Archive for August, 2014

When the phrase “treat yourself like a dog” is used most of us conjure a negative mental image of various things related to the topic at hand, or perhaps a stray or injured dog that has been neglected. Many of us throw this term around loosely claiming that “he was treated like a dog.” Judging by the popularity of this phrase, it would seem the general consensus is that the life of a dog is rough. While there are numerous dogs that get abused, that live without homes or go hungry, there are many dogs that have it pretty damn good. Often times us humans treat our dogs better than we treat ourselves.
How many times have you seen someone at the grocery store meticulously analyzing dog food to feed their canine family member, and then taken a peek in the dog owner’s shopping cart to only see junk food to be consumed by that person and the rest of their family? Many people make sure their pets get adequate exercise whether it’s letting them run around a dog park or have someone take their dog for a walk. However, the same individual will fail to establish exercise habits for themselves. As dog lovers we make sure our dogs are hydrated, entertained with toys to fetch and well groomed because they are man’s best friend. However, at times we skip these things for ourselves.
So if you want a thought to ponder….I encourage you to treat yourself like a dog. Make sure you are getting proper nutrition and getting some old fashioned exercise. Take a day to relax and let someone scratch your belly …..Or get a massage. Go get that manicure or pedicure you have been putting off because you have been busy. Take a golf lesson or go for a kayaking adventure. Eat peanut butter out of a bone or chase your tail around in circles. Whatever it is that makes you happy, enjoy yourself as a dog would. Treat yourself like a dog!

Lets Stay Cool This August

Posted: August 9, 2014 in Articles, Golf

August has arrived and usually accompanying August is more heat, more humidity and as a result more health related problems associated with the heat. Hopefully, you are reading this because you are active and I also hope you are spending some time outside. I also hope you are taking the necessary precautions to prevent and heed the warning signs of heat stroke and dehydration. Here is some information about these topics.
Dehydration is one factor that can cause a heat stroke and is characterized by extreme thirst, dizziness, loss of elasticity of the skin, and extremely low blood pressure. In addition to dehydration, heavy perspiration, extreme heat, decreased salt intake, and increased physical activity can cause a person to develop heat exhaustion. Symptoms of heat exhaustion, a precursor to heat stroke, include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, muscle weakness, headaches, dizziness and muscle cramps. If these symptoms intensify or the individual stops sweating, has a rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, extreme confusion, hallucination, agitation or disorientation the individual may be experiencing a heat stroke.
Obviously, one of the most important things in preventing dehydration and heat stroke is staying hydrated. Often times we forget to drink fluids because we are not thirsty, we are too caught up in what we are doing, or we are just too busy. However, by the time we feel thirsty it is too late, our body is already parched and we may be putting our bodies at risk of serious health issues. Thus, it is imperative to drink fluids continuously throughout the day, each day. The general recommendation on daily fluid intake is 64 ounces. However, when it is hot outside and you’ve been participating in physical activity or have been drinking alcoholic beverages, more than the average 64 ounces should be consumed.
If you are in a situation where you think someone is suffering from dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke it is important that you have that person stop any physical activity they may be doing. Also, it is important for the individual to drink cool fluids (unless the individual is in shock), find a cool spot to sit or lie down to rest, and apply cold compresses to the forehead, groin and armpits so the body can cool down quickly. If you think an individual is suffering from the symptoms of a heat stroke, emergency services need to be contacted immediately. So whether you’re on the golf course, tennis court, running sprints on the football field or in your yard gardening, please stay hydrated, stay in the shade and stay cool!

