Monday, 10 December 2018

Bye Bye Facebook!

As some of you know, I took a Social Media Vacation .... and it.... felt.... great!  It was a total success. 

But here's the aftermath;   I went right back to it.  Actually, I probably even took a small step back from where I was before I started the vacation. Crazy.  Like anything in life, we all react differently.  And apparently I am one of those people who can be addicted to it, quite easily. 

I was discussing it with a friend last week who came for a visit and a tea, and she was mentioning how she got off Facebook (with the exception of her business page).  "Wait what!?!?"  The main reason I still had Facebook was due to our business pages, since you have to have a personal account attached to it.  She explained her clever way around it, and BAM! No more Facebook.  Yay! 

Here's the thing;  You can be addicted to anything really, but until you recognize it as a problem, it will be incredibly tough to ever stop.  The first step is to realize that you aren't the one in control and you're mindlessly going back to whatever it is that snags up your time and energy. 

  • There was rarely anything important on my news feed
  • My feed is mostly filled with jokes, gifs, memes or advertisements that I have to click "hide" so they don't keep popping up. 
  • Things out of my control stress me out. The recent b@#$%^!!!! with the Christmas songs for example.  Or reading a post from TSN or Sportsnet about a play or an incident (which is fine) but then reading some of the ridiculous comments people put on there..... ARRGGHGH!!!!! 
  • Many of us have people as "friends" whom we rarely see or talk to.  Those who truly want to talk and stay in touch, they will.  And they don't need social media to do it. 
I have no one to blame but myself though. Sure we all see those stupid comments or posts, be it from people we know, or people we don't. However, the only one to blame is ourselves because we're the ones being sucked in. 

Maybe it's my "wisdom" as I get older..... 

Maybe it's that my wife and I work our asses off to support our family and provide great businesses to our community, so when we get time to ourselves..... we just want to relax and enjoy it.....(and not be stressed out by things that are not in our control)

Maybe I just want to live in my "own reality" and not have the craziness of our world in my face on a daily basis.... 

Regardless, I'm excited about this decision.  And just like when I took a social media vacation, when the decision was made, I literally felt like something had been lifted off my shoulders.  That's when you know it's a good decision.  

Our pages below are still active and full of updates and info.  :)  Keep following and thank you all again for your support. 

Friday, 7 December 2018

Living Energy is changing!!!! (BIG NEWS)

