Training Progressions

When setting out on our training journey we often start with a goal. Our overall goal may be something like to lose weight or compete in a race and along the way we can hit many milestones before achieving it.

What can often happen however is that we achieve much more than we set out to achieve and it is these results that make the journey to our goal and the training itself so valuable.

For example on the journey to losing weight you can start to feel much better in yourself and also have more energy to complete the daily tasks in life. Difficulties such as joint pain and stiffness can also improve as well as many other improvements.

Often before we see the outer changes the inside changes first. Our blood pressure and blood sugar levels get lower and overall mobility improves and these are in some ways far greater, as being important factors in your daily life and overall wellbeing.

It is important to note these small progressions on the way as these are what can keep you going and maintaining daily exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Focus on the small steps and you are well on your way. Keep going and you’ll achieve more than you ever thought was possible.

‘It’s the small steps that lead to big success and that success is unique to you’

~ M.L Adams

Stay focused on the joys in your training ūüíó

Miranda

A Health and Fitness Journey

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Beginning on the path of improving your health and fitness is rarely if ever straight forward and easy. To expect it to be so would be setting yourself up for dissapointment.

You have to expect some hard work and effort if you are to get the results that you want to achieve. In the beginning most days you may not feel like exercising or following your healthy eating plan but do it anyway and keep doing it because it will become easier and you will eventually feel like doing it.

Achieving a good state of health and fitness is the same as any success goal, you have to push yourself, really focus and give it all you’ve got and the rewards will come. The beginning is often the toughest part and we all have to start at the beginning at some point. This is where you need the most support and encouragment so surround yourself with people who do that for you and don’t forget to do this for yourself also. Associate each exercise session with a reward of feeling good from it or a chance to meet new people, (but not a chocolate bar afterwards:)

The reason I wanted to identify the struggle in the beginning is because, when we are aware of something we can deal with it much better, as with any challenge in life. Do whatever helps you to overcome it and you will eventually feel like doing it. (Please refer to my post on exercise motivation for more on this.)

Remember though that almost everyone goes through this phase when they begin exercising so you are not alone. The super fit people you see and the instructors all had to start somewhere.

A little bit about my health and fitness journey; I wasnt one of those kids who did loads of sport at school, in fact I did little P.E at all. I began my fitness journey 13 years ago at the age of 17 when I was introduced to martial arts and started going to the gym regularly. My goals back then were fairly small, just to improve my fitness and feel good, but these gradually changed and became more defined.

I specifically remember to this day, the feelings of really having to push myself to go to a session, at this time my mind and body where not accustomed to the benefits and this took a few months to kick in. This would also happen if I were to have a break at any point. Our bodies become accustomed to that which we habitually do, so it is very important to maintain the habit as much as possible, Particuarly in the beginning.

What began to happen was that I noticed after a while I was becoming naturally more motivated and excited before my exercise sessions, getting my kit ready in advance (the day before) and planning everything around my exercise sessions.

It had become a habit and one that I loved, no two people will have exactly the same experience with health and fitness, but the process of motivation is always the same. It is tough in the beginning but if you keep at it and stick to your plan and goals you will soon become more motivated. Your goals and plans will adapt but make sure the habit sticks.

Things do come up such as holidays, illness or injury and when they do , do your best to maintain what you can and perservere through any setback. Don’t let it stop your progress to achieving your goals. As soon as you can get straight back on to your plan and then push yourself to get back in to the habit.

It is a journey to optimum health and fitness and there can be some tough points, but each and every bit is worth the effort and the more effort you put in, the more you will gain from it.

Ultimately in the beginning it is you that has to push yourself but do what you can to gather support from friends, family, a coach or trainer. Most importantly from the very beginning believe you can do it, because you can.

‘Use everything you’ve got to get to the top.’

You can have a teacher, coach or trainer and this helps a lot with motivation and guidance, but it is you that does the work and gets yourself there and you that will have the victory in the end.

I hope you find this guidance helpful, particuarly if you are new to exercise. Please contact us for further guidance, motivation and information on our exercise plans.

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Exercise Motivation

Exercise Motivation

Lack of motivation often keeps people from maintaining an exercise routine so I wanted to offer a few basic starting tips to help those who need that little bit more motivation to maintain their all important exercise routine. We all have a need to exercise to maintain a healthy body and mind and can all benefit from it.

