Articles

Welcome to our articles page! It's where we will share interesting, thought provoking and fun items from around the world as well as those written by be free team members.

Posts (on this page):

Other publications:

17/01/17 - "Do you even hang bro?" article published by PTA Australia

16/11/16 - "Change your thought patterns to change your physical patterns" article published by PTA Global

21/11/16 - "Do you program personal training sessions with novelty?" articlepublished by PTA Australia

May 2016 - "Authenticity - personal insights for success" webinar published by Personal Trainers Council of New Zealand

Five things I learned quickly from an intense life

Five weeks ago George, my new baby son arrived in the world. He joined his older brother Henry, 15 months, and sister Emma, three and a half years, and made our family into five members. When you are a business owner, have a client base that needs constant attention, and are an educator writing presentations for online publications and conferences, having three kids under three and a half presents an interesting scenario for life. It requires you to adapt. Really quick!

So what have I learned so far? Here are my top five laws to survive and thrive, or indeed for ‘surthrival’:

Be a team
Those people around you are awesome. At home and at work. Realise this and work together. No separating your jobs and getting those done. Be a fluid unit, able to ebb and flow. Pick up the slack when your team mates are struggling and ask for help when you are. All the usual rules need to be put to one side, at least temporarily, and if something needs to be done, don’t say “oh that’s his/her job”. If it doesn’t impact your day negatively, ie you would end up late for an important meeting at work, then step up and get it done. PS The irony of how successful businesses and sports teams run is not lost here. Is your home and workplace like this?

Appreciate each other
It’s so easy in the intensity of life and the focus on the huge list of things to do, just to maintain ‘normal’, to forget who that person is around you; their unique and incredible gifts; their skills; their love; their sense of humour; their ‘best friendship’. They can become that person who’s simply doing all that stuff you can’t do right now, working through the list with you. Sure, you’re an amazing team, but you’re more than this…remember? Think of three things that you love about them, why you got together for example, and voice them at a time that seems so far away from this. Your partner has the same love for this time as you do. Transport yourself into those emotions and it’s a momentary ‘reconnect’ that you two alone, share. Then get straight back and deal with that vomit and mess!

Be empathetic
So life’s intense. No room for anything else. Just survival. Almost. So much on your plate. Others problems seem so miniscule by comparison to what you’re dealing with, right? WRONG! Remember everyone has their “stuff” and just because it doesn’t seem as massive as what’s going on in your life, doesn’t mean it’s not feeling that way for them. Their issues remain as important as always. Be kind. Be patient. Be compassionate. Listen. Understand. Don’t get lost in your life. Be a good person. It keeps you connected to reality, to your friends and colleagues and allows you to take a rest from your own world. It’s good for you too! And guess what? They’ll follow your example and listen right back.

Enjoy the moment(s)
Just like appreciating your partner, it’s as important to reflect, however momentarily, on the joy of your life right now. The seeming responsibility and volume of work can appear to some as burden. Our beliefs shape our reality. Rather than burden, I choose to believe that the more you have in your life – children, business, career, friends, meetings – the greater your foundation. In other words, these things don’t make you weak. They make you stronger. In that mindset, you will get even more from that snuffle of your baby, joyful smile of your toddler, cheeky laugh of your three year old, loving embrace of your partner, intelligence of your work colleague, commitment of your client or inspiration from a student. Take a breath and absorb how cool it is that you have all this in your life and enjoy each little thing, if only for a moment. You have no idea how much good this is doing you.

Nourish yourself
This is immense! At these times in your life, it’s easy to forget you matter. Your focus is on making sure everyone gets what they need. That often leaves no time for you. You’ve heard it before, but I’ll repeat it – you have to take time out for you. My bolthole is a run at the beach. Not every day, but two or three little escapes in a week. It seems harsh to say to your family “I’ll be back in an hour” when all sorts of chaos is happening. But you simply must do it. First, you are nourishing body, mind and emotions. This means you, as an entire being, are refilling that cup of energy, of you, that is so great at managing everything else. You are then so much more efficient for the rest of the week. You’ve given back to yourself. Second, those little ones are in theta brain waves until seven years old. In other words, they are downloading everything for seven years – your opinions, habits, humour, work ethic – everything! What do you want them to have in later life? An appreciation and respect for themselves and their health and longevity. Or an instilled belief that everyone else is more important? Third, you set the example for those around you – friends, colleagues – to live a balanced life. Be an example for your circumstances and not an apparent victim of them. And ensure those around you nourish themselves too.

Life is intense. Sometimes it goes beyond that. But your surthrival depends on these five things plus a liberal scattering of hugs and laughter. Enjoy! JP

John Polley (JP) is a movement coach, physical therapist, author,educator and mentor in the health, fitness and wellness industry based at his studio ‘be free movement, lifestyle, wellness’ in Perth, Western Australia. You can contact him on jp@befreemlw.com.au

12 things you can do to change your life forever

It’s that time of year again. Time for reflection on what’s past and for what we want in our future. New year resolutions seem to have a tarnished reputation now. Why wait for a specific day to change your life, when you can change it anytime right? Hey, guess what? That time could be NOW. It just so happens that now is also new year! So please don’t let the idea of not being fashionable stop you from making a change for the better, right now.

