Why You Want to Be an Athlete

why you want to be an athlete
an athlete’s core is mental strength

How Identifying as an Athlete Improves Your Life: The Mind Body Connection at Its Best

Being an athlete allows you to go after what you want. This is why you want to be an athlete. The stories you tell yourself are the thoughts that fuel your decisions. The decisions you make every day lead to the actions that shape your life. By strengthening your identity, you can improve the trajectory of your life.

Sometimes the story you tell yourself is full of self-limiting beliefs. You can try to change each thought and emotion over time. If you want to change negative thought patterns focus on your identity. It’s a shortcut that can bring about quick positive change.

Your new identity will override perceived shortcomings, and replace them with beneficial behaviors. Best of all, you will begin to exhibit these positive characteristics automatically. If you have the identity of a cat, you are not going to bark, eat bones or look for fire hydrants.

One identity which benefits every area of your life is that of an athlete. Having an athlete’s mindset makes you a healthier and better version of yourself. Here are a few reasons why.

What It Means to Be an Athlete

1. Athletes are driven. You have a desire to win and to achieve great things. You set goals and always do your best.

2. Athletes are focused and self-disciplined. You have a growth mindset, knowing that you can always get better through hard work and that hard work pays off. You have a good work ethic because you know that consistent practice leads to success.

3. Athletes find a way to make it happen no matter the challenge. You have the mental toughness to dig deep and persevere. You can overcome any obstacle because you never give up.

4. Athletes are more relaxed and content. You manage stress well, and are less likely to be depressed or anxious. Working out releases endorphins which make you feel good. This makes you calmer, happier and more even tempered.

5. Athletes are more confident. Confidence is beneficial in the workplace as well as in relationships. It makes you a better leader and a happier person.

6. Increased blood flow to the brain gives athletes cognitive advantages. You have better memory, concentration, creativity and problem-solving skills.

Life isn’t always easy but being an athlete teaches you that you can do hard things. The Health Coaches at Golden Home Fitness can bring out your inner athlete. Whether you’re just starting out or you need to up your game, we can help. We will put you on the right path and help you continually improve. For your free Golden Home Fitness in-person or virtual workout click here.

Chrononutrition Improves Your Health

morning protein for muscle growth
Chrononutrition Improves Your Health

Chrononutrition improves your health. You know that what and how much you eat greatly affect your health and weight. But did you know that when you eat is also a big part of the equation? Your body has a rhythm to it –cueing you to eat, sleep and exercise at certain times of the day. Listening to it could be the difference between average and optimal health. It could also be the difference between being at your ideal weight and yo-yo dieting.

What is Chrononutrition?

Chrononutrition is the relationship between your circadian rhythm and nutrition. Your circadian rhythm controls your physical, mental and emotional cycles. Your body’s temperature, hormones, sleep and appetite all operate within this 24-hour window.

Your biological clock is greatly influenced by light and darkness. But did you know that when and how you eat also affects your circadian rhythm? That is why chrononutriton improves your health, and can be a game-changer.

Your circadian rhythm is critical to your body composition, performance and health. It controls opposing processes. These include whether you are asleep or awake, eating or fasting, active or at rest. Whether you are synthesizing or breaking down protein is also affected. This biological “clock” controls your metabolism, immunity, digestion and muscle growth.

Protecting Your Organs

Your gut, pancreas, liver, tissue and skeletal muscle are all controlled by peripheral clocks. These affect the timing of digestion, hormone secretion and nutrient metabolism. Your appetite and physical activity are managed by them. Synchronizing your meals with your peripheral clocks is best for organ health. That is one way in which chrononutrition improves your health.

Timing Your Meals

The timing of your meals can either synchronize or desynchronize your circadian rhythm. It is best to align your body’s master and peripheral clocks to your external environment. This will ensure that you take in the most nutrients from your meals. This is another way that chrononutrition improves your health.

