Spreading the PiYo Love!
Thursday, August 9th: 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Thursday, August 16th: 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Thursday, August 23rd: 6:30pm to 7:30pm
These are demo classes. If you are not yet a member of Snap Fitness, see me about getting a free 7 day pass!
Beginning September 5th
PiYo is on Wednesday evenings from 6:50 to 7:50
Have you ever been sitting at Starbucks, nursing a grande soy mocha latte and feeling frustrated about your income? You know the thoughts: If I could just make a little bit more money, I would have so much more freedom and be so much happier. Rich people suck and my life is so unfair, boo hoo…. Hold that thought.
Yesterday Rick and I ate lunch in Old Town. As we were walking back to the car Rick says, “I want ice cream”, so we made a detour to the ice cream shop which was conveniently located right by our car. I was perusing the flavors and deciding what I wanted when Rick says “Unless you’re really set on this, I’ve changed my mind.” I wasn’t really set on it so we left. On the way back to the car I asked him what happened. “It just seems silly to pay almost $4 for one scoop of ice cream when pints of Ben and Jerry’s are on sale for $3.99 at Albertson’s”, he said. Hard to argue with that.
I use the coffee analogy all the time. For the cost of two drinks at Starbucks you could buy enough coffee beans and Hershey’s syrup to serve mocha latte’s to the whole neighborhood so why spend $9 on only two drinks that don’t even have alcohol in them? Where’s the rationale in that?
The other biggie for me is going out to eat. Eating out is arguably my most favorite pastime but it makes no sense. For two people to go out and have a reasonably nice dinner one could realistically expect to spend at least $50, probably more, maybe even a lot more. That’s one dinner, one night; you go home empty handed and wake up hungry again the next day. How many really great meals could you prepare at home with $50 worth of groceries?
It took me a long time to figure out that I can spend my way through any amount of income. The answer to having more is not necessarily making more, it’s spending better. Past a certain point, financial freedom is not contingent on income, it’s contingent on how the income serves you.
You might be wondering what frivolous spending has to do with fitness or PiYo. Well, what it really has to do with is priorities. How do you allocate your resources so as to provide yourself with freedom and happiness instead of being enslaved by debt and ego? I can only speak for myself but I don’t want to work 16 hours a day just to pay the bills so one day I can drop dead from exhaustion. To me, health and fitness falls under the heading of freedom and happiness so I continuously look for ways to make these things work together.
The number one reason people site for not working out is a perceived lack of time and the number two reason is a perceived lack of money. Why don’t people have time? Usually because of work and why do they work so much? Because of money. This is the cover story but in many cases it is simply not true because untold dollars and hours are being wasted every day. It’s easy to say “I’m too busy to work out” but yet there seems to be plenty of time for watching TV or surfing the internet. Easy to say I can’t afford a gym membership or home workout dvd’s but where is that money going instead?
Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not criticizing anyone for going out eat or spending time on facebook but I am only pointing out that many times the things we think are missing in our lives, like time and money, are not missing at all. We have both of them in abundance but fail to capitalize on what is already available. We allow resources to slide through our fingers instead of using them to better ourselves.
My great uncle recently died at the age of 91. My cousin, who is a well known baptist minister in Arkansas, flew out to preside over the ceremony. He said a lot of stuff, most of which went right in one ear and out the other, but he said one thing that just may have changed my life. He said “No one has any more time than anyone else. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, it’s what you do with that time that will set you apart.”
How’s my what now?
Proprioception: The sense of knowing where the body is in relation to it’s various segments and the external environment.
Um, could you use that in a sentence?
Commonly known as the sixth sense, proprioception is the ability of the central nervous system to communicate and coordinate parts of the body with each other.
Riigghhttt, why do I care about this?
Now we’re talkin’. Proprioception is important because without it you would not be able to drive a car without looking at your hands to monitor their position on the steering wheel and that would be a problem, right? Proprioception is what allows you to talk on your cell phone, eat a bag of chips and walk down a flight of stairs all while looking around to make sure you’re going the right direction and don’t crash into anything. When you close your eyes and touch your finger to your nose, this too is proprioception. With relation to sports and fitness, sprains that are common to highly trained athletes often have nothing to do with strength, flexibility or endurance but rather have to do with proprioception, or lack there of, to be exact. For example, if a runner fails to make adjustments for uneven terrain, they come down too hard on one foot and sprain their ankle. If you’ve ever been walking and stepped off a sneaky invisible curb, you know what I mean.
