S.E.E. YOU Blog

(To Support, Educate and Empower YOU)

Experience Momentum is a total wellness and fitness center focused on the whole person, YOU! We support, educate and empower you to thrive and live a full, abundant life by inspiring lasting lifestyle transformations and environmental stewardship. Our unique approaches to physical therapy and massage, fitness and nutrition will guide you towards optimal health, performance and vitality.

Join the movement that is gaining momentum across the nation. Be good to your body and the planet. Together we can create a healthier world.

 

Savor the moment

baking with familyFood is everywhere during the holiday season, typically loaded with high calorie treats in the form of fudge, deserts, stuffing, and the like. My favorite treat during Christmas is Rummagrout, a Norwegian hot pudding that my mom makes every year. Just thinking of the hot, creamy, extra buttery pudding topped with cinnamon and sugar makes me salivate and brings a smile to my face.

There are certain foods when we eat them conjure up memories of the past. Have you ever thought about that? Sometimes I can't even remember what I ate last night. However when we are present to the food we eat and our mind is not distracted eating becomes a different experience.

This month make it a point to take a bite, set your eating utensil down, that's right set them down. Chew your food slowly, make a mental note of how it tastes, what it smells like and identify the texture. Take the time to fully appreciate what the nutrition is doing for your body on a cellular level, allowing your cells to function properly to allow you to move, breathe, think, and feel. Take a moment to acknowledge and be grateful for what has been provided to you.

We as a society take food for granted. It is a gift that we are able to have food so readily available. Take some time to appreciate where your food comes from and what it is doing for your body. Your experience of eating will transform the way you look at food and help you to be more present to the moment.

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Habits

"When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied." ~Herophilus

It takes approximately 21 days to create or change a habit. 21 days to re-create how you approach your health. That is less than a month. 21 days is basically 4 five day work weeks and though that sounds like a small amount of time it can be monumental.

Og Mandino, famous author and WWII vet wrote extensively on the importance of habits. He stated, "As a child I was slave to my impulses; now I am slave to my habits, as are all grown men. I have surrendered my free will to the years of accumulated habits and the past deeds of my life have already marked out a path which threatens to imprison my future. My actions are ruled by appetite, passion, prejudice, greed, love, fear, environment, habit, and the worst of these tyrants is habit. Therefore, if I must be a slave to habit let me be a slave to good habits. My bad habits must be destroyed and new furrows prepared for good seed".

For me, eating healthy and exercising is a lifelong habit, but a habit that has certainly transformed over the years. Two years ago I (Kelly too) decided to go wheat free after reading Wheat Belly. This was a big change. Don't get me wrong I have eaten healthy for a long time but I enjoyed my pizza, cookies and a beer or two. Now, two years later, I no longer have cravings for those items and I have found wonderful alternatives to take their place. The result of this new habit is a loss of 12 pounds without having to do much in the way of physical activity. More importantly is the way I feel. I feel better, have more energy. There is a tangible difference in my health.

Developing good habits can start at any age. Every night I watch Ravenna brush her teeth. Now this took some time and a whole lot of practice but what is now in place will benefit her for a lifetime.

Challenge yourself to create a positive lifestyle habit today.

girl drinking water1) Give up alcohol while increasing your water consumption. Alcohol is basically composed of sugar, which is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream. The unfortunate thing is most people drinking alcohol aren't going to go to the gym afterward, so that frosty mug of beer just added another layer of insulation to your midsection. Guess how many calories water has? You got it, zero! Drink up.

2) Give up sugar or flour while increasing your whole food consumption. If you are a glutton for bagels, brownies, pasta, and such, consider a whole food alternative. Try having a nut mix, hard-boiled egg, apple and peanut butter, or yogurt and raisins for a snack. Swap out the pasta for a sweet potato or try some spaghetti squash!

3) Give up television for a 30 minute workout and family time. I came home from work last week and Kelly informed me the cable had been disconnected. We discussed it a few weeks prior, but she pulled the plug. Yep, right at the start of the football season. I will survive, as playing with our kids trumps the best day of football any day!

4) Cut back on social media and hire a trainer. Social media is everywhere and it isn't going anywhere any time soon. It is a wonderful tool if used wisely, but take note if it is affecting your investment in your health, relationships and/or your career. Why not take some of that time you spend on FB or Twitter and hire a fitness trainer. Great way to ignite your enthusiasm and focus in your physical condition again! Or help you breathe new life into your routine.

5) Give up smoking and start training. Quitting smoking is no easy feat. What can make it easier is replacing the bad habit with a healthy habit. Start training for a half marathon, a 100 mile bike ride, or something physically challenging that you cannot possibly do if you are smoking. It will be a great start.

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Components of Strong Run Mechanics

Every sport has a set of mechanics to master. That is part of the fun of learning a sport. Running is no exception. The difference is most of think we can open the front door and go and call ourselves "runners." I applaud the effort. However, with an understanding of the following you can enhance your running experience.

