Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

February 2021 // Archive

Date based archive
18 Feb


A great element of performance management is having accountability. When we have someone to answer to we have an added level of responsibility to complete the designated task. Sometimes we view this term with a negative connotation like we are being punished. But let’s face, accountability does have a positive impact on our fitness journeys as well as others aspects of our lives. For many, it is part of the reason you hired me.

Let’s start with the dictionary definition of “accountability”: “The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property”. (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/accountability.html) . I love this term. Accountability requires honesty, humiliation, vulnerability, responsibility, communication, obligation, and a sense of promise to do what you said you would do. One must follow through with the plan and meet the outlined requirements. Guess what?? That’s what your fitness journey is in a nut shell. I like this description: “Accountability is the guiding principle that defines how we make commitments to one another, how we measure and report our progress how we interact when things go wrong, and how much ownership we take to get things done. It is, in essence, the nerve center that runs throughout every part of the organization and through every working relationship to every member of every team” (https://www.ozprinciple.com/self/why-accountability/) .

Having a personal trainer, such as myself, helps lead to your success and betters your performance along the way. Your session hour is your meeting with me. There is a sense of guarantee you will get your workout done. When left up to yourself to hit the gym or be active at home, there can be room for error like hitting the snooze button or just deciding to relax after a long day at work. You are accountable to me to be at your session. And then there’s the MyFitness Pal app many of us incorporate. It is an essential tool to truly be accountable with you and I. During this new bodybuilding experience I have undergone, I too, have to be accountable to my coach with my tracking sheets, weekly photos of my body’s progress, and adhering to the assigned workouts. There’s something about taking the time to fill in my chart and report to him what I have done that keeps me aligned every day. Not only to I want to be incomplete, but I want to prove to myself and him that I am capable of meeting all requirements.

Positive results can be achieved when accountability is in place. The following are just a few of those results that can occur in a business or can be applied to yourself: “improved performance, more employee participation and involvement, increased feeling of competency, increased employee commitment to the work, more creativity and innovation, and higher employee morale and satisfaction with the work” (https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/reference-materials/more-topics/accountability-can-have-positive-results/), In the book by, Mark Samuel, The Accountability Revolution, Samuel states, “Accountability can result in increased synergy, a safe climate for experimentation and change, and improved solutions because people feel supported and trusted” (https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/reference-materials/more-topics/accountability-can-have-positive-results/).

Together we can create achievable goals, be open to transition and modification as needed, and be in a trusting and honestly communicating relationship on your fitness journey. I’m accountable to you to create a program tailored to your needs and abilities. I’m accountable to see you be successful. Sounds serious huh?? No, it’s just the facts. So let’s keep being accountable to one another, praise one another’s successes, and build each other up when needed, because one rep at a time…. we are getting better together on your fitness journeys.

11 Feb


You workout. You eat right. SO what’s the problem?? The stares, the glares, the FIT shaming. Health is a priority and should be. Not everyone feels that exercise, turning down a drink, or choosing a salad over fries is appropriate. How can health be looked down upon??

Ever been told you like fine how you are?? Is working out being self-absorbed?? Is working out pregnant being selfish?? Is leaving the kids at daycare an hour longer so you can hit the gym bad parenting?? Is spending money on memberships and trainers not putting family first?? Is taking a gym selfie of your progress vain?? These are all FIT shaming related topics.

When health is a priority, you make time for it. You wake up earlier, stay up later, spend extra time to prepare food of nutritional value, and this doesn’t mean you are taking time away from anything or anyone. Why does this have to be an either/or situation??

Even I have been told to eat something or get the demeaning tone questioning my working out so much. Eating clean is somehow not normal. It is possible to have work/life balance. It is possible to utilize your time and still accomplish what responsibilities need to get taken care of.
Where do we draw the line between too fit or too overweight?? Polar opposite yet still frowned upon depending upon who you ask.

On our fitness journeys, we have to consider the source of the remarks. Surrounding ourselves with encouraging and supportive people sets us up for better results. We are all entitled to give and take criticism and opinions, but that doesn’t mean they’re fact or truth. The lesson would be to understand what it feels like to be on the receiving end of these words and to not reciprocate or repeat this behavior towards others. We need to LIFT each other up. Otherwise, we continue to build walls, lack communication, and regret not living to our fullest due to fear. Inspire those who need your motivation and ignore those who don’t understand your journey. It’s not for them to understand, it’s for YOU to feel and be your BEST!!!!

04 Feb


Every BODY has their own level of tolerance for pain. Sometimes we need assistance to overcome a hurt or sensation that is terribly uncomfortable say from the dentist, a surgery, or from an injury. Doctors will then prescribe medications to alleviate this discomfort, understanding this is a temporary solution for a medical need. But somehow, the use of painkillers has become an apparent problem in our habit forming society who rarely does anything in moderation. On our fitness journeys, pain can occur from injuries and setbacks, thus, let’s take a look at these pills and inspect what they do to our bodies.

Our body detects pain and tells us and boy oh boy we feel it. Here’s the low down: “When part of your body is injured, special nerve endings send pain messages back to your brain. Painkilling drugs interfere with these messages, either at the site of the injury, in the spinal cord or in the brain itself” (http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/whoami/findoutmore/yourbrain/howdodrugsaffectyourbrain/howdopainkillerswork). Aspirin and opiates are the two types which are the foundational ingredient. Aspirin comes from willow bark and it helps alleviate pain from inflammation. It helps with swelling. Opiates come from the opiate poppy and are the more dangerous form: “The most active substance in opium is morphine – named after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. Codeine, a less powerful drug, is also found in opium. Both these opiates relieve pain, relax muscles and cause drowsiness. All opiates mimic your body’s own painkillers. Morphine is a very powerful painkiller, but it is also very addictive” (http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/whoami/findoutmore/yourbrain/howdodrugsaffectyourbrain/howdopainkillerswork/whatareopiates).

The reality is that when something makes us feel good, we like it and want more. Human nature at its finest. In fact, “In the last ten years, stimulant prescriptions have seen an increase from 5 million to 45 million, while opiate/opioid prescriptions grew from 30 million to 180 million” (http://drugabuse.com/). Even worse check this out: “n 2012, 259 million prescriptions for painkillers, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, and Opana, were written in the U.S. When used improperly, these legal opioid drugs can present some of the same risks as illicit heroin sold on the street. While 467,000 people in the U.S. struggled with heroin addiction in 2012, over 2 million were estimated to abuse opioid painkillers” (http://drugabuse.com/featured/the-effects-of-opiates-on-the-body/). Veins can collapse, heart lining can become infected, sedation can occur, breathing becomes slowed causing respiratory issues that can be fatal, you can actually become more sensitive to pain, and your immune system becomes suppressed. The liver is greatly damaged trying to process all this.

Pills and drugs are quick fix solutions and band aids, not part of the life style changes we are aiming to create. Know yourself and your personality when faced with pain and let your doctor know. Communication is critical. Body awareness and self-control are troublesome when tested with convenience but you are so much stronger than you think you are.