For the fitness pros in the room, this type of kinesthetic awareness comes from structures called proprioceptors, which are receptors located in the skin, in and around the joints and muscles, and in the inner ear. Cutaneous receptors are located in the skin and send sensory information regarding pressure, touch and movement of the hairs on the skin. Joint receptors are located in the joint capsules and surrounding ligaments. They transmit sensory information relating to positions, velocities, and accelerations occurring at the joints. In addition, pressure receptors within the joints provide added information about pressure changes that is used for important postural adjustments and normal gait.
The topic of proprioception interests me because of the implications it has in day to day life.
For example, I see it in action in my PiYo classes. Most beginning students struggle to keep their balance during the flowing sequences when the center of gravity is constantly being adjusted. Some struggle even to stand on one foot in a stationary position. The interesting part is that, with practice, proprioception can be improved upon and maintained. I see dedicated students make rapid progress in this area all the time.
What could better balance and coordination mean for you? Well, it could mean not spilling your drink on the dance floor or it could mean not slipping in the shower and breaking a hip. It could be the difference between tripping on the stairs and recovering or tumbling to the bottom. Coordination and balance are skills essential to any physical activity.
Here are a couple of simple ways to test your own proprioception.
Raise both hands above your head and close your eyes. Keep the fingers of the left hand totally still (no moving!). With your right hand, quickly touch your index fingertip to your nose, then raise your hand back up and with the same finger, touch the tip of your left thumb. Continue this exercise, rotating though all the fingers on the left hand, and then switch sides.
On a lined sheet of notebook paper write the word “proprioception”. Any word will do, actually. Then, place your hand on the next line down, close your eyes and write the same word again. Do they look the same?
On the first exercise, you may find that unless you wiggle your fingers, it is quite difficult to automatically locate your fingertips. I found that, even though I could not see my hands because they were over my head, it was much easier to find my fingertips with my eyes open. I suspect this is because most of us are highly dependent on visual cues even if it doesn’t seem like there are any. You may find that, with repeated trials, this exercise gets easier.
Almost everyone does well on the handwriting test and this is because most people are used to the “feel” of writing provided by proprioceptors in our hands and fingers and do not rely heavily on visual cues for the reproduction of written words.
I think most of us, when we hear the phrase “mind/body workout”, conjure up a mental image of yoga mats in a room with dim lights, soft music and maybe some chanting. Nothing wrong with that, of course, unless you’re looking for a more dynamic adventure.
So, are there other types of mind/body workouts? The answer is: yes, any workout that you bring your full attention to, and perform with specific intention, becomes a mind/body workout. An impressive thing happens when you not only pay attention to what you’re doing but also do it with a goal in mind; the workout becomes effective and you achieve results.
I remember a recent conversation I had with someone who told me their fitness regime consisted of walking on a treadmill while reading a book. I was like, “did you say reading a book?” I suppose walking and reading does burn more calories than sitting on the couch. I have to wonder, though, what could I realistically expect to accomplish with a workout that I was not mentally present for? Let’s draw a broad parallel; have you ever accomplished anything by not paying attention and half heatedly going through the motions?
If I could offer one tip to ensure success in achieving fitness goals, it is to be present in the moment. When you’re working out, clear your mind of all the clutter. Don’t think about everything you have to do, pay attention to what you are doing. Make your workout a meditation on self empowerment. It doesn’t matter if you lift weights, run, jump around in a salsa aerobics class, or do PiYo; all of these activities are an opportunity to tune in, pay attention to being in your body and to get in touch with your whole being.
The rest of your life will still be there when the workout is over so don’t phone it in, bring your A-game to the mat.
It happens to the best of us: too much partying over the holidays and come January 2nd half your wardrobe doesn’t fit.
You know what I’m talking about.
Don’t resign yourself to buying bigger clothes, I can help.
You may have heard me talking about PiYo, saying things like “sweating”, “burning fat” and “look at my killer triceps” and thought to yourself that sounds hard, and you’re right, it is challenging. I don’t believe in wasting your time with an ineffective workout.
Give me an hour and I guarantee you’ll be sore the next day. Commit to changing your body and I’ll get you back in your skinny jeans.
Happy New Year!