Tag Archives: new year’s resolutions

Mindfulness

Mindfulness: A Practice to calm your thoughts

Mindfulness: A Practice to calm your thoughts

The practice of mindfulness has been around for centuries and yet many are discovering its incredible benefits today.  In a nutshell, mindfulness is staying in the present moment and it requires practice.

Although some find it difficult at first, the concept is quite simple, keeping your mind only on what’s in front of you.  A friend described it like this: “what are you thinking about when you take your morning shower?” she asked. My answer was “well a million things, what emails need to go out first thing, who’s going to pick up the dry cleaning later today, did I call that person back etc.” She then told me that I should actually be thinking only of what I am doing in that present moment. For example, if I’m washing my hair I should be thinking about washing my hair!  What a concept I thought!

Being mindful simply requires that you keep your mind from wandering. Some call it “the monkey mind” or “the hamster wheel” when we allow our thoughts to leave the present moment and go to the future or the past.  Mindfulness has been proven to help those with PTSD syndrome and anxiety. There a number of ways to practice mindfulness such as being aware of your breathing, mindfulness exercising and eating practices. One mindfulness practitioner put it like this “stay where your feet are!” How many times have we found ourselves having to ask someone to repeat what they said to us? That’s usually because we are not being mindful of the person speaking. We are thinking about something else. Being mindful definitely takes practice. One friend said, “I now give myself permission not to think about anything unless it is a task or a thought that is in my present moment.” “Once I got the hang of it, the freedom is amazing!” she said.

At Wise Women Fitness, we use the practice of mindfulness while getting fit.  Exercise is a great way to practice mindfulness, helping our clients to stay in the moment and feel more at peace! Interested in learning more about our services?  Give us a call today for your free evaluation!

2018

Make 2018 your Resolution REVOLUTION!

Get your mind, body and spirit ready for a REVOLUTION!

Give yourself a New You this New Year!

Increased bone density, good mental health and a longer life span are just a few of the incredible benefits of getting fit.  Fifty-plus women have unique issues when it comes to taking care of their bodies. Many menopausal and post-menopausal women present with health issues that can easily be reversed with exercise and diet.  Even a moderate exercise schedule can not only keep the weight in check, but it also lowers the risk of stress, anxiety and depression, all of which tend to show up during and beyond menopause.

“I have literally seen clients change, not just their appearance, but their outlook on life, with increased self-acceptance and good reports from their doctors,” says Lynn Valaes, owner of Wise Women Fitness in south Tampa. “I have also found that women in their 50’s and 60’s are longing for companionship, particularly after the children leave the nest.  Wise Women  Fitness gives these women an opportunity to bond and form a tribe,” says Valaes.

So are you ready to make your new year’s resolution a revolution in 2018?  This new year will bring some new programs to Wise Women Fitness.  Clients can attend a workshop, work out together in small groups, take a Zumba Fitness class or have private one-one training sessions.  Private training programs are custom-made to fit each individual’s needs to include work on improving muscle mass, strength, balance, and coordination.  Studies show that women can enjoy a good quality of life after menopause without hormone treatment. Most importantly, exercise is the key to staying healthy; Osteoporosis, the greatest ailment in older women, can be kept under control with exercise. Blood sugar levels can be stabilized and, in some cases, exercise can reverse the damaging effects of diabetes. Decreasing the risk of heart disease and cancer have been attributed to a consistent exercise regimen as well.

Valaes tells many of her new skeptical clients, “Even if you have never lifted a weight or done a sit up in your life, we can gently ease you into a new freedom of feeling fit!”

Come join the fun and get fit in 2018!  Call us at Wise Women Fitness to schedule your free assessment today!

 

midlife woman lifting weights

Thinking of giving up your resistance training?

Don’t Stop Resistance Training IF You Want to Lose Weight!


Now that the weather is getting nice, you may be tempted to forgo your resistance training and head outdoors for some aerobic exercise in the fresh air.  But beware:  if you give up your resistance training, you will be giving up more than you bargained for.

Why resistance train?

Resistance training is critical for true fitness.  Without it, your muscles will atrophy.  If you aren’t building muscle, you are likely losing it.

And if you are 20 or older, you are definitely losing muscle, unless you are working hard to build it.  Beginning at age 20, we begin naturally losing muscle mass every decade.

The old cliché holds true for muscle mass:  if you don’t use it, you lose it.

Have you ever broken your arm or leg and had to wear a cast for a few weeks?  Remember  what greeted you when the cast was removed?  Your arm or leg was a lot smaller and felt weak.  That is because just a few weeks of disuse caused the muscles to begin atrophying.

