Categories
Exercise

How to Use Fitness Tools in Everyday Life

I’ve been training for this period of my life. But not in the way that you would think! I’m trying to get the message out there that fitness is soooo much more than losing weight, or looking good, or having a healthy physical body. It is instead all about mind, body, and spirit. Plus it gives you tools to handle life!

All fitness professionals should be aiming to provide a holistic approach to fitness because at the end of the day if you have all the exercises ready, a plan, availability to your equipment or a gym and your mindset isn’t there or motivation is at an all time low, your consistency will be on the line.

What I want to talk about today is how different forms of fitness practices can be used as mental tools to handle complex life situations.

I will outline today the four tools of fitness that I have been focusing on lately which are cardio, resistance training, meditation/breathing, and flexibility/stretching/muscle release.

I have been working on all of these areas for the last few years at the best of times when my life wasn’t so crazy and I’m glad that I built up these skill sets. It is great to be able to lock these skills in when life seems to be on a high but sometimes we too get hit with roadblock after roadblock. Regardless of where you are at in life there is never a bad time to start working on your physical and mental fitness, in fact it will only benefit and help you through these times.

Recently I started a brand new job that has been pretty overwhelming. Here is how each aspect of my fitness practices has helped during the week.

THIS WEEK:

Meditation and Breathing has helped me this week to calm my irrational thoughts related to new job fears and has helped me stay calm and collected.

Cardio which for me has been hiking, has also really helped with clearing my head from the day and get some gratitude and positive good thoughts rolling back in.

Flexibility/Muscle Release has been a super important routine for me to add into my day as I have been battling a hip issue for a very long time. I will feel my bad hip if I quit doing my rolling and it is essential for me to be comfortable moving and sitting in certain positions so it’s basically kept me comfortable.

Resistance training has allowed me to EAT! lol I still get a great, strong, invincible feeling when lifting weights but has been especially important during my reverse diet as I am consuming more calories than I have been for a very long time.

Before I even started the week I was aware there would be some challenges so I made a baseline plan to fit in my fitness practices. As soon as I started I realized my plan would take some trial and error so I would check in on how effective my plan was at the end of the day and make adjustments for the next day.

Right now (after my first week) here is the plan that is working for me :

Wake up – Meditate

I initially tried to do a walk and meditate to check off two things at the same time but I found I could not successfully meditate and walk. I also am REALLY bad for scheduling in my meditations later in the day so first thing in the morning is the ONLY way I can get er done which is great because the research says this is the best time to do it.

Post Meditation – Foam Roll and Short walk

For me including a short walk to get the blood flowing and get some sunshine has felt really great before a work day, also gets me a little more energized. This is where I take the opportunity as well to foam roll and stretch my problem areas (IT band and back for me) to wake my connective tissue up and get blood flowing to those areas for support.

Post Work – Either Cardio or Resistance Training

This I usually decide based on how I am feeling. If my brain feels overwhelmed and I need to digest information I choose cardio. If I’m feeling good mentally and not super hungry I go for a good lift session.

Evening – Evening I also feel out if I’m either ready for a resistance training session, feeling another walk with my dog, or just take a rest day.

I am such a planner so having a plan for these things has always been an important aspect for me to stay consistent. But I’ve learned to give myself a little more flexibility and trial and error with each coming day, this makes me feel less pressured or that I HAVE to work out but go base on what I feel.

An important thing to remember is that works for me may not work for someone else. But what is also important is to try and create consistency with these four things. They truly are GREAT life tools to help you feel mentally okay, positive, and energized for whatever life throws your way.

I challenge you to make a plan or schedule for next week. Pencil in all of these things remembering that you don’t have to do ALL four things EVERYDAY (except meditation or breathing).

Evaluate your plan at the end of the day to see what worked well and make little changes until you get a great healthy routine going:)

Have a great week!

Frecklefit

Categories
Exercise

Upper Body Band Hotel Workout

I only have a few more shifts to go and I’m done commuting for work! Yayyy. Doesn’t mean I’m dropping my workouts and starting over next week because consistency is always number one!

So whether your travelling or staying a night in a hotel you can get that workout in. The program I built does use a barbell which I have at home so I swapped in a band for this week as it’s a lot easier to haul around and just adapted my workout.

Here is a full upper body workout I did in my hotel this afternoon utilizing only a yoga mat and a long band.

