Balancing Intensity and Volume: A Safe Approach to Body Training

Gorgeous late spring view from the Lakes Park running, walking & biking trail - June 2024. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

It is in everyone’s best interests to prevent injuries.

The more we can stay injury free, the greater our opportunity for consistent, uninterrupted training and consistency breeds better results.

Injuries are impossible to predict. It’s also impossible to know when an injury has been prevented (after all, it never happened).

There are many things we can do, however, to significantly reduce our injury risk.

One of the most effective, and arguably simplest, things we can do is to monitor our training volumes and intensities.

There has been a clear trend in recent years towards higher intensities of class-based exercise for everyday exercisers, and that’s not a bad thing.

When people train on their own, research shows they usually select exercise intensities that are too low to elicit the training response they want.

With fitness...

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Transform Your Health with a 5 Minute Stretching Routine

One of the many workout areas in Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Classes such as Yoga and Pilates are fantastic because they incorporate strength and stretching into each pose.

Our lifestyles involve more sitting than ever.

The less we move, the tighter our muscles become, and as a result, many people suffer from pain and dysfunction, commonly associated with office based work and a generally sedentary lifestyle.

Often those in pain turn to physical therapy and massage which offers much needed relief, until old patterns begin to repeat themselves again and the pain or muscle tension inevitably returns.

Enter your daily stretching routine!

Stretching is a cost free, self-empowering, time efficient and simple way to maintain healthy muscles.

A comprehensive five-minute stretching routine could potentially change posture, reduce pain, promote tissue repair, lubricate stiff joints and improve training recovery.

The physical benefits of safe...

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Time Management is the Key to Well-Being

2024's first Plumeria bloom in Lakes Park Botanical Garden in April! Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Is there ever enough time in a single day?

Like the U2 song from 1987, “ Race Against Time,” each day is a constant effort to get as much done in 24 hours and still find time for sleep.

When we become overburdened, our health and well-being get pushed to the back burner.

The trick isn’t needing more time, but rather being able to get the most out of time you do have without burning yourself out so you can maintain your health and well-being.

First, create a to-do list.

If something needs to get done, write it down.

The stress of carrying chores around in your head will only keep you awake at night and there is a good probability that you will forget them while focusing on other tasks.

Keeping a notebook handy is a great way to track and prioritize tasks so they get done, leaving more time for you and your bike ride after work.

This is a great technique I...

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The Big 5 - Behaviors that Sabotage Progress

Beautiful Plumeria on the Naples Botanical Garden Walking Trail - April 2024.
Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Is it fair to say that when you feel better, you perform better?

And is it also fair to say that when you feel better, you treat other people better?

If you agree, it should come as no surprise that our physical health and performance are directly related to our mental well-being.

This means keeping your focus in the right direction and being mentally aware of sabotaging behaviors that can negatively affect your body. If your head isn’t in the right place, your body certainly won’t be either.

After all, as Tony Robbins says -> “Where focus goes, energy flows.”

  1. Spreading gossip is one of the top poor behaviors that can sabotage your fitness.
    We’ve all been there – dealing with rude customers or irritating employees. But talking about them behind their backs is asking for trouble. This kind of behavior becomes a habit, and you soon...
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Why Maintaining a Goal is Often Difficult Than Achieving One

Take time to smell the flowers each day (like this delightfully fragrant Plumeria in Lakes Park). Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Maintaining a change in behavior is often more difficult than making the initial change itself because:

  • Of a ‘race to the finish’ mentality where there is a ‘start’ and ‘end’ to achieving your goal. This approach doesn’t work long-term because at some point you’re going to get tired and burnout.
  • Out of sight out of mind. Once a target is reached, people often take that as a reason to relax and celebrate.
  • Setting large goals without setting smaller, intermediate goals trips us up. Big long-range goals work best if you have also set smaller intermediate goals to help encourage you through your journey.

Fit people often don’t think of themselves as ‘motivated’...

They think of themselves as ‘consistent.’

The trick is to keep doing something so long that it feels unnatural...

