I am willing to conjecture that you likely just read the title of this blog post and exclaimed, “It’s only just Fall!”.
Well, yes – Fall only just began, BUT the change in season is always exciting. The coming of a new season of weather means adjustments in how we live our day to day lives.
We live in a part of the country that gets (at least most years…) four distinct seasons, which means four distinct arrivals of new living conditions.
Some of our activities seem to be better suited for some seasons more than others.
When our workouts first became virtual in March, I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, rain jacket, leggings, long socks, and a winter hat. (The only large enough space that I had to work out was my front porch…)
Let’s just say that by the time the end of April rolled around, working out on my front porch became very enjoyable – as you might imagine.
Currently, people all over the country (including those at Urban Athlete) are taking advantage of outdoor workouts. The hot temperatures are starting to break, and the 6AM sunrise could not be more beautiful.
Generally speaking – when different seasons head our way, we don’t stop doing what’s important to us or good for us, we simply make a few adjustments. (If I had a penny for the amount of times I heard that softball was “a game of adjustments”…)
Here are a few practical adjustments that you can make, in order to keep working out as the temperatures continue to fall:
Wear proper gear. Even though the temperatures are cooler, we all know that we are bound to sweat. Keep in mind that this is your body’s cooling mechanism – Coupled with a t-shirt, shorts, and 40-50 degree weather…Make sure that you regulate your body temperature accordingly, and plan ahead with plenty of layers.
Stay hydrated. Sometimes it’s the easiest to drink water when we’re hot and sweaty. Stay ahead of the game and drink before you get thirsty. This could look like drinking plenty of water the night before a 6AM workout.
Listen to your body. Give your body the space and grace to adjust to the change in weather – hot or cold. Our bodies are incredible and adaptable, but they need the time to do so.
Here’s to always finding a way to work out, no matter what.
Considering joining one of our outdoor workouts? Call 215-248-2130 or send us an email at email@example.com !
I recently read a research article, written by Gladwell and colleagues, from the Journal of Extreme Physiology and Medicine, titled “The green outdoors: how a green exercise environment can benefit all.”
I found this article (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3710158/) after searching for the relationship between green space and exercise. My time spent working in Auburn University’s Psychophysiology Lab told me that there already was a correlation.
Why even research the correlation to begin with?
Currently, many industries (including the fitness industry) are delivering their goods and services over different platforms. We’ve already discussed virtual workouts, but we have yet to discuss green workouts.
In order to accommodate higher volumes of people outside gym doors, fitness facilities (like UA) have found green workout spaces.
What began as a way to reinforce social distancing, turned into a highly motivating exercise environment simply because it was green.
According to the review of literature by Gladwell and colleagues in 2013, green workouts cause “…greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement” and “improve self-esteem and negative mood…”
However, what I found most interesting was that green workouts reduced exercisers’ ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). Following this train of thought, some people will be more likely to continue exercising (adherence), if they don’t believe the workout to be as tough (Gladwell et al., 2013).
As you can see from the date of the review, this is not new information – so it begs the question…
Pandemic or no pandemic – why not always exercise outside? (Until it snows that is…and then I’ll be the first person inside…)
Want to work out On the Field with us, while the weather is still beautiful? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website http://urbanathlete.tv !
This blog post is one of the easier ones to write because of how close to home it hits. Some of you may relate to it in different ways, but I definitely know that I do.
Here it goes…
Resting is hard for me. If there is more time left in the day, I assume that something productive must be done with it. (You likely already see the flaws in my thinking, but alas we are human…)
Similarly, if I don’t feel like I’ve been productive that day, I don’t give myself permission to relax. So there exists this relationship in my mind between productivity and relaxation.
The more productive I am, the more I allow myself to relax.
Now – the best days I have are the days where I schedule the time that I will work and the time that I will relax. I laugh as I type this, because I understand that we don’t always have this luxury…
My ultimate goal for myself is that I am able to be at peace (or at rest if you will) always and regardless of my external circumstances.
However, sometimes we need tools to help us get where we are looking to go. Take rest in a workout for instance. We briefly mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but I wanted to highlight it again, as our lives and habits have inadvertently become more fluid.
