Making changes to improve health, fitness and wellbeing
This week I find myself sitting at a desk in Phuket Cleanse, Thailand. I have come here to have a holiday but also to embrace and experience new ideas about health, fitness and wellbeing.
Something all trainers need to do - learn and grow and improve their own health, fitness and wellbeing. If we are not on top of our game, we cannot give the best we have to our clients, especially when it comes to assisting change.
This week I have also had the opportunity to meet likeminded people and trainers who share my passion for changing your mindset, health and fitness in order to live a happy and more active lifestyle.
It has been so exciting; I have been experiencing a whole new way of eating with juice cleansing and raw eating with fruit and vegetables (I have tasted and eaten some of the most incredible dishes!).
During the week, I have been fortunate to attend lectures based on topics extremely important to creating a permanent healthy lifestyle change. To name a few, nutrition, hormones, sleep health, mindfulness and meditation.
The week has been filled with lots of physical activity which included hikes that explored some of the most beautiful sights of Phuket. I have also participated in many varied exercise classes and met talented trainers who utilize different training methods and exercises to get the best results for the people they are working with. This I have loved so much and now feel deeply inspired about my life as a trainer and the positive changes I can incorporate with my clients and with my own life.
I have taken part in loaded movement, functional movement and strength training, TRX, med ball, speed and agility, stair and hill training, core, boxing and boot camp classes and last but not least, hot yoga and aerial yoga.
For me, one of the most special classes I attended was sunrise yoga on a pier overlooking a beautiful lake – it was incredible to watch a spectacular sunrise appear before my eyes whilst exercising.
As a trainer I have always believed that we need to look at health and fitness from a holistic perspective. We all have our own experiences in life and the way we need to approach making changes is by looking at a person as a whole in order to achieve the best results. This is what I loved about my stay at Phuket Cleanse; it provides many pathways for each individual to initiate the changes they are seeking.
For me as a Personal trainer, motivator and life columnist here in our Toowoomba community, this fits in line with how I see a person’s journey to be when endeavouring to make change in their life, especially with their health, fitness and well-being.
Change doesn’t have to be big – it only has to start with small simple steps that continue to progress you forward with your goals and this is my job - to provide you all with the tools to help you on your way to a healthier, fitter and happier life.
This experience has provided me with clarity around my recent decision to leave my gym managing position and to create Shelley Myatt Fitness and Well-being studio which I am extremely excited about!
Health and fitness is a very personal experience and my goal is to tailor to your individual needs so you have the best opportunity to live your life to the fullest!
“Life is the greatest journey you will ever be on”
Some tips to keep you on track throughout the festive season.
Ok, I just looked at my calendar and realised we are one week away from December, and our summer is almost here, this is the time of year I love, we work hard all year round – head down and bum up but when the summer time comes we start to relax, indulge and live a little.
Summer represents so much for us all; it is a time for catch-ups with family and friends, some of whom we have not seen since last year, for Christmas and New Year gatherings. It is also a time for outdoor activity, picnics at the park, exploring nature, swimming at the beach, holidays – but most of all it is time out from our working life and living in the moment!
During this time of the year there is no need to fall off the wagon, for many of you, you have worked far too hard all year to make positive changes with your health and fitness and are finally feeling the benefits!
I’m not saying that you can’t continue to enjoy your summer and all the fun that it brings-but there are so many ways to incorporate your new healthy food choices and maintain your exercise routine.
Here are a few tips to keep you on track throughout our social month of December!
Here is a little body weight workout to help keep you in shape you can do at the gym, at home, a park, or even on holidays. I like to call this the FIVE MINUTE NO BUTS BUTT WORKOUT.
Perform twenty repetitions for each of these exercises:
Remember you can still have your fun but stay focused so that you can start of the New Year with a healthy and fit bang!
GET MOTIVATED AGAIN BY CHANGING YOUR LIFESTYLE, SETTING NEW GOALS AND VISUALISING THE NEW YOU.
As men and women we all contemplate creating the perfect image of what we would like to be - this is often the product of the images we see in the media through magazines, television and the movies.
These body images are unbelievable and not a reflection of realistic goals and are quite impossible to achieve as we are all different ages, shapes, and sizes and have very different lifestyles.
