Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Debunking the "Paleo Diet"

The Skill of Self-Confidence

What's Your Fitness Age?

You already know your chronological age, but do you know your fitness age?
A new study of fitness and lifespan suggests that a person’s so-called fitness age – determined primarily by a measure of cardiovascular endurance – is a better predictor of longevity than chronological age. The good news is that unlike your actual age, your fitness age can decrease.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tips from Centenarians

Tips from Centenarians 

The way you think about aging may in fact play a role in how old you “allow” yourself to get. The majority of centenarians—people who live to be 100 years old or older—report feeling about 20 years younger than their chronological age, and their mindset has a lot to do with this self-perception. Most centenarians, regardless of their health status, tend to have positive attitudes, optimism, and a zest for life. Could it be that personality characteristics and worldviews play a more significant role than genetics, diet, or exercise? Perhaps!
One way to determine this is to ask centenarians questions about how they see the world, what they value, and to what they attribute their own longevity. What are their secrets to aging well? These individuals represent centuries of wisdom that should not be overlooked. Mining the minds of centenarians for nuggets of wisdom, researchers have been able to detect a definitive pattern of thinking and behavior among the eldest among us. Centenarians overwhelmingly cite stress as the most important thing to avoid.
Those who have lived 100 years or more on this earth have undoubtedly experienced a number of stressful events, but as a general rule, they manage their stress really well. Rather than dwelling on it, they let it go. And most often, they choose to be happy—despite everything.  In interviews and surveys with centenarians, the following themes also come up time and time again when asked to explain “why they've lived so long:”6
Keeping a positive attitude; living with passion Eating good food
Exercising moderately (most report basic activities, like walking, biking, gardening, swimming, etc.)Clean living (not smoking or drinking excessively, etc.)
Living independentlyFamily and friends
Staying mentally active and always learning something newFaith/spirituality; being able to forgive and let go of stress

Friday, November 14, 2014

Get Out of Your Way

Strength Coach Joseph Arangio recently posted the top 10 ways people hold themselves back when it comes to achieving their fitness goals:

  1. You have no goal
  2. You're not training hard enough
  3. Your'e not eating enough
  4. You're not sleeping enough
  5. You write your own workouts
  6. You do too many exercises
  7. You're inconsistent
  8. You don't warm up
  9. You skip workouts
  10. You blow it all on the weekend

One More Reason to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Men and Mental Health

Business consultant/fitness specialist Megan Senger wrote an interesting piece for IDEA Fitness Journal in October about men's mental health.  She wrote, 'while it's outside the scope of practice for a fitness professional to diagnose or treat mental illness, awareness is important.'

The following statistics highlight the need for more support in this area:

  • More than 6 million men have depression each year
  • Suicide is the 7th leading cause of death for all U.S. men
  • Men are four times more likely than women to commit suicide
  • Men underreport depression and may also underreport suicide attempts
Depression may not look the same in men as it does in women, according to William Pollack, PhD, of Harvard Medical School.  Men experiencing depression may display it in various ways other than sadness including:
  • anger
  • aggression
  • work "burnout"
  • risk-taking behavior
  • alcohol and substance abuse
If left untreated, these symptoms may worsen and lead to even more serious problems. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

"Couch-to-5K" Feedback

I just wrapped up two "Couch-to-5K" Programs and I am so happy how everyone did.  I received some wonderful feedback that I wanted to share.  Here are a few comments from some of my participants:

"I ran the V.A. Fun Run in Bedford today.  I did it all without stopping!  I am very proud of myself.  I followed your schedule and it worked!  I am so pleased."

"Paul was very kind, encouraging, and supportive.  He was not judgmental if you couldn't meet the class expectation.  He snuck in small pieces of advice in an encouraging way."

"Paul is great.  He is very approachable and he supplements his training with useful information via e-mail between sessions.  I was nervous to sign up because I am so out of shape but I felt great after each session."

Wednesday, November 12, 2014