Let’s talk about Fur-Friends and Fitness! I have added a new puppy to my fur-friends-family. Sadie is a beautiful, 12 week old, golden doodle. She loves to be outside. The wonderful mid-50’s and low 60’s weather of late March beckoned us for walks several times a day.
How do you lead into a topic about pelvic floor health in America without raising eyebrows or turning people off from the conversation? As a trainer, we tend to use the words “Core” more often, but there are many layers to that.
In short, about 10 years ago I began looking for a more effective methodology in training clients. I struggled with my own low back and knee injury because my own recovery was not happening effectively.
I hit a brick wall with researching from my usual sources. Then, I took a course on the pelvic floor from Christina Christie, creator of the Pelvicore Ball. Finally, she had a lot of answers to the questions I had been forming due to the inconsistent nature of my back. I also found that the “Pelvic Floor” is a lot bigger topic that can impact anyone.
Now, it serves as a foundation for my client’s training programs, ranging from a 9 year old swimmer, a 26 year old Marine Pilot, to a 85 year old hip/knee replacement. Prenatal to postnatal, this device has enabled me to help a wide variety of clients in a number of ways.
Vibrant – A (1) Pulsating with life, vigor, or activity (2) oscillating or pulsating rapidly
B (1) Readily set in vibration (2) Responsive, Sensitive
C (1) Bright
Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary
I have really struggled to write this article because “Vibrant”, in my world, isn’t as picturesque as that photo on the cover of a fitness magazine. Maybe the ugly truth is becoming vibrant isn’t picturesque!
So… here is my attempt at describing vibrant.
In my world, becoming vibrant is hard. Its crazy, ugly, sweaty and sometimes flat undesirable to some. And, you can never stop working at it. But, the outcome is fantastic!
When I read the definition of the word, it shifted my approach, in writing this.
“Pulsating with Life”, I love that definition! For me, it’s a person who is trying to do something they currently can’t, and in trying becomes vibrant. They are doers, living life…through experience!
Here are a few examples of vibrant people:
- A grandparent rehabbing a bad joint so they can play with their grandkids.
- A wife trying to get strong enough to get out of the wheelchair to dance with her husband at their Anniversary party.
- A high school kid training to make the college team.
- The parents of an infant who are struggling to get a little piece of themselves back through fitness.
It’s the passion and the intention of what people are trying to accomplish… the story of why they wake up at 4am to workout… skip lunch for the gym… or go for a run after tucking the kids to bed. If you ever get to learn the stories of these people you will see, life is pulsating, its vibrant, all around you! Let your energy move…
Taking time for ourselves is one the hardest things to do for most of us. Then, add a full-time job, a spouse, and sprinkle a few children into the mix… Overwhelming isn’t it?!
There are tons of reasons why we can’t get our workout commitment accomplished. On the flip side we, as a society, also waste about 2 hours a day on social media. So, even if it is only for ten minutes, do something that makes a positive impact on your fitness. Walking, 7 ½ minute workouts, tabata circuits… these are just a few things that can be done even on the busiest days.
If we tell ourselves that we are too busy, do not have enough time, or are too tired, we will never find that “Fire” to keep our health or fitness. It’s called rephrasing Self Talk. What we need to tell ourselves is what/where there is time to get something positive done.
- I can’t afford to join a gym, but I can do an exercise video.
- I don’t have the energy to run today, but I can walk.
- I’m tired and want to take the elevator, but the stairs will do me some good.
Role models are critical to our Self Talk. Humans learn throughout life by watching others and then replicating behaviors and movement. Role Models are the push we need for self-improvement. I’ve been fortunate to have fantastic role models, thanks to my Dad and Mom.
Health science is also making advancements in understanding the power of just small changes in our lives. Dr. Mike Evans or “DocMikeEvans” does an incredible job of describing the impact of just a little exercise on his Youtube Health Channel. He’s a really interesting guy. Check out “23 ½ Hours”.
In case you didn’t know… in 2015, the US released a new set of guidelines for recommended levels of physical activity. The prior simple 3 days a week of 30 minutes of moderate exercise is now a new minimum of 300 minutes of moderate or 150 minutes vigorous activity spread out through the week.
Strong… driven… motivated! All are terms I’ve heard used to describe those who are regular exercisers. I have found that anyone can have this strength!
When it comes to describing an inner source of strength, I have always preferred the term “fire in the belly”. I had a high school soccer coach that made it our mantra one season. When spoken, that term alone reminded the team instantly that our commitment to our team and our soccer season was the priority.
My advice, keep it simple. I’ve observed that people get so caught up in the specifics of health or fitness and then lose their motivation before they even really get started. Commitment is the most important factor in success.
As a society, we have a preconceived notion of what a healthy lifestyle is… what fitness looks like… based on what we see on magazines, television, posts on Instagram. Let those images go.
Here’s my take on finding an inner, unshakeable, source of strength:
- Give yourself a break, it’s an individual sport at the beginning.
- Make your Workouts specific and goal driven.
- Take your life stage, abilities and circumstances into account. For some, Tai Chi, Yoga, or even walking is a great place to start.
- Commit, and stay committed by setting aside time in your calendar. Back off, if you’ve put too challenging of goals in front of you. It doesn’t need to be earth shattering!
For a majority of the people that I work with, the act of commitment activates their inner source of strength. And, then as they go, exercise makes it self-perpetuating.
One question that I frequently hear is “Why do you train?” or “What keeps you motivated?”.
My response is always the same! I pull up the picture of my wife and 3 sons that I keep as the home screen of my iPad. I’m constantly reminded that my boys are growing fast. And I want to stay ahead of them as long as I can!
How do you find your inner source of strength? Share it in the comments so we can all help each other continue to reach our fitness goals!