My warm up consisted of arm circles, long overhead stretches and range of motion.

Exercise 1:

3 sets of 15 Wide Grip Upright Rows

Exercise 2:

3 sets of 15 Lateral Raises (each arm)

Exercise 3:

3 sets of 25 Band Straight arm Lat Pulls (Tip: get your elbows back far behind you when you pull down and squeeeeeze your lats)

Exercise 4:

3 sets of 15 Lying Cobra Pose Lat Pulldowns

Exercise 5:

3 Supersets 10 Full range band bicep curls into 10 Partial Curls

Exercise 6:

3 Supersets of 15 plank get ups (keeping the hips from moving) into 18 Plank march ins total alternating legs

That’s it! Took me about 25 to 30 minutes.

Stretch really well afterwards pulling each arm up overhead and bending to the side and holding. Another stretch to reach up as far as you can with both arms stretching your lats and hold.

Keep Working Hard. You are worth it!

Frecklefit

Categories
Exercise

Resistance Training as Supplemental Exercise

During my coaching journey and talking with tons of people about fitness, working out, likes, and dislikes I’ve come to realize that there is a lot of variety in exercise and not one form of exercise pleases all.

Much like my last blog talking about experimenting with different forms of exercise and finding what you like best, I’d like to talk now about how you can supplement your favourite exercise with some injury preventative measures.

Resistance training is important no matter what form of exercise you take up but it doesn’t have to be a long gruelling lift session. It can be in the form of lifting light weights, yoga, pilates, etc. and it doesn’t have to be long!

The reason why resistance training is important is not only to build muscle but to build and strengthen connective tissue as well. Connective tissue is what connects all your bones and muscles and helps your body to operate efficiently.

A lot of injuries happen to connective tissue because they’re not built strong enough to support whatever exercise you are putting your body through. So we know now it’s not just our muscles that we want to strengthen but our ligaments and tendons as well.

This is the reason yoga is so beneficial. Connective tissue is strengthened by doing unilateral movements or balance work which is a lot of what yoga is. But there are also a lot of exercises you can do in the gym or with weights if your just not into yoga.

As mentioned before I had taken up hiking in the last little bit so I have created a new workout program to supplement my hiking that focuses on strengthening ankles, knees, and hips.

Here is one of my workouts that I created that’s easy to do right at home. This is just day 1 of a six week program so each week will get more and more challenging.

Warm up:

1 set of glutebridge abductor ladder (trying to reach 10)

One leg deadlift, into curtsey lunge, into split squat x5 reps, repeat other leg, for 3 sets

20 second warrior pose into same leg 20 second squat hold, repeat other leg x2 sets

2×25 band glute bridges

30 second one leg wall sit, repeat other leg x4 sets

3×15 weighted calf raises

3×20 vacuum twists

50 russian twists

Personally I loved this workout and can’t wait to progress and strengthen my joints.

You can get a trainer to make you a supplemental program for whatever form of exercise that you love! Use resistance training as a supplement and keep moving and enjoying all that exercise gives you and your life!

Frecklefit

*If your interested in a customized program send me an e-mail or a DM on instagram and I’d be happy to create something you will purely enjoy:)*

Categories
Hard truths

Weight Fluctuations and Self Esteem

I announced a couple weeks ago that I started a reverse diet and that it’s the first time I have ever felt mentally able to reverse diet.

A reverse diet is a strategic way of eating where you increase your calories conservatively over an extended period of time for a multitude of reasons. The reasons I had to start a reverse diet were:

1) Increase energy as the calories I was using for maintenance was leaving me with a lack of energy and feeling hungry.

2) I wanted to fix my libido (can lose libido from being too lean).

3) To get rid of food shame as I would often feel guilt from eating slightly over maintenance, even when I felt hungry.

Reverse dieting helps you revamp or enhance your metabolism so that you don’t gain a bunch of unwanted weight (but can cause you to gain some) by increasing caloric intake which is why it must be strategic and conservative.

*To learn more I suggest purchasing The Complete Guide to Reverse Dieting by Layne Norton and Holly Baxter*

I want to open up and be honest about the last couple days because I almost quit my reverse for psychological reasons. I had a day where I was super bloated and my mindset went back to a place that I had worked so hard to come out of.

Before I really started to educate myself on nutrition and the physiology of the body when we eat I used to judge myself solely on what I seen in the mirror from day to day. This meant if there was a day I was bloated I automatically assumed I gained weight. I would self shame then try to immediately fix the problem.

