A Beautiful January Evening in Lakes Park, Fort Myers. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
Calisthenics — better known today as body-weighted exercises - are a form of exercise that utilizes your own body weight for resistance and requires minimal equipment.
Its origins can be traced back to ancient Greece (the word "kallos" means beauty and "sthenos" is strength) where it was an integral part of physical education for warriors and athletes.
The Greeks believed that a harmonious blend of strength and aesthetics was essential for a well-rounded individual, hence the name.
In recent decades, body-weight exercises have experienced a resurgence in popularity, particularly in the fitness industry.
There are several advantages that appeal to modern fitness enthusiasts.
First, it requires minimal equipment, making it accessible and affordable for anyone interested in improving their physical fitness.
Second, it emphasizes functional strength and body control, which translates to...
A gorgeous beach day on Naples Beach - June 11, 2023!
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 stretching are undeniable and are too often ignored by...
Summer 2023 is coming up fast - Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
With schools letting out in a few weeks and the official start to summer not too far away, summer vacation trips are in full planning mode!
However, remember while you are planning, that we are creatures of habit and as such we rely on the force of habit to support our healthful lifestyles.
Our routines get us to the gym each morning, help us choose low-fat nutritious meals and enable us to effectively cope with stress. Anything that disrupts our routines, such as:
can send our habits into a tailspin.
Instead of abandoning your hard-earned fitness gains, why not plan to take advantage of the change in routine to reaffirm your commitment to yourself and a healthy lifestyle?
PLAN AHEAD —
It’s not enough to say “I’ll try to exercise” or I’ll try to health healthfully”.
Everyone KNOWS what they should do,...
Enjoy a fast-paced walk, stopping to do some Calisthenics (or body weight) training in a park! A great well rounded exercise. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
With so many of us hunkered down and working from, it can be challenging to find a workout to fit your space and fit your needs.
Not to worry.
You already own the most versatile and potentially challenging piece of equipment available today...
If you’re not sold, think ‘Cirque Du Soleil’ meets ‘American Ninja Warrior’?
The unique combination of strength, stability, and control required to perform such acts is unlike anything else.
Visually, it’s one of the most eye-catching feats of strength possible, but being able to suspend yourself in mid-air is much more than just showing off your strength.
Training the body without the use of external resistance equipment, such as free weights, dumbbells or cables, is known as calisthenics. It’s been...
Enjoy this beautiful walk along the bay in St. Augustine, Florida, getting outside, standing up right, moving your body & enjoying life... (It is literally what your body needs!) Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
The 2020's, or as I like to call it ~ the longest decade in history, has seen many of us working from home, sitting in front of computer screens, and spending more time in one place.
Whether it’s at your home or office desk, driving your car or watching television, long periods of sitting can have adverse effects on your health.
Scientists have identified a new threat from people’s sedentary lifestyles that they call ‘muscular inactivity’.
Sitting has always been regarded as bad for your posture.
Here’s why —
It is physically impossible to maintain perfect posture for your entire seated day.
Sitting invokes what is known as the ’double flexed’ position.
Your body is flexed at the hip and the knee. Flexion...
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...
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.
Only you know when that is…
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...
A beautiful, stress relieving Florida sunset on Naples Beach (at 5th Ave S) on Thursday, January 23 (Thank you to Charly Caldwell II for the photo!)
Some elements of stress are good for us.
The fight or flight responses that are hard-wired into our nervous system can save our lives. The knee-jerk response of jumping out of the way of a moving vehicle, the sharp intake of breath, our hearts racing, the rush of adrenaline.
This is the rush that those who love rollercoasters, sky-diving or other such intense activities crave.
This is good stress.
Our bodies have a chance to process the increased cortisol released into our systems, and we will often feel a bit of a high afterwards. This same stress can be a great motivator to try new things and to push beyond our comfort zones.
When this same chemical reaction in our bodies turns against us, it is almost simultaneous to when we turn against it.
When our flight or fight mechanism kicks in to situations we have no outlet for.
We are creatures of habit.
We rely on our daily routines to get us to and from our exercise programs/regimes on a consistent basis.
Anything that disrupts that routine, such as travel, can through that lifestyle into a tailspin.
However, with thought, planning and research you can keep right on track with your fitness goals. Going out of town doesn't have to mean getting out of shape.
Gone are the days when hotels fitness centers needed a little fitness finesse themselves. Nowadays, hotels need to stay competitive with one another, which in turn has led to big health pay-offs for the consumer. There is a fantastic book available in book stores or on line called “The Athletic-Minded Traveler”. It lists and ranks hotels all over the country based on their fitness facilities and/or nearby recreation/workout facilities. In fact, many hotels now offer mini-health clubs that can rival an actual gym in terms of both equipment and service. Additionally, many hotels have personal...