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Successful Goal Setting is a Process

Enjoying an end of March 2024 bike ride along Summerlin by Lakes Park, Fort Myers.
Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

With more than 25 years of experience working in the health and fitness industry, I have had countless clients, friends, and family members tell me about their fitness goals.

Some want to lift more weights, others want to improve their marathon time and of course, the old classic – everyone is trying to lose weight.

One thing they all share is that they are outcome focused.

Unfortunately, despite the best intentions, I rarely see enough people ever achieve their goals. 

I often end up in a conversation with someone about where they went wrong.

Was their goal too ambitious?
Were they lazy?
Did something outside of their control derail them?

Of course, it could be a combination of these factors, but I believe the real issue lies in poor planning. 

Statistically speaking, only a whopping 3% of people ever actually achieve their fitness...

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The Transformative Magic of Goal Setting: Turn Dreams into Reality

A beautiful late winter sunset from Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida - March 17, 2024. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

It is widely accepted that setting goals is a successful way to encourage adherence to long term-exercise.

Ask any athlete and they will tell you that goal setting enables them to track their achievements and maintain activity levels, particularly when training becomes more challenging.

Choosing the most effective goal setting approach; be it outcome, process or performance based goals depends on each individual and personal motivation factors.

Before you make any lifestyle changes, you should know why you want to change your fitness and you should be consciously making that decision for yourself.

Write down 3 goals you want to achieve, why you want to achieve them and what it will mean to you once you do.

Also, recognize what it would mean if you don’t reach those goals.

Now post your goals some where you can see and review them every day. Having a...

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Reap the Benefits of a Short, Intense Walk

A Beautiful Walk through the Children's Garden in Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida - March 2024. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

It’s not uncommon to see people in fitness centers laboring away, sweating out every pour on the cardio equipment for up to an hour at a time.

There certainly is nothing wrong with this sort of cardiovascular exercise, to each their own, and at least they are exercising. 

However, one of the most common excuses people give for not exercising is ‘’lack of time’.

There is a misconception that if they don’t have an hour to spare, then they don’t feel there is enough time or that exercise is worth their effort.

They couldn’t be more wrong!  

Research shows that short periods of exercise but at a higher intensity is just as beneficial as the longer sessions, and sometimes more, depending on your goals.

A recent study from the mayo clinic followed a group of men for 2 weeks.

They measured the fitness...

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From 5K to Marathon: Conditioning Secrets for Feeling & Doing Your Best!

Enjoy a break in your run, walk or bike ride with a workout in Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida.  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

As an exercise therapist, coach and bio-corrective mechanics specialist with nearly 30 years of experience, I understand what it takes, both physically and mentally to get my athletes over the finish line healthy and performing well in everything from a 5k to a full marathon.

Especially when it's race season:

  • hip mobility,
  • core strength,
  • balance and
  • pelvic stability

are required prerequisites for success!

There are three muscles that make up your gluteal muscles, your:

  1. gluteus maximus,
  2. gluteus medius, and
  3. gluteus minimus.

The gluteus maximus is the largest and most superficial muscle of the three.

It is the largest muscle in your body so you should be using it!

Essentially, this muscle works to move the hip and thigh and to propel us forward when we run. 

The gluteus medius is a broad, thick, radiating muscle, situated on the outer...

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Expedite Exercise Recovery With These Tools & Technology

A gorgeous February run through the freshly updated Children's Garden in Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

An active lifestyle full of exercise can sometimes leave you feeling a little sore, depleted and, on a few occasions, injured.

Fortunately, we live in an age in which a plethora of tools and technology are available that promote a more active recovery!

If you find yourself tired, sore or injured, you may want to consider the following to help fast-track your road to wellness.

Cryotherapy — 

Cryotherapy is any treatment that involves the use of freezing or near freezing temperatures. Doctors have long recommended using ice packs on injured and painful muscles. Blood circulation is increased after the ice pack is removed, promoting healing and pain relief.

While stepping into an ice bath or freezing chamber may not sound like your idea of a good time, it can significantly speed healing, reduce inflammation and flush out lactic acid....

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