Gym Anxiety

Posted: August 9, 2014 in Articles

There are words to describe numerous fears and phobias that an individual may have. Those who have intense fears of spiders are considered to have arachnophobia. Others who have a deep fear of heights call their fear, acrophobia. Believe it or not, there is a scientific fear of the flute called aulophobia. While there is no official nomenclature for the fear of going to the gym, I feel there should be. However, my language skills are not the best so I would not begin to guess what the proper name would be.
The most common terminology used for the fear of going to the gym is gym intimidation or gym anxiety. Those of us who are contemplating beginning a workout routine often have thoughts and anxieties towards exercise and going to a gym. These thoughts can be centered on body image of oneself or intimidation of the body image of those who may be currently workout out at the gym. Another fear people have is that they do not know how to do exercise properly or they do not know how to use the equipment. Some people feel others will judge them because they look unfit or do not know how to exercise properly. Furthermore, people are afraid of getting hurt in the gym.
Many people who exercise often at public gyms may think this anxiety, fear or intimidation is strange. However, it is a real thing. I can remember how nervous, scared and intimidated I was when I first began exercising and trying to lose weight in college. Just walking in the doors of the student recreation center made me feel like everyone in the building was looking at and judging me. I perceived the people exercising judged me as someone who didn’t deserve to use their gym. The reality is that I had the right to be there as much as they did. Also, the vast majority of the people in the gym were not judging me. Over the past 13 years I have spent many hours in the gym exercising and working as a personal trainer and I can tell you, that most of the people I perceived to be staring at me barely noticed me, much less thought negatively of my fitness level or whether I was doing an exercise right or wrong.
None the less, overcoming the fear and discomfort associated with coming into a gym for the first time, or the first time in a long time can be difficult. It’s ok, you have the right to be a little uncomfortable and nervous in a new setting, especially a fitness setting. I can understand that. But, I really hope you don’t let the nervousness keep you away and I think once you come in to workout you will find it is a fun, comfortable friendly place to be. If you have some doubts about how to use equipment, what exercises are appropriate for you, or if you are doing those exercises correctly I am happy to help.

Identifying the Weakest Link

Posted: August 9, 2014 in Articles, Golf

Often times when clients come in for their first personal training session, they have many fitness goals that they want to work on. Usually, I agree with the changes someone may be trying to make, but other times the efforts we spend towards a client’s goal may be better served in other areas. Either way, I am happy to help someone meet whatever fitness goals they may have. After all, it is their body on which we are working and from the client’s perspective progress towards those goals are paramount.
However, a big problem that often times can thwart ones efforts in achieving fitness goals is the presence of too many goals. When someone tries to tackle numerous goals at one time it can be very difficult for the body to make the changes a client wishes to see. Also, there is only so much time in the day and in a session for a client to work on the goals they have set. If someone sets too many goals, it takes more time than it should to meet their goals or even more frequently the goal may not be met. Professional athletes rarely try to work on more than one fitness goal within an offseason and I don’t feel you should either.
Another problem that often foils an individual’s fitness goal is the frequent changing of those goals. In order to accomplish a goal, consistency is the most important factor, regardless of how well planned one’s workout may be. An individual cannot expect to see any progress when they only spend two days per week for a few weeks working on their goal. Improving fitness takes time! More importantly it takes focus.
One of the fastest ways to meet your fitness goals, is to identify the weakest link in one’s body and then to focus your fitness goals on improving that link. The weakest link in the chain is always the one that breaks and a chain is only is strong as its weakest link…These are all cliché sayings we have heard. In regards to fitness, a person’s weak link may include but not be limited to a limitation in mobility, stability, balance, strength, a specific part of the body or diet. Assessing and addressing one’s weakest link can be the difference in walking with or without pain, hitting a shot in the woods or in the fairway, or life and death.
Interestingly, when someone addresses the weakest link it is not uncommon to see other subsequent fitness goals improve. For example, when someone with severe balance issues addresses their issue, not only does their walking improve, but their golf game may improve as well as the strength in their legs. Someone who improves their core stability may not only relieve their back pain, but may also find that their shoulder range of motion improves and their general fatigue levels decrease. However, if an individual cannot focus their goals and identify which goals are best for them, progress towards the goals they set will be slow, if any progress is made at all.