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2
Aug

DOPAMINE & THE SMARTPHONE


Picture this: 

You lose your phone. 

Or, your phone drops in water.

Or, you can’t find for what feels like 23.5 hours.

Or, your phone gets, run over by a Mac truck.  

You get the idea.  If any of these things happened to you a full blown panic attack may occur.  

Adults in the US spend an average of 2-4 hours per day tapping, typing, and swiping on their devices—that adds up to over 2,600 daily touches.  So naturally if we were to lose something we touch 2,600 times per day we’d panic!

Beyond losing contacts and the money involved in replacement there is a physiological reason we’re attached to our smartphones.  When we get a “like” on a social platform (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), receive an email or text message or get a pop-up with “breaking news” there is a tiny dopamine release in our brain.  

Without getting scientific, Dopamine is a chemical produced by our brain that makes us feel good.  Because of this it’s linked to motivation; we are motivated by what makes us feel good. The “feel good” chemical gets released when we take a bite of delicious food, ride a rollercoaster, ingest stimulants, win at a slot machine and when we get likes, messages, notifications and emails! Ok, there are many other ways dopamine gets released but the fact we get a little kick of dopamine from various smartphones activities. Even the anticipation of the action, keeps us coming back for more.  

We can go into A LOT more detail about this but let’s stay on this topic.  The ugly side of the smartphone addiction is:

1.   A time waster

2.  Lead to anger if we read something upsetting

3.  Cause disappointment if we didn’t get the attention we were hoping for

4.  Comparing ourselves to others and feeling like we’re “not enough” 

And these are just a few examples! 

So here are a few things you can do NOW:

  1. Don’t check social or emails first thing in the morning or right before bed
  2. Turn off ALL notifications for social media and email. 
  3. Check social platforms 1-2 times daily for a set period of time.  
  4. Check email at set intervals during your day.  If you’re worried about clients/coworkers/employees responsiveness time set an automatic message indicating times you reply to emails. 
  5. Some people have gone “all out” and deleted social apps from their phones and check only on a desktop OR all together.  

Here’s the key! You’ve got to replace the behaviors to get your dopamine fix! So here are 5 things you can do, and yes a couple have a smartphone involved.  You’ll have to have willpower and wait for the “fix” before subconsciously landing in the Facebook rabbit hole.  

  1. Gratitude- call someone or send them a voice text and tell them you are thankful for something they did or just for them! 
  2. Move + Nature – Get outside and walk. Sunshine + movement. 
  3. Workout – ever feel that “high” after a workout? Yup, that’s dopamine.  
  4. Goal achievement – completing a task on your to-do list 

We challenge you to take action using one or more of the action ideas and replacement behaviors today! One great idea: Get your dopamine fix in a healthy way with The Fit Yard’s Group Fitness Workouts in St. Pete!  No matter what you choose we want you to be the healthiest happiest you.

8
Jul

Healthy Summer Vacation

Healthy Summer Vacation

Few things are more synonymous with summer than vacation. And few things can throw your healthy lifestyle off track faster than a summer vacation!

We love to get away.  There is something inherently rejuvenating and restorative about leaving home for a few days and getting away from the daily routines and responsibilities of life.  It is no wonder that people often return from a vacation with clear minds, creative ideas and a renewed outlook on life.

But people also return from vacation heavier and with taste buds trained to again want rich, unhealthy food.  What, at the time, seemed like a harmless break from routine (a few too many splurge meals and skipped workouts) often turns into a battle upon returning home—suddenly working out and eating well is harder than it was before we left home!

It doesn’t have to be that way however.  Here are a few simple ways that you can avoid the “after-vacation regret” while still having a great time on your get-away:

  • Don’t stop working out.  Help your body remain metabolically healthy and keep blood glucose levels stable by exercising every day.  Whether you get outside for a bodyweight workout or use the hotel gym all you need is 20 minutes. You can bring resistance bands with you in your luggage.  Did you know we offer Online Personal Training? This is a great option if you are local member but need an option while away. Email us for more information: [email protected]
  • Take healthy snacks.  Why do we munch more when we travel?  There’s something about strapping in for a long trip that makes us reach for food.  Rather than fight the urge (who needs that pressure on vacation?), just be prepared with foods that you can eat as much as you want!  Raw veggies are a great choice if you’re on a road trip. On the plane things like jerky, protein bars or chips are great. Visit our amazon store and click the tab “snacks” for lots of great options! www.amazon.com/shop/thefityard

  • Drink water.  Traveling can cause you to dehydrate quickly.  If you don’t get enough water, you can feel fatigued, have blurry vision and even have trouble concentrating.  That’s no way to feel on vacation! Stay hydrated so you can enjoy yourself!
  • Make sure your hotel room has a fridge and microwave.  If you are at the mercy of restaurant menus for an entire week, you are going to struggle to eat healthy.  By having a fridge and microwave available to you, you can make some of your own meals. Find a grocery store when you arrive at your vacation spot and stock up on simple, healthy foods that you can eat.  Then you can truly enjoy a few restaurant meals while you are there!