‘Where there is a will there is always a way. ‘

First 3 very important steps

  1. Identify your important health/fitness goal and Write it down
  2. Next to your goal write three important reasons why you have to achieve this goal. Keep this somewhere you will see it every day.
  3. Visualise in your mind the end result of how you will be when you have achieved this goal. Do this also every day.

Important principles to follow;

1.Set a routine ‚Äď i.e. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6pm. This is vital because our bodies work in rhythms and we are also creatures of habit. Therefore when we perform regular activities on a daily to weekly basis these can become part of this rhythm and therefore routine leading to a fixed habit. It is necessary that the routine fits in with your current commitments such as around your work schedule and childcare commitments; however you must make it a priority.

2. Use a Fitness Programme ‚Äď This is vital for several reasons; firstly an exercise programme is designed and instructed to you by an exercise professional, someone who has trained in the mechanics of the body and how to help you achieve your desired results. Therefore the programme designed for you will not only be effective but also safe. Your exercise programme does not always have to be a gym programme so don‚Äôt limit yourself to this, it can be a sports club, an exercise class or a personal training session. All of these are designed to meet specific fitness needs and instructed by a professional, just be sure that these are suited to your goals.

3. Set Specific Goals ‚Äď All goals need to begin with your end result in mind- From there we can break it down so they are not too overwhelming and they are more manageable. This is called the SMART goals approach, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. Applying all this principles makes your goal more focused and manageable.

4. Prioritise ‚Äď Prioritising your fitness routine is absolutely essential and something you can train yourself to do. The best way to do this is to plan it in advance either by the week or month and physically write it down in your diary or calendar at the specific times and days that you will be doing your workouts. If you have set training appointments or classes it really helps with this, because they are already set at specific times, so it is harder to back out:).

In addition to writing your exercise times down ensure that you make the space and time for it so that nothing else can possibly get in the way, at first this problem can often come up if we are not aware of it. Things may come up and seem more important, your mind may find excuses, such as you are too tired or busy but you must choose to ignore these excuses and continue with your plan that you have committed yourself to and remind yourself of the importance of your end result and keep doing this until it becomes so strong in you that nothing can get in the way.

These kind of excuses from the mind are very common, as our minds do often resist change. However all habits and patterns can be changed with conscious effort and action and the results are 1000’000 times better than any immediate rewards you may get from following your minds’ excuses of being too busy or tired.

In the initial stages you need to remind yourself of the benefits you will receive consistently to the point where this will also become a habit to you and therefore your drive/motivation. It will also before long become more powerful and important than any excuse that your mind can come up with. Then you will be naturally motivated all the time to exercise because you will not feel anywhere near as good without it.

‘Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.’ ~ Jim Rohn

For information on Health & fitness programmes with Mirala Health please contact me directly at mirala.health@gmail.com or on 0843 289 9327

Why Exercise is so Important – A Different Approach

Exercise Benefits

There is much focus today on why is exercise important – For that of improving our physical health, with the current obesity epidemic and increase in health problems such as type 2 Diabetes it is all the more important for people to become aware of why they need to exercise regularly and the benefits of doing so.

Throughout my time as health and fitness coach I have seen many people motivated to improve their health with exercise by their physical needs/ desires. Either they want to improve how they look or they have been forced to take notice of their health through a difficult health experience which has motivated them to do so.

When someone has a bad experience with their health, or their doctor tells them that they need to do something otherwise their health could deteriorate dramatically this of course is very powerful and usually enough to motivate them in to changing the habits of a lifetime.

However my desire is that people don’t have to wait for something awful to happen before they become motivated to improve their health. In addition the first common motivator that people have to improve their appearance is often not enough of motivation to be able to sustain the habit. It can be a good one, but then when immediate results are not seen or not as quick as a person would like then they become unmotivated and often give up, to then go on to repeat the cycle perhaps the next year.

I choose to take a different approach because I know that exercise is much more than just the physical benefits and that this is too often not enough to motivate someone to exercise regularly. The great thing is that when you begin to exercise you will notice immediate benefits in terms of improvement in your psychological wellbeing. You will feel more positive and energised from your first workout and this benefit will always be there for as long as you continue to exercise.

Regular exercise promotes an inner change as well as an outer change but it is always the inner change of feeling good from your workout that will come first. So if you do struggle with motivation or are motivated by purely physical ideals, I put it to you to try something different and use the the psychological/emotional benefits as your motivating force and see if you notice a difference in your desire to exercise. How many of you want to feel better or happier now? Exercising is a sure way to increase this state no matter what your situation.

