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Posts Tagged ‘Types of Exercise’

Benefits of CrossFit Training for Women Like Me

The benefits of CrossFit training for women like me literally transformed my life! Here are scads of reasons why it might be exactly what you’re looking for too!“Successful people pursue hard things. Unsuccessful people avoid them.” ~ Coach Greg Glassman

I know you highly value health and wellness. That’s why you’re here – because it’s my mission to help you achieve your optimal health through mindfully making good choices. To be totally honest and open, even though I’ve practiced a healthful routine for years, sometimes I lacked motivation. Something was missing. I like how Brian Carter put it, “Even people who aren’t sick may not have optimal wellness.” Is that how you feel? My breakthrough to my optimal wellness happened when I discovered CrossFit training for women like me. It might be exactly what you’re looking for too!

I am so proud to be part of Crossfit Inconceivable community in Ashland Oregon. Over the last almost 3½ years, I have literally changed who I am. I have become the person who:

  • works out regularly (Who knew that was possible!?!)
  • looks at sweating and challenging myself physically as self-care,
  • is more mindful about body fitness and wellness, and
  • has found a community of like-minded people that inspire me, challenge me and keep me sane. I love seeing those beautiful faces first thing in the morning. I look forward to feeling inspired everyday.

So I challenge you…if you don’t already have a supportive community that inspires you to makes your workout routine a sustainable habitwhat are you waiting for? Go find them! Your wellness program doesn’t have to include CrossFit, because it’s always important to listen to your own body and its limits, but here’s why I love it so much…

Nine benefits from the special way CrossFit training is designed.

 1. Somatic approach. As a Somatic Coach, I am all about caring for the whole mind/body/spirit connection. CrossFit training ticks all of those boxes. It’s an intense, full-body workout that prepares you for the unexpected, which has far reaching benefits for your mind and spirit, too.

2. Time-saving. Most CrossFit “Workouts of the Day” can be completed in 15-20 minutes.

3. Dynamic workout. CrossFit combines strength training, explosive plyometrics, speed training, weight lifting, kettle bells, body weight exercises, gymnastics, and endurance exercise. It mixes and matches different exercises to push all parts of your body to their limits. (That’s a good thing!)

4. Variety holds off boredom. Each “Workouts of the Day” is new and exciting. You’re not likely to do the same workout within a 6-month period. 

5. Learn what you’re really capable of doing. Each exercise builds on the previous one, so you achieve more than you thought possible.

6. Community. The camaraderie in CrossFit makes this exercise experience so unique. You will be applauded for doing your best, no matter what your best is. No comparisons made!

7. Personal coaching. All CrossFit classes are led by an experienced coach who ensures proper form and standards. Yes, occasionally you’ll get a “no rep” when you’re not doing something properly or not giving it your all. Your coach is your inspiration, counselor, buddy, nutrition advisor and biggest cheerleader.

 

What actual health benefits can you expect from CrossFit training? For women like me, there has to be tangible results to make it worth investing the time. Wouldn’t you say these benefits are well worth your time?

  • heart health
  • joint mobility 
  • stamina
  • strength
  • coordination
  • flexibility
  • power
  • speed
  • agility
  • balance
  • endurance
  • immune system
  • creativity

As John F. Kennedy said: “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”  

 

And that leads me to the two most important benefits from CrossFit training for women like me…

8. New lifestyle.You’re surrounded by people invested in fitness and health, which reinforces your resolve to achieve and maintain total wellness.

9. Mental toughness. You leave behind the practice of taking the path of least resistance or cutting corners. “Taking the easy way out” is no longer in your vocabulary. You discover the difference between discomfort and pain, and you aren’t a quitter.

These benefits literally transformed my life! They make my health and wellness routine sustainable. I look forward to the daily encouragement and inspiration, because it keeps me going. It’s never a burden. And I’m not even tempted to cheat.

Do you want to feel that way about your health routine? I’d love to be part of your supportive community. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Let’s work through the rough patches, so you can find your way to YOUR routine for total health and wellness.  

Develop Systems for Life – A Game Changer if You’re Tired of Chasing After Goals

Rather than setting goals you never achieved, it’s time to revolutionize your approach and think in terms of using systems for life instead of chasing goals “Like a human being, a company has to have an internal communication mechanism, a ‘nervous system’, to coordinate its actions” ~ Bill Gates, co-founder Microsoft

Are systems really that different than goals? On the surface they sound similar, don’t they? Yet how many goals have you set but never achieved? How does that make you feel? Like you’ve failed and are always starting over, right? In contrast, systems for life are daily habits, routines, processes, or practices you implement to support your intentions. And day-by-day, you reach your desired result in a much softer way.

