Nat’l Senior Health & Fitness Day 2015

Nat'l Seniors Health & Fitness Day 2015Keep up the fun & momentum after your Memorial Day Weekend and celebrate with seniors around the country for National Senior Health & Fitness Day! While these ‘national observances’ show up only once annually on your calendar, they’re meant to create awareness and promote healthy change.  This website is full of good information on how to develop healthy lifestyles for the seniors in your life (and it wouldn’t hurt if you jumped on the bandwagon with them!). A few little changes can go a long way to living a healthy, vibrant life. 

The Phenomenon That Will Leave Your Heart Pumping and Your Body Feeling Amazing!

1207257_lIt’s finally here!  A phenomenon that will leave your heart pounding and your body feeling amazing!  Most likely you will even experience the benefits of a tighter, toner body frame, improved digestion and metabolism, increased bone density and relief from structural body pain. What could it be?  Just exactly what am I talking about?  What is this newest, best thing?! Are you ready to find out?!

Well, its always been around but many of us do not know truly what it means and where to start with it.  We scan the internet, read articles, pick up magazines and like what we are seeing, but it seems complicated.  It’s strength training. Yes, strength training can give you all of the benefits of a tone physique, improved overall health and more.  Let me share with you some tips:

Strength training is any form of resistance exercise that is load-bearing on your body.  So, it can be dumbbells, barbells, weight-plated machines, resistance bands or body weight.  Any tool that gives you that little “something extra” that you have to move, lift, twist, push, pull, squat, lunge or pick up.  Are you starting to get the idea? It’s not so scary now, right?  We do those moves every day.  We just need to add that “little extra” into an organized routine.

Here is a sample routine:

Squats 15 reps/2 sets (modification – hold weights on each side)

Sit back like you were sitting in a chair that’s too far behind you.  Your legs are hip width or slightly further apart.  Keep your shoulders tall.  Weight goes through your heels.  Inhale as you squat down and exhale as you come up.  If you need to, use a bench to start.

Forward Lunges 10 reps each leg/2 sets (modification – hold weights on each side)

Take a long step forward.  Make sure the front foot has the weight place through the heel and the back foot has heel of the ground.  Keeping a tall posture, bend your knees.  You do not need to bend deeply but make sure you have good form.  Over time, increase the bend in both knees.  Inhale as you lunge down and exhale as you stand up.

Push-up 10 reps/2 sets

Place your hands outside of your shoulders and your legs straight down from your hips, and make sure your stomach is highly engaged and your spine in neutral.  Inhale as you lower your body toward the floor (your hips come with you, maintaining neutral spine), elbows go out to the side.  Exhale as you extend yourself up back to the starting position.

Lower Body Deadbug 12 reps each leg/2 sets (modification – add upper body same arm)

Lying on your back on the mat, place your arms down by your side and lift both legs up into the air, as straight as you can comfortably get them.  Take a deep breath in and as you begin to exhale lower 1 leg down to the floor, keeping the other right where it is.  Keep your stomach tight and your lower back in contact with the mat.  Bring leg back up and alternate sides.

Lying Hip Bridge 15 reps each leg/2 sets (modification a: – heels down toes up.  Modification b: – 1 foot in air.  Supporting foot is flat on floor)

Lying on your back with your arms by your side, your knees are bent and your feet on the ground, hip width apart.  Take a nice deep breath in.  As you begin to exhale, slowly lift your hips as high up as you can, squeezing your stomach and buttox.  Inhale back down and repeat.

Front plank on forearms 30 seconds/2 sets (modification – 60 second continuous hold)

Like a pushup position except you are not on your hands, you are on your forearms.  Your elbows must be directly under your shoulders.  Spine is neutral.  Hold that for 30 sec while you focus on pulling your stomach tightly away from the gravity of the floor.

Now that we have the concept, we need to know where to start.  Well, this all depends on your current fitness level, your current body restrictions, what YOU LIKE to do (which is  important so that you will stick to it) and how much time you have to do it.  In order to do this and get a personalized routine, the best thing to do is contact our experts here at Enliven Wellness Works and we will get you started. You are truly just one step away from taking your health to a whole new level!

TracieTracie Hammond has a B.S. degree from the University of Southern Maine. She is a certified nutritional consultant from the Global College of Natural Medicine, a certified personal trainer, and she holds many other fitness and nutrition certifications. Tracie uses the integrated approach to wellness, combining nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction techniques.  Tracie empowers her clients by coaching them to set realistic goals, identifying their strengths and obstacles, and setting weekly strategies to overcome these obstacles.

Exercise for Fun!

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So many of us today tend to use exercise as a means to be able to eat more or less. If, in our minds, we exercised adequately, then we are apt to “reward” ourselves with some food that we consider “bad” or “off limits” under normal circumstances. If we don’t exercise, or don’t put forth the amount of effort we felt we should, then we tend to restrict our food intake and “punish” ourselves by not having something we might truly desire. When did exercise become a means to an end in regards to rewarding or punishing with food? How did we get here and how can we begin to break this vicious cycle that leaves us feeling empty, guilty and frustrated?

