by David Sandstrom 

March 1, 2021

In this episode, I talk with Home Fitness Trainer Gina Paulhus. Gina has gone from binge eater to professional athlete to a regular person. Gina comes at fitness from a holistic perspective. I think you're going to enjoy this episode.

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Show Notes

1.

Today's Guest...

  • Gina Paulhus Home Fitness Trainer
2.

Topics Discussed...w / Time Stamps

  • 2:32 - Introduction
  • 4:46 - Gina talks about her 2 books
  • 9:14 - Taking a food and/or workout vacation
  • 14:30 - Gina overcomes anorexia 
  • 16:48 - Book promo
  • 18:31 - life's struggles can be a gift
  • 25:19 - Gina's workout tips for the beginner
  • 30:40 - Gina's workout tips for the seasoned pro
  • 32:25 - Working out in your mind
  • 36:23 - Gina's workout tips for the road-warrior
  • 40:03 - Conclusion
4.

Transcript... 


Scroll through the text below to read the full transcript.

David Sandstrom 0:00
Here's a sample of what you're going to hear on this episode of holistic health matters.

Gina Paulhus 0:04
One of the things that I think is super important and is quite often overlooked is our life can really only hold a certain amount of stress at a time. So if you have a job that the stress level is nine out of 10, and your kids are currently causing you a stress level of a nine out of 10, or that's what you're dealing with with that, and then you're asking yourself to work out, you're going to have less to give. So it's important that we look at our life as a whole. And sometimes there are some people I've met and I've said, I don't think exercising is the right choice for you right now. You have way too much going on your stress levels are through the roof. That's something that needs to be considered.

David Sandstrom 0:43
Welcome to the holistic health matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential in spirit, mind and body so that you can pursue the abundant life more effectively. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, naturopathic doctor and biblical health coach, and this is episode number 35.

David Sandstrom 1:06
This episode is brought to you by my book, the Christians guide to holistic health. getting educated on natural and holistic health is time consuming and can be expensive, not to mention, overwhelming. I want to help you with that. My book will put you on the fast track to the vibrant health and vitality you've been looking for. By the way, many of my recommendations won't cost you a nickel, they're free, because a lot of my message is simply aligning our lives more fully with the Word of God, that doesn't cost you anything. If you'd like to avoid, overwhelm and get some biblically based holistic health information that you can implement right away, go to my website, David sandstrom.com, forward slash book, you can learn more and pick up a copy today. If that doesn't work, you can go directly to Amazon. It's available there in paperback, Kindle, and audible. Time for the apple podcast five star rating and review of the Week. This week, Jason Bliss says this, "Both timeless and timely. These truths cannot be avoided for long without consequences. The path to reclaiming our divine birthright to feel good. being alive is simple. Unfortunately, without the support of people like David simple isn't always easy. Thanks for the guidance David". Jason, thank you for those words of encouragement. I received that and I'm happy to be of assistance any way I can.

David Sandstrom 2:32
Today we have in the show with us Gina Paulus. Gina is the owner of homebodies in home fitness training. She and her team have helped 1000s of people get in the best shape of their life. All while working out at home. Gina has gone from binge eater, to professional athlete to a regular person. She's here to give us some tips for the beginning fitness enthusiast, all the way to the more experienced one to the stressed out mom to working out at home and people that have to travel and work out in hotels. So let's jump right into my conversation with Gina Paulus. Gina, welcome to the show.

Gina Paulhus 3:10
Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be on the show today with you.

David Sandstrom 3:14
I'm looking forward to our conversation, I think you've got a lot of good wisdom to share us a little bit about your origin story. How did you get into health and fitness? And how did you get to where you are today?

Gina Paulhus 3:25
Well, I started gymnastics as a child like a lot of young kids do. And I began competing, and I was finding myself struggling just a little bit with I don't want to say keeping up. But I was noticing the other children were advanced a little bit faster than me. Even though we did a lot of fitness and our gymnastics practice, I wanted a little bit more of an edge. So I decided that working out would be a nice way for me to to get a little bit extra to help myself with my sports performance.

David Sandstrom 3:54
Okay, and how old were you then?

Gina Paulhus 3:56
I was 15 at that time. And it's actually a pretty funny story. Um, I had so much time with my gymnastics practice, it was 15 to 20 hours a week, of course, on top of regular school, wow, I wanted to get a job. But I didn't really have any free time. My dad went to the YMCA and he said, hey, I've noticed that the people that work at the desk at the why they don't really have to do anything. They just sign people in, and you can probably get that job and just do your homework there. And I said, Wow, that sounds really cool. So I went ahead and applied for the job and 50 and they gave me that job. And that was really the point of why I wanted to work there so I could get my homework done. But little did I know that they ended up training me on how to instruct people on using the equipment. And that's really how I got started with coaching other people.

David Sandstrom 4:46
Okay, very good. And you've got a couple of books. I know you wrote Mind Over Fatter, which I love the title and Change Your Ways. Yes. Tell us a little bit about your books and why you wrote them and what's in there.

