Corrective Exercises for the Mind

Enjoy a delightful walk, or run, while listening to something you find uplifting, positive & inspiring. Piedmont Park in Downtown Atlanta, July 17, 2021. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

People often use the mind and the brain in interchangeable terms.

However, they are very different.

The brain is the control center for the body. It sends and receives signals from inside and outside the body to help you act, react, and interact with the world.

From a functionality standpoint, the brain enables you to breathe, eat, sleep, move and perform daily living activities.

The mind helps oversee the brain, and establishes the quality of the messages sent from the brain to the body.

The mind processes your thoughts, feelings and emotions, which then influence the signals sent by your brain to your body.

Therefore, the health and state of your mind directly affects your performance, fitness, and overall well being.

Negative messages in the mind can elicit emotions such as sadness,...

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Boost Immunity and Performance with Sneaky Veggies

A delicious appetizer with celery, curried cauliflower, carrots, sesamed seeds and more - Sternewirth Tavern - Hotel Emma - San Antonio.  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

There are so many benefits to a diet that is rich in vegetables.

It doesn’t matter if you are vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, paleo, or a person who eats anything and everything - it is important for good health and vital for strong performance to eat a wide variety of vegetables every day.

If fat loss is your goal, bulking up your meals with low calorie, high volume veggies is a great way to stay full longer.

If hiding veggies in your kid’s food who simply refuses to eat them is your goal, sneaky veggies is the way to go.

Regardless of your current health and fitness goals or situation, learning more ways to incorporate different vegetables is beneficial for all.

How to sneak veggies into your meals:

Add them to your daily oats.

Adding either grated carrot or zucchini to your oats is a...

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The Art of Rediscovering Your Fitness

Enjoy a brisk, moderately paced walk, or run, in beautiful Lakes Park in Fort Myers, Florida.  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

The last 18 months have been very different for everyone, with so many struggles and upheaval.

I spoke with a client last week who was just now permitted to leave her home for exercising.

With lots of other things to focus on and the closure of gyms for months on end, fitness and training may not be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Now that things ‘seem to be’ slowly going back to normal, personal goals and fitness can start to become a focus again.

It’s important however not to go from 0-100. These 5 tips will help you get back to your best while ensuring that you don’t burn out.

Have a Structured Plan

Set your goals and make them realistic, keeping in mind that your body might have changed in the past months. It is always important to have a major goal that you are always focused on but you can also tick off...

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3 Things You Can Do NOW for a Healthy Brain

Fresh off of a 5k run, enjoying nature at its finest in Lakes Park, Florida.  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

As life expectancies continue to rise, quality of life in our later years is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, keeping our minds as well as our bodies healthy is a priority.

Here are 3 strategies you can start today to keep your brain sharp:

1) Exercise your brain.

Like the body, the brain benefits from being used and challenged — from being ‘kept in shape’.

Challenging the brain with new activities can create new pathways within the brain that can act as alternate routes if some neurons (nerve cells) are damaged.

You could try:

  • playing games that involve planning and memory such as chess and bridge,
  • trying activities that test your vocabulary such as crosswords and Scrabble,
  • learning a new skill — perhaps a language or a musical instrument, and
  • doing sums in your head rather than automatically reaching for a calculator.

2) Keep...

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Healthy Food Shopping, Because You Can’t Outrun a Poor Diet

Running through the beautiful gardens of Lakes Park, and spotted this beauty -> it's Queens Wreath!  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

It’s much easier to stick to a nutritious, healthy meal plan when you already have all the ingredients at home.

Mapping out a weekly meal plan and writing down what to buy before grocery shopping can eliminate impulse buys and poor food choices.

One of the first steps for anyone on a mission to achieve a healthier lifestyle is to learn how to food shop.

Running through the gardens of Lakes Park in Fort Myers, Florida, spotted this beauty in bloom -> it's Queens Wreath!  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Stocking the pantry and fridge with wholesome, nutritious foods provides you with healthy options and provides more variety to mix and match meals and snacks throughout the week.

