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7 tips for staying active

 

I often have discussions with clients and friends about the challenges of staying active.  Injuries, work and family commitments get in the way of establishing a regular exercise regime for most of us.

I rarely feel like exercising when I wake up in the morning, but I generally feel happier and more energised afterwards.  The tips I’m sharing below is how I stay in the habit of exercising, whether I feel motivated or not.

 

 

  1. Have a goal – I joined Darwin Triathlon Club, which runs regular races throughout the year. Staying fit and prepared for the next race provides regular goals to keep me on track with training.  Doing a race when I’m unfit is TOO painful.   To add variety I have used other goals such as; half marathons, Fanny Bay swim and the Great Cycle Challenge.
  2. Make a plan – I like to have a plan to keep a good balance and variety in my exercise.  Knowing in advance what I am doing, means I can prepare better and reduces procrastination.
  3. Be prepared – I am more likely to follow through with my training plan if I am prepared. For example; if I am cycling tomorrow morning, I put out cycling clothes, shoes, helmet and ensure my bike is ready – tyres pumped and chain oiled.  If I am swimming in the afternoon after work, I have swimming costume, towel, goggles, cap and swim toys ready to pick up and walk out the door.  This means I don’t waste time looking for what I need, and reduces the opportunity to make excuses.  Personally, I need to be out and exercising before I’ve stopped to think about whether I want to go.
  4. Train with a friend or join group training – Making a commitment to train with someone else I means I have extra motivation to turn up, as well as company and conversation on long sessions. Training with a group seems to give the energy boost I need to push a little harder and longer.
  5. Mix it up/choose activities you enjoy – For me variety is the key. I like the strength and focus of Pilates and yoga.  I like sweating up a storm and getting my heart pumping on a run.  I like cruising around on bike ride.  I like staying cool while exercising hard on a swim.
  6. When you’re tired – train today. If you’re still tired tomorrow, skip tomorrow’s session – This is one of the best pieces of advice I heard to prevent me breaking my training habit.  I can easily fall into a habit of not exercising when I start making excuses to skip training day after day, then it becomes hard to get back into regular training.   On days I am busy or tired, I choose a shorter or easier program, rather than skipping a session entirely.  I often feel refreshed and ready to train the next day, but if not, I consider taking a break then.
  7. Train in the morning – I am MUCH more likely to exercise if I get up early and train.  Too many things get in the way by the end of the day, so I generally consider evenings as bonus training sessions.  Plus, I seem to be more productive at work for the rest of the day when I exercise in the morning.

These are some of the tips I use to stay active, I encourage you to choose the ones that help you, and create some of your own.  I believe each person needs to find an activity and schedule that suits them, their physical shape, ability and their lifestyle.

Dead Butt Syndrome

Get your butt into gear with Kinesiology!

… over the years I have worked with many people suffering with lower back and hip pain, frequently associated with weak gluteal (“butt”) muscles and tight or over-working hip flexors (the muscles that lift your thigh to move your leg forward).

This syndrome has been dubbed “dead butt syndrome” or gluteal amnesia by mainstream medicine and if these issues aren’t addressed, the chances of long-term relief from pain is unlikely.

Dead butt syndrome commonly occurs in people who sit for extended periods. The glutes aren’t designed to bear weight for long periods of time and blood flow is restricted when tissues are compressed in a seated position. The glute muscles then start to shut down or ‘fall asleep’ and lose the ability to work when needed.

These muscles should be incredibly powerful but when they aren’t working properly other smaller, weaker muscles are called on to do the job. This causes strain on those smaller muscles and associated joints.

The constant flexed position of sitting can also cause the muscles at the front of the hip to become tight. The glute muscles are then unable to move through a full range of motion, causing them to become weaker.

You may be surprised to know ‘dead butt syndrome’ is not exclusive to sedentary people. Read More…

What could you acheive if you pushed a little harder?

Fannie Bay Swim, Darwin, NT 2019

A year ago, I remember standing at the end of a triathlon chatting to a friend who, like me, finishes among the last ten competitors.

We discussed the “top guns” and how in awe we were of their ability and fitness. She said “Have you ever thought that the reason they’re so good is that they push themselves harder than we do? I notice that when they lap me on the run they’re breathing much more heavily than I am”

This conversation popped into my thoughts many times since and I now use it as motivation to go a little faster, harder and/or further in training sessions and events.

