SEIZE THE MOMENT

SEIZE THE MOMENT I don’t think I am being presumptuous in saying we all desire to be healthy; we all want to be strong and fit and feel good. Everyone wants to grow older with the use and the capacity to be mobile and able-bodied.

Recognizing this, what stops us from accomplishing this relatively simple task? What stops this course of action in your life? Maybe you started a “program” and then stopped (many times)? Or maybe you just let things go altogether but you think about creating a healthier life style? Why don’t you?

I am not pointing a figure at anyone and I am certainly not going to cast the first stone. If it makes you feel any better (and it won’t), according to the World Health Organization (WHO) worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 1980. Obesity is a bigger (pun intended) health crisis globally than hunger. Our culture is getting fatter and unhealthier and no one likes it, yet we continue on this path. If we know something is creating discontentment and poor health, and we also know that by changing some of our actions and by doing some things like exercise and improving our eating will make us happier and healthier why don’t we do it? It is so frustrating and maddening how we are at times.  I have been trying to figure this out. How can we “fix” this dilemma?  What are the magic words to help others and myself? I am not sure but I have come up with some ideas to offer.

This is what is not: There are no magic words, there are no simple solutions, there is no amazing diet or any miracle exercise programs or pill or gadgets or anything you can buy. But what there is, is you!  You and every part of of you, your mind, your body, your heart and your soul, nothing more and nothing less!

I think fear gets in our way and that is when we come up with excuses and reasons why we cannot do what it is we really want to do. At times of clarity and strength we can see and feel the changes we want to be and then… bam something stops us. So infuriating isn’t it? We see others make changes that we hope to make in ourselves, it seems seemingly simple from that view point. But what we don’t experience is their fear and the resistance and the doubt that life-changing goals come with.

Maybe the best way to deal with these fears is to walk right up to them, stare at them and then move right through them like they don’t exist. Strength and belief in yourself, in your power, because you are very powerful and that in itself is a bit scary but once you give yourself permission to feel your own unique strength you will experience a sense of liberation and self respect. Facing our fears robs them of their powers.  This experience comes moment by moment. It is not always about getting somewhere. Goals are great and helpful but goals are only achieved by each step along the way.  It does mean building incrementally; the challenge is in the moment and in the moment after that. Remember a “journey of a thousand mile journey begins with a single step” (Laozi).  When you hear the self-talk that is self-defeating similar to “oh I use to be…” or “if I could only be…” and so on that is you leaving the moment and letting your fear get in the way. Step back and observe your mind as it offers many excuses for not taking action. This is your opportunity to take that walk through the fear.

 

It is the opportunity to making those life changing choices that give you the satisfaction and feel of success. It is as simple as ordering a meal at a restaurant, reaching for a healthy snack when you are hungry or putting your shoes on to walk out the door for a hike or walk. Each moment you choose to act in the positive life changing ways that you desire, you are choosing an action that will dissolve the fears you cling to. Try to quiet that noise and get back to You! By finding this strength you will get to enjoy the place live in – your body.

By Janice B Gaines BS LMT

 

CARDIO FITNESS TRAINING = LECTURE

  • Learn how to train cardiovascular and get the most out of your time.

 

  • You will learn about Zone Training, Heart-rate numbers and what that means, Intervals, Perceived Efforts and much more.

 

  • This knowledge will motivate you to get more from you fitness efforts which will result in better results!

This is sponsored by spa manzanita/Janice Gaines, there is no fee. Bring a note pad and pen and a desire to learn!

Wednesday January 15th 6pm

RSVP 503 368-4777

or janice@spamanzanita.com

 

BORED?

Ask Janice BORED?

It’s time to get back in the gym, summer is over and the rain is on its way or already here depending on when you read this. If you get going now you will be way ahead of the winter blues.

As a reminder (like you need it), here is the short list with the reasons why your body and your mind needs to exercise:

  1. Exercise controls weight
  2. Exercise combats health conditions and disease
  3. Exercise improves mood
  4. Exercise boosts energy
  5. And so and so on……

I can hear you now; “I would go to the gym but you just don’t like it”. Boy do I wish I had a dollar for the all the times I have heard these words:  “I just get bored in the gym” or “I know I should lift weights but I just don’t like it – it bores me.”   And this is the topic I want to address.

Bored? “What does that mean? Psychology boredom is a state of mind in which a person feels a lack of interest in where they are and what they are doing. Boredom means a problem or failure with a commitment of attention. Philosophically boredom is a condition characterized by one’s perception of the environment or task as dull and tedious. Boredom is essentially an issue with attention and awareness and in a sense this is how we connect with the world around us and this is a choice we make. When we choose to be bored we chose not to be successful. If you covet boredom and allow yourself to flounder in it than your ability to do whatever the task at hand is will not be done with any joy or success.

All too often I see people dispassionately lifting weights or doing their exercise program, chatting away, lifting a weight in-between a round of texting or reading a newspaper,  anything to not be present. No wonder so many people tell me they find the gym boring – I would be too, if I spent my time as they did.

Without the mental connection or the emotional investment in what you are doing you are destined for boredom and disappointment. It may seem a bit harsh but exercise is exactly like life, if you muddle your way through with little focus you will get exactly that- MEH!

