It’s All About Mindset. Just Ask Dick Harvey!

One thing I loved about my career as a trainer at the YMCA was that I got to meet all sorts of wonderful people! They were from all over the spectrum as far as fitness levels and needs go. Many became friends but one person who was special was Dick Harvey.

I met Dick after he had a major stroke. I had been training for a number of years already, and since I began my fitness career later in life I felt more comfortable being able to work with him. He was in a wheelchair that he moved using his legs. I remember first talking with him and thinking his goals were very lofty. Dick told me from the beginning he wanted to be able to get out of his wheelchair and walk, even if it were only short distances. You see, his doctors told his family that he would never get out of bed again after the stroke. He was determined to prove them wrong and was focused on just getting to a chair. Once he made it there he joined the Y and we began working together.

It started fairly slow and a lot of what we did was working on leg strength. He soon told me he wanted to bring a walker in with him and try using it. I was nervous at first, but realized as much as he wanted to push it, he knew when he had to pull back. It wasn’t long, though, before he was using a cane for short walks. He told me many times his doctors were amazed to hear the things he was able to do. These were a lot of the same docs who said he wouldn’t get out of bed again!

We talked a lot about what he wanted to try and he was very in tune with what his body needed. Some things we did that seemed simple to me were so difficult for him, and many times he would get frustrated but he never gave up! We had a great bond from the beginning and had some great conversations during our sessions. He had an amazing sense of humor and everyone at the Y loved seeing him come through the door.

The stroke he had started to take its toll on him a number of years later and other health issues came up. Through all this he never lost his faith in God, and many times kept me on the straight and narrow during tough times in my life. He was one of those people who made you realize even though life can, and will, be very tough and put obstacles in your way, LIFE IS GREAT!

He passed away a couple of years ago. I do miss our conversations and hearing his life stories but the memories I have will always be there. LIFE IS GREAT!

Until next time…

You Have To Put The Work In!

If it were easy, everyone would be at their healthy body weight!

If only it were easy. We all know that freak of nature who never works out, has a high fat diet and doesn’t gain a pound. Notice I called them freaks of nature. Somehow, they were born with a gene that allows them to beat the odds. For the other 99% of us, we need to be careful with our diets and hit the gym. There is no easy way out.

Putting effort toward your health is a very fulfilling experience! It certainly isn’t easy, which is why so many start and stop while on their wellness journey. To put the work in doesn’t always mean you have to go all out. Getting a workout on a regular basis starts you on to the good habit. Gradually adding challenges will give you better results. But there is no way around it. YOU HAVE TO PUT THE WORK IN!

Many look at the challenge and just think of everything they will have to give up. No, you can’t have cake everyday, however it doesn’t mean you can never have cake again! And yes, you have to do some type of workout on a regular basis even if you don’t like to exercise. The key to all of this is finding what gets you the best results. If you want to be a gym rat, great! If you want to go vegan, fantastic! You don’t have to go that drastic but you have to put the work in!

Until next time…

You Have To Get Uncomfortable!

I had an interesting conversation with a woman who is looking to get more strength in her legs and wanted to use a bike. What she was looking for is a bike with no resistance because when it is hard to pedal, her legs hurt.

Many times as a fitness professional, you have those straight forward, yet simple, discussions about challenging yourself. I get that many don’t like to exercise, however, if you want to get better, in this case getting stronger legs, you have to get uncomfortable! There is no way around that.

If you are new to exercise, it is always best to build a base. You don’t want to rush this as that can lead to injury and push your fitness back. Gradually increasing what you are doing is the safest way to improve your fitness level and ensure that you will be doing it for a long time!

Until next time…

The Recumbent Bike Is No Good!

I heard it again! You can’t get a good workout on the recumbent bike. It is made for older people therefore it is not a good exercise.

Everyone has their opinion on what is the best piece of exercise equipment. The recumbent bike probably take the most heat when it comes to efficiency of your workout. Agreed, if you walk into most YMCA’s or community centers, older people are probably riding those bikes with the arm rests and your legs out in front. What I would challenge is that you can’t get a good workout on it.

Many times, when consulting with a new client, they tell me what they do during a normal workout. If they tell me they do the recumbent, the next thing I do is put them on the bike and ask them to set it up how they normally ride. There are 2 things I ask them to pay attention to. First, RPM, or rotations per minute. This is a way to determine how fast you are going. When I tell them to keep it between 75-80, they usually have to increase their leg speed and tell me they don’t go nearly that fast. The second thing to watch is the level of resistance. As you keep the RPM number up and gradually increase the resistance, that heart rate will go up and the calories burned will sky rocket!

If you get off a piece of equipment and don’t feel like you worked out, it isn’t the equipment. You have to take the responsibility to push yourself. There is not a piece of exercise equipment that will do that for you!

Until next time…

There Are No Guarantees!

The payoff of exercise and eating right is good health! We spend many hours walking, lifting weights, stretching etc. to keep the excess weight off and muscles strong. Along with that is a healthy diet. The saying you can’t out exercise a poor diet is very true! Especially the older we get, it becomes more important to watch what we eat for many reasons.

