3 Ways to Bring Joy to Your Fitness. Fitness is a Feeling.

What does it mean to be fit? For many of us we automatically imagine particular body weight, maybe a blood pressure, or how our body responds to sugar. Lots of us go right to what we look like or how physical systems work.

But in reality how fit we really are is a feeling. Yes the physical body is an important part of tracking fitness, but how fit we feel is about a feeling.

Photo Credit: Photo by Andreea Boncota on Unsplash

Article By: Stacy Reuille-Dupont, PhD, LAC, CPFT, CNC

Healthy looks different on every body. There are a number of markers we can use to measure somebody’s fitness. These markers help us see where the physical body is and what the physical body is doing. But the physical body is the past, it is what has happened to us. It is what we have done to ourselves in the past.

The physical body shows us where our habits have been. Maybe we’ve been overeating for a while or sitting on the couch watching a lot of TV. We might be having aches and pains from a lack of movement or high inflammation due to the food we choose to consume (Yanmei, Zhihua, Li, et. al, 2021).These habit patterns show up in the physical body and cloud our mental body.

Real fitness starts in our minds (LINK HERE). It is a goal we set. It is a mindset long before it is ever a physical reality. If we truly want to be fit we must work on feeling fit first.

Here’s what feeling fit really looks like. A fit person feels strong, capable, and able. They know they can lift a particular amount, can walk or run far enough, can successfully address difficult conversations, hold and set boundaries, and they are always working to get a better PR goal whether that be in the gym, boardroom, or their household. They know they are strong enough to tackle challenges and accomplish goals they’ve set for themselves.

A fit person understands balance. It is not about going harder, longer, faster all the time. There is no fitness if you overtrain. You may have a good physique on the outside but your body will be breaking down on the inside. 

This condition will not allow the body to push to the highest levels. Eventually you will have to stop training. Without appropriate recovery body tissues will not be able to maintain high levels of achievement overtime. There goes the vanity. Without continuous workouts you cannot maintain sculpted body parts. You need balance to continue to pursue your workouts and mental A game. 

To truly be fit you must have balance in your routines. You must have time for rest, work, and time for play. If you do not have the right balance of work you will be doing the wrong exercises at the wrong intensities with the wrong timing. On one hand just moving is good, but if you truly want to be fit there’s a method to the madness. 

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If you do not schedule time for play, workouts get pretty bland and boring fast. The same routine day in and day out becomes lackluster and uninteresting. When this happens your workout will suffer because a focused and engaged mentality is missing.

To truly be a fit person you must also feel creative. It takes creativity to show up day after day doing what is needed to create fitness levels you want. It takes creativity to continue to adapt your goals, pivot your failures, and succeed. If you do not feel creative you might need to hire a coach (ADD LINK) to help you maintain an inspired perspective. If you are living uninspired it won’t take long for you to quit whatever it is you are trying to build. 

To truly live well we must live inspired. Being inspired brings us to the place of motivation and motivation brings us to goal completion (Thrash, Oleynick, & Maruskin, 2014). Without motivation it’s hard to get out of bed day after day, do the same routines over and over, slowly making changes needed to truly impact our physical fitness.

So if you want to be fit, you must first feel it. You must feel strong, balanced, and creative in your whole being. Fitness is a feeling first then it becomes reality in our physical form. 

Today take stock of your current fitness goals, routines, and mental game. Determine if you are setting up your training priorities from a place of feeling full and joyful or a place of constriction and rigidity. 

If it’s the latter it’s time to revamp your plan. Get back to feeling your commitment to your fitness and create your health from the inside out.

References:

Thrash, Moldovan, E. G., Oleynick, V. C., & Maruskin, L. A. (2014). The Psychology of Inspiration. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 8(9), 495–510. https://doi.org/10.1111/spc3.12127

Yanmei Ma, Zhihua Yin, Li Li, Bingni Chen, Hanying Dai, Dandan Wu, Junxiao Cong, liang Ye, Chenghui Liao, Lingyun Li, Zhizhong Ye, Zhong Huang. (2021). Food antigens exacerbate intestinal damage and inflammation following the disruption of the mucosal barrier, International Immunopharmacology, Volume 96(107670), ISSN 1567-5769, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intimp.2021.107670.


