We’re well into Fall which, in Chicago, means cooler weather and falling leaves, but shorter days are coming. Less daylight impacts quite a few people, and you may be one of those who has Seasonal Affective Disorder. Lack of sunshine can upset your circadian rhythms and serotonin levels. You know: Blah-I-can’t-get-out-of-bed-itis.
Common symptoms include:
Right off the bat, I’m going to stress that if you are really struggling, please reach out to a doctor or therapist for help.
Now, if you find you get the Winter Blues, here are some tips and tricks to help you make it through the season. It seems strange to start now, but it’s better to have a plan in place before you start suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Things to do for your health:
Activities that can help beat those Blues:
Planning things now, like mini-adventures, getting your vitamin D checked or ordering a sun lamp, instead of later, means you have a better chance of getting them done now. It’s harder to make plans and take care of ourselves when the SAD hits.
And, honestly, one of the best things is exercise, so keep going to the gym!
Hi! It’s the TruFit Holiday Gift Fairy, here to guide you in your quest to give your loved one the gift of fitness this holiday season.
As the one who fields many requests for gift certificates for personal training and questions like, “You train my wife, what fitness-related gift can I get her for this holiday?”, I have got some insight to share with all of you thoughtful gift givers… Insight into how it can go super well AND insight into how it can go reaaalllly wrong and backfire.
This holiday finds us almost two years after we locked ourselves in our homes that first time. There’s been a lot of sitting, and sleeping/not sleeping, eating more cookies and imbibing in more caloric drinks, or maybe the opposite (a loss of appetite altogether, getting many fewer nutrients).
And let’s not forget the trauma we may have experienced that’s caused us to navigate through reality differently than before.
As we slowly crawl out of the collective COVID fog, I’m hearing a lot of soon-to-be new clients say they’re ready to regain their pre-Covid strength. YAY! We’re here for it!
You might be one of those people or you might love one of these people. And because we’re here for YOU, I hope this list of Dos and Don’ts helps you give the gift that keeps on giving (or learn to ask for it!).
Listen to your loved one’s language. Are they saying things like this?:
“I really think I’d like to work with a personal trainer.”
Cool! This may very well be the only time I’d suggest calling us to purchase a gift certificate for your loved one. You can do that by calling us (click here to set that up!) or by emailing us here!
Listen to your loved one’s language. Are they saying things like this?:
“I’m so tired of huffing and puffing up one flight of stairs.”
“I’d go to the gym but I don’t know what to do so I just do the treadmill.”
“I used to be able to do ten pushups and now can’t even do one.”
“I can’t get myself to work out, I need accountability.”
“My body feels so tight and achy all the time.”
“I’ve been having a hard time with balance and am scared of falling.”
Yes? Awesome job listening! Don’t buy those sessions yet.
Validate their feelings to make them feel heard.
Say something like, “That sucks, I’m sorry you’re feeling that way. Do you want to talk about it?”
If they say no, don’t push it.
If you think you’ve got suggestions to help your loved one, ask, “I have an idea, can I share it with you?”
If they say no, don’t push it. How much do you like unsolicited advice?
If they say yes, though, can I share some questions I’d ask my loved one? (See what I did there? For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume you answered “Yes”, otherwise you wouldn’t still be reading so here is my advice):
Ask your loved one open-ended questions to get more information. Here’s one:
“What kind of movement or exercise sounds like something that might get you excited to work out?”
If they need need prompts you can suggest:
Group exercise classes?
Yoga or Pilates?
One on one personal training?
Online classes you can do at home?
There are SO MANY ways to get moving. Hopefully asking some helpful questions can lead you to a great gift idea. (If you're in the Evanston area, we're happy to point you in a good direction and, alternatively, you can get awesome referrals for different places to get fit in this Facebook page dedicated to supporting small businesses).
Ready for the DON’Ts? There aren't many but they’re important.
DON’T (for the love of all that is good) give the gift of fitness without talking to your loved one first if:
Friends: I’m not trying to overcomplicate this at all. I would just hate for a well-meaning gesture to have the opposite effect on your loved one.
Fitness is VERY personal, especially right now. As humans, we want the best for those we love. Getting someone a pair of earrings they’d never wear is one thing. Getting your loved one four sessions for personal training without knowing they’d like it can be quite another (like: demoralizing, embarrassing, confusing, etc).
Basically: Don’t base the need for a loved one to receive a gift like personal training on how things look on the outside or on what YOU think is best for them. You know what happens when you assume. And if you’ve made it to the end of this post, I know you’re not an ass :)
Best of luck on your gifting,
Your TruFit Holiday Gift fairy
Well, it's been a LONG time since we've posted on the TruFit blog! But we've been chugging along, training our beloved Evanston community, helping people feel strong, and laughing as we do that.
If you've been training in person, you've likely gotten to know Stanley, our Halloween Skeleton. What you might not know is he has a movie coming out and we wanted to be the first to show you the trailer!
So here, for your viewing enjoyment: TruFit Pictures presents The Skeleton Tales!
Hi, Friends. Izzy here.
It has been quite a year, hasn't it?
TruFit officially closed its doors for a few months on March 23rd, 2020. Whether positive or puke-inducing, I think looking back at the last twelve months can be invaluable if it means learning how to live better, healthier lives starting now and into the future. So let’s dive in, shall we?
