We’ve been reaching a bunch of podcast milestones as of late, but today’s episode marks one that I never thought would become a reality. This ATF podcast is our 100th episode and I’m extremely proud & honored that it features an interview with a truly compelling fitness pro.
The guest on this episode of ATF is obstacle course racer and Navy veteran Kyle Alexander. Kyle and I discuss exercise options while on deployment, the benefits of obstacle course racing on mental health and being an Operation Enduring Warrior athlete. I encourage you to learn more about the Operation Enduring Warrior (OEW) charity by visiting their website and donating to their cause if you’re able. You can also follow them (@operationenduringwarrior) and Kyle (@kyle_donald_alexander) on Instagram for updates on OEW races coming to your area.
We’ll keep bringing you interviews with health & fitness pros each week, which means we want to hear your suggestions on who we should have on ATF. Send your recommendations to TheATFpodcast@gmail.com and don’t forget to please share the podcast. We’d also love it if you gave us a rating & review in the iTunes store
Another week and another awesome episode of the Addicted to Fitness podcast!
This week, Shannon and I investigate the scientific-based benefits of mediation and give a review of the Headspace smartphone mediation app. But before we jump into those topics, we give our training recaps.
I’ve been trying to do a better job of shooting videos for the @ettampa Instagram feed, especially boxing/kickboxing videos. Striking instruction is my bread & butter and I want to share that with my online audience.
I’ve also been adding more steel mace (see pic below) exercises into client workouts. I love using the steel mace because its highly uneven weight distribution can make any common exercise, like a lunge, much more challenging. Plus, they make you look BADASS!
Shannon has been slowly, but surely, adding workouts back into her routine. She’s been able to do a small amount of yoga and HIIT sessions, but a reoccurring vertigo condition has somewhat slowed her progress. We asked if listeners have any suggestions on herbal supplements that can help with vertigo, maybe even an essential oil, which we plan on investigating more in a future episode.
After we wrap up our respective training recaps, we dive into the topic of mediation. Thanks to one of our favorite sources of evidence supported health information, healthline.com, we list the 12 science-based benefits of mediation:
Promotes emotional health
Lengthens attention span
May reduce age-related memory loss
Can generate kindness
May help fight addictions
Helps control pain
Can decrease blood pressure
You can meditate anywhere
The last benefit from that list was really made a possibility thanks to smartphone apps like Headspace. I learned about Headspace while listening to the Tim Ferriss podcast. I took advantage of their free 10 day subscription several times. Then I finally upgraded to the full subscription version, which cost about $95 annually.
The app was created/founded in 2010 by marketing & brand developer Rich Pierson and Andy Puddicombe. Andy is a former Buddhist monk and the voice of the guided meditations. Rich and Andy’s mission is to remove the mysticism attached to meditation and make it more attractive to a broader audience.
Once I upgraded to the full version, I had to complete 90 foundational sessions in order to unlock any of the other packages contained in the app. Those foundation sessions walk you through the best methods to achieve a meditative state – focus on breathing, be present, acknowledge outside distractions (sounds, smells, etc) but always return to the breath.
One of the first packages I used after my foundation sessions was the “pregnancy” package. As you can imagine, I listened to it while Shannon was pregnant with Ella, and it help teach me how my character/mood could affect the development of the baby. The app is full of packages that introduce an intention for a subject area that you want to improve on (e.g. anxiety, motivation, sleep, etc.).
Headspace also has guided mediations that you can listen to while performing a specific task (e.g. cooking, walking, commuting, etc.), mini 1-3 minute mediations you can use if you need to refresh or focus and animations that help explain the different aspects of mediation.
I’m a big fan of the new “everyday headspace” feature which provides a new intentions daily and allows you to change the length of time you want to mediate. Shannon has been a fan of mediation for a long time due to her years in yoga. After she started using the app, she realized how many of the same methods she’s already been using. She believes headspace is great for introducing people to the foundations of mediation, but from what she’s seen so far, it may be more geared towards beginners than experienced mediators.
If you’re a user of the Headspace app, please let us know what you think of it by leaving us a comment/message on the Addicted to Fitness Podcast Facebook page. As you heard in this episode, if you leave us a comment or message, we will read it in a new segment Shannon dubbed Listeners Talk Back.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the awesome 20% off promo code (“ATF”) from our sponsors, The Hemp Coffee Exchange, so you can stock up on some tasty, and nutritious, coffee – the perfect follow-up to a good mediation session.