So when my mind went back to this place a couple days ago I took a step back, looked back at all of what I have learned about weight fluctuations and traced back to what had caused the bloat.

The day before I looked at my tracker and counted how many grams of fibre I took in and it was over 40g. The target number for grams of fibre for a female my age is 25g. So I had almost doubled my fibre intake that day which caused a severe bloat that lasted almost two days.

So what I did to come back to the place that I worked hard to get to mentally was:

I educated myself.

I practiced self affirmations and reminded myself of all the hard work I do and why my body is beautiful no matter what.

I got my mental state back on track before I made any rash decisions.

Because of focusing on the mental stuff I decided I am going to continue with my reverse for the sole reason that where my thinking went is the same thinking that happens to so many people when they don’t see immediate results and it always leads to failure.

It’s the kind of thinking that causes people to quit. To quit their diet, quit their reverse, quit eating healthy, whatever it may be. They don’t delay gratification instead look for short term rewards or results.

I can’t stress enough of the part patience plays in goal setting. You have to trust the system and trust that what you’re doing is going to work if you just carry on and stay consistent.

If you just keep on track and keep working hard and stay resilient when you slip up you will see results and you will grow into the person you’ve always wanted to become. You will see success and your life will change for the better.

Things that can cause potential short term weight fluctuations:

-fibre intake

-excessive water intake

-sodium intake

-high carbohydrate intake

-menstrual cycle

So please please please don’t give up on your goals because you aren’t seeing instant results. These things don’t happen over night and take pure consistency and time. Love yourself and be kind to yourself every step of the way.

xoxo

Frecklefit

Categories
Exercise

Rethink Your Exercise

I’m not writing this blog to tell you to start hiking. In fact I’m never going to push or tell you to do any form of exercise. I’m never going to argue that one form of exercise is better than another but based off of solid facts and physiology different exercise is beneficial for different reasons.

But why do we exercise in the first place? Yes it is good for bodies and helps prevent health issues from arriving in the future but I think I will support it more in the fact that it is soooo good for your brain, your outlook, your heart, and spirit.

Exercise can improve your quality of life so much that for me, it is the biggest and most solid reason to be doing it. So that being said I am a big believer in finding a way to get excited about doing it!

When it comes to fitness, consistency is #1 on the priority list and the thing we need to aim for the MOST when achieving a healthy fit lifestyle. So how can you be consistent with your exercise regime when you hate it? or you absolutely dread doing it?

Yes you can mentally force or push yourself to do it but can you mentally push to do something you hate multiple times a week for the rest of your life? I know I couldn’t…

That’s why it’s important to find a form of exercise that you are going to really enjoy and that’s where it starts. The enjoyment builds momentum and motivation and even excitement about doing it! It may trigger a push to try something else to or make things more challenging as well and most of the time it does because just like a drug exercising releases hormones leaving you wanting more.

I have always been someone who has really enjoyed lifting weights because it makes me feel strong and it’s allowed me to use that feeling of strength into other areas of my life that I felt I really needed it. I have a new found passion for hiking because I love being outside and surrounded by nature.

There have been many times where I have taken up a new exercise because of some reason but there has always been a “why” as to why I’m doing this form of exercise and not because you HAVE to.

Once you build momentum with a certain form of exercise you will have to do a little bit of resistance training and stretching just to prevent injury but it shouldn’t be the focus of all your exercise and doesn’t mean “lifting things up and putting things down”.

Everyone is different and prefers and enjoys different things so don’t feel like you have to do what everyone else is doing and find things you enjoy the most! Everyone needs to exercise 100% but any form will do as long as your creating joy in your life.

If you are looking for a trainer find someone who is versatile. Someone who doesn’t just believe in one form of exercise, who gives you an enjoyable injury prevention resistance training program that isn’t daunting, and who will overall create you a program that is personalized just for you!

Here are some different forms of exercise that you can try:

Hiking, hill training, dance, Zumba, yoga, swimming, biking, speed walking, running, rollerblading, soccer, baseball, basketball, running around with your kids (get them to create an active game ex- tag), rock climbing, snow shoeing, skiing, snowboarding, skating.

Comment below if I’ve missed any awesome forms of exercise to share.

If your interested in a personalized workout program send me an e-mail cleclair19@hotmail.com 🙂

xoxo Frecklefit