Guest Blog Post written by Julian Hooks, author at DietBrandReviews.com
In this world where being overweight is becoming a trend, tips for keeping the body healthy and fit play a crucial role. Many people are searching everywhere for tips that are effective and can give them the results that they desire. Here are some tips that can surely help you in trimming those extra pounds and keep your body impressively fit:
1. Foremost, you must realize the importance of proper diet. The body needs proper nutrition and hydration so that it will be able to function properly. To be fit, it is of utmost importance that you should be extra careful in your choice of foods. Your meal plan must be low in fat and calorie content while high in protein. Diet reviews place importance on the diet program which must ensure that the body will be provided with the nutrients it needs while at the same time burn the extra fats in the body.
2. If one wants to be fit, one should avoid any fad and stay on reliable diet and exercise program. They should not rely on the magic potions being promised by weight loss pills. One should learn to put emphasis to those methods proven safe and effective in order to achieve results which can last for a lifetime.
3, Exercise is equally important in order to remain fit. This has been a fitness tip for so many years, but few people realize its importance. The recommended period of exercise is 30 minutes for at least 4 times in a week. The key to achieve your desired result is to consistently do this on regular basis.
4. For those who intend to lose weight, it is very important to engage in resistance and cardiovascular types of exercises. The cardiovascular routine works by speeding up the metabolic process to effectively burn fats. The resistance routines are intended for toning the muscle so that there will be consistency in the fat burning process.
5. Not many dieters are aware that changing intensity of the workout significantly helps in gradually increasing the amount of routines and period of its performance will surely have a huge contribution on your quest of fit and healthy body. This does not only keep the workout more interesting to develop consistency, but it will also continuously challenge your body to give out the best it can.
6. When performing exercise, it is also necessary that you are able to keep track of your heart rate to ensure that you will stay on your target. While highly intensified heart rate means burning more fats, checking it means keeping yourself safe not to exceed the recommended rate.
7. For you to enjoy maximum benefits of fitness tips, it is highly advisable to have a workout buddy. This will make your program just like a regular appointment which you cannot have any excuses not to attend to. This will make it easier to stick to the program.
8. Finally, you must learn to discipline yourself. No fitness diet and exercise program will ever work if the people will not put a hundred percent of dedication to it.
Julian Hooks is a former collegiate athlete as well as a health & fitness enthusiast who writes on topics such as diet reviews, exercise, general health, and nutrition for Diet Brand Reviews.
Do you want even more health, fitness and wellness tips? Why not consider becoming a personal fitness trainer! Click on our guide below to find out more!
Article by Jacque Ratliff, Personal Fitness Trainer Program Director
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are approximately 2,200 deaths EVERY DAY that are related to heart disease and stroke.
February is National Heart month and with the 2013 year in full swing with February here, I got to thinking about the heart: both the anatomical and emotional heart. As a fitness professional, it is crucial for me to maintain my cardiovascular fitness and help my students and clients learn how to do the same. From a scientific standpoint, there are many benefits of doing cardiovascular exercise (and exercise in general) that will specifically affect the heart and how it functions.
- Due to sedentary lifestyle being one of the major contributors to heart disease, simply adding a moderate exercise plan to your schedule will greatly decrease the chances of this disease.
- “Exercise promotes weight reduction” and when a person’s weight is maintained at a healthy number, heart disease risk is reduced.
- Physical activity is a main proponent in decreasing blood pressure which can also lead to heart disease and other cardiovascular events.
- Cardiovascular activity also has the ability to increase HDL (our good cholesterol) which helps to ‘clean out’ the arteries allowing for better blood flow and decreased blood pressure.
- Lastly, exercise (especially cardiovascular) will increase insulin sensitivity which allows the body to regular blood sugar more efficiently effecting the heart’s ability to function (among other body systems)
So if the scientific evidence doesn’t speak for itself, perhaps the amazing anecdotes detailing ability of the human heart and spirit will convince you to get on the cardiovascular band wagon.
