- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I can't believe that it is back to school time already. This summer went by like a bullet, and homework is now a reality. I know that many of you are not happy that school is back in session, but it is a good time to make a commitment to doing your best.
Your future has much to do with your education if you are at all interested in having a career, or creating a life that has financial security. Without a good education in your resume, you will find it difficult to land the job or experience that you want. It used to be that having a high school diploma was enough to get a job and work your way up the ladder. Now it is necessary to have a bachelors degree to even get close to getting a job worth while.
There are thousands of college graduates that are waiting tables in restaurants, or bagging groceries at a store, who in this difficult economic time were not able to land a job with their degree. Yet it is still imperative to get an education that will open doors for you in your future.
Even if you are not interested in a standard four year college, there are trade schools, art colleges, culinary schools, and other colleges that offer alternative educations from your standard university's and standard college experience. Any college will take a look at how you did in high school, and that will be your criteria on getting into a college or school of your choice.
That is why it is important to take your schooling seriously. Even though your school work may seem like a drag to you, or you may not be interested in the subject, do your best at it so that you will have choices when you graduate.
Take time to study, make sure your homework is done, read your assignments, and focus while you are in class. School is not always fun, but that is not its purpose. It is where you learn, grow, and prepare for your adult life. If you blow it off and do poorly, I promise you, you will regret it later.
There is no time like the present to get committed about your future. I wish I could do a "do over" in my school years. I was busy with boys, party's, and what I was going to be doing after school, instead of focusing on my school work. Even though I got good grades, because school was easy for me, I did not apply myself like I could of. I do regret that. I could have done much more, and it might have changed my life for the better.
So commit yourself to your school work. Get your homework done. Study for your tests, and become a good student. You will always be better off for it. After all, it is about your future, and you want to be the best you can be. Focusing on your education will help you get that!
I will be back on the 7th of September. I am involved with another writing project that will be taking my time this week. See you next Tuesday. Till then, be healthy of body, mind, and spirit!
Friday, August 27, 2010
We are living in a very stressful time. Along with a bad economy, high unemployment, and no sign of anything changing, people's negative energy is hard to get away from. Every where I go, I hear peoples stories of financial ruin, or joblessness. If you watch the news, there is nothing but the negative being reported.
In these kind of times, it is even more important to be getting your exercise and eating healthy. Those are two of the things that you can do for yourself that will help you get through tough times. If you choose to treat yourself badly during already stressful times, you will only magnify your negative experience.
Just going out for a walk will alleviate stress and worry. When we engage in exercise we will release those sedative like endorphins that will help us to feel better and deal with life in a healthier way. Exercise can change your sad, worried, mood, into a more positive one. It will always help you to feel better mentally, and help your body to be healthier.
Eating healthy will also help your body deal with difficult times. Remember "we are what we eat", so healthy food will help us to deal with all that life has in store for us in a better way. Nutrition feeds our body and our mind. A healthy mind will help us to navigate through tough times much better than a mind that is fogged by junk and processed foods.
Of course one of the most important things to practice is our mindfulness. Choosing our thoughts, feelings, and reactions, can make all the difference in the world in how we deal with our circumstance. Choosing to feel optimistic, over being pessimistic, is a choice we always have. When we feel hopeful, positive, and optimistic, we can create that existence. When we feel negative, cynical, and pessimistic, we will create more of that.
So if you are effected by the negative energy that is so prevalent in our world today, try taking care of yourself with exercise, healthy eating, and practicing your mindfulness. No matter what goes on around you, you will feel better and be more able to deal with all of the stress if you practice these things.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
In all of the years that I have been working with individuals with their fitness needs, I have heard it all when it comes to the reasons, or excuses, why someone does not have the time to get their exercise done.
Its not that I don't understand that many people have a full plate, and the stresses and demands on most of us do not leave us with much time at all. I do understand, but I also know that if you do not have your health, you can't attend to all of those things that are on that plate.
I was having a conversation with my daughter just the other day about this subject. My daughter has a very full plate, she has a two hour a day commute to get to her job and back, a house to take care of, two puppies that need to be walked and require quite a bit of attention, and she has a relationship that also requires a lot of attention. This does not leave her much time to attend to herself.
