As a personal trainer and owner of Infiniti Wellbeing in Edinburgh, I have found that fitness and wellbeing, means very different things to many different people.
In this page I am not going to talk and preach about how many sets and reps you need to do to become strong as EVERYONE is an individual and has different a body type.
I’m also not going to give advice how fast or which distance you should run, as not everyone is suited to running and if they are EVERYONE runs at a different speed.
At Infiniti wellbeing we look at the individual and their needs and then we go forward to work with you as a team.
Personal trainers or Fitness Instructors can’t make someone lose weight, or be fitter or alternatively stronger without the client being fully on board. This means you need to be ready to change and evolve so we are both reading from the same page. This partnership then becomes a winning one. No change is too small.
Some clients only want a help with fitness advice and technique whereas other people want help with their lives in general. This can be from fitness, nutritional advice and also help with stress or problems they have encountered through life. Some clients think nothing of training with me on a regular basis and then on the alternate days coming home from a long day at work and getting changed & setting off again to often follow the fitness plan that I have provided for them.
Many of my personal training clients have been involved in exercise for most of their lives and look for new fitness goals and variations to their training regime. They often tell me that exercise and fitness has been a way of life for them. This has often started at school and continued through their life. They really enjoy exercising and get a real “Buzz” from the activity which encourages them to continue and participate in exercise.
The buzz is directly associated with the release of endorphins which makes them feel good, but has more far reaching health benefits.
Looking at the bigger picture, they find everyday activities relatively easy, as they have good fitness levels which holds them in good stead for anything that life throws at them. Take for instance climbing stairs at work, people who feel more energetic and feel fitter will be more likely to use the stairs than wait for the lift to arrive. This choice only improves their fitness levels even more.
Whereas, in contrast I also have personal training clients, who say, in the past, wherever possible, they have tried to find an excuse NOT to participate in exercise workouts. Before coming to me, my clients often say they felt quite low as their motivation for any fitness plans or exercise workout were non-existent. The effect of this choice only leaving them feeling lethargic, unmotivated and often resulted in weight gain.
They felt annoyed with themselves & the lack of willpower. This state of mind hugely impacted on their lifestyle choices. Affecting their confidence.
They also told me that prior to meeting me, they would often say “They could NEVER find the energy to participate in any exercise after their long day at work as they are too tired.” I informed them that the mere fact they have vocalized the statement “I could never ……” meant they wouldn’t succeed.
One client said on the brief occasion she did feel motivated, which was usually prompted by an invitation to a wedding, school reunion or birthday party. She would find it very difficult to apply the changes to her routine with her lack of knowledge regarding fitness and eating plan. Although, regarding this particular client, the main contributing factor for me was her lack of accountability, she deliberately didn’t tell anyone about her plans to lose weight, this avoided her experiencing feelings of failure.
This was the way she sabotaged her new healthy regime. It was easy for her to cheat herself. As soon as we started working together this changed immediately. She was then accountable (in a nice way!) to me a sense and never looked back. This helped her but may not help another person. Our job at Infiniti wellbeing is to assess the best possible way of working with each individual to ensure the best results. The same person described her predicament like being on a hamster wheel.
The never ending disappointment of failing to complete a fitness or healthy eating plan. Only to try again and again.
Each time feeling less convinced of success before she had even started. Have you ever came across the person who says “I’m starting a new regime on Monday morning?” They have high expectations and by Tuesday evening have, in their minds failed by eating something they class as a forbidden food or by deciding not to participate in the exercise workout that they had promised themselves they would complete.
I think I’m safe in saying most everyone at one point in our lives have sabotaged ourselves. This could be in any aspect of wellbeing.
For example in exercise, eating, smoking or drinking to name but a few, but I’m sure we can all think of many more that are personal to ourselves. We put ourselves under great pressure to succeed and then something causes us to teeter on the line not wanting to step over. Then we do... The second we make this choice, we feel guilty and regret the decision that can’t be changed. This is when we feel the full impact of this hamster wheel. The never ending wheel of trying and failing.
