Monthly Archive: January 2017

5 Tips To Stay Fit While Traveling

After a recent trip to Tampa, Florida attending fitness seminars for 5 days and hanging out with guys like Craig Ballantyne of Men’s Health magazine and fitness icon Shawn Phillips, I started to pick up on some of the secrets these guys use to stay in awesome shape even while traveling.

1. Workout No Matter What. After a busy 5 days of sitting on my butt in meetings and seminars I still managed to workout 4 out of the 5 days while in Florida. Which is even more than I workout at home!

The first day I got together with some fellow trainers and we trained together in the hotel gym. It wasn’t very big but had enough to get a great workout using our bodyweight and a few dumbbells.

Then the next day along we all headed to the local Powerhouse gym to get a great workout in a more upbeat gym atmosphere.

Whether it’s a quick hotel room bodyweight workout, a hotel gym workout or a Powerhouse gym workout, just make sure you do some exercise while traveling to offset all the sitting down on airplanes and in meetings.

2. All You Can Eat. The great thing about traveling to new cities is experiencing new places to eat. But if you’re not careful you could be paying the airline’s extra weight on the way home, and I am not talking about your luggage…

So do what all the fit trainers did every morning to start their day off right; eat a nutritious breakfast. Even though our hotel served a FREE buffet breakfast every morning, most everyone who is in great shape skipped the bacon and breads and had a huge freshly prepared omelet stuffed with veggies with a little fruit on the side, me included. Keep lunch small with a salad or whole grain wrap so you don’t get sleepy during the afternoon meetings, and enjoy a nice dinner with some lean meat and veggies and even a glass of wine.

3. Drink Up. I don’t mean spend your nights at the hotel bar getting sloshed. I mean drink lots of cold refreshing water. It will keep you full and focused and your mind off the donuts and croissants sitting across the conference table.

It’s really easy to drink lots of H2O during these hotel conferences as they usually serve you pitchers of water in your meeting rooms and in the big conference rooms. Just to be sure you always have water on hand, pick up a couple of litres of spring water at the hotel gift shop and keep on ice in your room.

4. Ditch the Cab. If you are up for some sight seeing or heading to a nearby restaurant for dinner, ditch the cab fare, get some directions and walk there instead. Google Maps on your smart phone works great for this! Walking is a great way to see a new city and burn some calories. Strolling back to the hotel after dinner is a great way to end the evening and ease the guilt from that decadent dessert.

You can also try to find a park or gym a couple miles away and walk or run there to get your heart pumping and your warmup out of the way.

5. Recharge. If you’re traveling solo, staying at a hotel is a great way to get some extra rest and relaxation. You get the bed to yourself, and you have no worries of the kids jumping in the bed at the wee hours of the morning.

It’s also a great time to catch up on some work or read that book you have been trying to get through. A dip in the hotel pool and a hot sauna afterwards might be just what you need to recharge your batteries before you get back on the road.

So there you have it, The 5 Best Ways To Stay Fit While Traveling so you still recognize yourself in the mirror when you get home…

20 Meditation Tips For Beginners

Although a good number of people try meditation at some point in their lives, only a small percentage actually persist with it.

This is unfortunate, as the benefits are enormous. One possible reason is that many beginners do not start with an appropriate mindset to make the practice
sustainable.

The purpose of this article is to provide 20 practical recommendations to help beginners get past the initial hurdles and integrate meditation as an ongoing practice in their lives.

1: Make it a formal practice. Set aside a time in the day that is your meditation practice time.

2: Only meditate for as long as you are enjoying it. It is especially important in the beginning that meditation is not a chore.

3: Do yoga or stretch first. Firstly physical activity will draw your own awareness into the body and away from your mind. A practice like yoga loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit more comfortably.

Additionally, yoga opens the body not only at the physical level but also
at subtle level, which facilitates movement of energy in the body.

4: Pick a specific location in your home to meditate. Ideally the place you choose will be somewhere that does not have much activity at other times. Two reasons for doing this are, the subconscious is conditioned by repetition, so by going to the same place at the same time each day to meditate you can get in yourself to expect to meditate when you are there.

The second reason is that when you meditate you begin to create a particular vibration in that spot. With time and meditation and place will become increasingly attuned to this energy of meditation, again making it easier for you to meditate when you are there.