At only 31 years old she is experiencing aches, pains, and some health issues. If she does not take care of her health by getting some exercise, and good nutrition, these issues will only escalate and new ones will appear. If she becomes unhealthy from all that she has to get done, and the stress that she has to deal with, she will not be able to do all of the things that she is responsible for doing.
Exercise and good nutrition will help her feel more energy, allow her to get leaner, sleep better, handle her job and commute better, and have overall better health. If she does not focus on taking care of herself first, everything else will eventually suffer. Without good health, you have nothing, no matter what your lifestyle is.
I know it is difficult, but women especially put their needs on the back burner while they make sure everyone else it taken care of. This is wrong. Take care of your health first and foremost, then you will be able to take care of everything else with more energy and vigor.
When you are not exercising your energy levels drop, your fat percentage goes up, and this can cause a down ward spiral into couch potato land. Then you will have no energy to attempt a work out, but that is the catch. You must begin the process into exercise no matter how tired and wore out you are, so that you can get the energy to keep doing it. Eventually you will get that energy back and feel so much better, you will want to keep doing it.
Even if you only begin with thirty minutes a day, that is a start. It will help you to get into shape and add more to your exercise time when you can. Choose to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and stay away from processed, fast food, and junk food.
So make your health your number one priority if you want the rest of you life to go well. If you put yourself last on the list of things to do....you will lose. Know that you are as important as anyone else, and you need to take care of yourself if you ever want to have that full plate.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
If you have been following my blog, you know that I love to share quotes from others who have left their mark on this world. There is so much to gain from so little said. I love these quotes, hope you do too.
"Its only when we truly know and understand that we have limited time on earth---and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up---that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had." Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
"Life is meaningless only if we allow it to be. Each of us has the power to give life meaning, to make our time and our bodies and our words into instruments of love and hope." Tom Head
"There has been much tragedy in my life; at least half of it actually happened." Mark Twain
"The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination, and the energy to get started." Norman Cousins
"Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meaning can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart." Martin Luther King Jr.
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." John F. Kennedy
"Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give." Eleanor Roosevelt
"The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself." Mark Twain
"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. 1966" Martin Luther King Jr.
"There are only two ways to live life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." Albert Einstein
"Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be." Grandma Moses
"Each person should live their life as a model for others." Rosa Parks
I hope you enjoyed these wonderful, thought provoking, truthful, and wise quotes, from a group of amazing people. We can all learn a great deal from them!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I live in Santa Ynez Valley, which is beautiful and magical most of the year. Our summers tend to get into the temperatures in the 90's and 100's. This year we have had the most delicious summer in that our temperatures have averaged high seventies and eighties.... until yesterday.
As I drove back from Santa Barbara today, my car temperature gauge read 107'. Our heat has arrived! We can't complain since it is already the end of August and we are just now getting the heat, while the rest of the country has been dealing with high temperatures and storms all summer. Now that the heat has come, I wanted to touch on some of the important things to keep you healthy and sunstroke free!
Dehydration is a typical thing that can happen in these kind of temperatures. It is so important to drink a lot of clear water while you are out in it. You should be drinking around 64 ounces a day if you are following the guidelines of the health industry. When you are out in heat, you need to drink at least that, and more if you are out and active. It is recommended that you have an extra 8 oz of clear water for every fifteen minutes you are moving around in the heat.
Another thing that you should be cautious of is not being too active in this kind of heat. It is not the best time to run, bike ride, or engage in any cardiovascular activity, except for swimming, when temperatures are in the high nineties and up into the hundreds. Even when you are young, you can be effected negatively from getting over heated while exercising.
When it gets this hot, I either exercise outdoors early in the morning, or early in the evening, when the temperature is a bit cooler. I have never been able to handle the heat from the time I was very young. I have had heatstroke twice, and I can tell you it is not fun. If you suffer from heatstroke you will feel lethargic, tired, weak, dizzy, pale, head achy, and nauseous. It is important to get water and find a cool place to cool yourself down if you are feeling these symptoms. Severe cases require going to the hospital.
