It has been awhile since I have had time to post on here however, with the current circumstances in Vancouver, I am finally finding time for this project. Today I want to talk to you about depression and it's connection to physical activity. I recently completed a project on this for my Developmental Psychopathology class at Douglas College which focuses on mental issues throughout the life span.
This class really opened my eyes to the significance of childhood experiences on one's adulthood life. As a student in the Bachelors of Physical Education and Coaching at Douglas, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to bring awareness to the connections between Depression and Physical Activity in everyone. Throughout my school program, we are continuously learning the importance of creating young students who are confident with moving their body. Our goal is to have more people strive to be active for life, embracing their physical literacy.
Physical Literacy is the "...motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge, and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life."
- The International Physical Literacy Association, May 2014
By being physically literate, we are able to understand and control our emotions more effectively. Mental health is strongly connected to our physical activity levels. In my eyes, when someone is struggling with a mental health issue, one must look to physical activity as a complementary medicine. I could get into this in much more depth but I decided to keep this short and simple to understand today.
Now the research I did in the literature review for my class is focused on children and youth (ages 5-17) so this may or may not be important for you to read. I have attached the file below.
For those who would like to learn more about these connections between mental health and physical activity levels, here are some statistics about Canadians:
More than three quarters (77.8%, or 20.1 million) of Canadian adults 18 and over and 90.7% of children and youth aged 5-17 years are not meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (2012-13, CHMS).
Among Canadian adults, a higher number of obese adults report being depressed or having a mood disorder (11.0%) compared to overweight (7.0%) or normal weight (6.9%) adults
Over 3.5 million (or 10%) Canadians aged one year and older use health services for mood and anxiety disorders annually (2011/12, CCDSS).
One in 25 (4.0 %) Canadian adults aged 20 years and older have a mood and anxiety disorder co-morbid with at least one of the four major chronic diseases (2014, CCHS).
Taken from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/how-healthy-canadians.html
Now, there are a lot more alarming statistics out there regarding this topic but instead of using scare tactics to talk people into being active, I would rather tell you how depression connects to all of this.
HOW DOES PHYSICAL ACTIVITY LOWER DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS?
This information is taken from the Mayo Clinic (2020).
In the paper I wrote, I discovered how physical activity creates opportunities to grow:
I hope this information can help some people out there. I know it can be difficult to deal with emotions at times but I am a strong believer that physical activity has the short-term and long-term abilities to heal ourselves. My goal here is to encourage everyone to take part in small amounts of physical activity throughout their day to enhance their mental wellbeing. I hope some people feel better after reading this.
Thanks for reading everyone.
Today's post is addressing a somewhat voluntary action our body does, walking. The following will educate us on why getting your steps in daily influences the holistic self.
We are living in a society where some of us have trouble adding movement into our day. Your job and modes of transportation have a large influence on your wellbeing. Some people drive, some people take the bus and some people unfortunately just aren't moving. With the uprising rates of chronic disease, it is essential that we understand how physical activity can help us. With the new notion around, "Sitting is the new smoking", many health practitioners are educating patients on the simple benefits of walking. Doctors are now prescribing walking as a treatment for Depression, Anxiety, Hypertension and other Chronic Diseases. I am in love with this idea since walking can be an easy step to add into your wellness routine.
I believe this topic is greatly overlooked. In the past, I did not recognize how many steps I was getting daily until I got a Fitbit in 2016 (Thank you grandparents!). To be completely honest, this was life changing. I always thought of myself as an active individual because of my participation in sports but my Fitbit told me otherwise. I noticed that I really wasn't moving that often. Since I started tracking these numbers, I know I will never go back.
10,000 steps a day is what most of the fitness and health experts recommend . Right now my goal is that is my daily goal. Last year it was 14,000 a day and the one before that, 17,000 a day. My point here is that the numbers will change based on the season and your overall wellbeing. Please don't let a number take over your life. Starting slow and steady is key to continue physical activity.
This may sound scary to some of us, 10,000 is a lot! If you are a healthy adult between ages 16-60 and you do not have any physical limitations you should aim for 8,000-10,000 steps daily. If you cannot meet this goal, start smaller! It will be difficult at times and that is okay. Some days you may have 15,000 steps and the next 6,000 steps, it is all about balance. Noticing your activity levels throughout the day tells you when to rest more or when to step it up.
