Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

It’s a wonderful time of year especially in New Zealand where we are enjoying our summer holidays. We hope you’ve enjoyed the articles written by our staff this year and look forward to another year.

Fit 4 Life is growing by leaps and bounds and we’re very proud of all we have accomplished in the nearly 2 years since we opened. Above all we want to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who came to offer forgiveness and the promise of spending eternity with God. What an amazing gift!!

Be safe over the holiday season, enjoy your friends and family and we’ll see you in 2012!!

Finances – You and Your Finances

Have you ever wondered how to keep your finances in order. How do I budget or plan for the future? I’ve found a great website that can be a great help with those of us who have a hard time keeping our heads above water with money! It’s called, Sorted and you can click on the following link to check it out. http://www.sorted.org.nz/home

I hope it will help you come to grips with your finances and get on the road to being stable and not stressing!

Jamie – Fit 4 Life Staff

Faith – Some favourite quotes from the Bible

When I wrote my blog for Fit 4 Life on the topic of Friendship a while back, I listed some of my favourite quotations on friendship and why I liked them. Seeing it is my turn to write a blog again, although this time on the topic of ‘Faith’, I decided it would be a good idea to list some of my favourite Bible verses and give a brief blurb about what they mean to me.

Just as an aside, at our team meeting earlier this week my team said I need to write shorter blogs, so even though the Bible contains 54,248 verses, I have decided to focus on just three verses, at least for this time… (Well, really four verses, as one quote is actually two verses to give the sense!)

John 5:39,40 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to Me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life…”

In these verses Jesus was talking to religious people, and He was saying that they knew how to quote Bible verses but they had completely missed the point of what they meant and what they were intended to do – namely, lead people to actually come to know who Jesus is and have a real and vibrant relationship with Him! Thinking about these verses causes me to question myself all the time and to ensure I am not just quoting empty words – even Bible verses – to people, but rather I am attempting to help lead people into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend”

When I think about this verse from Proverbs it speaks to me about how positive change in a person’s life occurs. Somebody once said, “You will be the same person a year from now apart from the people you meet and the books you read”, which I think is similar to what Proverbs 27:17 is saying. When I think back on my life, the greatest growth in my life has occurred from things which people (often friends and family – especially my wife!) have said to me which got me thinking about my behviour, eventually leading me to make positive changes to my life. (I like this verse so much I actually quoted it during my speech on my wedding day!)

 Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do…”

Through the years I’ve been accused of many things in my Christian life, but one thing I have never been accused of is being a slacker! I have worked hard to develop myself as a Christian and to take God and His Word (the Bible) seriously, and to live it out on a daily basis as best and as ‘hard’ as I can! This verse from Hebrews is a good reminder to me – and hopefully to others like me(!) – that God remembers our hard work. He has an accurate record of everything we have ever done for Him and for His kingdom, and He will not forget the efforts and sacrifices which we make for Him in this life. They will all be revealed and rewarded when we stand before Him one day!!

Hope you enjoyed some of my favourites! If you have a bible at home, look them up and find some of your own.

Bryce – Fit 4 Life Staff


Finance – Tax Time!

You might remember me saying before in another ‘Finance Blog’ that this area of my life is not my strongest.

So I have another referral for you guys.  When it’s that time of year to do your taxes and you are dreading it like I usually do, I would highly recommend seeing my accountant Chris Heaslip.  He makes what seems daunting and let’s be honest boring, headache free and fun!  He doesn’t make you feel dumb for not knowing all the ins and outs of the financial world.  He’s the most outgoing, friendly compassionate accountant I know – definitely not the typical generalised boring accountant that’s for sure.

So you don’t need to dread doing your taxes anymore.  Have a great experience by seeing Chris.  He works at IRS Tax Limited (Accountants Specialising in Tax).  Here is the link for more info and contact details:  www.irstax.co.nz

 

Happy accounting!

Kirstie – Fit 4 Life Staff 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fitness – Cross Training for Fitness

Have you ever been in a workout rut? Are you getting tired of doing the same old thing over and over again? Have you ever thought of Cross Training?

