Emotional Health, It’s time! A Must To Achieve Progress 

By Quincy Martel, MA, Life Coach

Emotional health, much like physical health and wellness requires work, discipline, and practice.  Just imagine if someone didn’t take care of their personal grooming such as brushing hair or teeth and not showering…we’d be quick to take notice at an unkempt appearance.   We may even confront the person, and or attempt to help them.  We recognize whether an individual takes care of their body, by looking at their shape and size. The physical is something that is outward and can be visually or apparent to the other senses. On the other hand, emotional health is not visible even though it may become apparent over time.  Emotional health is often times neglected and many don’t pay attention to it.  In order to have a better quality of life, mind and body, it’s important to work on emotional health in conjunction with physical health.  Here are some tools to help work out the limbic system and develop and improve the emotional wellness.

It’ important to protect and develop emotional and self-care by working on self- esteem.  Words have power and negative words may be weapons.  Self-esteem is affected by how we value and talk to ourselves  (internal dialogue) and people whom we surround ourselves…there’s and old saying misery love’s company.  In the emotional world negativity attracts and feeds off negativity.  It’s important to curb and catch self-criticism and negative self-talk.

The internal thought process and dialogue greatly affects the limbic system in the brain.  Beliefs are based in thoughts.  It’s important to choose those thoughts wisely and keep them in check.  Negative self- thoughts beget negative self -beliefs that may affect self-esteem and self worth.  Practice positive self-talk, affirmations, and surrounding yourself with positive supportive people. Just say “No.”  Most people who are emotionally taxed do not know how to enforce boundaries within relationships.  It’s ok to say “no” and enforce healthy boundaries with family, friends or coworkers.  It may take practice, but setting healthy boundaries will reduce stress, and resentment. Journal.  Active writing goal setting and journaling has emotional therapeutic value.  Thoughts become reality when pen meets paper.

Find peace.  Peace takes work…seems odd but true.  Peace takes an emotional discipline that will help the individual detoxify from failure, resentment, rejection, hurt, pain.  Letting go of emotional turmoil takes work, but hanging onto it is much harder and usually negatively impacts the individual’s behaviors and physical well-being. Letting go and finding peace is a discipline requires and individual to look at variables the may be able to control, and wisdom to discern the variables they cannot control.  Attempting to control things we cannot control like being stuck in traffic threatens the emotional health of an individual…stress.

Stretch more stress less.  Stress unless there is a bear in the woods…does the body harm.  Keep your emotional heath in check by staving off stress by meditation, yoga, breath work and prayer life. 

Find meaning and purpose in life.  Emotional health and wellness is tied into purpose and meaning.  A great man once told me the best way to help yourself is to help another.

There is no time like the now to take care of yourself by taking care of your emotional health.

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High-intensity Interval Training

High intense training can be performed by all fitness levels. Adjusting movements and changing rest times is all you need to do. High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT, programmed correctly can burn that fat, melt those calories and improve your cardio tremendously in a shorter period of time than if you did so on your own. High-Intensity interval training takes a series of movements and puts them together in a way that the rest times between exercises are slim to none and muscle endurance and strength can be obtained while also keeping your heart rate revved without sacrificing form.

Your muscles and lungs start to accumulate an oxygen “debt” known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC generates a calorie and fat incinerating metabolism for hours after your work out. Continuously training in this fashion will benefit you in so many ways. You will see faster results along with seeing your exercise routine be turned up to levels you never thought you could do. You will physically and mentally be a better and a more fit individual. You will find yourself challenging your body and in return getting faster results.

You can test this yourself if you have a heart rate/ calorie monitor. After a really good HIIT work out check out how many calories you have and remember the amount. Check your calories 30 minutes later and write down the number of extra calories you have just burned not doing anything but breathing. Do this again with a standard weight lifting session on your own. The difference in numbers is going to be very different. Now assuming you are still trying to lose weight and become stronger and more toned the benefits are far greater than if you did a strict weight lifting session on your own or a cardio class. The HIIT workout gets the best of both worlds and then some. You build strong toned muscle, your heart rate stays up, lungs and breathing become more efficient and at the end of it, all more calories are burned during and post-workout.

hiit-live-in-fitness

Below is a short example of a HIIT workout:

3 rounds of 40 seconds each exercise. Move on to the next exercise as fast as possible.

