Your Style of Fitness

"Your work at this time is very intensely involved with the Self,
the physical vehicle. Love it, Honor it, and Cherish it.
Speak very well of it, and intend that it perform at optimum capacity."

- Barbara Marciniuk, "Bringers of the Dawn."

"You are here to use, enjoy, and express yourself through your body -
to create the Spirit as faithfully and as beautifully as you can in the flesh."

-Jane Roberts, "The Nature of Personal Reality."

The combination of belief, emotion, imagination, and deliberate physical action are the key to a lifetime of physical fitness. An important part of any physical exercise plan is self-knowledge. You must become keenly aware of your own body - of how it feels, what it needs, and how it responds in various situations.

The first step in developing an exercise regime is to set specific, clear-cut goals: to specify the physical dimensions and benefits that you desire. The easiest way to do this is to begin an exercise journal where you can write down your goals, measurements, daily experience, and insights gleaned during your chosen activity. Find a sturdy book, with a cover that catches your interest to record in. Choose the headings that you wish to include, and prepare to record your experience after each exercise session. You might include:

Workout Record

Date:

______________________________

Chosen Activity:

______________________________

Duration of Session:

______________________________

Goals for Session:

______________________________

Bodyís Response to Activity:

______________________________

Maximum Heart Rate:

______________________________

Insights Received during Activity:

______________________________

______________________________

Goals for Next Session:

______________________________

______________________________

In another section of the journal write down your specific measurements and your Goals related to these. One method of discerning your "ideal" physical measurements, based on your bone structure involves:

Measure your Wrist, and record the diameter in inches: = ________ inches.

Then multiply you Wrist Measurement by the following factors, for the various body areas.

Chest: Multiply Wrist Measurement 6 times: = _________ inches.

Waist: Multiply Wrist Measurement 4 times: = _________ inches.

Hips: Multiply Wrist Measurement 6 times: = _________ inches.

Thighs: Multiply Wrist Measurement 3 times: = _________ inches.

Calves: Multiply Wrist Measurement 2 times: = _________ inches.

Ankles: Multiply Wrist Measurement 1.5 times: = _________ inches.

Upper Arms: Multiply Wrist Measurement 1.5 times: = _________ inches.

If you have given birth, add 2 inches to your calculated Waist measurement.

Now, measure each body part, listed above, and record the measurements beside the ideal measurements. Once a week, on the same day each week, take your measurements again, to keep a running log. For example, create a chart like the one below:

Log of Body Measurements:

Month:_______ Year:_________

Body Area: Ideal: 17th 14th 21st 28th
Chest: 36.0 34.5 34.5 34.5 35.0
Waist: 24.0 28.0 28.0 27.5 27.0
Hips: 36.0 40.0 40.0 39.5 39.0
Thighs: 18.0 20.0 20.0 19.5 19.5
Calves: 12.0 15.0 15.0 14.5 14.0
Ankles: 9.0 11.5 11.5 11.0 11.0
Arms: 9.0 11.5 11.5 11.0 11.0

The second step in setting up a fitness regime is to find motivating images that can help you to "see" yourself in the dimensions that you wish to manifest in your body. If you can draw well, sketch an image of yourself radiating health and vitality, and measuring the dimensions you desire to be. Or, you can cut out images of athletes who are about the same body build as you are, and make a collage of images for you to look at before or during your work-out.

The third step is to align your mind with your body during exercise by creating an imaginary personal trainer. Imagine someone in your mind who could serve as a role model, who will relentlessly cheer you on as you exercise, and who will help you perform your movements with proper body alignment, breathing, and symmetrical muscle and joint movement. Imagine a benevolent, experienced trainer - one who knows your body inside and out, someone who can inspire and guide you to achieve your fitness goals. This imaginary coach is an image of your own Higher Self connected to your perfect etheric template - the etheric representation of your body at its best!

"The mind is the map,
the body the vehicle,
the emotions the fuel.
We are all natural athletes at birth."

- Dan Millman, "The Warrior Athlete."

Once youíve created your inner personal trainer, become aware of what your mind thinks of exercise. What associations does it automatically make, when you consider developing a fitness regime? Do you entertain thoughts of anticipation, joy, and enthusiasm? Or, are your thoughts more along the lines of resistance, dread, or boredom? If you are not able to enjoy what you are doing, the benefits will not be the best you can achieve.

The easiest way to prepare your mind to enjoy exercise is to explore what stands in your way of your pleasure. Ask yourself:

  • What have I been told (by friends, family, at school, at work, from the media) about exercise? ___________________________________________________________
  • What fitness activities made me feel really good in the past? Why? _______________________________________________________
  • What fitness activities made me feel inferior or incompetent in the past? Why? ____________________________________________________________
  • What is the best time of day for ME to enjoy exercising? (Forget about everyone else, for a minute). ____________________________________________________________
  • Is it better for me to exercise on my own, or with other people? ______________________________________________
  • What is the best way for ME to be motivated to establish a regular fitness regime? ____________________________________________________________

Any thoughts and beliefs that inhibit your ability to enjoy physical activities can be gently removed from your consciousness with a little inner clearing. If youíre thoughts constantly tell your body, "Iím too fat," "I hate to sweat," "I havenít the time," "Itís too much work," and so on, they may sabatoge your good intentions, and make your work-outs both a chore and a dreaded event.

