Our guest blogger for October is Melanie Kenworthy. Melanie is the owner of Thousand Reasons health + fitness. For more great tips from Melanie, visit her facebook page. You can find it at facebook.com/thousandreasons.
Kindness is key, and it starts with a little perspective
As a Personal Trainer, when my clients come to me after they reach their goals and tell me they’re still not happy with how they look, I get really disheartened. I know they’ve worked so hard, and I’m so proud of what they’ve done and the results that they achieved, but no matter what I say, they still don’t see it. When it comes down to it, what they say to themselves, determines how they feel about themselves. And feeling good about yourself begins with being kind to yourself. So, when any of my clients come to me with this problem, my favourite thing to do to help them change their negative and often destructive thought patterns, is to simply change their perspective.
Did you know September is National Yoga Awareness month? To help us inform our readers about the many benefits of Yoga we have a special guest blog post this week from Yoga teacher, Caroline Horrocks. You can read more about Caroline at the end of this post or visit her website, Yoga4wellbeing.
What is Yoga anyway?
What is Yoga anyway?
When most people think of Yoga they
imagine either lithe people dressed in lycra performing what look
like impossible shapes with their bodies or elderly Indians standing
by the Ganges on one leg! Both those things are true but Yoga is so
much more than postures and is possible for everybody irrespective of
age, size, religion, shape or health.
Walking is one of the easiest and most common forms of exercise. If you read this blog post on May 15, then you already know the benefits of walking outside. However, walking outside isn’t the only way to increase walking enjoyment. Here are a few more ideas for you to make going for a walk just a little more enjoyable.
1.) Grab a friend who likes to walk. When walking with a friend you get wrapped up in conversation and time seems to move faster than it otherwise would. You may even get distracted and be so involved in a discussion that you end up walking a bit farther than you intended.
2.) Listen to music. For me, music is the biggest motivator. A great song can change your mood, empower you to push through an obstacle, or even help you focus on a task. Try listening to your favorite songs while you go for a walk and see if it empowers you to climb an extra hill or walk an extra mile.
3.) Listen to a podcast. Podcasts are the thing right now. There’s a podcast available for everything imaginable. If you wish you could have a motivational speaker follow you while you walk then search for a podcast and pop in some earbuds.
4.) Get a pet. My cats do not walk on leashes. We’ve tried but they aren’t comfortable with it. We’ll keep trying. However, I know plenty of dog owners. And I know their dogs get them out of the house multiple times daily. So if you’ve been thinking about adding a new pet to the family and also want to fit more walking into your life, a dog might be the answer.
5.) And the final method to make walking more fun, watch TV. No, not on the couch. Place a treadmill where you can see the TV, turn on your favorite show and start walking. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime make it easy to find something enjoyable to watch at any time. It’s a great way for a couch potato to ease into regular activity.
There you have it, 5 easy ways to make going for a walk a more enjoyable task. Walking is simple but it doesn’t need to be mundane. Using these simple techniques to fight boredom may motivate you to become a regular walker. Have fun!
In last week’s blog, I mentioned a benefit of walking outside is getting some vitamin D. But some of you might be wondering what exactly is vitamin D, why do we need it, how much do we need, and where do we get it?
So what exactly is Vitamin D and why do we need it? You might be surprised to learn that it is actually a hormone. When skin is exposed to Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, your body can produce vitamin D. Pretty cool, right? But why do we need it? Because it does all kinds of stuff. It helps control calcium levels, regulates the immune system, balances minerals in our blood, supports heart, thyroid, and nervous system health and more! Bad things happen if you don’t get enough. Low vitamin D levels can increase the risk of cancer, cause a fast heartbeat, contribute to Type 1 diabetes, cause weak bones, and lead to tooth decay. And you know what else? If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you’ll feel awful. Exhausted, hopeless, and unmotivated. I know because at one point my levels were very low. I was constantly tired and depressed. It made everyday life so hard!
I met a friend in college who was from the west coast. One day we were discussing why we decided to attend West Virginia University (WVU). She explained that she didn’t like how everything was close together on other college campuses. While attending WVU she enjoyed the change of scenery and various experiences she had simply by walking to class. As anyone who has attended courses in Morgantown can tell you, you have to walk quite a distance from one building to another. As I look at my treadmill covered in a layer of dust I can understand exactly what she meant.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the treadmill. I have spent plenty of time walking on it while watching my favorite tv shows. It’s been great when I’m participating in a challenge and need to get my final steps in for the day. I also like that they give us the ability to walk even when the weather outside is not great. And in West Virginia, it rains. It rains a lot. But walking outside is a totally different experience. Just as my college friend stated when we walk outside we feel like we are going somewhere. Even if we aren’t. Even if we’re simply on a trail that circles around back to where we began.
So let’s celebrate walking this spring. We should do it as much as possible. When we head outdoors we get more than just a walk. Walking outside on a nice sunny day means we’re getting some Vitamin D from the sun. We’re breathing in fresh air. One of my favorite things about going for a walk is the scenery. You get to see animals, flowers, trees, and people. Every walk is different. The scenery is never completely the same. Going for a walk invigorates us. It changes our entire attitude. Stumped on a problem? Head out for a walk. You’ll likely see it from a different angle when you return.
If I haven’t convinced you yet, try it for yourself. Put on your walking shoes and head outside. Make it a habit and maybe one day we’ll run into each other out there. Enjoy your walk!
What do you like about walking outside? Comment below and let us know!