5: Make sure your will meditation time is respected. if you live with others make sure that they understand that you are not to be disturbed while you are meditating. Equally for yourself make the same commitment, for example if your phone should ring, be aware of it and continue your meditation.

6: Create some representation of sacred space in your meditations spot. This should obviously be what is meaningful for you, maybe an actual altar with pictures and objects, or maybe just a special rug and your meditation cushion.

7: Use ritual if it helps you. This doesn’t have to be elaborate it could be as simple as lighting a candle, or a lighting incense. The repetition of a ritual before you
meditate, is again conditioning preparation for your body and mind.

8: Commit for the long haul. When you begin with the clear idea in your mind that the greatest benefits from meditation will accumulate with time, and see it as an
ongoing process, you are less likely to give up in frustration.

9: Meditate with understanding. Get clear in your mind exactly what you think meditation is and what it will be like before you start. Invariably everybody does have ideas and expectations like this, it is very helpful to make them conscious before you start.

10: Be clear of your motivation to begin meditation. When you understand your reasons and objectives in beginning meditation you are more likely to find a practice or technique that will work for you at that time.

11: Begin with a particular practice that you have actively chosen and commit to doing it for a given time period. Many beginners are constantly jumping from one to type or technique of meditation to another. Your meditation practice is a relationship with yourself, it will not deepen if it consists of one night stands.

This is not to say that the practice or technique you begin with is the one you stay with for the rest of your life, but a relationship is best left when you know exactly why it is that you are leaving, and not done simply on an impulse.

12: Educate yourself. Confusion and misunderstanding is primarily caused by ignorance. Find a good teacher, or online community where you can get answers. Read some books on meditation and spiritual practice.

13: Notice if frustration starts to creep into your practice. If you notice this happening take some time to explore what is going on for you, what expectation is not being fulfilled. Then examine the expectation itself, what is it based on.

14: Be honest with yourself. As I said meditation is a relationship with yourself, you are the most important person you need to be straightforward with, and meditation
is a key place to practice this.

15: Be prepared for some discomfort. It is normal in the beginning to experience some physical discomfort when sitting to meditate. Most people are not accustomed to sitting still, other than maybe slouched on a couch. Your
body needs time to develop strength and openness in the right places to allow you to sit comfortably and alert.

Sooner or later discomfort will also be experienced at the emotional and mental levels. If you are not consciously prepared for this it is likely to deter you from continuing.

16: Until you are well versed in your meditation practice it can be very beneficial to use a recording to guide you. This will help your mind to let go of concern about what you are doing, and the recording can act as a guide until you no longer need it.

17: Start to look for moments of awareness during the day. Finding space to be consciously present during everyday activities is a wonderful way to evolve your meditation practice.

Take advantage, of the time spent waiting in traffic, waiting in line, waiting for anything, to become present to yourself and what you are experiencing within
yourself. Look for such opportunities in your day, however brief, simple as they are taken radically change or experience of life.

18: Do it together. Meditating with a partner or group can have many wonderful benefits, and can improve your practice. When meditating with others many people say that it improves the quality of their meditation. However, it is necessary to make sure that you set agreed-upon ground rules before you begin.

19: Don’t stress about it. This may be the most important tip for beginners, and the hardest to implement. Many people in beginning meditation become anxious about whether they are doing it right or not, or whether something they experience should be happening or not. The article, meditation is practice, goes into more detail regarding this.

20: Invest in a good, comfortable meditation cushion. If you need other things to allow your body to sit comfortably in without strain, get them. If you set yourself up with the things that you need, you are removing a future potential pitfall to your practice.

Meditation is one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself, like any lasting and meaningful relationship it takes energy and commitment, it takes understanding and tolerance.

If you put these things in to your practice meditation will become your best friend, and powerful resource.

3 Reasons Why Your Personal Growth Can Make or Break Your Love Relationship or Marriage

Ellen feels as if her life is in pieces. Her relationship with her husband Rob is usually strained and distant. Her work is dull and doesn’t pay much. And her friends aren’t all that much fun to be around– when she actually makes the time to go out with them.

Even though Ellen knows it’s past time for her to make some improvements to her life, she can’t even think about how to begin. It seems that if she chooses to work on herself, her marriage will suffer. But if she focuses in on her marriage, what happens to her own personal growth?