The key is to find activities that make YOU feel good. No one else. YOU. What does your body absolutely love to do? Dance? Go for long walks? Bicycling? Play Frisbee? Weight-training? Tennis? Golf? Yoga? Tai Chi? Run? Hike? Climb? Team sports? Swim? Skate? Rollerblading? A combination of these?

Whatever you love to do, - plan to do! You can achieve the results you want to with a combination of many different activities. You may well want to vary what you engage in, to keep up your interest and enjoyment, and to develop different aspects of fitness.

The three main areas to develop in your fitness plan include:

Strength, Flexibility, and Endurance

A well-rounded approach to fitness is recommended to cultivate all three areas.

Strength:

can be developed through weight-bearing exercises such as:

  • Weight-training
  • Brisk walking, climbing, hiking
  • Isometric exercises
  • Stair climbing
  • Dance
  • Bicycling
  • Team Sports

Flexibility:

can be developed through activities such as:

  • Stretching
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Ballet and other Dance
  • Gymnastics
  • Swimming

Endurance:

is built through aerobic activities such as:

  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Jogging
  • Running
  • Bicycling
  • Swimming
  • Team Sports
  • Skating
  • Rollerblading
  • Frisbee

      You need to decide on the best fitness program for YOU. What fits your current physical condition, your activity preferences, and your lifestyle? It is best to start out slowly, and build up to more strenous activities. Get a thorough medical examination before starting, especially if itís been awhile since you worked out. Remember, pick activities that you enjoy,..that you believe in, whether you perform them in a class, at a gym, with a team, partner, or friend, or on your own.

      The health benefits of fitness are many.

      Health Benefits of Fitness

      • Weight control
      • Self-esteem
      • Improved Sleep Patterns
      • Better Digestion
      • Better Circulation
      • Strong Muscle Tone
      • Suppleness
      • Increased Libido
      • Pep and Vigor
      • Improved Frame of Mind
      • Emotional Control
      • Feelings of Personal Power
      • Enhanced Sensory Sensitivity
      • Balance and Elegance
      • Aligned Posture
      • Sense of Mastery
      • Resistance to Disease
      • Preservation of Youthfulness

      Try to design a fitness regime that builds strength, flexibility, and endurance. Whatever activities you choose, try to focus your mind on the processes that are occurring within your body as you move. Feel the cells awakening, welcoming the fresh new blood flowing through them. Feel the energy being generated as you work your muscles, stretch your joints and supporting structures, and build up your stamina. Notice the blocks and armor-like restrictions being released, the flexibility that becomes more apparent with each workout, the sense of accomplishment you feel as your performance improves with each session. Rejoice in each new sensation, new insight, and the advanced progress you experience. Make this new lifestyle truly a part of your life - something you will continue right through to old age.

      To gain the maximum benefit from exercise, it is important to perform your movements gracefully, letting go of all tension. Donít judge yourself - let your current ability shine - with time and practice, your movements will become as light as a butterfly, full of grace, passion, and your own unique personal power and strength. In the beginning, we need to work through the accumulated rigidity and allow our muscles and tissues to relax, and flow fluidly. Western culture imposes many postures and muscle constrictions that need to be worked out. For instance, sitting on chairs shortens our calves and the backs of the thighs, while stretching the front thigh muscles. Wearing rigid shoes, causes stricture in our ankles and feet. Our feet are meant to be as flexible and precise as our hands are. We need to relearn how to move like animals move - fluidly, gracefully, and easily. It might help you to "see" yourself as your favorite animal, as you engage in your fitness activity.

      See yourself run like a deer.
      See yourself as powerful with quick reflexes like a panther.
      See yourself as strong and sure-footed as a stallion.
      See yourself as graceful and peaceful as a swan.
      Or as nimble and quick as an otter.

      Posture:

      Whatever activity you engage in, remember to keep your posture loose and natural. The easiest way to do this is:
      Imagine a golden cord connecting you to the stars. See the cord coming down and attaching to your chest area. Lift your chest up and out of its cage, letting your shoulders fall back naturally. Let your neck be free, supporting your head in a relaxed way. Let your leg movements come from your center, not forcing your hips or knee joints. Let your back muscles relax and expand sideways. Maintain a free-moving passageway for your energy to flow that extends from the crown of your head, right down your spine, down to the soles of your feet, and the palms of your hands.

      While you are working out, use visualization and imagery to "see" what is happening in your body, and to keep an inner picture of your physical goals in your consciousness. "See" yourself the way you want your body to become. Supplement this with positive affirmations and self-motivation.

      Target Heart Rate

      To effectively build your endurance, plan to keep your heart rate within the correct target heart rate zone for you. To calculate this target heart rate:

      Subtract your age from 220, subtract 75, then multiply by 0.7, then add 75. For example, if you are 40 years old:

      [ (220 - 40 - 75) x 0.7] + 75) = (180 - 75) = 105 x 0.7 = 73.5 + 75= 148.5 beats per minute.

