Tired all the time? What consumes you?

It’s really difficult to make a change in your life when you’re tired. if you’re tired, I suggest you stop beating yourself up for being “lazy” or having “no discipline” from this moment on. Take a new approach instead.

I work as an online coach for clients in the Herotreeni team. A while ago I saw a post in our private FB-group of a client talking about having motivation struggles to eat the right kinds of foods and to get herself to the gym. I think we can all relate to having those feelings during certain times. In addition to this she opened up why it’s been hard and her reason was very simple – she was tired. She didn’t say why she was tired but it was very obvious that because of the constant fatigue, she didn’t find the energy to change her habits into healthier ones.

This is a very interesting subject for me, so I decided to make a blog post about it.

Pic: Jere Hietala

Unfortunately, many people are tired often. Maybe they haven’t slept enough, something is consuming them or they are just overwhelmed by many things.

Many people realize they’re tired only when they take a break from what they’re doing. That might actually be a bit scary. The result might be that they keep filling up their time with events, even unnecessary events, to keep them busy from experiencing exhaustion and facing the facts. Few people actually do something about this constant fatigue as if it would be normal to be tired all the time, but it is not! There are many things you can do to start feeling better.

Being energized is the starting point for making any changes in your life!

I would like to share some of my thoughts of how to understand that your body is trying to communicate with you with the fatigue signs, instead of thinking falsely about why you are “lazy”, of not being “disciplined” enough or some other nonsense like that.

1. Take a day off

You don’t have to clear out your whole schedule (and few of us have to opportunity to do that anyway) but try to arrange at least one full day of doing absolutely nothing for one day. Don’t decide anything in advance for that day, take the day as it comes. When the day is there, first of all, sleep as long as you want to. If it’s the whole day, so be it, then you really needed it. Then continue doing only what you feel like doing, not what you think you should be doing. If you feel like going for a walk, do that. If that’s too much, then don’t. Just do what you want to do – watch TV, read, do some stretching. You don’t have to tell anyone about this, it’s your day.

I listed some examples of what you could do during your day off below, but don’t feel obligated to do one of these, if they don’t meet your way of becoming energized.

  • Meditation, yoga, stretching
  • Reading a book, listening to music
  • Being by yourself in silence
  • Being with somebody you like
  • Being close to nature – walk in the woods, swim in the ocean, lay down on the grass
  • Taking a nap
  • Watching a movie, playing a game

The only “rule” is that it should energize you. If it doesn’t, keep searching for what is your thing. Then, when you have gained some energy, do some thinking work as prescribed below.

2. What consumes you?

It’s important to create some room for the fatigue. Don’t fight against it, try to welcome the feelings with open arms for a brief moment. Then ask yourself – Why am I tired? There is always a reason for that. Let the thoughts come, write them down if you want to. What has made you tired for some time now? Is it something physical? Are you running around from one place to another every day, while possibly being stressed? Is it psychological? Do you have a lot of things on your mind and you feel overwhelmed by all of that? Are you worried, anxious, scared or have other strong emotions that need to be expressed? Be brave to have all the feelings that rise up in your mind. Do you have certain circumstances in your life that consumes you? Are you spending time with people who don’t have your best interest at heart? Usually the things that consumes us are both physical and psychological.

Think about these, but don’t pressure yourself just yet to immediately do any changes. Just let the subjects come to your awareness, to the “surface”. Again, write stuff down if you feel like it or talk them out loud by yourself or to someone you trust. Then understand that this might be a long process and you probably won’t find all the answers in a day. Just open yourself up to this kind of thinking and you will start understanding what changes you should be doing to feel better. After all, things are not really as complicated as we like to make them in our mind.

3. Sleep & Nutrition

These are the two things we can’t live without. Also they are the main sources of our energy. Let’s start with sleeping. During sleep your body restores itself so it can function properly the next day. You should wake up energized and well rested. If you don’t, what about investing in your sleep? Change your sleeping habits to earlier, close electronics before 20.00, don’t drink caffeine before going to bed, make sure your bedroom is pleasant – clean and not too hot or cold. When you wake up without an alarm clock and you feel well rested, you know that the quality of your sleep has been good. If you wake up to an annoying alarm, grumpy and tired, then you probably didn’t get the rest you needed.

