Get In Shape for Winter Now

In the Southwest Florida area?  Enjoy a workout in Lakes Park, Fort Myers - miles of trails, and there are workout areas scattered throughout the park!

It may seem impossible to fathom the idea of snow skiing while the sun is shining and you’re still going to the beach but fall is just around the corner and anyone planning holiday ski trips has less than 10 weeks to get sport specific fit.

Let’s be honest, while snow sports can be a lot of fun, many people arrive at the ski lift unprepared, unfit and leave the mountain stiff, sore and sometimes injured.

First, let’s acknowledge that a lot of people have desk-bound jobs that don’t exactly “prep” them for the intensity of skiing or snowboarding, and while they may do exercise, it’s usually not specific enough to allow them to cope with the specific positions and forces that occur during snow sports.

For example, with skiing, you spend most of your day bent like a zigzag.

You’re in a...

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Prevent Shoulder Injuries With A Well-Rounded Training Program

Angie coaching the Geared Up team in an early morning swim clinic, pre-COVID, teaching the Geared Up team healthy movements for healthy shoulders!

Shoulders play an integral role in many of our daily activities.

They are also highly susceptible to injury.

It is therefore imperative that we do everything possible to keep our shoulders strong and injury free.

Consider that the average American spends a majority of their day performing forward focused activities that load the muscles of the shoulder.

This includes tasks as simple as sitting at a desk or driving a car.

Always moving with a forward focus creates problems as the shoulders become tight through the chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor) while at the same time becoming week and overstretched through the muscles that pull the shoulders back (scapular retractors).

This tightening and weakening respectively can lead to an exaggerated curvature of the normal spine resulting in a condition known as kyphosis.

Along with daily...

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Running In Heat and Humidity (What to Watch Out For)

It's time for a morning Florida Summer Run in Lakes Park - let's hydrate and be careful to consider the heat & humidity in our workout!  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Living and training in the summer, especially here in Florida, means you have to learn to deal with hot and humid conditions (morning lows in the 80's and humidity over 70%).

First, some background on why hot weather running may be difficult and can be dangerous if not approached correctly.

"As much as 70% of the total chemical energy using during muscular contraction is released as heat rather than as athletic endeavor."

Your body has to dissipate that heat either through sweat or evaporation or both.

"When you exercise strenuously in even moderate heat (above 60°F; above 55°F for beginning runners), you raise your core body temperature. This triggers a release of blood into the capillaries of your skin to cool you down, which then reduces the blood supply available to your exercising muscles....

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Adjust Heart Rate Zones with Training In Summer Heat

It's time for a mid morning Summer Run in Lakes Park - let's hydrate and be careful to consider the heat & humidity in our workout!  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Tracking your heart rate or knowing how hard you’re working is far more useful than simply following a stopwatch.

For instance, running a 10-min mile at noon outdoors is going to require a lot more effort than running a 10-min mile on an indoor treadmill.

Therefore, heart rates are a fantastic tool that can help dictate workout efforts more accurately.

If you’re using a stopwatch or timer as your source of feedback, you may end up pushing yourself harder than necessary and in turn unconsciously sabotage your own efforts.

However, if you pace yourself using a heart rate monitor, you know when it’s appropriate to push a little harder and when it’s time to back off. 

Having said that, there are some factors that affect heart rate training and knowing how to adjust for them can help...

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Evidence Supporting Children and Physical Activity Continues to Grow

Josie takes a break from school work at home (during isolation from COVID-19) to exercise in Lakes Park (Fort Myers) with her dad. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Physical activity is a natural activity and essential for the healthy growth and development of babies and children.

Bodies are meant to move, and just like their moms and dads, it’s good for little bodies and minds.

Physical activity and regular exercise for children is essential for their physical and emotional health.

Since the guidelines were published back in 2008, evidence supporting the importance of exercise for children continues to grow.

Infants and children need daily physical activity to:

  • support brain development
  • build strong muscles, joints and bones
  • improve coordination, balance and flexibility
  • reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • promote relaxation and improve sleep quality
  • increase confidence, happiness and help build strong social skills, and
  • improve academic achievement.

In addition, regular...

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Fitness Inspired by Life

Paige & Josie enjoying a walk through the gardens of Lakes Park in Fort Myers, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II (Paige & Josie's dad)

Back in the 1960s, Universal and Nautilus built and marketed resistance-training machines for both gyms and home use.

These companies claimed their machines provided superior training results due to their design and ability to isolate muscle groups.

This movement towards muscle isolation created the gym based model of training, which many people use today.

This training model has grown to become very popular and is universally synonymous with weight training.

However, this model falls short for athletes looking to improve performance parameters and for individuals looking for better function with daily living activities.

For example, bodybuilders might look good, but that does not mean that they are necessarily fit or especially strong outside a given movement.

For example, I know many bodybuilders who cannot touch their toes.

...

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Exercise Snacking?

Taking a beautiful exercise snack (a short 2,000 step walk) in gorgeous Lakes Park in Fort Myers, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Everyone will read the title and think I am talking about a healthy snack you can have before or after exercise, or mindful snacking throughout the day. 

Both are great ideas but neither are true.

What I am talking about is your ability to use exercises just like you would a snack.

Throughout the day, if a rumble emerges in your belly you may reach down for a small apple or a handful of nuts. You can use exercise the same way and insert bits of exercise throughout the day – even if you already go to the gym 5x/week.

Exercise more through snacking?

Yes.

The human body was meant to move and a majority of age related decline can be traced back to a root cause - sedentariness.

Throughout a busy day we are not as active as we were fifty or even a hundred years ago, but we are still consuming on average more calories. We combat...

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The Human Brain is the MOST Amazing Computer Available - Learn How To Use It Wisely

Reflecting on Life in Lakes Park in Fort Myers - A Powerful Practice for Creating & Maintaining a Positive Psychology - 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?

...
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Building a Positive Mindset - Breaking Down Barriers, Exercise Benefits Everyone

A beautiful run on this early spring day, in Lakes Park in Fort Myers. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

It is universally accepted that regular physical activity not only helps us stray fit and healthy, it can also increase self-esteem, develop social skills and improve mental health and general well-being.

However, most of us experience those benefits on a homogeneous level.

It wasn’t until I had the honor of working with an autistic adult that I began to appreciate the barriers and limitations people with autism face.

Research shows that people with autism are less likely than to participate in sport or physical activity due to factors related to the condition, including heightened fear and anxiety in social situations, difficulty understanding body language and sensory challenges.

If someone on the autism spectrum responds negatively to a sporting or physical activity it can be perceived as a behavioral issue when this is in fact, not the case.

What one person may...

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This Is Your Brain On Exercise - MORE Important NOW Than Ever!

Enjoy a medium or fast paced walk, or run, in beautiful Lakes Park in Fort Myers!  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Statistically speaking, the world health organization estimates that the number of people living with dementia is currently 47.5 million and is projected to increase to 75.6 million by 2030.

The total number of new cases of dementia each year is nearly 7.7 million, implying 1 new case every 4 seconds.

The economic burden on the US healthcare system is an estimated $604 billion annually, which will only increase as the disease becomes more prevalent.

These are certainly statistics to take note of!

Per the Alzheimer’s Association:

“Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities.”

With the increases in cases yearly coupled with the financial strain on healthcare,...

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