For me, however when I go to the gym or workout (not every single time but mostly), I feel a renewed sense of joy and excitement. This is a private time (or with friends that feel the same way), to attune my mind and connect with my body-my muscles whether it is my heart, lungs, legs or upper body. It is an opportunity to feel the genesis of growth and circulation.

Practice being present: when you walk into the gym, get on the treadmill, lift weights – stop for a moment, take a deep breath, observe, determine your goals for the day and pay attention. Turn your focus to where you want to go, start practicing and strengthening the muscle of determination and choice. If you choose to want to strengthen your body and improve your overall health then get started.  Expect yourself to achieve results and in order to do that you must engage fully. What would you tell your kid if they were studying a math problem or practicing an instrument? Would you tell them to “go ahead turn on the TV, talk to your friends, do whatever you want just so you don’t have to pay attention to what you are trying to accomplish?” No you would not, so why would you allow yourself to be that way? Once you get started on this concept to fitness you will find it gets easier and momentum will take over and the happiness of feeling more fit will start to quiet the internal mind chatter and the desire for distraction.

The choice is yours and once you decide and commit you will be successful!

Janice B Gaines BS LMT

Fitness/ Health Trainer

 

 

WHAT TIME IS IT? ASK YOUR CELLS.

Ask JaniceLiving organisms developed an internal biological clock, called the Circadian rhythm, to help their bodies adapt to the daily cycle of day and night- light and dark as the Earth rotates every 24 hours. Our body works differently from hour to hour, day to day and year to year. These patterns of change occur in all living organisms. Chronobiology studies the biological rhythms; ultradian rhythms are shorter than a day with a length, from thousandths of a second (like the pulses in neurons) or seconds (like the heartbeat) to the rhythm of about 90 minutes in our sleeping cycle from sleep to deep sleep, circadian rhythms, which last about 24 hours and infradian rhythms, longer than a day. The most well know is the female cycle, another cycle is the week, it has a biological basis – the immune system has a weekly rhythm. The biological clock (a term used long before the clock was created), is a piece of brain made up of two tiny clusters of several thousand nerve cells that “tell time” based on external cues, such as light and darkness. This region of the brain is referred to as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), located very close to the optic nerve where it can get information directly from the eyes. Circadian rhythms are controlled by "clock genes" that carry the genetic instructions to produce proteins. The levels of these proteins rise and fall in rhythmic patterns. These oscillating biochemical signals control various functions, including when we sleep and rest, and when we are awake and active. Circadian rhythms also control body temperature, heart activity, hormone secretion, blood pressure, oxygen consumption, metabolism and many other functions. Daylight resets the internal biological clock every day so it is synchronized with a 24-hour day Air travel to a distant time zone can also disrupt normal cycles. Jet lag is a disconnect between local time and your body's time. Once you arrive at your destination, the change in daylight hours will reset your internal clock, but it will take a few days to get rid of the jet lag. The human circadian rhythm is not exactly 24 hours - it's actually 10 to 20 minutes longer. Other species have circadian rhythms ranging from 22 to 28 hours. The biological clock in living organisms keeps working even when the organism is removed from natural light. Without daylight, the biological clock will eventually start running on its own natural cycle. If you lived in an underground bunker under constant artificial light, you would continue to follow an approximately 24-hour sleep-wake pattern, but your cycles would slowly get out of phase with actual daytime and nighttime. But as soon as morning light hits the eyes, the clock will reset to match the earth's 24-hour day. Why aren't organisms' internal clocks exactly 24 hours long? A theory is the competition for food and other resources is most intense among species with 24-hour cycles. If you eat at the same time as everyone else, you're less likely to get your share. Our slightly out of sync internal clock may have evolved to help us survive the competition. Biological clocks also play a role in longer cycles such as hibernation, bird migrations and even annual changes in the color of a hamster's coat. When the animal brain records longer days in the spring and shorter days in the fall, it triggers hormone secretion that influences these events. Light is the main signaling influencing circadian rhythms: The hormone melatonin is most important in the control of the rhythms. Production of melatonin is in the pineal gland also referred to as the “third eye” and is directly influenced by light. In mammals it is influenced through the eyes. When it gets dark the gland starts the production of melatonin, when it gets light again it stops. During longer nights more melatonin n is produced. Irregularities in melatonin production can cause sleep problems, lethargy and mood disorders. The neurotransmitter serotonin is believed to influence mood and brain activity. Many antidepressants on the market today are used to help in production of serotonin. Interestingly melatonin and serotonin cannot be produced at the same time. Serotonin and melatonin work in conjunction with each other. When serotonin levels are high melatonin levels are held in check – and visa versa. After the lights are out at night your melatonin levels rise and your serotonin levels fall. The morning light immediately starts suppressing melatonin levels and allowing the rise in serotonin. Getting outside in the natural light helps this process and allows a full release of serotonin for the day’s use. Many believe that seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is partly caused by high melatonin levels due to the lack of exposure to light which act to suppress serotonin release. The message here is: get out in the light in the morning and turn down the lights at night. Janice Gaines Jan 2012

AEROBIC EXERCISE – WHAT IS IT AND WHY YOU SHOULD DO IT?