We can find a lot of knowledge about nutrition. Still so many people get the basics wrong. Going back to the basics with nutrition can be a big help. Drink some water first thing when you wake up and throughout the day, eat regularly and try to add veggies to every meal. Make time for eating instead of rushing around – your body needs some time to digest the food properly. Have a look that your meals contain carbohydrates, protein and good fats. Ditch the heavily processes stuff and look more into herbs, fruits and spices. Start investing in your nutrition and start studying how you react to certain foods. Make sure you’re not undereating or overeating. Respect yourself by giving your body the best fuel possible. You need to learn what’s best for you and there is no shortcut to that. You are the best person to know what you need so start trusting yourself. Also, understand that some of these changes might happen slowly. Seek out some nutritional guidance if you need it.

Now that you have approached things this honest way instead of beating yourself down, you will at some point naturally feel the desire to start moving around more, you WANT to give your body that big glass of lemon water first thing in the morning because you know it will make you feel better and so on. For some this is fixed in one day, but for most of us it takes longer to get into a better place and gaining more energy. Start giving yourself some time off whenever you can. Time off means different for everyone but it means you are clearing your mind to create space for figuring out how you can actually do something about your well being. How could we change something if we don’t even know why we’re feeling a certain way? Starting to listen to YOUR body is key.

Start with small changes and soon you will be in a very positive spiral. Be brave about trying new things in order to find your way back to energy and NEVER beat yourself up for doing “mistakes”!

 

x Steffi

Training at Santasport – My first VLOG!

Hi there! I’m pretty excited about my first video blog that I’ve created. I spent 4 days in Rovaniemi to focus on training, eating and sleeping. My goal for the trip definitely worked, I got an energy boost and my recovery is on the right path. I could definitely feel these sessions in my body later though, so I took many days off to give myself some rest. Hopefully I can return to a normal training schedule within a month! That would mean that I’d also be able to plan my next competition.

Check the video for more thoughts, for training and some talk with the awesome olympian Anni Vuohijoki.

 

x Steffi

Videohaastattelu @ Alfaland

Moikka! Ajattelin jakaa tännekin videohaastattelun, jonka Arttu teki Alfaland-sivustolle ja Alona julkaisi Poseland -sivulla. Kiitos ensinnäkin mukavasta haastattelusta (ja otsikosta :D)! Video kertoo kaiken, joten suosittelen vaikka hyppäämään sisäpyörän selkään ja polkemaan rauhallisen 70min mittaisen treenin samalla kun kuuntelette tämän. Toivon mukaan saatte vähän suuntaa omiin harjoituksiin ja ehkä uusia ideoita miten tehdä, kun asiat eivät tunnu hyvältä. Vaikeuksista puhuminen on nimittäin melko isossa roolissa!

Haastiksessa puhutaan bloggamisesta, kehonkuvasta, ruoasta, kilpailemisesta, treeneistä, haasteista, virheistä, palautumisesta ja paljon muusta! 🙂

 

x Steffi

 

MY TRAINING NOW – FROM STRUGGLE TO SOLUTIONS + THE BEAUTY OF BASIC CONDITIONING

Hello there! I hope you’ve all had a good start for the year 2018. I’ve definitely had, since the period before that was pretty rough in many ways.

I’m gonna write about basic conditioning in this post – why I’ve done it, how I’ve done it and why it’s good for everyone and especially those who exercizes more than 3 times a week. I first have to write an introduction about why I sort of ran into a wall of having no choice but to take a break from hard training.

For half a year now my training has mostly consisted of low intensity workouts, “basic conditioning” workouts as many of you know them. I have not lifted heavy weights, done intensive workouts or any explosive movements for this time apart from a few rare sessions while attending certain seminars. This is because my nervous system has been overloaded.

There are several reasons for that. The biggest reasons are the following.

