Benefits of Online Training

So you're interested in starting to workout or just get a bit further than where you are at. How do you take that next step?

There is always the option for in person training at your local gym. It is a fantastic way to get in better shape, learn how to do exercises while having a lot of tools at your disposal. That being said, I know there are a lot of people this could be difficult for on various levels. Some people may not be able to afford a multiple times a week session or even one session a week making it difficult to have a plan and stick with it. I know the gym can be an intimidating place if you've never worked out before and have no idea what you are doing, or if you are feeling self conscious about other people watching you workout. Some people may just not have the time to commit to a trainer and have to do the workouts on their own schedule knowing that they have some point during the day free but may not know when that is. Do any of these things sound like you? Do you want to get in shape but need that extra push to stay motivated and committed but don't necessarily can work with an in person trainer? Online distance training may be for you.

With online personal training there are options for how much you can commit to working out while also choosing your availability to work out. You still have that coach and motivator to keep you going and to answer any questions that you may have but at a lower cost. You have the option of working from a local gym, your own home, outside (when weather permits), or an apartment complex gym. There are a lot of options for places to workout so you can feel as comfortable as possible. Additionally, you have someone to help you figure out how to achieve your goals on a personal level. You will be given many options for how many days to work out, what kind of workouts that you want to do, and various levels of communication. I truly believe one size does not fit all for fitness and weight loss and your needs and workouts may be different than others. 

With my online training I am available as a coach to you throughout the week and have workouts made specifically for you. The only thing that you need to do is show up for the pre arranged number of workouts that you and I have decided on based on your goals and availability and complete them. I check in with my clients at a bare minimum of 1x per week and usually multiple times a week. It is easy for me to monitor your progress through check ins and schedule times for you to do progress photos and measurements so you can see the progression that you are making. It is important to remember that change takes time but if you stick with it and give it your all you will see not only a difference in yourself physically, but also emotionally, while giving yourself more day to day energy. 

On an additional level, nutrition is important and I recommend my clients to discuss with me how they are eating. From there, we talk about the ways to improve upon eating habits and how to make them achievable in real life. 

Online coaching does not only mean that you have workouts set up for you on a weekly basis, but there are other options to make things even more feasible. Would it be easier to have a Skype session once a week for a 1/2 hour or an hour? This is easily arranged and can help you make sure that you are correctly doing your workouts and get that extra little push that you need. 

I would start by sending you some information on what you would need to get started, the measurements you would need to take, and asking you a few questions to figure out how to plan for you. From there we would do a 30 min Skype consultation that would allow me to explain further what we would be doing and answer any questions that you may have. 

In person training is fantastic, but if it is not feasible for you, online training may be the way to go! Send me an email with any additional questions on pricing and availability! If you are interested I would send you a questionnaire and we would move forward from there. Happy training! 

How Fitness Helped My Mind and Soul

So this post is a bit long and about the beginning of my path in fitness. Going through this really made me understand the importance of being active and helping others to be active as well. It can be so important in people that suffer from things such as depression and anxiety. The benefits that I have personally had with these things after becoming physically active are amazing. I urge anyone to try physical activity that is going through a tough time, is clinically depressed, or suffering from anxiety. There are obviously also many other benefits, but this one has been the biggest and most impactful for me!

When I first started really getting into fitness it was because I had just moved to a new city after living in the same area my entire life. I had no friends in the area, I just knew my boyfriend and his family. I was initially working at an outdoor sports store when I moved here, met a few people there, while also getting more interested in being active as well as enjoying being outside. I then started working at the hospital, where I also met some great people but I still had a lot of time to myself. I quickly realized that I needed to get myself involved in something to take up my time. I didn't want to be stuck inside at home all of the time. I loved living in Vermont from the beginning, but did get a little homesick when I would see all of my friends at home hanging out and knowing I couldn't be there. There were also times where I just wanted to go and see my parents, which wasn't the easiest thing to do either. Luckily, I only lived a 6 hour drive away, so it wasn't impossible by any means to go home on the weekends. 

I figured one of the best things that I could do for myself was to get in better shape, so I got a Garmin VivoFit. I knew I wanted to swim and I wanted it to track everything that I did, including sleep and at the time, this was the only completely waterproof watch that would track at a reasonable price for beginners. So with this watch I started monitoring how much I was walking. Due to the demand to be on my feet most of the time at both of my jobs I was getting in a lot of steps, well over 10,000 everyday. I knew this still wasn't enough. If I really wanted to get in good shape I needed to exercise. I tried running, which had always been hard for me for various reasons, which I stuck with for a bit, but as it got colder I got less motivated to stay with it. I decided to join the gym and get in the pool. This is where I truly started to find my love for fitness. While swimming was hard I stuck with it because I enjoyed it, it didn't cause me pain and I felt really great after I was done. 