ASK  JANICE The heart and the circulatory system (veins and arteries and a few other things), in our body is called the cardiovascular system. Everyone has one, even the Tin Man. This makes a network that delivers blood to the body’s tissues. With each heartbeat, blood is sent throughout our bodies, carrying oxygen and nutrients to all of our cells. It is incredible to think that every day, approximately 10 pints of blood in your body travels through the system of about 60,000 miles of blood vessels that branch and cross, linking the cells of our organs and muscles. The heart is the key organ in the circulatory system. As a hollow, muscular pump, its main function is to propel blood throughout the body. It usually beats from 60 to 100 times per minute, but can go much faster when it needs to. It beats about 100,000 times a day, more than 30 million times per year, and about 2.5 billion times in a 70-year lifetime.

The heart gets messages from the body that tells it when to pump more or less blood depending on a person's needs. When we're sleeping, it pumps just enough to provide for the lower amounts of oxygen needed by our bodies at rest. When we're exercising or frightened, the heart pumps faster to get more oxygen to our bodies.

Here comes the fun part – Your heart is a muscle as well as an organ. Fortunately it is an involuntary muscle so we don’t have to tell it to contract and relax. But like any other muscle, in order for it to be healthy it needs exercise.  We think of cardiovascular exercise in two ways aerobic and anaerobic.

The literal meaning of aerobics is oxygen. Hence, aerobic exercise can be defined as the one, which involves the use of oxygen to produce energy, whereas anaerobic exercise makes the body to produce energy without using oxygen. Anaerobic exercises are high intensity workouts that are performed for a short time. On the contrary, aerobic exercises generally simple exercises and are performed for a longer time, at moderate intensity.  A simple example: A five mile walk is aerobic whereas sprinting for a bus or running away from a tsunami is anaerobic. Both types of exercise are important because your body should be efficient in both.

The benefits of aerobic exercise are myriad, (like you haven’t heard this before):

ü      Systemic changes such as reduced cholesterol and blood pressure

ü      Improved muscular endurance

ü      Reduced body fat,

ü      Increased metabolism

ü      Improves the strength of your bones, ligaments and tendons,

ü      Allows your body to use fats and sugars more efficiently, burns lots of calories

ü      Reduces your risk of heart disease, vascular disease and diabetes

ü      Can help those trying to quit smoking by relieving cravings and improving lung function.

ü      Reduces the onset and symptoms of aging and illness.

ü      Aerobic activities strengthen the heart and lungs, making them more efficient and durable, improving quality and quantity of life.

ü       Reduces stress and combats depression as it raises self-esteem and physical awareness.

ü      Exercise not only extends your life, but also gives you more energy to live it to the fullest.

Given this incredible list of benefits it’s a wonder that more folks don’t exercise. Oh well just another one of those mysteries.

Aerobic exercise - how do you do it right?  Before we get into anything fancy, there is a good rule of thumb to know when you are doing aerobic (cardio) exercise: you should be able to talk. If you are too  winded you are working too hard a need to bring your heart rate down and get control of your breathing.  If you do not have a heart rate monitor which makes life easy, takes all the guessing and frustration out of knowing where your heart rate is at any moment (I never leave home without mine), then you’re are going to have to depend on listening to your breathing which is not a bad thing. Listening to your breathing while jogging is hypnotic and meditative and one of the wonderful rewards of aerobic training.  You will also want to take your pulse with your fingers.

The aerobic zone is your heart rate target zone based by the percentage of maximum heart rate. It’s not fun to do a max heart rate test and not recommended for beginners. So we have to make a good guess as to what that number is. You maximize the benefits of cardiovascular activity when you exercise in the zone of your target heart rate (THR). In general terms, your THR is 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. The Karvonen Method of calculating THR is one of the most effective methods to determine target heart rate because it takes into account resting heart rate. Here's how to find your THR.

  1. Find your resting heart rate as soon as you wake up. You can do this by counting your pulse for one minute while still in bed. You may average your heart rate over three mornings to obtain your average resting heart rate (RHR). Add the three readings together, and divide that number by three to get the RHR. For example, (62 + 65 + 63) / 3= 63.
  2. Find your maximum heart rate and heart rate reserve. Subtract your age from 220. This is your maximum heart rate (HRmax). For example, the HRmax for a 40-year-old would be 220 - 40 = 180.

Subtract your RHR from your HRmax. This is your heart rate reserve (HRmaxRESERVE). For example, HRmaxRESERVE = 180 - 63 = 117

  1. Calculate the lower limit of your THR. Figure 60% of the HRmaxRESERVE (multiply by 0.6) and add your RHR to the answer. For example, (117 * 0.6) + 63 = 133.
  2. Calculate the upper limit of your THR. Figure 80% of the HRmaxRESERVE (multiply by 0.8) and add your RHR to the answer. For example, (117 * 0.8) + 63 = 157.
  3. Combine the values obtained in steps 3 and 4 and divide by the number 2. For example, (133 + 157) / 2 = 145 (You can get the same result by simply multiplying HRmaxRESERVE by 0.7 and adding to it RHR).

Now you know the rest of the story, go ahead and try it for yourself, you will be glad you did and that is a promise!

Tribute to Grete Waitz 1953-2011

Tribute to Grete Waitz 1953-2011 In April of this year, not long after we lost the fitness guru Jack LaLanne, we lost another one of my heroes Grete Waitz. She was a role model and a pioneer of modern day woman’s running. At the age of 57 Waitz lost a six year fight with cancer she faced with the same determination and distinction that made her a champion and a most beloved figure in the history of woman’s sport.