Cross-training is a great way to try something new and boost your fitness and help reduce injury. Here’s a great article that you might find helpful, and I hope it spurs you on to a new level in your fitness program.

As you know we also have a Cross-Training type class here at Fit4Life. It is totalFit with Kirstie on  Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. She will definitely help take your fitness to a new level! Come check it out.

totalFIT – Mondays 5:10pm & 6:10pm, Wednesdays – 5:30pm (1/2 hour), Thursdays – 6pm

Jamie – Fit 4 Life Staff

Fitness – Stretching

I thought I would blog a little about the value of stretching. I used to stretch a lot in my younger years and always enjoyed it. Back in my teens and early 20’s, before I did my weights workout I would always do a whole body stretch ‘workout’ for 15-20 minutes. I carried on with this stretching routine for years and became quite flexible as a result, but when I suffered a serious lower-back injury in my mid-20’s I stopped stretching as I found it was aggravating my back. Lately, however, in my mid-40’s I’ve been getting back into stretching and am enjoying it and seeing the benefits once again.

There are some great benefits to stretching and staying flexible, especially as you get older. As we age, our muscles become less limber and the range of motion in our joints can decrease. We start to find that ordinary everyday activities and movements – like bending down to put on our shoes, or reaching up to change a light bulb or get a can of beans off the top shelf – seem a lot harder than they were when we were younger. Also, in modern Western society our lifestyles have become much more sedentary over the past 50 years. We now spend a great deal more time sitting down hunched over computer screens or watching TV, and as a result we lose more and more flexibility with each passing year.

The great news about stretching is that anyone can stretch regardless of their age or current flexibility level. Many stretches are very simple to perform – and some stretches you can do even while sitting watching TV, working on the computer, or even in bed! Also stretching does not have to involve a huge time commitment, but it will provide you with great results! Some of the benefits you can expect from a regular stretching program are:

  • Increased circulation in the blood to various parts of your body
  • Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)
  • Increased range of movement in your joints
  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Faster recovery after injury
  • You will feel better!!

Here are a few pointers to be aware of as you begin a dedicated stretching program:

1. Be consistent with your stretching routine

Like most things in life, you won’t experience the benefits of stretching unless you consistently stretch! One great thing about stretching compared to aerobic (cardio) or anaerobic (weight-training) exercise is that stretching workouts are usually much shorter – in some cases only a few minutes. Put some stretching times into your weekly calendar and watch yourself improve!

2. Be careful when stretching cold muscles

Stretching cold muscles can cause injury, so if you are not warmed up and you want to stretch then you do need to be careful. Some studies have shown that stretching cold muscles actually decreases muscle strength and power for up to an hour after stretching, so usually it is best to do your cardio or weights workout first and then stretch afterwards. There are some fitness practitioners who say you should never stretch before working out – only stretch afterwards – but I think this is a little extreme. As I mentioned in my introduction I stretched before doing my workouts for years and it worked for me. (The reason I stretched before my workouts was that I found that I was too tired after my workouts to stretch, and I never did it unless I did it first!) Ultimately you have to create a fitness routine that works for you, but if you are stretching cold muscles you do need to be careful!

3. Never force a stretch beyond the point of mild tension painful

Stretching should be pleasurable, relaxing and beneficial. Many people believe that to get the most from their stretching they need to stretch to the point of pain, but this is a great mistake. You don’t always have to stretch to the full range of motion of the joint – and beyond! Just take the stretch out to where it feels comfortable and then gently try to stretch just a little beyond that. If you sense pain then back off the stretch to where the stretch is still ‘stretched’ but pain-free.

4. Your flexibility changes

A person’s flexibility levels change from day to day. Your energy levels, your overall health, the weather, and even what you had for dinner last night can affect your body on a daily basis, so you may find you can’t perform your stretching routine in the same manner with the same results at each session. Don’t worry about it; just keep going and look for improved flexibility over the months and years, not necessarily over days and weeks.