Below is one list of suggestions which you could integrate into your life. Twelve in all. Maybe you could phase in one change per week, added each week, for 12 weeks. That’s three months to a new life! Or you could take it slower, like one per month, every month, across an entire year. How different would your life be one year from now?

You could even simply pick one thing from the list you’re not currently doing. One. And I guarantee your life will improve markedly. Oh, and feel free to start this process today, next week, or next month, on any day you choose. I’d love to hear how you go. Good luck! JP

1. HYDRATE (with movement) – depending on your bodyweight, gender, activity level, occupation and genetics, humans need between 2-5 litres of water per day. Combining hydration with movement helps this essential resource bind into your tissues, so remember to get up regularly if you’re in a sedentary job and put that water in. 
2. MOVE – yes, this means exercise and there is a whole industry built around it which is there to help you; but it also means use stairs instead of escalators, park further from the shops, get off the bus one stop early, take phone calls standing up, meet friends for a walk instead of a coffee, pick up the dog ball with your hand and not a moulded plastic pole AND find something active that you love doing, and do it regularly! You get the idea! 
3. SLEEP – we all understand an average of 6-8 hours is recommended for proper daily recovery. Those of us not doing so probably don’t understand how good we could feel. Go to bed 10 minutes earlier each night until you hit the time you need to give you the magic number. The benefits are ridiculously good from stress reduction, immune system strength, soft tissue recovery, emotional wellbeing, cognitive function, digestive health and sexual performance. 
4. BE GRATEFUL – each morning write down 3 things you are grateful for. Each day has to be three new things. It teaches our brains to search for the good, instead of focusing on the negative. Positive psychologists have found this is one characteristic in what they call the successful ‘outliers’ in our community; those people who seem to be effortlessly positive and successful. You may be surprised what this will do for you. 
5. MOBILISE – speak to a professional who understands the nature of all the tissues of your body and movement and ask for 3-4 mobilisers you can perform daily to enhance your freedom of movement. People have experienced an elimination of their ‘mystery pains’, improvement in overall mobility whatever their age, reduction in injuries and a whole host of spin off benefits by performing a few mobilisers each day. Combine your mobilisers with point #1 and imagine the power at your finger tips. 
6. MEDITATE – if you know how, then 10 minutes a day will see you healthier. If you don’t, then buy a guided meditation CD/download, or sit quietly and focus your mind on one thing, like your breathing, for 10 minutes. Each time your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath. This brings you into the present and enables you to take a holiday from all that fills your mind the rest of the day, bringing a sense of clarity to your mind. 
7. BREATHE – practice breathing into your belly. This uses the tissues of the deep front line in our bodies and is central to the health of human beings from a physical, mental and emotional perspective. If you need help, once again check with your massage therapist, trainer or other professional to be assessed.
8. SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE YOU LOVE – and enjoy all that comes with it; smiles, hugs, laughter. The hormonal responses in your body from time with those close to you will bring a massive balancing effect to all that stress we feed our bodies the rest of the time. If you don’t have time, MAKE time. Otherwise, life will force you to take time off sick or injured.
9. FULFIL YOUR PASSIONS – if you can’t make a living doing what you love, make TIME to do it. The mental and emotional benefits don’t just feed your soul, they feed your body too. 
10. WORK ON YOURSELF – massage, chiro, physio, osteo, healer, hypnotist, naturopath – whoever makes you feel better about living in your body. Investing in yourself is important and you are recognising your value.
11. NUTRITION – you thought I’d forgotten! Yes, this could be a ‘12’ challenge all by itself, and then some. We can all make improvements. Find one thing, small or large and work towards it. For example, it could be simply eating more vegetables and less processed food. As Arthur Asche said, “start where you are, use what you have, do what you can”. A big one would be to something like eliminating sugar (or more specifically fructose) from your diet as recent evidence suggests it’s sugar (not fat) that makes us fat, breaks down our soft tissues and slowly poisons us throughout life. Do something manageable for you in your own life. 
12. RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS – perform one little ‘RAK’ each day. It doesn’t mean a huge gesture like buying a homeless shelter. It means maybe telling a friend they looked nice today, or giving them encouragement for something, or buying a flower for your partner, or writing an email to someone you haven’t contacted for a while, being more gracious than usual in traffic. Anything you wouldn’t normally do. The irony with this is enormous – YOU end up feeling great about this, despite your intention being to have someone else’s life improve.

John Polley (JP) is a movement coach, physical therapist, author,educator and mentor in the health, fitness and wellness industry based at his studio ‘be free movement, lifestyle, wellness’ in Perth, Western Australia. You can contact him on jp@befreemlw.com.au