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12
Mar

Stress Is the Trash of Modern Life

“Stress is the trash of modern life-we all generate it but if you don’t dispose of it properly,
it will pile up and overtake your life.” Danzae Pace
March is a time for spring cleaning. We often jump to clean physical clutter but ignore
internal clutter….
Just like the trashcan inside your home, you can’t continue to stuff garbage in it
continuously without eventually emptying it. Some of us generate more household
garbage than others. The same holds true for stress. And if you’ve ever watched that TV
show, “Hoarders”, you know what accumulated garbage can do to a person’s life!
So how do you ‘dispose’ of this type of trash and empty your stress trashcan? It’s all
about being aware that stress is not meant to be a chronic condition. Sure, the stress
response gives you a boost of energy to get things done. In some instances, it actually is
a survival mechanism when you call upon that boost of adrenalin in a true ‘fight or flight’
situation. Immediately after, though, your body needs to rest, relax, recharge and restore
to a normal energy state. You get into trouble when you ignore that need to restore and
rejuvenate body and mind.
Life in the modern world is stressful. Acute and chronic stress is the result. Beginning a
conscious, regular practice to reduce your stress hormones, restore your energy, and
renew the body for the next day is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. This is how you’re able
to dispose of your stress trash and empty that stress trashcan.
Some examples of activities that when done regularly (read that daily!) will help you
empty your stress trashcan:
• Meditation
• Mindfulness
• Positive self-talk
• Deep breathing exercises
• Control vs. no-control exercises (hint: let go of those things that are not within your
control)
• Regular sleep patterns and adequate hours in the sack!
• Regular physical exercise
We would love to help you with the regular physical exercise piece here at The Fit Yard
with our unique, effective and efficient group fitness classes here in the Tampa Bay
area. Try your first one free. Visit our schedule to sign up or email [email protected]
727-216-9650.
What does your stress trashcan look like these days? Is it overflowing or regularly
emptied without effort?

2
Jan

Happy New Year! Happy NEW DECADE!


Can you believe its 2020?
For the sake of the upcoming decade…

Think back to where you were in January of 2010.

What were you doing with your life?

How did you look and feel?

Chances are that some parts of the 2020 experience for you feel like yesterday, while
other parts feel like a distant memory.

You see…the entering of a new decade is a big deal.

It’s not as easy to shrug off as the start of a simply a new year.

Because you can see how much life changes in a decade a lot more clearly.

And for those who’ve neglected their health and fitness long-term, the turn of a
decade can truly be life and death.

There comes a point in time when being out of shape and unhealthy is less about
vanity and discomfort and more about imminent disease and potentially death…or
even being unable to do the things you’d dreamed of doing.

Even if you’re not there yet, living in a body that is exhausted and that you’re not
proud of is a painful daily experience.

But that choice always belongs to us.

You could look back on the 2020 you in 2030 and long for your youth and health…or
you could spend the next decade becoming the strongest, fittest, and healthiest
you’ve ever been – no matter where you are as you’re reading these words.

Nothing in this life is guaranteed to us, but we can control our own choices,
behaviors, and outcomes.

Aside from outside incidents, we can control our physique, our health, and even our
happiness.

What are you going to choose in 2020?
Let us help you find your FIT! We are a one stop shop for your health and fitness needs!

  • For those living in the Tampa Bay area we offer Group Exercise Classes and Personal Training.
    We are conviniently located to St. Pete, Clearwater AND Tampa in the Gateway area of St. Pete.
  • Body Composition Analysis using the State-of-the-art Fit3d and InBody 570
  • Nutrition Coaching and Online Personal Training for local individuals and anyone nationwide!
  • Healthy Meals for pickup from Mind Over Matter Meal Prep at
    www.mindovermattermeals.com
    Together we will make this year the best year yet!
3
Dec

Fit Yard Top Ten Healthy Holiday Tips

Tip #1: Focus on eating protein and vegetables first.