One year ago, we all moved from the Before Times to a new world with a new culture, brand new (highly argued-about) mores, and seemingly non-stop unprecendentedness. A place that had a lot of Amazon boxes and very little toilet paper. A place that has brought some ups and many downs. A place called Covidlandia.
I don't have a PhD in scholar in culture shock but have been through it plenty of times, moving to and from the US, Europe, Asia, and back and forth. If you are a visual learner, here is the general idea of the journey through culture shock:
This might make you think, "Ah, yes, this resonates with me!" I love the *simplicity* of the above, but I don’t think it quite illustrates what we’ve all been going through. So I made my own curve:
Correct me if I'm wrong but I think we're at the top right spot right now. Like, we might get to hug each other again in the next few months. And though we didn't have a chance to prepare for life in Covidlandia, we DO have time to prepare for the After Times!
No doubt we’ll go back to what we loved to do in the Before Times. We'll also leave some things behind that are no longer a part of who we are now.
Life, it turns out, is precious, short, and fluid. A year in Covidlandia has no doubt changed parts of us. Have we learned anything that has sharpened our personal values? Are there actions we take in our lives now that line up with those values?
Well. The trainers at TruFit and I have reflected a little bit and here are some things we’ve learned and are taking with us to the After Times:
Who’s the expert?
I was having a discussion with two of my IzzyFit clients who also happen to be psychologists. Our clients hire us to BE THE EXPERTS, to coach our clients about how to adopt behaviors that will lead to a better existence. Except that we all moved to Covidlandia at the same time and, well, no one’s the expert anymore. And that's humbling and head-scratching.
The lesson? When searching out a professional to help you with your life things, emotions, health, well-being: Run far, far away from anyone who thinks they know it all and that you know nothing because they’re very likely conning you. Look for someone who asks you lots of questions, and takes a genuine interest in holding space for you to be where you are right now rather than where *they* think you should be.
What does time mean now?
One of the coolest things that’s happened for most of our clients is that, in one way or another, people got CONSISTENT. How?
The end of commuting led to making more time for other things, fitness being one of them. I’m not saying that meant it was EASY, but it created the habit of making exercise work somewhere in your day, in some place you weren't used to, even during the nuttiest of times.
The lesson? We’ve just practiced figuring out how to build a schedule that includes more frequent and consistent exercise. As we repatriate to the After Times, let us remember that fitting in fitness is doable and that we would like to keep movement a priority.
As much as some of us have become more consistent with working out, Covidlandia has taken out a TON of non-exercise activity. I do a LOT less walking around the studio training clients; less walking around running errands. Hell, less walking around the grocery store. And, as far as our joints are concerned, this kind of decline in non-exercise activity means they’re more stiff, creaky, and maybe painful. (My PT assures me “everyone” is breaking down after sitting at the computer for pretty much 365 days straight.)
Meanwhile, one of my clients spent five weeks in Costa Rica walking, hiking, practicing yoga, being outdoors. And guess what. The knees that had been bothering her since we went into lockdown now feel unstuck and when i asked, “How does your body feel?” she answered, “Great!”
Do you know how long it’s been since someone has replied that way with no hesitation? A year.
The lesson? Movement -- ANY MOVEMENT -- heals. You might not get to leave for five weeks but every little bit of movement helps. Get more of ANY of it in more frequently.
*I'm not even going to get into the amazing things exercise does for our mental health or immune systems but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it.
I asked some of the other TruFit trainers what they’ve learned over the last 12 months and here are some highlights!
That when crisis hits, prioritize the things that help you feel your best physically and emotionally. I can’t get over how my clients made exercise even more at the top of their priorities, even if only on Zoom. Clients have figured out how to incorporate others into their exercise by inviting them on Zoom sessions, even from other parts of the country.
Pre-COVID, I was convinced that you *needed* gym equipment to get a balanced workout. And while I do still think having some equipment is super helpful (I’ve been recommending this same $30 resistance band set to my clients since March!), the shutdowns allowed me to attend fitness seminars online that I may not have attended otherwise as they were previously only available in person on the West Coast ... and those changed my entire perspective. Not only is bodyweight-only effective; it’s a necessary component of any training program if you want to improve mobility and avoid injury.
My fitness take-away has been that the ability to get fit isn't found in equipment, gym memberships, or even reps and sets. If you have the will to change, you find a way--and often the most productive path to that change is in accountability to someone else in your life that cares.
For me it was the importance of finding a way to work out. It was key for my mental health. For clients it was the same plus showing them that you can provide a good workout at home improvising some of the equipment you can use.
Here are a few things:
1) In the chaos of having all of our routines broken by COVID we then allow room for a new one to emerge (like training and working from home!)
2) When all isn’t available (meaning equipment) we become creative with what we have and great options are found.
3) Thanks to virtual training communication and cues to guide clients have improved and become more colorful!
We've started calling TruFit Evanston trainer Sarah Laspas (of Muscles & Moxie) our "Mobility Queen". While many people became one with their desk chair/desk couch over the last nine months, Sarah was deepening her already-profound knowledge of how help the body gain more mobility to be stronger, more bulletproof, and feel just plain GOOD.
Sarah now has a free program for all of you and has given us some teasers! Enjoy!
So, what is this program anyway?
Love For Your Shoulders
Love For Your Hips
Feeling Good Already?