Grete was an icon in long-distance running. However it did not start that way.  She almost missed her chance to show the world and herself what an incredible athlete she was.  In 1978 at 24, Grete’s nickname on the Norwegian national track team was “grandma”.  She had reached her potential in the oval. In those days the longest Olympic event women were allowed to run was 1500 meters. That is 1 mile on the track. Men were running 10,000 meters, which is 6.2 miles. Grete was about to retire and hang up her shoes, there were no races for her to test her endurance.

One must recall that it was 1972 when President Nixon signed Title IX into law, banning sex discrimination in schools.  This received federal funding. Long before Title IX was enacted, women were not allowed to play sports because of the notion that physical activity would damage their reproductive organs. However, the lack of school sports prior to Title IX did not deter women from participating in athletics. Many of my heroes like Grete were the woman that challenged the rules and conventions of society. They made the choice to go ahead and participate in sports; to go after what men have always been “allowed” to do. This was the real beginning for women to be allowed to play in sports and Grete was there with grace and determination.

In 1978 Grete decided  to run in the New York City marathon which was one of the biggest marathon events of the times. Waitz captured the first of her nine New York City Marathon titles in 1978, setting a world record in 2 hours, 32 minutes, 30 seconds in her first attempt at 26.2 miles. No one else, man or woman, can claim this achievement.

Woman all over the world (including yours truly) were just starting to run (or jog, which was the more accepted term). I remember buying a pair of Converse “running” shoes in 1975. They were just flat tops with no support. It was not until the mid 80’s that athletic shoe companies were coming out with running shoes designed specifically for woman. In fact in 1982 the first woman’s shoe to come out was the Reebok Freestyle designed for “aerobics”. Remember the leotard tights and ankle warmer socks?

In the 70s woman were coming out, sneaking into races that were allowing only men. Before 1972 woman were barred from running the famous Boston Marathon but it did not stop them.  I love the story of Roberta Gibb who hid behind a bush at the start of the Boston Marathon, sneaking into the field and finishing the race in an unofficial time of 3:21:25. She was the first woman known to complete the demanding Boston course. Gibbs’ inspiration to run?...The return of her race entry with a note saying that women were not physically capable of running a marathon. "I hadn't intended to make a feminist statement," said Gibb. "I was running against the distance [not the men] and I was measuring myself with my own potential."

Grete like Gibb was thinking outside the box and showed woman all over the world that is was possible to train not just for 1,500m, but also for the 3,000m and all the way up to the taboo event of the marathon.  She was the pioneer of the woman’s marathon and she was very fast!

In 1983 Grete Waitz won the gold medal in the first ever world championship woman’s marathon. The first Olympic marathon event was in 1984 and Grete was there. She received the silver medal as her dear friend Joan Benoit made the gold. It was an amazing event. Joan Benoit accelerated ahead of the field at the 2 mile mark and never saw them again. Benoit is also a major force in the history of woman’s running- another story to be told someday.

Benoit said this about Grete "To me, Grete stood for goodness, greatness, graciousness, and generosity. She exuded all those qualities. We'll miss her, of course. But we're grateful for all the shared miles.”

I say thank you Grete for showing me strength and determination, rest in peace.

ASK JANICE --- ARE YOU READY?

Are You Tsunami Ready? The unkind truth is: it’s a physical event! We have all had our eyes opened up to reality, actually twice in the last couple years. We know we live in a vulnerable area, but who doesn’t. Living means being in danger of dying! So what’s new? It does not mean we have to live in fear.  In fact it’s the opposite. The question becomes one of awareness.

Being prepared will eliminate fear!

In order to be prepared for an emergency, one must think about what this really means. I was chatting with someone the other day and I asked her if she had an emergency supply kit ready to go. The response was yes; she and her husband had packed a large container with all the right stuff. I asked her if she could carry that up a hill, since driving your car will most likely be unavailable. You can probably guess her answer.  Now, can you imagine this scenario? You are in your home or office, an earthquake occurs, windows crash, dressers fall over, beams fall down etc...I think you get the picture. You are okay but you now have to grab your back pack that has your supplies and get going up the hill! Your heart is racing. You are now tapping into your “Flight or Fight” response system.

This is a natural part of our nervous system. It can help you respond to a dangerous situation.

  • Mental clarity of mind is more acute if you are prepared, i.e. you visualized or lived the situation before it happens.
  • Pupils dilate to take in as much light as possible.
  • Veins in skin constrict to send more blood to major muscle groups; which means less blood to the skin to keep you warm.
  • Muscles tense up since they are being energized by adrenaline and blood glucose.
  • More oxygen is sent to the lungs
  • Non-essential systems shut down, like digestion and immune. This allows more energy to go to the emergency functions.
  • Your mind will have a hard time focusing on small tasks (like finding your keys or eye glasses). The brain is directed to focus only on big picture in order to respond to the immediate threat.

All of these physical responses are intended to help you survive a dangerous situation by preparing you to either run for your life or fight for your life (thus the term "fight or flight"). This is an instinct that every animal possesses.  But what every animal does not naturally possess are fitness, strength and endurance. If you don’t think you will need these abilities, you may want to reconsider.

I want you to imagine the possible scenarios and try to visualize your course of action.  Consider these things:

  • Are you strong enough to pick up the bookshelf that fell between you and the door?
  • Can you carry your child and the pack on your back?
  • Could you dig and lift heavy objects from a pile of rubble?
  • Do you have the cardiovascular fitness to make it up a hill for a mile or more?
  • Can you do that while carrying your pack?
  • Do you have the endurance to then build a fire, a shelter and help others?

