Fitness Focus: Overcoming Obstacles
If you're like me, the quest to be in shape, manage weight and overall well-being, at times, feels overwhelming. And, as if the quest to be fit isn't hard enough, there's often other obstacles to overcome: health issues, time management, mustering up courage or energy. Even if you've been exercising for a long time, there's always new barriers to be broken. So, how to put all of this into perspective? According to Tom Turner, executive liaison for the Spina Bifida Association that's exactly it: Perspective. And also, according to him, there's no mountain too high to climb. Tom would know. Paralyzed from the waist down since birth he's now 33 and trains about three times a week. In fact, he tells me, he just couldn't get along without exercise.
So in my quest for the last word on overcoming barriers in fitness, Tom sat down with me and together we came up with 3 basic principles that will help break-down fears and intimidations in reaching fitness goals.
(After all, if he can exercise on a regular basis, shouldn't that be encouragement enough for anyone to give it a shot?)
Principle #1 Move into the Fear.
"Train you mind to believe no mountain is too high or any goal is too difficult to attain," Tom tells me. Basically, it's all about meeting your fears and facing them head-on.
In this principle, aim to recognize your fears, acknowledge them and then move through them. Ask yourself what is it that makes you uncomfortable? Have you let yourself get out of shape and are afraid you'll never get back? Do you have an injury that's caused you to be afraid of your body?
If you can visualize creatively, then you can put your fears in check. See your self as you'd like to be. Remember: your body loves you and has the potential to heal itself to perfection. Your only job is to trust it and listen.
Q: What is your body saying to you?
Principle #2 Trust Your Intuition.
It is important when overcoming obstacles and learning to break through barriers that you begin to listen to the still small voice of your body. In most cases, we all want the comfort of having someone telling us what we can and cannot do. However, our highest truth lies within us. This is not to say that the good opinion of others is not important, but ultimately the decision making comes from within.
When facing a challenge or an obstacle look to how you feel. What are your instincts telling you? Often it is simply your instinct that will move you into a new mindset and raise your consciousness.
"I wasn't about to let the wheelchair stand in my way," Tom tells me. In fact, he says he had to merely change his perspective about it. He says he first had to learn about what his restrictions were then, create a boundary for himself. "We all have boundaries," he tells me. "Regardless if a person can walk or not, obstacles are as unique as people themselves. Therefore, it's first best to know your boundaries."
Next, Tom tells me he aims to meet those boundaries.
"I first reach as high as I can within the confines of what I am able to do. Whether it be more sets, reps, or greater endurance, I allow myself as much time as necessary to accomplish my small goals. It always surprises me, with small steps, how quickly I can reach a Big goal."
Principle #3 Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.
What then, about fear? I wanted to know. If we move into the fear and meet it eye to eye what if fear meets us there? "So," I asked Tom: "are you ever afraid?
"After 19 operations in my life, I've really come to terms with fear," he says. "It really comes down to our most primal fear; fear of death. Once you realize that death is all part of the divine plan, it's liberating, you can let it go and, instead, choose how to live. So instead of being afraid of death I decided to choose how to live."
So what's the take away message? Talking to Tom, I'm reminded of the poem by Dylan Thomas who said: "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night." It seems appropriate here. The bottom line: Staying afraid often keeps us from truly living.
Tom reminds me that a positive attitude is key, "Life is all about attitude." He also says he could let fear beat him down, yet he doesn't. "I wouldn't want to miss being part of tomorrow," he concludes.
That said, what fears are getting in your way? Make today the right time to face them.
In conclusion: Life Beyond The Boundaries.
When you've faced your fears and pushed your boundaries to the edges, what then? I wanted to know.
Tom smiles. "Find a new mountain to climb," he says matter-of-factly. "It's what makes life fun. I know I have considerations. I know that there will be days that I'll need to stay in bed and rest while my braces are getting tuned up. It's those times when I am with my thoughts that I decide what I am going to set my sights on."
Author's Note: In my personal quest to live beyond the boundaries I've chosen Tom as my role model (lucky for me, he's my brother). We so often look to the media for these sources and so often they are illusory. There are "real" people everywhere doing great things...look around you; angels are everywhere! Learn from them. Choose someone you look up to, admire or of whom you appreciate their values. Set goals, climb mountains! Set intention in motion and enjoy the healthy process.