When your circadian rhythm is misaligned with your environment, you are not operating at your best. Blood sugar, cortisol and insulin can become elevated. Lower leptin levels and less sleep can result in being less active and more hungry.

Morning Protein for Muscle Growth

The average person consumes more protein at dinner time than at breakfast. For optimal health this should be reversed. Our bodies are better equipped to handle large meals early in the day. Eating a lot of protein in the first half of the day enhances muscle size and function, as well as grip strength. This is another way in which chrononutrition improves your health.

Limit Night Time Eating

Eating a lot of calories, especially carbohydrates, at night is not good for your health. Eating a lot within four hours of sleep leads to a higher percentage of body fat being stored. It is easiest to maintain our ideal weight, or to lose weight, if we eat most of our calories before 3pm. That is another way chrononutrition improves your health.

Eat Your Meals at Consistent Times

Our circadian rhythm is affected by the timing of our meals. Eating at inconsistent times can throw off that beneficial balance.

Sleep at Night and Be Active During the Day

Aligning your wake/sleep cycle to day and night hours is best. The blue light from electronic devices and LED lights trick us into thinking it is daytime. For this reason, it is best to avoid using them close to bedtime.

Take Away

Chrononutrition improves your health. There is a delicate balance between your circadian rhythmicity and your food intake. You should align your activities with the day/night cycle. This includes eating your meals at appropriate and consistent times. Eat more protein and calories in the morning, and limit night time eating. For optimal health, sleep at night and be active during the day.

Your body is a strong and beautiful machine. It’s up to you to keep it functioning at its best! The Personal Trainers at Golden Home Fitness can provide you with the right plan and help you achieve it. For your free in-person or virtual GHF personal training session click here.

Sciencedaily.com; strongerbyscience.com; integrativenutrition.com; ncbi.nlm.nih.gov; firstpost.co

North Andover Farmers Market

farmers market healthy fruits and vegetables


10:00AM TO 1:00PM


Top Ten Reasons to Visit the North Andover Farmers Market

  1. The North Andover Farmers Market has over 20 vendors. You can find vegetables, fruit, seafood, meat, bread, cheese, baking mixes, granola, jams, spices, olive oil, chocolate, mushrooms, honey, flowers, candles and soap.

2. Not only are there 20 vendors at the Farmers Market but there is also entertainment which can vary from a friendly alpaca to a melodic harpist. It’s a fun, active and educational family activity. Kids can choose their favorite foods and mingle with other families. There are also always lots of pets enjoying the stroll.

3. Not only is there entertainment at the Farmers Market but the vegetables and fruits displayed are fresher than their supermarket counterparts. You’ll be able to see first-hand what’s in season, and to buy it at its peak fresh from the farm. The farmers at the market often carry heirloom varieties of your favorite vegetables. There is a wide variety to choose from. Supermarket produce has shipped long-distance, been stored and sometimes gassed to simulate ripening.

4. Not only is the produce fresher at the Farmers Market but it is also better for your health because it hasn’t been waxed, gassed or irradiated. Supermarket fruits and vegetables can have pesticides, hormones or antibiotics. They are sometimes genetically modified.

5. Not only are the fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market fresher and healthier than most, they are also better tasting and looking than your run of the mill supermarket ones!!

6. It’s totally worth it to go to the farmers market in order to get fresher, healthier, better tasting produce. In addition, you can go to the Farmers Market to get some fresh air and exercise ( it sure beats the chore of going to a crowded store!)

7. Farmers markets are great for better produce, entertainment and for fresh air and exercise. They also allow you to connect with your community. It’s a great way to meet other health-minded and conscientious individuals in your town.

8. You can attend the farmers market for great food, entertainment, exercise and to socialize. Another reason to go is to support your local farmers. US food production is dominated by agri-business. It is difficult for small farms to compete, and yet they are critical to our well being. Any time a farmer can sell directly to us, it’s beneficial. Many farmers and their staff will be happy to give you great meal prep, storage and cooking tips as well.