If not, a fitness program would serve you well. The benefits are not only that you will be prepared for emergencies, but you may be able to help someone else you care about that is not.

If you never had a good excuse to exercise (which is hard to believe), you now have a dandy.

  1. Your first workout:

From every usual place you spend time make some concerted efforts to walk fast,  jog or sprint your way to your safety zone. So that means 3 to 5 or more places depending on your lifestyle. If you do this once or twice a week you will not only gain familiarity and confidence with your basic escape routes but will enhance your cardio vascular strength.

  1. Your second workout:

Get your emergency evacuation pack ready, pick it up, put it on and walk around for a while. Do your legs feel strong and secure? If not you are going to need to find a way to strengthen your lower body.

  1. Your third workout:

Imagine how much a things weigh that you are going to have to lift or help others lift. Are your arms, shoulders and back strong? If not you are going to need to find a way to strengthen your upper body and core.

  1. Your forth workout:

Once a week walk, ride, paddle, dance or whatever works for you (physically), but do it for at least an hour or even better for 2 or 3. This will build your endurance.

Build gradually and slowly, and most importantly be consistent. This will get you the best results in the shortest amount of time.

This is not about living in fear.  This is about awareness, intelligence, and being prepared for what life can dish out. Live your life in less fear knowing you will be ready if need be.

I know these are strong words but I say them because I care and I want to see you at the top of the hill if and when an emergency hits, such as a major earthquake/Tsunami.

Ask Jack

Ask Janice This article should really be called Ask Jack since he was the first to say it all, loud and clear! "Health is your real wealth." One word comes to mind when you think of Jack LaLanne: inspiration. There is no other word for it, Jack inspired us, motivated us and impassioned all of America to try to better our health and fitness. He laid the foundation for the modern fitness movement. He encouraged us to stay away from sugar and processed food and was the first person (male or female), to inspire woman to start weight lifting. Jack LaLanne was the “godfather of fitness and America’s first fitness superhero. He was and still is my hero! Henri was born San Francisco in 1914. In 1969 when I was 10 years old we were living in Santa Monica California My father and mother joined Jack LaLanne gym on 14th and Wilshire in the heart of Santa Monica and only 10 blocks from our home. I was an avid viewer of his TV show and was already a fan, so I was very excited to go to his gym thinking I would meet him, which I did 25 years later. I remember the first time my dad and mom took me in the gym. Wednesday night was family night and Jack encouraged parents to bring their kids in and “play” in the weight room. The days before law suits! I remember walking over to a chest press machine. It was one of the old Universal types that had 4 stations that you walked around. I recall someone showing me how to lie on a bench and push the weight up! I thought ‘how cool that is?’ Then I see my mom with her big hair and pegged pants like Lucy wore, walking over to another machine and the trainer showing her how to do a shoulder press. I felt proud because that is what Jack wanted! LaLanne summed up his philosophy about good nutrition and exercise: "Living is a pain in the butt. Dying is easy. Life it's like an athletic event. You've got to train for it. You've got to eat right. You've got to exercise. Your health account, your bank account, they're the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen: together, you have a kingdom." Jack at a young age, had behavioral problems and was getting into trouble. He even dropped out of school at 14 years old. Then he happened to hear Paul Bragg speak. Bragg was a nutritionist and a pioneer of America’s wellness movement. Jack claimed: “Bragg saved my life at age 15years old! Please allow me to indulge myself in memory lane.... When I was 15 years old, I was missing school enough that the teachers stopped asking why. I was hanging out at the beach, smoking pot and not doing so well overall. There was a lifeguard that worked at the lifeguard tower I use to "hang out" at and we became friends. As his friend he would send me to the store just up on Coast Highway 101 to get his lunch. It was a "health food" store. I was introduced to weird things like alfalfa sprouts, avocado and whole wheat bread, and bananas for dessert instead of Ding Dongs. From there this friend of mine introduced me to open ocean swimming and running. I guess, like Jack, I had a lucky break and learned that life is so much better when lived through health. I was inspired! Why not let Jack in your life now? Let Jack inspire you! You can do it, he knew it and so do I! Just make sure you start slow, and gradually build up to it. Your body can only build at a certain rate, and to push your body to grow faster than it can grow will cause injuries. Be patient and consistent with your workouts. As long as you keep improving, you’re doing enough. Jack LaLanne’s workout also includes cardio exercise as well as using weights. He was always pushing himself and changing up his routine to keep his muscles guessing. This is now a popular method called "muscle confusion." He also was the first to profess "going to failure." that means weight training and using enough weight that by the end of the set your muscle had failed and is completely fatigued. Of course, Jack LaLanne’s workout isn’t the only key to his immense vigor. The other half of the equation is what he ate. Jack was known for saying "the way people eat today is sick...would you feed your dog a cup of coffee and a doughnut in the morning? LaLanne has many favorite sayings when it comes to diet: "Everything nature's way…If man makes it, don't eat it.…The food you eat today you're wearing tomorrow." He lives by all of them. "Before I eat something I ask 'What is it doing for me, the most important person on Earth?' " Words to live by! Thank you Jack for all you did, you are still my hero and you inspire me more than ever to do better! May you rest in peace…

Ah...A New Year and a Fresh Start

Ask Janice The concept of New Year’s Resolution to actuate change is very popular because there are things in our lives that we are just not happy with. We all have hopes and aspirations to make changes and often the resolution or goal setting works.