Stacy Reuille-Dupont, PhD, LAC, CPFT, CNC, licensed psychologist, addiction counselor, personal trainer and nutrition coach. She’s passionate about helping people create a vibrant life using psychology and physiology. With over 25 years coaching people to be their best, she understands how to find adventure and bliss with balance. Book a FREE 15 minute consultation at www.studiob.life or join her monthly Q&A group at www.stacyreuille.com 

How You Can Heal Your Stomach Naturally

Unfortunately, there are plenty of digestive ailments that can affect our lives. They can make eating painful and difficult and add complications to our lives that we just don’t need. If you are looking to improve your digestive health, here is what you need to know to do so naturally.

Guest Post by: Justin Bennett of HealthyFit.Info

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Get to Know Your Gut

Our digestive tract is often called the second brain of the body. It produces the chemicals we need to feel happy but also is imperative to our immune system’s functionality. Our guts are full of helpful bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Akkermansia, as well as other probiotics. These help us digest our food but also keep our bodies healthy. 

When the levels of healthy bacteria diminish, we can experience negative side effects, such as constipation or diarrhea. You may have difficulty processing food, become bloated, or even have heartburn. These changes in gut flora can lead to a fluctuation in weight, fatigue or loss of sleep, skin conditions, and even autoimmune deficiencies. Understanding the need for probiotics, and knowing what you can do to improve your gut health, can cause other areas of your health to dramatically improve.

Adjust Your Diet

You can start the process of healing your digestive tract with your diet. The most basic tenet of a good diet is to eat unprocessed, natural foods. You want meals that have healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and salmon, and that offer large doses of fiber to keep your insides clean. 

Cruciferous veggies and healthy carbs, like sweet potatoes and squash, are excellent for our digestive strength. Add some fermentation to your day as well. Fermented foods are rich in naturally occurring probiotics, which can bolster our gut and our immune system. Don’t stop there. Things like apple cider vinegar have something called hydrochloric acid, which helps us process difficult-to-digest foods, like fats and protein. Unsweetened yogurt is also good for us. If you are getting dairy-free versions, make sure they have live cultures added to them.

Find the Right Exercise

You may notice that when you exercise, you find some of your digestive ailments alleviated, yet there are ways to make sure the workouts you choose are the best possible option for digestion. Yoga is one particularly effective means of exercising your digestive ills away. Many poses gently compress your internal organs, which can help move things along in a natural, calm way. You also stretch your body out, elongating your spine and intestines, which can help digestion. Regular exercise can strengthen your muscles, especially your abdominals, which may aid in your digestive health. Moderate aerobics can increase circulation, which helps blood get to your gut.

If you’re planning on starting a yoga practice, you can do so right from home. Create a dedicated space for practicing—a spare bedroom or rarely used dining room is ideal. Make sure you remove any possible distractions and introduce some calming elements like indoor plants. Open any curtains or shades to allow as much natural light into the room as possible. If dirty windows are preventing light from entering this space, you can read reviews on window washing services near you to find capable local window cleaners. Expect to pay between $2 and $7 per glass pane. 

Things to Avoid

There are plenty of things we shouldn’t do (or eat) if we want to keep our gut healthy. Foods high in lectin should be avoided, as lectin can stick to our intestine and make it difficult to process nutrients. This can lead to inflammation, something that needs to be avoided to heal our gut. It’s also wise to avoid foods that are heavily laden in fat or foods that have been fried. These can cause chaos in our intestines and stomach, leading to aggravated IBS, acid reflux, or heartburn. Spicy foods can irritate the GI tract, so no matter how much you love hot food, it’s time to cut back. 

You may need to reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption. It can cause inflammation in the gut, and also block our bodies from absorbing nutrients. It may even lead to diarrhea or stomach cramps. You may also want to cut back on how many berries you eat. Tiny seeds can get stuck in our stomachs or intestines and cause many problems, such as infection.