In January (.ed), I participated in my very first full marathon, which entails running for 26.2 miles. If you’ve been keeping up on our recent Mueller College blog, you know that I am in the middle of training for my first Ironman triathlon, which includes this marathon preceded by a 2.4 miles swim and 112 mile bike. Any normal person would likely be asking at this point, “are you crazy?”, and although the answer is yes, it may not be as crazy as you think.
At the race, I saw more examples of what the human heart can do both physically and emotionally than most people see in perhaps their lives. For example: I ran next to a woman for a while who wore a shirt detailing her progress through several half marathons and losing 70 pounds. Another gentleman told his story of how he used to smoke like a chimney and realized he wouldn’t be around for his kids so he began signing up for 5k’s with his wife. Two marathons later, here he was. My own personal spirit was tested at about mile 18 where a sideline coach prodded me to keep going by letting me know it was a straight shot back to the finish line. At about this time in my race, “I can go the distance” by Michael Bolton came up on my Ipod and poignantly reminded me that there would be people at the finish line cheering me in and that I could make it.
Yes, running a marathon “just to know you could do it” is crazy, and doing an ironman is probably more so, but when the body and spirit are tested simultaneously within these rigorous events, there is no denying that the human heart is a wonderful thing. If 5k’s are more your style and you’ve never completed one before, your heart and spirit will also be tested.
The wonderful thing is, when you accomplish something new and challenging, the heart always wins. <3
Learn more about Jacque, here! :)
Article by Jacque Ratliff, Personal Fitness Trainer Program Director
Check out the top ten reasons you should become a personal fitness trainer, from none other than Mueller College's PFT Program Director, Jacque Ratliff! (.ed)
10. This profession helps you stay in shape and lead a healthier lifestyle…it just comes with the territory!
9. According to the Department of Labor, Fitness Trainer and Instructor positions will see an increase 24% over the next 8 years.
8. Learning new and interesting ways to achieve your own fitness goals or the goals of your clients will keep you motivated and more money coming into your pocket.
7. Researchers surveyed 115 health fitness professionals, who revealed that an exercise science bachelor's degree or American College of Sports Medicine or the National Strength and Conditioning Association certification were strong predictors of a personal trainer's knowledge.
6. “Research suggests that 50% of persons starting an exercise program will drop out within the first 6 months (Wilson and Brookfield, 2009).” To combat this, “there is a significant relation in a client’s exercise adherence with his/her personal trainer’s leadership style…exercise leaders who are perceived to have a high mastery of exercise favorably influence client exercise adherence.”
5. When you spend time with your friends or family, you will be among the most popular in the room. Everyone will want to know what you do to keep in such great shape…this leads to more clients for you!
4. If you’re interested in training athletes, wouldn’t it be cool to do this for a living!!! (courtesy of our current externship site, Fitness Quest 10)
3. If have a history of weight issues yourself, becoming a personal trainer is a great way to learn how to change your life while also becoming an empathetic role model for your future clients who may also be having their own battle with weight.
2. The fitness industry is an every growing, ever changing one. When you become a personal trainer and graduate from Mueller College, you associate yourself with likeminded individuals who have a passion to influence our community. These individuals will always be linked with Mueller College, and through an attitude of life-long learning, will continue to influence those around them in a positive way.
1. If you could help change someone’s life like this…what’s stopping you?
If you are interested in persuing a Personal Fitness Training career, check out Mueller College's PFT program below!
Post by Jacque Ratliff, Personal Fitness Trainer Program Director
Jacque's IRONMAN UPDATE!
The time comes in every athlete’s training cycle where they just don’t feel up to the task at hand…for me that time is now. I recently signed up for my first full marathon in preparation for my first full Ironman that will both be taking place in 2013.
In October, I visited my family in Kansas and returned home with quite the long term cold/bug. After being out of my regular training routine for about 2 weeks due to traveling and sickness, it has been challenging to get back on track…and then came Thanksgiving! I’m usually very good about not indulging too heavily in the feast that is Thanksgiving, and this year was no exception. What did make this year different, however, was two-fold.
1-After being super diligent with my diet up until Thanksgiving, the new foods (even in moderate portions) that I introduced to my system were not taken well.