Listed below are 11 scientifically known benefits to walking:
With walking being such a simple task, it can be fit into many tasks throughout your day. Here are some ideas of when you may not realize that you are actually engaging in light-moderate physical activity.
You see, physical activity is different than exercise. Physical activity is any activity that gets the heart rate up from resting. Such as gardening, taking the stairs or raking leaves. Exercise is planned physical activity. You may not see this as beneficial to the body however, anything that gets the heart rate up is worth it.
My trick to reaching these high goal numbers daily is adding in walking whenever I can. Here are 6 ideas of when you could walk a bit more:
I hope you have learned something about the many benefits of walking today and are excited to start adding it into your routine more often. Remember, you can start with as little as a 10 minute walk and add 5 minutes each time after that. It's okay to start slow. Thank you for reading. I hope you get to include more steps into your daily lives. Have a great day everyone!
This is how to flourish
Today I am going to talk about some important information regarding lower back pain. If you or anyone you know struggles with this, please read and share. :)
I can remember, back in early high school, when my back really started to become a problem for me. At first, we thought it was related to my menstrual cycle, however we then realized even when not menstruating, I felt the pain.
After going to the doctor, he said something along the lines of me having very slight scoliosis and also lordosis. I will explain these in an infographic below.
So, as we can see, this photo is a bit exaggerated of what most of us suffer from. Usually, I do not agree with using the word suffer but lower back pain can take over your life at some points. I remember not being able to sit at school for the full 6-8 hours because of the pain.
The main issue with this lower back pain is when it's time to fall asleep. Tossing and turning repeatedly makes it difficult for myself or anyone I am sleeping with to actually fall into a slumber.
After that doctor's visit, I was referred to a registered massage therapist in Fruitvale. Her techniques were very strong and healing. After about 2-3 years of massages (not continually), her and I both could not figure out why this pain was still occurring. One tip she gave me that really made a difference as to sleep with a large pillow, rolled up towel or blanket in between my legs. So now, I have a large body pillow on both sides of me when I am sleeping. This really takes the pressure off of my lower back but did not completely take the pain away.
I then enrolled into a Strength and Conditioning class at Okanagan College for my Human Kinetics Diploma to learn about the spine in various ways. This is where I really started to notice a difference in making my back feel better.
My professor's description was perfect. Think of your pelvis as a bowl, otherwise known as your pelvic bowl. Now, this bowl is full of water, if it is unbalanced either forward or back, the water will spill. So the aim is to keep your bowl balanced.
Now with having Lordosis, this meant my bowl as continually tipping forward, towards my feet. I would visualize the bowl, tuck my hips under and learned that this was the best posture for my body to hold.
Posture plays a significant role in any back pain. Remember being a kid when your mother would say, "Sit up straight!", well she was right. We need to fix our posture. In more scientific terms, we can refer to this pelvic bowl as anterior and posterior pelvic tilts.
We as humans, have evolved to have a neutral pelvis but through many conditions we develop an anterior or posterior tilt. Relating back to the bowl, a neutral pelvis is a balanced pelvic bowl. Try this at home. Imagine tilting your bowl, or your pelvis forward, backward and then find neutral. It may feel weird at first if your back isn't used to this position but it makes a HUGE difference.
Once discovering this, I finally found proper posture and was working out the most I ever have so focusing on strengthening my core was a number 1 priority. After all of this, I would still at times feel some pain, which lead me to embrace the world of stretching.
If I could sum up everything I learned at O.C. in this article, I would, but it is too much detail to get into and some of you would get bored. Long story short, when we want to strengthen a muscle we bring its 2 points of attachment together. When we want to stretch a muscle, we take the attachments further apart. Think about this with your core. To strengthen, we crunch, to stretch, we expand our bellies.
Why do you have lower back pain?
There are many reasons why you have accumulated this pain. It could be a spinal abnormality that was addressed above or maybe it is more muscle related. Along with the abnormalities, muscle tightness has contributed largely to this reoccurring pain. Through trial and error, and learning about the human body, I realize the pain is deeply connected to my overall hamstring tightness. I believe my tightness is from sitting often, exercising the legs often and not stretching enough.