5. Never throw your body into a stretch or bounce when stretching

Stretching should be fluid and gentile. Stretching slowly and gently helps to relax your muscles, which in turn makes stretching more pleasurable and beneficial. This also helps avoid muscle tears and strains which may be caused by rapid, jerky movements.

6. Try to increase your time in each stretch

Time yourself and try to increase your time in each stretch by a few seconds each week. Start with 10-15 seconds and try to extend this by 2-3 seconds each week until you can hold a stretch for 30 to 45 seconds.

7. Never stretch an injury

When a bodypart is injured you need to be careful. Stretching an injured bodypart can cause further soft tissue damage, so it is best to rest the injured area until it is fully healed. After you feel your injury has healed sufficiently, then begin stretching the area again but proceed very slowly and carefully. Stop if there is any pain and continue with recovery treatment (rest, heat, ice etc) until the area is fully healed.

8. Stretch your whole body

While stretching is ‘flexible’ (excuse the pun) in that you can spot-stretch different bodypart’s which you may have specific trouble with, it’s best to stretch your whole body and keep it limber. Your body works as a unit and keeping your whole body flexible is something that will benefit you for life. Some muscles and body-parts like your neck and wrists can be stretched for just a few minutes a day, but it is preferable to have 2 or 3 periods each week where you stretch your whole body for a longer period of time, say 20 -30 minutes. I currently do a whole body ‘stretch-workout’ twice a week for 30 minutes after I have finished my cardio workout and it really helps me feel (and be) more limber. The weblink at ACC NZ provides you with a whole body basic stretching routine.

By following the above stretching tips, you’ll be performing your stretches properly and maximizing the benefits which stretching can provide.

Bryce Staveley – Fit 4 Life Staff

Friendship – Texting Tips

So for those of you that don’t know me, I’m Kirstie and I’m a text-a-holic…just kidding!  However I do think that one day I might have arthritis in my right thumb! I really forget how we communicated without cellphones before they were around? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a cell phone these days.

If you are anything like me, I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was going over my texting limit on the business plan I’m on, and wondering why I was paying those big bills!   In the last 2 jobs I’ve had, I have been the top ‘text-er’ amongst all my colleagues.

Definitely nothing to brag about but I guess it shows how much I value communicating with people.  I use texting as a tool to stay in touch with people that I don’t get to see everyday, to show people in my life that I care for them and be there for people such as friends and family. It doesn’t have to be long and take much time out of your day, but by just saying a few words shows the receiver you were thinking of them and it can make their day.  I know I feel cared for when I receive a message from a friend, especially if it’s been a hard day.

Texting is also great as it’s non-threatening and if you are busy you can reply later.  There is no pressure to respond immediately.

When it comes to safety (and the law), I’m definitely a believer of not texting and driving.  However I do get caught in my car outside my friends’ houses texting others before I enter their houses!  And I will admit that I have texted while being in the bathroom!

Some other tips:

  •  Don’t text when angry.  You may regret it later.  Better to sleep on it if you are unsure.
  •  Don’t have conversations via text that really need to be face to face.  These texts can be misinterpreted. For example, to resolve conflict or to break up with a girl/guy- never do these over text!
  •  Don’t text and drive.  Your life and the lives around you are too valuable to be lost by sending or reading a message that could wait 5 or 10 minutes.

So go on and take a minute out of your day and encourage a friend or family member.  Let someone know that you are thinking of them.  We all need an ‘atta girl’ or ‘atta boy’ every now and then.   Make the most of the fun technology we have in our finger tips!  Build on relationships in your life simply by sending a text!  And don’t forget to add a smiley face!

Kirstie – Fit 4 Life Staff

Fitness – Why Fitness?

At Fit 4 Life we encourage a healthy fitness philosophy.  What do we mean by that?  Well fitness is one of those things that can easily be taken to the extreme, either extreme inactivity or extreme obsession.

We believe it is very important for everyone’s physical and mental health to include some physical activity in your schedule.  The NZ government recommends 30min of moderate activity every day.  Statistically only 52% of adults in NZ have 30min a day and 10% of NZ adults are active less than 30min per week!

