Focus on what you can, not what you can’t..

never too old to runI’ve often wondered how people choose a form of exercise.   Are they reminiscing, wishing to recapture their glory days?  Perhaps they ran in high school.  Maybe they played college and/or pro ball.   Maybe it was 2am, and that term paper with annotated bibliography was beginning to ramble.  And those size “small” yoga pants? They have somehow morphed into a size XXL.  Taking a much overdue break, they only thing on is infomercials.  Infomercials promising to take you from your double XL, back into a REAL size small.  You get the idea.  There’s only one problem.  Well more than one.

NOT EVERY EXERCISE IS FOR EVERYBODY

I like variety.  Variety in my workout routine is tantamount.  Running though, is where I find my way back.  The furthest I’ve ever ran is 10 miles. I’ll remember that day as long as I live.  When I’d finished, a little voice told me “this is the furthest you’ll ever go.”  It turned out to be right.  Fast forward a bit, and I found myself picking up weight because I wasn’t running as much as I once did. So enter in a plethora of workouts from INSANITY, to ballet inspired exercises, to PILATES w/bands, hot yoga, etc.  You name it, I did it.  And it WORKED.  I found myself with better muscle tone than running ever gave me.  But somewhere down the line, something else happened–a bulging lumbar disc.  And sciatic flares which range from tingling, to burning, to numbing down the length of my right leg; often reaching my 2nd toe.  They are at their most aggravating about a week to 10 days before my menses.  So what does that mean to my workouts?  More to the point, what does it mean to me?

NO EXCUSES

Many of us deal with issues ranging from bulging discs to knee issues, to ankle problems, etc.  But what I’ve found, is that these declarations won’t emancipate us from what needs to be done.   Whether it’s tennis elbow or cardiac rehab from an MI, results don’t come from declarations of   ” I have this or that..”  They come from doing.  That being said, doing just any form of exercise is not the way.  I can attest to that.  So what is?

FUNCTION,  FORM, and that nasty little N-word–NUTRITION.  There, I said it.

STARTING AT THE END

When I begin MY PROGRAM with a client, is doesn’t start with exercise.  Anyone at any time can You-Tube myriads of exercise routines.  Fitness trackers abound which help you track your steps, tell you if you’ve been sitting too long, or when to move.  Diet plans are not in short supply either.  Everyone has his or her own pet project or advice on what works, what doesn’t, while promising this is the “last diet you’ll ever need.”  They may be right; but chances are, they’re wrong.  Why?  Simple–they don’t have YOUR BODY.  You have your body.   The responsibility is squarely on your shoulders to seek out what works and what doesn’t, and what probably never will.   So this is where I begin–when those who come to me, are at their end.  But more to the point, I begin with intake; an inventory of what THEY ARE IN TAKING.

Is there more to it than that?  Yes there is.  So stay tuned..

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

 

Questions?  Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

 

 

Detox 360–Putting it all together

solitudeWhen I began this series, I knew its core wouldn’t be the latest herbal enema.  That can be found in any health food store, and online.  No, this had to entail a bit more–it had to address lifestyle detox initially.   Once completed, I then posted “my favorite reset cleanse.”  Only when lifestyle intervention had been outlined, would I post my idea of a detox or cleanse.

Beginning with “Clean up your act,” this is where the journey initiates.  If your life is out of control or a cesspool, chances are, so is your nutrition.  Your body just follows suit.  That’s why for me, detox must be 360.

TALKING THE TALK BY TAKING THE WALK

Key issues in detoxing your life have been addressed.  A “reset” button has been pushed; not only in your life, but if you have tried the cleanse, also with your body.

If you have put any of this into practice, chances are, others notice.  There is no better way to illustrate a principle, than by becoming a living example.  Continuing on this path requires due diligence; just like nursing.  As I have often told patients as well as my clients, “you are responsible for your healthcare.” Or “you are responsible for your change.”  Personal trainers, just like the medical community, are simply the facilitators.  We show you what needs to be done to maintain your health.  It’s up to you to put it into practice.  However, to truly complete the circle, you become an example to others.  No need to shout it from the rooftops–your improvements will do it for you.

The finishing touch I would like to add is this:  All of what I have addressed in this series is meant to be detox.  Starting with your life, resetting with your cleanse, and understanding daily activity (need not always be intense) creates, rejuvenates, and reclaims your perspective.  And really, what is a detox or cleanse supposed to accomplish?  It’s meant to start a change, and end with being changed.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

 

 

Judging me judging you…

healthy living waterfall No one is immune–we all have the occasional bout (some more frequent than others) of Comparitis.  We may even suffer from the none too evasive symptoms which complement it–Superior Fit-zures.  Not too worry–the signs and symptoms are blatant; and the disease very treatable.  Like a strong dose of castor oil without the teaspoon of sugar, I am here to help those plagued by this highly communicable disease.

The websites I use for information for my blog meet with scrutiny.  The information must be timely, reliable, and understandable to those outside of the medical profession.  Few meet with all three criteria.  Though I shouldn’t be surprised, I found myself taken aback by commentary under an article from a site I frequent.

The article itself was well-written and expressed thought-provoking ideas.  Some commenting–not so much.

Most extolled the virtues of organically grown fruit and vegetables.  Nothing wrong with that.  However, one went on to elaborate about the girth of backsides of those shopping at discount food chains.  Another chimed in about how she bought a mango for a child begging for one, only to have the mother throw it to the ground.  While I appreciate her sentiments, I can also understand how that mother must have felt.

