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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.

start working out

The Single Reason You Need to Start Working Out Today

You’ve been putting off your “start working out” plant for a LONG time. You keep saying to yourself:

“It’s the holiday’s so I’ll just get started in January.”

“I’ll start back up at the gym when work settles down.”

“I just can’t seem to find the time.”

NEWS FLASH: You’re conditioning yourself to say that your goal to start working our is not important.

The truth is if you don’t have good health, any of the money you make, or time you spend doing it won’t matter because your quality of life will suck. And putting it off until “tomorrow” is just programming you to push working out further down your priority list.

But you can change that in an instant (or should I say a bunch of instances done with intention.)

Ready to Get Moving? We’ll Book a Complimentary Workout for You!

Mel Robbins explains the 5-second rule here – No, not eating food off the floor within five seconds! – but taking an immediate action step towards something within 5 seconds of thinking about it.When you act immediately on a thought, you condition yourself to get more done. To prioritize now. It’s what Mel Robbins calls Metacognition or “a way of tricking your brain in order to achieve your greater goals.”(The science can be explained here.) This will build your confidence, help you face fears (is that scary situation you’re facing ever really as bad as we make it out to be in our head?) and most importantly, build momentum. Momentum is a critical component of behavior change. The 5-second rule is a strategy you can use to get yourself to do something you don’t want to do – like working out.

Yes I know – dragging yourself out of bed, putting on your workout clothes, driving to the gym, and actually getting ready to start working out is not as simple as it sounds.

 You’re overworked, overtired, crunched for time and your life just never seems to slow down. So I’m going to give you a simple way to get this started tomorrow morning.

When your alarm clock rings tomorrow morning, actually get up (Yeah it’s crazy that we may actually use our alarm clock to do what we use it for in the first place.)

Huh? How is this going to help me get more done you’re asking? Well, when you hit snooze, you’re basically conditioning yourself to say, whatever I have to do today isn’t as important as sleeping in for 5 more minutes. And besides, you know how much more tired you feel when you wake up after a snooze.

So how does this help me to workout? I’ll tell you…

When you hear the alarm go off, reach over and turn it off. Instead of hitting snooze, sit up out of bed. Do this within 5-seconds You’ve now begun the process of reconditioning yourself to act on a thought immediately and building the necessary momentum. 

Next, you think about turning on the coffee pot and making a cup of coffee. Go do it! You’re now 2 for 2 and your confidence is building. 

Then you think, “I forgot to make my bed.” Immediately go and do it. Not “I’ll do it after I check how many likes I got on my Facebook post last night”, but immediately when you think about it.

What’s happening is simple. As you check off a task from your mental checklist by taking immediate action on it, you’re rewiring your brain to GET STUFF DONE and allow your thoughts to become a priority.

So next time you’re thinking of getting ready to start working out, but you’re hesitating, take an action towards it within 5 seconds and start reconditioning yourself. Maybe it means you go to your dresser and set your workout clothes on the bed. Maybe it means immediately grabbing your phone and putting it on your calendar. Any actionable step, no matter how small, will do. When it comes to changing your habits and behaviors, momentum trumps everything.

What small task that you’re thinking about right now can you go and do that can build momentum? If you’re on the cusp of getting started, we make it easy for you, just fill out your contact info and we’ll reach out to schedule you a complimentary workout!



This article was originally published on mikeurso.com/blog and has been re-published here with permission from the author, our Director of Training, Mike Urso.

why exercise

Why Exercise?

Exercise: it’s been said that if there is a wonder drug, exercise is it, because of the myriad of benefits. But have you ever been milling along on a treadmill and thought to yourself, what am I really doing here? What’s the point of all this? 

We’re not talking about having an existential awakening here (save that for another time), but instead questioning things what we often take for granted, like that we should exercise.

“Wait, so you’re telling me a personal training company is about to post an article asking, do we even really need to exercise?” Well, the answer is yes! Spoiler alert: it shouldn’t be a surprise, because the benefits are so overwhelmingly positive, and if you’d like to work with a trainer on how to make the most of your exercise, we can book you for a complimentary workout!

The Canadian Medical Association Journal published at meta-analysis seeking to find out what all the benefits of exercise truly are (1). To highlight the benefits, they found that routine physical activity has been shown to improve:

  1. Body composition (muscle development, fat reduction, weight control)
  2. Enhance lipid-lipoprotein profiles (cholesterol and triglycerides)
  3. Improve glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity (regulating how the body responds to food)
  4. Reduce blood pressure
  5. Improve autonomic tone (non-conscious balance of relaxation vs. stress)
  6. Reduce systemic and chronic inflammation
  7. Decrease blood coagulation (blood clotting)
  8. Improve coronary blood flow (blood entering the heart)
  9. Augment cardiac function
  10. Enhance endothelial function (lining of blood vessels)
  11. Improved psychological well being (reduced stress, anxiety, and depression)
  12. Improvement in sex-hormone levels

Among the most powerful findings is the impact on “all-cause mortality,” or the risk of death by any cause. One study looked at over 2000 men aged 40-60 over 22 years, measuring their fitness levels and 13-year all-cause mortality. 