Rest in a workout is proportional to the amount of work that we do, depending on what we wish to accomplish – endurance, hypertrophy, strength, power. We can minimize our rest time to give our muscles less time to restore, less time to gather the ingredients they need for contraction. However, when going for max lifts, we give ourselves ample rest time between sets.
Rest is adjustable.
I may need to schedule rest now, but my ultimate goal is to be able to rest wherever and whenever.
Who’s with me?
Give us a call at 215-248-2130 to schedule your free & outdoor Success Session!
Nowadays, thinking inside the box isn’t necessarily a bad thing – especially when it’s in an exercise box…
To the left of where the photo was taken is Urban Athlete’s physical location. It just so happens that it comes with this awesome garage space conducive to exercising during a pandemic. (Hats off to Pamela for foreseeing this 11 years ago.)
All joking aside, you don’t need me to tell you that exercise and your health are serious business. Exercise is our business but so is leveraging it to enhance your mental health and wellness.
Here’s how that works:
Your body releases endorphins in response to stress. There are many different types of stress, and exercise is one of them.
I knew this feeling well after long weekends of travel softball – when my body could barely move from the car to the front door, but mentally I never felt better.
Workouts do the same thing but without the bruises and jammed fingers.
You work hard for 25-30 minutes, and then your body feels a sense of release. Like you just let out a ginormous exhale. The shoulders that were pinched-up towards your ears now move when you walk.
This feeling transfers over to your work – you feel alert and purposeful (at least for a few hours!). Pretty soon, the time you spend with your family begins to feel more intentional, too.
This is what we mean by enhancing wellness.
Illness and disease are stressors, too. They stress our organs and our minds, but exercise prepares our bodies for that stress.
Give us a call at 215-248-2130 to schedule your free & outdoor Success Session!
Until today, I never much cared for cherry tomatoes.
I love ketchup, tomato sauce, and all the many tomato things – but ask me to grab a tomato off the vine and take a bite…Let’s just say I had other opinions! I blame the texture…
So what inspired me to try one today? To venture outside of my comfort zone and try something new?
One place we could look is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This is also an interesting topic to consider amidst a pandemic.
Try your best to visualize this description as a pyramid with five tiers. At the base is Physiological Needs. These needs are air, water, food, shelter, sleep, clothing, and reproduction. Maslow theorized that these needs have to be satisfied before we can do anything else.
The next level is Safety Needs. These are personal security, employment, resources, health, and property. Following this thinking, once we have satisfied our basic needs of food, water, and shelter – then we can focus on our workplace and health.
Following our needs for safety is Love and belonging, which looks like friendship, intimacy, family, and sense of connection.
The next level in the hierarchy is Esteem – respect, self-esteem, status, recognition, strength, and freedom.
At the very top of the pyramid is Self-actualization. This is your desire to become the most or best that you can be. However, before we get to the very top of the pyramid, we have to first satisfy all of the needs that came before it (according to Maslow).
We could easily translate these levels of needs into what we are currently experiencing.
First, people are focusing on providing food, water, and shelter for their families. (Physiological)
Next, we are working hard to maintain and protect our quality of health. (Safety)
Now – these next tiers get a little tricky. The top three needs might be getting a little less love during the pandemic, as we put all of our energy into our physiological and safety needs.
This brings me back to my tomato. It struck me as interesting that, for a brief moment, I thought about something beyond my immediate, basic needs. I thought about the joy and simplicity of picking a vegetable right from the vine and not even washing it.
Have you checked out our 30 Day Resilience Challenge?
Send us questions at email@example.com or head straight to our Online Portal to get started!
It’s 6:40 AM on a Monday, and you’re exhausted (the good kind). You just finished an Urban Athlete workout, and you start to grab your things to leave and head to work, when…
Your workout buddy (the one who’s had more coffee than you) asks, “You doing the CoreCorner today?”
You were never one for excuses, so you sigh internally and then say, “Uh yeah sure, I got a few minutes.”
All joking aside, the CoreCorner has become something that is both incredibly unifying for our community, as well as essential to our workouts, during our time in quarantine.
Let me give you a brief description of what exactly the CoreCorner is:
The CoreCorner is quick. It is a brief finisher to the workout and lasts about 3-5 minutes.
