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Happy Demond Day!!

Posted by Demond Thompson on August 11, 2010

Happy Demond Day!!!

Yes, I call my birthday Demond Day, which was yesterday, and so do a lot of people I know do now.

Some call it cocky. Some call it silly.

I call it fun.

I had a lot of fun this year, like I always do. I’m always appreciative of how many people care enough to wish me a happy birthday. That’s a better gift than any material thing I can receive.

I’ve thought about calling this blog “Happy New Year” because technically it is a new year for me considering I am starting on my 37th year of my life. Like on the other New Year’s Day holiday, I usually spend the time leading up to Demond Day thinking about how the last year went and my current goals.

This last year has been eventful to say the least. I’ve had my ups and downs like everyone else. I was a lot more even keel this year. My ups were good and my downs are few and short-lived.

This year will be another big year for me, and I would like to share with you what I have planned.

My biggest goal is to have a gym that I can be proud of to open around this time next year. Everything I do from here on out has that end in mind.

I have some fitness goals too.

Side Press ½ my bodyweight: I know I can do this by this time next year. This one is well within reach as long as I listen to my body and take my time.

Hold a free handstand for a minute: This one will take some time and I know I can do this. Doing massage as my primary occupation right now will keep me from doing too much. Gotta make that money!

I’m also looking to get down to 155 lbs just to see if I would be comfortable at that weight. I’ve averaged between 160-165 for the last few years. It might be too small for me, so we’ll see. My issue has been staying at that weight. I know it’s not much of a change. It’s just a curiosity thing for me.

Goals are important as we all know. They are important ONLY if we have burning desire to achieve them. If not, they are only fantasies and a waste of time.

Anyway, I’m in the process of writing down my other goals so I can share more if anyone wants to know.

What I want to know is…what are YOUR goals?

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The Power of Good Company

Posted by Demond Thompson on August 5, 2010

I was at Toastmasters this morning and had a great time.  The meeting starts at 6:45am every Thursday, if you’re wondering.

Yes, I said AM. 

The club is a lot of fun and we have a talented and (more importantly) a very supportive group.  It got me to thinking.

I’m a very lucky guy.  I have some of the most supportive friends that you can possibly imagine.  I’ve been trying lots of different things over the years.

Professional wrestling.

Radio.

Public speaking.

I’ve had some hits and misses over the years, and I keep trying to find my way through this world anyway.  It made me realize the power of the people around us.  The company that we keep says a lot about us.  It also says a lot about how far we can go and what we can do.

I have talked to and worked with a lot of people over the years when it comes to health and fitness.  The complaints are the same for the most part. 

People trying to lose weight.

It’s always interesting that most of them really want to lose the weight, and after some probing, there is always a lack of support.

How sad.

It’s impossible to get anything done in this world by yourself. 

I’ve tried.  Believe me, I know.  J

If you’re looking to lose weight (or accomplish any other goal), you need a support system.  You need someone to call when you’re feeling not yourself.

(Note:  Most people would say weak.  I believe that we are stronger beyond all measure and forget.)

You need help. 

We all do, and it’s ok to admit.

Michael Jordan didn’t win a championship until Phil Jackson showed up.

Shaq couldn’t win without Dwayne Wade or Kobe.

Kobe couldn’t win without Gasol or Shaq.

Unless you’re a hermit that lives in the mountains…(and if you are, how in the world did you get internet access?), then you have people around you.

Make sure they are good ones.

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Strength and Flexibility all at once!

Posted by Demond Thompson on July 22, 2010

Yes, you can use flexibility to get stronger!

Most of us stretch using the old fashioned method we learned in gym class.  The classic example is the good ole sit and reach.  We reach as far as we can until we can’t go anymore.  What stops you from reaching your toes or farther is the stretch reflex. 

The stretch reflex is what kicks in to keep you from hurting yourself.  If you’ve never touched your toes before and you reach down to do so, your body is going to protect itself and not allow you to do it 

So, how do we fool it? 