2-Because I hosted Thanksgiving dinner in my own home for the first time this year, the result that does not bode well for my nutritional efforts and endurance training is….dun-Dun-DUN-Leftovers! Yes, the attack of the turkey and stuffing hangover is in full force at my house. Along with gravy, rolls, and all the random slices of pie, my husband and I are drowning in the carbohydrate and tryptophan saucers.
What I have come to realize, by no means for the first time, is that when I do veer away from my planned regimen I feel, well, crappy. I have been in the health and fitness industry for at least a full decade now, and it is still so amazing to me how much our daily nutrition and exercise routine effects how we actually feel. Recently, I’ve noticed these not so wonderful side effects of the holiday splurge: groggy feeling during the day, less productive workouts (couldn’t finish my planned long run this weekend), more muscle soreness (probably due to poor recovery techniques), obvious weight gain and bloating, headaches, dry scalp, and achy joints. Now, if you are like ‘most’ Americans, you may be saying “No way, there’s no way all of those things can be caused from a poor diet for a week or two and less physical activity.” Well, unfortunately, this IS exactly what’s causing them. What I find even more disturbing, is the fact that even though I am completely aware that I am feeling like crap, there are your typical Americans that go around feeling like this every day-and they think it’s NORMAL!
If you are one of these ‘typical’ Americans that is feeling the effects of your recent holiday festivities or if you are an athlete like me trying to drag yourself back on track with your training, here are some tips that might help get you through this holiday season:
1. Plan ahead for you holiday dinner parties: Before you go out for your upcoming Christmas parties or New Year’s celebration, have a snack of heart healthy nuts or other fats and protein. This will help to curb your appetite for hours afterward and leave you having maybe only ½ a slice of cheesecake instead of the whole thing!
2. If you consume alcohol, make sure to keep stocked up on water as well. Perhaps alternating a class of H2O on the rocks in between each cocktail. This will help to curb your blood sugar as well as help you to remember the fun you had at your holiday party.
3. Pick your poison: Make sure to mentally prepare yourself for what you might want to splurge on either before or right when you arrive at your destination. Choose one thing to indulge in and make that your one ‘treat’ for the evening.
4. Stay active: whatever your activity of choice, make the time in your holiday schedule to stick to it. If you’re like me and having a little motivational issue, grab a friend and make sure to keep each other accountable with your workouts.
5. TRI something new: As a triathlete myself, I always find it much easier to stay active if I have an event or new race to train for (the past few weeks being the exception). If you are needing a little boost to stay motivated through the holidays, pick an event such as a Triathlon, 5k, or even half marathon that happens toward the beginning of the year. January and February are great race months and if you’ve paid an entry fee, you’ll be more likely to stay committed to your particular event.
I’m ready to jump back on the ‘healthy’ bandwagon…won’t you join me?
To get started, download our Guide to Holiday Health and Weekend Wellness
(Filled with yummy, healthy recipes!)
Once in a while, you come across an individual with all the right qualities; optimistic, driven, kind, honest, light-hearted, outgoing, inspiring (and the list goes on). Fortunately for us here at Mueller College, we have many instructors who fit this seemingly impossible profile.
Today we'd like to feature one of our personal fitness trainer instructors and program director who has made Mueller College's fitness trainer program shine. She is none other than Mrs. Jacque Ratliff.
Jacque has been with Mueller College for almost two years. She is a team player in all senses of the word. A graduate of Kansas State University (Go K State!), Jacque is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Level 1 USA Triathalon Coach. She has been in the fitness industry for 11 years.
Take a look at the video below to meet Jacque and see what Mueller College's Personal Fitness Trainer program is all about- she's truly made it into a spectacular programs.
For more information on our Personal Fitness Training program or to speak to Jacque in more detail, click here:
Post by Jacque Ratliff, Personal Fitness Training Program Director
In my athletic career I’ve participated in a myriad of sports including gymnastics, track and field, rowing, and most recently triathlon. When I competed in my first triathlon, at the age of 17, I had no idea where this sport would take me in my career or what opportunities would arise to challenge myself both physically and mentally. I’ve always been motivated and intrigued when the Kona Ironman World Championships are replayed every summer (race takes place in October). I’m the girl who is applauding everyone who finishes this grueling race and I can’t help but tear up (ok, sob uncontrollably) when people like the Hoyt team:
...and Jon Blais cross the finish line.