Fast forward a few months of swimming 4-5 days a week. I was in good shape I was feeling great and I was actually able to swim for longer periods of time. It was excellent, my mood had improved drastically, I felt better and was eating healthier as a result of my body craving the right foods. Now at this point I had been on an antidepressant for a few years now, which helped while I was feeling down, but made me pretty agitated. I was on a fairly high dose of it, that until this point I had really felt like I needed. Around February 2015 I decided to stop taking my medication, I highly recommend anyone that wants to stop taking any sort of med to go to their doctor and find out how to do it properly! I decided to quit cold turkey (not my brightest moment), while all was good in the beginning things started to go downhill for various reasons. One of my friends was going through a very difficult time with her father passing away. I had known her for over 10 years at this point so it was very sad not only to see that her father was sick but also to see what she was going through and that I couldn't physically be there for her. While her father was sick, I remember multiple times of just needing to go swimming to focus on something else and just to feel better and it did help. I ended up going home for the funeral, which was heart breaking, but at this time I was still doing ok without any medication, which was still very new. 

It was late February while I was visiting home, so it was icy and snowy all over. I was visiting another friend while home and while I was walking out of her building, slipped on some ice and fell down the stairs. Now first instinct was to put down my hand to catch my fall, which caused me to fracture my wrist pretty badly. I ended up having to get a cast and even though it was waterproof was a pain when it got wet so I didn't really go swimming with it. The winter that year was also absolutely miserable, single digits most days, so just going outside was painful. Over the next few months I ended up staying at home and not doing much, and I just kept feeling worse and worse. Over a couple of months I had gained about 10-15 lbs, I was bigger than I had ever been in my entire life and I could just feel myself dragging. The feeling was horrible. Although the medication had stopped I truly believe the thing that put me in the bigger tailspin was the lack of activity and fresh air. 

Finally I got my cast off! I was so excited, my break has healed well and I was finally able to get back into the pool. I was working 40-50 hours a week at this point and still managing to swim which was incredible. I was also doing yoga every Sunday, which was one of the best things I could have done for myself. The thing that I noticed was while I was swimming and after I went swimming I felt good, but a lot of the other times I was suffering of pretty dark thoughts of sadness and having the most severe anxiety I've ever experienced in my life. That being said I knew how much of a difference the swimming was making in my life as well as eating a much cleaner diet. If I fell to my emotions to not do anything I would have kept feeling worse and worse all of the time and I do not know how I would be today. 

As time continued to go on and the lingering effects of the medication had worn off I was still feeling pretty horrible when I wasn't doing anything and just letting my mind wander. When I would get in the pool or go to yoga I would be a whole new person for that hour and a few hours after. The way I was feeling and looking made me feel good about myself in a way that nothing else could. I had lost all of the weight I had gained and then some and gained some serious strength. I began craving and seriously in need of the activity so I worked out as much as I could in order to keep that feeling up. On days that I didn't workout I felt miserable, sad, and anxious.

I went about 7 months without doing anything else. I knew I was doing everything possible on my own to feel better and I knew at this point that I needed some extra help. I ended up seeing a therapist, which definitely helped me more than where I had been. After about a month of this I ended up going to my doctor and getting prescribed half of the dose that I was on previously for the antidepressant which was much better for me. After this things really started to go up. The confidence in myself that I had lost while I was suffering was coming back. I was happier for longer periods of time and the serious anxiety attacks mostly went away. It was no longer a daily struggle, it started to spread out bit by bit. 

Even though medication was the right thing for me, it isn't for everybody. My entire life I have suffered from some pretty serious anxiety and starting in middle school I really started to struggle with depression. Now I believe I hid these things pretty well from everybody including my parents so I was never diagnosed with it. However looking back at what it was like and knowing what I do now, I was really struggling for most of my young adult life. When I was first prescribed medication I was over prescribed. I did not need the amount that I took. My doctor did not care and really was just being a pill pusher. My boyfriend urged my to go down in dose when I was on it in the beginning but I was so motivated and finally feeling good that I was scared to change what I was doing so I stayed on that dose for about 2-3 years. That all being said, without physical activity I would not be nearly as good as I am now even with the medication. I think the fitness has a huge impact on my anxiety. I don't take any anti anxiety medications and even though I get it more often than most people I seem to manage it pretty well with my lifestyle. I still wish that I did not need to take an anti depressant and some day I may try to get off of it again, so I urge anyone that is feeling down to try doing anything natural before they start looking to medications to fix themselves. Everyone and every body is different and will respond differently to various treatments, but find something you enjoy, work at it and gain confidence. This will help you feel better all around physically, emotionally, and have better mental clarity!

