then, why even bother with it. Well if you don’t have bladder control problems yet, how about being PRO-ACTIVE to find and keep the right muscles working in the basement to support your body and your bladder. Reduce your risk for hip and back injuries, SI joint issues, and urinary incontinence by strengthening your weak or imbalanced pelvic floor muscles. It’s never too late to learn a new trick! You just need somebody to teach you the secret of strengthening your Pelvic Floor for better bladder control.
Discover the Secret to Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor… Check out my eCourse: How to Effectively Engage the Pelvic Floor to Help Strengthen the Core
How to Effectively Engage the Pelvic Floor to Help Strengthen the Core
And here’s a link to the article by Katherine Martinko that inspired this post:
Women, you’re not supposed to leak while exercising! Ignore what CrossFit says
Choose to MOVE your muscles to stay strong, healthy, & fit!
As we head into a NEW Year, I’d like to share with you a few thoughts about choosing to MOVE, and what movement means for your whole-body health. Kicking off a new year, gives us a clean slate, a fresh start, it’s a moment in time when many people get re-energized and re-commit to doing a better job in the coming year of taking care of themselves.. This is a wonderful thing to do. But it’s not just saying it that matters! It’s putting your thoughts into ACTION and following through. Every day we make choices with what we think, what we say, and what we do. The question becomes, are these three things congruent to move you forward, or causing you to self-sabotage your success?
My wish for you in the coming year, or whenever it is that you stumble across this blog post, is that starting TODAY, you will make a promise to yourself to stay committed, to keeping YOU Healthy!
You can do it! Just keep taking one small step at a time to move you forward. Every choice you make is a decision that will be moving you closer to your goals or farther away. So take a moment and pause before you eat that next cookie, or skip a workout, and ask yourself, “Is this decision serving my highest good, and my desire to achieve my goals?” If the answer is “YES,” then proceed. But if it’s “NO,” then perhaps you might want to reconsider the choice you are about to make…
Here’s what the word MOVE means to me:
Muscles Only Value Exercise
Yep, it’s hard to deny this! The road to a strong, fit, and flexible body is MOVEMENT! Without it we become incapable of taking care of ourselves, and our physical health on every level becomes compromised.
Movement and exercise not only develops a stronger body, but it improves the health of your heart and lungs, helps to regulate your blood sugars, aids digestion, improves your posture, reduces stress, helps you sleep better, aids concentration, alleviates depression, and so much more…
Having a healthy body with balanced muscle development, will reduce your risk of injury, alleviate aches and pains, and allow you to do what you want, when you want for a healthy and active lifestyle. If something hurts or you’re injured and you stop moving because of it, that may be the best choice for a bit, but eventually, you’re going to have to get back after it. (and probably work a little harder to re-balance your muscles to ensure a complete recovery.) Everybody has dominant and weaker muscles, the problem is we tend to always play to our strengths. Keep in mind that if you focus on moving some muscles, but don’t adequately work your entire body! Sooner or later, you can expect to be sitting on the sidelines, or running to the doctor scrambling to get your good health back.
FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT MATTERS!
- Learn how to find and fire the right muscles in sequence to ensure that you are really maximizing your MOVEment training time. This is a great investment in your whole-body health. Seek the help of a Movement Mentor to help you become more aware of your good and bad habits so you can make every minute of every workout really count. Find a great Pilates teacher, personal trainer, or functional movement specialist to coach and train you.
- Learn to listen to what your body needs, and then take action. This can be the best give you give to yourself. Do this for you not just every-once-in-a-while, but every day, because you’re WORTH it, and it’s the best way to ensure you keep moving forward for improved whole-body health!
- Discover how powerful it is to LIVE in a Healthy Body that can MOVE with grace and ease!
As you formulate your wellness plan, and set new goals for the New Year, remember that Muscles Only Value Exercise. To enjoy optimal whole-body health, and maintain a healthy and active life, you’re going to have to CHOOSE to make exercise, (with a focus on developing healthy movement habits,) a regular part of each and every day! Make a commitment to yourself to keep MOVING for a lifetime of good health.
