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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Train Your Brain to Improve Fitness and Performance

Take a walk in beautiful Lakes Park to reflect, connect to source, renew, rejuvenate and train your brain. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Some people think that a strong body is the biggest strongest asset we have.

I beg to differ.

You can have the strongest body, the healthiest heart or the biggest biceps BUT if you don’t have a strong mind, you will fall short every time.

If you want to make positive changes in your life, your fitness and/or take your training to the next level, you need to think about training your brain.

Training the brain does not involve any Jedi mind tricks. It does however require a desire to change, the right beliefs and a solid plan of action.

First, decide what’s holding you back?

Decide what needs to change.

  • What about your subconscious is holding you back?
  • The idea of success?
  • Self-worth or a lack of belief that you deserve to be successful?
  • Lack of skills?
  • Do you need to learn a new skill to compete at a higher level?

Determine...

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Walking is the Perfect Low Impact Exercise - Do It Regularly!

Enjoy a beautiful walk in the trails of Lakes Park, in Sunny Southwest Florida!  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

If you haven’t exercised in a while, or are looking for something easy you can do every single day, give walking a try.

It’s easy to do, there is no equipment required and anyone can start regardless of their fitness level.

If it’s been a while since you exercised, start by going for a 10-minute walk around the neighborhood and gradually build from there. Maybe your doctor suggested that you move more, or maybe you just want to be proactive about your health and well-being.

In either case, walking is the perfect way to start.

Begin by finding a pair of comfortable shoes, put them on and go for a stroll through your neighborhood.

You could also find a local park with a nice path or head to the beach. If the weather doesn’t permit walking outside, head to the mall to walk or hop on a treadmill.

No treadmill? No problem.

You can even walk in...

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