These seemingly average individuals are doing something extraordinary by competing in what is consistently called the most challenging sport on earth, and have done it on one of the most challenging courses in history. This race only, however, is not what makes these people, and the tens and hundreds of thousands every year who compete in Ironman distance triathlons, unique.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”
This especially rings true for the sport of triathlon and everything that comes along with becoming an “Ironman”.
To finish the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run (in less than 17 hours), obviously takes endurance, strength and probably a little bit of crazy. But because this race has been deemed ‘impossible’ by your average spectator, it also takes guts, passion, an innate desire to be something bigger than yourself, and the support of the people you love and that love you. Ironman finishers have all these things in common, and they have shown me that what was once ‘impossible’ can actually be possible. The self-sacrificing journey that Dick Hoyt takes his disabled son through with each race, and the battle with ALS that Jon Blais eventually lost, also validate that many of life’s other ‘impossibilities’ are perhaps more possible than we think.
The moment I knew that I could, in fact, actually achieve this goal was the very second I crossed the finish line in my first half ironman race. Because I could do that, I could become an Ironman. Like the Hoyts and Blazeman, all Ironman competitors have something deep within them that ignites them and carries them to the finish line. In my personal quest to become an Ironman, there are a three reasons (other than being a tad crazy and slightly OCD) propelling me to the finish line of what I hope to be my first Ironman race next July. I will be doing this race for three ladies that never had the opportunity to achieve such a feat. These three young women were tragically all taken in separate car accidents during my high school career. I think of them, more than 10 years later, on almost a daily basis and wonder what they would be doing now. Because they were all extraordinary women with bright futures ahead of them, I know that their journey would have been full of life’s possible impossibilities.
Because their lives were ended too soon, this is why I race.
My ‘road to the Ironman’ will surely be filled with ups and downs, defeats and accomplishments, fatigue and elation. But that’s what life is, right? “Life is a journey, not a destination.”
So what’s your Ironman? What motivates you to be a better person who challenges themselves and gets back up when they fall down? What makes you extraordinary? Why do you race?
Would you like to participate in a triathalon, or ever thought of helping someone else train? If so, take a look at Mueller College's personal fitenss training program:
Post by Karen Brohard, Admissions Advisor
Australia’s Vogue Magazine made waves last August for doing something the magazine has never done before: Put a “plus size” model on the cover of their magazine.
At 6’2” and a size 16, Robyn Lawley is considered a plus size model.
As sad as this news may be, having anyone who is not a size 0 on the cover of any fashion magazine is a push in the direction of reality. If we as Americans want to live long and healthy lives, we need to realize that starving ourselves to 2% body fat or making ourselves sick after meals still won’t make us look like the girls on many magazines. In fact, those girls don’t even look like that in real life. (Gotta love Photoshop!) The simple truth is that most bodies are not built to fit through a key hole. Why become miserable as we try to force that?
Luckily with the new wave of body type reality slap comes the new wave of attractiveness: strong.
Lean bodies supplemented by muscle are finally surpassing the frail double 0 body type. Not only do athletic inidivudals have more energy and tend to have less (not zero, mind you) body fat, they have a tendency to be happier in general. Eating healthy always makes us feel more energetic, and not only does it feel better to eat healthier, but we feel less guilty eating after a workout.
With weightlifting, strength and conditioning gyms growing at an exponential rate, Americans are looking to lose weight in healthier ways. Men are beginning to rival women in numbers of attendance at yoga classes while women suddenly aren’t afraid that back squats will turn them into Arnold Schwarzenegger. Organic markets like Sprouts, Henry’s and Whole Foods are looking more appealing while the 3 page ingredient list on fast food burgers are finally beginning to steer people away.
With that being said, strap on those gym shoes and pick up something heavy, run a couple of miles, or shoot a basketball with some friends followed by a healthy, nutritious snack or meal. Your mood improves, your body improves, and remember: You look good the way you are. Work out to feel better.