End of January Motivation

End of January Motivation

So we've hit late January and your New Years Resolution may be starting to wane and the motivation may not be there as strong as it was at the beginning of the month. Let's revisit those resolutions that were set at the beginning of 2018. 

If you're here, you probably made a resolution that has to do with nutrition and/or fitness. It may have had to do with just being overall healthier, losing weight, gaining muscle, or training for something. Everyone has their why and it's important to keep reminding yourself why you made the resolution in the first place. Have you made the same resolution every year and haven't stuck with it for a long period of time? Ask yourself why you haven't been able to make it any other year. There are probably variations on the reason it didn't work, but more likely than not they have been similar in nature every year. 

New Years Resolutions are interesting to me because a new year is just another day, and you can make a change any time you truly want to. It is made to seem as the perfect time to do it people get all amped up and when they do not see immediate changes they give up. 

One of the biggest things to remember during this period is that there are small immediate change that will be made, but the big changes come down the road with dedication. It may be hard at points, but that is when you will find you are going to have more success. It is hard to stick with something if you don't stay consistent, even when you don't want to.

One thing that I do appreciate about the new year is that it can be a good time to reset after the holidays are over, life and schedules go back to normal. The holidays are a tough time for most people with all of the rich, delicious foods that contain lots of calories, sugar and fat. Things are also crazy with schedules so it may be harder to plan meals and get to the gym. So if your holiday wasn't as disciplined as you were hoping it would be, this is the time to bring it back to a healthier lifestyle. Having a good schedule that you can stick to that allows you to plan workouts and meals helps a lot. 

So how are you staying motivated now that the original excitement has warn off? Well it is important to remember your why, but it is also important to remember that things do not happen over night and change takes time and is a process.

  1. Find a way to keep things interesting, fun, and exciting. With fitness finding a sport or activity that is months away can help you stay motivated. Sign up for a race or competition with enough time to get you in the swing of exercise and healthy eating. 
  2. Writing down your goals is extremely helpful as you can review it often as a reminder of why you started. Give yourself daily, weekly, and monthly goals along with your year goal in order to stay on top of it. throughout the year on a smaller scale.
  3. Be realistic. Don't set crazy goals that you aren't sure you can reach. Don't set yourself up to workout 7 days a week and cut out all sugar if you've never gone to the gym 7 days in a row before and if you have had bad success with diets in the past. Starting small with a realistic challenge will allow you to have an easier less stressful time of sticking to your goals. 
  4. Try new things. If you want to get in good shape but know you hate running don't do your cardio as a run, try an uphill walk, the elliptical, swimming, tennis, or any other types of cardio. If you are just getting into fitness try to find one thing that you really enjoy and do that for a while. Eventually broadening the things that you do is helpful, but just start small.
  5. Join in with some friends! If you are lacking that motivation try to find a friend that you can do it with. This may be a lot more fun to work with someone and see the progress that you can both make. You can both encourage, push and motivate each other to do better and reach higher.
  6. Think about making a lifestyle change. Being healthier is not about dieting and exercising to get to a goal and then going back to your normal life. Focus on making changes to your everyday routine to help it stick rather than just a quick diet.

Try one or all of these things to stay motivated as you are starting to hit that point where your motivation is starting to really drag!

 

The Art of Mindfulness

Strength, speed and endurance are key components to being fit and healthy, but I think most people tend to ignore the importance of making sure you are mentally healthy. Mindfulness is a practice of looking inward and allowing yourself to live in the present. With life as hectic as it is, it is important to take some time to focus on mental health. It is easy to get very caught up in the world of media, crazy work schedules, and trying to have a social life, we forget about ourselves and we need for our mental health. 

Think about the last time you really took some time to yourself and what was going on in your head. Did you actually sit in silence, not doing anything, and just taking time to just breathe and let your mind flow? It's important to live in the present, not in the past or future, to be able to understand and appreciate the now. When you focus too much on the future, the present will soon become the past, you will miss the journey that it takes to get to the future, which is usually more important than the destination. Focusing too much on the past, and you forget to think about what your next step is, forgetting to work towards something and failing to get the lessons that you would from reaching towards that goal.