Statistics show that each year 40% to 50% of adults make one or more resolutions or goals for themselves. Research shows that 75% make it past the first week, and 45% make it past 6 months. On the bright side while a lot of people break there resolutions, statistics on New Year’s resolutions also show that setting goals for yourself is still a good thing to do, because you are 10 times more likely to attain your goal, rather than people who don’t explicitly make goals.  So this means that if you decide to set a goal for yourself this year, not only will you be a part of the statistics on New Year’s resolutions makers, but you will also be 10 times more likely to attain your goal. Setting goals is a great way to help dedicate yourself to reaching positive change.

On the other hand, glass half empty - 50% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to keep them. And as the year goes on that number does increase by 10%.

So, what’s the point if you are more likely to fail then not? As my husband Mike says- “if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

We want to change, but why? Because without change, we are assured of staying just the way we are and doing things just the way we always have.  That is why 50% of us make New Year’s resolutions. Yet as you know and I know it’s hard to make significant changes in our lives but why?  Because change is difficult and there is no magical formula that is quick and without effort, despite the claims of motivational speakers and self-help books- an industry that makes about $2.5 million a year off of those of us that are looking for magic potions or words.

The bottom line is, change is easier said than done. It is a real test, and needs to be taken seriously with full presence of mind and heart. Change starts with a simple, yet powerful, epiphany that comes from a very deep and personal place inside us. A client said to me just the other day “it just became too sad to stay the way I was.” Sometimes it comes down to the realization that you just don’t want to continue down the same road any longer, things must change.

Emotions can be potent motivators for change, whether positive, such as hope or inspiration, or negative, such as fear.

Courage is essential because change requires risk and risk is scary. Courage to change means the willingness to acknowledge and confront aspects of ourselves that we may not know about or may not like. It’s uncertain, and takes a leap of faith that involves a belief in a vision of who, where and what we want to be in the future.

Determination is needed to overcome obstacles, resist the status quo. Determination is needed to pursue our goals. This determination and resolve is what inspires us to engage in the moment-to-moment process of change especially when it is difficult. This is what it comes down to. Those moments that you get add together which then becomes the sum of your efforts. That is the formula for a successful change.

You have a choice. You get to decide for yourself. This is the time to be selfish, the time to create the person you want to be, to compose those resolutions and then be successful.  If you have some setbacks, fine. We all have setbacks on a difficult path. Lance Armstrong is quoted when asked how he dealt with his challenges- “pain is temporary and quitting is not an option.”  The key is to not give up you can restart your resolution any day. While New Years is a great time to regroup and move ahead, any Monday morning or the 1st of the month or your birthday etc… can serve the same purpose. Tuesday anyone?

Keep in mind that change is not easy. Embrace it.  You could even try cozying up to the concept.

Get tough and stay inspired. Change is a process and not an event, so be patient.

Lastly “keep your eyes on the prize”, visualize.

One of Life Greatest Pleasures – PLAYING

Ask Janice “If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good” Dr Seuss

What happened to play? Is it a value in our society that is now a four letter word?

Remember those words “go outside and play”? What happened to those words in your life? When was the last time you heard them or said them? Think back to your childhood and recount your most treasured memories of childhood play.  Mixed emotions?   A sort of sadness lays over you.  Is it because we are not playing anymore? Is life too serious?

A lack of play can lead to depression, hostility and the loss of the “thing that makes us human beings.” Play lets you feel happiness, love, healthy and human. It may even make you smarter.

“Play is the beginning of knowledge.” George Dorsey

Play refreshes and stimulates the mind. It can be spontaneous or as part of planned activity. It can be physical or mental but really it should serve no purpose or objective other than pure enjoyment or amusement. A flow occurs and all feels effortless. Nine common elements are found over and over again when one asks the question:  “what do you experience when you are playing?”

  1. There are clear goals every step of the way.
  2. There is immediate feedback on one’s actions.
  3. There is balance between challenges and skills.
  4. Action and awareness are merged.
  5. Distractions are excluded from consciousness.
  6. There is no worry of failure.
  7. Self-consciousness disappears.
  8. The sense of time becomes distorted.
  9. The activity becomes an end in and of itself.

Not Sure How to Play?

Kids seem to know inherently just what to do to have fun, but adults may need a little help. Playing should be simple, fun, easy, and something that's a regular part of your routine. Above all else, make sure your playtime is enjoyable, and not something that feels like”one more thing to fit into the day.”

I would like you to make a list of those moments of wonder and “fun”. Those moments not fueled by expensive toys or gadgets but the ones found in backyards. In these simple authentic moments not only is joy to be found but profound truths about us and nature and our connection. It has been said that “play has been man’s most useful preoccupation.” Biographies of creative people of the past are full of accounts of long hours they spent sitting by a river, thinking their own thoughts, roaming woods and dreaming dreams. Who can afford this type of leisure time anymore? But I think this lack of sufficient free time (recess), to develop a rich inner life is a large part of the reason there is much frustration and aggression in our society.

So now we are coming up with a formula:

Leisure Time + Play + Fun = Happiness.

