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Group Runs in Jacksonville: Part I

Group Runs in Jacksonville: Part I

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Remember the benefits of group exercise? It’s fun. There’s accountability. You’ll save time and money since combining your social time with your workout time means having one less thing on the calendar. And, you can share the expense with a buddy or two. All of these and more are yours when you join any of the group runs hosted around Jacksonville, Florida. Group runs are often organized by running stores or clubs and tend to be free (although it’s always best to verify this ahead of time). A selection of routes of varying distances is common, so you can pick what you’re in the mood for at the time. Generally, all paces are welcome too. Jacksonville Running Company’s group runs are first on the list for this blog series. They have numerous options throughout the week. Many end at (or near) a social gathering point, such as World of Beer, where discounted rates are often provided to participants. Here’s a quick rundown of group runs hosted by Jacksonville Running Company. (Always check their website too, as schedules are subject to change.) Mondays at 6:30 p.m. – Group run starting and ending at World of Beer. Often paired with the opportunity to learn more about races, shoes, or apparel. Discounted beverages are available post-run at World of Beer. Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – Group walk/run starting at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Sundays at 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. – If you join the earlier group, you’ll be on the roads and sidewalks surrounding Tapestry Park. If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, meet the trail runners at 9 a.m. (Location varies.) You don’t ever have to run alone in Jacksonville! Group running helps the miles fly by and is a great way to meet other health enthusiasts in our city. I hope to see you at a group run soon....

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Are You Prepared For Your Finest Hour?

Are You Prepared For Your Finest Hour?

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It’s been a week today since my corporate position was eliminated.  I have spent so many years reading motivational and success oriented material that I have come to believe that it is life events such as these that are pivotal changing points.  They are crossroads.  It’s massive forced change that provides an opportunity to move in a totally new direction. At the persistence and guidance of my grandmother who insisted I find a job that provided security, a steady paycheck and insurance….I wound up in a corporate job at a young age.  Then I spent the next 20 years trying to decide what I REALLY wanted to do with my life. Two days before the layoff, I had coordinated this big mentor recruiting rally and the guest motivational speaker, Almon Gunter, read the quote below from Winston Churchill.  I was so sure that it was speaking to me directly that I asked him for the paper he read from. “To every man there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figurative​ly tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified​ for the work which would be his finest hour.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill My point in sharing this powerful quote is to urge each of you to be prepared so that when life takes a turn and you are offered a special opportunity to do what you love that you are prepared.   What a shame if I hadn’t been doing my homework all along.  For me, that was taking multiple assessment tests (Gallup, Myers Briggs, Big Five), launching 4 different businesses, and obtaining multiple certifications in all of my varied areas of interest. Trying different hats on to find which would fit best. I am so grateful that at the time of my “special moment”… I have my PT certification and nearly two years of training and a few awesome clients under my belt.  I feel prepared to move into what I hope will be my finest hour.  What could you do today that would ensure you are ready? 🙂   Photo courtesy of Moyan Brenn and licensed under creative commons....

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The Brain Boosting Powers of Exercise

The Brain Boosting Powers of Exercise

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You already know that exercise improves your physical and mental well-being. But, did you know that exercise can also boost your brain power? Recent research indicates that exercise can increase your focus and cognitive performance. Interestingly enough, even one session can kick-start your brain function! Dr. Chuck Hillman in Boston.com reports a study conducted by the British Journal of Medicine which found children who were active for 10 to 40 minutes had an immediate boost in mental focus and concentration. This is particularly beneficial as they go onto their next activity. Scientists attribute this to the increased flow of blood to the brain, stimulated from the exercise session. Dr. John Ratey, author of the book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, suggests that your performance will be better on a test or speech if you include about 20 minutes of physical exercise beforehand. Exercise, according to Ratey in News from Harvard Health, releases a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF works to make better connections in the memory circuitry of the brain. The more you exercise, the more the brain is stimulated to create this mental performance booster, and as a result, the better your concentration and mental focus. You’ll get the best brain-enhancing results with a regular exercise routine, says Dr. Ratey.  So, what are you waiting for? Tap into all the physical, mental, and performance benefits of exercise! I’d be happy to assist you on your journey with personal training, group training sessions, or individual workout plans. Give me a call today.   Photo courtesy of Austin Kleon and licensed under creative...