Mindfulness is no easy task, it takes time, practice, and patience. Most successful people in the world practice mindfulness daily. It allows the mind to flow freely and for you to connect with yourself on a new level than you have been able to in the past. I like to achieve mindfulness through the practice of yoga and movement. The flow of yoga allows me to work with my breath and reach myself at a new level that I don't get from running around and doing my daily tasks, or from sitting at home and reading a book or watching TV. It is also good to just sit and be in the moment, not thinking about your day or what you need to do next. Just let your own thoughts flow about what you are feeling and allow your mind to open to new ideas. There are many ways that you can practice this and everybody has the way that works best for them. Everybody is different, and just like different workouts, one size does not fit all. Everybody has the potential to try and do all of the different forms, but what matters most, is which would be most effective for you, and which makes the most sense. Is it just sitting and thinking, not judging yourself and allowing yourself to focus on the moment? Is it noticing what you are sensing, such as the smells in the air, the wind or lack of, the sounds that have started to be in the background, noticing how present these actually are? Or, is it practicing through movement? 

This is a technique to help with health conditions, mentally and physically allowing yourself to slow down and be is just as important as staying active. Don't get stuck focusing only on the goal you are trying to achieve, or the glories or failures that you have had in the past. There is no changing the past and what you do in this very moment is what writes out your future, and how you reach your goals and destinations. The future and the past are both important and both make up who you are, but the present is the most important thing. Spend time on yourself, treat yourself well, and don't let today pass you by. 

Weight is only a number

Weight is only a number

One thing that I have always been aware of but have noticed much more significantly since I have been personal training, is that people focus a lot on the number they see on the scale. I really like to emphasize with my clients that this is truly just a number and not the be all, end all.

There are much better ways to check progress than the scale. If you are trying to lose a significant amount of weight then the scale can definitely be helpful. The best ways to actually have a comparison is to take measurements and measuring fat percentage. It is possible to measure fat percentage by either calipers or a scale or handheld device that uses an electrical current to detect body fat. I personally prefer the handheld device or scale to calipers because it doesn't feel as invasive. I don't like using calipers on myself, and I have noticed that most other people dislike it as well. However, it is an appropriate way to get fat percentages on the different areas of the body. 

Tape measurements are also a great way to tell how much fat you have lost. You may weigh yourself and not have lost much or any weight but you can tell you are smaller, how is that? Well a smaller size of muscle weighs the same as a larger size of fat, so while your fat percentage is going down, your muscle percentage is going up, so the scale may not change much at certain times. However, even though the scale does not change, you can still see a difference and the measurements can change. 

On a personal note, I have not changed my size much over the past couple of years, but have toned up. I am stronger and leaner than I have been, but my weight has gone up some. This is because i have strengthened my muscles so much more while still burning fat, so my size is pretty stable, even though my weight may go up a bit when I am focusing more on weight training. 

The best thing that I like to tell people is to judge change by how they feel, how they look in the mirror, and how their clothes are fitting. Its possible to tell that you have more muscle on when you feel more solid in different areas of the body rather than a soft or flabby feeling. If clothes are fitting differently then it means your body is changing. These are the important things to pay attention to and the best way to feel the change.

It can be easy to fall into feeling bad when you have been working hard and don't see the scale change. Don't get frustrated so easy and then just give up. Keep working hard, exercise multiple times a week and having a healthy balanced diet and you will see results. Just remember to listen to your body and see how you are feeling. If you go based on that you will be successful.

Preparation

Preparation

So, you've come up with something you want to do or a place you've wanted to go. So now the next step is how do you get ready for this adventure?

Let's first talk about cardio health. Cardio is important in any situation for endurance purposes as well as just general health. If you want to be doing activities for a long period of time, you will want to be working on cardio. The first step here is to discover what type of endurance activity you like and what is most related to what you want to do. I am personally a swimmer, as you can tell from my page. Swimming has been an important part of my life and made me realize how important physical activity is. This is what brought me to personal training. So maybe swimming isn't for you, but there are so many other options for cardiovascular exercise. There are things that you can do inside as well as outside, no matter where you live and no matter what season it is, there is always something you could be doing to improve your cardio health. Explore your options until you find something you can truly enjoy doing. Don't make it a task that you have to complete, rather something that you look forward to doing or something that you can use when you need it. 

Strength training goes hand in hand with cardio, one is never as good alone as they are together. There are various ways to strength train, resistance, weight baring, body weight, and endurance. There are absolutely cardio aspects to strength training, just like cardio training has strength benefits. Train for your adventure using different techniques that work your body in specific ways, while also working on an overall body strengthening. 

Nutrition is another very important aspect of training, training can't outdo a bad diet. In my past post, I talked about healthy, nutritious, whole foods and how they will provide you with the best possible fuel. Make sure you are eating appropriately, the correct amount, and in the right ratios. 

