OCTOBER: YOUR FITTEST MONTH!

October: Your Fittest Month!

You may have contemplated your fitness goals from all different angles.  But have you considered there could be an advantage to focusing on them in the Fall?  The month of October is the perfect time to hone in on your health and wellness.  

TOP FIVE REASONS TO FOCUS ON FITNESS IN OCTOBER

NO EXCUSES  The summer is ripe with “it’s too hot” excuses.  Which tend to be interchanged with “it’s too humid” or “I’m too relaxed”.  Winter months scream “way too frigid,”  “I have the Winter Blues” or “snow storm’s on the way”.  October, on the other hand, is all about moderate temperatures and beautiful views.

THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING!  Your calendar will get busier and busier during the holidays.  It will be harder to fit workouts in.  Holiday parties can make you pack on the pounds.  Getting into the fitness groove now will help you manage the stress that often accompanies “the happiest time of the year”.

END THE YEAR RIGHT  Regardless of where you’re at today, you want to end 2022 on a good note.  Putting your health and wellness at the top of the list will pay off exponentially.

GET A JUMP START ON 2023!  Don’t wait until New Year’s to create the 2023 of your dreams. Now is the perfect time to start.  If you develop good habits in October, you will be ready to tackle your goals before the pressure, cold, crowds and hype of January 1st.  

NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT  There is never a better time than right now to get fit or more fit.  You will never be any younger than in the present moment.  Once you start, momentum and positive feedback will help you achieve your goals.  Then there will be no stopping you!

THE TAKEAWAY

You can take the pressure off the end and start of the year. Successful New Year’s resolutions begin today.  If you get a jump start in October you will have the strength and confidence you need by January 1st. Then you can make 2023 your fittest year yet!

BUILDING YOUR EXERCISE HABIT

building your exercise habit

You know that exercise is good for your muscles, heart, lungs, bones and brain. You know that it protects you from chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, dementia and diabetes. So why can’t you get yourself to do it consistently enough to reap all of the amazing benefits?

The hardest part of working out is getting started. If you can ignore the reluctance and fear you can get started. If you can get started, chances are you can get a decent workout in. Which is great! Now it’s time to take the leap into consistent action.

Building a habit is the art of starting and starting and starting again. An exercise habit allows you to ignore the pre-workout excuses and negative self-talk and just press “go”. Working out becomes an automatic and pleasurable part of your day because you don’t delay the starting of it. Developing an exercise habit will improve your health and wellbeing. It will allow you to move freely without pain, remain independent, be there for your loved ones and do the things you love to do.

Top Ten Ways to Develop Your New Exercise Habit

  1. Make the time. Don’t wait until you have the time. Prioritize your health because it’s the foundation for everything else you want. If you don’t make the time for your wellness, you will likely need to make time for your illness somewhere down the line. Schedule your workouts in your calendar along with all of your other commitments. Then commit to it like your life depends on it because it does!
  2. Start small. Big plans and expectations are great. But they can lead to overwhelm and burnout. In Zen Habits, Leo Babauta suggests starting with something so easy that you can’t say no. That way you will be able to accomplish it even when you don’t feel motivated. This is the opposite of the “all in or all out” mentality many begin with. Rather than starting with a five mile run on day one, take a walk around the block. Climbing your staircase a couple of times could also do the trick. The key is to lower your expectations at the beginning of your fitness journey. Once you get used to your starting point, you can increase your intensity and volume. This will help to get you motivated to start and keep you injury-free.
  3. Mentally prepare. Plan your workouts ahead of time. If you write down what you commit to do the night before, you are more likely to execute the plan. When the time comes to work out, focus on how good you’ll feel afterwards.  Take note of your mood before and after exercising. Record yourself on your phone describing your thoughts pre and post workout, or write them down. This will provide you with undeniable evidence of the mood enhancing powers of exercise!
  4. Physically prepare. Make it convenient. Have your breakfast, workout clothes and airpods at the ready. It’s much easier to execute your plan if you have everything ready to go the day before. Having to search for items, gives your mind way too much time to back out.
  5. Rethink your markers of success. Focus on your long-term health and wellbeing, rather than on an end result like washboard abs. Consider how much more energy you have rather than fixating on the number on the scale. Celebrate your ability to blow off steam and focus better. Preventing disease, injury and pain are way more important than superficial markers.
  6. Reward yourself. Celebrate the small victories, as well as the big ones. Each workout, each active week and each goal reached is an achievement to be proud of. Treat yourself to a massage, new book, workout attire, accessory, smoothie, bubble bath, power nap or picnic. At the very least some positive self-talk will go a long way to help keep you motivated!
  7. Make it fun and switch it up. Find workout styles you enjoy, and vary them. Learning new exercises, techniques and formats is exciting. This will make it easier for your exercise habit to stick.
  8. Set short and long term goals. James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, suggests using the two minute rule. Begin with a simple activity that takes about two minutes, like lacing up your sneakers. That will be your marker of success at the beginning. Once you have gotten used to your new starting point, you can expand on your exercise habit from there. Clear also suggests using implementation intentions. An example of this is: “This week I will exercise on ____ at _____ am/pm at/in _______.” People who use this technique are two to three times more likely to execute their plans.
  9. Track your progress. Keep a simple or extensive log of your workouts. This gives you proof that you are keeping the promises you make to yourself. Tracking your progress is a very motivating visual reward.
  10. Enlist the support of a Golden Home Fitness Personal Trainer. You don’t have to deal with germ-y, crowded gyms or fight traffic. You can train in our state-of-the-art studio or in the comfort of your own home. We will devise a training plan, show you proper form, address any muscle imbalances and hold you accountable. How awesome would it be to have someone in your corner? Your Golden Home Fitness Personal Trainer will support you and track your progress every step of the way!

The Takeaway

Building an exercise habit is one of the best things you can do.  It enables you to live a healthier, longer and happier life. Start with a small action you repeat consistently and build upon it. Find a workout you enjoy and vary your workouts. Prepare mentally and physically ahead of time. Reward yourself for exercising, tracking your progress as you gain momentum. Set both short and long-term goals.

Establishing an exercise habit takes time but it is well within your grasp. Once you achieve it, working out will be an automatic and pleasurable part of your life. The benefits of establishing an exercise habit are truly immeasurable!

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Jamesclear.com; health.usnews.com; acefitness.org; www.npr.org; wholelifechallenge.com; nbcnews.com; webmd.com; www.theguardian.com; Zen Habits: Handbook for Life

EXERCISE FOR FALL PREVENTION

Get Stronger and Fall Down Less! (or not at all)

September is Healthy Aging Month.  According to the CDC, elderly people benefit greatly from being active, as do the rest of us.  You may not want to think about it, but it’s never too early to learn how to age well.  Whether you are young or old, physical activity improves your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.

Your risk of falling and injuring yourself increases as you get older.  More than a fourth of seniors fall every year.  Every 11 seconds, an elderly person is being treated for a fall in the Emergency Room.  These accidents can lead to fractures, broken bones, loss of confidence and more serious injuries.  Unfortunately many of these events can be life-changing. One of the most beneficial things you can do to minimize your risk of falling is to exercise.

Physical activity is a great way to add more years to your life.  Being active also improves the quality of your life by keeping you healthy and independent.  When a person becomes unable to take care of themselves, they often become fearful, depressed, angry and guilt-ridden.  This negatively affects their health, disposition and outlook.  What you do today will benefit you greatly today as well as tomorrow.

How Does Exercise Help in Fall Prevention?

Exercise improves your strength, posture and flexibility.  This boosts your coordination and balance which makes it less likely you will fall.  Strength training improves bone density.  Stronger bones mean fewer fractures and better balance.  Pressure is taken off joints when surrounding muscles are strengthened, leading to less pain and stiffness.  Physical activity decreases and reverses muscle loss, as well as improving mobility and burning fat.  It also improves your stamina so you can do more.

What Types of Exercises Are Best for Fall Prevention?

Ideally a combination of strength training, balance, flexibility and aerobic exercise.  But keep in mind that any physical activity –such as walking or stair climbing–  is going to help keep you more upright and agile.

Top Five Exercises for Fall Prevention

  1.  Sit to Stand.  Stand in front of a chair or sofa.  Push your hips back and slowly lower them down towards the surface.  Press through your heels to return to an upright position.  Work up to 10 repetitions.
  2. Heel-Toe Walking. Stand with your arms out straight to the side.  Place the heel of your front foot in front of the toe of your back foot.  Alternate this movement pattern while walking in a straight line.  Work up to 20 steps.
  3. Marching in Place. Lift one knee up towards your waist at a time, alternating, while swinging your arms. Work up to 60 seconds at a time.
  4. Balance on One Leg.  Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.  Lift one knee up and hold for about 30 seconds.  Repeat on the other side.  Repeat 4 more times per leg.
  5. Leg Extensions.  Sit in a chair.  Straighten one leg in front of you without locking out your knee.  Hold for a second and lower slowly.  Repeat up to 15 times per leg.  This exercise can decrease knee pain by increasing quad strength.

How Much Exercise Should I Do?

Shoot for 150 minutes per week, or 30 minutes at least five days a week.  This can be broken down into three ten minute segments daily.  It’s best to include strength training at least two days a week.

The Takeaway

If you are afraid of falling down as you get older, don’t slow down get moving!  You’re never too young or too old to improve how well you age.  You can feel and look younger than your years by staying active.  This will allow you to stay independent and keep doing what you love to do for years to come.  

Your fitness routine doesn’t have to involve a drastic change  –just add more movement to your days.  Switch up your activities for maximum benefit and entertainment.  Cardio will help you battle fatigue, while balance work will help keep you upright.  Strength training is great for building muscle and strengthening bones.  If you want to be able to move your joints through their full range of motion, flexibility training is for you.  Combine them all and you will greatly reduce your risk of falling.  This is a pleasurable and totally doable way to improve your longevity and quality of life. 

