A gorgeous afternoon to beach comb - Naples Beach @ 5 Ave S - Friday, Sept 22, 2023.
Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
Coping with stress is a major life challenge.
Without some stress, life would be dull, but you need to make certain your stress is working for you, not against you.
When you begin to feel the walls closing in, it’s time to take a break and get away from it all to maintain a healthy life-fitness balance.
Take these opportunities to practice healthy habits that not only reduce your stress but also leave a positive impact on your general well-being:
Breathe purposefully —
Did you know the average person takes a breath 20,000 times a day?
For such a practiced activity you would think we would have it perfected. But just because we do it all the time doesn’t mean we’re good at it.
Do you breathe well?
If you find your heart rate racing and your breaths become shallow, breathing from your chest, you could benefit from purposeful...
Practically every Sunday morning, our GearedUp Family runs in beautiful Lakes Park... Join us!
Whether you are just beginning or are a more advanced enthusiast, there is nothing more satisfying than reaching your training goals.
However, to do this, you must be training efficiently.
If you’re part of the population working out non-stop yet seeing little results, this article is for you.
First, always include mobility and activation warmups.
Warmups are typically done haphazardly, if at all.
How often do you see people wander into the gym, walk immediately up to a squat rack, and start pumping out reps?
If you’re doing this, you’re not only drastically increasing the risk of seriously injuring yourself, but are also not able to exercise to your full potential.
On the other hand, those who do warm up may be doing some cardio and a few stretches, but current research suggests that including mobility and activation work within your warmup is the way to get results.
A gorgeous start to Summer 2022 - Sunset on the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers, Florida - June 21, 2022. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
I reviewed some discouraging statistics in an article from The American College of Sports Medicine.
Did you know that only 1 out of every 10 Americans over 50 exercises enough to gain any cardiovascular benefit?
For the past decade, research has estimated that about half of the physical decline associated with aging may be because of inactivity.
Furthermore, people over 65 in particular require adequate fitness levels to help maintain an independent lifestyle, recover from illness and reduce their risks of injury and disease.
It's also been well documented that it is never too late to get fit.
The human body responds to exercise, no matter what its age, and there are many health benefits.
Conversely, without regular exercise, people over 50 can experience a range of health problems including:
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...
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...
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 delightful walk, or run, while listening to something you find uplifting, positive & inspiring. Piedmont Park in Downtown Atlanta, July 17, 2021. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
People often use the mind and the brain in interchangeable terms.
However, they are very different.
The brain is the control center for the body. It sends and receives signals from inside and outside the body to help you act, react, and interact with the world.
From a functionality standpoint, the brain enables you to breathe, eat, sleep, move and perform daily living activities.
The mind helps oversee the brain, and establishes the quality of the messages sent from the brain to the body.
The mind processes your thoughts, feelings and emotions, which then influence the signals sent by your brain to your body.
Therefore, the health and state of your mind directly affects your performance, fitness, and overall well being.
Negative messages in the mind can elicit emotions such as sadness,...
It's important to take time to rest, rejuvenate and recharge - Naples Beach, Florida is a GREAT place to do just that! Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
On average, most of us spend a third of our lives at work. Making sure that workplaces nourish mental wellbeing seems like a no-brainer.
Although the conversation has started, let’s avoid any confusion by defining mental health and wellbeing.
Per the World Health Organization, mental health is 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 contribute to her or his community.”
I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds superbly fabulous.
As the shroud of stigma around mental illness gradually starts to lift, we begin to recognize mental wellbeing or positive mental health as more than the absence of mental illness, but rather a state of flourishing mental health.
Take a walk in beautiful Lakes Park to reflect, connect to source, renew, rejuvenate and train your brain. 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.