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How to Keep the Momentum

How to Keep the Momentum

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Let’s face it. It’s often easier to start an exercise program than to stick with it! Why? Because after the initial enthusiasm wears off, and it becomes routine, it’s hard to keep consistent energy. Luckily, there are some fun ways for you to keep your fitness motivation! Momentum-Building Tips Ignite your workout session by adding a friend (or two or three) and mixing up the routine! Friends can make exercising seem more like a social happy hour than an obligation. Plus, your friends will be disappointed if you don’t show up – they’re expecting you! Keep track of your progress. By jotting down your daily workouts, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come. It’s highly motivating to look back, even if only a few weeks, and measure your success. You’ll be able to see the small, but continuous, changes in the number of reps you can handle or the amount of weight you’re now lifting. Don’t worry about others. Trying to keep up with the “Jones” won’t maintain your momentum in the long run. To keep up your energy, focus on your own goals and needs. Define goals and milestones that are important to you. Stay accountable. Whether it’s to me (your personal trainer), your spouse, your Facebook buddies, or your friends in a workout session, having a support group that will also motivate you to stay on course is important! Don’t forget, rewards can be a powerful motivators! Complete 500 squats this month? Consider a pedicure. Break-through a monumental milestone? Bury your toes in the sand as you treat yourself to a half day on the beach. Pick rewards that have meaning to you (preferably non-food related) and enjoy all of your hard work!   Photo courtesy of Zio Paolino and licensed under creative...

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The Steps to Success: The Same Rules Apply in Life and Exercise

The Steps to Success: The Same Rules Apply in Life and Exercise

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Looking to achieve success in your exercise program? The life habits of highly successful individuals can help, even if their areas of success are drastically different. According to A. Jegede in Lifehack, highly successful people tend to: Set goals and follow-through. Be consistent, meaning they maximize their opportunities to do what the love so that they do it well. Take ownership of their lives and the actions they take within their lives. Implement support systems with mentors, employees, personal trainers, and spouses. Make sacrifices. Stay true, not giving up, even when they encounter failure after failure. Face their fears. Work hard, staying dedicated to their overall goals. Solve problems. None of the above is enough if it’s only done once. Good habits have to be formed. Highly successful individuals are not necessarily any more talented or educated than you. Instead, they’ve dedicated the time and energy into developing habits that create success. (Read more on success with 10 Things Successful People do to Reach their Dreams) How does this relate to you and exercise? In the article, How to Get Motivated to Work Out Without Even Breaking a Sweat, author Ronym says “Habits always win. They take time to develop, but once they are, you don’t have to think about them.” If you can establish the foundation for healthy habits, such as regular exercise, success will follow. Ronym continues, “Successful people become successful because they ingrain in themselves habits that lead to success.” The author argues that the most important aspect of developing a habit is to show up. If you get up, or out (or wherever your exercise routine takes you), you’ve won the majority of the battle. Once you’re there, the likelihood of following through is high! Why? Because you’ve already conquered the excuses that were trying to sabotage your workout (like the comfy bed, fatigue, etc., etc.). Here’s another tip for building healthy lifestyle habits. If you get started and you’re truly miserable in your workout, wrap up your routine and call it a day. Torture is not the reward you want. But, here’s the key – show back up the next day! As you continue establishing your workout habit, you’ll begin to be rewarded with all of the fabulous benefits of exercise and healthy living (better health, improved concentration, increased happiness). Your good decisions and consistency will become a life-changing habit and the path to success is...

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