One example I offer is the person who had an internal battle with sweet, sugary foods which they knew impacted on their weight and also their health.
This vice could have serious implications in life with the possibility of causing Diabetes. They made the decision that they would be healthier and would also lose weight if they omitted these foods from their diet. They chose the start date of this new regime and off they went, with the best of intentions. They eventually had craving for the sweet food that they love so much. This can be after days, weeks, months even years, when something triggers them to reach out for their forbidden food. They have the internal battle will they, won’t they?
Then they give in to this craving... They felt guilty, disappointed and weak to mention only a few of the feelings they experience. This often triggers the response to eat even more of their forbidden food which ultimately causes even more anger at their weakness and low mood can also follow.
As I mentioned earlier, this can be applied to anything where we fail, for example any food plan, fitness plan, smoking drinking or drugs. We all agree that “falling off the wagon” can be detrimental to our future plans and leave us unmotivated. Often this fall is all it takes to make us give up on our new regime, feeling even more disillusioned with our ability to take control of our life.
What if we could forgive our brief moment of weakness and move on without making such a great deal of it?
I am by no means condoning this fall from grace on a regular basis, however, if the initial guilt that is felt, causes us only to continue down this road to failure, would forgiveness not be more beneficial? What if we had our mad moment and then STOPPED and paid attention to what had happened and then assessed the consequences of continuing on this path.
Then we would experience a very valuable tool CHOICE.
This would allow us to move forward knowing WE made the decision to take back control without letting us spiral out of control. What if we had a one piece of chocolate or what if we had a cigarette or an alcoholic drink? Would this be a disaster? I agree that this approach isn’t for everyone but I have had good results with this method in the past. We could take time to visualize ourselves maybe 5 or 10 years in the future when we had continued on this path.
Would we like what we see? Probably the answer would be no and at that point we could choose to do something about it.
One wrong choice needn’t affect our whole life and our health and wellbeing, unless we want it to.
Moving away from food choices to fitness and activity. I have heard many times the statement “I don’t have enough hours in the day to exercise”.
As soon as this statement leaves the persons lips they are doomed not to exercise. If we look at our life as a whole and made a schedule of our week (I have found a weekly planner template is beneficial.) We could then take an objective look at the week ahead and schedule time for us! This would allow us to block off times within the week to enable us to find time to incorporate exercise plan.
One of my clients has a very busy schedule, he allocates time to pack a gym bag the night before and uses his lunch hour at work to either train with myself in a personal training session or alternatively to go to the local gym or outside for a walk or run. He finds that family restraints in the evening prevent him from exercising then, but his lunch hour is easily utilized to best effect allowing him to exercise.
It is easy to say there is no time in the day to exercise but there are always pockets of time that can be allocated to our future health and wellbeing.
These days most people work anything from an 8, 10 or even 12 hour day. Our working lives are becoming even longer due to the emergence of the extended age for retirement. This can only be sustained, if we are fit as we can be and have a good base fitness level.
Failure to improve our wellbeing can have a huge impact on fitness, health, mental clarity and also cause stress and illness. At Infiniti Wellbeing, we offer Personal fitness sessions which includes one to one instruction, GP referrals for anyone requiring help due to health issues and also Group fitness sessions. These issues can affect our lives very slowly at first and we are often unaware of the changes. Lack of a fitness plan, an unhealthy diet and the addition of being a smoker and drinker, can very quickly make us a candidate for health issues in the not too distant future.
One story I heard explains this situation quite well. The woman involved exercised regularly all year round. She was very aware of her health and fitness and made every effort to remain as healthy as possible. However, each year at Xmas she would take a complete rest for 2 weeks and also relaxed her eating plan. She would gain approximately 1.5 pounds. Which is isn’t a lot over the Xmas period. After these 2 weeks she then resumed her normal regime.
