5 Tips for Staying Positive in Bad Times

stay-positive-imageWe have all been there. Some of us are actually maybe even still going through it.

Bad times, difficult times, rough patches, whatever you call it–it’s never easy to go through a period like that in your life.

You may have just lost your job, you may have just broken up with your significant other, you may have just lost a loved one…

whatever it is, the only way to move on is to face those emotions head on and go through emotional healing through various ways.

Of course, if you’re also going through some physical problems, Then you will have to get those addressed too.

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Keeping Your Kids Fit Over the Holidays

I was looking for interesting ways to keep my kids fit over the holidays, and I eventually came across this website: http://east.madscience.org. Mad Science is an educational, science enrichment provider that has been in business since 1985.

At first I was worried that they would confine my kids to a classroom which means hours of sitting down and living a sedentary lifestyle, but I was pleasantly surprised at how hands on they are and how they let the children explore and generally be very active outdoors and indoors.

Keeping your kids fit over the holidays is important, because you want to avoid having them sit around doing nothing all day. Summer vacations are dangerous, in the sense that children will likely just sit indoors and play video games all day.

While I allow my kids to play video games, they are not very educational so I limit it to just an hour of video games a day. I would much rather have them learn or stay fit.

Here is how you can keep your kids fit over the summer:

kids exercisePlay on their interests
My two kids have been very fascinated with science lately, ever since they discovered these nature documentaries on the telly.

I did not want them to be cooped up indoors the whole day, so I found Mad Science, which was the perfect solution. The kids will enjoy learning about science, while also getting much needed activity.

 

Heavy exercise is not needed
Young children do not need heavy exercise like adults do. Low intensity exercise such as walking, playing, and simply running around is much healthier for them.

After all, children are still growing, and having them lift weights or do cross training can be detrimental to their physical health. Young children usually can go with just a few hours of activity throughout the day.

Fun Holiday! Great Outdoor Activities for Kids During the Weekend

 

Let them do sports
If your children are interested, you can also let them do sports. My oldest child much prefers basketball to any other sport, so I signed him up in a summer sports clinic for basketball.

He loves playing it and spends hours practising dribbling, shooting, and passing. He often plays with his friends, who are equally fascinated with the sport.

climbingHave them go outside
When all else fails, simply have them go outside. Children love playing so just have them go outside and enjoy the outdoors. You can have them play in the yard, or you can bring them to a nearby park. Have them walk the dog or play hopscotch – really anything goes.

My children decided to try out Mad Science because their summer camps are really fun and exciting. They just have to enjoy their time outside while also learning about science. I am glad that they are staying fit and active over the summer.

Golfing Fitness Tips to Prepare You for Holiday

Golf in SpainI guarantee that a golf package in Spain will keep you fit. Some of you may not believe this, especially after seeing so many older men with huge beer bellies riding around carts in your local golf course, but the truth is, golf is a sport and it can help you lose weight if you do it properly.

I like golfing during my slow days while relaxing, but I practice often enough to keep me fit. I like joining the women’s golfing competitions when I can, because it is something that I am genuinely interested in.

While I certainly will not be joining the pro golf tournaments any time soon, I like playing the game competitively. I like going to Spain for a golf holiday because the warm climate and the beautiful sunny landscapes are just perfect for the sport, and playing with international golfers is a great experience.

Powerful Golf Swing Exercise

But if you plan on going on a golfing holiday in Spain like I do, you should definitely work on improving your game. After all, you want to be one up the competition instead of simply swinging around aimlessly without any technique whatsoever.

In this article, I will give you some golfing fitness tips to help you improve your health and your golfing skills.

Focus on back and arm exercises
GolferOne of the most common injuries in golf include strained back muscles and shoulder muscles. To combat this, I suggest that you do various exercises to improve your core strength and to increase flexibility in your shoulders.