As I have not had a coach during the years of my most intensive training years, the past 2 years, it has been both good and bad. It has been good in many ways because I’ve had to study as much as possible and take full responsibility of my training and everything that goes to it. So I have become smarter in theory.

It has been bad when training overall has felt overwhelming, when it has felt that if my own decision making might not be the best. When I was not able to put the theory I learned into practice. That’s when I would’ve needed guidance. It can’t only be guidance from anyone, though. It has to be from a coach that knows you well, knows your ability and knows how you in general handle difficulties in life. It is not easy to find one. The coach has to put on a brake when you might think that you should hit the gas pedal AND the other way around. It all came to a breaking point when I lost a person very close to me after a long difficult and stressful time, of interestingly, about 2 years. I understood that during this time of stress and struggle, had it at some point become too hard to work as my own coach and therefor the connection with my body and mind was lost. The balance went off and that’s when wrong decisions were made when it comes to training, simply put as when to rest and when to train.

The symptoms I’ve experienced to name a few have been a poor appetite, stomach issues, overwhelming tiredness, no feeling of powerfulness, mentally feeling down and so on. It could’ve been worse – I could have been seriously overtrained while not being able to train for a year or something similar, but for now I’m mostly just grateful that everything is starting to work again and I have successfull training sessions during the week. But I’m still in a state of recovery. Luckily, I’ve only had to take half a year “off” and nothing irreversible has happened. All my blood tests has been good, no signs of crazy cortisol levels or hormone imbalances.

The help I’ve seeked and found that has turned everything around has been working with my coach, who half a year ago pretty much saw that I needed to put on a huge brake pedal. I have been in contact with my coach now for every single day for a half a year. A sports doctor called Pippa Laukka had same thoughts as the coach and helped me understand that it’s time to take it easy right now, taking in consideration my current situation. We ran through some more tests to exclude possible illness. I’ve also talked to a nutritionist. In addition to this I’ve worked in my own ways when dealing with loss. This all has been very beneficial, but of course also extremely frustrating and difficult.

Everything has felt better but it’s weird since it’s almost like I didn’t know that training and recovery can feel this effective and good. But actually I just didn’t remember. The overload happened so slowly that even I didn’t understand something was wrong. There is no exact moment when things changed, it all happened gradually. During these 2 years I’ve also had great progress and performed well in competitions, which has been awesome but might’ve also worked as a confusion at times. If I don’t feel great, but I perform numerically great, it can be very hard to trust my true and correct intuition.

I guess you see more of the positive side of my training in my instagram and find a bit deeper side when reading these posts! So be it.

But now finally back to the subject which you guys might actually get something out of – the basic conditioning!

Since training hard was not an option, the only training I could do was low intensity training. In a way that was totally fine – I really needed it! To be honest that’s also the only kind of training I felt like doing, in addition to yoga. I’ve also focused on my mobility and done some meditation.

The science behind basic conditioning is the following. It means you are training with a low heart rate, a heart rate that is individual but usually between 115-135 beats per minute (if you do this, find out your personal BPM to get the most out of it). The training feels very light, almost like you are doing no work. The recovery from those sessions also don’t usually take very long, because the training is not a big stress to the body.

The idea with basic conditioning is to work on a certain physical feature. When the “base” is good, will you be able to do better in intermediate and hard workouts, because you’ve raised the ceiling of opportunity. Your recovery from hard sessions, which CrossFit very much consists of, is more effective. It also has a positive effect on stress, fat burn and your respiratory muscles.

Since CrossFit is my sport, I’ve seen a lot of super intense sessions being hit even 6 times a week but no low intensity work being done. This is also what some (mostly) endurance athletes and/or coaches love to criticize in CrossFit… and they are not completely wrong. If you train a few times a week, I don’t see that it’s an absolute necessity – you will probably recover from the hard sessions pretty well. If it’s difficult to motivate yourself to move, I suggest you just do whatever you feel like instead of going into details like this. But if your training has been taken to the next level, and you want to make it a bit more varied, or you train like an athlete, then at least one low intensity session once a week is a good idea. If you move around a lot in your daily life – bike or walk to work, have a job that is physical and so on, you might be actually working on the low heart rate zone are without you even knowing it. So that’s really good!