  1. Meal plan + grocery list. Make it a priority to write out your weekly meal plan before writing down your shopping list. Doing this will save...
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Achieve Greater Rewards by Becoming More Efficient

Getting fit outside, more and more parks, and even hotels offer outside fitness (this photo taken at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida).  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran, there is nothing more satisfying than reaching your training goals.

However, to do this, you must be training efficiently.

If you’re part of the population who are working out non-stop yet seeing little results, this article is for you.

First, begin every training session or workout with mobility and activation drills.

Warm-ups are typically done haphazardly, if at all. 

More often, we see people wander into the gym, walk immediately up to a squat rack and start pumping out sets.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not only drastically increasing the risk of serious injury but are also not exercising to your fullest potential.

Conversely, those who do warm-up, may be doing some cardio and a few stretches, but current...

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Hydrotherapy is Much More Than Water Aerobics

Enjoy the cool water of a pool, while you exercise, even on the hottest of Florida summer days...   Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

I recently found myself in a conversation with someone who believed his wife’s hydrotherapy was the equivalent of a water aerobics class.

I quickly set him straight by pointing out:

  • hydrotherapy offers so many benefits to both seasoned athletes and recreational warriors,
  • water aerobics or water exercise classes are an excellent form of exercise for both men and women of all ages ...

and he should give it a try.

Hydrotherapy is one of the most effective and therapeutic ways to exercise (and rehabilitate) in a calm and relaxing environment.

The water’s buoyancy decreases the load or impact which passes through weight-bearing joints by up to 90% allowing for more activities and movement with less stress and load on the joints.

Exercising in water can be just as intense as exercising on land but without the physical impact on your...

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Exercise and Mid-Life - Use It to Your Advantage

Aim for 10,000 steps a day, make it fun - like walking the beautiful beach in Naples, Florida at sunset! Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

It’s easy to assume that all the changes happening in your body are due to aging.

But, some are not inevitable.

There are measures you can take to ensure you’re fit in your 50’s and well beyond.

First, build some muscle.

Loss of muscle mass starts around age 30 and by the time the average person reaches 70, they could have lost 25 per cent of their muscle mass.

Scientists know that not all loss of muscle mass as people age (known as sarcopenia) is due to aging, some is due to inactivity and disuse.

The good news is that older adults who strength train regularly can regain a substantial amount of this muscle loss, function and strength.

Strong muscles are not just beneficial for carrying groceries, they serve many other functions as well.

Lean muscle burn 10 times more calories than fat tissue, even when you’re at rest.

...
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Good Exercise Habits - Build on the Basics

Enjoying a beautiful sunset in Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida, after a 2 mile run on a beautiful April Florida evening. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Undeniably, we have had to deal with a lot of changes over the last few year.

Looking forward, it is likely that these changes will resonate for weeks, months or even years, changing the way we operate.

Navigating the lifestyle changes can be difficult and disruptive and keeping up with good habits can fall to the wayside.

Many may even have given up on the idea of trying to exercise at home entirely due to lack of equipment, space, time or motivation.

Some experienced the “quarantine 15”.

Whatever your status, it is especially important during times like these to look after our health and well-being and to consider the role of physical activity in managing various health risks.

Exercise is a mainstay in preventative management of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Physical activity is also essential for...

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Workplace Mental Health Affects Physical Wellbeing

It's important to take time to rest, rejuvenate and recharge - Naples Beach, Florida is a GREAT place to do just that! Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

On average, most of us spend a third of our lives at work. Making sure that workplaces nourish mental wellbeing seems like a no-brainer.

Although the conversation has started, let’s avoid any confusion by defining mental health and wellbeing.

Per the World Health Organization, mental health is a ‘state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to her or his community.”

I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds superbly fabulous.

As the shroud of stigma around mental illness gradually starts to lift, we begin to recognize mental wellbeing or positive mental health as more than the absence of mental illness, but rather a state of flourishing mental health.

...

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