I’ve had it!


I’ve sat quietly by and politely smiled when I’ve heard people speaking about the huge success of using this potion ‘X’ or make claims about this pill ‘Y’ or tonic ‘Z’. Commercials, magazine ads, and advertorials (when a company writes an article that appears to be informational or educational in content, when in fact it is an advertisement for their product) are making all sorts of claims about what we all NEED in order to be healthy.



I was watching TV the other day and noticed several ads came on about a product that was touting the health benefits of a certain drink. I remember yet another one that talked about the lack of nutrients in our soil, so people should start taking these pills to assure their health. Then of course there was the exercise DVD's that tell you how amazing your results will be by doing their 'special' program.



Needless to say I am all for health, fitness, and wellness. But is it just me, or has the marketing and snake oil selling gotten way out of hand?



I don’t deny that the quality of the soil is depleted, and that we probably all take in more toxins than is healthy for us. What gets under my skin is the shear outrageousness of the claims and the backwards thinking that is used to sell the products.



If you have the discipline to take product ‘X’ 4 times per day with meals and every other weekend, couldn’t you use that same discipline to prepare your “real food” meals prior to each day and receive even more benefits from consuming actual food instead of a pill or drink?



The same idea applies to your health. There is no magic exercise program out there, only the one that you commit to doing on a consistent basis.  If you’re consistent and improve the way you eat, you will get results. Now for some people that may be hiring a Fitness Coach, or purchasing a set of exercise DVD’s, but you have to utilize the information and motivation if you want to see a result from your investment.  Just showing up and going through the motions won't give you the results you want.



I don’t know about you, but it sounds like some old fashioned reality is what is needed to me.


1.)    Your body was built to move. Because we spend so much time inactive,  exercise is a way to give your body what IT NEEDS – challenging physical movement that gets the blood pumping and produces and some perspiration. Remember Not All Movement is Good Movement. First get proper instruction.

2.)    Watch what you put in your body. Garbage in, Garbage out. Take the time to prepare your meals ahead of time so you don't make poor food choices because your starving. NO amount of special antioxidant drinks or pills will cure inactivity and poor food choices!!

3.)    Make time for consistent fitness in your life, if not daily then 3x/week minimum. Many of us are stressed out beyond belief. How well you take care of your physical body, or fail to, will dictate how long and how well you live and enjoy your life.  Energy drinks won't fix the problem.


4.)   Make a Plan. If you really want to see a change in anything in your life, make a plan with 3-4 realistic short term goals and 1 long term goal, and get to work.


It is my intention to use these blog posts to assist you in achieving your health, fitness and wellness goals, by providing reliable, practical information that when you use it consistently, you will get the results you need.



Make a commitment to yourself Today to Get Out Of Pain, and Get In Your Best Shape.



Here’s a FREE BONUS to get you started.

WELLNESSTOFITNESSIN4EASYSTEPS.doc

You know that old saying “sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees”?  This morning I was reminded of just “how deep in the trees” I am. 

 

One of the guys I see at the gym quite often approached me this morning and asked me about some nagging knee pain he’s been experiencing.  He said it’s been going on for 4 weeks now and getting progressively worse. I asked him the usual questions and he told me that there hadn't been any impact to the knee itself, he hasn’t felt any decrease in stability, mostly that it’s just been a growing problem over the past several weeks.  It’s gotten to the point now where he is unable to enjoy his usual cycling and running.  In addition, after sitting for long periods of time, standing up is quite painful, though the pain decreases after moving around for a bit.

 

I asked, “Do you do any self-myofascial release”?  He said, “What’s that”?  I said, “Let me show you."  I then proceeded to demonstrate how to do it using my Energy F/X Tube so that he would feel a decrease in the knee pain he was having.

 

While I was demonstrating the techniques it hit me...

 

I take for granted that many people don’t know about the benefits of self-myofascial release.  In a nutshell, self-myofascial release is a type of self-massage using a hard roller, tube or ball.  It helps break up scar tissue and increases blood flow to the affected area.  Not to mention it can increase your range of motion and improve performance.

A lot weekend warriors and sedentary people end up feeling stiff and hurting, and mistakenly believe there is something wrong with their joints that might require surgery.  In fact, most of the time all they need to do is regular self-myofascial release.

 

Before you give up hope and think the only alternative to being in pain is surgery, check out the videos I've posted on my website that demonstrate how to use self-myofascial release techniques to get out of pain.  It's simple to do, and literally doesn't take more than a few minutes a day.  

 

As always, let me know how these techniques worked for you.  And if you need to buy the Energy F/X tube, go to http://energyfxfitness.com/_product_78512/Energy_FX_Tube to order it.  

As I discussed in part 1, we can all admit that when we are under a great deal of stress it is difficult for us to commit to our healthy eating plan.
 

I discussed the hormones Cortisol (the stress hormone) and Serotonin (the feel good hormone) and how they each play an important role in food cravings, and fat storage.  In part 2, let’s take a closer look at stress and ways to manage it so that it doesn’t sabotage your weight loss goals.

 

Stress is a part of life.  Whether it’s the baby crying, the irritability of a loved one, the endless deadlines at work, or the constant flow of bills, stress is a part of all of our daily lives.  But not all stress is bad.  In some cases stress actually assists us in being our best selves by increasing our awareness and attentiveness to a situation. As a practicing psychotherapist for 7 years, and a fitness coach for the past 14 years, it has been my experience that the main culprit when it comes to stress sabotaging weight loss goals is chronic stress.

 

 

 

Stress is defined as a mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences affecting physical health, usually by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.