As a reminder and an outline, here are some of the main psychological/ emotional benefits you can experience from your very first workout;

  • Increased energy
  • Improved Mood
  • Feeling of Wellbeing
  • Increased self – esteem
  • Increased self confidence
  • Feelings of enthusiasm
  • Feelings of accomplishment – leading to increased self development and motivation.
  • Feelings of courage and determination- increased ability to persevere and overcome obstacles
  • Focus
  • More productivity in your day
  • Increase in Concentration and improved memory
  • Improved self belief and confidence
  • Relief of stress and tension

These are some of the many benefits you will receive from exercise and when you continue to exercise regularly these benefits will increase and the physical benefits will follow. In my opinion these psychological/emotional benefits are equally as important as the physical benefits and far more motivating because they are there instantly and they continue to increase. So it is an immediate and constant reward system if you choose to focus on it.

With these immediate improvements you can notice an improvement in your relationships due to improved mood and self confidence, an improvement in your productivity at work or in study amongst others. These results alone are important enough reasons for you to exercise and you will notice this very quickly.

If you are motivated well by physical outcomes then of course this is good and use this to continue if it works well for you.

But if when your next thinking about going to the gym or doing any form of exercise and you are struggling to feel motivated, try to think about it differently in terms of these emotional reasons and benefits you will obtain from it, and see if this helps, don’t wait until your doctor tells you or your scared or feel pressured in to going.

Take action now and you will FEEL better for it guaranteed. We need to take more responsibility for our own health and wellbeing and better to do so before waiting until our bodies are telling us to do so through the symptoms of ill health and non- activity. Try a different approach.

 

runduo

‘It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.~ Cicero

Forming good routines for healthy habits.

habit

Having had a recent break from regular routine, it only confirms to me the importance of it, in the formation of good habits. For me having a good routine is very helpful in forming good habits. Sticking to regular workout times for example helps it to become part of your daily/ weekly rhythm to the point you can become naturally motivated to do your workout without having to think about it. This can apply to any healthy habit we wish to form – meditation, healthy diet etc.

With any healthy habit I have formed such as regular meditation , exercise and healthy eating this has always been the case. There are also other benefits to some of these routines such as an increase in metabolism when eating at regular intervals.

I have come to a point now where I even consider it to be essential , through experience of how well this works I find myself being far more effective and motivated when I have formed these good routines which then become habits. This is something I also recommend to anyone who lacks motivation to exercise. If you can stick to the same time and days each week for long enough then it will become habit, you will then without doubt be motivated to do it. It will become part of your physiology, you will feel like you need to do it, just like how you naturally feel the need to brush your teeth and wash everyday.

This is also how many of us form bad habits where they have become a fixed part of our routine, such as when we come in at night and may veg in front of the T.V, or get drunk on a saturday night. It could even be said that such routines have become habits of the nation, even to the point where those who spend their evenings at the gym or choose not to drink or get drunk are seen as ‘fitness freaks’ or somewhat abnormal.

The saying that ‘we are creatures of habit’ is a very true one and we will naturally form habits throughout our lives. But ultimately we are in control of our habits as long as we choose to be, we just have to make the choice. Decide what to do and who you want to be.

Forming a good routine is one very powerful way to form good habits as it puts you back in the driving seat of your life. Habits are not mindlessly formed, at one point we have to learn them and it is then formed through repetition.

We can therefore, at any time choose to learn and develop new ones. If forming new healthy habits is something you want to do then it is very helpful to begin by adding it in to your routine. Start by writing in your diary the times and days that you will workout in each week, the same for your healthy meals and any other new healthy habits. Then be strict with yourself and stick to it, no matter what, no excuses, and within a month you will have formed yourself a very good habit that if you keep it will serve you well for life.

This can also help with quitting bad habits, use the new routine to form a good habit that will replace the bad habit. Taking your focus off the bad habit and onto something new in a new routine will actually make it much easier than just trying to quit the bad habit, because your focus will be on something new that will drive you to quit your bad habit when your new routine becomes more important.

This is not to say that spontaneity doesnt have its place, of course it does, so allow for this also and dont be too hard on yourself. Many things in life cannot be planned and will occur naturally but the good routines you have formed can hold you in stead and keep you focused on your health, work and success when these unplanned things do happen.

Like many things in life it is about balance but ultimately which would you prefer; a life of health and vitality, feeling good and in control of your life or one of following the herd and being a tv or junk food junkie. Of course choose the one which you think is right for you, but know which serves you best and that it is you that has the choice.

Habits are said to be hard to change but this only makes us less likely to do it, make the focus positive and part of your routine and it will feel much easier.

Some helpful tips:

  • Define your goals and what you want to achieve – use the SMART approach.
  • Write down your goals and break it down in to actions that you will add in your daily and weekly routine.
  • Write down the days and times that you will be doing your new activities such as going to the gym/ meditating etc
  • Stick to it without fail if any excuses enter your mind – ignore them.

For the first 4-6 weeks it may feel difficult, but focus on all the positives ( such as how good you feel from a workout or meditation.) – also keep these written down and remind yourself of them regularly. Then once you have formed the habit it will become an enjoyable and life changing part of your lifestyle worth every single bit of initial effort.

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‘The self is not something ready made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.’ ~ John Dewey

Find your Passion

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‘Passion is the genesis of genius.’ ~ Tony Robbins

Finding your passion in Fitness is possible for everyone. It’s just a matter of finding what method feels good to you? What feels natural?

If you haven’t found something yet you can find it I am certain there is something for everyone whatever your age, current health, fitness levels and abilities. If you havent found it already try different clubs/ classes until you find it.

Once you find what works for you, you will become naturally motivated, you will want to do it & it will feel good.
Keeping fit should not be something you dread and have to drag yourself to do. It is our natural state and should feel good just find what works for you.

I am a firm believer that there is a form of exercise for everyone that will feel good, work for you and that you can become passionate about. For me it’s the gym and martial arts. For you it might be running, swimming or any other sport or fitness method. But if you haven’t found it yet there will be something that you will find passion for and that will motivate you naturally.

The key to becoming motivated, to being & staying fit, is to find what works for you, something that feels good & you can become passionate about.

Find a sport/ exercise method stick with it for a month and see how it feels to you, does it feel natural? does it motivate you and make you feel good?If so chances are its the one for you.

If you find the gym boring, then try something different. You do not have to use the gym to keep fit, there are many other ways to do this, classes, clubs, personal training whatever you find works for you.

Try out different methods, step out there and find something new. You never know you could find something that truly changes your life. If I had never of gone to my first karate class 13 years ago, I wouldn’t have done half the things I have done in my life and career to this point, I know this for sure.

Anyone who is passionate about training/ sport will tell you that it can quickly become a strong driving force in your life that can benefit all areas and be well worth the initial effort.

If you don’t already have a sport/ fitness method in your life that you are passionate about and that keeps you motivated. Get out there today and try something new, stick with it for a month & see if it resonates with you. If it doesn’t, keep trying new methods until you find one that does. It could make all the difference to your life.

‘ Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.’~ Bruce Lee

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The power of exercise

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When an exercise plan is first started it can feel like a struggle, real hard work to many, or at least this is how it may be perceived and so this is what puts people off¬† sometimes. However like many things that can begin with ‚Äėhard work‚Äô, the results are many and can also be very powerful and often transformative.

This is the perception I now have of exercise itself because of the many transformative experiences I have luckily had from the power of exercise itself. This does not stop at just the physical; to me the physical benefits are important but just a part of what you can gain.

In my last post I talked about the benefits you can gain from exercise of which there are many. Here I particularly want to talk about one of the immediate benefits you can gain from exercise. The benefits that are immediate but can also have a lasting effect if you let it. Our aim at Mirala Health is to help people see the full benefits that can be gained from a health programme that takes the whole approach; I hope that this blog post can help you with this.

No matter what your current health state is, you can experience the benefits of exercise in this sense almost immediately. All it requires is that you take the action to go and do the exercise whatever form it is and begin with the intention that you will enjoy it.

Have you ever been in an exercise class or doing some form of exercise and felt really good, lifted, happy and totally in the moment? Some may call it a buzz. This feeling can be experienced every time you exercise, and over time if you exercise regularly your emotional state can be lifted more permanently. Exercise is one of the best anti-depressants and it can also be free. Just going out for a walk or run can really lift your mood. Try this next time you are feeling low.

Although it can be hard to get started it is always worth it.  It is known that when we exercise feel-good hormones called endorphins are released and this can be what causes us to feel good. But whatever the cause, one thing is for sure is it works as a great mood enhancer and there are no really bad side effects, only long term benefits. If you view exercise in this way I am certain that if you are not already, then you will be far more motivated to participate in regular exercise.

In addition, it doesn‚Äôt matter how long you have been exercising for this benefit never goes away, if anything it increases. I like to explain it sometimes as an experience of satori ‚Äď (this is a Zen name for an experience of mini enlightenment) where true reality is experienced and true joy- everything is one and there is no detachment. This is how we should feel and want to feel so why not have more of it. When I experience this level of joy it is often during cardiovascular exercise such as sparring or a spinning class, many runners will also experience this. Exercise in itself can be a form of mindfulness meditation which is perhaps what leads to this experience of Satori.

It is a state of euphoria and one that is free and of course healthy. Who wouldn’t want this and if not why?  The next time you feel unmotivated when you have arranged to go for an exercise session remind yourself of the mood enhancing benefits that can be gained from it and see if it helps:).

Overcoming common barriers to personal growth

Freedom

I wanted to share with you today some of the ways I have learnt in how to overcome our limitations and our very often unconcious defences and limitations. We are often not aware of these and how they can limit our personal growth and I believe support in this area to be of much need & importance.

There are methods we can use to overcome our limitations and barriers to personal growth, however awareness is the first and perhaps most important step. Many of our defences and limitations may be operating subconciously, but they can often be brought to the surface with enough self- awareness.

‘Awareness in and of itself is transformative’ ~ Ken Wilbur

THE BARRIERS/ LIMITATIONS – IDENTIFY THEM.

  • Firstly and I think most commonly is the¬†barrier of fear, this can be a tremendous barrier for many and can take various different forms. It could be fear of failing, fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, amongst many others, but essentially the barrier is always the same – the feeling of fear.
  • Doubting your ability or the possibility that you can achieve what it is you’ve set out to do. These doubts can also come from others around you, who may¬†knowingly/unknowingly cause you to doubt in your true abilities.
  • ¬†Not being specific enough about the goals you have set out to achieve, this is highly important to create self belief and the cause to take necessary actions.
  • Not taking responsibility for your own life & outcomes.
  • Expecting immediate results – in short this is¬†being impatient with both yourself and your environment therefore putting you out of line in the process of being and becoming. Although we all may have goals we want to achieve,¬†the greatest gifts I believe come¬†from the journey to achieving them.

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WAYS TO OVERCOME BARRIERS/LIMITATIONS

For each person the journey is different, but I think essentially the ways in which we can successfully overcome these barriers in particular can be common to us all. These are specific ways that are commonly used towards success.

  1. Awareness –¬† as we have already identified if you know your limitations you can overcome them – ‘Knowledge is power.’
  2. Have Specific set goals and write them down to increase certainty. There is a specific method you can follow when setting goals and this is called the SMART approach which stands for; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. So ensure that the goals you set meet these objectives, this will increase your confidence and motivation in achieving them. Break the goal down in to smaller steps to make it more realistic, measurable and achievable and ensure you are specific in what you want to achieve and set a date.
  3. Believe in yourself – This is critical, you must believe that it is possible. Tell yourself everyday that you can do it and take specific daily actions until you achieve it. This will increase your self-bellief and when you do achieve your goal, which you will, you will become more and more confident in your ability to achieve further goals.
  4. Take full responsibility for you life and outcomes – you have the power to make changes what ever your current circumstances may be. As Bruce Lee states ‘To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.’
  5. ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ ~ Susan Jeffers. If you haven’t read this book I would highly reccomend it. It changed my life dramatically. As a child and throughout my teens I struggled tremendously with fear and it had a lot of power over me. However after reading this book I decided to not allow it to have that power anymore and I took it back. As Susan Jeffers explains in her book , by acting in spite of fear you take away its power and increase your own. In my experience this is the best method by far of overcoming any fear, it is hard at first but the confidence and self- belief you will gain from doing it makes it highly worth the effort.
  6. Let go of the fixation on the outcome. As I stated earlier although you have set a goal which you wish to achieve, it is about the journey; this is where you learn about yourself, your purpose and where all the memories and rewards come. If you remain too fixated on the outcome, you will likely miss out on all these benefits and give up if you dont see results quickly enough. In my experience within the health and fitness industry, I see this very often and so I try to get people to focus on the more short term benefits that are gained from exercise, of which there are many. Focus on these and the long-term results will come.

Miranda.L.Adams

Mirala Health.