For more information about how to make yourself and others feel better, take a look at the National Strength and Conditioning Association's guide to becoing a personal trainer!
Post by Erik Blekeberg, Personal Fitness Training Instructor
The kettlebell swing is a fantastic exercise. It can be done when other movements are limited. It develops conditioning, improved hip mobility, increased strength and power and can heal up a weak or hurting lower back when properly applied. There are also many variations of the kettlebell swing. The standard swing involves using 2 hands gripping 1 bell and swinging from back between the legs, up to about chest level. You can also do a 1 handed variation. That, honestly, is where I would leave it. If you want to swing overhead, do a snatch. If you want to do a split stance swing, don’t. This may sound strong but, let’s think about the purpose of the exercise.
The swing is designed to load the hip hinge motion (flexion and extension at the hips) and train power. In order to properly produce power you need a system that directs power through the varying lines of the body. Remember that power travels in a straight line and that when you create a bend, power dissipates. The goal of the swing is to drive power from the hips through the ground and force the kettlebell out and up with arms extended out from the chest. To increase the effectiveness of the swing one can then pull the kettlebell back down instead of waiting for gravity to do it for you. This is loading the eccentric portion and termed “accelerated ballistics”.
Why do we perform accelerated ballistics?
Verkhoshansky found that by loading the eccentric portion faster and greater (to a point) we get an increased result in the concentric. Siff also found that using resistance bands on barbells and providing a progressively increasing load on a squat produced greater concentric forces (especially in the later stages of the lift where power and force production normally dissipate).
So, the answer is, we perform these high power activities to increase force generation and thereby train our muscles to produce, and deal with, greater force. This is where we come back to the kettlebell swing. These 2 videos below show the differences in the swing (24kg kettlebell used). The first video shows a swing done with a passive downward portion of the swing. The second, with a forceful downward swing or accelerated ballistic (the RKC terms this overspeed eccentric).
See the difference?
Maximal force is still being applied in the concentric phase but, greater force exists in the second video where there was a loaded eccentric portion. So, why not swing the kettlebell overhead is the next question. The only overhead variation I have ever seen involves 2 hands. If you are swinging overhead with 1-hand then I really question why aren’t you just spearing through and turning it over because the movement you just performed was a kettlebell snatch without a turnover.
Now, if you are using 2 hands to swing the kettlebell overhead, I ask why? Is it wrong to do? Not necessarily, but, it’s really an issue of purpose. Are you doing it because you believe it will work you harder? Remember that the swing is really more about the down then it is the up and you cannot properly engage the latissimus dorsi to extend the humerus and drive the kettlebell back between your legs. This is why stopping at chest level is the ideal height for the swing. The swing as taught by the RKC is not designed to be a sport in itself but, rather designed to aid in sport. It teaches concepts like accelerated ballistics, hip extension, bracing, body coordination while opening up the hips through movement and reciprocal inhibition (when one side turns on, the other must turn off). The latter works by opening up your hips like rusty door hinges; by moving them back and forth you help them move better and quicker, knocking all the old rust off...
To read the rest of "Why Sing Form Matters", visit Erik's blog SQUATMORE.org here: http://www.squatmore.org/2012/07/why-swing-form-matters.html
Erik Blekeberg, M.A, CSCS, is a Personal Fitness Training instructor at Mueller College. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and has done strength coach work for the past 7 years. He is the author of the thriving blog, "Squatting Makes You Better At Life."
Post by Jacque Ratliff, Personal Fitness Training Program Director
Nutrition, Diet, Food…those are hard concepts to grasp, even for a fitness veteran. I’ve had a lot of experience working with clients and one of the first issues that we discuss is what their diet is currently and how might we change that for the better. This past weekend, at the IDEA World Fitness Conference, I had the pleasure of listening to Amanda Carson-Phillips, Vice President of Nutrition and Research for Athlete’s Performance and Core, speak about the top 10 rules to a diet ‘upgrade’. Here’s the thing, as soon as you mention the word ‘change’ to a potential personal training client, student, spouse, employee, (fill in the blank), there is an immediate withdrawal from that person. The word ‘change’ makes people think negatively, because apparently they were doing something wrong. This does not help the personal trainer in their efforts to aid the client into being compliant and on their way to their health and fitness goals. So, with that, here are the top 10 rules for a diet ‘upgrade’.
