Aug 5, 2004 Volume 1 No. 14

Surviving Life in the Fast Lane.

Let me be the first to admit that I'm a speed addict. No, not while driving, but with life in general. I'm always in a hurry; I always arrive at my appointment exactly on time (or a couple minutes late), I always have a to-do list that's a mile long and I'm always telling my son to hurry because we're late again. There always seems to be a sense of urgency even in the "relaxing" times I hurry to get in as much rest time as I can before it ends!!!

My renewed goal for today... to forget about what's next and focus on the here and now!

Enjoy the newsletter and have a Blessed Week!!

Cathy Morenzie

The Race Is Not For the Swift

"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. "

~ Walter Elliott

There will be times in your life when you will simply feel as if you are in last place in the race. It seems like everyone has run ahead of you and you can't seem to catch up. It's at these times that you have to pump your fist harder, lift your legs higher and press on to the finish line. Too often we become discouraged because we're pacing ourselves against others. We assess our position in life based on where we think we ought to be at a particular time. Sometimes however we haven't reached where we want to be and subsequently we become disheartened and the temptation to give up bombards us. It is at these times that we must remind ourselves that in a long race, like life, the speed of the race is not necessarily as important as pacing yourself to complete the race. You are more than capable of accomplishing the goals that you have set for yourself but you must strategize how you will approach the race. Stay committed and focused and though the pack is ahead I encourage you to persevere to the end.

~ Nadia C. Thomas


Principles of Weight Training

There are many misconceptions about weight training - it's not just for those big sweaty guys preening in front of the mirrors at the gym, but can range from lifting a can of tomato soup in each hand to bench pressing a Buick in the parking lot! Whatever level of training you choose, it is essential to all fitness programs.

There are many health benefits associated with lifting weights! Since muscle burns more calories than fat, the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism. Weight training also strengthens bones which is especially important for women in preventing and even reversing osteoporosis. Stronger muscles also mean fewer injuries. And perhaps the biggest reason why people lift weights is because of how great it makes your body look. Weight training tones your muscles giving you a healthy and strong appearance. This may be the reason why studies have shown weight training to be a great builder of not just the body, but also self-confidence.

This week we will look at some of the basic terms in weight training; reps, sets, resistance and rest.

To improve your strength you have to adequately fatigue the muscle by overloading it with resistance. Resistance refers to the amount and type of weights you will be using. This can be free weights, machines, rubber bands or even your own body weight. The mode of weight training you choose will depend on your goals, budget and lifestyle. To greatly increase your muscle mass you need to use free-weights and/or machines such as Nautilis or Cybex. For more subtle changes, use your body weight (push ups or dips), bands or tubing.

The number of times that you perform the exercise or the repetitions will determine the strength and size of your muscles. To gain strength and mass, you want to train with heavier weights closer to your 1 RM (1 rep max). If you want to build endurance and strength, you'll want to stick with lighter weights and a rep range of 8-12.

Weight training is muscle specific which means that every muscle must be trained specifically to see changes in that muscle. For example, squats don't do anything for a muscle in the arm such as the bicep. A set refers to a specific group of exercises that you perform on specific muscles. The American College of Sports Medicine recommend at least 1 set of each exercise to fatigue although you'll find that many people perform about 3 sets of each exercise. There are many different theories on how many sets are best. Your best bet is to try different sets and see which one works best for your body!

Rest and Recovery. Rest days are just as important as workout days. It's during these rest periods that your muscles grow and change, so make sure you're not working the same muscle groups 2 days in a row. The rest period between your exercise again will depend on your goals. Higher intensity (i.e., when lifting heavy) exercise requires a longer rest. When lifting to fatigue, it takes an average of 3 to 5 minutes for your muscles to rest for the next set. When using lighter weight and more repetitions, it takes between 30 seconds and 1 minute for your muscles to rest.

Next week we will look at specific exercises for each muscle group.


Is Your Mind Healthy?

In his book The Speed Trap, Joseph Bailey tell readers that at the root of all our psychological problems lies a busy mind, trapped by its own thinking. He gives us a great tool to assess where we are at any time in our life on the continuum of thinking.

Healthy Thinking

When our thinking is healthy we tend to have insights, wisdom-thoughts that are positive, hopeful, new and creative. You are in the moment. You are present in the here and now, and your thinking is responsive to that moment. You are in a state of being, and you are enjoying life at this very moment.

Unhealthy Thinking

When our thinking is unhealthy, we tend to have redundant thoughts that are circular and seem to lower our spirits. They tend to be analytical like worry, regret and busy mindedness. You are in the past of the future. You live in a world of habit and memory, which is fixed, non-creative and often unresponsive to what is happening in that moment.

Our thinking is usually somewhere along this continuum. The goal is to raise our level of consciousness - to realize that we as the thinker are the creator how our life will be. Whatever you have to do today, whether pleasant or unpleasant,
do it consciously and find the blessings and the joy in it.

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