For example, perhaps you set the goal of losing weight by a certain date. You may achieve that goal, but soon the pounds creep back on. Why? Going on a diet implies that at some point the diet ends. A lifestyle change, on the other hand, is a system of healthy eating and exercise that is ongoing and has lasting results.

Over the years, I’ve focused a lot on setting and achieving goals, developing small measurable steps and developing a buddy system. All of this is important, but it’s not effective if my strategies to achieve these goals aren’t successful ones.

What does it mean to develop systems for life?

Let me give you another example: Imagine that you want to go to the gym at 6am three times a week and you commit to doing that. You prepare your gym clothes and shoes the night before so getting dressed in the morning is a breeze. Your gym bag is ready and your water bottle is full and available.

It looks like you’ve set yourself up for success, right? But what if you decide to stay up late because you want to read 10 more pages of your book, or your friend calls and wants to talk about her ex one more time? Will you be successful at getting up when the alarm goes off the next morning?

And what if deep down you hate the gym? How long will you be able to sustain your commitment? When you associate displeasure with exercise, you unintentionally train yourself to stop doing it. If you force yourself to do it you end up using your limited supply of willpower. So what happens as a result? When you’re tempted to eat junk food you give in, negating the good that you accomplished at the gym.

How much better to create a system for being active every day at a level that feels good, while experimenting with different methods of exercise until you find the one you love. Maybe it’s something as simple as using a pedometer to count your steps. Before long your body is trained to crave that psychological boost. It builds a natural inclination for challenges that gently nudges you toward becoming more active. 10,000 steps today…12,000 steps tomorrow. That’s a sustainable system!

Don’t get me wrong. Goals are fine for getting a project finished. But they have their limitations…

  • Goals remind you that you’re not good enough. You’re starting from that negative state and basing your happiness, not on the present, but on a future, which you may or may not achieve.
  • Goals make you feel guilty when you don’t achieve them.
  • Goals foster a yo-yo of short-term results, instead of a steady flow toward long-term progress, because as soon as the goal is achieved you revert back to previous practices.
  • Goals make you feel powerless when you have setbacks. When you have systems for life you know you can pick it up again tomorrow when you feel better.
  • Goals make you focus on one thing while de-emphasizing others things you’re committed to. Consequently, you’re more likely to miss out on opportunities that could be far better than your goal.

The interesting thing is that if you never set another goal, but have a variety of systems for living an excellent life, you’ll still achieve what really matters to you. When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can mindfully enjoy the moment, while making improvements at the same time.

If you’re having trouble sorting out which system you need to implement first, feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation, in-person, by phone or via Skype.

How to Soften the Body to Withstand Stress and Roll with the Punches

Here are three ways you can daily soften the body to withstand everyday stress and relieve the tension that causes stiffness and pain in your body and mind.People who are tense suffer more pain and are more prone to injury. This takes a toll physically and psychologically! Stuntmen, gymnasts, firefighters and even the elderly are taught to soften the body, tuck and roll when they fall. Skydivers are masters of softening their bodies to land without bruising or breaking a bone. They’re taught the “banana method”.

You may not be a skydiver but all of us occasionally trip. Softening your body into a curve makes your deceleration last as long as possible to minimize injury. Even when you’re just tripping over a curb, if you land stiff-armed you’ll likely break something. Tuck and roll to your side if possible, or if you’re falling face first let your elbows bend in a push up motion allows your pecs to take the force of the fall.

We carry so much tension and stress from daily life in our muscles and tissue and so it’s not surprising that we often suffer from aches and pains. Plus as we age, we lose flexibility, becoming more prone to losing our balance and falling. While learning to safely fall takes months of practice under the direction of a skilled trainer, there’s a lot you can do on your own to learn how to soften your body on a daily basis. You’ll find yourself becoming more flexible and at the same time relieve stress and tension.

It’s no mistake that a ball is round. Rounder objects handle stress better. When you learn not to be rigid but to soften the body you’ll stand up under stress better. This is well-illustrated by what engineers have learned about designing airplane windows.