Tip #2: Eat slowly; put your fork down between bites. Thoroughly
chew your food.
Tip #3: Drink half your body weight in ounces per day of plain water
minimum.
Tip #4: Stick to your normal exercise routine.
Tip #5: Find a way to move everyday.
Tip #6: Plan travel nutrition strategies ahead. Pack food for trips.
Tip #7: Plan workouts ahead of time. Research hotel gyms, walking
trails, bring bands to exercise and budget time to workout.
Tip #8: Minimize your alcohol intake. Drink water between alcoholic
beverages.
Tip #9: Learn to say no. Not everything is “worth it.” Those boxed
stale dollar store Christmas cookies in the break room don’t have to
be eaten. Save space for special items.
Tip #10: Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
without “waiting until after the Holiday’s” to get FIT! Need help?
We’ve got you covered! With Group Fitness Classes, Personal
Training, Nutrition Coaching, Online Training and Body Composition
Analysis we are a one stop shop for your Health and Fitness Needs
365 days a year. Email us at [email protected] or call us at 727-216-
9650 today.

25
Nov

SEASON FOR GRATITUDE (PART 2)


Now that you know the benefits here are ideas to help you cultivate your gratitude practice:

  1. Make a Top 10 Gratitude List – Brainstorm and write down everything that comes to mind that
    you are thankful for in your everyday life. Then narrow your list of your “Top 10” Put the list on your
    mirror, or hang it somewhere where you will see it every morning.
  2. 5 Things Daily Recap – Spend a few minutes before you go to bed writing down 5 things that you
    are thankful in a journal. Here’s our favorite evening or morning gratitude journal with space for 5
    items each day:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0757307108/?ref=exp_loc_pl_thefityard
  3. 3 People GO! – When you are feeling a little down or just because send 3 people you care about a
    message and tell them you are grateful for them!
  4. A handwritten note of thanks – Take time to write a personal note and send it in snail mail to
    someone who has left a big impact on your life and tell them how thankful you are.
  5. A review – Leave a google or yelp review for a business that has gone the extra mile to serve you.
  6. 3 Things Morning Reflection – This morning write down three things you are grateful for on a
    post it note. Look at it throughout the day
  7. Donate to a charity or organization – Gratitude can be expressed in kindness. Donate things you
    aren’t using or make a monetary donation to a charity.
  8. Make a Personal List- make a list of all the good qualities you have. This list doesn’t need to be
    extensive. Star with 5 to 10 items. Focusing on the positive qualities you have instead of the negative
    helps you to really be thankful for all you are.
  9. Small Gift- Buy a small gift for someone you appreciate. This is sure to make them feel valued, and
    it doesn’t have to hurt your budget.
  10. Challenge- Journal regarding three challenges you’re grateful for and what positive things
    you’ve learned. This helps us express gratitude for obstacles as they are opportunities for growth.
  11. An email to say THANK YOU – Write an email to someone and say thank you for something they
    have helped you with.
  12. 5 minute guided gratitude mediation:
    YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCorElLKFQE

SPOTIFY:
https://open.spotify.com/track/4KoL951E3V01T2mLvbJYrC?si=Fxu2qM2mQJWc7dNydJsWCA
iMusic: https://music.apple.com/us/album/gratitudemeditation/1202419571?i=1202419644

  1. Spend extra time playing with your kids, a friend, loved one or pet: There is so much joy in
    play. When doing this feel the immense gratitude for the precious po
  2. Forgiveness – Consider forgiving someone you may be holding on to some aggression towards
    today. Be thankful for your ability to forgive.
    Journal your thoughts:
    Who do you struggle to forgive?
    What’s one step toward forgiveness that you could take today?
  3. Turn Negative to Positives – It’s easy to slip into the victim mindset. Take time to reflect on ways
    you may slip into the negative mindset trap:
    Journal your thoughts:
    When was the last time you slipped into a victim mindset?
    What situations tempt you to complain?
    Give examples of when you’ve turned a bad day around by focusing on gratitude?
  4. Volunteer your time – at a nursing home, a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, your kid’s school, anywhere.
  5. Show gratitude to our beautiful Mother Earth – Take time today to clean up the trash in your
    neighborhood or at your favorite outdoor recreation spot like a park or beach.
  6. Get in the holiday spirit- As the Holidays fast approach adopt a child or family to give gifts to.
  7. Phone Call – Take a few minutes to call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Tell them how
    much you appreciate them.
  8. Snap a picture – Take a picture of one thing, person, place or specific moment that makes you feel
    grateful. Share it with your social network and spread the gratitude, its contagious.
  9. Pick a Sense – Pick one of your five senses to focus on today. Take note of how many gifts come to
    you via that single port of entry. Journal about this experience.