First, exercise does not have to be hitting the gym for 90 minutes in the hardest boot camp class you can possibly find. If this is what you enjoy, that’s one thing. However, if it is something that makes you cringe and want to pull the covers back over your head or work an extra hour just so you will “accidentally” miss it and blame it on the boss, then maybe its not quite suiting your specific needs. Exercise comes in all forms. There are plenty of things we can do outside the gym that could be considered fun and active. The key is finding what works for you and what you like. Do you like to walk? Ride a bike? Go for a hike? Swim? Kayak? Rock climb? Jump on a trampoline? Ride horses? Be in nature? Do yard work? There are so many options. Start here: You will want to sit down and write out a few of the activities you enjoy doing that will fit into your life and will help keep you active.

Next, realize that food has been used for too long as a punishment and reward system. Therefore, start to reframe your mind and ask yourself before eating, “Am I truly hungry right now?”. If so, ask yourself what you are truly hungry for and go from there. If you are not truly hungry, there is no need to eat. You can fill your time with a fun activity other than food. Rationale: if we eat when we are not hungry, but rather just bored or filling time, food will only fill that void for the amount of time we are doing it. We will still be bored after we are done eating and may reach for more food. See the cycle?

We can break this cycle – together. Reach out to us here at Enliven Wellness Works and we will help you. We are seasoned coaches that have a passion for being the best we can be – without punishing ourselves – and we want the same for each and every one of you. We look forward to hearing from you and getting started today!

 

TracieTracie Hammond has a B.S. degree from the University of Southern Maine. She is a certified nutritional consultant from the Global College of Natural Medicine, a certified personal trainer, and she holds many other fitness and nutrition certifications. Tracie uses the integrated approach to wellness, combining nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction techniques.  Tracie empowers her clients by coaching them to set realistic goals, identifying their strengths and obstacles, and setting weekly strategies to overcome these obstacles.

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month 2014

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Childhood obesity rates remain high. Obese young people have an 80-percent chance of becoming obese adults and are more likely than children of normal weight to become overweight or obese adults. As a result, they are more at risk for associated adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, stroke, and several types of cancer. Attacking the obesity problem while children are young is our best hope to eliminate an obesity problem when these children are adults. Ready to take action? Check out these tips and more to help improve the health of our children at LetsMove.gov:

  • Keep fresh fruit in a bowl within your child’s reach to grab as a quick snack.
  • Take a walk with your family after dinner.
  • Plan a menu for the week and get your children involved with the planning and cooking.
  • Turn off the TV during meals and share some family time.
  • Talk to the principal about organizing a school health team.

Let’s call national attention to this epidemic! For more information, visit http://www.healthierkidsbrighterfutures.org/home/

Today, I Played With My Dog

10877583_lToday, I played with my English Bulldog, Zues.  He is only 5, but is very old for his age.  He’s been through a lot in his life.  So, after taking Zeus for a walk with his bully brother, Ox, I had “planned” to hit the incline treadmill as I read my book on “mindful eating”. But Zeus had other plans.  I arrived home after our walk and got ready to hit the gym when Zeus really spunked up.  He put his big paw on me, did his happy wiggle dance (I should post this…it’s quite hilarious), and I could see he was feeling quite like a puppy.  This is rare.  I had a choice.  Gym for a few extra steps to log on my “UP band” or live mindfully in the moment, and spend a few “steps” with my dog in this rare moment of fun.

Old me: a running reel of exercise, food restriction, exercise, binge, exercise, diet, exercise, exercise, binge, binge, restrict, restrict, etc….  No room for any “moments”.  I was so caught up in “catching” something that I didn’t even know really existed, but I wanted it to: “perfect version of “me””.  In my mind, that meant size 4 and someone that other people knew was a size 4. (Why do I care about what other people think of me?  Well, not sure, but I guess we all do to an extent.  Ugh!) Didn’t matter how I got there.  I had the glory…until I didn’t.  Feeling like crap, no energy, no desire to play, living on green tea and 1000 calories a day – per the advice of my “mentor” – to lose those last 10 lbs.  Being “perfect” in our own minds isn’t all its cracked up to be.  There would be NO time for playing with my dog, family/friends, etc.  It just wouldn’t be important enough to me. I had size 4 shorts to fit into (and I haven’t been size 4 since…well, never…).

New me: I played with my dog.  I laughed, ran, played and enjoyed the moment.  We both did.  We made memories that will last forever.  I don’t know how many calories I burned in playing with my dog, whereas the treadmill would have told me (and it would have been honest with me, right?). In the end, Zeus and I were both tired, happy, and thankful. I’m sure we burned calories playing, but that wasn’t our goal.  We just spent time together. And that – to me – is what life is about now…and priceless.

I am a certified professional in nutrition, exercise and coaching.  I could put more letters behind my name than I care to.  But that doesn’t make me an “expert”.  What does is being honest with true life experiences.  I  know “proper nutrition”, I know “how to design an exercise program”, I know “how to allow someone to lose weight”.  But now I know “how to live, love who you are, be the best healthy person you can be in the moment, based on where you are right now, and live and eat mindfully to embrace life to the fullest”

NEW ME: LIVE LIFE, HAVE FUN, BE MINDFUL, EMBRACE MOMENTS, EXERCISE IN FUN WAYS, and EAT IN THE WAY YOU WANT YOUR BODY TO FUNCTION.