For shoulders, I recommend doing shoulder exercises with barbells or dumbbells. Alternatively, you can try using a resistance band to improve your shoulder strength. For back exercises, pull ups, push ups, and crunches all increase your core strength. Focus on stretching your back by doing yoga poses and improve your flexibility by stretching before and after every game.

Ditch the cart and walk
Walking on the Golf CourseWalking is very gentle cardio so I strongly suggest that you ditch the golf cart and just walk from one hole to the next. Not only is it cheaper because you would not have to spend any money on hiring a cart, but you can get a good workout too simply by walking from one place to another.

A lot of people do not realize how much better it would be if you walk instead of using the golf cart – you burn more calories and improve your body’s endurance too.

Practice your swing
Golf Swing PracticeIn golf, swinging the club is what burns the most calories after walking. Practice your swing and try to get enough power into it while still controlling your swing. Swinging repeatedly will help you improve accuracy and build the muscles needed to improve your game.

Improving your golf fitness will definitely prepare you for that golf holiday in Spain. Just keep at it and make sure that you guard yourself from injury. Stay healthy, eat well, and always stretch and warm up before any physical activity.

Attempting The Extreme – Crazy Ways To Keep Fit for 2015

If you want to stay fit and be healthy, we all know that the formula is (approximately) 80% diet and 20% exercise, but that isn’t always the case.

Some people don’t watch out for their diets at all, instead relying on incredible metabolisms or perhaps intense, extreme amounts of exercise and physical activity. But then of course there are those who really just love extreme sports.

I can’t exactly say that I’m one of the people who love to do extreme sports on a regular basis, but I have tried them and I am happy to try anything at least once.

There are a ton of different options for extreme sports and extreme ways to get fit, but lately these are the ones that I’ve noticed have been gaining traction.

Have you tried them before? Let me know in the comment section.

I’ve tried them all, and I’m not sure if I would do them again…but I will admit I had fun!

So let’s start with an old favourite:

Crossfit

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The word crossfit has been making the rounds lately. A lot of my friends have been getting into it, even.

I’ve done it myself a few times and I do plan to get more into it, but right now it’s more of something I do on the side.

Crossfit was developed by Coach Greg Glassman. It’s a fitness regimen that took years to develop.

It has a stigma of being fairly low-impact, but that’s mainly from people not doing it right, there are in fact some complexities to it.

You have to be fit and able to handle all of the challenges and activities.

You will need to learn about an entirely new lifestyleófrom food, to fitness, to movement (how to move safely and whatnot).

Parkour

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This one is a bit more popular, and it’s very much likely to be something you’ve even heard of before. It’s in a lot of films and TV shows after all.

Parkour is basically a method of training that is holistic, developed and adapted from training on military obstacle courses.

Parkour can involve all sorts of different activities, all of them designed to keep a practitioner’s momentum so that they can get from Point A to B much faster.

When I first got started I found a sufficient parking garage barrier and a few other obstacles to practice with.

I’m still not all that good, but practice makes perfect.

Triathlons

Triathlon_

Another killer, triathlons are mixes of marathons (runs), swimming, and biking.

You have to accomplish all three.

And to join a triathlon, you should really be fi and that means it includes an incredible amount of training that you would end up having to do.

No wonder all the triathletes I have ever met were incredibly fit and huge inspirations at that.

Have you ever found yourself wanting to try out any extreme sports?

If you have, which ones are they?

Let me know in the comments below!

In the meantime I’m headed back to that parking garage to practice parkour some more… Wish me luck!!

Why a Fitness Vacation at a Ski Chalet is the Best

GirlHappy holidays from my family and I! I hope that everyone refused the temptation to overeat during Christmas and still kept to their workout plan. Anyway, my family and I booked a ski chalet with childcare over the holidays so that we can stay fit while on vacation while making the most out of our beautiful winter weather.

Planning a fitness vacation is easy, and it is a sure-fire way to avoid gaining weight over the holidays. While my family and I chose to ski this holiday season, you can always opt for other ways. You can maybe go to the beach on some tropical island, or go mountain hiking at your local wilderness trail. It is up to you.