Quick Gratitude Breaks
There are also some Quick Gratitude Breaks for shifts in gratitude throughout your day whenever you
want a mood shift or to spread a little gratitude love!

  1. Hold the door for someone
  2. Give someone a genuine compliment
  3. Tell a loved one how grateful you are for them
  4. Enjoy the people around you. Take a moment to appreciate their unique talents, abilities
    and personalities.
  5. Pause and appreciate – When you shift your focus to the positive parts of your day, it trains your
    brain to shift away from focusing on your stress or the negative parts of your day. Take a photo each
    day of something that you appreciate – for example something that makes you laugh or smile, or
    makes you feel lucky and loved. At the end of the week, look at all of the photos together.
  6. Stay in the Moment – Focus on being present in what’s going on right now in your life. Stay away
    from future tripping (I’ll be happy when….) When you catch yourself thinking about how something
    will be better in the future, stop and reframe your thoughts to what you are thankful for today.
  7. Try to see the world through the eyes of a child. Think about the things you take for granted on
    a daily basis, and then express gratitude for everything down to the basic necessities that sustain your
    current life.
  8. Take the time to focus on yourself. Appreciate and give thanks for your unique personality, skills
    and talents.
  9. Have confidence in the all the choices you have made today and be grateful for being able to
    believe in yourself.
  10. Perform a Quick Random Act of Kindness: Enjoy these examples of random acts of kindness to
    inspire you, there are a ton of ideas online:
     Allow the shopper in the grocery line move ahead of you.
     Check on an elderly neighbor.
     Tape change to a parking meter or vending machine.
     Give the new employee a tour of your work area or offer to sit with them at lunch.
     Smile at someone on the street or everyone you pass!
     Let the manager of the store know when an associate gives you exceptional service.
     Pay for the person behind you in line.
     Leave kind notes in the dressing room to encourage body positivity.
     Visit a nursing home just to spend time with those who rarely receive visitors.

 Pay for someone’s layaway who hasn’t made a payment in a long while.
 Help someone stranded on the side of the road.

19
Nov

SEASON FOR GRATITUDE (PART 1)

THE MANY BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE
We wanted to split this up into two blog posts. Part 1 is going to deep dive into the many benefits of cultivating a
gratitude practice. Whether you already have one and are fine tuning it or are working on developing habits and
practices read on….
Physical Health Benefits of a Gratitude Practice
What is all this buzz lately about practicing gratitude? Isn’t it good enough to just say thank you when someone
does something nice for you?
The truth is there are numerous health benefits to you from the daily practice of gratitude. Establishing a habit
to think about and write down your thoughts about gratitude will create tremendous shifts in your mental and
physical health. The practice of gratitude on a regular basis has been shown to be the number one way to
increase your overall life satisfaction.
Dr. Robert Emmons, a psychology professor from UC Davis, is one of the most often quoted experts on the study of
gratitude. He and others have been conducting scientific experiments over the past 2 decades. Their research
shows that there are quite a few advantages to regularly tap into the tremendous power of simply counting your
blessings.
Here are key health benefits that studies have found are available to you when you regularly practice gratitude:
Lower Blood Pressure
Studies show that people who are regular practitioners of thankfulness have lowered blood pressure. A reduction
of 16% diastolic and 10% systolic blood pressure has been noted. These lower readings are seen both at rest and
when stressed.
Less Risk For Heart Disease
C-reactive protein, a marker of heart disease and cardiac inflammation, is also lower in those individuals who
practice gratitude. This is an important benefit since the leading cause of death in the US for both sexes happens
to be heart disease.
Stronger Immune System
You will also benefit from a strengthened immune system when you establish a regular thankfulness practice.
Optimism is higher when you focus on all that you have vs. obsessing over all that you lack. Optimism lowers the
level of stress hormones such as cortisol. Stress and cortisol interferes with your immune system. Your body is
able to increase the number of infection-fighting immune cells when stress hormones are reduced.
Improved Sleep
Instead of counting sheep to fall asleep, you will achieve better results when you count your blessings. A regular
gratitude practice will lower the incidence of insomnia and improve sleep quality. Keep in mind that poor sleep is

