There are many books on happiness and how to be happier in our lives. They often speak of living with purpose and to regularly do things we enjoy. They almost all also mention how giving helps cultivate happiness. It can be even the smallest gesture, like a smile or a pat on the back that can change someone’s day or outlook on life.
Giving comes in all shapes and sizes. When I think of giving, I like to start with the people closest to me and work my way out. I never want people that mean the world to me to ever think that I’m not right with them on this journey of life. This mostly comes in the form of energy, communication and the simple pleasures in life since they are closest to me. But it also reaches further with family members or friends that need more support in other ways during challenging times in their life. Then we shift in to the next level of giving which reaches the communities or people in need. In Nimble we have donated to and supported more than 10 charities over our thirteen years in business. We give with our bodies by running the New York City Marathon and raising money. We give with our knowledge by sharing important lifestyle habits and information with teenagers. We make charitable donations and also donate personal training sessions to local organizations for auctions. With all the giving we have done, I often ask, how can we do more? Every year our mission is to give more. Whether we donate money, run a marathon to raise money or give our time, it’s about helping others. It’s not the amount we raise or what we ultimately give but the feeling of doing something positive for the world that moves us the most. Whether it’s helping WITNESS to raise awareness about human rights abuse around the world, helping the homeless get BACK ON THEIR FEET, assisting inner city children live their DREAM or any of the other amazing causes Nimble has supported, it always feels good! Giving simply feels good.
This holiday season let’s all take a moment to step back and ask, who, how, where and why we want to give this holiday season.
It’s not what we give but how we give it. Where the giving comes from.
Remember, if you are on the receiving end of someone’s giving it important to allow the giving to happen and receive it with appreciation.
A few quiet thoughts about turning fifty. I never imagined I’d get here.
If the big 5-0 is one of those ultimate turning points in life, where profound insights magically appear and things “make sense,” it hasn’t felt that way to me. More like another hard-won step on the ladder.
Nobody who’s young imagines what fifty is supposed to feel like. My daughter, who is 5, overheard a conversation in the car the other day and screamed out “Wait! Dad…you’re 50!?” It was clear her developing brain couldn’t handle a number that large. Sometimes I wonder if I can handle a number that large!
We are all given multiple opportunities to succeed and to fail through our lives. I feel like so many of my life’
s failures—family problems, depressive periods, failed relationships, personal financial mismanagement, a stalled music career—were front loaded. They all seemed to come at once, early on. I was mostly in survival mode, chipping away at what I actually wanted to be.
Or maybe I was just living. Looking back, all those “problems” I described now look more like essential building blocks for getting to now. Those failed relationships led to finally meeting an amazing person and marrying her. That stalled career led to starting Nimble Fitness with my closest friend and watching it grow into something better than I could ever have imagined. And those family issues let to being blessed with two amazing kids.
So, if forty is the new twenty…what’s fifty like?
Age is such a personal and changeable reality. I have really vivid childhood memories of my father’s fortieth birthday party. Forty then was OLD, the beginning of the downhill slide. My father got old man gifts: a cane, a hideous toupee (he still has all his hair, FYI) an AARP membership card. With a life expectancy of seventy-two, forty really was downhill.
Our thoughts on aging, however, especially in the scientific and physical training communities, have had to change radically over time. Sports stars like Dara Torres became an Olympic silver medalist at age forty-one and Laird Hamilton is the world’s premier big wave surfer at age fifty-four, proving that age is not a barrier to accomplishment in any field. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, A.K.A. the Notorious RBG, still works fourteen hour days and exercises three times a week at eighty-five!
Many studies on aging have shown that it is losing the habitof regular exercise that causes our physical abilities and health to decline, not aging itself. In other words, if you keep consistent with all the good habits; if you exercise, move when you can, work hard, eat clean, relieve stress instead of holding on to it; all of these good things fight the aging process.
So really, what is fifty like?
Calmer, definitely. More focused, fewer distractions. Truly important things float to the surface and guide you-relationships, family, community, doing quality work, doing what you love-all of which make more room for purpose and gratitude to shine through.
The secret of course is that there is no secret.
Physically and spiritually I have figured out what works for me. And what doesn’t. All you need is right out there in front of you. And if there is stuff that gets in the way of all those good things, get rid of it.
It’s tempting to say I’ve lived my life backwards…but now it feels like it sorted out just the way it was supposed to. Along the way I’ve learned to stop fighting the universe. Just be grateful! That’s enough.
If you’re heading out of town this summer, we encourage you to pack a few health tips from Nimble Fitness in your carry-on. Travel is stressful—both on body and mind. Your sleep is affected and it can feel impossible to find a decent meal in transit. How many times have you needed a vacation from your vacation?