Is it difficult? Not physically, but this type of training requires a lot of time, patience and trust that it’s beneficial. Sitting on a rower for over an hour might require some mental toughness, since it’s numbing and often boring, but the work needs to be done.

If you live a very stressful life, I do suggest some type of low intensity work to ease the stress. It can be low HR workouts, yoga or whatever calmes the mind. I’m very proud that my home gym, CrossFit Basement, where I coach at (or right now mosty only train at) add a low HR session quite often, sometimes even weekly, to the programming. In this particular box, and in most boxes I’ve visited, the clients are some of the most dedicated you can find. They train like athletes and focus on their recovery outside the box. I think therefor it’s very good to educate these types of enthusiastic people of the importance of basic conditioning.

The workouts I’ve done have been some of the following. They always last 45min-2h.

  • Rowing
  • Biking
  • Skiing on the ski-erg
  • Swimming
  • Walking or very slow jogging
  • Doing a mix of different movements in a slow pace such as; 1k rowing, 30 push-ups (in sets of 3-5), 30 air squats, 30 lunges for 5 rounds. I always came up with movements and a rep scheme of what I felt was needed and what felt good AND of course kept my HR low enough. Many movements such as almost all hanging movements spiked my HR too high, so I had to change them.

I did as much as I had energy for. During the most difficult weeks, even one session a week was a success but during a good week, I could do up to 10h a week.

Right now I’m at a state where I’ve tested to add in a strenght session, an endurance session with a higher HR and even a metcon. Luckily, I’ve felt very good in many of these, so slowly I will be able to handle harder training and hopefully soon back to full speed training for competitons!

One thing is for sure – this time has been extremely diffcult, so I will absolutely take up some valuable lessons and NOT repeat them! I have to give almost all credit to my coach for my new training mentality and understanding, this is really all thanks to his support and help. Can’t wait to keep fulfilling my dreams and goals in working as hard (but smart!) as possible to become the best that I can possibly be! 🙂

 

I hope you guys stay healthy, fit and happy in 2018! 🙂

 

x Steffi

 

Pictures: Sandra Hagelstam, Stina Sundelin, Petri Mast

HERO POWER – NETTIVALMENNUKSENI HEROTREENILLÄ

This post will exceptionally be in Finnish, since I will be discussing an online program that I will provide for the HEROTREENI-concept. The online program is in Finnish.

Mistä on kyse?

Olen rakentanut HerotreeniIlle oman HERO POWER -nettitreeniohjelman! Tämä on ensimmäinen kerta, kun lähden tekemään netin kautta valmennusta.

Lyhyesti minusta valmentajana:

Olen kouluttautunut liikunnnaohjaaja (Arcada, AMK), työskennellyt Personal Trainerinä kuntosalilla ja valmentanut CrossFitiä ryhmille yhteensä yli 4 vuotta. Olen myös valmentanut yksityisasiakkaita tänä aikana. Teen nyt ensimmäistä kertaa nettitreeniohjelmaa. Kyseinen ohjelma soveltuu henkilöille, joilla on jonkun verran salikokemusta ja salimahdollisuus. Tämä ohjelmointi toimii myös asiakkaille, joilla on mielikuvitus hetkellisesti loppunut salilla ja toivossa on uudenlaista ärsykettä.

Olen suunnitellut kaikki treenit itse. Videoin kaikki liikkeet asiakkaille, jotta tekniikka on kohdallaan. Nanna Karalahti on suunnitellut ruokavalion, joka sopii kyseiseen ohjelmaan. Suljetussa FB-ryhmässä minä ja Nanna vastataan mahdollisiin kysymyksiin ja autetaan jos eteen tulee kompastuskiviä.

Mistä koko yhteistyö alkoi?

Kun Nanna otti mun yhteyttä koskien nettivalmennusta, tein ensiksi hieman taustatyötä koko konseptista. Mikä se on? Kuka sitä tekee? Mikä on kyseisen konseptin idea ja viesti? Miten minä sopisin konseptiin mukaan? Ketkä muut ovat mukana? Mitä asiakkaat ovat sanoneet ohjelmoinnista?

