Archive for April, 2013

The Grass is always Greener….

We have all heard the expression the grass is always greener on the other side.  Life is all about perception.  Being that tomorrow begins a new month, and something new to work on, I am looking to become more aware of how my perception differs from those around me.  Knowing that we all see work, family, social engagements, etc from different perspectives, I am taking a step back to see if I can imagine how others perceive the same situation.  Who’s with me?be well-

 

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Bzzzzz Bzzzzz Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Did you know there more children in the United States are lost to cancer than any other disease.  In fact, more than most childhood diseases combined.

Did you know that before the age of 20, 1 in 300 boys and 1 in 333 girls will have cancer.

Did you know that worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every 3 minutes.

Childhood cancer is different that adults who have cancer.  For example, childhood cancers are typically not lifestyle related and therefore, little prevention can take place.  Unlike adults where cancer is typically caught early, in kids, nearly 80% of them have already had cancer spread through their body.

For the kids that do survive childhood cancer, the battle goes on into their adulthood.  73% will likely end up with chronic health problems.  In addition to finding a cure for this terrible disease, research is focused on preventing long-term effects from treatment and surgeries.

The great news is St.Baldrick’s is dedicated to research and fundraising specifically for childhood cancer.  They are known for their slogan, Be Brave, Go Bald!

For more information or to donate, check out this guy’s page: http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/593065/2013

Here are a few pics from an event I attended last year-

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Be Brave, Go Bald!

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BOSTON STRONG

This morning, much of the Greater Boston area woke up breathing a little easier.  I wanted to use this opportunity to Thank all of my friends and family, near and far for their words of support over the last several days.

There have already been many great tributes in honor of the fallen and for those who were injured.  This was posted on my FaceBook wall from a friend: ate a dozen oysters for you today since you had to stay inside all day.. you are welcome.  Today in Zumba class, the instructor started out with Sweet Caroline, and I had to jump in (Thanks Alexa!).  A fund has been set up to help support those victims and I heard on the news this morning that $10million has already been raised.

Below are some of my favorite video tributes-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzMsagY7oRs

http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2013-04-16/new-york-yankees-sweet-caroline-boston-red-sox-marathon-victims-tribute

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW2BMwbuJqE

As the city and its people continue to heal and move forward, I am encouraged by all of those around the world coming together as one.

be well-

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Today, I Run

Everyone has a story.

Yesterday morning I posted the following status on my Facebook account, “I get the chills every Patriots Day when I see the buses lined up for the marathon.”  Those were chills of excitement, pride and joy.  Seeing all the marathoners eager to make their way to Hopkinton and finish 26.2 miles later at Copley Square.

Today, I have chills of a different sort.  Memories of 9/11 resurface.  Seeing armored SWAT tanks in the Boston Common.  There are law enforcement officials from surrounding communities and states walking the streets.  Bostonians and tourists alike are stepping outside.

As we sift and process the events from yesterday, Today, I Run.  I run for the great city of Boston.  I run for the resilient people.  And I run for myself.

be well-

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Know your Boundaries

College basketball coaches, fitness professionals, financial advisors; just a few of the many careers where others are dependent on us.  But with this comes great responsiblity.  Part of that responsibility is knowing your boundaries.  Take Mike Rice of Rutgers.  He was a trusted coach that did more than step over the line when he verbally and physically abused his players.  Bernie Madoff created his own boundaries and is now serving time in jail for his ponzi scheme.

While many people say boundaries create limits, they are often put in place to create a safe environment.  In the last few months I have observed what I believe to be many fitness professionals going beyond the boundaries.  There is a code of ethics, which we are to adhere to but many fail to follow.  My observations come from watching popular weight loss shows, listening to trainers at a local gym I belong to and what I witness/hear every day.

There are many gray lines in the fitness industry and it is easy to understand why some play on the edge of those lines.  This post may seem like it is geared for the fitness professional.  But in reality, it is for everyone.  There are boundaries that members of health clubs may not even be aware of.  You could be a yoga student or personal training client and feel that because they are the “expert”, everything is appropriate.

The Code of Ethics from the organization I hold my certification with are:

  • Provide safe and effective instruction.
  • Provide equal and fair treatment to all clients.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest health and fitness research and understand its practical application.
  • Maintain current CPR and AED certificates and knowledge of first-aid services.
  • Comply with all applicable business, employment and intellectual property laws.
  • Uphold and enhance public appreciation and trust for the health and fitness industry.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of all client information.
  • Refer clients to more qualified health or medical professionals when appropriate.
  • Establish and maintain clear professional boundaries.

Below are some examples of professionals going too far (in my opinion):

Choice of Words- I recently heard a fitness professional say to a client, “I can fix and heal anyone.”  These two words, fix and heal, are extremely dangerous when working with clients.  To a degree, it relays the message that you have diagnosed a problem.  Diagnosing ailments is against the code of ethics in our industry.

