fbpx

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.

The gift of receiving

A few years ago, I was having a tough time with some confronting personal issues. My mother asked who could help and support me. I told her that I had some great friends, but they had their own issues and I didn’t want to trouble them.

Mum went on to give me a new perspective…

“When you help someone, do you feel good?”

“Yes I do”

“Have you ever thought that when you don’t allow someone help you, you are denying them that good feeling,”

I now have a new attitude towards accepting help when it’s offered. I gratefully accept!

I have shared this story with many friends and clients over the years, because accepting help can be challenging for all.

If you have difficulty asking for or accepting help, it can be worthwhile to explore your beliefs about receiving help.

Is it a feeling of being unworthy? The person offering help has already decided you are worthy and deserving in their eyes.

Are you a perfectionist that sees yourself as a failure if you ask for help? Read More…

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…

Create some friction!

A few weeks ago, I watched an interview with Gweneth Paltrow, where she was talking about how being a success at a young age meant that many people came into her life to help smooth the way and make life easy. It wasn’t until her father sat her down and suggested that she was in danger of becoming an A-hole, that she realised that a bit of “friction” in life is a good thing.

She expressed perfectly something I have been thinking about and working on myself. I noticed that when someone achieves success, they sometimes slide backwards (often dramatically) soon after. I wonder if, without the ‘friction’ created by striving for success, these people step back and stop challenging themselves to become better people and to improve and enhance their skills.

The ongoing challenges we face every day can be good for us! Needing to earn an income to pay bills and mortgages means we Read More…

Take your rest!

Taking a break!

“Take your rest!  You can’t go hard for the next set if you don’t take your rest!”  This was the voice of the coach this morning at swimming training.

You see I am a slow swimmer and in a mistaken attempt to keep up with the group I was skipping the 10 second rest break and continuing to swim the next lap.  After all 10 seconds isn’t going to make much difference right?  Wrong!  I discovered even a short rest meant I could swim harder and faster the next lap.

Every training program I have seen for triathlons, marathons etc, always have rest days as part of the schedule as well as rest breaks within the daily programs.  This shows me that if endurance athletes, who are training to push themselves beyond normal limits, take rests, then the benefits of rest shouldn’t be underestimated.

One of the most common reasons people come to see me is because they are tired and burnt out.  Frequently, these people have been pushing themselves to stay on top of their workload, whether it’s from their job or from personal or family demands.  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…

Getting stuff done

A few weeks ago, I worked with a client who was struggling with procrastination. You know, that great thief of time.

She had a series of assessments she needed to hand in to complete her course; she frequently found herself being distracted and avoided getting them done.  A few days after our session she contacted me to say she had already finished five, and was well on her way to completing the rest.

I often work with clients who feel stuck or blocked, who struggle with procrastination and avoid uncomfortable tasks.  They sabotage their own ability because they don’t feel ready, or lack the confidence, energy, time or motivation to make that first move and then follow through.

This is a subject I feel somewhat of an expert on – there was a stage where the “pro” in procrastination could have referred to me. Here are some of the ideas and techniques I use to keep procrastination at bay.

Just start!

Above my desk I have a hand-embroidered sign that simply says “Start”.

This has been an invaluable reminder when it’s time to write another blog and I find myself sitting at my desk staring at a blinking cursor on a blank computer screen.   To just type notes and develop ideas gives me a base to build my next article.

Sometimes the pathway or process to completion only comes to light after you get started. Read More…

Holding too tight?

When I was a child, I often had the comment “Rena tries too hard” on my report cards.  I remember thinking what a ridiculous comment to make.  How could you ‘try too hard’?  Weren’t you supposed to try hard?

As an adult I better understand what the teachers meant, but there are still times when I need to remind myself that, rather than continuing to push through frustration, it’s better to pause, take a breath, relax and reassess.

In a kinesiology session a few weeks ago, a similar problem surfaced for a client.  As we were discussing the issue, some advice I was given by a cycling friend came to mind which served as a great metaphor to describe the concept.  So, I thought I would share it here…. 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…

Time for a fresh start? Time to declutter

It’s the first new moon of 2018 and I’ve decided NOW is the time to clear out my clutter.  I have made forays into clearing out and cleaning up before but this time I plan to dig deep and really clear my space.

One of the principles discussed in my training as a Kinesiologist is “What is in your universe (environment) is also within you”.  Meaning a cluttered home could indicate; a cluttered mind, an overweight body, inability to live in the present moment and/or not happy with the person you are.

Clearing clutter is an emotional process, but if you follow through when the frustration and overwhelm kicks in, it can be a life changing activity.  To help keep me motivated I have done some research into the benefits of clearing clutter so I have something positive to focus on while I work through my “stuff”.  I am sharing them here… Read More…

Next Posts