Feel Better Fit

Feel Better Fit

Friday, September 6, 2013

Love Your Body

I just think it needs to be said: Bodies are amazing and people are amazing in all different shapes and sizes! Fitness isn't skinny, nor is it buff. It's well being in all its forms. Seeing what a body is capable of athletically is exciting to me in the same way that I'm amazed seeing my 18 month old grandson dance like he's an MTV star, never missing a beat and giving me all his newest moves. People are amazing!

I have met in life, a few too many people who objectify others; ie: treat them as objects they might gain something from, sizing them up, rather than seeing them as amazing individuals to share life's experiences with, learn from and bond with. And, of course, as a trainer, I meet a lot of confused people who have been scarred by others objectifying them and destroying their self confidence...leaving them feeling never quite good enough. I've personally battled others' demons thrust upon me to devalue me and I've overcome! You can too!

You're beautiful! -Inside and out! Now love your self and take care of your "machinery" so you can love others with all you've got! Love your jiggles and wiggles too! Love your curves and huggable parts! And if you don't have any of those, love what you do have! Enjoy the piece of art that you are! Embellish it if you so choose to! Appreciate all the other "art" around you!

Message me if you need some level headed fitness direction! This is my passion: To help others improve their lives!

Share this post please, to help me help others. Let me know if you would be interested in an online training program, utilizing videos. Your interest may drive my business in that direction!

Celebrate Success!
Learn From Mistakes!
Keep Going Forward!

Feel Better Fit!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Balancing A Fit Lifestyle

Look at my crazy family in action and you'll know that humans are happiest when we move, laugh, enjoy...We ARE Bodies In Motion! Preserving and enhancing the ability to move freely and feel great is the goal of my company, Feel Better Fit

I am not trying to turn everyone into a body builder. Some individuals are born athletes or discover their passion for athletics or competitive weight lifting and that's wonderful. My purpose, however, is to improve lives through fitness educating, training and mentoring. Part of the process of change is learning and practicing; developing new habits and even cleaning and cleansing. It can be likened to taking a class. Eventually, the rigorous part is over and it's implementation time!

A big part of adopting the overall fitness lifestyle is being flexible with the dips and peaks of normal daily life. It's a lifestyle, not a job. In the beginning, change feels like a job because we're learning, sorting things out and developing new habits. All of this takes concentration and will power.

It's human nature to get caught up in this and get too focused; even become negative in our self evaluation. Avoid being harsh on yourself. Don't give in to discouragement nor fall into an obsessed mindset. The goal is self education and improvement. Adopt and adapt into a better overall way of living. Value your accomplishments and refuse to be self critical! You've come a long way! You've seen your body has some pretty amazing potential you weren't aware of!

Becoming and staying fit is like having a pet. It requires some commitment but it shouldn't rule the household. There's training involved and changes but eventually they become a daily routine. Some things get abandoned. Some become normal. Others are intermittent. It should enhance your life, not control it.

When your pet annoys you, you remember how much joy he/she also gives you and why he/she is around. Then you figure out if this is a passing moment of annoyance or something you need to address.
Haha, relationships with humans aren't much different I guess! Appreciating value in anything ENHANCES it's value and enjoyment of it! Focusing on the negative just takes away all the joy in life!

Back to the pet analogy - Jubilee was my best friend (chow) for many years. I never felt scared living out in the boonies, despite not having a man in the house. She was right there at my feet wherever I went and loved me endlessly! She didn't chew furniture, bark or mark the house. I had trained her not to touch food unless it was in her bowl and she NEVER did! She was very private so she only pooped in the woods lol! She was nearly a perfect dog!

Then she lost bladder control while sitting or sleeping. She was pretty old, so I went to the vet thinking I would find out that she had some incurable disease. I was prepared to face the painful task of putting her to sleep. BUT, she just needed a pill every day! Problem solved! I crushed it into a smidgen of canned food each morning and she lived on, as my best friend for quite a few more years.

Right after she died, for the first time ever, I felt scared leaving for work at 4am in the dark. It didn't occur to me me right away why I was scared. Then I realized Jubilee wasn't just my best friend, she was my body guard too. I still miss her "love" and companionship that she always gave immeasurably! No wonder kings had chows for pets!

So when your new "pet" - a healthier lifestyle gets in the way, set limits, put up fences, do some research or one on one training; get expert advice if needed. DON'T forget the benefits or let the "pet" rule your life! DON'T throw out the baby with the bath water! Clean things up in your mindset. It may be that you need to morph to the next stage of becoming fit. This may be maintenance or a new pursuit....or just slowing down a bit, if momentum has got you out of control! I can promise you that if you "lose" your fitness altogether, you will see all of the things about it that you took for granted! You will miss your "body guard"!

Life can be a pendulum swing. We're WAY out of whack in an area, so we swing WAY too far (mentally anyway) in the opposite direction. This is OK at first. It helps us to get away from bad habits and really feel the effects of change. However, we need to settle the pendulum into the center - get balanced! Take stock of the positive benefits of our learning experience and determine to be flowing and flexible always.

