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Monthly Archives: June 2016

June 29, 2016

Diane – a new way to look at goal setting

Diane has an incredibly inspiring story to share, including a new method of goal setting that can help all of us. Diane was born with an eye condition that caused deterioration of the retina. This condition caused her to be qualified as legally blind by age 10. She eventually lost all of her sight at some point between the ages of 30 and 35. However, that has not slowed her down. Today, Diane competes in triathlons and Iron Man competitions. Diane’s motto has always been that if she could find a way to do something, there was no reason not to do it.

Although she was blind, Diane engaged in activities such as tandem skydiving, driving a racecar, and repelling down the side of a 29-story building. When she was 47, a friend suggested that she try a triathlon. She immediately signed up for an Olympic-distance triathlon and has been participating in races ever since.

In addition to her great physical accomplishments, Diane has a great view on goal setting. In fact, she has always objected to the notion that she has vision loss. Thought she has lost her physical ability to see, she still has vision for who and what she can be and what she can achieve. Diane does not allow herself to set limits on what she can do. She always looks at SMART goals and says that often times, you won’t know if a goal is attainable or realistic until you try it. She recommends setting an initial goal that you want to achieve and making this goal number two. Then set another goal that is higher than what you originally thought possible. This is goal number one. Then, if everything is going against you, set a lower goal which would be goal number three. Diane says to aim for goal one, be happy with goal two, and be OK with goal three.

Diane believes that you have more in you than you think. Goal setting is the way to realize what you can achieve. To contact Diane, email theblindtriathlete@outlook.com.

 

Robin sets a stretch goal

Goal setting

June 27, 2016

Uncommon exercises

If you’ve been with a fitness routine for a while, you know it’s easy to get bored or possibly even plateau in your progress. To change things up, incorporate these five uncommon exercises into your program.

The first is the bear crawl, which helps to build strength and mobility. You will squat down and lift your butt up slightly so you’re essentially walking like a bear. Walk this way for about 20 yards and then return.

The second is the duck walk, which works on the mobility of your legs and endurance. You will squat down with your butt down, getting as low as possible. Then you will basically duck-walk forward for about 20 yards and then return.

The third is the wall sit. This exercise works on the strength in front of your legs. You will put your back against a wall, with your feet placed about a foot and a half away from the wall. You will then squat as though you are sitting on a chair and hold the position.

The fourth is mountain climbing. This helps to work your endurance. You will get on your hands and knees in a push-up position. You will then move one knee up toward your chest, and then alternate by moving the opposite knee forward. Do 20 to 60 repetitions of this exercise.

The final exercise is the Turkish Get Up. This builds strength in your core area and balance. It involves a five-step movement with a three to five-pound weight. You begin laying flat on the floor with the weight above your head, then move to sitting up, followed by a bridge position, then into a one-knee kneeled position, finally moving into a lunge step up into a standing position. The movement is then reversed. Five to 10 repetitions on each side is appropriate for this exercise.

A more detailed mini-course which will demonstrate these uncommon exercises in greater detail is available at older.fitness/uncommon. Be sure to check this out to get a real view of how to do these exercises.

 

Weak handshake, early grave

How to maximize your functional fitness

June 24, 2016

Life on purpose | Dr. Victor Stretcher

Dr. Victor Strecher is a professor and director for innovation and social entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He has published over 100 articles in scientific journals and is the author of Life on Purpose.

Dr. Strecher explains that purpose is a concept that has existed for thousands of years. The concept was actually refined by Aristotle 2400 years ago, when he conveyed that alignment with one’s true inner self gives deeper happiness. In last 10 years, there has been great research around this. Studies have shown that those with a strong purpose in their lives are less likely to develop a heart attack, stroke, or Alzheimer’s. They are also likely to live longer.