It has been a year of consistent yoga and I have noticed a massive difference in my lower back pain and hamstring tightness. There are some photos below that include stretches to help with this. Along with hamstrings, having tight hip flexors, Quadratus Lumborum and Psoas muscles can contribute to this pain as well.
Stretching and strengthening these muscles can make a difference in your lower back pain. My best recommendation is to see your doctor, physiotherapist or massage therapist to get a proper diagnosis of what muscle imbalances you have. If you are super keen and interested in learning about your body, testing yourself out and finding the main issues, then go ahead with researching more about this topic.
Throughout the years of knowledge and experience, I can contribute my lower back pain to many different things. Each of us may be experiencing different abnormalities or imbalances. We are individual and this if an overview of my personal experience with back pain. I am going to go over some tips for helping these issues and I hope some of them can help you as well. If you have any ideas that I should include in my lifestyle, please let me know.
Tips for relieving lower back pain:
Please let me know if you have any questions or ideas for me to try, I am always open to suggestions. Thank you for supporting How To Flourish.
Enjoy your day!
A post with information for those who may be unsure on what to do for their workout.
I am excited to explore a variety of fitness topics to share with you all. In the past, I published a post on how to "workout smart" and now this one will be focused on more of the basics of exercise. Today I taught my first Group Fitness class in a real studio with real people other than the family and friends I made attend my classes in Fruitvale. It was fun, exciting and also very nerve racking. It ended up going extremely well as everyone, including myself, got a good workout in!
Some people attend classes since they do not know how to properly workout for their bodies and rely on teachers for showing them and thats what I am here for.
If you are looking to get healthy this is for you! Please always feel free to ask me questions regarding fitness and health. I would always love to help. Below are some instructions and tips to teach beginners on how to workout.
1. Establish your goals.
-Do you want to run a race?
-Do you wish to lose weight?
-Do you wish to gain muscle?
You have freedom in your workouts depending on your goal. Find what you want to work on most and do some research regarding ways to reach that goal.
I feel like most of us are looking to 'tone up' as they would call it. Toning up means decreasing body fat & increasing muscle tissue. This is done by eating properly in a caloric balance (burning the same amount of calories that you eat).
If you want to increase your cardio, you will most likely be performing more aerobic exercises (running, biking, swimming, walking).
If you want to lose weight, all forms of exercise help however, you need to focus on how many calories you are eating. (You want to burn MORE than you eat, to efficiently lose weight).
If you want to gain muscle, you should engage in weight training and also consuming protein after each workout. (If you are looking to gain weight, you need to be eating MORE than you are burning).
2. Find a place to workout
Since it may be difficult for all of us to find a gym, there are many outdoor workouts one can try.
If you are in a gym, be grateful!
Make your workout space safe, you need flat ground, water and proper running shoes. Watch for hazards around.
3. Structure your workout.
EVERY workout needs structure which is made up of a warmup, body and cool-down.
WARMUP: (5-10 minutes)
-Gets the heart rate up
-Lubricates the joints
-Warms the body
-Gets blood flowing
-dynamic stretching (high knees, walking lunges, butt kicks). Dynamic means to move so don't hold these stretches for too long.
-it can really be anything that is getting your heart rate up and body moving!
Some examples are walking on the treadmill (I enjoy doing so on an incline of 9-10), biking, stair climbing, running/jumping around.
BODY: (20-45 minutes)
This is probably the part a beginner may be confused by. Figure out what body part/goal you would like to focus on. There are many ways to structure a workout and here are some ideas:
-Intervals (30 sec on: 30 sec off) repeat as many times as possible
-Circuits (1-5 exercises in a row then a break) repeat 2-3x
- Timed workouts (pick any time and don't stop until its over)
-Tabata style (20 sec on: 10 sec off) repeat 8x
If you are confused on which exercises to do, there is a variety of infographics online regarding specific exercises for specific body parts. For example:
There are many varieties out there to share with you. Please do your research and find what you will enjoy most. TRY EVERYTHING.