  • Get plenty of sleep.  The last thing you want is to return home from a road trip sleep deprived.  But sadly, many of us do. It’s hard to sleep away from home. The good news, however, is that there are several things you can do to sleep better in a hotel room.  These include playing relaxing music on your iPhone (to block out any unruly neighbors), taking your own special blanket and pillow (so you relax more quickly), and turning off all screens (computers, phones, iPads, televisions) 30-60 minutes before you go to sleep.

Have a great trip!

6
Jun

Self Care

Everybody now a day is busy.  Life is fast-paced and hectic. And many of us spend so much time taking care of others or working, we forget to stop, rest, reset, and take a little care of ourselves!

After integrating self-care habits into your daily life, you will still have a to-do list and full life, but you will feel more rested and grateful instead of frantic and overwhelmed.

In a recent article in Psychology today, it stated that being kind to yourself can actually help you to bounce back, live healthier, and stay on track with your goals.  It is amazing how taking a little time to care for yourself can actually help you be more productive in your day. You have to fill your tank before you head out on a journey!

Showing yourself kindness and self-compassion when faced with difficult life struggles or failures can transform your relationship with yourself and promote healthier ways of living.

Self-care is crucial for our physical, emotional and mental well-being. Research on self-compassion shows that it is associated with:

  • Less anxiety and depression
  • More optimism
  • Better recovery from stress
  • Better adherence to healthy behavior changes, such as exercise or diet

Self-Care Tips-

GRATITUDE– Take a moment to look out the window and feel gratitude for the sunrise, nature, your warm house, food in your cupboards, anything that you may often take for granted.

ENJOY FRESH FLOWERS– Buy or pick fresh flowers and set them out in your home.

FUEL YOUR BODY WITH WHOLE FOODS – fueling your body with nourishing whole foods each day will feel so much more energized! Have you been struggling with your nutrition? Contact us(link to email [email protected]) about Nutrition Coaching or order healthy meals that can be picked up at our studio from mindovermattermeals (website link) (they also deliver!)

MOVE YOUR BODY- Let’s take care of our bodies by moving them! We sit too much and our bodies are made to move! Aim to get 10,000 steps and a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day. Struggling to get motivated to workout?  Have you tried a class at The Fit Yard yet? What are you waiting for?! This is your week! Our unique, efficient and effective classes will have you looking forward to your workout! Visit our schedule(link to our schedule) and book your class. Not local ? Contact us about Online Training!

DEEP BREATHING –  Deep breathing is one of the most underutilized ways to practice self care. Breathe in through your nose. Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles.  4 seconds in 4 seconds out is a good benchmark. Try this for 1-5 minutes and work up to multiple times per day.

STRETCH YOUR BODY – Do 5-10 minutes of yoga, stretching or foam rolling.  Or how about a Flex & Roll class at The Fit Yard? It’s a Yoga Fusion class sure to stretch your body with foam rolling at the end!  

FORGIVE – Take a moment to reflect on your struggles, mistakes, failures, and inadequacies. Then forgive yourself for your shortcomings. Treat yourself with the same compassion you would a close friend. Show yourself kindness rather than harsh self-judgment.

SLEEP- Never ever underestimate the power of sleep to heal, repair, energize, rest and care for your body. A good benchmark for most people is 7 hours per night.  Already getting 7? It’s ok to be greedy and aim for more! Want an easy trick to improve your sleep that costs less than $10? Buy a black out sleep mask! Available on our amazon store: ( link to main page, make sure sleep mask is somewhere on there)

RESTORATIVE SERVICES-  from massage therapy, cryotherapy, normatec compression therapy float tanks  and saunas there is a little something for everyone now! Try something to help your body feel its best!  Located in the Tampa Bay Area? Our owners love Elite Body Cryotherapy for cryotherapy and Normatec check them out at elitebodycryotherapy.com.  (website link)

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201706/8-powerful-steps-self-love

9
May

Are you the example you need to be?