My favorite winter activity however, is skiing, and my family agrees. This is why a ski vacation is the best.

You get to stay in a ski chalet

A ski chalet, sometimes called a ski lodge, is a beautiful wooden cottage with overhanging eaves. They were first built in the Swiss Alps to withstand the cold, designed to nestle perfectly on the inclines of the mountain.

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When we are at a ski resort, we always choose to rent out a ski chalet rather than staying in any old hotel. It is cosier, and I love the privacy. It also allows me to do my warm up push ups and sit ups in peace without getting odd looks from other hotel guests.

Most Ski Chalets Offer Childcare

I have a young child who is not old enough to ski. While I let him play out in the snow during my down time, I hired a nanny for him to watch over him while I am skiing on the slopes.

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Most ski chalets offer childcare of some sort – some have private nannies that will stay in your chalet with your child until you get back, while others will have a crèche to serve as a common room for babies and toddlers.

Many ski chalets offer a variety of food

I like that our ski chalet offers and international buffet, so I can choose foods for my family that are healthy.

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Along with the usual pizza and bread varieties, we also have many vegetables, salads, and hearty stews. I would suggest avoiding fatty foods while on the slopes – you would not want to be bloated while skiing.

Skiing is a great workout

The best thing about staying at a ski chalet is of course, getting to ski. I spend entire afternoons skiing, which keeps my heart rate up and my body healthy. Skiing burns upwards of 340 calories per hour, and helps tone your legs and abdominal muscles.

Health-Fitness-Benefits-of-Skiing

You need to have great balance and core strength while skiing, so it is a great lower body workout for just about anyone.

Depending on the difficulty of the slope, you also get to hone your dexterity and constitution. Skiing is a fantastic winter sport that I would recommend for anyone.

Why You Should Get a Sports Massage

Whether you are an athlete or a weekend warrior that jogs only once or twice a week, you can benefit from getting a sports massage. It also does not matter if you are injured or not, because spots massage can help you perform better and stay healthier over all.

As a fitness trainer, I always recommend a specialist sports massage to my clients, particularly the ones that have issues with their knees or have other minor injuries. Sports massages provide both physiological benefits as well as psychological benefits for a healthier body and happier disposition.

So what are the benefits of getting a sports massage and why should you try it out?

Prevents muscle soreness

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Massages are great for preventing muscle soreness the next day, so it is great to have a massage almost immediately after an exercise.

It helps relax the muscles and stretches them in a way that otherwise will not be possible through normal methods.

When we exercise, microscopic tears in our musculature appear, which is what causes the muscle soreness. Allowing it to heal for a day or two will make the muscle stronger and harder.

Massages can help prevent the soreness without undoing your hard work. In fact, you will feel better and more flexible.

Enhances tissue permeability

Our body is more fluid than solid, and relies on the transfer of blood and nutrients through our cardiovascular system to stay alive. When we exercise, lactic acid builds up in our muscles, which can impede the flow of nutrients and oxygen to our muscles.

home_imageMassages can help drain the lactic acid from the muscles and improve blood circulation, making sure that your muscles are getting enough oxygen and nutrients to stay strong and flexible. They are more permeable after a massage, and you will feel better overall.

Realigns scar tissue

I mentioned above that exercising can cause microscopic muscle tears in the muscle fibre. If you are not careful, scar tissue can form which makes your muscles stiff and less flexible. They can end up looking unattractive and impede your performance in the future.

Massages will help realign this scar tissue and help prevent subsequent pain or injuries. Scar tissue can have lasting negative effects on your flexibility after all, so be careful not to overdo it while exercising.

Improves circulation

Micro-circulation in the blood vessels are greatly enhanced by massages in the same way as exercise does. It helps dilate the blood vessels and make it easier for oxygen and nutrients to pass through. This leaves you with a healthier body overall.