Life is fluid, not rigid! Growth is fun! Enjoy it! Don't focus on the workout you didn't do or the cookies you ate. Remind yourself that you used to sit on the couch and eat the whole bag after scarfing down Mac n Cheese for dinner. Now you have learned why to eat lots of veggies, drink lots of water and limit empty calories. You know cholesterol only comes from animal products and how much is a safe amount daily that you can ingest before running the risk of blocking up your arteries! You are aware of all the hidden garbage and empty calories that you didn't know existed in your diet. You'll still eat the foods that have them, but you will limit the intake. Ahhh...now you understand why he/she could easily say, "I'll just take a small slice. Thanks!" It was education and experience, not self control that inspired and empowered your friend!

You used to think you were weak and just not able to do physically challenging things. Now you know what you are capable of. You have learned that your body responds to challenging physical activity by adapting...becoming stronger!  You use to think you were "a bit of a glutton, with no self control" lol. Now you understand the blood sugar roller coaster that was affecting your system and telling you what to do! You know that some of those snack cravings were just thirst in disguise. You grew some new taste buds and found out appetites can be retrained to like new things! You know how damaging it is to starve yourself! You know muscles are your body engine and do not want to lose them. You've been freed by education and diligence! You can apply these principles in other areas of growth too!

You've learned tricks to cleanse your body when its stuck in a rut, on the sugar roller coaster or habitually eating badly. You've been enlightened about some of the myths. You understand better how the body machine works. You can take all this now and fly where you want with it! You'll probably eat salad dressing part of the time but now, when you do, you will likely have it "on the side". And when your pants get snug, you'll switch to lemon juice for awhile and start exercising again! The difference is that now you know how to safely do it!

Unless you're a gardener, you don't habitually plant gardens however you do cut the grass regularly and trim bushes and fertilize when needed. You may even spray some weed killer or spread some seeds!
The point is, you don't have to be an all out athlete or body builder to Feel Better Fit, but you will benefit if you continue to:
...cut the grass, fertilize, trim, weed, sow seeds and maybe you'll even plant a award winning garden once in awhile.

The naked truth is that I was a figure competitor and power lifter. I learned amazing things about my self and I will always be grateful for that. I am not either of those now! I go days or weeks without lifting a weight, taking a jog, hanging from my homemade suspension gear or making up dance/exercise routines in my dining room. I am still a fitness/movement/nutrition enthusiast! I recently started running again after months of inactivity and within a few weeks ran farther than I have ever gone! I set a new personal record for myself. If I had stopped exercising all together because I became self-defeating toward myself when life was too busy...if I had ignored the nagging desire to "hit the pavement" because I knew there would be some catch-up conditioning involved...I would've missed this milestone!

Why am I not always regimented? I have a life! I don't lose every benefit when I choose other activities or responsibilities. I still am active, fit and know what I am capable of! I miss it when I don't have time for it but it will be there when I return from other pursuits. I try new things and re-invent fun on a regular basis. 

Let fitness be your tool to free you, not your master to control you! Stay balanced! Stay positive! Keep improving and being a body in motion!

Celebrate Success! Learn From Mistakes!
Keep Going Forward!

Feel Better Fit!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cross Training Works!

Hi Kathryn,

I need some advice. I have done many miles of biking this summer. My legs are strong and I am feeling fit! How can I stay in shape over the winter when it is too cold to bike? I don’t want to lose the strength I have gained. I go walking but this does not push me as hard as biking does. 
IS there a better way to walk? I love to be outdoors. I cannot run because it hurts my joints Do I need an exercise bike or other machine?

Thanks for your advice. AF

Hi AF,

Great question!

Cross training is always recommended for any athlete that does a repetitive movement. This occurs in most every sport, biking included. Off season is a good time to do more cross training. The objective is two-fold: Reduce Injuries, Improve Performance

1.     Train in a more varied, hence balanced fashion. This limits sprains and tears, rubbing of connective tissue and also improves overall performance ability by recruiting lazy supporting muscles. Exercises should recruit other supporting muscles or surrounding muscles, while still utilizing the same groups you use in your sport or activity.
2.     Work the necessary muscles (the tools of your sport) in different ways. Achieve/maintain maximum strength in the necessary muscles in ways besides the typical repetitive motion required by the activity. Hence reducing the amount of breakdown on the cushioning material between the joints that are moving.

Example: Strength type movements like:

Uphill Walking outdoors or on a treadmill
Stepper, Elliptical, Stairmaster
Hamstring Exercises might be useful also or calf raises.
Water Walking
Jumping on a mini tramp
Suspension Training (Recruits weak supporting muscles, increasing overall performance)
Lunges or Squats Side squats (shown here) would be valuable for you!
Side to Side Squats
Add a Jump to the movement
for more benefits!

The key is: Variety of Training gives a more balanced body which reduces the risk of overuse injuries while increasing overall strength and performance!

Imbalance refers to strengthening some muscles while neglecting to strengthen others and/or over tightening some areas while over stretching others. Overuse Injuries – This refers to injuries that are the result of repeating a similar movement over and over. This creates imbalance which may tug the joint out of alignment causing rubbing of tendons and ligaments or wearing away cartilage. Over use may also lead to tears and strains of muscles that are “over-used”. Remember many, if not most of athletic injuries are due to overuse.

Cross training may also provide you with the added benefit of maintaining your Cardiovascular Fit Levels while “resting and repairing” your “over used” tissue.

Year Round Cross Training is your best course of action with extra during off season.

So be glad for the cold months; a blessing in disguise as you try some new activities that strengthen in new ways! Continue those activities in limited ways during your active seasons for continued benefits and optimum balance and strength!

Now, go have fun!