Minulle tärkeimpiä juttuja ovat, että asiakkaille voidaan opettaa pitkäjänteisyytta. Koen myös hyvin tärkeänä, ettei ruokavaliota vedetä minimikaloreihin, koska silloin treenin laatu kärsii ja mieliala huononee. Olen aina ollut vahvasti kovia dieettejä vastaan, ja olen edelleenkin. Ne kun vaan eivät ole pysyviä.

En kirjoittaisi nyt tätä postausta, jos Nanna ei olisi ollut samoilla linjoilla kanssani koskien ylläolevia juttuja. Ilahduin kun huomasin että niin moni asia jonka eteen Nanna haluaa tehdä töitä, kuulostivat kuin ne olisivat voineet tulla minun suustani.

Säännöllinen, kovatehoinen ja monipuolinen harjoittelu. Puhdas ja riittävä ruokavalio. Tärkeä vertaistuki. Siinä on asioita, joita HERO POWER -ohjelmalta voi odottaa.

Kun vielä näin että kovia nimiä kuten Oona Kivelä ja Lotta Harala ovat myös tehneet omat ohjelmansa Herolle, tiesin että tulen olemaan hyvässä seuraassa. Aloin jopa harkitsemaan jos ensi kesänä tekisin itsekin Lotan juoksu-ohjelman. Näiden ohjelmien lisäksi Herotreenillä löytyy mm. tuoreille äidille suunnattuja ohjelmia, jooga-ohjelmia, koti-ohjelmia ja paljon muuta.

Kenelle HERO POWER on?

Lue allaolevasta kuvakaappauksesta kenelle ohjelma on suunnattu ja mitä ohjelmaan lähteminen vaatii.

Ohjelma alkaa siis yhteisstartilla 8.1. Yhteisstartti tarkoittaa sitä, että sinä päivänä tarvittava info tulee asiakkaille ja me etenemme yhdessä, samaan tahtiin. Tällä tavalla pysymme kaikki koko ajan samalla viivalla. Vaikeuksien tullessa pistätte suoraan ryhmään viestiä ja minä, Nanna tai mahdollisesti muut ryhmän jäsenet auttavat sinua! Vaikeudet voivat olla, ettette ehdi tehdä jotain treeniä, ette ymmärrä jotain harjoitusta tai ette motivoidu syömään oikein. Ryhmän avulla tulemme onnistumaan entistä varmemmin.

Valmistaudu neljään treeniin/viikko. Kolme treeniä tehdään salilla, yksi treeni voidaan tehdä kevyen lenkin muodossa tai vaikkapa uima-altaassa (matalatehoinen kestävyysharjoitus). Näiden lisäksi ohjelmoinnissa on video-ohjattuja liikkuvuusharjoituksia.

Millaista? Olen luonnollisesti ottanut vaikutteita omista lajeistani CrossFitistä ja painonnostosta. Olen kuitenkin yksinkertaistanut asoita. En tule sisällyttämään ohjelmaan teknisesti vaikeita tai raskaita liikkeitä, kuten tempausta tai rengas muscle-uppeja. Nämä ovat erinomaisia liikkeitä, mutta niihin suosittelen henkilökohtaista valmennusta. Koen, että monipuolinen treeni-ohjelma on kehittävin ja motivoivin, siksi ohjelmoinnissa on painoja, yksinkertaisia taito-harjoitteita, kestävyysharjoituksia ja liikkuvuusharjoituksia. Kun nämä kaikki ominaisuudet yhdistetään, saadaan mielestäni paras mahdollinen kunto, joka pysyy. Kaikkiin liikkeisiin tulee skaalaukset, eli jos et saa esim. leukoja, niin siihen on olemassa helpotettu versio.

Tästä klikkaamalla löydätte vielä lisäinfoa kaikista ohjelmoinneista!

Tervetuloa mukaan!

x Steffi

Kuvat: Henrik Koivisto/Herotreeni