Don't forget to apply your sunscreen when you are out in this intense sun. Many times it is smart to re-apply several times during the day if you are spending some time outside. This kind of heat makes it too hard to lay in the sun, if you are still a sun bather, best to wait until it is cooler, again in the early morning or late afternoon.
So enjoy what is left of the summer, but be wise about the heat. It can be very dangerous to your health if you are not taking the right precautions. I find it more comfortable inside my air conditioned home....can't take the heat!
Monday, August 23, 2010
My dear friend Jacob Glass has been doing spiritual lectures for more than twenty years. He has been the most important positive influence in my life. Without Jacob I would not think, believe, or react the way I do now, which by the way is so much better than how I used to think, believe, and react.
Jacob lectures weekly in a San Diego, and once a month in Santa Barbara. He records his lectures and makes them available to the public. You can view his website at www.JacobGlass.com if you are interested in the work that he does.
As I was driving the other day and listening to one of his CD's, he was talking about Christine Northrop M.D., one of his favorite doctors. She has coined the phrase "negative pleasure". Negative pleasure refers to giving your attention towards things like reality television, shows like the Bachelor or Survivor, or entertainment news shows like TMZ or Access Hollywood, or reading things like People or US magazines.
All of these things are what we might call "negative pleasure". They are not really adding anything positive to our lives, but we enjoy looking into the lives of others, especially if they are doing things that are ugly, crass, juvenile, humiliating, stupid, or degrading. That is why Ms. Northrop has named it a negative pleasure.
We are gaining "pleasure" from a negative situation when we spend our time focusing on those types of media. Kind of strange when you think of it.....why do we get pleasure from watching or reading about peoples stories, particularly if they are negative? Would we be watching shows about people who were having a great time, doing wonderful selfless things for others, being respectful and kind? Somehow I don't think that show would make it, and I think it is because it would make people feel bad watching others that were having a good, positive, helpful, and honorable life.
They would feel bad because many people who watch these shows, struggle and do not have a life that is great. That is why these people like to see the negative stuff, because it helps them to feel better about what is happening in their own lives. When they see other people acting stupid, classless, and rude, then they don't feel so bad about who they are, and how their life is going. And then some viewers may just be at that level, and feel akin to the situation, scary!
It is not going to hurt any of us to partake in a small amount of this negative pleasure, but if it is becoming a huge part of where your attention is going, you might want to re-think what it is you are focusing on.
I know for myself that when I have watched TMZ for instance, I feel crummy afterward. I don't feel good watching people being made fun or or ridiculed. I am the type that likes to watch people doing good things, and showing some class. I love to see people that have made a positive change in the world, whether it is helping children, helping the poor, or working to help the environment. It is difficult for me to find anything on television to watch, because these "negative pleasure" shows have taken over the networks.
So if you indulge in "negative pleasure", make sure that it is moderately, if you are trying to better yourself. Raising yourself up and becoming a healthier person of body, mind, and soul, does not include laughing at, ridiculing, or enjoying the downfall of others. Remember that what we focus on, we create more of. Focus on the positive sides to life, so that you are creating more of that!
Friday, August 20, 2010
Today I had to deal with yet another frustrating situation. It seems like when ever you are in a transaction with a company, odds are you will not get the transaction done right the first time. That is exactly what I had to deal with one more time.
I remember back in the day that if a company made a mistake in a transaction with you, they would do everything possible to rectify it. Now days, they try to remove themselves from any blame and put it back onto to you, especially if any costs are to be involved.
This transaction had to do with my satellite dish for my television. They sent me two new receiver box's because mine were too old. Long story short, they sent the wrong box's, gave the technician the wrong order, and it became a big mess where no one wanted to take the blame.
Now I had many things to do today, but this problem caused me to put everything on hold and try to figure out a solution to their mistake. I felt very frustrated and angry, but I knew that taking that out on the technician or the guy who was on the phone with me for over two hours, was not going to get me anywhere.
I had to keep remembering to be kind to these two guys that were involved with this company and who were the ones that could hopefully find a solution to this problem. Kindness is hard to get to when you are frustrated and angry. However, it is a the way to get results. Being mad and yelling at them would get me nowhere.