However, as she didn’t participate in extra activities to expend the extra pounds gained over the Xmas. Due to this and over the space of about 10 years she gained a stone in weight! I have told this story, only to make the point that everyone must be aware of their actions and how they can easily impact on our body over the years.
Some people say I always eat healthily and exercise but just can’t seem to lose weight.
Often a person thinks they eat only small portions of food, until they allow someone to see how much they are actually consuming. Sometimes it is just lack of knowledge on the part of the client and an assessment of portion size can be all it takes show improvements. We have all heard the saying “If you consume more calories than you expend, any calories not expended will be stored as fat. And you gain weight!”
This statement should be true, however every person is an individual and some people can eat, so called unhealthy food and remain trim and slim whilst other people, eat so called healthy food and don’t lose a pound. This is when keeping a food diary over a week or so, can often hold the key to problem areas regarding food choices and also weight gain/loss.
There is also a section in our food diary that asks how you feel after eating a specific meal.
This is very beneficial in identifying any food which may have a problematic effect on the client. Results depend on metabolic rate and also we have to take into account food allergies. This can have a impact on weight loss causing bloating and sometimes inflammation. We must consider every person as an individual and with this work to identify where the problem lies. It’s a partnership!
The examples above show how easily weight can gradually creep up unnoticed however even more worrying is the emergence of articles regarding 3 year old children being diagnosed as obese. This holds a great challenge for the future. In years gone by generally everyone at school participated in some sort of exercise. I remember hockey in the winter and athletics in the summer. Everyone had to participate, but not everyone enjoyed the process.
I was that soldier, I was overweight and didn’t have a particular aptitude for any of the activities on offer and had little encouragement from the teachers involved throughout Primary and Secondary school. This left me feeling totally unmotivated to participate in any sporting activities after leaving school.
It took me 5 years to find something that I enjoyed and which made me passionate about fitness. You can read the full story on the Home Page.
Children should be encouraged from birth to be active, particularly through floor-based play and water-based activities to become active in a safe environment. Also food choices should be instilled from an early age. Any children capable of walking unaided should be physically active throughout the day. This can be made fun though games and activities and play so they enjoy physical activity. When at school, children and young people between the ages of 5-18 years should participate in physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several times a week.
However this more than often doesn’t happen and the young people find themselves at computers or play stations or alternatively just thinking exercise isn’t cool!
It is often hard to change this outlook, as things become busier and more stressful as they travel through life. Many people don’t participate in any exercise after their school years. There should be a great emphasis on changing the attitudes of school children to fitness. If they were more motivated and enjoyed and looked forward to doing the exercise at school they would have more likely to continue in the future.
This would then hold great memories for them to access in the future. Hopefully enticing them to participate in some sort of fitness activities and also encouraging their children to participate. Not all children dislike participating in sport and exercise, however, they often excel or have an aptitude for a given sport which provides the motivation they need to continue. And they enjoy the given sport.
I feel a wee story coming on...
I have great memories of working with my girls at Next Generation health club, they were totally committed to their fitness classes and regularly participated around 4 times per week. In fact they often out performed many other people in the class. Their enthusiasm was astounding and I very much enjoyed my time teaching them as they wanted to be there.
Just to let you know “my girls” were in their 60’s & 70’s and had a fantastic attitude to fitness.
They also very much enjoyed the social aspect of meeting people at the classes. In contrast I taught a class of 14 and 15 year old girls at High School on a Monday morning. There were around 40 in the class and I would say around 50% wanted to be there. They tried really hard NOT to enjoy the fitness class, they stood with hands on hips and a look that could kill!
If the 50% of the class that didn’t want to be there, were offered an activity that helped motivate them, they too would get the buzz from exercise. However, I would imagine some of these girls will probably lead a sedentary lifestyle. Which is a real shame. I wish I had the opportunity to do alternative classes at school, I might not have wasted 5 years of fitness from the age 16 to 21 year old.