The CoreCorner is optional. Need to get to work? No problem – catch it the next morning.
The CoreCorner is challenging. Daily increases to your plank? You have your friends to complain to!
The CoreCorner is fun. Your friends (now also sweaty & out of breath) will be cheering you on.
Step inside the doors to our gym, and you will see the CoreCorner written on a white board. Each week, members anxiously await its change.
Some weeks there are timing intervals, and other weeks there are exercises for reps.
However, the best part about the CoreCorner is that it’s not just abs! By core, we also mean the musculature surrounding your hips and spine. This leaves the door wide open for the types of exercises that you may see, and that’s half the fun!
What started as only a finisher, turned into a pillar of the UA community. Hardships headed your way? No problem – you’ll have plenty of people in your corner, and they’ll be awfully strong too…
We’re always happy to hear from you. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information or to stay in touch.
Blog posts should be nothing but relatable, right? Which is why this is a safe space for me to talk about something that you might also do, right? Right?
Every evening, I set a very ambitious alarm on my phone (the keyword being ambitious). Sometimes, I find myself dreaming that I had an “old-fashioned” alarm clock that wasn’t on my phone, but that’s a whole other monologue…
By ambitious, I mean early – earlier than I need to wake up for the day’s activities. Let me explain this a bit further –
There are some (or maybe most) tasks throughout our day that external factors dictate that we must do. These external factors could be job requirements, set appointments (health, work, or otherwise), or instances where people or lives are relying on us.
To give you an example, I care for horses in my spare time. Several mornings a week, I am responsible for feeding the horses, taking them outside, and cleaning the barn. When my alarm clock, I mean phone, goes off at 5:45 AM – something inside of me says, “Jennifer, you have to get up.” The power that external circumstances (horses needing to be fed, in this case) have over our actions is incredible.
On the flip side of extrinsic (outside of you) motivation is intrinsic, or internal motivation. With intrinsic motivation, you accomplish tasks purely for your own enjoyment, or because you (and no one else) find them important.
To give you an example, last night I set my alarm for 5:45 AM – not because I had to take care of the horses, but because I wanted to read and have coffee before the 7 AM workout. Mind you, this was not a workout I was expected to coach, it was just a workout that I wanted to do.
I snoozed my alarm clock until 6:50 AM.
But Jennifer ! You still had 10 minutes !! (Not at the pace at which I tend to do things…)
In my very sleepy mind, external circumstances did not require that I wake up at 5:45 AM to drink coffee, read, and work out. Nothing was saying, “Jennifer, you have to get up.”
I do acknowledge that there are other factors at play here – quality of sleep, valuing exercise as a must, etc.
Speaking from human to human (although I am a fitness professional), I wanted to start the discussion on what motivates us to do the things that we want to do, so we don’t regret not doing them later.
**Disclaimer: I wasn’t going to say anything…but…I did wake up for an optional workout yesterday!
What changed in my motivation today? Reach out to us at email@example.com !
Like anything we talk about at UA – we always talk about lifestyle patterns as they relate to the whole person. By whole person, I mean physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Today, I am going to talk about patience, and I hope to discuss it holistically as I just mentioned.
First, let me ask: Do you have a positive or negative connotation with the word patience?
This might very well influence your perception of this blog post, but I am entrusting you to keep reading!
Second question: Can you think of a specific instance of patience or lack thereof?
I am going to share a personal example of patience that is both physical and mental. We’ll get to emotional patience in a bit…
My dad, like most dads, started as my sport’s coach and quickly became my life coach. For better or worse (mostly better), my dad was the head coach of my travel softball team, during my senior year of high school.
He should write a book on his opinions concerning mental toughness. However…I was a terrible hitter (but an amazing catcher…), and he needed to use every coaching phrase in the book to help me get a hit.
Wait for your pitch.
To which every player in a slump responds, “What do you meeaaan wait for my pitch!? I’ll be waiting forever!”
Waiting for your pitch is an example of being mentally patient – taking conscious control of your thoughts, telling yourself that you don’t need to act now.
This leads me to the part of my patience example that is physical. Something physical happens when you are mentally waiting for your pitch – as a hitter, your hands subconsciously stay back. There are physical consequences to your mental decisions. Seems simple enough!