Finally, make sure you are stretching, this will be very beneficial to prevent injury and increase flexibility as well as assist with balance. Yoga is a great way to work on the stretching, balance, and mindfulness, as mental health is just as important and physical health. There are many types of yoga, so do no discount it immediately because of what others have told you or the one class you took. Explore other classes, and even other instructors of the same type of yoga. Every teacher brings a unique aspect to the session. I truly believe that yoga can benefit everybody in their own ways, sometimes it takes a little bit to find what is right for you, but once you do, it is so worth it.

So even if your adventure is not an endurance activity, or even very physically demanding, you still want to be ready for anything that comes your way. All of these forms of exercise help in day to day life as well as they craziest adventures you can think of. Its all about how you train and what you are working towards. 

Fuel Yourself

Fuel Yourself

Food is fuel. The better the fuel, the better the power. What do we need to fuel our bodies? Healthy, clean foods, with plenty of our needed macro and micro nutrients.

What is the difference between macro and micro nutrients? Carbohydrates, protein, and fat are all of our macro-nutrients. Some foods are most or completely one type of macro-nutrient, while others have more of a combination. At a smaller level comes the micro-nutrients and it can be a bit trickier to get all of these correct as there are many more and at specific levels. 

Why are these important? Our bodies depend on what we feed them to grow and get strong. If you are feeding your body the correct foods and nutrients you should have better energy, sleep, and strength. On the other hand, if you feed your body poorly you may drag due to being too tired, be unable to perform day to day activities, and feel sluggish and weak. 

So what's the problem, and why is it so difficult for us to get these nutrients if we know the amazing benefits that good food has to us? Consider all of the food that you have in your fridge, cupboard and freezer. Do you know how all of those foods were made? For instance, vegetables and fruit are both grown from the ground via roots, vines, or trees, while meat comes from animals. So what about those things in your cupboard? Chips, pasta, cookies, and any other processed foods, do you know where those come from and how they are made? I'm guessing not, or at least not everything. 

What's the best way to fuel your body? Eat a lot of vegetables, fresh fruits, and high protein foods either plant or animal sources. When you go to the grocery store hit the outer areas of the store and try to avoid the middle of the store filled with processed carb-rich foods. The more natural, and the less ingredients the food contains the better it is!

Finding Your Adventure

Finding Your Adventure

Everybody has their own personal adventure, what is yours? It could be anything from being able to explore the world, or being able to play with your kids or grandkids. Being healthy has a large impact of being able to explore and live your dream life, I want to help get you there. I will be posting at least weekly about various health and wellness topics to help you live a healthier and happier life. I offer many forms of training and would love to talk to you to help you reach your goals. If you don't know what your goals are I would love to help you figure out what they may be. 

When I moved to Vermont, I began my path of health and I haven't looked back. I am so happy to be feeling better and am more capable of doing everything. I have been able to do things that I never thought I would be able to do. I have faced many fears while trying to do more adventures, and have challenged them head on. My physical training has made me more confident and more comfortable trying new things and going new places. My goal is to help others push through their fears, discover their strength, and use that to become more confident in doing the things that they may currently only dream of. 

A little over a year ago, I had just started a network marketing company that promoted personal growth, health and fitness. I am no longer apart of the company, but I am truly happy with what I gained and learned from being apart of it. I learned skills that I never knew I was interested in. This really helped me hone in on what I wanted as a career, but also what I really wanted out of life as a whole. I read the book The Success Principles by Jack Canfield that my team encouraged me to read. It is a really helpful book and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn and understand what they really want out of life and apply it. One of the things that Jack encourages in the book is to make a list of: 30 things you want to do before you die, 30 things you want to be before you die, and 30 things you want to have before you die. You would be surprised how hard it is to come up with 30 things in each of those lists. The idea is that the beginning is easy but the further you go, you delve deeper down and discover what you really want. This doesn't just have to be for figuring out what you want to do with your life, but what you want to achieve out of your life and beginning to work on getting there. 

This exercise was very enlightening for me and I truly discovered my adventure along with my career in health and fitness. There are a lot of things I want out of life, I was already working out a lot and eating health-consciously, and I realized how important it would be to continue this path to reach my goals and achieve my dream life. I think you will also come to realize how much of an impact health and fitness will be on your life and overall happiness. I invite, and encourage, you to join me in becoming healthier and happier in order to reach for what you never thought was possible and achieve your dreams.

Discover your adventure, work towards it, reach it, and achieve it.

This is my adventure: Travel, Explore, Learn, Discover, Push, Challenge, Love, and Happiness

Whats yours?