To find one’s purpose, Dr. Strecher explains there are six steps:

  1. Think about your core values. Do they include kindness, expertise, relationships, or security? Find what you value the most and operationalize those values.
  2. Assign a purpose/goal to your values.
  3. Think of the domains where the values can be applied.   Family purpose or community are several examples.
  4. Perform a headstone test. Imagine yourself dead tomorrow. What would you want to appear on the headstone? This provides an interesting contrast to life.
  5. Try on new purposes. If they don’t work, replace them. Keep trying different ones until you find the right fit.
  6. Once you find the purpose that fits, articulate it to the public.

Purpose takes more energy and willpower every day. To allow yourself more of this energy and willpower, Dr. Strecher explains we need more SPACE, or sleep, presence, activity, creativity, and eating. Maintaining a level of glucose will help with this. Love and kindness meditation may also help to give greater purpose and transcend your own ego and defensiveness.

Dr. Strecher’s book, Life on Purpose, is now available for purpose through Amazon or independent bookstores. Dr. Strecher also created a free On Purpose app, where you can get instructions on how to live in alignment with greater purpose. You can find the On Purpose app here.

 

How to be here | Rob Bell

The 80/20 rule

You may have heard of the 80/20 rule. But do you know what it is and if it would be a good fit for you? The 80/20 rule applies to the food you eat, and it basically states that you will eat well 80% of the time and have cheat meals for the remaining 20%. The rule recognizes that you can’t be on 100% of the time and so it allows a bit of opportunity for some balance.

Interestingly enough, the 80/20 rule concept originated with the Pareto principle. The Pareto principle is actually a business principle that explained that 80% of a company’s revenue is generated from 20% of its customers.

Many people seem to think the 80/20 rule is a good fit for their dieting strategy. However, quantification is an issue. There is no quantification to show that the approach is actually effective. There would be no way to know you are actually eating poorly only 20% of the time, unless you are physically tracking each and every calorie consumed. Self-estimation tends to be off. The only certainty is that you know you’re not at 100%.

However, this 80/20 approach can have its place in maintenance. If you’ve already reached a goal and are simply maintaining progress, this may be the right fit. On the other hand, if you’re starting a new healthy lifestyle, you need to be committed 100% of the time to ensure you stay on the right track.

If your program is very intense, the 100% concept may not work for you. Ultimately, you need to find the right kind of plan that you can sustain for an extended period of time to help get you to your goal. If it matters to you, you’ll give 100%. Start with your “why,” and then set SMART goals to get you to where you want to be.

Don’t think of the 80/20 rule as an excuse to fail. Leave it for the maintenance portion of your health journey. If you’re just starting out, give it 100% effort and set yourself up for success.

Have you mastered the art of intensity

June 20, 2016

8 keys to mental health through exercise | Dr. Christina Hibbert

Dr. Christina Hibbert is a clinical psychologist, former fitness instructor, dynamic speaker, and author of 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise.

Dr. Hibbert explains that 1 in 4 American adults experience mental illness in any given year. Mental illness will affect most of us at some point in our lives and it becomes more likely as we age. This is largely because there are three components to mental health, including life experiences, brain chemistry, and physiological states including hormones. Any trauma, heartache, or loss can impact and change our brain. Over time, these brain changes are coupled with other chemistry or hormonal changes, which can then build up and cause mental distress or a disorder of some sort.

To make a change, there must first be an emotional and mental preparation. This will allow you to have commitment at a deeper level. This can involve what Dr. Hibbert describes as a pyramid of self-worth, where one works through the stages of self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-love. Once this has been done, one can take action and incorporate exercise into their routine.

Exercise is so helpful with mental health for a few reasons. Endorphins are chemicals that are released as a result of exercise, which makes the body feel good. Studies have also shown that exercise can increase neurotransmitters in the brain which can lessen the likelihood of anxiety or depression. Exercise also has anti-inflammatory benefits.

The key is to realizing that lasting change does not occur with the simple flip of a switch. It is more like a staircase that you constantly ascend and descend. You have to be willing to take all steps necessary to make change that lasts. You won’t fail unless you completely quit. To connect with Dr. Christina Hibbert or to learn more about mental health through exercise, visit

www.exerciseformentalhealth.com or www.drchristinahibbert.com.

2 weeks to a younger brain | Dr. Gary Small

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