If you reach a full stretch, and then tense the muscles being stretched, what will happen is the stretch reflex in the muscle will not resist nearly as much…for a little while.  So, after relaxing the muscle, you will be able to stretch a little bit further.  I have helped a friend who had never touched her toes touch them for the first time using this technique. 

How does this make you stronger? 

Whenever you contract the muscle you are making it stronger.  When you do a bicep curl, you are contracting the bicep to move the weight.  If you stop the weight in the middle of the rep, you are still contracting the muscle, this is an isometric contraction.

Isometrics is a very powerful tool for strength development.

To develop strength-flexibility, stretch as far as you can, then flex the stretched muscle.

Simple.

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Yes, your kids like broccoli!!!

Posted by Demond Thompson on July 13, 2010

Well, they might. I hear a lot about children only liking certain fried foods and that they won’t eat anything else. As a former stubborn child with an equally stubborn mother, these are some of the ways that she got me to eat what I “didn’t” want. This was also verified by listening to my girlfriend, Christa, who is a nanny and “Child Whisperer.”

1. YOU control the supply lines.

You decide which foods to buy and when to serve them. Yes, your kids will pester you for less nutritious foods. Just remember you’re in charge!

2. Kids need to have some say in the matter.

Make sure that the choices they have are nutritious ones. From the selections YOU offer, let them choose what to eat and how much of it they want.

3. End the “clean-plate club.”

Let them stop eating when they feel they’ve had enough. This teaches your children to respond to feelings of being full and prevents overeating

4. Remember drink calories.

Soda and other sweetened drinks add extra calories and get in the way of good nutrition. Water is the best drink for kids.

5. Kids do as you do.

You are your child’s biggest role model. To teach good eating habits, set the best example possible. Choose nutritious snacks, eat at the table, and don’t skip meals.

6. Limit TV and computer time.

When you do, you’ll avoid mindless snacking and encourage activity. When TV and computer time are limited, kids will find more active things to do. And when the whole family limits “screen time,” you’ll have more time to be active together.

Remember this: No one will let themselves starve! Yes, children can be very stubborn. Chicken fingers and french fries are poor substitutes for food. The biggest reason I’ve noticed that children eat poorly is because they are hesitant to try something different. Your children deserve the best so they can grow. Give it to them.

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Thoughts on Flexibility

Posted by Demond Thompson on July 7, 2010

When I started massage school, I thought I knew quite a bit about the human body.

I have been using my body physically to make a living for most of my life and still I am realizing how little I know.  It’s a humbling experience and a fun one as well.

Here’s a good example.  I have heard quite a bit about flexibility and stretching since I started playing sports all those years ago.  We all know that we are supposed to stretch before our physical activity.  Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and relax.  Sometimes do it twice with the same stretch and move on to our activity.

During massage school, I learned that there was quite a bit more to stretching and flexibility other than what we were taught in gym class.  Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to explain a few of them to you, and educate you on some things that you are probably new to you.  The first is one most of us are the most familiar with:  Static Stretching.

Static Stretching is when you gradually lengthen a muscle to an elongated position (to the point of discomfort) and hold that position for 30 seconds to two minutes.  The classic example is the toe touch to stretch the hamstrings (muscles on the back of the thighs).

Here’s the interesting thing about static stretching is that there is some research that suggests that static stretching before your activity can hinder your performance.  It also seems to be the least efficient way to gain flexibility.  After your activity, however, static stretching is great for helping alleviate the soreness that could come later.

Next week, we’ll talk about a way to stretch that will make you stronger.

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Raising Healthy Children

Posted by Demond Thompson on July 5, 2010

It never ceases to amaze me when I see children that are overweight or obese.  Nothing breaks my heart more knowing that there are children out there who will not reach the age expectancy of their parents.  To me it’s a form of child abuse, and I’ll rant about that more in a future post.  The point of this one is to offer a solution.

We have all heard and read that we all need 60 minutes of activity.

“Easier said than done,” you say?

I say better done than said.

Yes, I understand that you’re busy.  I understand that time is a precious commodity, and we want to enjoy our children and the growing up process.  I am here to make it easier for you.