It may seem like a giant overhaul, but remember, you don’t have to make all of these changes overnight. Living a healthy lifestyle will come from making small, gradual changes over time. Setting goals such as eating a mindful diet, doing the right gentle exercises, and knowing what you should avoid are great places to start. Soon, you may find yourself feeling better than you ever have.

4 Steps to Improving Your Mental Health Through Better Sleep

When we don’t get enough quality sleep, most of us worry primarily about how tired we’ll feel the next day. It’s only when it becomes an ongoing, chronic issue that some of us start to realize the mental impact of poor sleep. It’s not just that we feel low, stressed, or unfocused: Research has shown that sleep deprivation could be a cause of certain psychological disorders as well as a symptom of it. Luckily, a few simple changes to your sleep habits and environment can be enough to improve your quality of sleep, and in turn ensure your mental well-being. 

Guest Post by: Stephanie Haywood from MyLifeBoost.com

Photo Credit: Photo via Unsplash.

When we don’t get enough quality sleep, most of us worry primarily about how tired we’ll feel the next day. It’s only when it becomes an ongoing, chronic issue that some of us start to realize the mental impact of poor sleep. It’s not just that we feel low, stressed, or unfocused: Research has shown that sleep deprivation could be a cause of certain psychological disorders as well as a symptom of it. Luckily, a few simple changes to your sleep habits and environment can be enough to improve your quality of sleep, and in turn ensure your mental well-being. 

Dr. Stacy can help you create a personalized mental map to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Schedule an appointment today!

Make Your Bed as Comfortable as Possible

Start with the obvious. If you want to sleep well, you need to make sure your bed is perfectly suited for it. If you haven’t switched mattresses in a while, you may want to invest in one of the new “bed in a box” models. Next, focus on your pillows. According to Good Housekeeping, the key to a good pillow is providing a neutral alignment with your spine. In general, this means side sleepers need thicker, firmer pillows, and stomach sleepers will need thinner pillows. 

Assess Your Environment

Your room should be geared toward restful sleep. If there’s too much light, try installing blackout curtains. Noisy city dwellers could benefit from a white noise machine. Too warm at night? Open your windows or get a fan.

If you get too warm or too cold during the night, you may want to invest in a fan or portable heater. Alternatively, if you fear expensive electric bills, something as simple as opening the window or buying warmer pajamas can make a world of difference. 

Last but not least, make sure that you keep your bedroom organized. Disorganization can lead to you experiencing feelings of anxiety, which can very easily disrupt your sleep. In addition to keeping your room clutter-free, make sure you take the time to clean your bedroom doors and windows. Every little bit can make the space more relaxing.

Create a Relaxing Bedtime Ritual

If you tend to lie awake in bed going over the day’s problems, your problem has less to do with your environment and more to do with the state of mind you are in when you go to bed. In order to prepare your mind for sleep, create a bedtime ritual that relaxes you and winds you down. 

You could, for example, have a soothing herbal tea with sleep-inducing properties, such as chamomile, passionflower, lavender, lemongrass, or valerian root. You could also take a long hot bath or shower or read a few pages of a book. A few stretches can also be extremely effective, and they have the added bonus of soothing sore or tense muscles. You can do knee-to-chest stretches for lower back pains, lunges for sore glutes, and child’s pose for releasing neck tension. 

Once you’re in bed, meditation can be an extremely effective way to stop spiraling thoughts. Popular meditation app Headspace has an entire section dedicated to sleep, including guided meditations as well as relaxing sounds and music. If guided meditation isn’t your thing, try taking some deep breaths to clear your head and relax your body. 

Get Moving

Your quality of sleep is not just linked to your bedtime habits. What you do throughout the rest of the day also matters. The best example of this is exercise. In itself, exercise is excellent for both your physical and mental health. However, regular exercise is also linked to good sleep, with several studies showing that people who work out tend to sleep better.

It doesn’t matter when you work out, and it doesn’t even have to be intense exercise. As long as you do it regularly, you will likely see an improvement in your quality of sleep within a few weeks. 

Every night, our minds and bodies have the opportunity to rest, reset, and process the day’s events. If your environment and habits aren’t geared to allow this, it is going to be a lot more difficult for you to get the sleep you need to feel mentally well. Start by identifying what your barriers to sleep are, and then address each one individually until you have perfected your sleep routine. Your mind will thank you. 