By now I have spoke to my clients and many others may have heard the news....
It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing, Living Energy is moving AND re-branding as of January 2019.
As many of you know, my wife, daughters and I own 2 businesses in Frankford, where we live (Inner Peace Spa & Wellness Studio and The ArtiZen Cafe). We love our little community, and what we have created there. Shawna and I both agreed, that once we opened our cafe (almost a year and a half ago) we would then have everything in place that we want and love to do.Our next step would be simplifying our lifestyle, yet still allowing ourselves the ability to to do what we love.
With that, the thought of, “wouldn’t it be nice to have all our business in Frankford” became a much stronger reality. With my lease coming up at the end of May 2019, we made the decision this past summer that this would be my last year in, Belleville. However, things began to move much more quickly when my friend and former colleague, Jessica was looking for a space to move with her team. This set the wheels in motion for the inevitable move to happen much sooner than anticipated. JANUARY!!!
As the new, “Evolve Wellness Studio” and team moves in over the holidays, Living Energy and Inner Peace Spa will be re-branding into Zenergy Health & Wellness in Frankford!! My family and I are incredibly excited about this move. It makes sense for us. Honestly, it’s the first time in my career (which has been in Belleville for all but one year), that I’m putting my family, our lifestyle, and our future first. During the process of sorting out the how, when etc… I did a list of pros and cons. The ONLY con, granted it’s a big one, is that I lose a few really great people as clients that I’ve had for as long as just about 12 years in some cases!
Living Energy was originally opened with the intent of making people feel as comfortable in the studio, as they do in their own home. And boy did we do that! From the deep personal conversations, to the down right off-side ones (often in the 5am club), the trash talking (mostly directed at the Fitness Coach) and the full on belly laughs; We had an amazing environment, community and energy and I owe it all to YOU… my clients.
Words cannot express what my client roster means to me. I feel privileged, humbled and extremely proud to have been able to get to know all of my clients, and to have them stick with me for SO MANY years. I’ve said it to some people before, that I can honestly say I do not have one client that I could not confide in or whom I don’t consider a friend. I could go to any one of my clients, and share private conversations or secrets, ask for advice or just to vent if I needed to, and they’d be there for me, as I would for them.
I love fitness, health, anatomy and physiology etc.. But mostly I love to be with people and share memories, stories and laughter. I have always cared for my clients health and well being, but I really feel that during my almost 6-years of owning Living Energy, my clients brought even more of that to the forefront from within me. Sure the workouts are important, and the technical stuff is necessary, but when you look at the bigger picture of health and happiness….
- The number of plates on the bar are irrelevant.
- The amount of reps you did or how fast you went doesn’t matter
- The “amazing 6-week workout” you do for big arms or a tight butt is not pertinent in the grand scheme of things
What was important at Living Energy was that my clients could come in the door, and have their 45min session to forget about their day, vent about their day, act silly, let their frustrations out, laugh etc.. and feel much better when they leave. “What’s said in the studio, stays in the studio” - and we all knew that.
Although I’ll now be in, Frankford and although we are re-branding and combining businesses I would like to remind everyone who visits;
The goal is still the same; To feel as comfortable at the studio as you are in your own home
The environment and community at the studio are still things that I will passionately protect.
And finally….
Yes - change sucks. I wish I could pick up all my clients and take them with me. However, change is also good. Shawna and I know, that this move will only ENHANCE our businesses. It’s already ignited our passion for what we love to do, excited our team and we haven’t even made the move yet. 
Thank you ALL again for supporting me over the years.
Thank you to my TEAM at the studio for making your clients happy to be coming in and being great with what you do.
A reminder to those of you in, Belleville; Frankford is only 20-25min drive. It’s not far. I did it for almost 18 years now, 5-days per week. Whether you are coming with me or not, don’t be strangers. Come say hi, let's sit and have a tea/coffee and absolutely do NOT LOSE TOUCH. I can come do the same (to allow for some “home/away visits”) You have all been a part of my life for so long, that will not change.
***Please watch the Living Energy page for updates, and info regarding new pages, links etc for Zenergy Health and Wellness. ****

Friday, 16 November 2018

Breathing & Movement is truly medicine

I've been given a wonderful reminder this morning as to how powerful our breathing, and movement can be. 

My Friday morning has not gone so well.   Very stressed and frustrated actually.  I took advantage of a (large) unexpected break, got some work done and had my breakfast.  I was still full of bad energy and it was abundant.  So I did this (in this order)....

  • 2-min meditation. Used my meditation app/timer. Put on some background meditation music and had the chime set for 2-min.  Sat comfy in my chair in the office and just breathed.  Right off the hop, I noticed 100% how I was breathing. It was short and far from deep/full.  It never ceases to amaze me how the body reacts to stress (and often in an unnoticeable way unless we slow down to listen and feel).  
  • Started the kettle to make my chamomile & lavender tea.  To soothe and calm some more. I used my big mason jar mug to be sure to have lots of it! 
  • Turned on some meditation music on my Google Play to flush out the negative vibes in the studio (which is still playing in the main workout area now).  
  • Did 4 simple exercises.  Full body movements.  Breathing set the pace.  10+ breaths per exercise.  I did Ball Jacknifes, Lunges w/ stick overhead, Modified Deadbug and Windshield wipers/knees side to side. 
This all took (maybe) 10-min.  Nothing too crazy right? Pretty straight forward and simple.  And yet, I feel a change in my energy.  I feel more balanced.  Not completely unstressed, but balanced.  A more mellowed approach to this morning's stress shall we say.  It's a nice feeling.  