My goal this week is to motivate you into setting goals, visualising the new you and starting to make changes.
Step 1. Start living like a fit, healthy person today if you want to become one - even if you feel there is something holding you back, like weight loss, injury, and finances. Start to focus on the small things you can do. Eat healthy, start walking, reinforce positive speak, buy a new exercise outfit. Once you start you will soon find yourself transforming before you know it.
Step 2. Get out of you comfort zone. To get your body to change you need to do things your body is not used to - this could mean trying new things and challenging yourself. Not an easy step to do and we all like to stick with easy, but easy will not give you the results you are looking for. Try a boot camp, a new class, get a weight program, use a personal trainer - the choices and variety of different exercises are endless.
Step 3. Fuel your body to be fabulous. The key to getting your metabolism kickstarted is to fuel your body with healthy foods throughout the day, eating fresh foods and avoiding processed ones which our bodies struggle to cope with.
Step 4. Train hard or go home - always give 100% effort to your exercise. If you don't feel like you have exercised or it was way too easy then you most likely haven't done enough to produce results and kickstart your body.
Step 5. Get hooked on feeling fit and not the number on the scales. Be your own inspiration and use feeling fit and healthy as your measuring tool for change and not the dreaded scales. So many times I see men and women lose interest when the scales don't go down immediately. Change always takes time. Focus on your health, how you feel, how your movement and flexibility improve, and in no time our body will start to transform inside and out.
Step 6. Put an end to body bashing, and start to celebrate your strengths and the achievement you make even if they feel small at first. Over time the changes will increase and become rewarding.
Step 7. Develop strategies. Planning and good organisation and consistency around nutrition and exercise are the keys to creating success.
Step 8. Most importantly - attitude is everything. Anything is possible with determination and a positive attitude.
Sometimes that isn't an easy thing when we are dealing with work commitments and life. I understand this as I am a mum and work full-time.
That's where personal trainers like me are perfect to use to kick start and motivate.
REMEMBER - IF YOU DON'T LIKE SOMETHING, CHANGE IT, IF YOU CAN'T CHANGE IT, CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE.
I was recently thinking about all that I have been through over the last few years with the death of my husband and daughter in a car accident. My life has been so challenging at times and there have been moments where I have wanted to just give up and throw in the towel, but my remaining children have always been my inspiration each day and my reason to keep going. I also know that my passion for fitness and health and my own personal commitment to my own fitness and health has given me strength at times I have needed it most, especially on those days when everything really did seem all too much.
Thinking about this has made me look at people who are experiencing depression and how exercise can play an important part to in helping to deal with some of the major symptoms of depression.
Depression for some can be long-lasting and very debilitating, it can change appetite, cause a loss of energy, feelings of helplessness, and can even produce significant anxiety as well.
But one route to recovery may start with some sneakers – it has been shown that consistent exercise can have significant benefits for treating depression and anxiety, it can help to boost mood, combat feelings of gloom, and prepare the brain to better handle stress.
I have felt the benefit of this first hand, as running and working out have been one of the ways I have coped with the stress of grief and the anxiety of rebuilding my life with my remaining children. When all has felt too much I would put on my running shoes on and hit the streets, just to release the anxiety of all I was going through and to work out how I was going to get through the next day and believe me I did find it extremely helpful and always felt much better after a run.
How does exercise help with depression:
Many health professionals give regular exercise a gold star for helping to prevent disease, keeping off excess weight. Another benefit is that the different types of physical activity can lessen depressive symptoms. There have been many studies over the years that have shown that people who regularly exercise show fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression then people who do not exercise.
Aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming or cycling can be a good way to start. Strength training with weights can also have positive effects. If you need a push as starting to exercise can be extremely difficult if you are experiencing depression then try personal training session.
But most of all it doesn’t matter what you are doing as long as you are moving and doing something. Start small, feel the achievement and build to something bigger.
And remember from little things big things can grow and life can change again for the better – I know this as I have been living this each day.
Shelley Myatt is the owner and operator of Shelley Myatt Fitness and Well-Being, Columnist, Life Coach & Motivational Speaker based in Toowoomba, Qld.