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How a Positive Mind Really Can Create a Healthier Body

By Jacob Andreae

What you think about — everything from the food you eat to the stress you experience — directly influences how your body responds. Even doing all the right things for your health may be undermined by simply thinking negatively about them. Positive thinking is a key component of optimism, and the good news is, optimism can be learned, practiced and bettered.

 

Many years ago, I was suggested to read a book by one of my cousins who is a psychologist, which I truly believe changed my life. The book was called Learned Optimism and was written by Dr Martin E. P. Seligman. The book explains how optimism can be learned and how you can use the three P’s do so. The 3 P’s are: Permanent, Pervasive and Positive. Learning to be more optimistic is habit change, and it needs to be practiced so.

 

Mindset underpins everything.


Positive thinking isn’t about burying your head in the sand and ignoring all of life’s challenges and...

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Mindset, Lockdown and Quarantine in China

By Loris Bertolacci

I write this more to explain the stages of my emotions, how I perceived this situation and how I changed or evolved my coping strategies or even perceptions as it all evolved.

 

When the first information started coming out in China about COVID-19, I remember being really rattled. I had a flight booked for early February for holidays in Australia. It was mid January and the coach at the Kunming Altitude Training Centre told me we had cancelled our move from there to Guanzhou due to the virus. We were at a large institute in Kunming at an altitude of 1900m finishing a phase of training. My thoughts at first were to get the hell out of China ASAP. Things didn’t change too much for a week. When I was told the Institute would go into total lockdown on Monday 27th January I panicked because I knew then already I had to cancel my flight home in early February due to the massive uncertainty. I organised this with staff in Shanghai and I will never...

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How to Stay Fit in Quarantine

It’s 2020 and what a year it has been… well, months really. Some people may use the craziness of this time to not follow through with some of their new year’s resolutions. Let’s face it, binge-watching your new favourite TV show while eating chips isn’t exactly in line with new year; new me mentality. Sometimes simple things can help keep your goals moving… no pun intended.

 

My point of view: I’m dedicated to completing my New Year’s fitness resolution (even while self-quarantined). To complete my goal, it is important to use all the necessary tools at hand! By hand, I mean wrist, and by wrist, I mean a fitness tracker! I’ve seen my fair share of those, especially during my summers working at a weight loss camp. They always seemed like they were too basic, think steps and nothing else. So, I did some research into the industry to see if this was all that existed - it turns out there’s a bunch! The one I have now...

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How to Return to (or Start) Running

Running is one of the best forms of exercise. So why don’t more people do it? Many people say they don’t like running and I believe this is because they simply don’t know “how to run”. So let me show you how.

I’ve been a runner for a long time. I love running. I got into running when I was 13 to lose some weight. It was right around the time I started high school and appearance all of a sudden became very important.

 

"Running is one of the greatest forms of exercise you can do. And it’s relatively cheap — all you need are a decent pair of runners."

Running is great because it is relatively cheap to do. All you need is a pair of runners. I’ve always preferred the isolation of the activity — to be by myself, with my thoughts; almost as if it’s a type of meditation. But running can also be very social.

I started because we lived right next to an oval. It was easy for me to walk out the back gate and run some...

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The Discipline Conundrum: When to Exert Self-Control and When to Cut Yourself Some Slack

The ability to exert self-control is considered a fundamental trait of people who are successful. It has been a long held view since Walter Mischel’s marshmallow experiments of the 1960s that people who can exercise self-control at will must possess some kind of super-power.

Self-control, or discipline as it is more commonly referred to by people who sense they lack it, is a learned skill. Like a muscle, self-control can be developed to essentially unlimited levels. But is a strong ability to exert self-control a good thing? New research suggests not.

"Developing your discipline muscle and practicing self-control is important. We should all do it. But we also need to know when to give it a rest and cut yourself some slack."

The Marshmallow Experiment

Most of our current understanding of self-control comes from the work of Walter Mischel’s marshmallow experiments of the 1960’s. I learnt about these experiments when I was studying psychology at university and, with...