I plan to do this (or similar) after lunch when I get home as well.  As much as I'd rather feel mellow and balanced everyday, these reminders are what keep us moving forward and learning about our health and how to practice it so we can reap the benefits! 

Respect your own time and health

I've noticed this more and more over the past few years with some clients, and I partially blame myself.  I've become too relaxed on my 24-hr cancellation policy, and I've become too flexible in scheduling for people which I think has back fired when it comes to consistency and the client's own health.  Especially with my clients having been around for so many years in the majority of cases.

Our world is only getting busier. Although I feel that we're, at the very least, realizing that busier is not better.  And I know, @#$% happens and things come up.  That's a given, and that's life (this is why I like being flexible for people).  But many times, I've seen it where something preventable arises and people set their own time/health aside for those things, rather than working the other things around their time/health. 

Your workout time / activity time (whatever you want to call it) is valuable. It's very important for you. More of us need to make it that wayWe need to make it THE PRIORITY in our day and work the rest of our schedules around that.  

On days where we "just don't feel it", are in actuality the BEST days to do your routine, health habits etc.  Granted there are days where we shouldn't (you're sick for example).  But let's be honest;  we all know when we're just simply being lazy and putting it off, and when we legitimately can't do it.  The days where we just decide "nah! I'll do it tomorrow or another day" are the days we lose traction! Those are the days that eventually lead to bad habits, and a lack of consistency (and therefore inevitably, have a negative impact on our overall health).  Those are the habit killers!

We are our own worst enemy.  You know yourself when something is preventable.  The sad part is, we can actually prevent poor health by doing simple little things daily, yet we too often find a "better" excuse to skip those health practices and "do them later". 

Here's a few ways to show yourself (and others) that you respect your own time and health; 

1) Be on time.  By this I mean for any appointment or scheduled event you have.  Being late the odd time (may) happen.  But if it's every single time..... that's simply bad habits. Being on time shows that you respect the other people's time involved, and it shows you care about your own time and efforts.  It shows you feel the value in what you're doing.  

I've had many people who are chronically late for their workout sessions.  I currently have clients who are chronically late.  When I total up the time lost over the course of a week, month and even year for some of these people, it's crazy!  Imagine if these people used that time lost efficiently how much more they could have health wise!  Wow.  

In addition to that, often what we do in our own health practices relates to who we are in everyday life (like sports in my opinion).  What I mean by that is, I see sessions scheduled with me as my "client's time".  A time for them.  Those who are chronically late for THEIR sessions, are also the same people who are late in every other aspect of their lives on a daily basis. I've seen it. It's true. 

2) If you have a time set for YOU, do your best to make everything else schedule around it.  Whether you have 20min or 60min set aside for yourself to workout, meditate, go for a walk, read, meet with a friend etc... It doesn't matter - Make it your priority!!  Everything else needs to be scheduled around that time for you.  

Things will come up the odd time where you can't avoid changing your plans, but the majority of the time YOU are in control of YOUR schedule.  When something comes up or is offered during that time, you ideally should be saying, "I'm sorry I can't do that time.  Can we schedule something around this or on another day?" Respect your own time. Get in the habit. 

3) The act of keeping your regular routine is the key ingredient. With the two previous points, we can apply them to anything in life. This point in particular is related to health practices, where just doing something (even it's if it's modified) is the most important part.  I know for a fact that some people will NOT do their workout sometimes because they feel they just "won't be able to put a lot into it". That's fine.  Life brings us energy flows that go up and down naturally for various reasons.  But that's really no excuse to do nothing.  That's a day where you do a lighter workout, maybe some mobility work, some yoga or meditation etc... A modified workout is still a workout. The key element being that you kept your routine of doing "something" which only will positively impact your health vs feed the bad habit dragon. 