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It relaxes you

Anyone who exercises will feel stressed out at one point. Massages allow you to relax and breathe deeply, clearing your mind and giving you a fresh outlook on life.

I believe that staying fit means that you are healthy both in mind and in body, so I truly recommend getting a massage whenever you can. It truly has great benefits for practically anyone

A Guide for Using Outdoor Gyms

Gym Equipment for OutdoorsAs a fitness expert, it is my responsibility to give people different types of avenues for getting fit and healthy. Now, one thing that has been becoming very popular recently is the installation of outdoor gyms. The outdoor gyms in parks are free, so they attract all sorts of different people from different backgrounds.

At outdoor gyms, you can see young people, senior citizens, and even children working out and trying to get fit. You will see people who are fit, and people who are there to get fit eventually. No matter what your fitness level, you are free to try out an outdoor gym.

However, beginners may feel a bit overwhelmed with how outdoor gyms work, especially if they have never been to any kind of gym before. This guide will help you navigate through outdoor gyms and get the most out of your workout.

Observe other people
Outdoor Gym EquipmentIf you are unsure over how to use a specific type of gym equipment, you can always try to observe other people to see how they are using the equipment. It is best to observe fit people, since chances are, they also have proper form in addition to knowing how to use all of the equipment. Do not be afraid to ask for help or instruction from people who are there.

Plan Your Workout
Once you have a general idea of how to use all of the different types of equipment, you can now move forward to planning your workout. Generally, you will want to mix both upper body and lower body workouts. You should also try mixing cardio with weights, so that you can build both your endurance and your strength.

 

How to Make Your Workout Plan

 

Figure out how many repetitions you should be doing per body part – you will want to start with 15 to 20 reps in sets of 5 to start out with. You can eventually increase the number of reps and the number of sets as you get stronger.

Follow proper gym etiquette
Using Outdoor Gym EquipmentWhether you are at an outdoor gym or an indoor gym, gym etiquette remains the same. First off, you should be polite and courteous to everyone – it makes no sense to be rude as you want to make friends, not enemies, at the gym.

You should also make sure that you do not hog the gym equipment – outdoor gym equipment is considered communal property so of course you will need to let other people get a turn. You should get off as soon as you can and spend rest periods on the park benches, rather than sitting on the equipment. Make sure that you clean the sweat off the equipment before allowing someone else to use it. Try bringing paper towels or a rag with you.

Going to an outdoor gym is the perfect opportunity for you to get healthy and fit without worrying about the costs. They can be found all over Britain now, and as long as you follow this guide, you will get the most out of your visit to the local park gym.

My Constant Quest to Improve My Self

Personal_Fit_TrainAs a fitness trainer, I am always on the quest not only to help my clients improve, but also to improve myself. And in my quest to improve myself, I have gone and done so many things… so many I quite honestly can no longer keep count.

Regardless, what is important is that I am seeing the results which I can then pass on to my clients, basically what I feel is most important. I just want to make sure that my clients are really reaping the benefits of my training.

By that, I mean I hope that they are reaping the benefits physically when I train them, but also that whatever other training I get actually comes in handy when it comes to getting them to achieve the results that they sorely want or need.

So what kind of things do I do in order to improve myself further? Well, for one, I constantly push myself harder so that I can become and remain physically fit, which helps others to become inspired by me. Works really well given I am a personal trainer after all.

But anyway… other thing I recently did in order to improve myself is… I attended some drama based training.

Why Drama?

Yeah, I know. I know. I asked myself the same question. I’m a fitness trainer, what has drama training got to do with anything? Well… I thought about that myself. At first I figured I could go on and attend the training anyway regardless of whether I can use it as a trainer or not simply because it sounded like a fun class…

But after some thought I came to realize that drama is actually quite useful in what I do. How? Well…

5tipsforptsIt Helps Me to Motivate Clients

When it comes to being a fitness trainer, how effective you are depends not only on how you help your clients to get the results they need, but also in how effectively you can motivate them to work out. And of course, how effective you can be in motivating them to keep going when all they want to do is quit because of how punishing the workout can be physically.