COOL-DOWN: (5-15 minutes)
-this brings the heart rate down
-cools the body
-relaxes the muscles
-this is where you static stretch (hold stretches for 10-30 seconds on each side of the body). Static means to stay still. Breathe deep throughout your cooldown and thank your body for being able to move.
4. Find workouts online to follow if you are not comfortable making your own. There are many infographics you discover!
5. Replenish Your Body
This step is extremely important when working out. Before and after each workout, you should be eating and drinking certain foods. Food is fuel and you can use it for energy! You need carbs for energy so enjoy some bread, pasta, rice, whole grains, crackers or whatever you like most, before and after workouts. You also need protein for muscle building and fat loss so indulge in beans, meats, eggs, legumes or any other protein sources you enjoy!
Personally, I like to have a protein shake after each workout. This provides my muscles with food for growth. You can always purchase protein at grocery stores for decent prices. Look for ones with the most protein content and least amount of ingredients. Natural is better. If you have allergies there are usually a variety of types out there to fit your needs.
Nutrition is a complex subject. This is my interpretation of the nutrition basics for working out. In summary...PROTEIN IS LIFE.
How often should you workout? This part is up to. Depending on your goals and time, you get to choose. Personally, I try to get in one hour of intense fitness each day. If I cannot, I aim for 4-5 solid workouts a week. If you have enough time in your day to be relaxing for over an hour, you have enough time to fit in a workout. They don't always have to be one hour long, you could shorten each part and get it done in 30-45 minutes. Push yourself hard enough to experience challenge without burning yourself out.
How hard should you workout? If you have the option to record your heart rate with a Fitbit or heart rate tracker, use that during your workouts! If not, you can take your own heart rate by placing two fingers on your wrist (below your thumb) and see how many beats you count in 15 seconds. Times this by 4 and you get your heart rate.
Basically, you should be raising your heart rate anywhere between 40-85% of your resting heart rate.
This can be confusing, so beginners, as long as you are sweating, out of breath and your heart rate is above 100, you are working out efficiently!
Here is a website to help you out...
8. The FITT Principle
The FITT Principle is an informative way of planning your workouts. Use this chart to find what your goal needs to be accomplished!
Exercise is full of complexity but can be easily fit into your every day life. Without it, you may experience fatigue, depression and weight gain. With exercise, you will notice an increase in your mood, your digestion and better overall health! You feel better after movement, trust me. Please don't undermine the importance of being active.
Overall, this information should guide a beginner on how to workout properly. There is much more information related to these topics, however this is a quick, beginners guide. If you have any specific questions please don't hesitate to ask me!
*Below is a gallery of images I recently included in a program plan for a family member. It can give you some ideas on exercises and stretches to perform.
A piece on how yoga has allowed me to manage my anxiety.
A piece on what you should be doing in the gym. If you aren’t working out smart that may be the reason you don’t see results, get tired of doing the same thing everyday, or you hittting a plateau.
Below is a combination of information I have learned throughout my Human Kinetics schooling, with personal experiences and what helps me to perform my best in the gym. I love fitness and want to share with you all the proper ways to be working out to ensure you don't injure yourself or perform pointless reps at the gym. Having worked at multiple fitness facilities, I have seen many incorrect techniques and movements. Unfortunately, not everybody gets taught to workout properly in high school which I believe can lead to improper fitness in adulthood. Feel free to share this post to encourage others to work out smarter.
First off I want to acknowledge that it is mandatory you establish what your goal in the gym is. Is it to loose weight? Gain muscle? Train for a race? Get stronger? Get faster?
Every goal can be attained in a different a way and is individual for each person. We all start out small and work our way up. I encourage you all to make small goals in your fitness journey to track your progress and keep your confidence high. It can be difficult at times and you may want to give up, however; if you stay strong, you will grow. Pick an attainable goal in something you enjoy.
Making the gym a place you want to be instead of dreading to be is mandatory as well for success. Get excited to get stronger. Find a love for wanting to be better physically, mentally and emotionally. My favourite part of the day is usually my workout.
These basic tips are in no particular order but in my opinion are necessary for a successful gym session. Working out improperly can be dangerous and may be the reason you never actually see results.