As shown in the chart below, the risk of death was least for the group that was most fit throughout (brown bar to the right), but most inspiring is the dramatic reduction in all-cause mortality for those who were not particularly fit at the beginning of the study, but became more fit over the years (brown bar to the left)! In the interpretation, they report that “even small improvements in physical fitness are associated with a significantly lowered risk of death” (2).

These effects hold for women as well, as, “physically inactive middle-aged women (engaging in less than 1 hour of exercise per week) experienced a 52% increase in all-cause mortality, a doubling of cardiovascular-related mortality and a 29% increase in cancer-related mortality compared with physically active women” (1).

Across the board, exercise also reduces the risk of:

  1. All-cause mortality (20% – 35% lower risk of death by any cause)
  2. Cardiovascular Disease
  3. Type 2 Diabetes (1.7 fold increased risk among those inactive)
  4. Cancer
  5. Osteoporosis

While aerobic exercise gets a lot of focus for health improvements, strength training is important as well. The analysis reports that developing musculoskeletal fitness is associated with improving:

  1. Functional independence
  2. Mobility
  3. Glucose homeostasis
  4. Bone health
  5. Psychological well-being
  6. Overall quality of life

Functional independence is especially worth focusing on, as most people want to stay independent for as long as possible as the years roll on. There are a natural rise and fall of musculoskeletal fitness over time, and while exercise will improve the function and limit decline, not exercising will also expedite the fall. See the chart below for the visual representation of this (1).

We can all agree, exercise is extremely beneficial, so how do you start? You may be conditioned to think you need to sign up for a gym membership, but that isn’t true. You have everything you need, right at home! 

Not only that but exercise at home can save you valuable time and money. We’ve written about these at length in other articles, and if you’d like a complete guide to exercising at home, you can fill out the form below to download our eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Home Workouts! While information is excellent and can help a lot, taking action is the most crucial step, so if you’d like to get moving right away with a complimentary workout, click the button above, and we’ll book your session for you!





Referenced:

  1. Warburton, Darren E.R., Crystal Whitney Nicol, and Shannon S.D. Bredin. “Health Benefits of Physical Activity: The Evidence.” CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal 174.6 (2006): 801–809. PMC. Web. 19 June 2018.
  2. Erikssen, G, et al. “Changes in Physical Fitness and Changes in Mortality.” Lancet. 1998 Sep 5;352(9130):759-62. PMC. Web. 12 September 2018

Best Moving Tips: Get Ready with Home Exercise

Are you one of the many people moving soon looking for the best moving tips to make the experience a bit less stressful? 

For many, the end of summer means that it’s time to move! Whether it’s helping to relocate a whole home or helping a college student move into their dorm, this is rarely a relaxing experience, and many people will carry sofas, mattresses, dressers, and more from one unit, down a tight staircase and into an over-stuffed van, into their new home. 

Not coincidentally, many people complain that this process of moving furniture will cause flare-ups of back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain, you name it! 

Why is this? They weren’t physically prepared for the demands of moving, so their body had to overcompensate, using joints that should be used for stability for mobility instead. 

Let’s look at how getting fit and exercising at home can help you during your move.

Best Moving Tips: Start to Get Fit

Barring any orthopedic issues that should exclude someone from helping with a move, there’s a simple fix that will pre-empt these unnecessary injuries: training (especially training in-home). 

Here we’ll provide a guide for a simple routine with no specialized equipment needed to physically prepare your body for the acute stressors that come with moving large, awkward furniture through small spaces. For an individualized consultation, book a strategy session with one of our professional coaches.

Let’s Get Moving! Click Here and We’ll Set Up your Complimentary Workout

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” – Archilochus

Why Is In-Home Training the Way to Go?

First, why is in-home training especially suited for preparing to move? Most people in the fitness community and some people in the general public are aware of the concepts of “transfer of training,” the principle of “specific adaptation to imposed demands (SAID),” and “dynamic correspondence,” or for the lay population: “why should I care about doing this exercise?” 

Trends come in waves in the fitness and wellness industry and after the aerobics movement of the 70’s and 80’s came the bodybuilding focus of the 90’s and early 2000’s with gyms filled with muscle isolation machines. 

In the last 20 years, these machines have received a lot of flack because they aren’t “functional,” (air quotes here because no one can agree on what functional really means).