I have achieved some new ‘personal bests’ as my reward for the extra effort, not to mention better self-esteem.

In my life outside triathlon training and events, I know that when I feel frustrated, it is often the result of giving in to fear, making excuses and allowing myself to sit in a comfort zone rather than pushing to my potential. Like a racehorse at the start of a race, itching to get out and run, but being held back by the gate Read More…

Just breathe….


Swimming at Darwin Waterfront

A secret discovered at the dawn of Mankind, refined by many cultures to an art form, often forgotten in today’s hectic world … JUST BREATHE.
A hunter stalking the African savannah, a warrior going into battle, a yogi seeking enlightenment, a woman giving birth. A simple solution to focus, survive and prosper … JUST BREATHE

This is a regular reminder I give myself and others to reduce stress and tension, to assist performance in an exercise session and to navigate challenging situations calmly.
Sometimes I unconsciously hold my breath when I’m doing something difficult.  It’s not just physical exertion. I catch myself not breathing when doing housework, concentrating on writing an assignment or blog, or even reading instructions to put together a flat pack! Do you do the same?
I remind clients to breathe deeply because it assists corrections with kinesiology.  A few deep breaths calm and energise you when feeling stressed and overwhelmed.  It is not by chance that breath provides focus and calmness in yoga and is crucial to meditation practices.
But if you can’t breathe deeply? Read More…

Flat belly please?

Last week I received my favourite kind of bonus payment after an appointment – a hug from a very happy client.

I noticed she had difficulty sitting up from lying down. She told me that even though she regularly exercised to strengthen her abdominals she had very little success in even feeling them work. I asked her if she would like me to see if I could help.

After a few tests and corrective techniques she was able to sit up more easily, and could actually feel her muscles working. She will still need to exercise to develop strong abdominals, but it should be easier and more productive from now on.

Sturdy abdominal muscles are an important part of developing a “strong core” – the area of your body commonly referred to as your midsection or torso.  A strong core involves all your muscles from the front, back and sides (plus more) to work together effectively to stabilize and support your entire body.

Would you like to have a flat belly? Do you suffer from back pain? Do you have poor posture? Have you tried abdominal strengthening exercises but can’t seem to get the muscles to work? Read More…

The healing power of a hug

 

Touch is not only nice.  It’s needed.  Research supports the theory that touch is necessary for our physical and emotional well being.

Therapeutic touch is recognised as an essential tool for healing; to help relieve pain, depression and anxiety, to bolster patients’ will to live and to help babies grow and thrive.

One special form of touch is the hug.   Read More…

Pain relief with Kinesiology

To achieve long term pain relief, several things need to be assessed and resolved.  Because Kinesiology incorporates many techniques, it can be an effective and thorough therapy to help you find the relief you are looking for. Read More…

Hot & Bothered? Take time to rest

In our busy ‘build up’ season it is extra important to take time to rest (and cool off).

Over the past few years I have come to realise how important it is to schedule rest into an exercise program.  Every Ironman training program I have looked at incorporates a rest day every week and a light training recovery week every month. Research in weight training has shown, that on average, people work 7% harder in subsequent sets after they have rested.  This means resting effectively, helps to improve your performance.

It occurs to me that the same principle applys in everyday life.  There seems to be recognition and admiration for people who work long hours and the ability to “push through” is regarded as a quality to strive for. Read More…

Restoring balance

Rena muscle testing an arm muscle related to lung meridian

As a Kinesiologist I generally talk in terms of providing “balances” rather than “treatments” for clients

This is because the goal in a Kinesiology session is to restore your body’s natural balance so you can heal yourself rather than “treating” specific diseases. The focus is to concentrate on your health and how to maintain it, rather than on illness and how to cure it.

One of the first balances I learnt in my training was a 14 muscle balance.  In this basic balance I do a series of specific muscle tests to find indications of imbalances in your body.   Read More…

Forest bathing

What better place for a tree pose, than an isolated water hole in beautiful Litchfield National park?

Many of us have felt the benefits of a trip out in nature, especially amongst trees and plants.  These short trips have come to be called “forest bathing”, and it is often considered as being similar to natural aromatherapy.

After a forest (or in our case bush) bathing trip whether a day trip or longer camping trip you know you feel better, but do you know why?   Read More…

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