How do you stay ahead of the curve when you’re traveling and come back truly rested and feeling fit?
Let us help! Here are some Nimble travel tips, gathered from 20 years of experience and designed for ease of use and minimal time commitment:
*Get into your next time zone ASAP. Basically, as soon as you get to the airport, adjust your body clock and your meals to the next time zone. This is a great, easy way to circumvent jet lag.
*Plan ahead with your meals. A little planning goes a long way in terms of keeping your meals high quality on the road. Almost anything is better than eating on a plane—go online ahead of time to see if the airport has a healthy option. If not, stock up on healthy snacks for your carry-on to tide you through.
*Stay well-hydrated on board—drink even more water than usual to counter the effects of cabin air, pressure and altitude.
*Move in the morning. This is called a maintenance routine, and is a great way to feel better on the road and not lose the fitness gains you’ve made. If you’re sleeping in a strange bed, this can be a re-set. Doing your movement session in the morning allows you to enjoy the benefits all day. This is backed by plenty of science—48 hours of more of inactivity mean lowered muscle function, cognitive function, neural drive, circulation, metabolism, and energy.
*Don’t worry about “workouts.” Yes, a dedicated workout would be great, but when traveling time is often limited, so keep it really short and simple. It also helps prep your body for anything the day brings—hiking, walking, parasailing -whatever you’re up to! 15-20 minutes is ample to do some of our Nimble basics, range of motion and muscle activation drills that re-set your posture, get you ready for action and help prevent injury.
It’s getting to the middle of summer, so right now you should be enjoying the fruits of all your workout labor. All of your spring training sessions went perfectly, right? You easily achieved all of your workout goals, hit your body composition numbers right on the head and are basking in the sun with your six-pack, right? Or no? If your fitness program has been less than perfect, and you’re struggling to hit your goals, then you’re right where you need to be!
In truth, at Nimble Fitness we know that health and wellness is a continual, highly individual process that can take a lifetime to get right. And in the spirit of a lifetime of improvement, here are some (very) common potholes on the road to fitness that we’d like to help you avoid. Please be sure to give us feedback. Let us know about your progress and your questions–we’d love to hear from you!
Here we go:
You do the same exercise routine every week.
If you do the same routine over and over-or play the same sport, or take the same class every week-your muscles will quickly adapt and hit a plateau, with each workout becoming less and less effective. However, if you challenge your muscles by adding or alternating exercise routines and movements periodically (think every 4-6 weeks), you’ll get significantly more fibers into the act and develop more tone and strength.
You’re exercising too hard, too often and don’t get enough rest.
If you don’t rest enough between hard cardio or strength workouts, you’ll stop making progress and may even lose some of the muscle tone you’ve gained. You are also likely to burn out on exercise! Overtraining is real—and can lead to serious consequences for your body. Taking some time off, resetting your intentions, and letting your body heal may be the best way to break a plateau.
You’re not challenging yourself with enough cardio variety.
Sticking with the same aerobic workout can sabotage your results just as much as pushing too hard. To truly boost your fitness and burn more calories with less effort, you need to venture outside your comfort zone a couple of times a week. Interval training, for example, is a great way to get out of your cardio rut. Try increasing your intensity for shorter bursts, then resting in between.
You perform your reps too quickly when strength training.
When you use momentum instead of muscle power, you don’t stimulate the muscles properly. You are also more susceptible to injuries. Slow it down, feel the burn and work through the entire range of motion. You’ll reap the benefits and get much more work out of lighter weight.
You avoid weight training or don’t do it properly.
If you don’t lift weights at all, you could be selling your body short. Weight training will give you improvements in strength, tone and bone density. Cardio exercise is only part of the health equation. Add resistance training into your routine and you will instantly see positive changes, both in your body strength and your cardio.
You are chronically dehydrated.
Being chronically dehydrated leads to reduced endurance and results in increased body temperature, heart rate and perceived exertion. Dehydration also impedes your recovery. Bottom line: If you’re even slightly dehydrated, your workouts will suffer and you won’t progress. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Make sure you drink plenty of water a few hours before each workout and on your rest days.
You are not addressing your injuries.
Whether an injury is acute or chronic, there is never a good reason to try to work through the pain. It is just going to prevent you from training at your best. Whatever the cause of your injury–improper use of equipment, lack of conditioning, insufficient warm-up, overtraining, an accident, whatever the reason, you have to make a conscious effort to remedy the problem. That might mean simply resting, seeing a physical therapist or getting a proper assessment to look at your training routine and your body’s imbalances. The sooner you find and remedy the cause of your pain, the faster you can progress with your workouts.
If you have further questions about improving your workouts, or if you’d like to schedule an assessment with one of our expert trainers, please email us at email@example.com.