-Leisure time is a period of time spent out of work and other essential activity. It is time that is recreational and spent doing things that are not necessary. -Play refers to a range of voluntary, intrinsically motivated activities associated with pleasure. It may be amusing, pretend or imaginary interpersonal or intrapersonal. –Fun is enjoyment or pleasurable. -Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy.

I have a challenge for all of us! Let’s see what we can stir up this next year? Go find the kid in you (I know it’s there). I propose to a make a New Year’s Resolution right now for 2011. To take time to play!

Here is another challenge for you:

Polar Plunge 2011 is a great way to start your New Year and your resolution to play. Just ask anyone that has done it!!!  Feel free to call me with any questions.

Where: Neahkahnie Beach

When: January 1st 2011

Time: Be there by 11am. Plunge time 11:11am

Playtime leads to optimism, and optimism leads to happiness and happiness leads to love and love leads to….

Is It All In Your Head?

By Janice B Gaines BS LMT

You bet it is!   The path to a peaceful, healthy and happy life comes from the capacity to channel your thoughts in a positive direction. Our body and mind are intimately connected to each other; your thoughts affect your physical health.

I know I have addressed this subject before, but it is so significant that I want to attempt to present it different way.

Biologically our brains produce chemicals, called neurotransmitters that regulate mood, emotions and even how we experience pain.  Neurotransmitters communicate information throughout the whole body. The transmitted message goes from one nerve cell called neurons to another across the synapse. The health and balance of these (about 50 of them have been identified) neurotransmitters are very important. Statistically it is estimated about 80% of Americans are running at a suboptimal level.  A neurotransmitter imbalance can cause Depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritable  bowel, eating disorders, obsession, compulsions, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Fibromyalgia, headaches as well as a host other health issues.

Why is our society experiencing these symptoms at such alarming rates? Chronic stress, poor dietary choices, (which I will address in my next article), toxic exposure such as industrial work, pollution and drug use are affecters. Also genetic predisposition, however whether we have good genes or bad new research from Yale University found that genes contribute only 25% to the health of your life. The last major influence of neurotransmitter imbalance is thought patterns.

Mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind in a healthy body) is a famous Latin quotation, often translated as "A sound mind in a sound body." Attitude and train of thoughts have a key role in the balance of our brain’s chemicals.

A strong and hearty mind is what we all wish for. Life is intended to be positive, despite the difficulties that come along. The powers of our mind determine our future.  Attitude drives that power. The utmost discovery we can make in our lives is when we realize we can alter our life’s experience by altering our attitude. It’s something that you can put into action immediately. It’s a choice you a can make over and over again.

While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us. -- Benjamin Franklin, 84

Attitude or thoughts cannot be changed overnight. We have habits and patterns that we have to catch in action. So to make this change you have to keep in mind (pun intended) and remind yourself of your “new” way of thinking of things. Here are some exercises that I like. Remember this isn’t something you do one time only.  As the Nike phrase goes “there is no finish line”. This focus and discipline is like physical exercise, diet and flossing!

1.      Make use of positive words in your conversations, try not to use negative words or perpetuate negative thoughts and conversations. Don’t spread negativity there is enough of it in the world as it is!

2.      Replace negative feelings with positive thinking. Inspire yourself!

3.       Fear is often the key factor behind our negative feelings but often it’s just “smoke and mirrors”. Don’t let it hold you back. What if you do fail? So what?

I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can't make it through one door, I'll go through another door--or I'll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present. -- Joan Rivers, 77

4.      Surround yourself with positive, happy and optimistic people. If you need to talk to someone, pick one of the happy ones. It’s contagious!

5.      Visualize a positive outcome. Aim for the best outcome and your actions will likely follow.

An optimist is someone who goes after Moby Dick in a rowboat and takes the tartar sauce with him. -- Zig Ziglar, 80

6.      Set backs are part of life; they are part of the journey, valleys as well as peaks. Do not to judge setbacks too hard, just ride them out and take care of yourself. Do something for someone else that needs help I guarantee that will make you feel better!!!

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.  ~Dalai Lama

Ready to start some new habits for 2010?

New habits mean a change, which means changes in lifestyle. It is as simple as that but, it’s not that simple is it? What does it mean to create life style changes? What this means is reviewing how we spend the hours in our days, doing what we do. We then decide we want to change some of the ways we spend some of our time.

You have to ask yourself what do you want to do less of, none of, or more of.

Make a point to evaluate how do you spend your hours?

This is your lifestyle!

Make a list:

What do you want to do in your daily routine that you do not do now?

What do you not want to do in your daily routine that you do do now?

I would suggest picking out no more then three items or even one if it’s a big one, (like quitting smoking), from the “do not” list and the same from the “do list”.

Now you have decided which behavior(s) you don’t want and which one(s) you do want we have to make a plan and set some goals. See how easy this is starting to look?

What does it mean to break a habit? “They” say it takes 21 days to break a bad habit. I say it takes as long as it takes but remember every journey starts with the first step. Sorry for the cliché but sometimes they just work!

You have made your decision on which piece of your life you want to eliminate or which part you want to bring in your life. Now you need to set a date and write it down. Count out 21 days that you will make the commitment to follow your plan. Getting easier?