No Gym? No Problem: 
You Can Do These Workouts Anywhere!

Staying fit during COVID-19 can feel almost impossible. In many places across the country, gyms are still closed. Others are open, but some people just aren’t willing to take the risk of heading back just yet. However, staying active is as important as ever — if not more. Not only does it keep us healthy and fit, but it’s also one of the best mental health tools at our disposal. Regular exercise significantly reduces the intensity of anxiety and depression. 

Guest Post by: Jason Lewis of StrongWell.org

Photo Credit: Pexels

Staying fit during COVID-19 can feel almost impossible. In many places across the country, gyms are still closed. Others are open, but some people just aren’t willing to take the risk of heading back just yet. However, staying active is as important as ever — if not more. Not only does it keep us healthy and fit, but it’s also one of the best mental health tools at our disposal. Regular exercise significantly reduces the intensity of anxiety and depression. 

Studio B offers fitness treatment and training to help keep you going with your regimen at home. Contact us for more information! 970-422-1761

Clarify Your Goals 

A plan is the first step on the path to success. Without a plan in place, you’re setting yourself up for failure — at worst — and settling back into poor habits that got you here in the first place. Sit down with pencil and paper in hand and clarify your goals.

Warming Up 

The last thing you want is to sustain injury when first jumping into a new workout regimen. Get your body ready to move. 

  • Warm up every time you exercise to prevent injury
  • If you exercise in the morning, try a yoga workout to wake your muscles up. 
  • Stretching before and after a workout is important for maintaining your flexibility. 

Upping Your Heart Rate 

Good cardio is one of the core foundations of a long, healthy life. Not only is it important for a healthy heart and increased “good” cholesterol, your endurance will increase, which makes future workouts much less taxing.

  • Figure out your target heart rate and use a fitness tracker to keep tabs on it. 
  • Running, jogging, and biking are all great ways to enjoy cardio outdoors
  • Few other types of exercise induce sweating like cardio, so be sure you’re wearing soft, flexible and breathable workout clothes and undies.

Strength Training 

You can gain muscle anywhere. Choose one or more areas to target and use a variety of weights and other equipment to optimize overall body strength.

  • Building muscle allows you to burn more calories at rest. 
  • You can set up a home gym with your favorite equipment.
  • Make sure your home gym stays tidy and decluttered so that you don’t experience jumps in your stress levels during your workouts. 
  • There are also bodyweight routines that provide a great no-equipment solution. 

Eventually, we’ll all be able to get back to normal. Finding ways to stay fit in the meantime, however, will make the transition back to the gym much easier. Don’t let this time set you back! With focus and motivation, you can stay on track no matter where you are. 

Born Tough has proven to be tough and soft at the same time.

A few months ago we were approached by Chris with Born Tough and Elite Sports Clothing lines to test out their fitness clothing and determine if we thought it was a good choice for our customers and clients.

We’re excited to be working with Born Tough and Elite Sports to try out their products!

Over the summer my husband Jeff has been our testing model. He’s been testing out their long sleeved Men’s Core Fit Shirt over washes, places, spaces, and workouts.

And …

he’s loved working out in it. It’s smooth, quick drying, and moves with him through a variety of workout moves.

It’s fitting but not too tight. The cut and material allow for easy movement between strength, functional, and cardio workouts.

It’s a great go to shirt for whole gym experiences, plus moves between workouts and life at his college administration job with no fuss.

As his partner, I really like how soft the shirt is and the fact that it doesn’t smell after a session.

He’s also been able to use it as a comfortable base layer in our chilly mountain air camping and hiking through the Colorado Rockies.

He’s been trying it out in the studio, our cabin in northwestern Wisconsin, and outside in Colorado with similar results even when the weather was hot and muggy on a bike ride by the river.

Here’s a few shots of the shirt (and Jeff) in action.

Check out more clothing options here:

https://www.borntough.com/collections/gym-workout-bags
https://www.elitesports.com/collections/boxing-gloves