Exercise Focus: Proprioception
Nutrition Focus: Calorie Maintenance
Happiness Focus: Happiness Assessment
*Download your exercise list, nutrition log, & happiness workbook for today above.
How to activate your core
Have you ever tried a group fitness class or maybe one of those DVD exercise programs? If you have, more than likely you heard an instructor say "now let's make sure to engage our core throughout this exercise". But what does that really mean, engage my core? As strength coaches and personal trainers, we typically start by saying "try pulling your belly button towards your spine". Unfortunately for some (or many), this means suck in my belly. That is not what we mean lol. Firstly, it is important to note that the core is way more than just our abdomen. It refers to the collection of your lower back muscles, abs, deep abdominal wall, hips, glutes and pelvic floor. Of course at first, it is difficult to grasp the concept of engaging all of that while we move our body - it can be very hard to wrap your head around so don't worry. What we are really going for is the sensation of engaging our abs and glutes at first - the rest will most likely engage without you knowing it. This engagement is what allows our body to remain stable in an unstable environment. It is also what provides the scaffolding and structure for us to build strength upon.
Your Exercises For Today
Did you try to eat your maintenance calories yesterday? If you did, bravo (how did it go)!? If you didn't, no worries at all, we can give it a try today. If you had difficulty counting how many calories were in each of your meals, I promise you're not alone. There are many great apps on the market that streamline the process and help you track and manage your calorie intake. If you did eat your management calories yesterday, what did you think? Did you feel hungry by the end of the day? Were you amazed at how much or little that amount of calories was? In addition to developing our emotions with our food, one of the first steps towards sustainable health is recognizing how much we should be eating. The goal at the end of this program is not for you to starve yourself - so if that is your current notion of sustainable health, just throw that idea in a box and bury it in your in-laws backyard. By understanding how much we should be eating (in terms of calories) we can begin our journey of discovering what foods and meals are nutrient-dense, delicious, and affordable that fit our lifestyle. So for today and the remainder of this week, keep that calorie maintenance number in mind and continue your discovery of what foods and meals fit in your health.
Drink 8, 8 oz of water
fill out your food log
Take your multivitamin
log your sleep hours
Now that you’ve learned a little bit about the Science of Happiness, you’re going to measure your current level of happiness now, and again at the end of the program. Although happiness may seem like a nebulous concept, scientists have created validated assessments to help us measure our well-being. The Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE) assessment below measures the presence of
negative and positive feelings you've experienced over the past four weeks. We'll take this assessment at the beginning, middle, and end of your SoulFit journey so that you can not only feel but measure the shifts in your well-being during the program. It’s entirely up to you if you wish to complete this or opt out - the survey takes only about 5 minutes. If you do complete it, remember that there is no right nor wrong, good or bad score. Everyone’s baseline happiness level is different and various factors can play a role in your score. We want to equip you with the tools if interested, because we have an inkling you’ll like what you see!
Instructions: Think about what you have been doing and experiencing during the past four weeks. Then, report how much you experienced each of the following feelings, using the scale below. For each item, select a number from 1 to 5, and indicate that number on your response sheet.
1 – Very Rarely or Never, 2 – Rarely, 3 –Sometimes, 4 – Often, 5 – Very Often or Always
Tallying your Score: After completing the table, add the scores in Column A and put the total into the “Sum of Column A” box. Then, add the scores in Column B, and write the total in the “Sum of Column B” box. Last, subtract the “Sum of Column B” from “Sum of Column A”. Phew, now you’re done with calculations!
How to Interpret your Results: This assessment measures the prevalence of positive and negative emotions over the past month. It also provides an overall positive-to-negative balance score that gives you a baseline of your overall well-being during this timeframe.
Your Positive Emotion Score measures how often over the past month you experienced positive feelings, like joy or happiness. The score can vary from 6 (lowest possible) to 30 (highest positive feelings score).
Your Negative Emotion Score measures how often over the past month you experienced negative feelings, like being sad or angry. The score can vary from 6 (lowest possible) to 30 (highest negative feelings score).
Your Positive-to-Negative Emotion Score provides you with an overall measure of your emotions over the past month. The score can vary from -24 (unhappiest possible) to 24 (happiest possible). A respondent with a very high score of 24 reports that she or he rarely or never experiences any of the negative feelings, and very often or always has all of the positive feelings.
Permission to use provided by: Diener, E., Wirtz, D., Tov, W., Kim-Prieto, C., Choi. D., Oishi, S., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2009).
New measures of well-being: Flourishing and positive and negative feelings. Social Indicators Research, 39, 247-266.