      When you work out, try to keep your heart beating at this rate to provide the most beneficial conditioning for your heart and lungs, and to build your endurance. To determine your heart rate during your workout, stop and press your fingers to the large artery at the right side of your throat. Count for six seconds, then add a zero to the number to get your beats per minute. Too fast? Slow down for a while. Too slow? Pick up the pace.

      "We are all born wild like a mountain lion,
      and to live in civilization, we become sheep
      at a very young age. We become tame.
      We are fierce and wild by nature.

      - Lynn Andrews, "Star Woman."

      Planning Your Fitness Regime

      Once you have chosen which activities you intend to include in your weekly fitness schedule, try to alternate between activities that target strength, flexibility, and endurance.

      The Importance of Stretching

      No matter what activity you choose to perform, it is a good idea to begin and end each exercise session with some gentle stretching. Combine this stretching with a slow warm-up period at the beginning of your activity, and end your session with a nice, relaxed cool-down period. All three of these components will help you to avoid injury, over-exertion, and horribly sore muscles and stiff joints.

      Any type of stretching, whether pre-running stretches, dance stretches, Yoga stretching will do,...find a set of stretching exercises that feel the best to you.

      How Often Should I Exercise?

      The Presidentís Council on Physical Education and Sports recommends a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes of exercise, 3 to 5 times a week to improve the functional efficiency of your heart, lungs, and blood vessels, as well as improve your muscle strength, and endurance. If you want to reduce your body weight, performing two 30 minute workouts in one day will burn up more calories than one 60 minute workout. The two work-outs will give you two post-exercise metabolic spikes instead of just one - this burns calories faster, and helps you to regulate your set-point and quicken your metabolic rate. Exercise as often as YOU feel you should. Some weeks you may feel like working out every day, other weeks, 2 to 3 sessions may be enough. It is important that you tune into YOUR body and find the rhythm that feels right for you. A general guideline, though, is to aim for a minimum of three sessions, a week, at least 30 to 60 minutes long.

      Strength Training for Personal Power

      Try to participate in some type of strength training activity a minimum of two times a week for at least 20 minutes. Strength training can be done with or without weights. You can do abdominal work, such as crunches; push ups; pull ups; tricep dips; lifting your child; and so on, without picking up a weight or using a weight machine. If youíd like to use some type of equipment, try hand weights, rubber bands, tubing, dynabands, or health club machines.

      Whatever you decide to use, make sure you use the proper technique and form. If you belong to a health club, ask a trainer for help. If you donít belong to a health club, you may wish to purchase a video or get a knowledgeable friend to show you how to use the peice of equipment you have chosen.

      When doing strength training, form is everything - make sure the last repetition you do is as precise as the first one. If you are interested in using free weights, make sure that you get proper instruction. It is important to work the muscle groups evenly. Muscles need to contract or flex as much and as evenly as they extend or stretch out. Each movement must flow evenly with your breath. As your muscles extend, you breathe in deeply, as they contract, you breathe out fully.

      Free weights, when used correctly, work amazingly well in strengthening the upper body. They can help you avoid flabby arms, to strengthen your posture, expand your rib cage, and build up your chest muscles. Use light weights to avoid bulky-looking muscles. Two to five pound hand weights are heavy enough to give you sinewy, dancer-like arm muscles. As with cardiovascular or endurance exercise, stretching should also be incorporated into a strength training workout. Begin by warming up for 5 to 10 minutes (on a treadmill, exercise bike, loosely running on the spot, or dancing gently and freely). Then stretch your major muscle groups, perform your weight training segment, and end by again stretching the major muscle groups.

      Remember these points, as you initiate your daily exercise:

      • Your body is a very sensitive instrument, that is plastic to your thoughts, emotions, and words. It responds to what is expressed through it and to it. Think, feel, and talk about it with respect, love, and caring.
      • Strengthen your Intent, and you will enliven your Skeleton, Your Blood, and Your Body.
      • Focus on releasing all blocks and patterns of mediocrity from your Being.
      • Truly visualize an actual resculpting occurring within your cells and tissues.
      • Manifest a vehicle of superb beauty and grace. The ultimate YOU.
      • Flow with Life and Love.
      • Connect your mental image of your body with your perfect etheric template.
      • Sculpt your body with your Intent, your Vision, your Affirmation, and your Movement.
      • Make your exercise a Moving Meditation.
      • End your exercise session by lying down or sitting comfortably. Focus your attention on your body, and notice what sensations you are feeling. Write down your impressions.

      If you would like some assistance in planning and adhereing to an exercise regime you can go to:
      (click on the amethyst to go there)

      Enroll in my DynoWomyn Power-Coaching for personal one-on-one assistance.

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      Check out my "Links for the Body" section for lots more information on the Web.

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June Kaminski, RN MSN DynoWomyn Enterprises TM dynowomyn@dynowomyn.com
All rights reserved 1998 - 2004 Last Revised: July 24th, 2001