Archives for posts with tag: pilates

Work-Life-Balance

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance or postural control, is the ability to maintain the body in either static or dynamic equilibrium with the center of gravity over the base of support (Magee 2007). Sounds so simple doesn’t it – but the fact is that lack of balance in humans can be costly and deadly. It is estimated that by 2020 the national cost of falls related injuries will reach 43.8 billion dollars (Donatelli 2010).

For myself I recently discovered just how ‘un-balanced’ my own body actually is, esp. after a number of injuries which all occurred on the right side of my body – each injury by itself was not the cause – but rather the combination of 5 injuries took its toll. Further the risk of having balance problems increases as we get older. I even found myself beginning to have small changes in my thinking that my own imbalance was just a product of those injuries and age – and what I realized was what a ‘negative’ mind set this type of thinking could become in my life.

I also began to understand why so many older adults start to become terrified of falling and losing the ability to move and function. Keeping active and mobile is key to our functioning both physically and mentally – without balance we cannot function normally, just ask anyone who has ever had episodes of vertigo.

Balance also extends to other aspects of our lives – our mental outlook and quality of life, our nutrition, our spirit. Keeping balance in our life of work, recreation, relaxation and mental stimulation is essential. I recently heard a neurologists from Harvard speaking on a radio program about neurological issues of the aging process. He was asked ‘if there is any one activity that we as aging humans could do to keep our brain healthy, active and functioning – what would you recommend? His answer – ‘exercise and staying active’. So simple and so profound.

The good news is it’s never too late. Check your own balance; here are a couple of simple tests.

1) Stand with one foot placed directly in front of the other foot and stay in that position for 10 seconds, then change feet.

2) Stand on one foot for 10 seconds, then change feet.

One should be able to perform these simple test quite easily and at will – and perhaps many can. However if you notice that even during these simple test that you have a bit of a challenge maintaining balance and being still then perhaps its time to begin adding balance training components into your regular routine. Even if you had no issues with these simple tests I would still recommend adding balance training components into your daily activity. Easily performing Activities of Daily Living (ADL) are a key measuring tool in determining how independent we are as individuals as we age.

Even in Joseph H. Pilates description of ideal health that he wrote about in 1945 he stated.  ‘Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.’

The goal for any health and fitness plan is to just keep on track. Set realistic expectations of yourself and by all means do not jump off the deep end and jump into some crazy CrossFit style of workout boot camp hell to get a jump start on the new you. Some of us may indeed be cut out for this type of workout and others of us are definitely not, especially those of us just beginning to exercises in the Prime Male age group.

Keep in mind that its not just the intensity of these type of workouts that worries experts. It’s the fact you’re doing technically complex lifts for high reps in a state of fatigue, when form is guaranteed to break down. “It takes time to perfect certain movements, especially the Olympic lifts,” says trainer Joe Dowdell, founder of Peak Performance in New York. “Not spending enough time teaching people how to perform these movements correctly is dangerous.”

So it’s quality over quantity and proper form is a must in any fitness regimen. It’s no secret that I am a big proponent of Pilates and for good reason. When I was turning 50 I decided to do something I had never done before and participate in a ‘sprint’ triathlon. Although swimming was not my best endeavor I managed to get through all three segments and 4 months of training with not one injury – and I owe that to my consistent Pilates practice both before and during my time in training. It’s all about being balanced in everything that you do.

Hello Prime Males – how is the New Year so far and your new improved realistic focus? If you just started a new fitness regimen please be sure to check out some of the prior blogs that offer some great information on Gym equipment to avoid.
Next up some tips on healthy eating – stay tuned!

It’s that time of year when everyone feels compelled to examine their lives, goal set, plan, and re-prioritize in the hopes of making a change for the better. We Prime Males are not exempt from this behavior and as such we can really use this time to make a positive change for the better. Hey, you don’t have to hit the ground running on January 1, you just need to hit the ground and begin to move ahead. Take some time to assess and reassess your life and determine things that work and things that don’t work.Take stock of your thoughts and actions and remember those are basically the only things that we really have any control over.

