As fitness coaches (aka personal trainers), we seem to always be banging on about getting into a habit of exercise. And you know what, that IS super important. The reason is, once you have this habit you are good because no matter what happens in your life, you will always find a way back, even when things get really really hard. I know this is the case for me and I liken it to being an addict of some kind, but with a more positive spin. I never quite feel normal unless I have some of it. Don’t get me wrong, I have my many challenges too like you that compete for my time and take me away from the optimal fitness/health routine. I know any of you out there that own and run a business will really get that, and when you have a young family, the responsibilities are especially significant. But it is only ever days that go by without me getting some of the ‘good oil’, which is either good for my functional strength or cardiovascular fitness. It is a great stress manager as well as the rest of it and I am glad it is such a fixed part of my life. Just recently though, the one thing that I haven’t dialed in enough to my own personal routine, is recovery. I am still working on making this a ‘teeth cleaning’ habit, like exercise is. I finally got a massage yesterday and my body is thanking me for it today. As with those of you struggling […]
Exercise procrastination… Life comes and then it goes. It is too short for exercise procrastination folks, I can tell you that much! It’s not until ‘@hit goes down’ sometimes, that people get propelled to take action. Case in point… a good friend of mine who got diagnosed with cancer at which time he started to become the person he always wanted to be. He put some great things together as a massive legacy before he passed away. Good on you Gav. The unfortunate thing though is that it often kicks in too late or not at all. Yes, sometimes even the @hit going down is met with apathy. How is it that some people wring every bit of experience and fun from life whilst others, the vast majority, resign themselves to ‘the way it is’. Have you heard that? “Well that’s just the way it is…..” Says who? It is the person who has stopped thinking originally and is on the fast track to ‘that’s all she wrote’. I love to meet cliche with cliche sometimes simply because it’s fun and the plain ridiculousness of it may edge its way through the most closed down mind. Why would I bother you might say? Well… life is better when you have energy, humour, action, innovation, ideas and a pleasant buzz of optimism around you that you can bring to the table. You think about it and you tell me, who in your life do you enjoy having around you? Those who are forever moaning and finding the hassle in something, dragging […]
I guess this describes me and probably more than just a few of you when it comes to Paleo. I read this recent article on someone who is an expert or at least very in to this way of eating. I have always thought that any approach which suggests eating more whole foods and closer to nature can’t be all bad 🙂 In fact, this seems like a seriously smart way to eat. Whilst I am not going to stop eating dairy, pasta, rice and grains any time soon I do see the sense in limiting these and for some people avoiding them would seem like a great move. Anyway check out this sensible piece from a blog I came across and a good summary of an intelligent alternative to the crappy way most people eat. Just think, over 60% of the population is obese and that probably didn’t happen from over eating vegetables and meat! Common sense folks. We need more of it.
Some of you will know I have been doing some running this year. It was interesting using My Zone (our new heart rate tracking and automatic exercise journaling tool) to observe my changing physiology, which is an obvious advantage in using it. Only last week though the true nature of where I had been at was revealed. I was having a hard time getting improvements in my performance as I got closer to the recent Bridge to Brisbane run, which probably shouldn’t have been a surprise after having run over 130km in that one week in August helping my mate Damo on a relatively small segment of his epic run from Brisbane to Sydney. I didn’t feel overtrained but the first signs were right there in my heart rate data. I couldn’t get a very high maximum heart rate (compared to what I had seen before) and I couldn’t maintain a very high heart rate when doing time trials. Well just last week after 2 weeks off from cardio training, my higher maximum heart rate returned as did my ability to hold a higher heart rate in interval work I was doing on computrainer. I also felt much better doing that level of intensity. The post I put out there on recovery couple of weeks back was pesonally relevant indeed and this article from Asics (no pushing of product!) is pretty interesting if you want to acquaint yourself a bit more with how the body works in terms of adaptation. If you want to keep up with what is happening […]
Some of you will be aware that Best Practice Personal Training has been a business since April 2005. In that time I have learned a lot about what it means to deliver a service like this and the responsibility involved in such an undertaking. It is a never ending learning process which is why I have invested heavily over this time in both personal and business development because there are people out there who know plenty more than I do and are prepared to teach it. I was on a whole day business coaching course on the weekend with some fitness professional from around Queensland and we spent some time redefining my CORE VALUES for the business. I have been through this before and fortunately they haven’t really changed too much from when I first did them about 5 years back. I say ‘fortunately’ because I think it is important to be consistent and I see core values as enduring principles that you live your entire life by. It was a worthwhile exercise though because this re-examination and more detailed definition has helped reinforce and fine tune the direction and intention of what I want Best Practice to be and do. Thanks Ric Isaac for the help. It is my goal to bring a strong awareness of these values to the business over the coming months such that you, our existing clients and potential clients experience these in all your interaction with us. Here are the words that define Best Practice. Down to earth -we are approachable and easy to […]
I have been doing a bit of reading on this controversial area. Saturated fat has been painted as the bad guy for a long time, even saturated fat that comes from super natural foods like coconuts and avocado. My initial reaction is, ‘how could mother nature have given us something bad?’ I have always liked the very simplistic, ‘eat as close to nature as possible’ advice which would seemingly cause some problems due to the aforementioned ‘bad guy’ status of saturated fat. So, what to do? I think in the search for the right answer we like to look for a blanket statement that covers what we should do so we don’t have to think so hard anymore! Unfortunately lazy thinking usually leads to gaps in knowledge, some of which may be critical to health. This article from the Harvard School of Public Health looks at this subject in great detail and with some pretty solid references too. Although having read it I still have some reservations about what to do. Let me know what you think. p.s. My gut feeling is that trans fat truly is the evil one, with saturated fat still having a few questions marks hanging over it’s head. I would say good old unsaturated (poly and mono) fat untouched by heat or any chemically altering process, is perhaps the pure and chosen one!