Tom can be reached at email@example.com
About The Author
Laura Turner, C.P.T wants to help you build a Brand New Body in 2004. She is building an Online Fitness Community at ===> http://www.1brand-new-body.com. Set goals, Lose Weight, Get Fit and healthy. No more excuses! Start now.
How to Get The Most From Your Home Workouts
A recent study found that home workouts may do even more good than workouts at a gym. This is good news for people who are time crunched and find it's too much trouble to make it to a health club.
Best Flat Tummy Exercises for Great Female Abs
Are there flat tummy exercises that are the best for great female abs? Abs-olutely! To make this list, the female abs exercises must be safe, effective and can be done nearly anywhere. Your abs can be worked out every day. Here are great flat tummy exercises:
Health Tips For Busy People: Healthy Diet & Exercise In the Office
Many women's lifestyle magazines frustrate us by providing exercise regimens for work and then adding: "You can do this exercise in your office!" What about those of us who work in a cube or other small space (with no floor space for Pilates-style stretches) that's not very private (do you really want your boss to wander by right when you're doing jumping jacks?). Even if you are cube-confined, you can maintain your health in a cube.
Struggling To Keep Your Workout Schedule? So am I!
Sometimes following a fitness program or workout schedule is not quite as do-able as the folks writing the advice make it sound. I suppose the idea is to tell you what you should be doing to achieve your fitness or weight-loss targets, but you know sometimes life gets a bit in the way of all these plans, and there is just no way you can follow your intended program.
Easy and Effective Home Workouts
Many people think that creating a home workout gym is either too intimidating or too costly. So, often they instead invest their money in a health club membership not realizing that for the same amount of money (or even less) they can create a very effective gym right in their own home.
An Ab Exercise For Everyone!
I don't have much of a problem with belly pouch or bulge, since I've been doing one ab exercise or another for most of my life to make my abs flat.
A Great Way To Spice Up Your Workouts -- Interval Training
There's been a lot of buzz recently about Interval Training. So, you may be wondering what it really is and, more importantly, why you should incorporate it in your fitness workouts. Well, if you want a workout that can help propel you to the next fitness level, burn more calories, increase your speed, improve your power and more, then it's time to learn more about this effective technique.
Integrating Core Stabilization into Your Workouts
Stabilization is a hot topic in the fitness industry over the past few years. But what is stabilization? Stabilization can be defined as the body's muscular systems ability to support (stabilize) the body during movement.
See How Trampolines Can Be Part Of Any Exercise Program
When the trampoline was invented by a young boy intriguedby the ability of aerialists to bounce in a net and performartistic maneuvers while they did so, it literally becamethe "springboard" for a whole new sport.
What the Philosophy of Tai Chi Can Do For You
Taoist PhilosophyTo understand the purpose of the form it is important to understand its basis and roots.The origins of Tai Chi go back over 5,000 years and are based in Taoist philosophy developed and refined by the great Taoist thinkers such as, Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu.The core concept of Taoism and Taoist philosophy is that everything in the universe is subject to change and when dealing with this change we should act not to fight it but work with it and avoid conflict.The core Of Taoism is that action should always be effortless and come from spontaneous creativity, but this should not require mental or physical effort.According to Taoist philosophy change is constant but, by understanding change and acting in accordance with the laws that govern it, we can work effortlessly to achieve our aims.Taoism is about working within the laws of change, not struggling to oppose them, this is seen as futile and a waste of energy.In Tai Chi this manifests itself in that a posture will always be difficult and a struggle, unless there is union of mind and body, to make the move an effortless interaction.Yin and YangAnother concept in Chinese philosophy related to change is yin and yang.These two opposing, yet complimentary forces are constantly at work in the universe and in our lives.Yin and yang are the basis of change but they also come together in harmony to create a balanced whole.The simplest example of this is breathing. We breathe in and we breathe out - an opposing action that comes together to create balance and harmony. Change and harmony, is the basis of yin and yang and of Tai Chi.The principles of yin and yang are reflected in the form the sequence of movements that make up the Tai Chi discipline.The form is actually a sequence of movements that flow continuously representing both change and harmony. A movement begins, grows completes and empties then another begins until the sequence is completed.The Tai Chi PhilosophyThe aim of the Tai Chi form is to create streams of energy to flow through the body.In the philosophy of Tai Chi, it is said Chi (life energy) follows the mind; each posture and movement creates a different energy flow, which, has a beneficial overall affect on overall well-being.Tai Chi stimulates circulation, aligns the skeleton and joints correctly, stimulates the organs of the body and helps digestion.It increases muscle tone, strength, improves balance and co ordination and improves breathing.Tai Chi does not just provide physical benefits; by raising energy levels, it also affects the mind and the spirit.Tai Chi focuses thought, so that mind and body energy works together as one.Tai Chi reflects both Taoism in terms of effortless interaction and yin and yang in terms of reconciling two opposing forces, to create harmony and equilibrium. This combination is the very essence of the Tai Chi philosophy.