If you want to lose weight you HAVE to be in a caloric deficit (burning more calories than consuming)
If you want to gain weight you HAVE to be in a caloric surplus (eating more than consuming)
If you want to maintain weight you HAVE to be in a caloric balance
This will play a large role in your energy levels, sleep habits and physical appearance. Once you have your macronutrient ratios down, you need to eat real, nutrient dense food and focus on eating protein in most meals. Carbohydrates and fat will give you energy while protein will build your muscles.
2. Perform proper reps/sets/weights/rest for your goal.You need to decide if you want to build strength, muscle mass, power or endurance. You can easily train for each goal throughout a week. (One day strength, next day power etc.)
This picture is a good example for someone to follow.
3. Challenge yourself. If you can do 8-10 reps without any difficulty...it is too easy. To see changes in your body you need to be challenging yourself daily or nothing will happen. You need to stress your muscles and body to allow them to adapt = RESULTS
4. Take rest days. This is one I will admit I don’t always follow (I have a hard time finding myself resting enough). In addition to performing the correct workouts you need to supplement your body with rest to let yourself adapt. 24-48 hours after a resistance training session is necessary for proper growth. Not resting can lead to overtraining. Overtraining can lead to burnout which is difficult to recover from.
5. Don’t exclude muscle groups. Do you do leg day 4 times a week? Do you work your core enough? Realistically, you should be exercising each muscle group equally throughout a week. To grow a butt you do not need to do leg day everyday. Focus on including each muscle group evenly to produce a balanced physique. Our body naturally needs a backside twice as strong as the front side which means a 2:1 ratio of push to pull exercises. Meaning if you train chest twice a week you should be training back 4 times to counteract.
6. Always include core exercises. If done correctly, you can improve your core strength in most exercises at the gym. A neutral spine is necessary for proper form, and in conjunction with bracing the core, will contribute to whole body strength and correct posture. If you are unsure what I mean by a “neutral spine”. This infographic is a great representation.
7. Get your heart rate up. This is so important. Even when you are doing a weight lifting session it is mandatory to increase your heart rate at least once every day to increase cardiovascular health. This does not mean you have to get to your max heart rate (approx. 220-age), just that it needs to be above resting to see any changes within yourself. If you are going to the gym and are not covered in sweat by the end of it, did you work hard enough? It’s easy to add exercises to increase your heart rate in any workouts. Plyometrics are my favourite (jumping jacks, jump squats, burpees, alternating lunges) or you could add simple cardio (running, biking, rowing).
8. Always mix it up. You should be training yourself in multiple modalities to see the most gains (resistance, weight, cardio, plyometrics, bodyweight, ballistic). Get good at what you’re bad at. It’s fun to try new things and see yourself improve each time. Go to that tabata or yoga class, run that hill or swim in that lake! Become confident in trying new challenges and realizing your body’s true abilities.
I recently got asked to make a workout plan for a family member and it really got me thinking about how much I love training and helping others become fit. If you ever want a group trainer, fitness information or a workout plan please don’t hesitate to ask me! I want to share my knowledge with all of you to make sure we are all getting healthier and stronger physically, mentally, socially and emotionally.
MY PERSONAL FITNESS TIPS
I follow all of the the tips above.These are my gym tips I live by and have found to work best for myself in decreasing fat mass and increasing lean mass, power, balance, agility, speed and strength. Please remember everyone is individual and this is just what works best for myself. Your body may be different.
1. Deadlift often. Deadlifts are my absolute favourite exercise to perform on any day of the week. There are many variations for specific muscle groups. A deadlift is a compound movement that uses multiple muscles throughout the body. In my eyes, they are mandatory for improving whole body strength. They are challenging, however; once you start increasing the weight you are lifting, you won’t want to stop.
2. Always brace your core and strengthen it as much as you can. This is an easy muscle group to forget about. This does not mean doing endless crunches or planks. You use your core for all lifting and balance exercises. Don’t be afraid to strengthen it.
3. Lift heavy. You will not become bulky, as many people assume so. The benefits are endless. Gaining muscle burns more calories at rest.
4. Consume protein during and after. I love protein. I didn’t start seeing results until I made sure I was having at least 20 grams of protein after every workout.