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Process-Based vs. Results-Based Goal Setting: Which is Better and Why?

While out for a run recently, I realised I’ve been going about goal setting all wrong. Like many, I’d set goals like “lose x number of kilos in x amount of time”, or “run x distance in x amount of time”. It was all about the result.

As many of us do, I over-indulged over the Christmas break and wanted to lose a few kilos and get back to the healthier-version of myself I’ve become quite fond of. One of my preferred types of exercise is running, so I downloaded the Nike Run Club app and signed up for the 60k challenge — to run 60km in the next month. Unwittingly, I’d changed the way I would set goals forever.

"Don’t focus on the scoreboard, focus on the process."

Goal setting isn’t so much about achieving the target as it is about moving towards being the person you want to be, and living the life you want to live. Whether you achieve the target or not really is irrelevant. The target merely gives you direction.

I...

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How to Make 2019 Your Best Year EVER

And so it begins … again! Another year rolls around and we start it full of hope, anticipation and a steely desire to ensure that it’s not like the last. “This one’s going to be better. This one’s going to be the best. This is my year!” But how do we make 2019 our best year ever?

For the past five or so years, I’ve been making incremental changes to my life. It all started with a plan. I got clear on what I want and I started moving towards that. It’s been slow. So slow that if I don’t look up and smell the roses, I might not recognise how much it’s improved. But it certainly has improved. As I learn from each year and take deliberate action, each year becomes better than the last.

Self-improvement is not a choice, it’s a necessity.

Failing to take deliberate action and improve upon your life every year is like never doing any maintenance. Whether it’s a garden, a house, a car, or a yacht, if you don’t...

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The Ultimate 2019 Fitness Planning Calendar

The New Year often starts full of hope, anticipation and excitement. We are often more motivated than ever to finally conquer that area of our life we’ve felt like we haven’t had control over for some time. But hope and desire alone isn’t enough. We need a plan.

I’ve been following the same annual fitness plan for some time now. It’s not perfect. Nothing ever is. I need to amend it at times and I’m certainly always improving it. But I feel as though the small changes I’ve made for 2019 bring it very close. In fact, I’ve found this plan to be so effective that it sets the foundation for every area of my life.

So here it is! My Ultimate 2019 Fitness Planning Calendar. Follow this calendar to reduce your risk of injury, fatigue or plateau, and enhance your fitness to greater levels than ever before.

The Ultimate 2019 Fitness Planning Calendar

3 Week Intro Program

Use this time to get back into your exercise regime. If you’re new to...

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The Benefits of Dividing Your Life into Seasons

With the year just starting, now is a great time to start thinking about planning out your year. One of the best ways to start when it comes to planning your year is to break it up into seasons. You can break your year up in many ways. My favourite, from years of trailing and tweaking, is to break it up into quarters.

I actually came across the concept of dividing my year up into seasons from Lewis Howes’ podcast a few years ago. At the time I had just burned out from trying to do too much and had just started working for myself as a way to gain some much-needed balance.

"The Earth’s weather pattern is divided up into seasons. This allows for life to flourish. If it’s good enough for the Earth, it’s good enough for me."

The idea of breaking your year up into quarters works well because it replicates much of the populated world’s natural weather cycle of four seasons — Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. Essentially, it gives you...

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5 Benefits of a 5-Day Challenge

Imagine if you could wave a magical wand and wallah, you were living the life you’ve always dreamed of. That’s what challenges allow you to do. Challenges have become incredibly popular; particularly in the health and fitness industry, and particularly in Australia.

Challenges speak to peoples desire to challenge themselves. But more than that, their specific timeframe allows people to feel like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. And when it comes to motivation, that is an incredibly important distinction that needs to be made.

"5-day challenges are an amazing way to kickstart any new habit."

Motivation is one characteristic that many people feel as though they lack. And motivation to repeat a given behaviour develops as you experience pleasure from an experience. But if you’re not experiencing pleasure, or worse, you’re experiencing pain, of course you’re going to feel unmotivated. Challenges give you a system to experience pleasure. And...

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