Enter Crossfit, TRX, doing compound movements such as squatting and deadlifting, and strongman training, all with the intention of becoming more useful in daily life, since you’re rarely in a position where you need to immobilize your entire body except for your lower arm and pull your hands to your face (seated bicep curl isolation machine). 

All are good for particular people in certain situations, but for the same reason a powerlifter needs to squat, bench, and deadlift, or a basketball player needs to play basketball to have the greatest carryover, average people would do well to train with implements they already have at home, to physically prepare them for handing objects in their home. 

In other articles we’ve covered how training at home also makes sense for people short on time, looking to save money, or anxious to go to the gym to name a few reasons.

*Note: before beginning a new exercise routine we always recommend consulting your physician. While this article is a general guide, specialized coaching is preferred for getting the optimal results for you given your unique situation.

The Warm-Up (5 minutes)

Why do I need to warm up?

Both a general warm-up (increasing core body temperature) and a specific warm-up (performing movements to prepare for the demands of what you are about to do) have been shown to decrease the risk of injury, improve performance, and lower difficulty.

The Methods (5 minutes)

  • Jumping Jacks x 60 seconds
  • Deadbug x 20 reps (10 each side)
  • Birddog x 20 reps (10 each side)
  • Y-Handcuffs x 10
  • Push-Up (hands elevated to make easier) x 10
  • Alternating Step Up x 10 (5 each side)

Core Strength (5-10 minutes)


Why do I care?


Your core muscles function to stabilize your torso, prevent excessive bending and twisting, as well as to provide a sturdy trunk from which you can display force through your arms and legs. If your core is weak or fatigued when lifting a sofa, your lower back muscles and spine will pick up more slack than they can handle and may lead to injury and pain. By building a strong core, you’ll reduce your risk of low back injury.

The Methods

A1. Plank x 2-3 sets of 45 seconds

Progression (too easy?)

While maintaining a stable core, hips engaged, and controlled breathing, extend your arms forward, increasing the space between your hands and feet.

Regression (too hard?)

Similar to push-ups, elevate your hands on a higher object such as a stair, or a stable chair.

A2. Warding Pattern x 2-3 sets of 30 seconds each side, pushing as hard as you are able to maintain

Best Moving Tips for Full-Body Strength (10-15 minutes)

Why do I care?

Unlike the machines mentioned earlier, when you’re handling awkward or heavy furniture you’ll need to recruit a sizable number of the muscles in your body, and in non-linear ways. 

First, the suitcase step up will require you to hold a weight in one arm opposite of the leg you are stepping up with, recruiting not only your leg muscles to step, but also your anti-rotation core muscles to remain stable. 

Performing single arm backpack rows will develop your upper back and arm strength, allowing you to handle higher loads without putting yourself at risk by compensating with your low back. The isometric holds (aka not moving) for the push up hold and pinch grip hold will develop your ability to absorb force and maintain tension through your upper body pressing muscles and your grip. 

Pinch gripping in particular is often neglected in daily life and will help you hold onto sub-optimal angles. As a side effect, you’ll also develop a savage handshake! You’ll grab a 2-inch thick textbook and in one arm squeeze hard to hold on!

The Methods:

B1. Suitcase Step Up x 3 sets of 12 reps each side

B2. Single Arm Backpack Row x 3 sets of 20 each side

C1. Push-Up Hold x 2-3 sets of 20 seconds

C2. Textbook Pinch Grip Hold x 2-3 sets of 45 seconds each side

Conditioning (8 minutes)

Why do I care?

The better your conditioning level is, the easier time you’ll have going strong for a longer time, and also you’ll be able to recover faster when you do need to take a break. By performing intervals of higher intensity pushes separated by rest, you’ll achieve improvements in aerobic conditioning in less time than traditionally required for steady state cardio, like running on a treadmill.

The Methods:

Stair Step Intervals x 8 sets of 20 seconds work: 40 seconds rest

As quickly as you can, run up and back down one stair step, alternating your feet.

Cool Down Stretch (3-5 minutes)

Why do I care?

Stretching is proven to improve flexibility, which when limited and put to the test, can cause compensation and injury. Here we’ll recommend a few common stretches that help with common inflexibilities, but as with all of this, schedule a time to talk with a coach for more specific suggestions.

The Methods:

  1. Seated Hamstring Stretch
  2. Figure 4 Stretch
  3. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
  4. Lat Stretch

*Hold each position for 5-10 deep breaths, breathing in through your nose, followed by a long, slow exhale as you relax into a deeper stretch.

Don’t Wait Until It’s too Late! Click Here and We’ll Set Up your Complimentary Workout

Now you have a useful guide or starting point for physically preparing yourself to move, and if you want a more comprehensive guide to training in-home, pick up your complimentary copy of our eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Home Workouts by filling out the form below! 

For more specific suggestions on how to get yourself ready for the physical demands of your next move, contact us to speak with one of our professional coaches!