If you want to start the New Year off with an updated and re-energized plan to improve your fitness level and wellness outlook begin first by being realistic and coming up with a realistic game plan on just how to do that. Starting a new fitness regime takes time to not only first establish the healthy habit but also time to achieve your goal – no matter what that is. What’s important here is that what you are really trying to do is to establish a healthy lifestyle plan for the rest of your life, not a short-term fix which ends up letting you down. Focus and be realistic.

My Fitness and wellness advice is to first focus on improving your physical function in your daily life. Functioning well as a human being – whether you walking, sitting,standing, driving a car can add years to your life and take years off your outlook. I digress here to a quote by Joseph Pilates on his interpretation of physical fitness. ‘…the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure’.

Be patient and be persistent in your goals – as they say Rome was not built in a day. Realize that you may take a step back here or there but as long as you are persistent you will always be moving forward. And remember to take the time to not only exercise your body, but also your mind. Go on, move ahead – after all what have you got to lose!

Thanksgiving is almost upon us and these days we may have a difficult time finding things to be grateful for in our lives. Perhaps the best thing for us to do is to begin to change our world – one thought at a time. Time and time again it is being proven that positive thoughts can really not only impact our outlook, but also our health and wellness. Be thankful for taking a positive step towards impacting and creating the change you want in your life and your health. That positive step could be as simple as deciding to walk or increase your activity on a weekly basis – or as grand as setting a goal for yourself to undertake something you’ve never done such as a bi or triathlon. It all starts with just one step. I’ll talk more about this later this week.

In the meantime – enjoy Thanksgiving and the many and varied tastes and deliciousness of the holiday. Just do so with a bit of moderation, or throw an additional bit of physical activity in such as an after dinner walk, a bike ride, a hike or some skiing. Prime Males – now is the time to prepare for Prime Time.

 

 

The Prime Male has returned from the Pilates Method Alliance(PMA) Conference in Palm Desert, CA. and is now back to posting for other Prime Males. I came across an inspiring site for Prime Males – produced by Tommy and Alan Photography and entitled Men over 50 project – here’s the link: http://tommyandalan.com/men-over-50. Take a look and get some inspiration gentlemen – we are simply getting better all the time and its never too late to realize that and grab your life by the horns and take control!

One of the things I miss when traveling is the difficulty to stick to a healthy diet which especially includes my morning routine of making a vitamin enriched protein and fruit shake for breakfast.
Here’s my simple recipe:
1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
6 oz. of Acai juice
2 oz of filtered water
1 banana
1 scoop Barleans Greens (a powdered organic green superfood)
a bit of ice
Blend well and drink right away.
I am not one who is fond of taking vitamins and I find that this shake provides me what great nutrients, protein and energy.

As a Prime Male when I work out I find that through the years I have had to re-adjust my workout to my Prime Male body – and one of my adjustments had become the way I warm up. I now take the time to do almost 15 minutes of full body warm ups that prepare me for a great workout – and for part of that warm up my choice is the Bodyblade – more on this later.

The Prime Male is attending the 11th Annual meeting of the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) which is the not for profit professional Pilates association I co-founded a bit more than 11 years ago.

The Conference setting is the beautiful JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert, CA. A great place for any Prime Male to have a getaway and attend a Conference. There’s a great Spa and large Gym to keep your Prime Male physiques in shape while away from your regular routine.

There’s nothing wrong with using the excuse of traveling to change up your fitness routine. Take advantage of a new environment to step out of your groove and take on some new workout challenges – such as swimming, walking, hiking, or indulgences (if you must call it that) such as a therapeutic massage. These are all components of a comprehensive Prime Male health and wellness lifestyle plan!
Stay tuned for more updates from Palm Desert.