What we eat will fuel the workout. Pay attention next time you exercise as to how you feel. Then go back to your food diary and see what you ate prior to that workout. I can almost guarantee that on the days you feel good, your eating habits were solid and when you weren’t as energized, you ate poorly.

More importantly, a healthy diet will give our bodies what they need to fight off disease. We get all these nutrients from whole foods, not processed. So many packaged foods make the claim that they add in antioxidants or enhance with vitamins. All of these are found naturally in whole food!

The problem with eating healthy and exercising is that we can get lulled into thinking we will never get sick. There are no guarantees that this will be true and we see examples all the time. There are many factors that can lead to illness and disease, some of which are genetic. What exercise and a healthy diet will do for you is put you in the best position to fight off that disease. Eating the right foods will power your immune system and that is the best disease fighter you have! And, it is proven that medications can be more effective when coupled with a healthy lifestyle. Having surgery? Your recovery time can be shortened dramatically if you go into surgery with a healthy body.

Don’t think you are guaranteed a disease free life with a healthy lifestyle. What you can guarantee is a much better quality of life!

Until next time…

Fuel Kids To Take On The Day!

Long has it been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We need to get a good start after 6-8 hours of sleep. Not only that, when kids head to school they can’t snack throughout the morning so getting something good for that start is even more important.

It’s a challenge to get the right food in our kids, especially in the morning. However, if you ask any teacher, they will tell you when kids have sugary foods in the morning, it makes for a nightmare. Usually, there is very high energy level followed by a crash. The same holds true for lunch. I know how I feel when I don’t eat the best, whether it is breakfast or lunch. I also know how I feel when I have a great meal, packed with whole food! That is night and day!

The problem with breakfast is we believe the cereal companies when they advertise that their particular cereal is full of nutrients and will give energy. You have to read the label to find out how much sugar they get in there. Cereal today is very different than it was 20 years ago. You can tell just by the size of the aisle that houses the, probably, hundred different kinds. I would challenge parents to try something different for 30 days. Make your kids a scrambled egg with a bowl of fruit for breakfast and see first hand the change. Make their lunch for those 30 days to take along. Get some good protein along with a piece of fruit. I bet there would be more than one teacher make a comment about how different behavior is. I’m not just talking about bad behavior. Their energy level will change along with their focus. You will be shocked!

Until next time…

What Can We Do With Recalls On Meds And Food?

It seems like there have been a lot of recalls of blood pressure meds as of late. Maybe a lot isn’t quite right but anytime this happens, it is a big deal. Then we have the recall of food for various reasons. There are so many people that are affected by recalls such as these that you realize how fragile our health is. At the same time, our bodies are extraordinarily strong and can heal when giving the right fuel.

First, lets not confuse medicine with fuel for the body. Typically, medicine is treating a symptom and not looking at the whole body. Just look at the side affects that come along with most medicines and you see it. The fuel that we need to heal and be strong comes from what we eat. More specifically whole foods such as fruits and vegetables. This is the fuel that we need to be heatlhy and perform at our best. But then we see recalls on certain foods, usually it is lettuce or something like that. What can you do to keep your family safe?

Diet and exercise will always be our safeguard from poor health. Is it foolproof? Absolutely not! Nothing in life is a guarantee. When talking about improving health, I recommend Juice Plus and will put it up against any supplement, or even medication, with its research. This is matched by no other company! Take a look at it HERE! You won’t see this with any other supplement company guaranteed. This research is specific to Juice Plus so no other company can say, see what the research shows here, now we have a product that is similar. It doesn’t work that way. And the research is done on actual people, not animals.

When it comes to food, Juice Plus has that covered as well with THE TOWER GARDEN! Grow your own food without pesticides and you can eat it fresh off the tower! How much healthier can you get!

A couple of things to take away. I think our medical industry is second to none and there are many reasons for medicine. We just need to be able to look at other options and say there may be a better way! And there is no guarantee that we will always be healthy just because we exercise and eat right. There are many factors that could take place, however a healthy lifestyle puts us in the best position to fight those things off.

Until next time…

Once You Own It, You Will Achieve That Weight Loss!

There are too many excuses out there for weight gain. Fast food restaurants pop up everywhere so they must be to blame correct? Granted, the food choices at those restaurants are not the best but no one is forcing you to go there! We all make decisions on what we put in our mouths and that ultimately results in weight gain, loss or staying level.

Many times clients have said to me they saw their results boom when they finally looked in the mirror and realized their bad choices got them where they are. So it stands to reason good choices can change the course. This is exactly the mindset we need in order to be successful! The hardest thing to do is take that responsibility but boy does it change everything!

There are many more bad choices now than ever before. The grocery stores are full of sweet things that call our name. I talk all the time about the candy industry and how we go from one sugar period to another. Halloween candy is put on the shelves, what, around the beginning of September?? And really from that time through Easter, the aisles are full of Christmas, Valentine then Easter candy! What are we to do?? That is almost 8 months of holiday sweets staring at us! And that is not counting the regular, everyday candy each store has.

Just like the fast food, the candy companies are not forcing us to buy. We make those choices, however temptation tough! My thought process is always if you buy Halloween candy in September, it won’t be around to pass out to kids so just don’t do it! It sounds easy, I know, but that is the mindset to have. Once you get there, watch out!

Until next time…