Enjoy a run on the beach - Naples Beach, Naples Florida (Nov 2023). Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
As mental health continues to garner attention, finding effective strategies to improve wellbeing has become a top priority.
While therapy and medication are crucial components of mental health treatment, an often overlooked and powerful tool is exercise. Engaging in regular physical activity not only enhances physical fitness but also has a profound impact on mental well-being.
Cardiovascular exercise, characterized by activities that increase heart rate and breathing, such as running, swimming, and cycling, is widely recognized for its numerous physical health benefits.
However, its impact on mental well-being should not be underestimated.
Engaging in cardio exercise triggers the release of endorphins, commonly referred to as the feel-good hormones.
These chemicals interact with receptors in the brain, reducing stress, enhancing mood, and promoting an overall...
Sunset on Naples Beach - Saturday, Oct 7, 2023 - Many were running on the beach, too! Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
When you invest your time and money in personal training sessions, you expect results.
To maximize those results, practice a few good habits and you’re ROI (Return On Investment) will pay huge dividends!
Personal trainers work with a variety of clients, from all different backgrounds, and fitness abilities, but one constant that remains the same across all backgrounds is the EXCUSES.
One of the biggest and most over used excuses being,
‘I have no time!’
In today’s fast paced, multitasking world, we are all busy, everyone is crunched and time is a challenge we all face, no matter what we do for a living.
However, if you don’t have time to exercise three times a week, you better make time to be sick, go to the doctor and possibly the hospital.
Instead of making the excuse, change the vocabulary and say ‘I...
A gorgeous summer evening brisk walk on Naples Beach - Aug 4, 2023. 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 professionals pushing them safely...
A beautiful July summer evening for a 2 mile run in Lakes Park. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
Stretching is traditionally tacked on at the end of an exercise session and only if we have spare time...
However, when we consider all of the benefits stretching provides both before and after exercise, we should really give stretching the due diligence and respect it and our bodies deserve.
I'm sure everyone has experienced the same scenario in one way or another:
After a great workout with a hard effort either in the gym, on the track or in the pool, you've got 5 more minutes set aside for training so you immediately start stretching … not!
Most days you're running late and stretches get scrapped from the routine.
Sometimes you get away with it, but this habit of ditching the stretches is risky and will catch up with you.
Every type of exercise we do involves repeated muscle contractions.
These contractions could result in a muscle remaining in a state of...
A gorgeous February day on Naples Beach in Southwest Florida - Feb 19, 2023. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
With almost 2 months of the new year gone, how are you doing with your big year goals?
For many, weight loss was at the forefront of our minds and you may or may not be feeling successful.
Although weight loss is a great goal, it is an outcome-based goal which relies on behavioral change.
As important as it to maintain a healthy weight, it is also important for us to incorporate non-scale goals which can help modify our behavior.
Ultimately, these will help to support the intended long-term outcome of weight loss.
With that in mind, try incorporating non-scale goals to help reach your ultimate outcome.
Water is an important nutrient that every cell in our body requires to function optimally.
Through daily natural physiological processes like breathing, digestion, sweating, we lose water that must be replaced. Studies show that an increase in...
A gorgeous run on Naples Beach on a cooler, less humid fall Florida day. Photo Courtesy of Charly II.
Professionalism and know-how are vital in the fitness industry.
To achieve your full fitness potential, you need proper guidance from your trainer.
With that being said, you need to be mindful of the advice you are given.
Considering the uptick in group personal training sessions (is group personal?) and the more recent ‘fitness scandals’ - I’ve compiled a few do’s and don’ts to help you navigate working with a trainer:
A personal fitness trainer MUST stay current.
The fitness industry is always changing and evolving, so it’s important your trainer stays current with their certifications.
Not only is it a manner of professionalism but it also helps them serve you better.
With a plethora of courses constantly offered in person and via distance learning, look for someone who actively pursues continuing education, conferences, and reads...
A nice view from the bridge of John Yarbrough Linear Park in Fort Myers, October 2022. A great running & biking trail! Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
With the cooler, less humid weather, here in Southwest Florida, and your bike in hand, this is the absolute perfect time to get out and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
Few things compare to the exhilaration of riding your bike:
However, bicycling is a learned sport, and there are definitely a few tricks you should learn to ensure every ride is a success.
Never underestimate the importance of a good bike fit.
Your bike fit is paramount to comfortable and safe riding. You will go faster and much further on a cheaper bike that fits you well rather than on a spec’d out high priced model that doesn’t.
It is so important for both comfort and safety that you find an expert who can direct you properly.
Bike fit is not something you can...
Enjoy miles of brisk walking (even running) on our beautiful beaches in Southwest Florida! Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
Southwest Florida is packed with runners and beaches!
And sometimes, the beaches are packed with runners! But while navigating the streets and sidewalks has its own kind of challenges, running on sand is definitely a step up when it comes to intensity.
With all the beauty and natural resources of the beach surrounding us when we run, we might forget we're working out if it wasn't for the increased effort required.
There are three important aspects of running on the sand:
Obviously, you need to have a good aerobic capacity to run in the sand --
On a basic level, running requires your body to burn a lot of energy or calories, and the body functions best and can go longer when it gets plenty of oxygen into the lungs, blood stream and muscles.
So you need an aerobic fitness base to tackle the...
The water is clear and cool on Southwest Florida's beaches this time of year! Get outdoors, walk and take deep breaths to feel even better. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
As recent as this past decade, working with athletes with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was not common place.
Up until about 7 years ago I could count the number of athletes coming to me with PTSD on one hand.
However, just as Bob Dylan once said; “For the times, they are a changing”.
As our population ages, we are seeing more survivors from 9-11, the armed forces, mass shootings and even sporting events (Boston marathon) turn to exercise to help manage and provide relief from the symptoms associated with this disorder including:
to name a few.
Constantly gearing up psychologically for fight or flight can be wear on us physically mentally and emotionally.
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...