a contributing factor to attention issues, obesity and moodiness/relationship challenges. Improving sleep quality
creates a beneficial domino effect with other areas in your life and your health.
Improved Biomarkers for Diabetes
Hemoglobin A1c, a biomarker for glucose control in the body, was found to decrease by as much as 13% for those
who engage in regular thankfulness. This could be related to the finding that dietary fat intake diminishes by as
much as a quarter less when people routinely write in a gratitude journal. This means that for those with a
diagnosis of diabetes, sugar control improves with less variability in the highs and lows. And if you are heading
towards developing diabetes, a lowered Hemoglobin A1c indicates that the condition is now heading in a
favorable direction.
These are just 5 health benefits, there are so many! As the great poet Rumi stated, “Wear gratitude like a cloak
and it will feed every corner of your life.”
Mental Health Benefits of Gratitude
As much as some of us would like to be able to control every aspect of our lives…we can’t! But when we can
control is our attitude towards what does happen to us. We all experience and continue to experience “trying”
times in our lives. The WHAT in these situations is less important than the HOW.
How we react and move through these particular situations will determine their affect on our physical, mental,
and emotional well being. Up to 40% of our happiness comes from how we choose to approach our lives.
Especially during “trying” times we focus on all of our problems. We then get in the habit of focusing our
attention on all the negative things happening in our lives.
What would happen instead if we switched that focus to all of the good things that happen to us each and
everyday? What if we took time daily or weekly to reflect on things we are grateful for in our lives?


Gratitude is the forgotten factor in happiness research.
Grateful individuals
 Report higher levels of positive emotions
 Have greater life satisfaction
 Experience greater vitality
 Are more optimistic
 Are healthier
 Build strong relationships
 Handle adversity better
 Experience lower levels of depression and stress
People who have a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathetic and to take the
perspective of others. They are also rated as more generous and more helpful. Grateful individuals place less
importance on material goods, are less likely to judge their own and others success in terms of possessions
accumulated and are less envious of others.
A study done by, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the
University of Miami, showed that those individuals who practiced weekly gratitude were more optimistic and felt
better about their lives.

During the study, one group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A
second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had upset them. While a third group wrote about
events that had affected them but there was not an emphasis on being positive or negative. The first group who
wrote about what they were grateful for also exercised more and had fewer visits to the doctor than those whose
focused on daily irritations.
Benefits of Gratitude for Relationships
Gratitude doesn’t just benefit your physical and mental health; it can also transform all of your relationships.
Here are just a few ways that gratitude can improve your friendships, connections, and relationships…
Gratitude Heals Relationships
It’s easy to focus on what your spouse is doing wrong or how you feel your friend is failing you. But often, these
attitudes toward others create a negative loop. Instead of focusing on what others should or shouldn’t doing,
think on what you love about them.
Gratitude Strengthens and Deepens Relationships
You may not realize it but when you’re grateful, it shows up in your relationships. For example, if you’re grateful
for your loved one, you’re likely to demonstrate this without even realizing it. You take the time to listen to when
they call, you offer to help with difficult tasks, or you do an enjoyable activity together.
When you express gratitude in your relationships, the other person feels valued and heard. As a result, they want
to deepen the connection with you, too. Often, this creates a continuous cycle of generosity that contributes to
positive feelings on both sides.
Let your loved ones know you appreciate them. Relationships are precious and we should value them.

Benefits of Gratitude for Relationships
Gratitude doesn’t just benefit your physical and mental health; it can also transform all of your relationships.
Here are just a few ways that gratitude can improve your friendships, connections, and relationships…
Gratitude Heals Relationships
It’s easy to focus on what your spouse is doing wrong or how you feel your friend is failing you. But often, these
attitudes toward others create a negative loop. Instead of focusing on what others should or shouldn’t doing,
think on what you love about them.
Gratitude Strengthens and Deepens Relationships
You may not realize it but when you’re grateful, it shows up in your relationships. For example, if you’re grateful
for your loved one, you’re likely to demonstrate this without even realizing it. You take the time to listen to when
they call, you offer to help with difficult tasks, or you do an enjoyable activity together.
When you express gratitude in your relationships, the other person feels valued and heard. As a result, they want
to deepen the connection with you, too. Often, this creates a continuous cycle of generosity that contributes to
positive feelings on both sides.
Let your loved ones know you appreciate them. Relationships are precious and we should value them.

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