Being physically active has great advantages:

  • better overall health
  • more energy
  • lower stress levels
  • increased self-esteem
  • better posture and balance
  • better weight management and weight control
  • improved fitness
  • stronger muscles and bones
  • better sleep and feel more relaxed

Keeping active can also reduce the risk and/or effects of a number of health conditions:

  • heart disease
  • hypertension
  • obesity
  • strokes
  • diabetes
  • certain cancers (especially colorectal, breast and endometrial)
  • depression
  • osteoporosis
  • osteoarthritis
  • stress
  • some respiratory conditions.

At Fit 4 Life we want to help you to find a good balance of activity in your life.  We offer a variety of group classes as well as program options to help you find an enjoyable way to add regular physical activity to your schedule.  If you ever have any questions or need some advice come talk to any of our friendly staff or volunteers.

Jason – Fit 4 Life Staff

Friendship – Understand You to Understand Others

Have you ever asked yourself the question – why is this person not like me? I have…LOTS!  When you’re a kid it doesn’t matter so much, but as you get older and move into more serious relationships like dating and marriage or the change that comes with adult children interacting with their parents, these things take on a magnitude they didn’t have before. These are the areas that create conflict, miscommunication and misunderstandings which if left unchecked lead to broken relationships, divorce and a lot of loneliness.

My husband and I started dating when I was quite young (he was a few years older) and at first everything was blissful. I loved that infatuation time. Neither of us hurt each other, everything was so new and exciting and we loved everything about each other….then reality hit. As we moved into a more serious, long-term dating relationship we started finding niggly things that just bothered us about each other and then there were some more serious things that had us questioning, should we even be together?Around that time we discovered a book that helped us hugely – Personality Plus by Florence Littauer.

Through reading her book we discovered that there are different temperaments, each with strengths and weaknesses which contribute to the dynamics of a relationship. As we began to understand each others strengths (and weaknesses) we began to see that the other person was not our enemy, but rather someone who just approached life differently and that was ok. We were able to give more grace when we understood the WHY – why they acted they way they did, or talked the way they did. Personality Plus saved our relationship and we’ve now been married 23 years and together 26 years.

Basically Florence describes the four temperaments as discovered by Hippocrates the
“Father of Modern Medicine”. He discovered that people tended to fall into four groups which he believed came from the amount of each of the four “humours” found in the human body so the names reflect that belief – Sanguine (red blood), Choleric (yellow bile), Melancholy (black bile) and Phlegmatic (phlegm). Now, we know better nowadays, but we still use these words to describe the four temperaments.

"Hey, how you doing? I'm great, what an awesome day..."

The first is the Sanguine – this is an extroverted, people-oriented temperament. These people are fun, exuberant, enthusiastic, love being with people, energised by groups and parties, talkative, vibrant, child-like, talk with their hands and love telling stories. Every party needs a Sanguine. The basic desire of the Sanguine is to have fun whether it be work or play and their basic emotional need is for approval and attention. The Sanguine has some corresponding weaknesses as well. As they are a talker, they can dominate conversation, become repetitive in their story-telling and be overly loud whether in speech or laughter. A Sanguine is generally not very organised, spontaneous and struggles with personal discipline – all gung-ho at the beginning and then peters out halfway through. Sanguines can appear to be insincere as they are very much “out of sight, out of mind” kind of people. When they are with you, they are very focused on you, but once you’ve left, they’ve moved to the next person. A Sanguine is often very driven by their need for approval and often become overly concerned with how they are perceived, whether physically, in their home life and other areas of their life. This drive can lead to conflict avoidance and paranoia about what others think of them. So, that’s the Sanguine!

"Grr...."