This is re-iterating how health is much more than just fitness and nutrition.  We often have to look at how other aspects of our lifestyle is impacting our overall health and wellbeing. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

"Cover your ears and do what is working": A rant

Exactly 3-months ago today, I fractured my right ankle.  For regular readers or visitors of my blog (or those who know me), you know this and I will spare you the details again.  However, I will remind everyone it was my worst injury to date (thankfully it was a minor fracture - I can't imagine worse), and it was the longest rehab process I've personally been through.

Fitting that today, exactly 3-months later I can happily say that I am getting stronger again, I've been playing hockey for 3-weeks now (5 skates to date), and today I ran 2km with a steady pace and zero discomfort.  YES!!! I've been progressively doing more, and slowly pushing things but now I am ready to push harder without a doubt.

Here's the thing;  I have lots of people who care about my health, which is great. But WAY TOO OFTEN throughout this rehab process was I stressed out, frustrated and simply fed up with some of the unsolicited, "helpful advice". I will say this for all injured people down the road.I have a great piece of advice for you so you don't lose your mind:

Cover your ears and do what is working!!!!  

***********WARNING - RANT AHEAD......************

I honestly have been fighting with myself if I should write this or not. But since it is STILL in my head at the end of the rehab process, I feel it's needed (for my own sake). Never have I had to deal with so much frustration during the healing process from an injury. Maybe because I never had one that took so long, I don't know, but it was BAD.  I also feel I need to post this to help people realize that when it comes to someone's health, you really need to be aware that what you say can have more of an impact than you realize.  

An injury causes some natural depression and negativity for the injured person, so truly the last thing needed is more negativity, "unsolicited advice", more "doctors" than the one you are actually working with etc... To make it worse from my end, I'm an experienced Fitness Professional with 17 years in the industry.  I've dealt with everyone from 10yr olds, to 80 yr olds, from amateur to elite athletes and yes, even injured people.  I've worked so many times in conjunction with physios, athletic therapists, osteopaths, massage therapists and doctors for a variety of injuries and conditions over the years I've done this, in order to help people regain their strength, lifestyle and fitness.  In addition to my profession and my experience working with these other health professionals, I was also (from the very next day after my injury happened) working with an Athletic Therapist AND a Physician.  So by my count, that's 3 health professionals treating the injury.  Seems reasonable doesn't it? I thought so. 

Apparently some people didn't think so .... they had "much better advice" for me (regardless of whether I wanted it). 

*I had more than one person compare my minor avulsion fracture with their past or recent ankle injuries; some which required surgery they were so bad.  However, in none of these cases were any of their injuries the same as mine! And in others, the mechanism of injury was even different! I don't know how many times I said the words "but I have a different injury" .... but I guess it fell on deaf ears.

*More than once I had people question the doctor's advice that I was getting.  Not only is he a doctor, he was also an OHL team doctor for nearly a decade, and is a friend and client.  I'm pretty sure he won't steer me wrong! 

*The looks from some people that I would get when they would ask about my healing process, rehab exercises etc was shocking.  As if my Athletic Therapist and Doctor were both not right in what they were suggesting! Seriously??

*Despite the doctor saying I needed to immobilize the joint for 3-weeks, and then can slowly begin rehabilitation, most likely without needing a second x-ray (unless my healing started to regress), it was suggested I maybe should get a second x-ray and that maybe surgery is the "best option".  Not kidding (can you see why I was and why I STILL am frustrated by this??)

*Once my boot was off, I had swelling still in and around the joint. I had several people "kind enough" to point that out to me. Some of whom would express their concern that it "just wasn't right". They would also "kindly point out" that I was limping.  Hmmm... limping on an ankle and leg that's been immobilized for 3-weeks... "that IS weird"!! (100% sarcasm here as I vent)
The doctor and therapist's advice:  "It's all part of the healing process. Don't worry."  

*I did my weekly treatments and exercises as per my athletic therapist's instructions and was fully confident in her assessments and advice along the way.  When I was ready to try to skate again, as per her giving me the "green light" to try it, those same skeptics would give me looks or the "oh I'm not sure that's a good idea" line.  I'd like to mention here that my athletic therapist (that I hired at my studio) who treated me, is also the therapist with one of our local junior hockey teams.  So if anyone will know when I am ready to return to play (especially for hockey), it's her (and me since it's my body)! 

Welcome to what I dealt with each week, for approximately two and a half months of healing and rehab.  Sadly, there were actually a few days where they would get me so worked up, I actually started to doubt my progress as well.  Thankfully, my doctor and therapist would mentally get me back on track and reassure me that we're on the right path, and I'm doing all the right things.  

I had a couple simple goals that I was determined to follow throughout my healing:

1) Immobilize as recommended for the 3-weeks I was told.  No questions asked.  As much as that sucked! 

2) Once rehab began, besides doing as I was told, my goal was just consistent forward progress. It didn't matter how big or small of progressions we got week to week, just don't regress at any point.  

I hit every goal I set.  Each week during rehab, I'd be given new things to do and work on, and those were my weekly goals.  My Athletic Therapist would say what the plan was for next week, or where she wanted me to be at the next time I saw her... and I took that as my motivation; and hit it every time! 

I am truly thankful for those two professionals who were there to guide and treat me along the way.  They were amazing, and obviously they were bang on with their advice and guidance. Despite what others suggested throughout the journey at times.  I am also thankful for those who took a different approach in their discussions with me. These people....   

.... would simply ask, "How's the ankle doing?". So I'd fill them in.  They'd ask about some of the rehab process or what the next step is and they'd either empathize with me, or they'd leave it at that.  They didn't give unsolicited "advice". They didn't try to be a "doctor" that they're not. They were understanding of how brutal of a time it was for me, personally and they were simply supportive and hopeful that my healing would over soon.   

I am grateful for my two professionals and grateful for these people.  And might I add, my wife and kids who were amazingly supportive during the process. I am also thankful (kind of) for those people who gave their "medical advice" during this time.  Because they helped me realize another side of injuries and the rehab process that you can't learn in school, or maybe even from working together with another health professional. You have to learn it yourself..... 

Other people, can mentally bring you down and have you second guessing yourself, your health team and your body's ability to heal following an injury.  They don't make it easier. They are NOT being helpful.  And it's incredibly important to find a group of people who will be helpful, supportive and positive (in a realistic way) throughout your healing.  Honestly. I have never felt so strongly about something and it may be one of the greatest lessons of my career so far. 

When you are with someone who is dealing with an injury or condition, here's some good advice;

Support them. 
Be realistic, yet positive at the same time. 
If you are not a health professional, do not try to be one. 
If they don't ask for your advice, keep it to yourself. 
You may have had an injury to that same joint or muscle, but it doesn't mean it's the same. 
Every person is different. Every injury is different. 
Your words or "advice" can make things worse for the injured person. 

****************Rant done***************

Days that "Flow": How many do you have?

Last week was the first week, in I don't know how long,  where I had days with total flow to them.  What do I mean by "flow"?

A day that flows is a day.... 

.....that is not rushed at any point. 

.....where you feel like you're constantly taking in a breath of fresh air. 

......where stress is no where to be found. 

.....where only one thing (or nothing) is "booked" or on a schedule. 

..... that makes you realize how fantastic the simple things in life really are. 

When those two days I had last week like this were over, I was tired (but a good tired).  I felt refreshed, rejuvenated and energized (as we should in my opinion). I didn't feel dragged down, stressed out or ready for the day to end.  I felt grateful for the day I had.  I couldn't help but share how I was feeling with my wife, and all I could think was "wow - what an awesome day!". Rather than being thankful bedtime was near so I could just move on to tomorrow, I felt ready for a rest, but excited to take on whatever tomorrow would bring.  

Now, think about how that feels (or how it would feel if you haven't experienced a day like this recently).  Imagine if we put more focus into our lifestyle habits (not just fitness and nutrition - our day as a whole), and that this type of day, was the norm for us.  Imagine finishing most days (vs only a few here and there) and feeling the way I just described above.  Wow!  

Now, think about how that would impact our health! We would have....

... more energy to be active
....more gratitude 
....less stress
....less scheduled events/activities and more just living     
....Increased sense of freedom
....Increased love for life

I know I have more of these days coming, as my family and I work to simplify our lifestyles while increasing our health and still being able to do what we are passionate for.  I am excited to make these days my norm. I can see this seriously happening in the not so distant future, which I am excited to share and elaborate on as we move forward. 

In the meantime, I plan to log these days and what they bring. The feelings I feel, the things I do etc... So that I can watch this lifestyle unfold in detail, and watch my health (mental and physical) improve along with it. 

Monday, 5 November 2018

Another reminder that there is no right answer to health

To go along with my post from a week or so ago,  "We need to stop making health black and white", I came across this tweet from one of my favourites in our field (and fellow Canadian), Dr. Greg Wells (Exercise Physiologist, Author of "Superbodies" and "The Ripple Effect");

"Endurance exercise such as walking, swimming, cycling, and jogging helps to put the brain in a state where it can relax and your mind can wander. If you do this regularly, it can be very powerful for stress reduction, and decreasing symptoms of depression and anxiety."

Again, many preach that endurance exercise or prolonged cardio should NOT be done. Others such as Dr. Wells preach a much more balanced approach to health.

The important thing is that YOU find what works for YOU, and DO IT REGULARLY.

Don't get too comfy / You won't melt

I've mentioned before that my 10-year old daughter and I will walk to school on my mornings off.  It's a great way to start off the day. We first walk to our family cafe, I grab a coffee, we say good morning and give my wife a hug/kiss and then we head down the trail to the school.  Once my daughter is at school, I pop my headphones in and put on a podcast or audio book for the walk home while I sip my coffee and enjoy the fresh air.

This means that before 9:30am.... 

* I've had some form of activity/movement
* I've had some time with my daughter
* I've had some "me time" (whether that's listening to a podcast/audio book or simply taking in my surroundings)
* I've had some fresh air and been outside
* I've enjoyed a coffee (mmmm... coffee)

The rest of the day is open to possibilities for more activity / movement, meditation, etc... But at the very least, I've done something already before the day really gets going.

What I was reminded of on this morning's walk though was how often we come up with an excuse to NOT walk or get outside.  Often this is due to mother nature and whatever weather she's bringing us that day.  Granted, I definitely believe there are weather conditions that we encounter where staying inside for our exercise or choosing to drive is a better option, but more often I hear "weather" as the excuse for someone not getting outdoors. (*And the excuse of "well the dog didn't want to go" is not a good one either) ;)

Human beings have survived on earth for hundreds of thousands of years in varying weather conditions, temperatures etc... and with less protection than we do now (shelters vs houses etc).  The key word there is "survived".

You WILL SURVIVE if you go walk in the rain. 

You WILL SURVIVE if you are a bit chilly. 

You WILL SURVIVE in "less than perfect conditions"

Our bodies are used to the environment changing around us.  It has not evolved to the consistent environment of being indoors, the lack of fresh air, the lack of nature (sun, sounds etc...) around us.  We need to not use weather as our excuse so often because it's rare to get those "perfect" weather days.  And if that's what you're waiting for, your opportunity for outdoor exercise will be minimal year after year.  

You won't melt.  

You will make it.  

And you'll be happy you did. .....

Get outside and move.  

***Special Classes are back!!!***

After a great response to our last special class, we are excited to announce upcoming classes to close out 2018, put on by our Living Energy yoga instructor, Guylaine Lanthier:

November 2018
Yoga with weights
Saturday Nov. 10, 2018 @ 9:30-10:30am
Kripalu Yoga:  Meditation & Relaxation
Saturday Nov. 24, 2018 @ 9:30-10:30am
December 2018
Yoga with weights
Saturday Dec. 1, 2018 @ 9:30-10:30am
Kripalu Yoga:  Pranayama (breathing techniques) & Relaxation

Saturday Dec 8, 2018 @ 9:30-10:30am

**Cost: $15+HST per person, per class**

*If you are currently registered for our fall session yoga classes, enjoy a discounted rate of $9+HST/person*

Space is limited to 5 people.  

Call, message or email to reserve your spot no later than the Wednesday prior to your class of interest. 

Living Energy's yoga classes, led by our yoga instructor, Guylaine Lanthier are small, comfortable and enjoyable.  The small class size provides a less intimidating atmosphere and allows our instructor to ensure everyone gets the help and/or modifications necessary to make their class experience a great one.  

We run sessions in regular blocks of anywhere from 12-15 weeks depending on the time of year.  In addition, we offer $15+HST drop in option if you are unable to commit to a weekly session.  

All of our services, including our yoga classes and current Fall schedule is listed on our services page on our website:   Living Energy Fitness & Wellness Studio

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

We need to stop making health black and white

Our 5am club had a discussion the other morning about running.  I can't remember how it came up to be honest, but one client said,

"Running is so bad for you. It's one of the worst things you can do to your body." 

This advice the client shared came from a former orthopedic surgeon, I was told who was the surgeon for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Blue Jays and other pro sports teams.  Therefore, absolutely a credible source. HOWEVER, once again we see a typical knee jerk reaction to information that's out there.  

Do you have to run to be healthy?  
Absolutely not. 

 On the other hand, can you run and be healthy?
 Absolutely, yes.

Like everything, there is no right or wrong answer and we need to stop trying to make it black or whiteHealth is individualized.  Absolutely there are many reasons not to run. But on the other hand there are many reasons to enjoy it as well.  I asked my client, "what about the 70-90 year olds you see running marathons or half marathons? Are you going to tell them it's bad for them?".  I've read wonderful stories of people in their 60's and 70's (and beyond) taking up running and finding a new passion and a new exciting lease on life.  This in turn, allows them to be active and healthier because of it, and therefore increases their independence and happiness.  

Another client brought up someone he knows who is an avid runner, and described her look as "gaunt" and "droopy".  I explained how, as with anything, if we lack some sort of balance, those things can possibly happen.  Runners who strictly run and who don't participate in other activities or don't have a general strength training routine may look differently than someone who is balanced in their activity.  But who are we to say that what they are doing is "bad" for them?  This person obviously enjoys running, and she's being active because of it.

 If we continue to say how bad it is for this person and somehow convince them to stop doing something they truly enjoy and feel good doing, then it's not the running that will make them unhealthy, it's the decrease in activity and enjoyment that will make them less healthy.  

I have some incredible strength coaches and fitness professionals that I've followed throughout my career. I have a lot of respect for them all (that's why I follow their work). However, I don't take everything they say as gospel.  If their information was the absolute truth without a doubt, then every single professional I follow would be touting the same information.  But guess what? They aren't! Because there are so many ways a person can be healthy! 

Back to the early morning topic of running and health;  there are many great professionals I follow who say "don't run".  Many of these professionals though, come from a different background than myself or others. These people are or were bodybuilders, powerlifters, discus throwers etc... Of course "running is bad".  In their experiences and their past, running wouldn't work for them and it would inhibit performance.    

On the other side of things, look at professional soccer players, Aussie rules football players, Olympic runners and marathoners etc... They make a living from running. I've seen more retired athletes from these sports than not, who are still very fit themselves even after the sport.  (And of course, some who aren't - once again, it's all individualized.... nothing is black and white).   

I cringe at comments and discussions like this morning, but it's not abnormal thinking. You could argue for and against anything in our world today.  

 It makes me wonder; with all the obesity, illness, diseases etc in the world today...

How much could actually be helped if we just stopped debating on topics like this? 

How much could be helped if we started to look at health, fitness and nutrition as a "multi coloured world of options" for us to choose from, rather than black and white answers? 

How much could be helped by actually being supportive of the fact that people are trying to be healthier?

There are activities, forms of exercise, popular diets etc... that I really don't care for (personally).  But even as a professional, who am I to tell someone it's wrong, if they're being active, they're trying to eat healthier and they're working to improve their health.  I can educate them about the pros and cons and share information, but without the judgement so to not discourage them trying to create healthy habits and activities, which may be bringing them joy as well. 

People get confused. People get frustrated. People often can only throw their arms up in the air and say "Ok - I have absolutely no idea what's 'right' or 'wrong' when it comes to my own health I guess!?"   I've ran for exercise since I was starting high school.  I ran to play my favourite sport of soccer for 32 years.  I enjoy it.  I feel my best when I'm running regularly. I got caught in the "don't run just sprint" mentality for 4-5 years recently, and they were my most "blah", "heavy feeling" and sickness filled years of my life.  However - I understand that everyone is different.  If I made all my clients run (just because I like it and feel good doing it), I wouldn't have many clients left because it just wouldn't work for everyone.

Let's look at it from another angle?  If running was something we "shouldn't do" then sports like soccer, rugby, lacrosse, etc... would produce athletes who eventually can't even walk, or who would all need joint replacements/surgeries guaranteed, right?  The reality is, yes some do (that's the risk of playing a sport regardless of which one you choose), but the reality is also that many athletes come out of their sports still able to do a wide variety of activity and feel great, without going under the knife.

If we take it to another example of "back in the day" when we were told, "Don't squat below 90 degrees because it's 'bad for your knees'".  Then that would imply that every major and minor league catcher in baseball would be a guaranteed surgery (because they work in a deep squat position every day!). Right? 

*Once again we are reminded how everything can be argued and we can get carried away.*

Where these arguments are most dangerous in my opinion is when people take information they've heard, read etc... blow it up to something more without enough experience or facts to back it, and share their argument with conviction (if that's the right word to use).  An example of this was when information was being released about long distance running and heart attacks.  Of all the races, and all the runners, this number is minimal.  Yet media (and society) blow it up and assume; marathons = heart attacks.  With that approach,  we can argue then that hockey is also bad for your heart then, as we also see heart issues amongst hockey players as well.  Again - a minimal percentage but it's overblown. 

When can something like running be unhealthy or bad???

Simple.  When you think you have to. As much as I cringe when people say "running is bad for you", I also cringe when people say "well I have to learn to run if I want to lose weight" or "if I want to be healthy".  That is 100% the WRONG reason to run, and it could be a bad thing.  

Do what you enjoy.   

Do what makes YOU feel good (regardless of what anyone else says).  

Do what you will do consistently and that you can sustain.  

Do that THING within reason and within the scope of your lifestyle or sport/activity.  

Monday, 22 October 2018

The "Undisputed Champions" of Health

With everything we read about, hear about, see on TV or the internet, there are 3 health factors that seem to never be disputed;




If we do these 3 things on a daily basis, we will be healthy.   Seems to simple doesn't it?  In theory, yes. But in practice... that's where it's tough.  Most of us can include these three things into our days for a week, maybe a month or two, but then we fall off the wagon.  Often times because we think it's not enough or we think there's something that will get us to where we "want to be" faster.  Guess what? There is!  HOWEVER it won't last with those quicker / "sexier" options.  

Doing the basics, daily and putting them into practice for a lifetime is where we will reap the benefits.  I promise you one thing as well;  in my almost 18-year career, none of these 3 health factors are ever questioned or disputed. 

They are the foundation.  

They are your key to health. 

They are the basics of a healthy human being.  

Let's stop over-thinking things, and start putting these practices into action.