9. The Farmers Market allows you to support your local farmers. In addition, going there helps you to protect the environment. Agri-business taxes natural resources, causes pollution and requires extra packaging. Much of the produce we find in supermarkets travels 1500 miles or more. Our air, land and water are polluted by their toxic by-products. Most small farms minimize the impact of their crops on the environment, and are humane to their animals.

10. Go to the North Andover Farmers Market for a variety of products, for entertainment, for the best produce, to interact with your community, to support local farmers, to protect the environment AND to receive your free in-person or virtual workout at Golden Home Fitness which is just a block away at School and Main!

Northandoverfarmersmarket.org; cuesa.org; farmersmarketcoaliton.org

Your Second Brain

your gut is your second brain

What if I told you that your gut is your second brain?  Your gut and brain communicate through your nervous system, immune system and hormones.  When you’re in “fight or flight” mode, your gut stops or slows digestion.  This is to save energy for self-defense.  “Butterflies in your stomach” result from being excited or nervous.  Similarly, gastrointestinal issues can make you anxious or depressed.

What Is Your Second Brain Made Of?

Your gut includes your esophagus, stomach, small intestines, large intestines, gallbladder, liver and pancreas.  There are 39 trillion viruses, fungi and bacteria living in these organs.  These harmful or beneficial cells comprise your microbiome.

How Do Your Brain and Gut Communicate?

Your brain is connected to your gut through the vagus nerve.  Neurotransmitters and hormones pass messages back and forth. Together your brain and gut control your mood, immune response, heart rate and digestion.

Why Is A Healthy Diet Important?

Because your gut is your second brain, it is important to eat a balanced and nutritious diet.  A plant-based diet with few refined carbs and little or no red meat is optimal for your microbiome.  Eating vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean meats and fish is beneficial.  This will ensure that your microbiome is healthy and diverse.  Avoiding processed foods, sugar, soft drinks and fried foods is best. 

A nutritious diet is important for your immunity.  Your microbiome regulates your immune response.  When your gut is happy, there is positive feedback to your brain.  When your gut is upset, it can cause negative thoughts and emotions.

How Can You Make Sure Your Second Brain Is Happy?

Make sure to include prebiotics and probiotics in your diet.  Prebiotics are foods which help the good bacteria in your gut grow.  They include onions, garlic, bananas, asparagus, tomatoes, apples and berries.  Probiotics are beneficial live bacteria found in certain foods.  These foods include apple cider vinegar, miso soup and yogurt.

Prebiotic and probiotic supplements are also available.  Antibiotics kill both the good and bad bacteria in your microbiome.  For this reason, it is important to use them only when necessary.

Why Is a Healthy Microbiome Important?

Eating a balanced diet and limiting antibiotics can prevent gut inflammation.  Why is this important?  Your microbiome determines whether you become anxious, depressed or tired. It also determines your response to pain.  New research focuses on the link between your microbiome and heart disease, Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.  

What you eat affects your gut and your brain.  Relaxation techniques, such as exercise and meditation, also benefit both your gut and your brain.  Stress, anxiety and depression can begin in either of your “brains” and be communicated to the other.  Physicians are treating mental health and gastro-intestinal illnesses in more and more interconnected ways.

Your gut and brain work together to regulate your health and wellbeing.  Together they control your mood, energy, metabolism and immunity.  While it is becoming more and more apparent, we have always known it.  That’s why we say “it takes guts”,  “follow your gut” or it was a “gut-wrenching” experience.

For optimal health, you need to listen to your microbiome as well as your mind.  Working together, your brain and gut are a most powerful source of well-being. The Fitness Coaches at Golden Home Fitness can help tailor a diet and exercise program that works best for you. For your free in-person or virtual workout click here.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Hopkinsmedicine.org;  mhanational.org;  frontiersin.org;  health.harvard.edu;  my.clevelandclinic.org;  sciencefocus.com;  sciencedirect.com