OLD ME: nothing to say; she’s left the building.

XOXO

In good health, fun, and happiness,
Coach Tracie Hammond

TracieTracie Hammond has a B.S. degree from the University of Southern Maine. She is a certified nutritional consultant from the Global College of Natural Medicine, a certified personal trainer, and she holds many other fitness and nutrition certifications. Tracie uses the integrated approach to wellness, combining nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction techniques.  Tracie empowers her clients by coaching them to set realistic goals, identifying their strengths and obstacles, and setting weekly strategies to overcome these obstacles.

 

Compassion or Control?

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Compassion or Control? Have you ever compassionately helped someone out of a bind and felt exhausted or depleted? Have you offered advice that wasn’t acted upon and felt angry? Have you given something that wasn’t utilized and felt used? Me, too! And I didn’t like it; not one bit. But it kept happening – over and over – and I had to start to look at the common denominator – me.

As I’ve ambled through my journey of self-discovery, I picked up a copy of Iyanla Vanzant’s “One Day My Soul Just Opened Up” (at my friend’s gentle encouragement), and boy, did she hit me with some zingers! When I got to the topic of compassion – which, I thought – by my continuous out-pouring of ‘help’ –  I would glide through – I was stopped in my tracks. It hit me like a ton of bricks – and I didn’t like that either, but the Truth was so loud that I could no longer ignore it.

Compassion, she says, is not helping others get out of their messes, but supporting them through their messes until they come out the other side. Helping someone do something they should be doing for themselves is not compassion, but a quest for power and control. Power??? Control??? Me??? Ummmmmm…yes. That was my (sad) Truth. Man, that Iyanla tells it straight!

But the more I read it, again and again, it started to make sense. If I was really acting with compassion, I would not be carrying their load and the responsibility for the fixing. Compassion doesn’t feel like that. Control sure does. She goes on to say that compassionate people do not take other’s power away. And isn’t that what I’m doing when I’m making the calls for you? Scheduling appointments for you? Paying the bills for you? Shoving my (unsolicited) solutions down your throat? Yep. I’ve taken on the role that believes ‘I know best and can do it better, and you should – and will – be grateful’ (which usually doesn’t happen).

“A compassionate person wants you, as a universal being, to realize your wholeness. Your wholeness has nothing to do with being nice, and a compassionate person recognizes that your journey to wholeness may not look nice. Compassionate people have the ability to nurture, comfort, and provide nourishment to others at various stages. They heal without making themselves sick”

Since I’ve been practicing the art (and it is an art because it takes lots & lots of practice) of compassion, I find myself more at ease; more able to discern where I end and you begin. I’m able to be truly compassionate and demonstrate empathy, and sometimes sympathy, while supporting others through their crises’. It allows me to be more loving and kind, and it allows them to stand on their own two feet and solve their own problems. In other words, I’m supporting them while they find their own power. And that’s something we can both feel good about!

Here are some tips I’ve used to help me discern between compassion and control:

  • Is this something they can/should be doing on their own?
  • If I do this, will it deplete or exhaust me in any of the following ways? Energy? Money? Time? Peace of mind?
  • If they don’t/won’t accept my help, can I be at peace about it?
  • What’s the worst that can happen if they do it on their own, even if they fail?
  • Can I let others fall down and learn their own lessons, or do I insist they avoid that pain at all cost and just let me handle it?

I think you get the gist. If letting people manage their own lives causes me any distress at all, it’s time for me to retreat. There’s a reason that the airlines suggest we put on our own masks before helping others with theirs.

 

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Laura M Turley, LMT – After working over 30 years in various corporate roles, then managing the many challenges of middle age, Laura finds that she’s uniquely qualified to relate to – and address – the myriad issues facing individuals in this age group. Certain aches and pains that accompany growing older (and wiser!) are quite common but equally as significant are the increasing side effects of our habitual patterns, life stresses and the fact that we make little-to-no time for ourselves. Massage allows her to bridge the gap between your daily pressures & pains of life to a more healthful, pain-free existence – and it feels good, too!  Laura’s clients say that her knowledge – coupled with her compassionate approach – is what keeps them coming back.

National Parks and Recreation Month

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Go outside and get moving! During the month of July, parks all across the United States will be celebrating Park and Recreation Month and holding fun events open to everyone. Parks and recreation centers provide opportunities for people to connect to everything around us and to each other. In our current “plugged in” world, it is nice to have a park where you can connect to nature and see turtles, squirrels, and an occasional peacock walking around. Or head over to your local recreation center to connect with friends on the basketball court or in the pool.By participating you can have a good time while improving your health by exercising. With so many different fun events and healthy activities available, it is the perfect month to visit your local park or recreation center. For more information, visit National Recreation and Park Association at http://www.nrpa.org.