Start 1st round with 100 jump rope singles

DB swings Overhead/Walking lunges/Squat Jumps

Start 2nd round with 75 jump rope singles

DB swings Overhead/Walking lunges/Squat Jumps/ Wall sit with DB press

Start 3rd round with 25 jump rope singles

DB swings Overhead/Walking lunges/Squat Jumps/ wall sit with DB press/ Burpess

REST 2 MINUTES

30 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest x4: mountain climbers (3min total)

Rest 1 minute

20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest x4: Box Jumps (2min total)

Rest 45 seconds

10 seconds of rest followed by 5 seconds of rest x4: Jack Squats (1min total)

HIIT training is going to challenge you, it will be different and most of all fun. Don’t forget to allow your body to take 1-2 rest days a week since these workouts will be more demanding and on your body physically and mentally.

running to lose weight

Interval Pace Running

Interval pace running is a perfect way to get a good run in, cover some distance and sweat. Many get stuck on the treadmill and their bodies adapt and you just don’t get the same workout in. Incorporating interval pace running has been a very good tool for all fitness levels to get outdoors and get that awesome run they have been looking for without having to stop early or get too tired.

Interval pace running can be made perfectly for your fitness level. It is very simple and easy to change when you feel like you can do more work or have to decrease the intensity. There are many times I hear people not want to go outside for a run because it makes them too tired or that the treadmill is easier for them to run for a longer period of time. Yes, using your own body to propel yourself in a forward running motion can cause you to put forth more effort if you are not used to it which will probably cause you to not run as long as you would on a treadmill. If you take a look at the brighter side of this situation you are at least able to somewhat run for a given amount of time. Now, all we have to do is find yourself a comfortable pace you can perform at.

running to lose weight

Here are a couple of ways you can personalize your pace to cater to your fitness level so that you can run for a longer period of time, cover some distance and get a good sweaty workout in.

  • Time- Run/walk for 20 seconds then walk for 20 seconds. If you feel like you can do more you can either reduce the rest time or increase the run/walk time. Either way, you should find what a good working pace is for you and keep that pace for as long as you can while progressively getting better over time.
  • Steps- Run/walk for 50 fast steps then rest for 25 steps. The stepping pace works really well if you keep the rest below the amount of work you are performing at. If that is too difficult you can always increase it.
  • Markers- This is where you can get creative and change up your workout. A classic example of marker pace running is going from street light to street light. Run/walk to a street light, when you get to it rest at a slower pace until you get to the next street light. You can also do this with mailboxes, driveways, trees, etc. Your chance to get creative and have fun with your workout.

Remember that when you are walking/running these paces you keep in mind that you want to progressively work to a pace where you don’t have to stop moving. Try out different pace intervals and figure out which pace interval will keep you at a working pace and sweating.

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HIIT Workout

What is HIIT Workout or High Intensity Interval Training?

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a series of movements with slim to no rest times in between. This maximizes muscle endurance and strength while keeping your heart rate revved and without sacrificing form.

HIIT can be performed by anyone at any level. All you have to do is adjust movements and change your rest times. And when programmed correctly, HIIT can burn that fat, melt those calories and improve your cardio tremendously in a shorter period of time than if you did so on your own.

Why does it work?

Your muscles and lungs start to accumulate an oxygen “debt” known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC generates a calorie- and fat-incinerating metabolism for hours after your workout. Continuously training in this fashion will benefit you in so many ways. You will see faster results along with seeing your exercise routine be turned up to levels you never thought you could do. You will quickly grow more fit, both physically and mentally. You will also find yourself challenging your body and in return getting faster results.

You can test this yourself if you have a heart rate/calorie monitor. After a really good HIIT workout, check out how many calories you have and remember the amount. Check your calories 30 minutes later and write down the number of extra calories you have just burned not doing anything but breathing.

Do this again with a standard weight lifting session on your own. The calorie difference will be very different. You’ll also quickly notice (assuming you are still trying to lose weight and become stronger and more toned)  that the benefits are far greater than if you did a strict weight lifting session on your own or a cardio class.

The HIIT workout gets the best of both worlds and then some. You build strong toned muscle, your heart rate stays up, lungs and breathing become more efficient and at the end of it, all more calories are burned during and post-workout.

Below is a short example of a HIIT workout:

3 rounds of 40 seconds each exercise. Move on to the next exercise as quickly as possible.

Start 1st round with 100 jump rope singles

DB swings Overhead/Walking Lunges/Squat Jumps

Start 2nd round with 75 jump rope singles

DB swings Overhead/Walking Lunges/Squat Jumps/ Wall Sit with DB Press

Start 3rd round with 25 jump rope singles

DB Swings Overhead/Walking Lunges/Squat Jumps/ Wall Sit with DB press/ Burpees

REST 2 MINUTES

30 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest x4: Mountain Climbers (3 min. total)

Rest 1 minute

20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest x4: Box Jumps (2 min. total)

Rest 45 seconds

10 seconds of rest followed by 5 seconds of rest x4: Jack Squats (1 min. total)

HIIT training is going to challenge you. It will be different and most of all fun. Don’t forget to allow your body to take 1-2 rest days a week since these workouts will be more demanding on your body physically and mentally.

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