5. 10 push-ups everyday! (A fun little daily challenge I took on from a fitness leader I follow on social media).
6. Always throw in some cardio. It does not have to be much. But enough to get your heart pumping for a couple minutes. (Works best fitting plymoterics in between sets). You'll thank me later.
7. Attempt a head stand everyday. I do at least one if not two headstands every single day. I struggled at first but through months of practice can get up into one just about anywhere. They are great for clearing your mind, increasing your core strength and raising your heart rate.
Thanks for reading about how I try to flourish in fitness.
Finally, I have found some time in my day to start planning fitness classes for those around me.
A piece on moving your body and understanding you deserve a healthy one.
Movement is necessary in life. I am a strong believer that it is vital for you to participate in moving your body in some way everyday.
This is a minor portion of the bigger picture. Throughout many years of experience with fitness I learn to embrace it more each day; I could speak about this topic for hours. I am trying to focus this article on the “overall” concept of moving your body without getting into tiny details. This is directed towards those who may be uncomfortable or unmotivated to take part in physical activity or those living with chronic illness (Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, osteoporosis, cancer etc).
For those who are already frequently engaging in movement, I hope to create a series for you on fitness including what you should be doing in the gym, proper nutrition/supplements and why you may not be seeing results, however that will come later. First.. this.
The human body is something I have always been intrigued to learn about. Thankfully that’s what the majority of my schooling is focused on. We get to explore how the body works in diverse ways; How movement makes it able to holistically thrive. Moving your body is good for your mind, your lungs, your hormones, your heart, your spirit and much more. The values of partaking in activity are significant in finding yourself. Finding what you like. Finding what makes your body feel best. You should be grateful of the possibilities we discover through leisurely movement of the human body.
Since I was young, I’ve always known that I want to help others. I wasn’t sure how until finding my passion for movement. My passion for encouraging everyone else to move. An objective of mine is for each of us to observe what our body likes and dislikes. What our body can handle. How we can make it stronger (physically, mentally, emotionally). I want you all to feel your greatest. We have endless opportunities to explore what our body is capable of; However this requires an inner drive to strive for success.
I had a mentor of mine ask me last weekend “What is the most important thing you have learned during your diploma?”. My answer to that was how important it is to engage in moving your body and how many people chose not to. Being active doesn’t limit yourself to treadmills and bikes; It is diverse. It is increasing your heart rate. Ranging from gardening, to cleaning, to walking the dog, to taking the stairs. It can be yoga, walking, swimming, dancing, karate, or sports. You have options.
A common saying many Kinesiologist’s live by is..
"EXERCISE IS MEDICINE."
You may not understand this concept although the scientific evidence is there. Being active aids in solving many issues within the body. An active, balanced healthy lifestyle presents you with the ability to overcome illness. Physical, mental, social and emotional. Moving expands your mind.
Raising your heart rate provides benefits to the whole body. This includes the opportunity to live a life full of longevity and self confidence. Movement can be spiritual. The mind-body connection lets us understand how intelligent our muscles are and how strong our mind is. If you aren’t sure what I am talking about when I relate movement to mindfulness, try going to a yoga class. An hour of only thinking about the way your body can move. How far your lungs can expand. How important it is to be mindful of your attitude. This feels great for the spirit. I promise you won’t feel upset after leaving a yoga class. Your emotions are uplifted and your mind is clear.
Not enough people are doing this. If you aren’t participating in physical activity your body can encounter COUNTLESS negative consequences (Chronic disease, premature death, disability, anxiety and depression, etc.). Our country is spending almost $7 million a year on issues that have the potential to be prevented and possibly solved. Human Kinetics has really opened my eyes to how important taking care of your body is. Movement is crucial for living.
BENEFITS OF BEING PHYSICALLY ACTIVE:
-decreased resting heart rate = healthy cardiovascular system = decreased risk of heart attack and stoke
-increased confidence and self esteem
-improved mood and concentration
-may increase posture and flexibility
-increased bone mineral density = less fractures and lower risk of osteoporosis (very important for adults)
-decreased fat mass and BMI
-stronger muscles and bones
-improved chances of living longer
Sounds appealing, right? The question I ask is, if people know they can live longer and healthier, why aren’t they wanting to move their body? Are we failing to inform individuals of these issues? I could go on about how our society is failing in creating and maintaining healthy lifestyles; that is another topic for another time. We are now in a time where people find it challenging to move but even more challenging to find the motivation to do so. Below are a few simple tips to include more wholesome body movement and less sedentary time in your day.
