Gorgeous November Day for a run in Lakes Park, Fort Myers. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
Social media has had a huge impact on the fitness industry - from the instantaneous interaction we have with people all over the world - to content being accessible to anyone anytime.
We live in a world where we have never been more connected and influenced by social media.
We have so much information readily available and it has opened incredible opportunities for self-promotion, support networks, and research.
However, we have also opened the door for exploitation.
People have become ‘Insta famous’ with hundreds of thousands of people following their photos and content and because of their aesthetics, claim to be fitness experts.
These people now have a platform to exploit the opinions of the public and their desires around fitness.
As a community, we must aim to use social media as a positive influence by promoting healthy and ethical fitness practices that support...
Whether your working from home, or at the office, get outside & enjoy a walk! Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
With more of us continuing to do screen-based work in non-professional settings, i.e, spending hours crouched over laptop screens on sofa’s or kitchen tables, it is essential that we set ourselves up for success.
This means creating work spaces that are both comfortable and healthy and do not negatively impact us physically (cue sore necks, shoulders and upper backs).
With some thoughtful planning, you can create a more ergonomic workstation that makes your time spent working from home a little less uncomfortable.
Keep all angles at 90 degrees
If you have a height-adjustable desk and desk chair, make sure you adjust them to a 90-degree angle to avoid slouching. Your knees, hips, and back should also be of utmost priority.
Whether you put them on the ground or use a footrest, you should keep your feet flat. This will help to...
A brisk walk in the park on a beautiful Florida fall day is an awesome aerobic exercise! Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
‘Aerobic’ exercise refers to exercise that requires an uptake and consumption of substantially more oxygen than at rest.
It involves repeated movements of the large muscles of your body for a minimum of 20 minutes.
Examples of aerobic exercise include:
Because you need more oxygen to do aerobic exercise, you breathe more rapidly and more deeply to get extra oxygen into your lungs.
Your heart also beats faster to deliver more oxygen-carrying blood from your lungs to your muscles.
How fast your heart beats and how rapidly you breathe will depend on how intense the exercise is.
For general health and fitness benefits, such as reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancers and improving your stamina, it is recommended that you do some form of moderate...
Celebrating life with great people, after a gorgeous evening run. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
There is constant information in the media regarding inactivity and recommended activity levels.
The CDC and health.gov both post the recommended guidelines for youth ages 7-17 as:
“an accumulation of at least 1 hour a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity”.
As I am sure you know, inactivity has a negative impact on health in terms of obesity, diabetes, heart and cardiovascular function.
Exercise and sport, however, has shown to have a positive impact on these health factors, as well as bone density and structure, social interactions, sleep and mood improvement.
I want to focus however, on the other end of the spectrum, as physicians and therapists are seeing more young patients with issues due to over-activity related to exercise and sports.
To be fair, this is commonly due to a combination of factors, such as growth spurts, an accumulation of school or regional...
Reflecting on life through the lens of gratitude, while walking the beach (Oct 14, 2021).
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.”
What would your self talk look like as you walked or ran on this beautiful path in Lakes Park? Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
It’s been said that life begins at the end of your comfort zone and that certainly resonates in athletic and fitness pursuits.
Have you ever purposefully listened and been mindful of the messages you send yourself during a training session?
Our brains are more powerful than any muscle in our body and our thoughts can impact the effectiveness and enjoyment of our workouts.
To get the most out of each training session, negate any negative thoughts and put yourself in the optimal mindset for performance.
“I can’t do it!”
It is natural for our mind to tell us to back off when we are experiencing discomfort, fatigue or pain. It’s a survival mechanism the body uses to protect itself.
The challenge becomes recognizing which thoughts come from credible physical threats and which thoughts are simply there as we are...
Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida - Tues, Sept 28, 2021. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
I’m sure you’ve heard the adage:
“life is a journey, not a destination”.
The same is true for fitness as well.
Often we see enthusiasts work towards a fitness or health goal, achieve it and then slowly slide back to where they started. Sound familiar?
This cycle is easy to break If you shift your thinking and training to cultivate long-term habits, rather than just ‘short-term fix goals’.
First, understand there are several reasons why maintaining a change in behavior is often more difficult than making the initial change itself.
Be happy - like this amazing, personable & friendly duck - Piedmont Park - July 2021. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
Just like the lyrics of a Pharrell Williams’ song, “sunshine she’s here, you can take a break”, I’m “happy because that’s what I wanna do.”
It takes thought and practice but anyone can choose to be happy.
In fact, it takes effort to be unhappy.
People often ask how I can be so happy. I strongly believe that mental health requires just as much attention and concentrated effort as physical health.
The problem is, most people pay very little attention to it.
As with physical health, this neglect will catch up with you eventually, especially in a pandemic.
Here are a few things I practice to keep my mind as healthy and resilient as my body: (Give it a try, you might just find yourself smiling more. )
Every day I meditate for at least 10 minutes, preferably 20.
I started meditating about 5 years...
Enjoy a gorgeous September beach run! Naples Beach, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
We hear the term ‘holistic health’ a lot these days. This refers to processes that positively impact the mind as well as the body.
When we talk about a holistic approach to health, we might consider physical activity as one element, because we know that regular exercise positively affects the body.
However, this activity can promote dual aspects of our well-being because exercise benefits not only the physical body, but also mental and emotional well-being.
The World Health Organization describes mental health as:
“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 make a contribution to her or his community”.
By this definition, it is apparent that mental health and physical health are interconnected
When we are suffering...
A Summer Afternoon Walk in Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida. 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 levels of participants at the...