Few of us who are mothers or fathers, would deny our children food.  Whether you are a married or single parent, if you are feeding more than three mouths excluding yourself, discount food chains may not be an option.  They are probably a staple.  Organically grown produce is a luxury.  One in which my family does not partake.

Yes–I am one of those discount food chain shoppers.  But more to the point–does my backside meet the commentator’s criteria?  Last time I bought workout capris and yoga pants (1 week ago) one was a size small, the other an x-small.  However, I forgot to mention his comment about the fat children in tow.  Well–here we go.  My son is 5′ 8″ and weighs a whopping 130 pounds.

The mango issue not withstanding, though I do understand the mother, who are we to judge?  Does this Comparitis empower you?  Or are you afraid that might be you one day–shopping a food chain with barely enough for TV dinners?

If you live in a community where obesity and fresh food is an issue–do something instead of judging someone.  If you are a trainer–volunteer some hours.  It’s how I started as a trainer; and still do.  Gave me great experience, and built my confidence transitioning to a new profession.  Even if you feel you don’t possess this expertise, mentor a child.  Teach him/her about nutrition.  My mom’s favorite saying was “give a child a fish, he’ll eat for a day.  Teach him how to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.”  If the child/and or family understands the importance of diet and exercise, your efforts will not be in vain–and more to the point; your mango will not end up on the floor.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Need my tips for shopping on a budget, but buying healthy?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

What the nursing process can teach you–A FIVE PART SERIES (continued)

healthy living waterfall

Live life unscripted–we’ve heard this in ballads, and touted throughout pop culture.  Most of us realize life is unscripted; especially when our best laid plans go awry.  Yet that’s just it, somewhere along the way–there was a plan.

PLANNING is a pivotal stage in the nursing process.  Why?  It paves the way for IMPLEMENTATION & EVALUATION.

PLANNING usually isn’t a complicated task; it’s sticking to it that gets in the way.  Sound a bit ridiculous?  It should.  However, it’s a reality we all face; in one way or another, at one time or another.

From a health and fitness perspective, PLANNING is KEY.  However, it’s the IMPLEMENTATION or follow-through which leads to lifestyle change.

For the moment let’s stick to PLANNING.  As stated earlier, planning isn’t usually complicated.  We’re going to keep it that way.  Yet, our plan should include these vital elements when thinking fitness–nutrition adjustment, move modification, and education.  I have coined the term NAME.

Everyone has a name-a proper noun to which we respond, when we hear it.  Unless something traumatic occurs, most of us will not forget our name.

Nutrition adjustment is the make or break element here.  You may have been told it is exercise.  Exercise is a must; but your weight loss battle is won or lost at the table.   You can actually gain weight, even if exercise is part of your daily routine.  You must expend or put out, more calories than you take in.  It really is that simple; and that complex.  For specifics on caloric expenditure, see my post under Nutrition.  Furthermore, recent theory suggests that unless you are moving throughout your day, an hour at the gym if the rest of your life is sedentary, may not be beneficial.  Will keep you posted, as some of these clinical trials are very new.

Move modification may mean walking throughout your day, running, resistance training, home workouts, or any combination thereof.  The point is this–do something.  If you have not engaged in regular exercise, have mobility issues, or restricted because of cardio-pulmonary compromise–this doesn’t spell the end or let you off the hook.  Every workout is not for every body.  Your responsibility is to find one that is right for you.  Proper consult with your physician, as well as thorough ASSESSMENT, are essential to your PLANNING.  ACSM (AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE) prescription principles suggest the following:

Cardiovascular exercise–should be 3-5 times a week, for 20-90 minutes.  The routine should be continuous and rhythmic in nature

Resistance training–should work major muscle groups to their full range of motion (ROM), with control of speed.  Eight to ten exercises of 2-4 sets each

Flexibility–In order for your muscles to “trust you,” you should hold your stretches for at least 15 seconds.  Flexibility training should be 2-3 days per week, to mild discomfort (Mild discomfort is difficult to define for everyone.  When in doubt, consult your MD; and especially your own body).  Flexibility training can be static or accomplished with help–15-60 seconds for each; working towards 3-4 repetitions

EDUCATION–or continuing education, is tantamount.  How many of us have returned to school either to “brush up” on a subject or acquire new knowledge?  From floral arranging to learning to speak a different language, most of us desire to know more.  Even if the desire isn’t always there, the requirement may be.  Modifying your lifestyle to reflect your weight loss/fitness goals require education; continuing education.  This doesn’t just mean looking up new exercises or diet trends.  More notably to you, it means interpreting your own data.  Understand what your body is telling you AND document it.  In this way, you have a written record of your successes, failures, and everything in between.  It can also be a useful tool when discussing progress with your trainer or medical professional.  The point is you are educating yourself, about yourself.  This is essential for your nutritional as well as exercise component.

As a nursing student, I was constantly reminded “if it’s not documented, it’s not done.”  That mantra has seen me successfully through false allegations of neglectful care, to assessing new employee skills in the field.  With this in mind, I cannot stress enough, the importance of documenting your progress; even if its regress.

NAME is just a reminder I use.  However, it can be useful to remember and reconcile your PLANNING stage.  There are countless ways and means to see you through.  Regardless of what you choose–have a plan.  Even if needs revamping, rethinking, or rebooting, HAVE A PLAN.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

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Questions?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com