Are You Really Physically Active?

There are many of us who are disciplined, and attend the gym on a regular basis which is amazing. Throughout my experience, I have found that health and fitness isn’t just about what we do in the gym, in fact, what we do at the gym is just a small portion of fitness. True health and fitness comes when we align the other hours of our day with our goals. My question to you is, are you only exercising or are you being physically active too?

Physical activity is the small things we do throughout the day such as walking to the car and into the office, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You can also consider doing the laundry, gardening, taking the trash out, or cleaning the kitchen forms of physical activity. In the past few years, there has been a decline in our physical activity levels due to increased desk jobs with booming technology, delivery options with food, and TV shows that we seemingly cannot get enough of…for hours.

Exercise is planned, purposeful, repetitive, structured, and quantifiable physical activity. This is the form of activity that we preform with a specific goal in mind to improve and/or maintain some aspect of our physicality, which is why you are all here at Evolve Fitness!

“How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives”- Annie Dillard

The point being, if you exercise on a regular basis and are not seeing many results, ask yourself, how am I treating my body while I’m not at the gym? Is what I am doing hurting me or helping me? Am I sitting when I could moving around? Am I going from desk to chair to couch on repeat?

Advice from Evolve Personalized Fitness Team: if you order food, get take out and walk to your car to pick it up, walk around the house while you are talking to your friend on the phone, fold laundry while you are watching TV, and take the stairs when you can!!

How Do I Stay Focused for My 2017 Goals and Resolutions?

 

It’s that time again! New Year’s Resolutions are back in swing! Are you ready to take on your 2017 goals with us?!

In today’s world, with instant gratification at our finger-tips, new things popping up on our facebook feed, and email notifications delivered to our cell-phones faster than we can say “antidisestablishmentarianism”, how do we make it possible to cultivate the lives we want and achieve our goals? How do we stay focused? Here are 5 simple hacks that will change the productivity in your life!

  1. Identify the tasks, rank their importance, and tackle them one at a time. If the task at hand is clear and important, there will be no room for other “things” to pop up and take priority.
  2. Get rid of all other distractions. Turn off the TV, set your phone on silent and put it in a different room, and find a quiet, clean space that will allow your brain to focus on the task at hand… not wander around the room!
  3. Fuel your body, fuel your brain. Make sure that you aren’t hungry so you aren’t distracted by your senses for a snack while you are working. Avocados are packed with fiber rich-nutrients which allow your stomach to feel full, and giving your body and brain plenty of fat to help with blood flow to the brain, allowing the ideas and creativity to flow through like water!
  4. Set an allotted time to work, and then to take a break, using a mental interval technique to help with attention management called the Pomodoro Technique. Set a timer for 20-25 minutes, work your booty off, and then rest for 5 minutes. Take a walk, drink some water, then start again!
  5. If you find your mind starting to wonder, stop and take 10 deep breaths. This will help bring you back to the present moment, and refocus on the task at hand.

And don’t forget, the staff here at Evolve Personalized Fitness will provide you with the support and accountability you need to cultivate the life you desire with complimentary fitness coaching sessions, included with every membership!

cheers
Cheers to the New Year,

Megan A Czuchra

FullSizeRender (4)

How Do You Show Up For Life?

“Excellence of daily life finally depends not on what we do, but how we do it….it is how we choose what we do, and how we approach it, that will determine whether the sum of our days adds up to a formless blur, or to something resembling a work of art.” –Mihaly Csikzenthmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life

How do you do life? How do you show up? Are you hard-working and thorough? Or lazy and skim the surface? Are you diligent with healthy eating habits, or do you give up and indulge often? All of our decisions that we make on a daily basis, make up our lives, thus the quality of our lives. My question to you, are your daily decisions hurting you, or helping you?

The beauty of life, is that we get to choose. We get to choose how we treat others, we get to choose our eating and exercise habits, we get to choose our career paths, and we get to choose how we spend our free time. Take a moment to step outside your current frame of mind, and look at how you do life. Is it a formless blur or a work of art?

Warmest Regards,

Megan A Czuchra

The Most Simple Way to Relax

Life is busy. Work is busy, we are busy taking care of our kids, cooking dinner, doing laundry, etc. When is there ever time to relax? Through my personal experience, as well as working with clients, I have grasped the reality that relaxation is a learned behavior, and a practice. A lot of times when we go to sit down and relax from our stressful day, all of the things that we didn’t get done start running through our head, and then we start worrying about all of the things we have to do tomorrow as well, making our brain go in crazy circles!

