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. 

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.

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.

 

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.

Strength Training: You Are Only As Strong As Your Weakest Link

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When it comes to exercising, many of us perform our strength training routines starting with our more dominant side or extremity.  We do this without truly thinking about it as it might just be second nature, routine, or feel better to use or stronger side.  Actually, we do this with many things in our lives from putting on our shoes to stepping up on the sidewalk.  Take a moment to notice this.  Which shoe do you put on first?  Now go to put the other one on first instead.  Does it feel a little strange?  Probably!  But back to strength training and my point…

What you want to do when you are strength training is start with you least dominant side.  If you are doing lunges and your left leg is naturally stronger, start with your right leg instead and do an equal amount on both legs based on what your right leg can handle. If you are doing dumbbell chest press and your chest and triceps can handle pressing 30 lbs but your shoulders give out and painfully hurt, then reduce to the weight your shoulder can handle until it gets stronger.  If you are doing side planks and you can hold 60 seconds on your left side but only 45 on your right side until your neck starts to kick in, then start with your right side and only hold for the amount of time you can keep proper form and do the same amount of time on the left.

Why?  Reason is because you want to encourage strength in our weaker links of our body and not have the dominant muscles groups get more dominant so that we can strive toward muscle balance.  We also want to prevent injury by not forcing a weaker muscle to do work it can not handle.  Remember this one key phrase always – Form over Numbers.  What this means is that we do not want to do a certain number of reps on an exercise if our form is sloppy.  That is not proper training and over time will result in some sort of injury.  Rather our goal is to have a balanced, healthy body.

By training this way you will stay safe and still make strength and health gains.  If you are unsure if you are training safely and effectively then please reach out.  Our Enliven Coaches can provide you more individualized and one on one coaching and support.

To Your Health!

For more information about Tracie’s Lean Living Wellness and Nutrition Coaching program, contact us and set up a free consultation 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.

 

 

Nutrition for Exercise Performance and Refueling

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How do we make the most out of our exercise sessions?  With proper nutrition of course!

The body must be properly fueled with “real foods” in order for the body to function at its peak.

If you are thinking, “Well, I don’t eat healthy but I can still lift weights and run 2 miles”; think of what you could do if you did eat properly, and how much better you would feel doing it!  Our bodies need proper vitamins, minerals and amino acids to produce energy.  Each and every cell in your body needs this (yes, this is true!). We obtain these important nutrients from eating lean proteins such as lean animal meats or vegetarian sources such as beans, along with a variety of colored vegetables, fruits and healthy fats inclusive of olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed & avocado.

It is suggested to eat proper portion combinations of a lean protein with non-starchy veggies, such as spinach, arugula, bell peppers, cucumbers, etc., along with healthy fat ANYTIME of day except for after your workout.

AFTER your workout it is suggested to eat equal portions of lean protein and veggies (possibly a little fruit too) with 1 serving (size of a clenched fist) of a starchy carbohydrate, such as potato, sweet potato, brown rice or sprouted grain.  Having the starchy carbohydrate after exercise will help refuel your body for optimal performance at your next workout session.

So, there you go!  In a nutshell:

  • Perform both aerobic and anaerobic activities (see my article on “Endurance or Strength Training” which is best for tips and ideas) for a well balanced lifestyle with optimal health gains
  • Anytime prior to exercise: Eat a portion of lean protein (size of palm), variety of non-starchy veggies (up to size of 2 clenched fists), and healthy fat (size of your thumb) at all meals during the day
  • Post Exercise within 2-3 hrs: Eat a portion of lean protein (size of palm) non-starchy veggies and fruit (up to 2 clenched fists combined), and add a portion of starchy veggies (size of clenched fist) within 2 hrs after your workout
  • And of course, don’t forget to drink your water!

Now get to it, and enjoy! Your body will thank you for it, I promise.

Tracie Hammond

Tracie 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.

 

Make Exercise a Lifestyle Commitment!

Enliven Wellness Works
“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.” — Jim Rohn. I discovered this article about making exercise an important part of your life when I was looking around on Linkedin and found it to be very interesting and helpful. While these steps may not be concrete ways to lose weight or stay in shape, it is a helpful reminder that everyone needs sometimes.

My personal favorites were:

1.  Develop a “move more” mindset.

Carving out a specific hour of a day for a workout is great (and we will get to that in a little bit) but first, start each day with the mindset to move more. By reminding your body to get more movement throughout the day, you will be more likely to do it. So sit less and stand more. Take more steps and stairs. Walk to talk with a coworker instead of emailing them.

Stretch in your chair, squat to pick something up, park far away from stores so you will walk more, stand up when you talk on the phone and do some exercises while you watch TV. There are numerous ways you can sneak more movement into your day. Begin each day with a move more mindset and you will find them.

And…

3.  Find your favorite exercise.

I know people who commit to a form of exercise and hate it. How long do you think they will keep that up? We aren’t inclined to dive in or stick to things we despise. Out of all the forms of exercise out there, find one you just love. Get really specific. Don’t just say, “yoga” discover what form of yoga is your favorite. If swimming is your thing, do you prefer swimming laps or water aerobics? Or maybe you’d dread a step class but you can’t get enough of Pilates.

A good way to identify what type of exercise is right for you is to first figure out if you like to exercise alone, with a partner or in a group setting. You may have to experiment a little bit before you know. Try different forms of exercise until you find one that energizes you physically and mentally. Find your favorite exercise—one where excuses won’t even enter the equation when it’s time to exercise.

When I am in a slump, these are the two that are most likely to get me out of it. Exercise and health are all about you. It doesn’t matter how your neighbor or a movie star gets healthy or what they like to do. What matters is what gets you active and what activities you can sustain. This is something a lot of people forget, and is why it can be so hard to pick a health plan. So, I hope you can take these steps lightly and choose to follow the ones that stand out to you, or work on the ones you think will be most beneficial.

 

Rebecca Ewing

Rebecca is currently a senior at The University of Tampa. She is studying public health with a concentration in wellness and minor in philosophy. Rebecca has been interested in health and wellness since she was in middle school, and is very active in those fields. At UT she has been a member of the women’s tennis team, Student Athletic Committee, Focusing On Optimal Dietetics for students, RX Factor, an anti-prescription drug abuse organization, and the Wellness Committee.