1. “Come Back to Earth”: Use these phrases to help pick Carbohydrates that are healthful. “Brown and close to the ground”, “The whiter the bread, the quicker you’re dead”. Choose Carbohydrates that are natural and not processed. Look for at least 3g of Fiber per serving on the nutrition label. This tells you it will be more satisfying and will actually help in your quest for success.
2. “Eat the Rainbow Often”: Eating many different types of fruits and vegetables will help in getting the vitamins and minerals that are needed on a daily basis. Research has shown that fruits and vegetables that are yellow/orange can help in slowing the aging process and reducing inflammation, like papaya and squash.
3. “The Less Legs the Better”: Obviously, protein is an essential part of our diet. It is one of the 3 macronutrients, but there are a lot of different protein sources out there and not all of them are created equal. Amanda suggests using the ‘less legs the better’ method in getting lean, healthy protein sources. If it swims, or only walks on two legs, it’s probably a leaner meat and doesn’t have as many heart/health side effects as say, a four legged cow. Fish such as salmon and tuna as well as poultry are very good protein sources and some kind of protein source should be consumed with each meal that is about the size of the palm of your hand.
4. “Eat Fats that Give Something Back”: Fats have received a bad rap over the past decade or so, but I feel that the winds of change are in motion and that most people understand that there is a difference between a ‘good fat’ and a ‘bad fat’. Good fats help us with cellular repair, brain function, and absorption of essential vitamins. Be sure to choose these healthy fats to keep you satisfied and your heart free from congestion. Examples include avocados, salmon, peanut butter, almonds, walnuts, olive oil.
5. “Eat Breakfast Everyday”: Your mom was right, breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. By eating breakfast you can speed up your metabolism (making it easier for you to lose weight, if that’s your goal) and it will provide you with a more sustained energy throughout the day. Research suggests that eating breakfast greatly decreases your risk for diabetes and other disease. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/30/really-to-lower-your-risk-of-diabetes-eat-breakfast/. There is about a 21% reduction of diabetes in individuals that regularly eat breakfast, according to this study.
6. “Three for Three”: Eating a combination of fiber rich Carbohydrates, Healthy Fats, and lean Proteins every three hours is a recipe for success. This equation will keep you full and satisfied, without over eating, as well as keeping your metabolism revving all day long. You could also make this a “Four for Three” rule, by adding the concept of eating colorful meals every three hours.
7. “Stay Hydrated”: Keep drinking fluids throughout the day to stay healthy and keep your cells functioning normally. Amanda recommends drinking 0.5-1.0 oz per pound of body weight. So for a 150 lb person this would be 75-150 oz of fluid (preferably water) per day. Instead of the standard 8 cups a day rule, this comes out to be more like 10-18 cups per day. It sounds like a lot, and at first you may be spending a lot more time in the little boy/girls room than you’d like, but you’re body will get used to the incoming fluid and will begin to use it for processes, which will lead to less frequent urination as well as a lighter color of urine.
8. “Don’t waste your workout”: When it comes to food, timing is everything! When you are finished with your workout, be sure to get some easily digestible carbs and good proteins within 45 mins of your workout. The first 45 minutes post exercise is the window of opportunity to get the glycogen (sugar, or energy) stores back up to adequate levels. Waiting longer than 45 minutes increases the chance for fat storage, as well as increasing the recovery time of your workout.
9. “Complement vs. Supplement”: For some people a vitamin or mineral supplement maybe highly beneficial and, in fact, necessary. However, not everyone needs a multivitamin, especially if you have a healthy diet. Be sure to seek professional advice from your doctor or a Registered Dietician.