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Health.gov;  aging.ohio.gov;  ncoa.org;  thegreenfields.org;  medineplus.gov;  HelpGuide.org;  dailycaring.comg

BATTLING DIET CULTURE

battling diet culture

Getting off the Weight Loss Hamster Wheel and Repairing Your Relationship with Food and Exercise

Do you find yourself prioritizing the number on the scale over your wellbeing? Diet culture tells us to control everything we eat and do in order to feel accepted and worthy.  If you live in the US, every day you are bombarded by the implication that thinner is better.  These limiting beliefs have been shown to affect children as young as three as well as every segment of our population.  Six out of ten women regularly avoid social interactions due to a poor body image. Contrary to popular belief, you can be fat and healthy as well as thin and unhealthy.

Despite diet culture messages, weight loss is not a path to worthiness.  If you are stuck in a perpetual dieting pattern, you are doing yourself more harm than good.  Diet-culture-driven habits are detrimental to your mental and physical well being.  An obsession with food choices and compulsive exercise interfere with a fulfilling life.  They can also lead to eating disorders.

There is no one ideal, perfect or normal body size or shape.  The key to a healthy lifestyle is to focus on your overall well being rather than obsessing over being thin.

For many people losing weight is a decision that will lead to better health. Lowering your risk of disease and lengthening your life are two great motivators.  Maintaining your independence as you age, getting stronger, avoiding injury and pain, getting off of medication, being able to participate in sports and keeping up with your kids are a few more.  

What Is Diet Culture?

Diet culture is subconscious messaging that equates being thin with being healthy, and being fat with being unhealthy.  This mindset attributes thinness with positive traits such as kindness, and obesity with negative ones such as laziness.  

Diet culture causes feedback loops of shame that lead to abnormal behaviors.  It can cause disordered eating and eating disorders.  Diet culture means unnecessary anxiety, depression and body image issues for much of the population.  It also leads to discrimination.  Many overweight people avoid going to the gym or to the doctor’s office out of fear of being judged and mistreated. 

Why Is Diet Culture a Problem for Every One of Us? 

45 million Americans diet every year. At least half of New Year’s resolutions have to do with losing weight.  $33 billion dollars are spent annually on diet products.  Unfortunately diets only work long-term for 5% of people.  35% of dieters become obsessive, and a quarter of those end up with eating disorders.  The truth is diets don’t work for most people.  The best diet of all isn’t a diet at all.  It’s a variety of nutritious foods eaten mindfully, paired with an active lifestyle.

Focusing only on weight loss can lead to never feeling good enough.  It can be harmful to your physical and mental health.  You can make beneficial changes and also accept and love your body exactly as it is today.

Most of us have experienced diet culture throughout our lives.  The problem is self-perpetuating.  Children’s perceptions are affected by diet culture from a very young age.  More than half of six to eight year old girls, and one third of the boys in that age group, wish they were thinner.  Eighty percent of ten year old girls have already been on a diet.  We have the power to stop this kind of degradation and discrimination.

Top Ways to Battle Diet Culture

Stop labeling food as being “good” or “bad”.

Stay active to feel good and not just to look good.  Appreciate everything your body and mind can do rather than fixating on your physical appearance.

Educate yourself about health.  You can’t judge a book by its cover and you can’t tell if a person is healthy just by looking at them.

Disengage from media platforms that perpetuate diet culture myths, or disregard their negative messaging.

Don’t look at fitness and nutrition with an “all or nothing” mentality.

Focus on your health and wellbeing rather than on weight loss.

Allow yourself to eat intuitively.  Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.

Compliment people on their efforts rather than on their appearance.

Focus on healthy goals and actions rather than on the number on the scale or on your jean size.

Look out for signs of diet culture/ fat phobia in your own interactions with yourself and with others.

Think about how you feel during and after exercise rather than about how many calories you burned.

Don’t think of your workouts as punishment or “payment” for food.

Learn to love yourself right now, whether you are thin or fat, on a fitness journey or not.

Focus on avoiding disease, injury and dysfunction rather than on looking good in a swimsuit.

Engage in physical activities you enjoy such as dancing, roller skating, surfing and hiking in addition to, or in place of, more traditional workouts.

Try adding more nutrition to what you eat, rather than eliminating food groups and calories. 

Avoid negative self-talk  –you’re not “good” or “bad” based on your food or activity choices.

The Takeaway

At Golden Home Fitness we want to be part of the solution, not the problem.  Our mission is to empower people of all ages, abilities and sizes to live long, healthy and happy lives.  We have helped all types of people succeed at obtaining their wellness goals.  Our Personal Trainers are available whenever and wherever you are, and will customize a plan that fits your values and lifestyle.  You can comfortably work out in our state-of-the-art studio or in the comfort of your own home.

Your size should not determine your self-worth. Why not rethink how exercise and food fit into your life?  You can develop a better relationship with food, exercise and with yourself.  Focusing on your overall health is better than obsessing about your looks.  Eating a variety of balanced and nutritious foods and staying active improves your wellbeing.  While society at large might value thinness over health, you don’t have to.  As pervasive as diet culture is, together we can work towards a more positive mindset and a happier tomorrow for all of us.

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Verywellfit.com;  npr.org;  webmd.com;  refinery29.com;  self.com;  mashable.com;  wunc.org;  medium.com;  acefitness.org

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