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Foam rolling is a great tool for myofasical release or loosening tight muscles. It has proven effective and efficient and has served as a tool for Pilates, strength training and core workouts. But, have you tried it for meditation?  This article shows you three different ways to mediate using your foam roller.

The first way you can meditate on your foam roller is by sitting on it long ways with your legs folded. This allows you to maintain a comfortable posture and gives your hips a slight stretch. Inhale for three seconds, then exhale for three seconds. Use this count up to five seconds or whatever works best for you.

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The second way to meditate on your foam roller is by extending your legs while sitting on it long ways. This is great for a hamstring and back stretch, using deep breaths. While this may be a harder position to hold for a length of time, hold the stretch for as long as you can, taking periodic breaks and then returning.

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The final way you can meditate on your foam roller is by lying on your back. Make sure you have a 6×36 round foam roller for this position. While lying on the foam roller make sure your head and neck rest securely on the foam roller with your knees bent. This is a great position for postural alignment and stretching the shoulders and chest. In this position you can take deep breaths while relaxing your shoulder around the foam roller.

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In conclusion, your can choose any or all of these three ways to meditate using your foam roller. Remember, it’s your meditation practice so use it in the way that works best for you. As you do, you will be surprised as to how it will help relax both your mind and body.

I’ve been wanting to review my 2014 year, but was very hesitant about boasting about accomplishments. Before getting started I believe that goal setting is a very powerful tool to help you have your best year yet. I believe that setting short term goals(6 months to a year), really helps you focus on the goals you want to accomplish. So first, I want to hear about your accomplishments from 2014, did you achieve any goals? What are your 2015 goals? What were your set backs? How can you over come them?

My year in review:

2014 was the most productive year of my life! YEP, You heard that right! My year started off going to the Landmark Forum, where I got a better sense of what I wanted out of life. How to create and achieve possibilities, let go of things, and people who held me back(most of it was taking responsibility for myself). So, thank you Lululemon for sending me to that, along with goal setting practice to help get more clarity about what I wanted out of life. It was also important to revisit my goals about halfway through the year to see what was being accomplished, what I needed to change, what goals were aligned with my beliefs. As a result of wanting to revisit these goals, IGolU came at the right time to bring clarity about my personal legacy. IGolu was four session phone conversation with four other Lululemon ambassadors from the United States about personal legacy and creating meaningful goals. It was great working with four random people in doing the assignments and supporting each other from a far.

From there I accomplish a few goals, some without even realizing it.

1. I was able to donate to a charity every month for the entire year, some months two. This was one of those goals that just happened. I didn’t think about it and it came from an authentic place. Through this I discovered the concept of the want for nothing.

2. One of my biggest goals was to write a children’s health and fitness book. The Adventures of Frankie Fitness was born on September 15th and it has been one of the greatest things in my life. The book has created so many opportunities to help spread the word about children’s health at a young age and childhood obesity. Thank you Ken Rochon, The Umbrella Syndicate, Perfect Publishing, Ryan Battle, and Al Granger for your belief and support in me.

3. As a result of writing The Adventures of Frankie Fitness, I was able to co-author another book, “The Perfect Network-Out” I was very honored when Ken Rochon asked me to contribute a chapter to this insightful book about balancing wealth and wellness to achieve real success.

4. Other goals that just happened because of the goal setting and the universe be aligned.

-Mio Global Brand Ambassador

-Contributor to various health and fitness magazines and websites, Baltimore Magazine and Mind Body Green.

Thank you to everyone who contributed and supported me in these goals(family, clients, and friends). The biggest thing I learned was these goals can not be done without help from others. This life and world is about the connections you make and the want to help others achieve their dreams.

Behind the Charm City PT Wellness Journal

After doing a few round table nutrition discussions with members at gym. I found out there were deeper reasons to why people ate the way they did and did not see the results. I will give two reasons why people don’t choose a healthy eating lifestyle later in this blog. So after those discussions I recently created a Wellness Journal with the help of my good friend Luci(Ladderback Design). I just didn’t want to create a typical nutrition journal for my clients that tracked food. After drafting a few different journals, I realized it wasn’t just a nutrition journal and it was more than that. I wanted to track their stress, sleep, feelings, and workouts. Therefore it became a Wellness Journal not just a nutrition journal. All of those aspects create a sense of wellbeing and its not just food that makes you healthy. Now to the reasons why people eat the way they do…

1. Time Management. I kept hearing the excuses, “I don’t have time to prepare food.” “I’m too busy at work to eat.” Throughout the round table, we realize that there is enough time to eat healthy. Whether its getting to bed a little earlier to get up and eat breakfast to planning your meals for the week on a Sunday morning. There are enough hours in the day to manage your time to eat healthy and even eat healthy when you go out to eat(plan what your going to eat when you go out or eat before you go out!!).

2. Stress Management. This is probably the number one reason why eating healthy is tough. In a previous blog, I talked about stress and cortisol. The big thing is realizing the stress and how to over come it. Maybe your workout fits your stress. If your having a 8 or 9 on the stress scale 1-10, perhaps that day boxing is in order or a little more intense workout. If that stress is manage than maybe you won’t skip meals or emotionally eat. Eating unhealthy can also cause internal stress in your body but mental stress as well. Again this all related to your wellbeing. Also take some of that stress off by managing your TIME! MIND BLOWING, I know!

She’s always there, she knows me better than I know myself, she keeps me in check.

Meet my girlfriend, Yoga!