The third aspect of a complete program besides thinking and eating, is moving. It is like the third leg of a 3 legged stool. You will not get what you are looking for with out it. This is my main gripe with the so called weight loss industry. They seem to address the eating side quite well (some of them at least) but neglect the critical elements of ‘forming the habit’ and teaching the importance of movement. If we are talking ideal world and ‘best practice’, we need to consider the hierarchy of priority when it comes to movement. It is fine to bang on about how good Cross Fit, for example, might be [and when done well I have no doubt it is] but you must consider your starting point and how you might need to build to more and more challenging forms from a simple base. The best place to start is with an assessment of where you are at. This is a place though where there is a potential to get bogged down. Let’s flag any major risk factors, deal with those the best we can and then go about making progress. In a general sense, a great place to start is with the core. Learn how to control your centre and you reduce risk of injury straight away. We believe Pilates, yoga and specific exercises aimed at this aspect are great first steps. Secondly, there is a priority when it comes to cardiovascular function. It is the engine that dictates the length and quality of your […]
I attended a ‘weight loss’ conference last Friday. There were some industry experts there including the author of a fantastic book on nutrition of this blog’s title, Cyndi O’Meara. More on this amazing book in a minute. This conference was super interesting as professionals from psychology, naturopathy, chiropractic, personal training, nutrition, exercise physiology and life coaching from around Australia got together to tackle the issue of how we as a nation are going to stem the rising tide of the obesity epidemic. No one can argue with the appropriateness of this term ‘epidemic’ with 62% of all Australians either overweight or obese. It is said by 2020 that it is likely this number will increase to 80%! If you don’t think this is going to impact every aspect of how we live then you would be very mistaken. Think budget costs for health care exploding as we deal with more and more lifestyle related diseases, think remodeling the design of planes, buses etc with bigger seats, think drug company profits, think depression and the effect on families….. think catastrophe. Anyway this article is not about the conference (that is another blog entry) but about the book, Changing habits, changing lives. You really need to read this book. I only just got it on Friday and I am close to finishing it. Once caveat is this though, the concepts will challenge you and if you aren’t open minded there is a danger of throwing up your arms and saying, this is just too hard. I really hope you don’t do that […]
The odometer on the old body recently clicked over another year. It is times like these that you tend to reappraise and cast your eye over the year that was and as a guy, ALL the years gone to this date. “Am I where I thought I would be at age 47?” “Have I done what I thought I would do?” And perhaps a little desperately…”How much time do I have left to fit the rest in?” I guess all this get’s put under the microscope a little more when you get a letter in the post (almost on the day of my birthday) saying quite jauntily that “since you are now in the 45-49 year old age bracket, you have been selected for a regular health check (lucky me!) as things start to go bung at this time” I made up the last bit but that was definitely the implication when I spoke to the nurse today. Well I had that check up and all seems okay at the moment thankfully but it get’s you thinking. Life is this precious resource and there is just so much to do. If you are 40+ guy, what are you doing to ensure the second half of your life goes well? It’s no surprise that I would be suggesting regular exercise as part of that preventative plan. Or, do you wait for an issue and ask for a prescription from your doc to ‘fix’ it. My goal is to be listing vitamins I take rather than medications when I get to my […]