Here are some of the benefits of resistance training:

  • Stops muscle loss and helps begin the rebuilding process.
  • Makes daily activities easier, from carrying groceries to rearranging your furniture.
  • Gives you a sculpted look.
  • Increases bone density, giving you a strong, stable skeleton.
  • Improves balance and coordination.
  • Prevents decay of the pads between your bones, so that you do not hurt when you move.
  • Causes the tendons to grow deeper into your bones, reducing the chance of tearing.
  • Builds muscles which will burn more calories, even while you are resting.
  • Reduces blood pressure by making your heart stronger.
  • Increases your metabolism.
  • Decreases blood sugar, which helps prevent insulin resistance (the precursor to diabetes).
  • Improves your aerobic capacity:  the stronger your muscles, the better your endurance.
  • Gives you a general feeling of wellness and strength.  If you are strong, you feel strong.
  • Makes you a better athlete:  there is no substitute for strength!
  • Prevents the weak, frail “skinny-fat” look.
  • Raises your energy level.  The more muscle you have, the less effort you have to exert and the more energy you have available.
  • Secures future protection against falls and fractures.  If you age with dense bones, strong muscles and good balance, your risk of injury plummets.
  • Creates 22% more afterburn than aerobic exercise does.  (Afterburn refers to the fat and calories that your body burns in the hours after you have finished your workout.)

Still tempted to give up resistance training?

Why aerobic exercise is not enough

But,” the question goes, “Can’t I just go for a run and build muscle?  I’m using muscles when I run!

The answer is NO!  Running or other aerobic exercise is not a replacement for resistance training.  They are different exercises and provide different benefits.  Aerobic exercise does not deliver the needed stress to your bones, muscles and tendons. 

In order to build strength, you have to pull hard on tendons, do microscopic damage to your muscles and literally bend your bones.  Going out for a run or putting in an hour on the treadmill will not do this sufficiently.

This is not to say that aerobic exercise is not important:  it is!  But it is not resistance training.  You need both.  And if you omit one, you do your body a great disservice.

Avoid the “skinny fat” syndrome

Another danger of focusing on cardio or aerobic exercise to the exclusion of resistance training is becoming what is known as “skinny fat.”  Skinny fat is a condition in which a person appears thin on the outside, but inside they are unhealthy and at risk for illness.

If you are losing weight through diet and exercise but not simultaneously doing resistance training, you are not only losing fat:  you are losing muscle as well.  Your body will burn through your muscles tissue as surely as it will burn through your fat.  As you lose muscle, you lose a major source of energy, and you lose tone and definition. 

Further, as you lose muscle, your bones become weak, because they do not have to do as much work. Weak bones are a precursor to osteoporosis.

Hidden fat is also a risk for the “skinny fat” person.  When 800 slim people underwent an MRI scan to check for visceral or hidden fat, 45% were found to have excessive amounts of internal fat, undetectable from the outside1.  Visceral fat is the most dangerous fat to have, because it accumulates around organs such as the pancreas, heart and liver and then begins releasing hormones and other secretions that lead to disease.

Resistance training can reduce visceral fat and help prevent the additional formation around the organs.

Don’t give up your resistance training just because spring is here and you are eager to get outside.  There is no substitute for lifting heavy weights 2 to 3 times each week. Your health is on the line.  GET AFTER IT!

Your friend and trainer,

Lynn Valaes
Owner, ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Wise Women Fitness

So…are you ready to take control of your life and your fears?   Contact us today and let’s see if we’re a good fit for each other.

Mary Before & After photosSource: 1http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/food_coach&id=6912002

Fear in the Face of Failure

Special thanks to our friend and colleague, Rob De Ville, for this great article on fear and failure.  Enjoy! 

Did your year get off to a good start? Already taken the first few steps towards achievement? We hate to tell you this but your journey won’t always be a smooth road. Today you feel energized. Ready to take on the world. Tomorrow could be a totally different story. But it’s alright to experience failure. It’s ok not to be on your A-game every single day. Fail early. Fail fast.  Fail often. Here’s why low points are important and how you can learn from them  

A Failure is often a Lesson in Disguise

Look up failure in the dictionary and what do you see? A lack of success. Not meeting a desirable objective. Defeat. Downfall. This might be what the word stands for, but this is never the meaning of failure in real life. Ok so you did something wrong. Made a poor judgement. Or you just weren’t ready at that time. But this brief moment of failure is not the end. It’s actually a chance to learn and come back with a stronger, smarter approach.

Even the Best Fail

Those who have failed often are usually those with the greatest success. The Beatles were rejected by a record company before they became one of the biggest bands in world history. Steven Spielberg was rejected from the same university 3 times to study theater and film, and still went on to become one of the most popular directors and producers in film history. Even Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, was rejected from his high school’s varsity basketball team. These great people all failed. But more importantly they all continued. And went on to become the best at what they do. Remember that next time you think it’s all over.

Failure Proves your Passion

If you never try anything new, then of course you won’t fail. But if you don’t fail, you also don’t really succeed. Failure shows you took a chance. A risk. A leap of faith. You wanted something so bad that you forgot your fear and went for it. This only occurs when you have passion. Passion is what life is all about. And whenever there is passion present, you will always succeed.

If you’re still in fear of failure;

Now is the time to face that fear. Work with me and make this the year you learned from your mistakes. The year you said goodbye to boundaries and took a step outside of your comfort zone.
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Your friend and trainer,
Lynn Valaes
Owner, ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Wise Women Fitness

So…are you ready to take control of your life and your fears?   Contact us today and let’s see if we’re a good fit for each other.

Mary Before & After photos