So I had to keep calling upon "kindness" instead of what I really felt like like doing which was to scream and yell obscenities at them. I had to keep reminding myself that these people just work for this company that has made the errors, they did not personally make the errors themselves.
This is another part of being mindful. Thinking the situation through before reacting from emotion will more likely get you the results you are looking for. Reacting from negative emotion will more likely get you more frustration and will not make the people you are dealing with want to solve your problem.
When you are kind, others will usually respond in the same way. Kindness will get you so much more than being angry and mean. Kindness softens people, and helps them feel more compassion towards any situation. Kindness can many times defuse a bad interaction.
So the next time you feel frustrated and angry at someone or something, take a breath, calm yourself, and then try a little kindness instead of reacting from negative emotion. It will always give you a better outcome, I promise you that!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I have come to the conclusion that belief is the most powerful thing that creates our life. It is the "belief" of something that makes it come to fruition. Many times we believe things that are not always positive, such as, "I am ugly", "I am stupid", or "I am a loser".
Many times our beliefs are not correct, but the fact that we believe them makes them seem true. If you believe you will fail a test, you most likely will fail. If you believe you won't succeed at something, odds are you won't. On the other hand, if you believe you will pass the test and succeed at whatever it is that you are doing, then that will probably be the outcome.
My brother and I were talking yesterday about how we were raised as children. We did not have positive support from our parents. We were not told uplifting things to help us to feel good about ourselves, instead we were ridiculed and made to feel stupid and worthless.
This became our belief system. Both of us, now in our fifties, still battle the belief that we can succeed at life. Even though we have lived on our own for most of our lives, that belief that we were not good enough, or less than, still lingers in our daily lives years later. A belief that is made when you are young by your parents, is a hard one to get rid of.
I have had many years of therapy and have come a long way from that low self worth belief. I now believe differently, but was witness to how my life created itself from that old belief system. It was never true, but I believed it was, so that is how my life unfolded. My life matched my belief.
So if we believe positive and good things, that is what will happen. The key is that you truly must "believe" it. Saying it, does not mean you really believe it. When you really believe something, there is a feeling that exists that is much different from wanting it, or saying it. It is a knowing, a solid belief that it is so. That is when you can manifest whatever it is that you want in your life, when you actually believe it is so.
Begin to look at your beliefs. Are they holding you back, are they limiting and untrue? If your beliefs are negative, I would analyze them and understand why you think that way. Was it someone else who gave you a belief that was not true?
You can believe in whatever you want, and it is time to believe in your greatness, and true beauty. It is time to believe in your self! Believe in your dreams and you will have them. Believe in yourself, and you will succeed at anything you endeavor to do.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I have a new exercise for my clients, its hula hooping! Hula hoops have been around for a long time. There is evidence of children in Egypt around 1000 BC who played with large hoops of dried grape vines. In 1957 an Australian company began making wooden rings and selling them retail.
In 1958 the company Wham-O manufactured a plastic hoop in a variety of bright colors. This is when the hula hoop had arrived in the United States. Every child owned or wanted to own a hula hoop. I had them, and loved playing with them.
Recently the hula hoop has made a resurgence into the exercise world. I loved the idea of using the hula hoop for my clients, so I got one for my gym and have been having a great time working with it.
Hula hooping will get your heart rate up, increase the blood flow to your brain, increase your energy, will improve your coordination, strengthens your core, will enhance your spinal flexibility, and increase the fitness level of your whole body.
There are new hula hoops that are weighted. That is the kind that I have for my clients. The weighted hula hoops allow you to perform the exercise longer than the traditional light weight ones. Because of the weight, you can hula hoop with less effort for longer periods of time.
If you want to start hula hooping for more variety in your exercise program, hula hoops can be found on-line or in most sporting good stores. They are not expensive, usually costing anywhere from $15.00 to $60.00. The higher the price the more likely a instructional DVD will accompany it.
Hula hooping is just another way to have fun with exercise. I also have small hoops for arms. These are great for toning up those wibble wabbles that hang down from our arms. It is such a great exercise.
So get yourself a hula hoop and enjoy being a kid again while you tone up your body. It is aerobic and strength training all in one. Such a great idea....have fun!