Keep Exercise Journals For Real Results
Always make sure to keep a detailed training journal. By keeping a journal of your training sessions, you will have a detailed log of your every exercise you perform along with reps, sets and how much weight you lifted. It's also great to document how you felt before, during and after your training session along with any food/supplements you took before and after you trained. By keeping an exercise journal, you will have access to a wealth of information and be able to detect specific areas in your current training routine which can be changed or improved upon.
Burn that Fat - The Most Efficient and Effective Exercise Yet Devised by Man!
Rebounding: Health and Fitness Benefits
Benefit of Pilates
One of the main benefits of Pilates is it refreshes your physical and mental well-being. Pilates is a series of controlled movements that unite the body and mind and creates a direct connection to the muscles.
Different Exercises Schedule to Combat Diabetes, Arthritis, and Obesity!
Different Health Problems generally do not allow us to do traditional exercises. Above all, one type of exercise cant be effective to each group facing different challenges. But despite all these different challenges, the general rule applies to all: Extra Effort and Persistence.
VO2 Max- Exposing the Myth
VO2 max is defined as the maximal amount of oxygen the body is able to extract and use to support work performed by the body. It is therefore an indirect measure of the aerobic power of the body, which is controlled by complex interactions between neural (brain and nervous system), cardiovascular (heart and lungs) and skeletal muscle factors. The equation for VO2 max it is equal to the product of stroke volume (the maximum volume of blood the heart ejects in a contraction) and the arterio-venous difference (the difference between the saturation of the arterial blood and that of the venous blood). The aerobic power of the body will change constantly throughout a well-designed running program due to physiological changes and therefore its usefulness in designing a program and determining running capabilities is questionable. This article aims to explain the reason VO2 max is a better indicator of fitness levels than running potential and conditioning program design.
5 Little Known Benefits of Warming Up & Cooling Down After Exercising
While working out in the gym, I have noticed that many exerciserstend to skip two very important parts of their workout. It iscrucial that exercisers starts with a warm-up and ends with acool-down. As a fitness educator, I educate my clients of whythey should include warm-ups and cool-downs in their workouts.
How To Overcome Workout Plateaus
Humans are habitual. They strive on routine and rituals. While it's true that routine can provide a sense of ease and security, I think we'd all agree that the same old, same old can also turn to boredom. And when it comes to working out, routine can be downright toxic.
Top 10 Tips For Finding Time For Exercise
If you're like most people, finding time for
Warning! Lack Of Exercise Could Be Harmful To Your Health
You know it's bad when the Surgeon General issues a warning that lack of exercise is hazardous to your health. And that was back in '96. Since then, the stats haven't improved much, either: 25% of the American population is still sedentary and 60% do not exercise regularly (Reference: http://www.cdc.gov).
Sets And Reps - The High And Low Weight Workout
Big weights! Wicked pump! I always get caught between two minds whenever I hit my workout at the gym. One side of me says to lift heavy to get big and the other says that form should matter more than my weight poundage. This is an issue that used to cause me to get quite twisted every time I would prep a workout training cycle. I know each technique has its merits, so I used to be swayed back and forth never staying with either method long enough to see the results. With the low weights I get to move some decent poundage's and my ego gets gratified but alas, there is no killer pump. When I stick to the perfect form method with lighter weights I get great pumps but I never feel like I am really working hard enough to get anywhere because my weights are so light. So in my search for the perfect weight workout, I decided to combine the two methods and get the best of both worlds.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|