Suggestions:

  • Write down your goal. There is magic in the written word when it applies to you. Phrase it in positive affirmations. For example “I want to have healthy clean lungs” instead of “I have to quit this ugly smoking habit”
  • List the reasons why you want this change. Again, writing things down will help you think it out and bring in a higher conscience level. Your commitment becomes solidified.
  • New Habits-Remember the things you want to change take time. They have defined how your spend time.  This is the issue. So, we need to find a new routine for that time. For example, if it’s smoking after eating, try drinking a glass of water or having a sugar free lollypop etc...
  • Talk to yourself but be kind, as if you  were your own best friend! Tell you how good you are doing and keep yourself on track.
  • Ask for support from the folks that are around you.
  • Watch out for those that interfere or want to sabotage. It’s scary for some people to see you change. Be aware, assertive and gentle.

Can You Change the Way You Think?

A teacher takes a bit of lightweight thread and wraps it one time around a student's wrists.

He tells the class, "This string represents the power of doing something one time. Can you break the string?"

The student easily breaks the thread with a small flick of his wrists. The teacher then wraps the string around the student's wrists many times and repeats the challenge to break it.

Despite repeated efforts, the lightweight thread is too strong to break.

His teacher says, "Now you see the power of repeated actions… habits. It takes more than mere willpower and personal strength to break them. It takes a change in the way you think about the problem." (Author unknown to me)

By changing our thoughts and our mental images we can change our reality and our life style. Creative visualization- see it, be it! This mental technique can help you attain the goals you set out for yourself.

When I coached bicyclists on how to avoid crashing (always a good thing), I would say “look where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go”!  This works in our daily life as well, keep a picture in your mind of the person you want to be. Thoughts are very powerful. They create and mold our lives. Your personal thoughts travel to others which then can attract assistance.  This can help achieve what it is you would like to accomplish.

Stay positive. Create mental pictures of yourself as having already achieved your goals.

Contentment and health to you in 2010

Why wait for New-Year’s Day Resolutions?

  Why wait for New-Year’s Day Resolutions?

 It’s the middle of October and we are looking at the end to another year, this is a good time to reflect upon the goals and achievements of 2009.

Most of us choose to use the new-year as a catalyst to initiate changes for the coming year.  We can look back on 2009 at the goals achieved and those that weren’t. Try and decipher what fueled your success and use this as a blueprint for new successes.

I know there are quite a few of us that abandoned our fitness and health goals in 2009, so I have an idea! (You knew this was coming).

Let’s launch some “new-year resolutions” now and get a jump start on 2010.

Don’t get me wrong, I think new-years resolutions are super and I have my list. But why wait? This is a great time of year to embark on new fitness and health routines

The way I see it, a jump start on some healthy choices is the best way to approach the holiday season.  Don’t be a victim of “holiday weight gain”!

This will make your holiday season so much more enjoyable, you will feel better, have more energy and you might even fit into that sexy new-year’s outfit (men too) that resides in back of the closet!

 

 

How To Start New Healthy Routines Now?

 

One of my favorite thoughts is: action precedes motivation and not the other way around.

We get caught up thinking that we have to wait for motivation to start doing something good for ourselves, but that is not how it works. You just need to initiate action; even the smallest of actions will facilitate some momentum.

Here are some tips that could help you get started:

  • Start with bite-sized pieces that you’ll be able to accomplish.  If your goals are too big, you can end up feeling defeated before you get a good start. 
  • Avoid perfectionist thinking. Focus on positive terms; avoid self talk that is negative.
  • Don’t make your resolutions absolute. Keep real!
  • Share with a friend. Tell someone you trust about your goals.
  • Make your goals yours. The goals you have set for yourself should be something you really desire. If you don’t have a strong internal motivation you won’t be successful.
  • Tune in to your spirituality. Spend some time outside; nature will help you find balance!

 

Here are some simple tips to help you with the two most common and important wellness routines you will want to start now.

Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or exercising for fitness, it’s important for everyone to do some level of weightlifting and aerobic exercise. Ultimately you want strength, flexibility and endurance.

Schedule it in your day. Pick a time of day and stick to it. You have to make it a priority because it is. I would say this is the biggest obstacle for most of us.

Get up and move! At my work place I call it “pop ups”. Incorporate exercise during the day, even while you're at work. If you sit at a desk most of the day, get out of your chair at least once an hour and walk around.  Use the five-minute-per-hour rule. Look for ways to just get up and move.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk down the hall instead of using the phone or e-mail, or take a walk during a morning or afternoon break.

Weight Loss where do you start? Write it down. Writing down what you eat is the best way I know to become more aware of just how much and what you are eating. The awareness factor is tremendous, if you have to write it down you will think twice about mindless eating, plus you will learn about yourself. Knowledge is power. You can do this with your exercise too. Keep a log.

Good luck and make health, not looks, your priority. "Positive thinking is a big part of it. Try to keep your focus in the right place -- not on the numbers but the feeling and desire for better health and well-being.

ATTITUDE

                                                                                                                   

What is the one “thing” that impacts your life the most???

I will give you a moment to ponder this…….okay you have your answer?

 

My answer is attitude.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. The incredible thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

 

This all relates to health, wellness and fitness!

 

Day to day we live our lives and we have a choice to make ourselves unhappy or happy (fit or not fit) Life is either drag or its fun, I like the latter.

 

The “thing” that you want to happen will happen if you really believe it and see it; a belief in a “thing” makes it happen. (Fitness, health, weight loss happens)

 

You have to live in your body no mater what; you have choice that takes the same amount of time and energy, so why not choose what you really want? Just believe it, see it and do it!

 

Fitness is an attitude, get it!