Get your New Year’s health improvement commitment started with Pulse-Power! the Daily Dozen 10-Minute Workout Plan. Download a copy today, and choose to MOVE.
Discover top secrets to health & fitness and become strong & beautiful from the inside out & have the body you have always wanted by 21 experts in fitness, nutrition and motivation, including wellness success strategies from ME, Aliesa George and Centerworks®!
This Getting Fit Simply health summit, launching August 11th, 2014 is going to be inspiring and Super Informative! It will give you access to top secrets, tips, and success strategies for fitness, exercise, nutrition, and more. Dispel some old fitness myths and increase your motivation to help jump start and stick with your Healthy, Fit, and Energetic Lifestyle.
The summit has been put together by my friend Isabella Palmgren, who is a fellow Pilates instructor and personal trainer. She has gathered 21 international exerts in the field of Fitness, Yoga, Pilates, nutrition, wellness, hypnosis, motivation, and more to discuss and share tips on the topic of Getting Fit Simply!
During this online summit, you will get the chance to listen to top experts share their Wellness tips and secrets, with each expert’s unique understanding of how to become Fit, Healthy and Happy, PLUS as an added bonus, you will get loads of FREE gifts from the experts.
Get ready to glean some great health tips and training tidbits for inspiration and motivation. This is your invitation to join me and all the other experts as we reveal our TOP SECRETS you need to know to enjoy Wellness Success!
Click www.gettingfitsimply.com NOW to register for the FREE Getting Fit Simply summit.
I hope to see you at the Summit!
Are you still out shopping and looking for great fitness gift ideas for the health enthusiasts in your life?
What could be better than wellness solutions for better mind-body health from your head to your toes.
These are perfect fitness gifts for Pilates students, Runners, Walkers, Athletes, Dancers, and regular everyday folks who are inspired to improve their health and fitness at home, at the gym, or on the road. Check out these easy to use, products, books, and resources from the whole-body health experts at Centerworks® and give the gift of good health for the Holidays!
Continue Reading ‘Merry Fitness! 10 Great Fitness Gift Ideas from Centerworks®
Impact. To build strong bones our body needs impact! And sadly, the older most of us get, the less impact (or stress) we place on our bones, bodies, and joints. It seems like one day, (perhaps in your mid 30’s, or early 40’s) all of a sudden high impact aerobics class, or jogging doesn’t seem like such a smart idea, and we stop ALL impact activities in an effort to avoid injury and “protect” our health.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, worldwide, one in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures. And can you believe that in women over 45 years of age, osteoporosis accounts for more days spent in a hospital than many other diseases, including diabetes, myocardial infarction and breast cancer!
I’m not saying it’s a smart idea to push through the pain and bash your aching knees, hips, and back into submission to build better bones. But if you’ve stopped exercising or doing any impact activities as you get older, you’re increasing your risk for fractures and broken bones.
Continue Reading ‘Exercise Tips for Building Strong Bones
Do you worry about bone health for your children? If you haven’t ever given it a thought – you should.
There are lots of good health reasons to keep your kids active, and in our current fast-food, computer driven, sedentary society it is becoming harder and harder to get kids to move.
Participating in the right types of exercises and sports are critical for better bone health.
Not only is exercise necessary for healthy brain development and a strong body, but the foundation we build as children directly affects how healthy we will be later in life.
Continue Reading ‘Keep Your Kids Active For Better Bone Health
Well after months of dragging my butt around and feeling like crap, weight gain, extremely low blood pressure, a serious bout of depression, lack of enthusiasm for life and only doing low intensity exercise – because anything vigorous really hasn’t been an option… I’ve finally have found a health-care provider with enough brain-cells to start seriously looking for the root of the problem. It’s almost a relief to know that my mood swings, and symptoms are not just “all in my head,” but there is an actual medical reason why I feel so out of balance – Hypothyroidism.
Continue Reading ‘Health and Hypothyroidism
A Year-End REVIEW of My Achievements
(and Mental Sanity)
Learning to live a happy life with depression can be a really big challenge. As I reflect on my own personal Woo-Hoos and Boo-Hoos for 2012, I’ve got a lot to celebrate!
Continue Reading ‘Living a Happy Life with Depression