Airplanes at first used square windows since that was the norm for homes and autos. However, when jets began flying faster and at higher altitudes, two planes fell apart in midair. Why? The sharp corners of the square windows were natural weak spots where stress concentrates. When subjected to repeated pressurization, the corners cracked and gave way.

Curved windows, on the other hand, have no focal point so it distributes the stress. Circular shapes are stronger and resist deformation, and can thus survive the extreme differences in pressure between the inside and outside of the plane.

What does that mean for you? Instead of letting everyday stressors make you rigid in your thinking and physiology, learn to soften the body and roll with the punches both literally and figuratively.

Here are three simple ways to soften your body…

  1. Slow down your frenetic brain by practicing deep breathing exercises. The brain mimics what the body is doing, so if you slow down, your chaotic thoughts will start to cool down too.
  1. Actively soften the body. Pay attention to what your body is saying and move it until it relaxes. Stretching exercises, yoga, and improving your posture will help. Daily practicing Progressive Muscle Relaxation Techniques to stretch and soften your body will help you increase your awareness.
  1. Practice mindfulness in daily tasks. Quiet your mind by learning to be present in each moment instead of multi-tasking. Whether you’re walking or washing dishes, or eating, be mindful of that one simple thing.

Somatic coaching is a superior way of creating a greater self-awareness. I invite you to contact me to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation, in-person, by phone or via Skype, so we can talk more about it.

And if you’re curious on how to enhance your overall health and wellness don’t forget to download my free 7-Point Body Wellness Assessment. It will help you identify the areas that most need your attention right now and what you can do to bring balance to your life.

Body Sensations Reveal How Your Emotions Affect You Somatically

Body sensations are the way you manifest your emotions in your body, and once you learn to control your emotions you can change the way your body reacts.

“Our sensations are the original language of the body.” ~ Amanda Blake

Is your body talking to you?

Are you listening to its whispers?

Or do you wait until it screams?

Learning to slow down and listen to your body isn’t just about feeling the aches and pains of over exertion. It involves discovering how you actually feel emotionally about something.

Your emotional health and physical health are intertwined and inseparable. Your emotions are experienced and stored in your body. And they are manifested through body sensations. Breathless, clammy, fuzzy, hot, heavy, dizzy, queasy, or shaky are a few body sensations you may experience when you’re angry or stressed. Energized, full, expansive, smooth, and radiating are a few body sensations you may experience when you’re joyful and confident.

It’s within your body that you’ll discover the key to unlocking your emotional intelligence. In other words, emotions live inside your body, changing your physical experience and causing you to believe and act in particular ways. One moment you’re happy (emotion) on top of the world, so you’re feeling spacious and light in the chest (body sensations). Then someone says something that makes you feel anxious (emotion). It feels like your world is caving in, your shoulders slump and you feel deflated and dull (body sensations).

Conversely, by changing your posturing, you can alleviate these body sensations and alter your emotional experience. If you’re feeling shy and uncertain, you can breathe deeply, soften and straighten your spine, lift your head and look people in they eyes. The more you practice this, the more it will be your natural response and your emotions will change to feeling more confident and self-assured.

The concept, embodied cognition, says every thought/ideal is connected with an emotion which, in turn, has a physiological response in your body. Reflect on how the energy of shyness makes you feel small and act withdrawn. Sadness feels heavy, like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Anger feels hot and stormy. Excitement feels energizing.

Tune into your emotions and identify each sensation as you experience it. Honor the messages that your body is sending you about your feelings. Don’t try to over ride them. Suspend any judgment of them. Simply observe them for what they are.

Do you want to become more balanced and centered? Here are some simple ways to get better acquainted with how your body responds to emotions. Observe what body sensations and emotions manifest as you do each of the following:

Regular exercise. It’s been proven to reduce stress, boost your “feel good” endorphins, enhance your self-confidence, sharpen your thinking ability, ground you, and inspire creativity.

Now add another dimension to your exercise sessions – an emotional one. Are you feeling anxious? Channel your anxiety into the physical act of exercise and release it. Invite all of your feelings, whether you view them as positive or negative, to come through your movement.

Improve your postureSitting in a slumped, helpless position invites thoughts and memories to manifest. Sitting in an upright, powerful position invites empowerment thoughts and memories.

Eating healthfully for your body type. Everyone has a unique biochemistry which greatly influences brain chemistry and emotional state. What you choose to fuel this system will be determined by your metabolism, blood type, genetic history, and activity level. Of course, we all have basic needs for fresh, nutrient-rich, whole foods.