Hands On- I once saw a new trainer to the industry have a client sit down with their legs crossed and hands behind their head, elbows splayed out.  The trainer came from behind, stuck their knee into the mid back of the client and pull the elbows back to “stretch” the chest.  It took everything in me not to show how much I was cringing on the inside.  While I strongly believe that stretching is the most neglected aspect of fitness, I am very cautious when I do hands on stretching.  The club I work for has seven specific hands on stretches we are allowed to do.  This is to facilitate a safe environment for both the trainer and client.

Hands Off- There is a proper time and place for adjustments.  Sticking a thumb into a clients pec minor, piriformis, or psoas is inappropriate.  Too many clients are not vocal enough about pain threshold.  Also, as a prospective client is looking across the room and sees this happening, it could be  a big turnoff with them thinking, “Why are they touching her ass?”

Eat this, Not that- I will admit that nutrition is probably one area where I need more knowledge.  While I have a good understanding of basic nutrition, there is so much more to learn.  With that, it is also the area where I hear far too many professionals give advice that is well beyond their scope.  When clients ask me nutritional advice, I offer what has worked for me.  I will never tell someone how many calories to eat, which protein is best for them or suggest what type of supplement will help with weight loss or change their hormones.  Many fitness professionals that take a week long nutritional course feel they are now experts in that specific field.  Reality is, no two people are the same.  What works best for me is not going to work for you.  Leave it to the professionals that have studied and researched nutrition for several years.

Again, there are many gray lines in the fitness industry.  If you are a training client and feel that someone you’re working with is stepping over the line, set up  a meeting with their manager.  You have every right to ensure you are participating in a safe environment.

I encourage you to think about what boundaries you might be faced with it…..

be well-

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Spring has Sprung

There are all sorts of signs that spring has arrived. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship is this evening. Right now the Red Sox are playing their season opener at Fenway Park. Golfers are prepping for the tournament to earn that coveted Green Jacket. One week from today marathoners will be tackling Heartbreak Hill at mile 21 as they close in on the Boston Marathon finish.

Spring ignites an energy that went into hibernation for a few months. This is a time of year many of us dust off our bikes, running shoes, golf clubs and try to pick up where we left off. Here are a few tips to keep you safe and injury free when jumping back into your outdoor workout regimens:

  • Progression is key.  Rather than running 15 miles your first time outdoors, reaquaint your body to the pavement and slowly build up miles or minutes.
  • Make sure your equipment is in working order; bike tune-ups and proper fitting helmets for example.
  • Warm-up and Cool-down for injury prevention, incorporate stretching if possible.
  • Drink plenty of water, eat lots of fresh produce and get quality sleep.

Making sure you follow these few, simple tips will make for a more enjoyable experience.

be well-

 

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Rule #6

I admit that I love to read self-help books. There are very few that I take whole heartedly. I do find there is a little something to take from each one. Currently I am reading a book called Just Listen by Mak Goulston. The premise of this particular book to explore techniques in creating stronger communication skills with anyone even though it may seem productive communication is impossible. These techniques work between CEOs and their employees, co-worker with co-worker, parent/child relationships, clients and customer service employees, or even hostage negotiators and those on the brink of doing something really bad.

Because I work in an environment where each relationship I have with my clients is extremely unique, I thought this would be a great read. At this point, the book has kept my interest and I am even highlighting passages and taking notes in the side margins. This way I can easily reference specific points that I feel are important to me. According to Goulston, barricades between people cause barriers between success, progress and happiness. Incorporating his techniques can be the bridge between turning frustrating situations into productive outcomes, creating confidence to approaching the unreachable people in your life and building stronger, more sustainable and rewarding relationships.

One “rule” that caught my attention was Rule #6-Help People to Exhale Emotionally and Mentally. This is perfect. In the yoga world I often talk about how our breath is a tool is letting us know what’s going on physically, emotionally, and/or mentally. When the breath is free-flowing and smooth it often signals that all energy systems are in synch. When the breath becomes fragmented, rigid, shallow, then something is out of whack. There is a significant difference between stress and distress. Stress can cause us to focus and become more determined, test our mettle. It becomes distress when we lose sight of long-term goals and look to what will relieve us now. Exhaling enables people to experience and express feelings. It is the only solution to helps to relax stressed-out individuals and allows the opportunity for them to open their minds to solutions from other people. If you find yourself in a heated situation, allow others to vent their feelings. They will likely feel exhausted at the end, which is different than relaxed. Give them some breathing room to exhale; this creates a mental bridge that will in turn help you to communicate across that bridge.

Usable Insight-Forge about the music. If you want to soothe the savage beast, get the beast to exhale.

be well-

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