So a little flair, a little drama in the execution of my motivating them…well, a few of them have already expressed how much they actually appreciate it because it helps them to keep going. Not a bad idea, no?

It Helps Me in Other Ways

As a fitness trainer, I’m not always tied up with a gym. Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m more of freelance and work with my clients in their home gyms, and so on. Training that’s drama based can help me in all situations other than just in my training others… Including when I’m doing business.

So I can safely say that I am glad that I chose to take that training anyway. :) What kind of things do you do to improve your life? Let me know in the comments!

Reward Yourself for Your Successes

Often, we set goals for ourselves to reach, things that we want to achieve. This is especially true for people who are on a fitness journey. “Oh, I want to be able to fit in those jeans I had a year ago, they did wonders for my bum,” or even “I want to be able to climb up several flights of stairs without nearly fainting”.

success

Whatever your fitness goal is, be it to get fit, to drop a few stones, or to be able to look good in a bikini, set milestones for yourself. And then, when you set those milestones and achieve them, reward yourself.

Why not, right? You worked hard. You deserve a little treat.

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But that of course doesn’t mean that you should go crazy and go on an all out binge on all the food that you missed eating. Remember that losing weight is achieved not through a temporary change in behavior, but through a lifestyle overhaul. Yes, you must change your lifestyle if you wish to succeed in the long run.

So in what way should you reward yourself for your successes?

Have a SMALL Treat

Have you achieved a milestone? Say, have you lost a centimeter off your waste? Lost a little weight (you determine the amount—be reasonable!)? Then perhaps it is a good idea to give yourself a small treat.

Go have a cone of ice cream or a bowl of frozen yoghurt. Or perhaps have that slice of cake you’d been dying to have for ages.

Young pretty girl eats cake

Regardless of what it is, keep the treat small..you don’t want to destroy your progress with something big—especially when it is hard to stop a binge.

Perhaps you can buy yourself a new sports bra or a new gym bag as a reward for your efforts, if you don’t want to ruin your progress by having a treat that might get you hooked.

Achieved Your Goal?

goalIf you have finally achieved your goal, then congratulations! I am truly happy for you. But your journey does not end here. In fact it begins here. Now you must continue to maintain yourself at this state. It’s not impossible, but it’s not easy either. Still, you ought to celebrate! Have you finally been able to start eating cleaner and better? Have you begun to cook your own meals?

Have you been spending most of your time outside of exercise in the kitchen, preparing your meals for the week? Why not treat yourself to a designer kitchen? Not only will your experience in the kitchen be more pleasant, but on top of that you get the added bonus of raising the value of your home—especially if you ever decide to sell.

If you don’t feel like the kitchen, then you can always give yourself a wardrobe overhaul!

Don’t forget that rewarding yourself now and again keeps you motivated. Set your goals, stick to them, and ensure that you keep hitting your milestones—and if you don’t, then PUSH HARDER!

Tips for Becoming a PE Teacher

80376285Those who are considering a job in fitness should consider becoming a Physical Education (PE) teacher. It is a very satisfying job that allows you to teach fitness and healthy habits to young children and teenagers.

PE gives children more physical activity and allows them to become healthier through time.

For those looking at jobs in teaching PE, I have decided to write about what can help you in your chosen career path.

PE teachers are often looked up to, so it is important that you conduct yourself with professionalism and grace.

You are expected to be an expert in your chosen field and know how to handle all of your students with tact. Here are some tips to help you along:

Be fit

While there are many PE teachers who are fantastic educators while being on the heavy side, it is much better that you yourself are fit as a teacher. Many students will be more likely to follow your instructions if you can keep up with them in the field.

Being fit will not only benefit your physical education career, but it will also benefit your health and your body.

