No one can deny that emotional and physical health are closely knit together….If you’re in a bad mood, the gym just isn’t going to happen. Tough day at work: It’s going to be a Netflix night. The dog will not be going on a walk, and ice cream will be on the evening menu.
Those who have been there can teach us how these emotional ties to physical health can be our greatest strength…if we learn how to use them to our advantage.
From Business to Fitness
When Andy Chan finished his business and accounting education at the University of Concordia at Chicago, he returned home to Hong Kong. Did he immediately set up shop and manage high-end accounts for multi-billion dollar companies? Nope. Not even close. (8:00) “When I went home, I tried out for a professional soccer team in Hong Kong. Three weeks into training, I was required to do some really complex agility skills, which I was unable to do properly. I was fit, but I was stiff.”
As an athlete, if you’re not flexible, you’re slower and going to lose the game. “The gym made me look bigger and better, but it did not translate to better performance.”
** Prefer To Watch? Check Out Our Livestream, Cool Insights Into Movement Based Training with Andy Tsz Here!**
Black and White
Andy grew up in a culture of ambiguous answers…”not everything is black and white there like it is in America.” People were always asking him, Just give me a simple answer, while he lived in the states. Andy has learned to combine these two philosophies in his approach to fitness–mental and physical.People around the world are looking for a quick fix, with high expectations. The generational mindset of today is that young adults want things now.
Chinese and American culture demands fast results, and both are quick to publicly condemn when unsatisfied with the results. Asking questions is the best way to understand the needs of clients.
Everyday People Looking for Everyday Fitness
“Fitness is a three part package of diet, emotion, and physical movement,” according to Andy. There are natural, fluid movements all people recognize as important when they work out, as if they are “in the rhythm.”It doesn’t matter which exercises you are doing per se, as much as the rhythm you are doing them in.
- Fluidity and rhythm are always a priority when training with Andy
- Total body movement is 80% of what Andy focuses on
- Specific muscle groups consists of the other 20%
“It all depends on what your goal is,” says Andy.
A Typical Workout Day
In Andy’s world, there is no “leg day”… there’s just “exercise day.”
“Because I work with a lot of professional golfers, they do a lot of rotations. We focus on disassociating the hips from the shoulders, because the hips are not moving as much as the shoulders are.”
- Timing is everything. Hips and shoulders must rotate at the same time.
- Medicine balls and resistance bands help create muscle memories in movement.
- Planks with shoulder taps create resistance skills, which incorporate the body’s ability to withstand force against it.
Emotions Affect Performance
Andy believes that being aware of our emotions is a priority.
- Warm-ups in a 10 minute window are key to getting the body into movement mode.
- Breathing exercises can be done anywhere—elevators, waiting for a meal, or whenever you’re not engaged with a task. This prepares the body for better movement.
- Breathing through the nose and out the mouth encourages proper oxygenation of the body.
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The Power of Now
Enjoying life in the moment is important for our emotional health. We tend to always think forward about events that will bring joy, fun, or physical satisfaction, but we forget to enjoy today’s blessings. (36:00) Global competition among entrepreneurs brings stress…while growing your business, the internet has expanded the number of your competitors. Balancing work, family and personal care is crucial to emotional health.Watching Netflix and playing games on your phone is not relaxation. Most do not understand how proper relaxation is achieved. Anything that stimulates the mind is not supporting mental down-time.
- Meditation practices and breathing techniques can help with anxiety and depression.
- Professional help can be a great option for those who struggle.
- “Micro-Practices” of breathing and movement are highly beneficial for both physical and mental health.
Andy’s cutting-edge new book, Dynamic Balance, is specifically designed for those interested in the integration of the mental and physical. The tradition and power of Chinese medicine practices are complemented with western fitness training expertise to produce a program for anyone who wants to improve life—physically, and emotionally.