EASY WAYS TO BE ACTIVE:
-walk or bike to school/work instead of driving (also great for our environment)
-play with children or animals
-take the stairs instead of the elevator
-invest in a standing keyboard for your desk job instead of having to sit all day
-clean your house often, pitter patter around, get those extra steps!
-take part in an exercise class or go to the gym
This is where my part comes in. I am currently taking my test to become a Group Fitness Exercise Leader with the CFES to be able to teach people their body’s full potential. I am so excited for this journey to begin as I aim to host my classes in outdoor settings to use nature’s natural antidepressant effects in combination with movement. A start to wholesome health. I have so many ideas to share with you all in my classes regarding strength, mindfulness and gratefulness.
On the other side, I understand it can be daunting for someone to walk into a gym without any experience but I am here to let you know that nobody is judging you. Everyone starts out a beginner. We were all at the point in our life; With practice and dedication you will one day walk into the gym with confidence. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Being a fitness professional, we are always here to help you.
If you do not feel comfortable participating in exercise, start with small amounts of physical activity. Learn what feels good for your body and embrace that. Remember that EXERCISE IS MEDICINE. Researchers are continually producing evidence on exercise decreasing the symptoms and prevalence of chronic disease, lower risks of obtaining illnesses and reducing obesity.
You only get one body for your entire life… TAKE CARE OF IT. Pushing your body through new challenges in movement is a gift to all of us. Use it as an antidepressant, use it to build courage, to be the best version of yourself. You have the opportunity to change the negative you have associated with your body. You deserve a healthy mind and body. We are extremely blessed to have functioning bodies accompanied with the ability to watch and contribute to their holistic growth.
I want you all to learn what your body needs. Activity can ease your pain, physical or mental. Work on getting stronger, for yourself, nobody else. Try out new activities any chance you get. If it were up to me I would have everybody I know challenging their body daily. 30-60 minutes out of your entire day is a small dent in 24 hours, contributing to the right decision in the long run. We have failed in the past to educate people on the importance of staying physically active throughout life and my goal is to be apart of the revolution that is reversing that. As well as increasing the importance of the mind-body connection. We can all flourish in this area of wellness by stepping over excuses and uncovering our body’s full potential.
If you feel unmotivated, remember you are worthy of feeling the best and only have this lifetime to treat your body with respect and value it’s individuality. We are all meant to be different, why would we want to be the same? Throughout your own movement journey, aim not to compare yourself to others. This is what Human Kinetics has taught me. Movement allows me to expand my consciousness, overcome life’s barriers, and be fearless to challenges. Please consider how this can benefit your life.
I would not be where I am today without finding this passion in movement and the endless possibilities my body provides me with.
Thanks for reading. Please leave me your thoughts or get in contact with me to learn more about this topic. Below I have included some interesting facts about sedentary lifestyles.
In society today, sitting is the new smoking. Meaning more people are dying from sedentary lifestyles than those dying from tobacco-related illnesses (cancer etc). I could go into the numerous concerns of physical inactivity but today I chose instead to focus on the nourishing benefits of movement. You wouldn’t think our province has issues with being inactive considering our adventurous hearts but here are some discouraging statistics about how physically inactive some of us are.
STATISTICS FROM SCHOOL THAT BLEW MY MIND:
-Only 15% of adults and 7% of youth are meeting the weekly physical activity guidelines
- Grade 6-12 kids are spending 7 hours 48 minutes per day in front of screens
-The WHO (World Health Organization) reported in 2015 that physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor of global mortality, estimating 3.2 million deaths globally attributable to inactivity
- the economic impact of physical inactivity in Canada in terms of chronic disease, obesity and health care costs is estimated at CAD $6.8 billion per annum.
Although BC is in the higher range of being active compared to other provinces, we are still struggling.