But does it work in reverse? Can your hands stay back without first deciding that you are going to wait?
We can all relate differently to this, which is why I don’t want to give you any specific examples outside of my personal story.
But lastly, we also have the power to be patient with our emotions. To stay with my softball team example, you can imagine the frustrations that might occur within any team dynamic. If everyone acted on their very first emotion to surface, it would create a rather tumultuous experience…
That first emotion is incredibly valid, however other emotions often arise when you give yourself the time.
This week, be patient with yourself, as you try to be patient – in all areas of your life!
Cheers to you.
Growing impatient to get working out? Give us a call at 215-248-2130, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org !
How many plank exercises can you name in 30 seconds?
Star, Front, Forearm, Side, Tripod, Plank Reaches, Plank Jacks, Single-Leg, Elevated.
That was my list! What’s yours? Set a timer on your phone, and let us know. Or maybe I just gave you nine plank exercises that now you can’t get out of your head…(Plus two already had plank in the name!)
Planks are great, because they are universal. They can be done anytime and anyplace.
Planks can also be done by anyone. Young, old, seasoned gym goers, newcomers, and everyone in between – everyone seems to know innately how to plank. (Also note how easily I just turned plank into a verb – another cool plank trick!)
Can you remember when you were specifically taught how to do a traditional front plank?
I don’t recall our middle school softball coach saying, “Okay y’all, we’re going to do this crazy exercise that works our core, glutes, quads, and shoulders all at the same time. I’m going to need you to put your hands under your shoulders and straighten you legs and keep your knees off the ground and hips low.”
She just told us to hold a plank, and we knew what to do!
Planks are also great, because they are scalable. They can be made more challenging or less challenging.
Is a two-arm high plank too easy? Switch to a tripod plank! Too hard – come down to your forearms.
*Disclaimer: The tricky part about planks is that you can put considerable stress on your wrists and shoulders, if you are recovering from an injury in one of those areas. No problem – maybe try a V-Sit hold to stick with an isometric movement. There are so many core exercises to be done that don’t involve being on your hands!
Finally, planks are great, because they provide instant feedback to the exerciser. Maybe you’ve tried to see how long you can hold a plank, or for a week you decided to increase how long you held a plank daily by 30 seconds.
In both scenarios, you can tell immediately if you’ve reached your goal of holding a plank for three minutes, for example. It gives you, the exerciser, something tangible to work towards, as well as to celebrate!
We love planks for all these reasons – and more!
Want to plank with us? Give us a call at 215-248-2130, or send us an email at email@example.com !
You and I both have things that we just really love to do.
You and I also have things that we know are good for us to do, but they may not be what we necessarily love to do.
Everyone exercises for different reasons. For some of us, it may be because we love it. For others of us, it may be because we know exercising is good.
So what keeps us from doing something that we love to do or that we know is good for us?
With exercise, this can often mean previous or current injuries and pain.
Let me begin by saying that sometimes our bodies absolutely and 100% need rest – not only to just slow it down, but also to be given enough time and space to stop completely.
However, there is also a time and place in a group workout setting where the workout needs to be adjusted or modified to suit your body’s needs.
For the remainder of this post, I’m going to stand firmly behind the belief that to modify a workout does not mean to make the workout easier. To modify a workout simply means to change it.
Whether we are in the gym or online, the format of our workouts at UA are always the same. After we demo the exercises for the workout, there is always time allotted for people to voice what their bodies are telling them that day.
Did they sleep funny? Is this their first workout back from a vacation? Do they have an old knee injury that’s flared-up?
Coaches provide the clients with options for that exercise when they see it in a workout. As the rounds go on, the client feels equipped to make real time decisions. Maybe on one round they need to do Swings, instead of Vertical Jumps, but on the next round their knees feel okay to jump.
In a workout, each exercise targets a specific muscle group and joint. The amazing news (and why workouts can have so much variety) is that there are countless exercises that work your quads, some that put stress on the knees and others that do not. The same could be said for your hips, core, and shoulders.
There is always a work around, and work arounds aren’t always easy.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can work out with UA while at home, please follow this link: urbanathlete.wodify.com or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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