  • High stride rate (turnover or cadence) is a mark of a strong runner. The best runners take 180 or more strides a minute.
  • Minimal ground contact is also key. Strong runners spend little time in contact with the ground. This makes sense, because you are not moving forward when either foot is on the ground, but only in between foot strikes. Additionally, the shorter amount of time the foot spends on the ground, the quicker it applies force to the ground, and the return is stronger forward propulsion.
  • Efficient stride length is a function of proper running form. The key to faster running, contrary to what you may think you understand, as it relates to stride length is generating power in the toe-off portion of the running stride and being able to take longer strides efficently while sustaining a high stride rate.
  • Another component of strong running form is a high kick. No I don't mean a Rockettes kind of kick, I mean lifting the foot high (up near the backside) during the recovery phase of the running stride.
  • Maintain a relaxed upper body.
  • Symmetry in movement. Efficiency is about balance. Keeping your movements the same on both sides of your body and correcting muscular or skeletal imbalances is important to running more efficiently and free from injury.

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Fitness Habits

Making fitness a habit involves creating some strategies to set you up for success. It is one thing to say you are going to put a fitness habit in place and actually following through. Because it takes at least 21 days to create a habit, following the tips and hints below should help you succeed.

1) Exercise first thing in the morning. When you exercise first thing in the morning your metabolism increases, your odds of eating healthier increase, and you don't have to stress about getting your workout in as things invariably come up at the last minute as the day progresses.

2) Commit to someone. Do you have someone who you can share your fitness successes and failures with? This is hugely important as having support in place to help hold you accountable to your goals will help solidify your healthy lifestyle habit. Seek out someone who is truthfully committed to your success. This is a person who will be open and honest with you, compassionate and someone you trust. If you can't find someone that fills that requirement, give us a call as we have several staff members that would be happy to help you out.

3) Start small. Rome wasn't built in a day. Any change worth making takes time and dedication. I know of very few changes that happen in an instant. Develop the strategy you are going to take to demolish your bad habit and replace it with a healthy one.

4) Track your progress. Get a Fitbit, pedometer, or use an old fashioned pen and paper. Write down what you have accomplished on a daily and weekly basis. This helps keep you motivated to move forward and also lets you see how awesome you are!

5) Put in the effort. Don't short change yourself. At the end of the day you know if you did all you could to create a healthy lifestyle. There is nothing easy about it that is key. Over time your body will crave exercise. Just do it, create a life that inspires you!

If you are looking to mix up your exercise routine join EM for Fitness Fridays brought to you by our very own personal trainers, Matthew Sharp and Brittany Athing. These are short but informative videos that we publish every Friday for YOU! They will certainly help to spice up your own home or gym programs. Check out the video on wide and narrow variations to your favorite exercises.

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Structure for Beginner Cyclists

A common question asked by many beginning cyclists/triathletes is how should I train if I want to improve quickly. The answer: get up and get on a bike on a consistent basis. Whether that bike is a spin bike or your own two wheels, getting in the saddle and practicing your pedal stroke, cadence and position is the best and fastest way to improve. Additionally, all that consitency will fire up that cardio engine of yours too! Try a spin class. They usually meet on a consistent basis during the week and at a consistent time. This is a great way to develop a habit of getting on and staying on a bike. Try our class that meets Tuesday and Thursdays at 5:15 PM at the EM center.

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Five Fall Health Foods

brocolliFall is synonymous with harvest time and is the time of year that you reap what you have sown. Our tomato plants we planted a few months ago are just now bearing the ripened fruits of our labor and Honeycrisp apples are once again in the stores. Try and load up with as many fresh fruits and vegetables this month. Here are some of my favorites and their health benefits.

1) Apples - More specifically Honeycrisp, which are my favorite. They are as their name implies, very crisp with a sweetness that makes you want to eat them all day long. Apples are high in pectin which has been shown to lower cholesterol. Apples contain a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.

2) Grapefruit - I don't know of another fruit that will wake up your taste buds as much as a grapefruit. It is loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

3) Broccoli -This cruciferous vegetable contains generous amounts of magnesium and calcium to help regulate blood pressure. In addition it is high in potassium which is important for muscle growth after daily exercise.

4) Onions - I was recently turned onto Walla Walla Sweet Onion, thanks Karen, and they are wonderful. If you have a chance to try these out because they are so sweet you can eat them like an apple. Onions are loaded with quercetin, a flavonoid which can help to lower the risk of cancer.

5) Sweet potato - They are high in vitamin A (beta-carotene) and vitamin C, which work to remove free radicals in our body. This also makes it a great food to help reduce inflammation.

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Using Your Kick to Kick Up Your Swim

Mastering the mechanics of the freestyle stroke is critical but don't forget the kick. Not only will the kick help with balancing your stroke, but it also can add to your propulsive power. Train your kick and use it as a secret weapon to surge around your opponents, give you a good solid start in any race and help you finish strong.

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