I started to do yoga in the summer of 2013.  My yoga instructor, Michelle was great.  She really broke down the poses and most of all had great intensions for each class.  I loved the sense of escaping and challenging my body in a different way.  Yoga gave me more inner peace and acceptance of myself as well as others.  Since then I’m getting pretty good at doing Yoga and still learning more about my mind body connection.  People have asked if I teach yoga or would I ever want to?  My response is, “It’s the only I get to do for me, I don’t want to take advantage of my girlfriend like that.”

Yoga was one of things that would prepare me for one of the toughest times in my life.  In October my fiancé and I split after three years.  Needless to say it was a very difficult for me.  It was hard to focus at work, eat, and be positive.  Yoga gave me a great sense of calming.  I was able to stay more focus and made me feel full(if you can understand that).

Yoga continues to help me just relax and feel strong at the same time.  I have a much more appreciation for those who teach it and for those who can make the same connection.

I was going to keep this story myself, but hopefully one person will take something from this.

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Over the past few weeks, I’ve been noticing a lot of clients, friends, and loved ones under stress.  Stress is a very real thing for everyone and I don’t think people realize how much stress effects your physical well-being.  We all know about the whole cortisol hormone and weight gain with stress, but I believe it can effect your body in other harmful ways such as muscle tightness, energy, workout routine, blood pressure, and even male/female fertility and sex drive.

 

Don’t take for granted your stressors.  Do something about it.

1.  You time.  Take about 15-30 minutes a day for yourself and a hour or two on the weekend.  Clear your head of all the thoughts, deadlines, problems and issues that keep you worried throughout the day.  Get a massage, meditate, breathing techniques, go for a walk, cook, paint or whatever you like to do to take your mind off whats stressing you out.

2.  Don’t workout when you have a high level of stress.  Workout when stress is low so that your body prevents going to a high level of stress.  Sometimes working out while under a high level of stress can be harmful to your workout and you may push too hard through the workout.  Instead take that time for yourself to lower your stress then workout.

3.  Change your nutrition habits.  Sometimes stress can cause you to under eat or over eat or eat things that are not as good for you.  Instead of grabbing that fattening food or going to long without eating; treat yourself to a healthy lunch or dinner, no alcohol, water, and no sweets.  This can help change your mind set get you more focused.  Healthy Food, Better the Mood!

 

Hope these tips help you get through your stressful time.  Remember you can always do something about your stress, the worst thing you can do nothing at all.  Sometimes all it takes is re-focusing. 

To have me be your coach, use my name: MACHarborEastPT

This workout is designed to burn some calories and increase flexibility.  This is for intermediate to advanced levels. Some of the movements maybe different, but once you get the flow it will be come easier.

 

The Movement Prep(Warm-up)

20x Jumping Jacks, 14x High Knees(in place), 14x Cross Punches, 12x Alternating Lunges, 12x Reverse Lunges,12x Side Lunges, 12x Transverse Lunges, 10x Ice Skaters(slow), 6x Centipedes

Floor Work 1(Prone Position)

Downward Dog(hold 15 seconds),  Push up-Plank Right knee to elbow.  Alternate legs 8x.

Childs Pose(hold 10 seconds), Cat Backs 4x,  4-point Draw in(opposite leg/opposite arm) 12x,

Swan Dives 6x, Childs Pose(10 seconds)

REPEAT WARM UP

Floor Work 2 (Supine Position)

Roll ups or Peel ups 6x, Roll ups to ceiling 4x, Deadbugs 12x,

100s, Series of 5(Scissor Kicks, Bent knee, Circles, Lower Leg lifts, Bicycles) 6x of each.

Bridges 12x, Single Leg Bridges 10-12x each leg

REPEAT WARM UP(increase reps by 6x)

Floor Work 2 (Side-Lying Series)

Up/Down Kicks 10x, Front to Back Kicks 8x, Leg Circles 6x(each direction), Bicycles 6x(each directions),

Side Planks 15 second hold, Snake and Twist 8-10x

*Make sure you do both sides

REPEAT WARM-UP(increase reps by 6x)

 

COOL DOWN STRETCH AND FOAM ROLL

 

If you have any questions, email me and I will explain the exercises or the sequence.

 

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Where the Ravens bound to lose Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb to injury? Are there more players to come? What’s the reason?

Football is a grueling 16 to 20 game season.  Many players are against the 18 game season.  The Baltimore Ravens had one of the hardest if not the hardest schedules in the first quarter of the NFL season.  The Ravens played four games in 18 days, which is unheard of.  This makes it very tough due to recovery time, which causes muscles to fatigue quicker and shut down.  Remember injuries are muscle imbalances; once muscles get fatigued the body starts to compensate and other muscles want to assist or become the primary mover.  When this happens injuries happens. 

I think there could be other injuries looming out there, not just on the Ravens, but on other teams as well.  The early season Thursday night games could be killing our teams.

I recently return from Negril, Jamaica, where I taught group fitness classes for a week.  Some classes were Aquacize, Beach Power Walk, Core Lower Body, and Body Sculpting.  It was a great experience meeting new people and touching more lives. While in Jamaica I took two things away from the experience.

1. What happen to saying, “Hello” when passing anyone.  Everyone is Jamaica including the people visiting from other countries, said hello when passing each other.  It made for a more relaxing and care free trip.  It has become the norm not to say anything to anyone, then to say one word, “Hi”.  Try saying “Hi” to at least 5 strangers a day and see what happens.  You’ll put yourself in a better spirit even if it is not reciprocated.

2.  If your a fitness enthusiast or new to fitness, you should take a spa/fitness vacation and a complete “shut down” vacation.  On this trip I saw many people who were overweight and out of shape.  You can tend to over eat on these kind of vacations.  While its good to completely “shut down”,  you can also do you body an injustice.  If you can go on a spa/fitness vacation(3-4 days) to detox and rejuvenate your body, you can return more energized then the “shut down” vacation.

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