My message here is that it doesn’t always depend on your age, but your attitude and enthusiasm and dedication.
It also often takes a bit of time to find the correct activity, that you enjoy doing and makes you feel good. I feel that unless childhood obesity issues are tackled now, there will be a nation of obese people who will be unable to exercise sufficiently enough to succeed in losing the weight gained in childhood. These children will eventually have health issues that will be hugely impacted by being severely overweight.
It is well documented that everyone who participates in exercise improves their lives however, you are likely to get the most benefits to your health if you are someone who is not very active at all and you become more active.
This statement shows that it’s never too late to gain the benefits of changing your lifestyle.
Moving away from exercise and food to smoking. We all know the dangers of smoking, many people enjoy it and never feel the need to stop, some wish they could stop but can’t and for some people have decided as they have been smoking for so long that there is no point in stopping as the damage has been done.
The one thing that we all know is its impact on our cardiovascular fitness. Smokers can participate in exercise to a high level but could have so much better results if they had their full lung capacity. We can’t talk about wellbeing without discussing this pastime.
There’s no getting away from the fact that smoking can have a huge impact on our health and can cause serious health issues over time
However there is a light at the end of the tunnel with proven facts outlining the health benefits for smokers if they decide to stop. This choice would have a real impact on their fitness level.
Take a younger person who stops smoking or any negative habit, they can reduce the risk of cancer and illness later in their life.
But no matter what your age, the health perks of quitting smoking are immediate as well as long-term. After just 20 minutes, health can be improved significantly. The overall health impact on the heart when you quit is dramatic and fairly quick. It takes just 20 minutes for your heart rate and blood pressure to drop, and less than a day for the carbon monoxide poisoning in your body that comes from cigarettes to dissipate.
After three months, your circulation will improve and your lungs will be working more efficiently. Lung function gets better within two weeks to three months after you stop quitting, but the improvements to the heart can be immediate. Smoking puts toxins in your body that affect the way the heart works, the blood vessels work, the organs work. And when you remove that toxin this allows the body to start healing right away.
Moving on one year, the heart rate and blood pressure will have decreased, lowering overall risk of heart disease. If heart damage has already occurred, it can’t be reversed, but overall health will be improved. After 5 years, the risk of a stroke is the same as if you had never smoked.
After 10 years the chances of dying from lung cancer are now half of what it would have been had you continued to smoke. And after 15 years the risk of coronary heart disease is the same as if they'd never smoked. All of these are great indicators to show the benefits you can make to your lifestyle and wellbeing in the coming years if YOU decided to stop smoking.
There are many people around you, saying you should stop. However, this can make the changes more difficult, as you then wonder if it’s your decision or there’s? Anyone stopping smoking will experience the benefits on their fitness first hand.
When a person embarks on a new fitness regime they feel out of breath due to the increase in exercise but when they are a smoker this is made even worse.
If they stop they will see experience measurable results in fitness. There are great similarities between a smoker, the person who eats too much sugar and the person who refuses to do more exercise to improve their health.
They all ultimately hold the key to their own health and wellbeing and only when THEY decide on the change can they truly improve and evolve. I have shown a number of examples of how we can change our lifestyle. Some people make huge changes and some only small ones. However, any change to a routine, which isn’t currently working for us holds great benefits.
The changes may be physical, mental or health based, or a combination of all three.
At Infiniti Wellbeing, we offer Personal fitness sessions which includes one to one instruction, GP referrals for anyone requiring advice due to health issues and we also offer Group fitness sessions.
At Infiniti wellbeing, we embrace any person who has taken the time to reach out to us to elicit some form of change in their lives. We look forward to helping you change and realize your full potential.
All therapists are fully qualified and insured. Anyone wanting more information about our service please contact Angie@infinitiwellbeing.com