As I was huffing and puffing the other day teaching fitness classes, I was reminded once again of the importance of intensity. So many people still do not understand that the heart needs to be challenged in order to be strengthened. It is no different than our muscles; in order for them to grow, we must do resistance training.
We are all different, so I really don’t like the idea of a one-size-fits-all heart-rate chart. For one, the science behind it is on 20-year-old males, for which I am neither, and two, it doesn’t take into account how you are feeling today. Lack of sleep, stress and what you ate or didn’t eat can influence your heart rate up or down. Heat and humidity will also impact your heart rate, so the best way is to know how you are doing.
When you begin any activity, you will be breathing through your nose comfortably. If you increase your intensity right, you will begin to have full breaths and feel your nose widening out. At the peak-performance intensity where you should be for at least 20 to 30 minutes, you will no longer be able to breathe through your nose. You will now be a mouth breather! I know, I know. This isn’t good when you sleep at night, but it IS good when you are exercising. It means you have too much oxygen being pushed through to use only your nose. THAT is the right intensity.
Working your heart at the right intensity keeps it strong. It helps to prevent plaque buildup, and it ensures your metabolism keeps burning fat. If you are going to put the time in, why not do it right and get the most health benefit possible?
Prior to the last three years, I have had countless people hear me speak who get annoyed at me since I’m talking about health and being in good shape. Why? They were jealous and though I have it easy. A typical comment was “How would YOU know what it is like to be overweight?” No, I didn’t know what it was like to be overweight at the time, but I did know what it was like to almost die from being too thin. Both sides of that equation are not healthy. Stress about killed me back in 1997, and I had to be very intentional with how I gained weight.
Fast forward to three years ago when my brain got tweaked and body fat was being stored at a rapid rate. No matter what I did, I gained weight. The less I ate and the more I exercised, more weight came on. I’ve never been so frustrated and discouraged! Yet, I once again had to be intentional with what I did and didn’t do. This time, I eliminated sugar, flour and all processed and packages foods until such time my body reset. It took longer than I imagined, but I’m pleased to say I am down about 14 pounds at the time of writing this newsletter. I hope more will melt away so that I can release it, never to be seen again! It has been a journey, that is for sure! I am definitely feeling more like myself. I still have about twenty to go, so wish me luck.
My point is this: if you don’t like where you are, then you need to be more intentional about what you do. If you don’t have your meals planned for the week, you will grab whatever is handy. If you don’t plan to cook at home, you will get fast food because it is convenient. Old habits are only changed when we replace them with deliberate new behaviors.
As we begin to get back to in-person networking and events, I thought I would remind everyone that how you communicate matters. I think being locked down and working from home has created some bad habits. I mean, when was the last time you stood in front of a live audience and spoke? Those days are returning, and you don’t want to freeze up. Worse, you don’t want to hyperventilate and pass out. Hey, it can happen!
When speaking in front of people, it helps to remember them as just that, people. They are no different than you, and in most cases, they want you to succeed and do a good job. Scan the room and find friendly, supportive faces as you present. Be prepared. The more dialed in you are, the more comfortable you will be. That being said, being nervous is normal. As a professional speaker, I say that the day I am not nervous before speaking is the day I need to throw in the towel. You should care enough to want to do great, and that rattle you. Take deep breathes and slow down your rate of speech, which will want to accelerate with your adrenaline. Instead of saying “um” and “oh” or whatever gap word that comes to mind, close your mouth and pause. Then get back on track.
Keep in mind that your audience is made up of all personality styles. In order to keep them engaged, you need to be direct, interactive, supportive and correct. Hit all those marks, and you will win them over! For more on how you can Speak with Style, click HERE.
We are more than half way through the year, and the holidays will be here before we know it. This is the perfect time to get a grip on your eating habits so that you can obtain your ideal, healthy weight. I always tell clients that trying to lose weight during the holidays is insane. Rather, that is when you aim for maintaining. I have a great tool to help you track your food and habits: The Fitness Discovery System. Get your copy today!