mindfulness

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – A Review of the Headspace Meditation App

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!

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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:

  1. Reduces stress
  2. Controls anxiety
  3. Promotes emotional health
  4. Enhances self-awareness
  5. Lengthens attention span
  6. May reduce age-related memory loss
  7. Can generate kindness
  8. May help fight addictions
  9. Improves sleep
  10. Helps control pain
  11. Can decrease blood pressure
  12. 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.

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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.

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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.

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-podcast/id1121420986?mt=2&i=1000402046714

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/a-review-of-the-headspace

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/a-review-of-the-headspace-mediation-app

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Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Predictions on the Biggest Health Trends of 2018

Happy New Year!

We’re sharing our predictions on some of the big health trends for 2018 in this week’s episode.

Before we get into our best guesses at some of the hot buzzwords you’ll be hearing more about, we want to remind you to head over to our podcast Facebook page for some exclusive content. SPOILER ALERT! We posted a Facebook Live taste test of the junk food flavored ONE bars.

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In sharing our training recaps, Shannon reveals that she is still searching for an opportunity to get back into her yoga home studio, Bella Prana. In the meantime, some walks with Ella, and occasionally our spastic dog Jaz, along the Tampa Riverwalk has been a sufficient way to get some activity in there. Fingers crossed she’ll squeeze a ride on the Peleton in before the week is out.

I, on the other hand, was working training clients, which I’ve only really stopped doing on Christmas Day. With some clients still on holiday, it’s been a lighter training week, but new prospective clients are setting up their intro workouts. Hopefully, in the next week, we’ll be adding a few new members to the ETT community.

I also bought myself an early birthday gift and registered for a TRX certification course. TRX is a brand that focuses on suspension training, which uses only bodyweight & gravity as resistance. I’ve introduced every client to TRX and they have loved it because it is low impact, but super challenging, making it good for clients of any fitness level. Needless to say, I’m super stoked to be going to this course.

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Sometimes the only weights you need to get a great workout is your own body weight — Repost from @tampastrength using @RepostRegramApp – TRX training uses only your body weight to help you build core strength, enhance cardio capacity and improve flexibility. It's also a great piece of equipment for those with movement limitations.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Stop by Tampa Strength today and let one of our trainers show you how beneficial TRX training can be. Let's get that core ready for beach season! ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ •⠀⠀ •⠀⠀ •⠀⠀ •⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ #personaltraining #semiprivatetraining #health #nutrition #fitness #fitnesscommunity #diet #exercise #fitfam #fitnessaddict #gym #gains #trx #functionalstrength #core #stability #mobility #movement #workout #Tampa #tampabay #tampafl #tampafitness #southtampa #healthytampabay #igerstampa #ETTampa #tampastrength

A post shared by Nick 👊Elemental Training Tampa (@ettampa) on

Let’s get into the 2018 health trend predictions:

  1. Resurgence of Dietary Fat – Low fat and Fat-free diets and products are starting to be seen as a hindrance to proper nutrition. Even recent USDA Dietary Guidelines removed their dietary cholesterol limitations.
  2. Sleep Optimization – Research comes out regularly about the importance of sleep and how the lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, anxiety and a weaker immune system. The entire industry around sleep optimization has become far more prevalent (pillows, mattress, etc). Shannon referred to how many aspects of our culture (technology, stress and pace) is turning us all into “sleep zombies.” Nick dropped a statistic from Chris Kresser’s podcast around 100 million Americans having pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
  3. Mindfulness – Living in the moment and being aware of your environment sounds easier than it actually is. However, it’s a rare habit in our country. Teaching children mindfulness is becoming particularly popular as research and organizations are emerging to prove how helpful it can be highly beneficial.  Shannon’s yoga training included a lot of mindfulness training, but both she and I have been working to improve our mindfulness through activities like meditation.
  4. Self-Care – Truly taking and making time for your own development and care (e.g. sitting & reading a book, going for a walk in the woods) and focusing on yourself, is so important. This is especially true for caregivers. People deplete their energy and then sadly think something like a week-long vacation is going to fix it. The reality is that the “vacation method” is similar to cramming for a test the night before – it’s going to fail. Shannon’s go-to self-care practice is yoga or the basic physical activities for early morning  (ritualistic morning practices).

Honorable mention trends – gut health (past ATF episode link) & boutique fitness

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Thanks for listening – Please rate, review and share – Like & follow the Addicted to Fitness Podcast Facebook page

Links to this week’s episode:

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/predictions-on-the-biggest-health-trends-of-2018/id1121420986?i=1000398835381&mt=2

Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/predictions-on-the-biggest

Website – http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/predictions-on-the-biggest-health-trends-of-2018

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – First Floatation Therapy Experience

It’s Shannon and I’d like to welcome you to my inaugural Addicted to Fitness Show Notes post. Seeing as Nick went on a little excursion for the latest podcast episode without me (how dare he?!), I’m taking on the recap without his input. Hope you enjoy!

If you’ve made it through the eight episodes of Netflix’s Stranger Thingsyou’ll recall a specific scene where a giant pool was filled with salt and water in the middle of an abandoned gym to create a makeshift sensory deprivation tank that allows El to fall deep into her thoughts to track down the Demogorgon.

This may sound a bit on the sci-fi side. You might even think I’m pulling your leg.

Does such a thing exist outside of top-secret labs?

In fact, it does! Floatation therapy has been popping up in cities with more scientific credibility offering promises of improved calm, supple skin and clear creative consciousness. Convenient enough to tack onto the end of a long workday or even during a long lunch, fitness centers, spas and health clinics are adding floatation tanks and offering 60-90 minute sessions.

One such location, Sacred Floats & Gems Company in Seminole Heights (Tampa), hosted Nick for his first experience at getting tanked. The manager, Memi, and her colleague Grant guided him through the experience expertly, answering his many questions.

One of those questions, you might be thinking as well – Is it true that the point is to block out all outside stimuli?

Believe it! Each tank (for one) is filled with water (usually only about 11 inches) and 1000 pounds of Epsom salts (which are actually skin nourishing magnesium sulfate) to ensure anyone will float. Seriously, anyone.

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As the floater, you strip down to your birthday suit and lay in the water – a lovely 93.5 degrees – and immediately feel like as though you’re floating in outer space, a sensation helped along by the fact the inside of the tank is pitch black. You let your body go, drop your ears beneath the surface of the water and enjoy the total lack of light or sound.

It’s just you, the sounds of your breath, and whatever voices and thoughts you need to quiet down in your head. After an hour to an hour and a half, your mind quiets and you may even find yourself drifting off to sleep.

Nick dives in and shares the details of his experience, along with an interview with Memi, in episode #26 of our podcast. Float on over and check it out!

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After listening to this episode, we’d love to hear what you think. You can always leave comments below, email us at elementaltampa@gmail.com or better yet, give us a rating and review in the iTunes store. We strive to give you interesting and helpful health & fitness information each week. We enjoy producing the podcast and we hope you enjoy listening. Thanks again for all your support and have a healthy & happy holiday week.

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/our-first-floatation-therapy/id1121420986?i=1000378089494&mt=2

Android: http://subscribeonandroid.com/addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/rss

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/our-first-floatation-therapy-experience