I want to be clear; a “stressor” is the precipitating event or situation which can cause a response of “stress”.  Thus, a stressor is only stressful if you deem it to be so.  How you handle, or fail to handle the stressors in your life is what determines your stress level and your ability to maintain your commitments to your weight loss goals. 

 

There are two types of stressors:

  • Acute stressors which are similar to the flight or fight response, where you have an immediate physical response to the event, situation, or request and
  • Chronic stressors which are directly related to long term exposure to situations in which you respond to in a stressful manner.   What we need to understand and remember is that stress is as individual as styles and tastes of clothes.  What one person finds intolerable, another person may not be bothered by at all. 

     

     

    The first thing to do to learn to manage your stress level better is to start taking notice of situations that cause you stress.  What type of unique response do you have and to what types of situations?  Begin to notice your internal dialogue.  What is it saying?  Is it encouraging you to move forward or is it negative and self-defeating?  This first step is important because once you effectively identify your stressors you are now empowered to change your reaction to them.

 

The second step is HUGELY important.  Because believing that you are capable of making the changes necessary to enjoy a better, less stressful life begins the process of healing.  Ask yourself, can you avoid the stressor altogether or at least minimize your contact and/or length of time with the person or situation that creates the stress? 

 

Once you begin to believe that you can in fact change the way you respond to a stressor you can then begin to make the small adjustments towards experiencing less stress.  You can look at whether you are viewing your stressors in exaggerated terms. Are you trying to please everyone?  Are you being too rigid in your expectations?  Are you dealing with an all too familiar situation and expecting a different outcome? Then take some deep breaths to slow your heart rate and help clear your thoughts.  Look at these stressful situations as something you can cope with successfully.

 

Stress creates many different reactions on a hormonal level, mental level and emotional level.  I believe you are capable of sticking to and achieving your weight loss goals.  Here are a few tips to keep you on track in the face of stress and cravings:

 

By taking the time to read this valuable information, you have already demonstrated that you are ready to achieve your weight loss goals.  You have the information, now it’s time for action!  To change, one has to move.  You are now ready to handle stress, rather than it handling you.  Move to a place of power in your life. I know you can do it!  If you have any questions or have a unique situation let me you would like help with, please contact me.

Here's your FREE-- Checklist_to_Reduce_Stress.pdf

 

Just this week I had the opportunity to work with a client that was suffering from painful wrists. Her wrists were so painful in fact that holding a fork to eat a full meal was a difficult task at best.

As usual, I went through my assessment, asking about her daily activities, type of work, how long the problem had existed, as well as the usual gait analysis, posture analysis, etc. What I found was that she worked in an office where she sat at her desk for most of the day. She spent a good deal of the day in her chair at her desk, even eating lunch at her desk on many occasions.

Her posture showed the damage that hours at a desk can do. Her shoulders and head were slumped forward, and her hip flexors were tight causing her glutes (butt) not to activate properly when walking (or running, her choice of exercise).

So I went to work to first open her chest muscles and get the shoulders pulled back into position.  I shared with her the "shoulder stretches" I posted for you all in a previous post on shoulder pain.

I then went to work on her wrists, after all, though that may not be source of the pain, I had to get some movement back in her stiff wrists while at the same time working on her tight shoulders.  Below I've included the sheet I provided for her.

Try the stretches out if you're having wrist pain or if your wrists are just sore and stiff. 

As always, let me know how they work for you.

WristandFingerStretchSheet.pdf

Let's face it, being in PAIN SUCKS!!

I've had it and know first hand how uncomfortable it can be.
 
Being in PAIN puts you in a crappy mood and affects darn near everything -- from how you interact with your partner, friends, family, and even your co-workers.

Plain and simple -- being in pain makes you a PAIN to be around.  Sure you could take some aspirin or other "pain masking" agent, but that doesn't really solve the problem.  What you need is to kick that pain's butt and get it out of your life so you can back to doing what you enjoy doing.  Chances are your friends, family and co-workers will thank you for it.

The first thing I would ask you to do is figure out as close as you can, where the pain is located; is it in your lower back, shoulder, neck, the knee.  Now, the next I'm going to say is really going to throw you for a loop.  Chances are very good that the place where you are feeling the pain is not the actual problem.


Today, I'd like to use the shoulder as an example. Do you spend most of your day sitting at a desk hunched over? Do you stand hunched over? If you stand with your back to the wall so that your heels, buttocks, shoulders, and back of your head touch the wall, is this position REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE or challenging to do?

If this sounds like you chances are you having what known as Upper Cross Syndrome, where the chest and shoulder muscles have become so tight from the poor posture of leaning over that they've shortened. These muscles may even be pulling on your neck.

Here are some movements you can do while in your office to help you GET RID OF THAT PAIN NOW!


Let me know what you think. . . . did they work for you?
-------------------------------------

This is Stretch#1. Begin with your head, forearms, shoulder blades and butt against the wall.  Heels should be about 6-8" from wall.
Make sure there is minimal space between lower back and wall

Extend arms up and out into a "Y" position. Be sure to keep forearms and hands in contact with wall at all times.


Repeat movement 7-10 times

Stretch #2. Begin the same as Stretch #1.

Keeping arms (elbows at same height), rotate hands towards floor. Be sure to keep elbows and shoulder blades in contact with wall at all times.


Repeat 7-10 times

Stretch #3. Standing straight, clasp hands behind back.

Tuck hips underneath you, move clasped hands towards floor. This should create erect posture. Be sure not to arch-- keep hips tucked.


Hold for 7-10 breaths