Deep breathing. It improves your physical health and helps you remain calm under stressful situations. Also Alternate Nostril Breathing can help you achieve balance and harmony.

The key to controlling your emotions is developing an awareness of exactly WHERE you feel them, HOW they feel in your body, and in WHAT healthy ways you can process them. Somatic Coaching can help you become between attuned to what your body is telling you. Contact me and let’s schedule a session that will transform you life.

And if you need help listening to your body, make sure to click here to download your free copy of The 7-Point Wellness Assessment – Create Change Through Awareness. 

 

Principles of Aikido Empower Embodied Leaders to be Calm under Crisis

These principles of Aikido teach business leaders to create a powerful personal and business presence that leaves you peaceful despite the chaos around you.Would you like to fully develop your potential for leadership? The principles of Aikido (The Way of Harmony or Peace) can help you. Aikido is a unique form of martial arts that emphasizes the blending of energy, rather than resisting it or attacking. It lets you peaceably deal with conflict by taking the energy directed at you and neutralizing it or diverting it. Aikido helps you be extremely calm, focused, and effective in the midst of chaos. In the process you learn to handle yourself around others with confidence and it gives you a powerful presence as an embodied leader.

Aikido heightens your sense of the mind/body connection. It strengthens your capacity to find and maintain a sense of calm while staying vigilantly aware. You develop an alert relaxation that appears to be very still but is highly engaged with your surroundings. With practice, you can become very stable AND ready to move with 100% of your power at will.

What principles of aikido serve business leaders best in today’s high-stress, high-demand world?

Be balanced and centered. If you feel like you’re under attack, you’re out of balance and are possibly operating from a place of disrespect or distrust. Instead of giving in to the fight or flight response or freezing up, you can use centering and breathing techniques that promote emotional calmness and mental alertness that enable you to respond gracefully to even the most stressful situations. The loss of a centered mind results in loss of balance as you instinctively start to fight for control. A centered and balanced mind doesn’t need to fight, control, or dominate.

Be calm. Many business leaders get caught up in reacting emotionally to everything, living in drama so that they’re always putting out fires. You can deepen your mind’s capacity for calmness. If you feel calm, you can maintain calm under any circumstance. Aikido teaches you to get closer to your attacker and move in the same direction as he is, which may seem counterintuitive, but is a very powerful life skill for diffusing tense situations.

Be fully present and aware. Too many people are disconnected or distracted from the here and now because of worrying about the past or the future. Or they’re so busy thinking of what they’ll say next they aren’t listening to what’s being said. By becoming fully aware of the other person or of the situation, without being attached to a preconceived outcome, you can build a harmonious relationship with what’s happening. By doing so, you get out of your own way and develop the ability to access your intuitive self. You learn to succeed by surrendering.

Be open and adaptable. The fear of losing control in actuality spins a person out of control. Let the situation unfold without resisting. Rather than letting your mind lead you, learn how to lead your mind. Become comfortable with not knowing everything, which in turns opens you up to creative solutions that are best for everyone on your team.

Be proactive and responsible. While it’s easy to make excuses for why something doesn’t work, an embodied business leader takes responsibility, provides guidance and support as he or she start influencing others to do their best. For those who are painfully shy, introverted, and uncomfortable in social situations, the principles of aikido teach you to assert yourself in relationships without being aggressive. You learn to successfully lead a person, so that he or she willingly follows. This is an invaluable skill for you in your role as an embodied leader.

You have the tools to deal effectively with conflict within you. You just need to find them. Just as silence is always present even if there’s a great deal of noise going on around you, you can experience silence if you shut out the distractions and listen for it. In the same way, you have the capacity for peace and calm under all stressful situations. You just need to learn to access it.

When you achieve peace, no one is going to take it away from you. Only you can give your peace away. With that simple understanding, you know that conflict is not about you, it’s about them and their insecurities. By modeling your peace, you can diffuse sticky situations and improve not only your life but the lives of those around you

Would you like to learn more about how a complete body/mind approach can help you excel in life and business as you step fully into your embodied leadership role? Contact me and I’d be happy to set up a somatic coaching session with you in person in Ashland, Oregon or via Skype. And don’t forget to get your free copy of “The 7-Point Body Wellness Assessment”, so you can build your life on a solid foundation.

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