Here are some activities that children already love to do:

  • Bicycling
  • Dancing
  • Jumping rope
  • Rollerblading
  • Running
  • Skipping
  • Swimming

With it being summer time, let your children go out and play and enjoy life!

Here’s the best part:

You can go out and do it with them.

Your children want something more valuable than toys and ice cream, and that is to spend time with you.  Some of my favorite memories growing up are with me spending time with my dad in the various sports I played as a kid.  That’s what matters most.

Make today your day!

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Posted by Demond Thompson on May 26, 2010

The following is a true story… When I decided to fulfill my dream of becoming a professional wrestler, I told my wife that I wanted to have a WWE contract by the time I was 30.

Keep in mind:

1. I was 26 when I started and there were guys who had been working for 7 or 8 years that didn’t have contracts.

2. I’m not anywhere near 6 ft tall (5’4” to be exact)

3. I’m never going to weigh even close to 200 lbs.

The odds just didn’t seem in my favor. During road trips, I would talk with people who had the same dreams of professional wrestling success. I thought I would earn a contract by my 30th birthday. I didn’t just think about it, I KNEW that I would be a WWE employee whether anyone else did or not. Less than 30 days after my 29th birthday, I premiered on WWE programming. Thinking back on it, I figured out how I did it. I BELIEVED without a shadow of a doubt that I would fulfill my dream. No one could tell me that it wasn’t going to happen because I KNEW I could. Of course, hard work and dedication are part of the equation, but I used Visualization.

Visualization is picturing a desired object or outcome so clearly and focusing intention and creative energy on it so intently that it is created in our reality.

What does this have to do with massage or relaxation? Simple.

Try this simple exercise. Stand up with your arm straight out and with your feet planted twist at the waist as far as you can. Note how far you twisted. Now, close your eyes and visualize twisting all the way around to the front again. Next, without opening your eyes, twist as far as you can. Once you get as far as you can, open your eyes. Go ahead. I’ll wait… I guarantee that you twisted much farther the second time. That is the power of visualization.

Now, if you can do that with such a simple exercise, then imagine when you are stretching or just relaxing. Read the last post again, expecially the exercise. Now, add visualization to it by visualizing your muscles relaxing as you breath. Try it for a week and let me know your results.

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The Power of Breath

Posted by Demond Thompson on May 12, 2010

We live in a very fast paced society. In this new age of technology with iPods, the internet, and cell phones that are essentially mini computers, we are constantly bombarded with stimulus and it puts stress on the mind and body. This is before we actually talk about the stresses of work, family obligations, and our day-to-day activities.

Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses, and it’s a normal part of life. The events that happen around you (and your reaction to them) put stress on your body. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts.

Next time you feel stress, pay attention to your breathing. When we are stressed the breath usually becomes very shallow. The first thing you do to relieve that stress is to begin deep breathing.

Deep breathing lowers blood pressure, relax the muscles, and slow your heart and respiration rate. It also prevents stress from building up. It reduces insomnia and fatigue and reduces general anxiety. It also increases your energy level and helps you slow down your racing thoughts. The list goes on and on.

A word of caution: if you feel dizzy or light headed, then stop. With that being said, here’s a deep breathing exercise to get you started:

Deep Breathing Exercise
Take a very deep breath through your mouth and nose, completely filling up your lungs. Now hold it for 3 seconds, and exhale, forcing every last bit of air out. Take a few regular breaths, and repeat 5-10 times.

In a nutshell, deep breathing counteracts the physical and mental affects of the fight or flight response. It serves to reduce anxiety when it strikes. When practiced regularly, its physical and mental benefits may also help prevent anxiety, and keeps you in the present moment, so you may think clearly and function better.

Try it and let me know how it goes.

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Hello world!

Posted by Demond Thompson on May 9, 2010

Welcome to the Hands On Health Experience. My name is Demond Thompson, and I’m nationally certified, licensed massage therapist in Louisville, Kentucky. I intend to help usher in a Renaissance of Well Being.  I will share information and my thoughts on health and well being.  

Enjoy the ride.  It’s going to be fun!

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