Success versus FailureWritten by Deborah Caruana RN, MES, CPT
Success is what you are prepared to make of yourself every single day. That one cold morning when you want to roll over but instead get up and go to workout, is a defining moment. Success boosts self-confidence and is self perpetuating. We all know it, thrive on it and love it. Failure on other hand is perceived as a stressful, negative experience. It means challenge, difficulties, not knowing or worst of all defeat. It affects our self-esteem negatively, builds upon itself and could become a pattern. It could mean a threat to our survival. So we have an aversion to it. We dislike failure. Well, did you know that failure like stress is actually good for you? Out of trial and error, grueling and rigorous demands of trying and failing we humans learned what worked to survive. Failure is something we as humans need to encounter for new growth and creative changes - uprisings. Failure causes us to reassess, reevaluate, and start again. Out of necessity we learn to take risks, and think "outside box". Failure is fertile soil from which seeds burst and blossom. Failure challenges our will to survive. Did you know that no stress is absolutely worst of all stressors. Stress is like body temperature: if it's too low or too high, you can't survive, but right balance can keep you going strong. It makes sense to use stress energy positively, to meet life's challenges. Stress is not all bad. Yes, you may fail. This is life. Life’s winners accept that in trying they may have to adjust and even start again and again. The difference between successful people and others is not whether you make mistakes or even temporarily fail, but how you respond.
When Your Sports and Exercise is Your Passion.Written by Deborah Caruana RN, MES, CPT
You’re fired up, your adrenaline is pumping, engines are revved. You can't wait to get out there and perform. You've waited all day, maybe a few days and are replaying in your mind challenges you will confront and how you will tackle them. Your time to escape day to day and become your true self, adventurer, conquerer, winner, leader, activist or dreamer has arrived. When your sport is your passion, motivation is not a problem. Sometimes though, passion can create complications. Knowing how and when to stop, slow down, change your ways, get educated, hire a pro. or just ‘take a break’ is essential to survival and ongoing fulfillment from your sports and fitness career. Your activities are precious and you want to be sure to keep it that way. You’re certainly aware of all advantages your sports participation provides. It keeps your spirits up, makes you feel and look young, gives you lots of energy, allows you to cheat on your calorie counts, your mind is sharper, helps maintain your figure, you’re passionate and optimistic, you feel fulfilled…and this only to start list of benefits. If your not feeling these benefits you may just want to stop, take a look and see if your missing something in your routine. Sports and fitness adventurers are human too. Whether your venturing into a new sport, progressing in your same sport, or cross-training here are some problems to consider, hopefully avoid or know what to do, should situation strike. Keeping it all in perspective. Let's review some basics:
PROBLEM: Too rushed to do a warm up and stretch before physical activity? Remember: studies confirm that cold muscles are prone to injury and it's times when you’re rushed that you are most prone to injury. SOLUTION: Don’t give into temptation and jump cold into your sport. Instead jump into jumping jacks, arm swings, leg swings, step out lunges, stationary cycling, running, or walking in place for three to five minutes. Then, a few dynamic stretches (to wake up muscles and prepare them for effort), while reaching out with effortless breathing. Slow static stretches (which put muscles to sleep) have been shown to dampen performance efforts, so stretch out and keep it moving. Now your ready to jump in. PROBLEM: Succumbing to "weekend warrior" syndrome. Compressing all of your physical activity into two days sets you up for trouble and doesn't increase your fitness level. You should try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. SOLUTION: If time is a problem HIIT (20 min. cardio) may be your solution. High Intensity Interval Training is really quite simple to do. You pick your favorite cardio activity and build up to a challenge pace by minute 5. Then take your pace up to a winded “sprint” state for as long as tolerable, and bring it back down for however long it takes you to recover enough to go into your next “sprint” state again. These are your intervals, which you eventually build up in numbers. At first you can only do a few intervals and entire workout will take 8 -12 minutes. So you save time while getting tremendous benefits! You will eventually build up length, intensity and number of intervals to fill up 20 minutes no more time is needed! Always include gradual warm up (5 minutes) and cool down (3 minutes), add a few stretches if you can at end. Cautionary note: work within your level as you are more prone to injury because of increased intensity. For example, if you’re a beginner use a walk into a jog. Joggers can break into a run for intervals. Runners go into a sprint, sprinters zip into light plyometrics like jump roping or track and field. It is believed that HIIT helps body to release HGH (Human Growth Hormone) which is a tremendous fat burning hormone, as well, it has rejuvenating properties for body tissues (including skin, organs and muscle). Less intense cardio programs cause fat loss but also muscle loss, plus there’s time element. PROBLEM: Guessing at how to correctly maintain your physical form or hold a piece of equipment is not smart. Improper form increases chance of developing "overuse" injuries like tendonitis or stress fractures.