The second of the temperaments is the Choleric. Like the Sanguine, the Choleric is an extroverted temperament, but different in that the Choleric is task-oriented. The basic desire of the Choleric is for control. They are the temperament that loves to lead, thrives in leadership positions and excels in reaching goals and targets. They love to get things done, produce and work hard. The Choleric is very efficient, highly intelligent and very decisive. Cholerics are the achievers of the temperaments. They are initiators and are outgoing, though this will look different to the Sanguine out-goingness. The Choleric’s basic emotional need is acknowledgement of achievement and appreciation. They love awards and certificates and need to have appreciation expressed for tasks they have done. The Choleric is a strong temperament and because of this their corresponding weaknesses are also strong. As the Choleric desires control this can lead to controlling behaviours like bossiness, dominating, argumentative, lack of empathy and insensitivity to the needs of others. They can be workaholics as they are so driven to accomplish tasks, often struggling to relax or just take a break from their tasks. A Choleric wants the credit, is impulsive and is more likely to experience angry outbursts or become impatient and frustrated. These behaviours can make the Choleric difficult to live and work with, but once they understand who they are and others do as well, the Cholerics are high achievers and very interesting people.

"Sigh..."

The third temperament is the Melancholy. The Melancholy is an introverted temperament, but like the Choleric is task-oriented. The Melancholy’s basic desire is to be perfect. The Melancholy is an organised, detailed, methodical personality that enjoys things being done well and to a very high standard. They enjoy lists, spreadsheets and charts and routine is their best friend. They like things to be as perfect as possible. The Melancholy tends to be the artistic temperament and loves art, music and beauty. They are loyal, sensitive, thoughtful and deliberate in whatever they do. They don’t need many friends, but the ones they have they are very committed too. The basic emotional need of the Melancholy is for order and sensitivity. However, many of the Melancholy’s weaknesses stem from their desire for things to be perfect. They have high standards and become extremely disappointed in themselves or others if those standards aren’t met. Often their friends and family have no idea of the standard they are being measured against. This perfectionism can drive the Melancholy into moodiness and if left unchecked to depression. That feeling of never being good enough permeates the Melancholy world. Because people disappoint them, the Melancholy is very selective in relationships and tend to bear grudges when wronged. They naturally look on the negative side of things and struggle to believe the best of people. They are easily wounded when they feel that they have not been treated with sensitivity. However, the Melancholy has a big advantage over the other temperaments and that’s their self-discipline. Out of all the temperaments, when they understand their personality and their weaknesses in particular, they often experience the most personal growth.

"Um....hello"

The last of our temperaments is the Phlegmatic. The Phlegmatic is an introverted temperament like the Melancholy, but is people-oriented like the Sanguine. They are not outgoing, but love hanging out with people and being in social situations. They are easy going, kind, caring, consistent in their emotions, relaxing, gentle, good mediators and very soothing to the other temperaments who struggle more emotionally. The Phlegmatic’s basic desire is for peace. They’re ideal environment is one that isn’t too chaotic, is stress and conflict-free and has people in it. They aren’t the initiators, but do enjoy talking and sharing with others when asked questions or have a particular interest area. The basic emotional need of the Phlegmatic is for respect and self-worth. The Phelgmatic is not a high-achieving temperament as they are very deliberate and can be hard to motivate, so their emotional need reflects their need to be appreciated for who they are, not what they do or accomplish. The Phlegmatic is very easygoing, but that can lead to a “laissez-faire” attitude, and to laziness and procrastination. As the Phlegmatic doesn’t like conflict, this can lead to conflict-avoidance which is not healthy in relationships whether home or work. The Plegmatic tends to be unenthusiastic which is frustrating to the other temperaments and tends to not show a lot of emotion for anything – good, bad or otherwise. When pushed the Phlegmatic can get very stubborn and is incredibly hard to get them to do something they’ve decided they won’t or can’t do which can lead to conflict with other temperaments.

Well, that is a quick summary of the four temperaments. I hope you learned something about yourself and others around you. It is really important to remember that understanding the temperaments is not about putting someone in a box or trying to “tell” people what they are or should be. Rather, it is an opportunity to get to know yourself better in order to have better relationships with others. If you understand the temperaments it becomes easier to adjust how you interact with someone based on their temperament. It’s a great tool to have.

Get a copy of the book (or borrow one from Fit 4 Life) and ask us for a copy of the test. We’ve been given permission to distribute the tests by Florence Littauer so no need to worry about that (if you were :))

Have fun and feel free to contact us if you want more information.

Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff