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Exercise

Exercise, Relationships

Mindfitness

We can’t separate the body and mind. In order to lead a healthier life, it’s important to train both the body and the mind. This can be achieved through movement and breath using fitness and meditation.

I noticed as my clients were getting very physically fit, many were still stressed, anxious, having problems sleeping, depressed, not able to focus or concentrate and the list goes on. As I began to teach my clients about mindfulness and meditation and build them a daily meditation practice many of these issues improved.

I believe that stress is the root of many health issues and while physical exercise can help, it is only part of the solution so we must also address the mind. I’d like to share a few fitness tips and a meditation technique to help decrease your stress and give you greater clarity so you can begin your journey towards leading a healthier life.

shutterstock_592315520 - (S.Agrios)

To start with, write down a goal and action plan. Next, commit and reassess so you can make the appropriate changes depending on your results. Let’s say your goal is to get into better shape. Be more specific and make it measurable. For example, I would like to lose 10lbs, fit into size 8 pants, have a 28 inch waist, run a 10km race in 60 minutes, ride 100km on my bike etc.

If you decide your goal is to lose 10lbs then your action plan would be to do a variety of cardio exercises (walk, swim, bike, run, stairs, cross country ski etc.) and watch what you eat. If you don’t have a lot of time my suggestion is to do 30 minutes of interval training. The other key is to watch what you eat since you can negate all the calories you burned in your workout in less than 5 minutes by eating the wrong thing. Simply put, be clear on your goal and if your behaviour (action plan) helps you reach your goal then do it. If it takes away from your goal then don’t do it. Make sure you consistently use this as a check to keep you on track.

Often our emotions get in the way of our goals which is why it’s important to work with our minds. This is where mindfulness and meditation come in. If we are calm and focused we can respond better to a situation as opposed to reacting to it. We are clearer and able to come from a place of choice by accessing our neutral mind.

Close your eyes, breath through your nostrils into your belly for a count of 4 (belly gets bigger as it fills up with air), suspend / hold your breath for 4 seconds (make sure everything is relaxed on the held breath), exhale for 4 seconds (belly gets smaller), suspend / hold your breath for 4 seconds. Repeat this 4 times.

Inhale for 4 seconds

Hold / suspend your breath for 4 seconds

Exhale for 4 seconds

Hold / suspend your breath for 4 seconds

 


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Susan Agrios
Founder & CEO of Agrios Mindfitness

Susan Agrios is a former K-12 school teacher, an elite athlete with multi sport world medals, a fitness trainer and an internationally certified yoga & meditation teacher with advanced training in yoga nidra (guided meditation). With this unique background Susan dedicates her time to helping and motivating others to lead healthier lives both physically and mentally through fitness, yoga, and meditation. Working with schools, corporations, elite athletes and families Susan developed numerous successful programs: TIME OUT Mindfulness Kits & Trainings, Mindfitness Boot Camps and the Global Online Meditation Challenge. As well, she launched the first Agrios Mindfitness Triathlon (fitness, yoga and meditation) in Canada for thousands in schools. She leads retreats at conferences around the world. Over 9500 adults, teens and kids have taken her Mindfulness Challenge. Will you be next?

If you want to learn more about the body and mind, take a Mindfitness Boot Camp, Mindfulness Training or 40 day Mindfulness Challenge email Susan Agrios at sagrios@trainingbyagrios.com or go to www.agriosmindfitness.com

Exercise

Love Work(out)

It’s time to pause the cuddles, grab your love by the hand, get up, and go!

If you struggle to find the motivation to exercise, why not include your partner in your routine. Think of yourselves as each other’s personal trainer. By motivating each other, you’ll learn new moves, face new challenges, and accomplish goals together. Talk about strength training!

The first step is to make an attainable goal for the both of you. What do you want to achieve both individually and together in your fitness? You can set multiple mini goals or one big goal. One key is to make sure it is realistic. Your goal should extend you but not necessarily be simple either. “I’m going to exercise 7 days a week” may be less realistic than “I’m going to exercise a minimum of 4 days a week.”

There are lots of options to keep you and your partner motivated. Get creative and plan a routine that includes things you both like to do. Go for a 30-40 min walk after dinner, take a yoga class, try rock climbing, or maybe spice things up and try a dance class. This makes sharing your routine rewarding not only on a level of physical wellbeing but also the shared appreciation of working as a team.

There’s a sea of couple’s workouts that are available across the web, but to get you two love birds started, check out this workout we found from Ideal Shape! Try it out for a month and you are sure to make strides while hand in hand.

Good luck!
Couples+Workout+-+Bespoken+www.bespokenweddings

 Couple Part 2

Infographic Source: Be Spoken Weddings
Workout Routine Source: Ideal Shape

Exercise, Food

Feed Your Metabolism to Burn Excess Bodyfat

Over the past two decades, many of us have bought into the idea that carbohydrates give us energy, fat makes us fat, and protein—in excess—causes kidney damage. If the matter were this simple, you would think that we would have solved the obesity epidemic long ago. Such is obviously not the case.

When it comes to the way you presently look, feel, and perform, the foods and nutrients you choose to fuel your metabolism can make all the difference in how much energy you have and how much body fat you carry around. Let’s take a closer look at the three macronutrients—carbs, fats, and protein—to see how the right choices from each group can supercharge your metabolism.

The first rule of metabolic success is to avoid refined carbohydrates at all costs. Instead of consuming fibre-rich carbohydrates like organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, North Americans often substitute these foods with overly processed white- and cornmeal-based flours. Yet all these processed-carbs do is generate a hyper state of insulin release. Whenever we overly stimulate the hormone insulin, we end up causing our bodies to go into primarily a fat storage mode, all the while making it next to impossible for our metabolisms to use fat for energy. The key is to limit these health-stripping carbs and increase levels of high-fibre/high-antioxidant carbs, which research has shown can lower insulin and enhance our metabolism, which makes burning fat a whole lot easier.

Not all fats make us fat. In fact, research indicates that the right fats can actually enhance our ability to use fat for energy. These fats—called omega-3 fatty acids, found primarily in wild fish oils—are believed to exert their metabolism enhancing effects by blocking inflammatory messages produced by our fat cells. Researchers from the University of Texas have discovered that fat cells produce a number of inflammation-related molecules as well as the hormone resistin that is associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (two conditions linked to obesity). Essential fats can help control these metabolism-destroying molecules.

When looking to maintain or enhance your overall metabolism, the right proteins can make all the difference. Protein offers you the unique advantage of being the most thermogenically active of the three macronutrients. Thermogenesis is a fancy word for more heat, and the more thermogenic a food is, the easier it is for your body to burn fat. Aside from this, protein stimulates the hormone glucagon, which enhances levels of a metabolic enzyme called HSL that allows for continual fat release and energy production.

Along with short bouts of high-intensity exercise, choosing the best food sources of all three macronutrients is a simple way to fuel your metabolism and supercharge your life potential.

Metabolism-boosting foods
  • Metabolic carbs include: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, celery, peppers, all leafy greens such as kale and chard, all berries, grapefruit, oranges, kiwis, and organic whole grains.
  • Metabolic fats include: wild fish oil, flaxseed oil, hemp oil, most seeds and nuts (within moderation), and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Metabolic proteins include: high-alpha whey isolates, game meat and grass-fed beef, free-run poultry, organic eggs, and hemp protein.

Brad King, MS, MFS, a nutritional researcher and award winning formulator has been touted as one of the most influential health mentors of our time. He is the author of 10 books, including Fat Wars, Beer Belly Blues and Losing Fat for Life. Visit him on Facebook @ Transforming Health with Brad King or on his website @ www.AwakenYourBody.com.