What if I could give you a solution that took only 30 seconds? That solution is focusing on your breath. 10 deep inhales and 10 deep exhales.  Focusing on the breath is the most simple form of relaxation. When we focus on the breath, we are becoming more aware of our body, pausing for a moment, and becoming present. It’s just you. If a thought comes up? Don’t grab it, let it go. Be with yourself for this short period of time.

How does breathing relax us? Breathing stimulates the nervous system. The inhale stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) putting tension in the body, and the exhale stimulates the parasympathetic nervous (rest and digest) allowing all the muscles to ease.  And yes, your brain is a muscle.

It takes 30 seconds. Take 10 deep inhales, and 10 deep exhales. When? Before you walk into a stress-filled day at work, when you leave work, when you get home to decompress from your day, right before the kids get in the car after school, and maybe right before you go to bed. Anytime you feel stress or anxiety coming on, breathe. Ahhhh….

38163

Warmest Regards,

Megan A Czuchra

Align Your Goals With Your Actions

“His wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions”- James Allen

Think about that for a moment, we can interpret this as goals are only reached when they align with actions. What is it that you are trying to accomplish? Asking this question of what you are trying to attain or reach for, really brings awareness into your daily life. Are you trying to lose weight but eating a cheesy dinner, a few glasses of wine…and dessert? Are you trying to sleep more and better but stay up late into the wee hours in the morning?

Ask yourself to answer the following questions honestly:

  • “What do I want, and why do I want it?”

  • “What am I doing day in and out that is holding me back?”

You can ask yourself these questions when it comes to being healthy, finding happiness, or taking that next step in your career.

When we bring awareness into our daily patterns of thoughts and actions, we will be able to see what is working great, and what isn’t. Once you determine this, decide that NOW is the time that you will align your dreams and desires with your thoughts and actions. We hold the power of our own lives in our two hands.

 

With the Warmest Regards,

Megan A Czuchra

 

Let’s Get Disciplined!

Let’s face it. We all probably need a little more discipline to achieve our prospective goals, especially when it comes to health! We also know you have really long days at work almost every day and it tough to eat healthy all the time. But, there is hope! And with a little bit of perseverance, we can achieve the discipline we need by following these easy steps provided by Forbes magazine:

1. Remove temptations. Self control is often easiest when abiding by the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” Removing all temptations and distractions from your environment is a crucial first step when working to improve your self discipline. If you are trying to have better control of your eating, toss the junk food. Ask your office intern to leave you off of the daily lunch order email. If you want to improve your focus while working, turn off your cell phone and remove the clutter from your desk.

2. Eat regularly and healthily. When you’re hungry, your ability to concentrate suffers as your brain is not functioning to its highest potential. Hunger makes it difficult to focus on the tasks at hand, not to mention making you grumpy and pessimistic. You are much more likely to have a weakened sense of self control in all areas of our life – diet, exercise, work, relationships… you name it.

3. Don’t wait for it to “feel right.” Improving your self discipline means changing up your normal routine, which can be uncomfortable and awkward. When a behavior becomes habit, we stop using our decision-making skills and instead function on auto-pilot. Breaking a bad habit and building a new habit not only requires us to make active decisions, it will feel wrong. Embrace the wrong. Acknowledge that it will take a while for your new regime to feel right or good or natural. Keep chugging along. It will happen.

 4. Schedule breaks and treats for yourself. Self discipline does not mean your new regimen needs to be entirely cold turkey, hard core, or drill sergeant-like in execution. In fact, giving yourself zero wiggle room often results in failures, disappointments, and giving into your old ways. Trying to lose weight? Treat yourself with a fancy massage after a month of gym trips.

5. Forgive yourself and move forward. Instituting a new way of thinking won’t always go according to plan. You will have ups and downs, fabulous successes, and flat out failures. The key is to keep moving forward. When you have a setback, acknowledge what caused it and move on. It is easy to get wrapped up in guilt, anger, or frustration, but these emotions will not help build improve self discipline. Use the hiccups in your plan as learning experiences for the future. Forgive yourself, and get back in the saddle ASAP. The longer you’re off your game, the harder it is to keep going in a positive direction.

Read the full article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifercohen/2014/06/18/5-proven-methods-for-gaining-self-discipline/#3d6552d51698

Evolve Book Club!

Learn how to master the habits of our everyday lives, form new habits, and break old, bad, habits with Evolve Personalized Fitness’ Book Club!
Discussing: “Better Than Before” by Gretchen Rubin!