Whether you’re a parent, teacher, nurse, firefighter, manager or any type of role model figure, you hold a certain responsibility to be an example to those you lead and those who look up to you.

If you’re a parent, your behavior develops the behavior and the entire future of your children.

If you’re a doctor or nurse, your patients will look to you for their health.

If you’re a law enforcement officer or firefighter, those you protect need to know they’re in good hands.

If you’re a boss or manager your team will look at you for guidance and strength.  

The list doesn’t stop here! Most of us are leading someone in some way.

When you take on any kind of leadership role, it is 100% your duty to be the best example possible. And in so many instances, this requires maintaining your physical health.

And the harsh but true reality is that the majority of people in these important positions I’ve just discussed fail to do so.

Obesity and being overweight aren’t genetic. It’s the outcome of a learned behavior.  Humans and pets are the only animals in the world that are obese.  Think about this for a moment. Let it really sink in.

If you’re the example to another human in any capacity, you owe it to them and to yourself to be the healthiest and strongest version of YOU.

Helping people achieve just that is what we are dedicated to here are The Fit Yard.  Our Group Fitness Classes help you build strength, power, endurance, flexibility, mobility and agility in a motivating environment. Our Online Training Services provide a customized Nutrition and Workout solution for you wherever you are.  We even have an amazing Mind Over Matter Meals delivered here for your convenience weekly so you can eat healthy.

So, if you’re ready to take control and be the role model you know you want to be, we are here to help you FIND YOUR FIT!

The perfect time to start is an illusion. The perfect time is always now.

Let’s do this!

4
Apr

The Fit Yard is a New Pickup Location for Mind Over Matter Meal Prep

APRIL BLOG POST


The Fit Yard is excited to announce it is now a pickup location for Mind Over Matter Meal Prep.  Mind Over Matter Meals offers fresh, fun, healthy, affordable meals. A team of chefs and nutritionists creates perfectly portioned healthy meals, designed to make skipping fast food easy. They do the work, you’ll see the results, saving time and effort along the way! Serving Tampa and surrounding areas with a 15-18 option NEW menu every week.  You get to choose the amount of meals that fit your schedule and goals (5, 10, 14 or 21.) Picking any combination of your favorite meals, which includes breakfast options and snacks.

How it works:

– Every Monday the weekly menu goes live on their website www.mindovermattermeals.com

– Order online by Friday at 1pm

– Your meals are ready at The Fit Yard for pick Monday between 5am – 2pm.  

– They also deliver in the Tampa Bay area.

Why use a Meal Prep Service?

Well let’s see: It’s Monday morning and you just got to work. Did you eat a healthy breakfast? Did you pack a lunch? Do you know what you’re eating for dinner? Did you have time over the weekend to prep healthy meals for tomorrow and the rest of the week so you’re not spending your entire evening cooking when you could be relaxing? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it may be time for you to consider using a meal prep service.  Here are the key benefits to using a meal prep service:

1- Saves you time.  Whether you are currently meal prepping for the week or cooking day-by-day having some or all of your meals preppared for you saves you precious time you could be using for tons of other things.  

2- Saves you money.  Yes, you read this correctly! If you eat out at restaurants using a meal prep service, especially one as affordable as Mind Over Matter, is CHEAPER than eating out at restaurants.  If you buy food at the grocery store and cook at home often food goes to waste and/or you have to buy more than you need for recipes.

3- So much healthier than eating at restaurants or eating processed foods.  Fresh whole-food meals without preservatives fuel your body and help you achieve your health and fitness goals.  

By choosing Mind Over Matter, you’re making a decision to allow a team of educated nutritionists and chefs help you reach your goals and live a healthier life while saving you time and money.

Why The Fit Yard LOVES Mind Over Matter Meal Prep:

– You choose 5, 10, 14 or 21 meals per week based on your schedule instead of being tied to a subscription-based plan that locks you into “X” amount of meals per week.  

– Weekly changing menu with low carb, vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free and low carb options

– Great prices

– Nutrition Facts provided for the meals

– The food tastes amazing (according to The Fit Yard owners, staff and members who have been eating them weekly!)  

– Breakfast and snack options in addition to regular meal options

– The food is very fresh

– High in protein

– Local company, we love supporting local small businesses like us!

We hope you try out Mind Over Matter Meal Prep this week!  For more information visit their website: www.mindovermattermeals.com

If you have any questions about pickup at The Fit Yard feel free to contact us at [email protected] (727)421-5411