Believe it or not, the improvements that you make on a personal and individual level can exponentially improve your love relationship or marriage.

The beauty of it is that your personal growth can soar along with positive changes that you make in your relationship too.

It’s all inter-connected…mostly because both of these relationships involve you.

You and you, as well as you and your partner.

Even if this isn’t news to you, it’s likely that some of the time you forget this important point.

Too often, people get overwhelmed. They see too many habits and dynamics that they’d like to work on in their lives, but they feel like they have to choose.

The quandary can seem to be: “It’s me or my relationship.”

How wonderful to be reminded that you truly don’t have to choose.

Here’s why some people feel torn…

Let’s say that Ellen has decided to take a self-empowerment class. She is hesitant to tell Rob because she guesses that he’ll react negatively– and he does. Rob tells her that he’s concerned about the money and the time that she’ll be away from home. This cramps his style because it means that he has to be home alone with their young children one evening a week for the duration of the class.

Inside, Rob is also worried about what being more “self-empowered” will mean for Ellen. Will she be angry all of the time? Will she make more demands of him? Will she eventually leave him?

Ellen and Rob have created a scenario in which neither of them can grow and neither of them can flourish.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Personal growth can and does have beneficial effects on love relationships and marriages.

Here are just a few examples…

*Self esteem translates into greater mutual respect.
What do most couples want from one another? Well, there are a lot of things. Among the complaints that many people make about their partners, one is that they don’t feel respected.

Guess what?

In the majority of relationships, not only is there weak communication of respect between the two people, but there is also lagging self-respect within each individual.

Notice that I said “weak communication of respect.” This is because no matter how much your mate might respect you, it’s impossible to hear his or her expressions of that respect when you don’t believe it about yourself.

You have to feel it about yourself in order to hear it from your partner. Conversely, you need to feel secure about your own self worth to not feel threatened or less than your mate.

In both cases, the stronger and healthier your own self esteem, the more aware you both will be of the respect that is felt for one another.

*When your partner isn’t your everything, you two are freer to be more to one another.
In her book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about the virtual epidemic of dissatisfied married people in the U.S.

By comparing approaches to marriage in the U.S. with those of other cultures– particularly those in developing nations– Gilbert comes to the conclusion that women in the U.S. expect their husbands to be everything for them.

Lover, co-parent, best friend, emotional support, financial support, etc.: the expectations that American women have of their husbands (or long-term boyfriends) is huge when compared with the more limited expectations that women in other cultures have of their men.

I agree with Gilbert that not all heterosexual relationships in the U.S. involve such all-encompassing expectations. The constraints on women (and men) in some developing countries is not preferable to the relative freedoms that women in the U.S enjoy– particularly when it comes to marriage.

The point here is that when a woman or man expects his or her partner to be EVERYTHING, disappointment is sure to follow. Nobody can be your everything.

Make consistently connecting with your mate a priority. At the same time, be willing to reach out to friends, extended family, your spiritual community, your book club or your soccer team to fulfill particular needs.

This actually allows you to come to your partner already feeling filled up and more available to share in the joy and love that you have for one another.

*When you keep discovering yourself, there’s always something exciting to discover in your partner.
There’s a commonly held belief that after a period of time, a couple will settle in together and the passion and spark will die down– or die out completely.

Many people assume this to be true and they come to terms with this being a reality for them.

The real truth is this…

The spark between you and your partner may change and fluctuate over time, but it does not have to dwindle or die. You can keep the passion hot between you and your mate by staying open to your own personal growth.

Think about how exciting it can be when you happen upon a book, interest, technique or way of living that really resonates for you. It can feel as if the world is turned on its head, in a great way!

This new growth within you is a discovery– perhaps it feels like a new you has been born. Even if your partner has no interest whatsoever in this thing that has grabbed your attention, he or she can benefit.

If you can set aside any attachment you might have to your partner joining in with you and believing that this new thing is as great as you do, the spark will spread to your relationship.

Focus in on the feelings of renewed passion and excitement. Let those feelings carry over into your conversations, walks, chore-time, lovemaking and just hanging out moments with your partner.

Celebrate the spark that now glows in your eyes and see the spark in your partner’s eyes.