When: Every Other Wednesday Starting September 14th at 7pm.

RSVP: Megan via email or direct contact
(megan@evolvefitnessdp.com)

better-than-before-group

Eating Mindfully, Not Mathematically

At some point, we have all done it. Counted our calories. We use food logs and fitness trackers, or whatever it may be to count the calories that some standard said we should eat. These methods are great, especially for someone who is embarking on a grand weight-loss goal who hasn’t done it before. But, the goal is to learn to eat with our minds. Our minds are a very powerful tool when it comes to nutrition that we often neglect.  Knowing your body and how to eat comes with time and shedding layers so we can listen to our body’s intuition on nutrition. We can do this by asking, “Am I really hungry? Am I thirsty? What have I eaten today? Am I upset?” etc. before we rummage the cupboards. Counting calories isn’t needed if we tap into our own brains.

Does something that comes out of a bag or box that can stay in your cupboard or fridge for weeks or months actually nourish your body making you look and feel your best?  The sad truth is no. Look at the label. Can you pronounce the ingredients? Is your body really getting the vitamins and nutrients it needs from a ingredient called [insert crazy long ingredient name]? No. These are chemicals made to mimic the real food and nutrients your body actually finds nutritious.

You can get everything you need from eating in nature. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, chicken, fish, beef. Your body wants these things. It does not want the heavily salted peanuts  or pasta that you can’t stop eating, and you can’t stop because your body isn’t getting anything of value placed in it so it tells the brain, “I need more nutrients don’t stop feeding me” and thus probably leading to diseases such as diabetes and obesity because nothing of value was entered.

lady eatingYou get out what you put in. Nutrition is everything. If you are listening to your body’s intuition on nutrition, you will never count calories again. Eat mindfully, not mathematically.

This post was written and brought to you by: Megan Czuchra

The Secret To Happiness

Are you stuck in a negative mindset? Can’t seem to get out of that rut you’ve been in for awhile? We got the secret. Along with eustress such as exercise, sex, riding a roller coaster, being with friends, etc and having a daily gratitude practice, can help change your mindset for a happy healthy life!

How do you go about a gratitude practice? There are many different ways, but here are two of our favorite examples.

Journaling: every morning or evening write down 10 things you are grateful for. This can be anything! From the couch you sit on, pillow you lay your head down on, to the cat that wraps around your feet as you cozy up with your favorite book.

Bean Counting: yes beans. Take 7 dried black beans and 3 dried white beans. (You can even use rocks, stones, marbles, whatever you want!) The point here is to have the 7 things you are grateful for all the time, and try to come up with at least three new ones everyday.
Whenever you are in need of a pic

k me up, just remember those things you are grateful for and get to the gym! With effort and consistency, you will begin to see and feel a difference in your overall happiness!

This blog post was written and brought to you by: Megan Czuchra

Meet Your Trainer Megan!

Meet Megan! Megan’s passion is helping and inspiring others to achieve wellness and find a happy, healthy, balanced lifestyle! Megan received her bachelors degree in Exercise Science from the University of Mount Union in Alliance, OH and is an ACSM Exercise Physiologist! Megan has been an Evolve Personalized Fitness team member since February 2015! Read this short interview to get to know your new trainer!

FullSizeRender (4)

What is your favorite meal to prep?

I love making whole chickens! It is enough meat for a few meals and I love making bone broth (which has so many health benefits) when it is done! Check out Evolve’s Facebook page for the recipe!

Favorite exercise?

A deadlift

0323161340b_HDR (1)Why?

Done correctly, a deadlift can work so much more than just your booty and hamstrings, it will target your back and core too!

What kind of music do you like to listen to while you workout?

Depends on my mood, but typically experimental dance music.

Do you have a certain song that pumps you up?

Anything by Flume right now!!

flume skin

Do you play any sports?

Yes! I play tennis..I have since I was a child and played in college!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to practice yoga, cook, swim in the ocean, hike,  play cards, read, and travel!

 

 

 

Favorite place to visit?

That is a tough one! Thus far my favorite place to visit is Seattle, Washington!

What is your favorite thing about being a trainer?

Teaching new exercises or stretches. Knowing that I am help someone evolve in maybe the smallest aspect is the greatest gift and pleasure!

How would you describe your training style?

My training style is functional. I want your workout to translate to everyday life. How to pick something heavy up properly, pushing pulling, stepping up, etc.

What is your favorite quote?

“They themselves are makers of themselves”-James Allen