Dress professionally outside of the gym

p_e_teacher_tees-rfb3fda85e405472dbdbf069e3f4d3745_8natd_152As a teacher, you should dress like a teacher unless you are at the gym. Outside of class while at school, you should not walk around in your track suit and t-shirt as it looks lazy and unprofessional.

It is better to change into your PE teacher’s uniform during class while your students are changing into their PE uniforms.

Be courteous and respect your students

Be courteous and greet your students at the gym entrance and before starting every class.

It will help a lot if you learn all of your student’s names as soon as possible, so that you can talk to them directly if you need to correct an exercise. Look into their eyes if you are talking to them to establish contact.

Know all of the exercises by heart

Know all of the exercises and routines by heart so that you can teach it seamlessly and without problem.

You will need to be an expert at it so that your students can ask you for corrections and advice. Naturally, you should also know your student’s limits and needs.

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Understand your student’s fitness level

It may be a good idea to have studied a course about fitness and health so that you understand your student’s fitness level. Learn how to give a fitness test so that you can easily determine how healthy your students are and what they will need to do to keep up with the class.

It is a good idea to also ask for any injuries or health issues that may make a student unable to participate fully in class exercises.

You may need to offer low impact exercises for heavier students or for students that have joint problems. Studying about it is imperative to keep your students safe.

Being a PE teacher is not an easy profession, but it is very satisfying to instill good, healthy habits in the next generation.

 

How to Stay Healthy – a Case Study of a Friend

I have a friend Matt (not his real name, I changed it for his privacy of course) who I have recently been able to catch up with after we bumped into each other when I was out shopping the other day.

I didn’t know that he’d actually heard about my blog from other friends and he’d been reading it, which is something that amuses me because I didn’t know just how wide a reach my blog now has, if I’m to be truthful.

It’s not really amazingly popular or anything but friends and family know about it…and that on its own is amazing to me haha.

Anyway let’s talk about Matt. Matt does work with heavy sheet metal and is about my age… Let’s see where I should begin.

Diet

Healthy-Lunch-Ideas-1Let’s talk about Matt’s diet.

He and I were talking about what he usually eats and how he can improve himself on that front.

He told me that he isn’t a fan of cooking and very often goes to fast food chains in order to get his meals because of the fact that it is more convenient in every way for him.

He also eats quite a bit of junk food and drinks a lot of coffee and energy drinks.

Not exactly an ideal diet for anybody—and it’s starting to show on Matt, he has really started gaining weight since the last time I saw him and I am actually pretty sure that he is well on his way to becoming overweight, if he isn’t already.

So I advised him to choose healthier options if he eats out, or to simply cook easy meals he can eat at home (eggs, salads, steamed food) and freeze the extra so he can reheat when he wishes.

I also advised him to lessen the coffee and energy drinks.

Physical Activity

keep-up-running-lake-28072011Matt works with heavy sheet metal, cluing me in that he is actually working a really physically demanding job.

But even with that fact, why is it that he has gained quite a lot of weight?

It turns out that after work he sits at home and goes to the couch to veg out as he eats a lot of unhealthy junk food.

This partially sedentary lifestyle doesn’t help to keep him fit.

No doubt if he had to run he would be quite breathless in only seconds.

So I suggested to him that he should do a little extra cardio and strength training here and there, even if it’s only fifteen or twenty minutes a day. It helps greatly.

Combined with his new healthier diet he should be able to get healthier faster.

Sleep Habits

sleeping-man-350One good thing about Matt is the fact that he always get seven or eight hours of sleep a night.

I didn’t bother giving him advise on that point—it seemed he already had it down pat.

Losing weight and staying healthy hinges on a combination of a good diet and proper exercise.

But it’s always best to combine both in order to make sure that your body not only gets the exercise it needs, but also runs on the best fuel it can possibly have.

Please note my advise should not be taken over that of an actual physician or nutritionist!