10. “Get Some Sleep”: In some of our former blog posts, Karen Brohard-Admissions Counselor, mentioned the importance of sleep. I would like to echo that sentiment. Amanda Carlson-Phillips also finds that 8 hours is best for most adults and finding a sleep routine and schedule for every night can help in reducing anxiety, increase productivity, and aids in the repair of damaged muscles from exercise.
So, hopefully these 10 tips will help you, your clients, students, peers, spouses, etc in their quest for a better diet and healthier life. And remember, it’s not a change, it’s an ‘UPGRADE’!
For more information on the personal fitness training program, take a look at our frequently asked questions, or email Jacque at email@example.com
Jacque Ratliff, M.S., is the director of Mueller College's Personal Fitness Training program. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Level 1 USA Triathalon Coach. She has been in the fitness industry for 11 years and has been teaching at Mueller College for just over a year.
Post by Dawn Fletcher, owner of FletcherFitness.com
If you are stressed, tired, overworked, stuck in a rut, unfocused, not reaching your goals and maybe even down in the dumps…it is because you aren’t balancing these 6 Pillars.
Each day you have about 16 hours to prioritize your time. The other 8 or so should be spent with restful sleep in your amazing bed, that you love (put as much money into a great bed as you can…you spend 1/3 of your life there). These are the areas that I focus on daily and weekly. What works for me, just might work for you. If a couple of days get away from you, reread this and bring yourself right back to balancing WHAT MATTERS. Get rid of all the other ‘stuff’ in your life.
1. Self Care – Exercise, nutrition and any coaching appointments (physical or mental). Simply improving your health.
2. Fun – Doing things you enjoy, that make you happy or being with spouse/family/friends. Improving your mood.
3. Relaxation & Rejuvination – Stuff that makes you feel ‘ahhhhhh’; relaxing with a significant other or a little quiet and alone time is what most of us need. Recharging.
4. Giving to Others – Doing things for others, supporting a loved one, volunteering. Maybe you do this for a job or your kids. Taking care of someone else and improving lives of others.
5. Growth – Reading, praying or learning something new. Improving the quality of your education, spirituality or relationships.
6. Sh*t List – This is that stuff that is flat out annoying. The things you hate and don’t want to do. The stuff that is not that much fun and probably uncomfortable. You gotta keep attacking Your Sh#t List. It is incredibly important to take care of this stuff, because if not, it can bring major sources of ‘complacency’ ‘stress’ ‘anxiety’ etc.
If you’re thinking “where does WORK fit in there”? For me, I consider my WORK mostly as giving to others, growth or fun…and yes that changes depending on what is going on. You will probably be able to put your ‘WORK’ into one of those categories. It occasionally is #6 …but if you view your work constantly as part of Your Sh*t List, it is likely taking up too much of your energy and I would start by dealing with that issue first. 40+ hrs a week of Sh*t leaves very little time and energy for the rest of the Pillars!
All of these things can be done alone or with others (especially with people who enhance the experience like a family member, best friend or significant other). At the end of the week, you may want to order these Pillars based on where you are spending most your energy, then make some shifts in your priorities. I work on this with all of my Training Clients and I am consistently maintaining and improving my own balance. An imbalance of these pillars means that certain areas are being neglected.
-Too much taking care of everyone else, your own health will suffer.
-Too much self-care and you aren’t giving to your relationships.
-Too much relaxation and you become stale.
-Too much Sh$t List and that’s just Sh*tty. Ignore it, then you become comfortable and lack growth!
-Too much fun…well that is kind of debatable. If other pillars are lacking, you need to refocus. Once you achieve a healthy balance, you will find that you are able to have fun in almost any scenario..that is when you are really winning!
You get the point. Focus on spending your time in a way that your life is invigorating, healthy, joyful and happy. That way you are able to give your best to this world because your energy is vibrant.
Dawn Fletcher, M.A., CSCS, has her masters degree in Kinesiology with a specilization in Sport & Exercise Psychology. She is a NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) member, fitness trainer, and certified CrossFit Level 1 Coach currently coaching at CrossFit Mission Gorge (one of our externship sites!) in San Diego. Dawn runs fitness programs specific to mental training for sport/CrossFit. Find out more information about what she can do for YOU here: FletcherFitness.com