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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Add a Little Yoga To Stay Centered

health mindset psychology yoga Mar 24, 2020

If you're in Southwest Florida, bring your yoga mat, and practice Yoga in beautiful Lakes Park in Fort Myers - you'll be happy you did!  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

As I share this, we're in a lock down with the world-wide viral outbreak. Many have asked what they can to reduce anxiety, overload, and stress, and here's an easy one to help you, and those you care for and love, too - Yoga.

Yoga provides an opportunity to slow down while resetting the body and mind.

Personally, yoga is all about the connection.

The connection with your breath, your mind and your body. Considering the busy world we live in, and the multiple demands and distractions we encounter, especially at the holidays, this is a connection that we can all benefit from strengthening.

Yoga teaches us how to pace ourselves: it is a chance to learn to slow down and to connect with ourselves and explore the benefits of mindful movement.

For most of us, our world is so fast paced that we can blink and a week...

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Exercise for a Healthy Body and a Healthy Mind in 2020

health mindset psychology Mar 20, 2020

Live in Southwest Florida?  Enjoy the trails at Lakes Park for running, walking, and even working out at the fitness stations throughout the park.  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

It’s no secret that we feel good after a workout.

We’ve all experienced it ourselves and countless research supports it. Research has also documented the benefits that exercise can have on mental wellbeing.

Mental illness is becoming one of the biggest contributors to global illness, and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Those who live with a mental illness are less active than their counterparts.

It seems obvious then, that fitness has a significant role to play, in terms of both prevention and enhancing quality of life.

When we break down what exercise can give do for us, beyond the aesthetic changes, it is clear to see why it is such an incredible coping strategy for persons with mental illness.

If experienced for long periods of time, loneliness and isolation can...

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To Be Your Best, You Must Expect the Best

Biking in San Diego on a beautiful, February day - Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

For anyone who has hit a plateau or feels that the return on their investment of time is lacking results, read on...

Everyone wants to be stronger, faster, leaner, but just wanting it isn’t enough.

If you want batter results from your training, you must expect more from yourself.

Demand the best for your body.

Whether you’re pedaling away in a group exercise class or grinding your bike up a hill, what do you do when the going gets tough? 

When your lungs start screaming and your thighs begin burning you’ve got to get that inner voice of motivation louder.

Remind yourself of the reasons you’re working so hard.

  • Can you go harder?
  • Can you go longer?
  • What limits are you placing on yourself?
  • Are they genuine or are they just excuses?
  • Do you want to walk away from every training session feeling like you’ve done your very best?

Only you know when that is…

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Train Smarter for Peak Performance

Josie, Bill and I filming, as I coach them, for our Video Training Library (learn more about our powerful training library here).

As a coach, I am routinely asked what an athlete can do to improve their performance.

This is usually preceded by a tale of woe about some lack luster race result.

Fortunately for me, a quick skim of their recent racing splits and training logs makes it fairly easy to identify where their problems originate.

If you’re looking for peak performances this season, regardless your sport, you need to be mindful in your efforts and train smarter, not harder.

Error #1, Going out too fast.

This is easy to identify by simply looking at your splits.

Whether you are swimming, biking, running, walking, playing a tennis match or a round of golf, if you have not managed your energy and the second half of your sport is slower than the first half, you went out too fast.

To avoid this, commit to practicing goal specific pacing for at least half your race distance...

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Use Bodyweight Exercises to Incorporate Functional Conditioning Into Any Workout

Angie and Josie working in the Fitness Center - filming for our incredibly powerful Membership Video Library.

‘Functional’ and ‘functionality’ have become popular buzzwords in the fitness industry over the past 10 years.

While isolation exercises (i.e. standard chest press or mid-row) are still common, compound and multi-planer movements (i.e. lunge with rotation) have solidified their place in fitness programing by demonstrating their effectiveness with enhancing everyday movements that would otherwise cause injury to an ill-prepared body.

Our increasingly sedentary lifestyles mean that our genetically engineered highly mobile bodies are immobile for several hours a day (sitting at a desk, watching TV) and thus we develop not only postural weaknesses, but also strengthen deficiencies for activities like gardening, household chores, and recreational activities such as walking the dog, playing sports and family activities.

Traditional muscle conditioning...

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