Gina Paulhus 5:00
Sure, mine over fatter I wrote early on in my business career, back in 2005. I wrote it because I found myself working with clients who basically knew what to do and not so much with the fitness side, I find the fitness side, I don't want to say it's easy. I mean, you have a plan, you might work out a few times a week, or maybe even five days a week, but it's pretty cut and dry. You do your workout, then you take a rest day whatever food though happens every hour really in your life, you have a decision, am I going to grab that Hershey's Kiss off of the counter when I go into my doctor's office? Or am I going to eat a snack now? Am I going to eat a meal? Am I going to go grocery shopping, we're constantly making decisions about food. And I found that a lot of people needed guidance and help with making those decisions. And I also know that it can be a little bit overwhelming. So I thought that if I made it a 30 day overhaul, it had a finite beginning and end to it. And that would be a little bit more mentally able to wrap your head around. Yeah, oh, if I spend the 30 days doing this, I will get a better control over my choices

David Sandstrom 6:10
Right It's a lot easier for somebody to say, Okay, I can do this for a month, I can do almost anything for a month. But if you want to commit to a 10 year program is a little different story.

Gina Paulhus 6:19
Exactly. So each chapter it's designed to do one little short chapter a day, and each one has a little homework assignment. Again, these are you could probably do it in 10 or 15 minutes. But it does ask for you to do all 30 chapters. Of course, you could break it up and not do it every single day if you didn't have that ability, but it was designed to really be a 30 day overhaul.

David Sandstrom 6:40
Yeah, in that book, Mind Over Fatter. You say this, that diet and exercise programs are by and large a band aid. And that's why most of them don't work. Can you speak to that a little bit?

Gina Paulhus 6:52
Yes, because people want to follow something that is external. So an external thing would be doing something like juicing for 30 days, or getting a program where you work out, and you follow that. And that, again, like I said, with the finite the beginning and the end, if you have a beginning and an end, what happens after you have completed the program as you think you're done. And you can stop, as we all know, because I'm sure every one of your listeners has tried something like that at one point in their lives. Whether it's not in fitness, it might be in another area of their life. But we really need the maintenance mode of what do we do once we've finished that is really where the magic lies. So my 30 day book was designed to help you create your own plan that works for you. For instance, if you're following a certain diet, that means you can't eat what your family is eating, and you do it for 30 days, that probably isn't something that you will do for the rest of your life. Right. So I strive to teach people how to fish so to speak. So rather than doing it for them, I want them to create their own plan that fits into their lifestyle.

David Sandstrom 8:04
All right, that sounds great. But could you define that? How does somebody create a plan that works for them?

Gina Paulhus 8:11
Well, to give you an example, in that book mind over fatter, there is a section where the book instructs you on how many calories you can consume to meet your goals and what foods would be better or not so good to choose, depending upon what those goals would be. So a lot of diet plans give you a list of food you can and can't eat. They don't explain why they don't explain the alternative. What do I do if I have to go out to eat with somebody because there's an event or what so I teach them how to make it their own and make it work. And I find that the exceptions are where people get tripped up. Everybody can eat a certain way that suits them or serve them on what we call, quote unquote, a normal day, a day where you get up and you go to work and your kids go to school, and it's just normal. But what do we do when there's a holiday? What do we do when there's an event? What do we do when the car breaks down? And our whole day gets messed up? Yeah, what do we do in those instances, and I teach all of that, so that the person's never left high and dry?

David Sandstrom 9:14
Well, that brings up a really good point. And I know one of the points you make in the book is that sometimes it's good to take a little food vacation, you can do that. And you know, to feel guilty because it's actually beneficial. And the same thing with exercise, is that correct?

Gina Paulhus 9:28
That is and that's another little known fact, I actually have a portion of my website, there's a page there that is called seven secrets personal trainers know and this is one of those things that trainers do know and the average person does not. Our body does go to homeostasis, meaning that if you under eat your calories, meaning you're eating fewer calories and your body's burning off and you do that for months and months and maybe even years, your body's goal is to survive. It is not to lose weight, your body doesn't actually want To lose weight because that is dangerous for a body at a certain level. And even if you're an overweight person, it is it still works the same a threat is a threat, what you want to do rather than be dieting constantly or keeping your calories low constantly, as have periodic times, when you take that break, and you allow yourself to eat a little bit more, or maybe change if you were doing super low carbohydrate. And you know, of course, your health would be fine for you to do more, you're not diabetic, like that kind of stuff. Having breaks, whether that be one meal one day, or even a whole week, or even two weeks, or even a month, in certain cases, everybody is a little bit different. And that's why Yes, my book is a wonderful resource. And I do try to flesh out all those options. But ultimately, when I work with clients, one on one, I'm really able to give them that customized strategy that will be best for them. And not only physically but mentally, everybody needs both a physical break and a mental break from things in our lives too. And so that can be a really powerful effect.

David Sandstrom 11:03
Excellent. You know, this is the podcast here is called the Holistic Health Matters. And I believe that we are spirit, we have a mind, and we live in a body. And if we really want to treat our health issue effectively want to build health effectively, we've got to address the whole person. And it sounds like you are kind of in tune to the to the mindset. So I'd like to ask you a question about that mindset. Part of your story is you went from binge eater to competitive athlete to regular person. And I think that's great. I, I'd like for you to share a little bit about that experience and focus on the mindset that that you had when you went through all that.

Gina Paulhus 11:40
Absolutely. So when I I remember actually being a really young child, I was probably four or five years old. And I remember reaching for sugary foods, although it would actually be any food, I would find myself, you know, when they put out the platter on a holiday or even just on a weekend or whatever, I would go back to it. And I would continue to eat and continue to eat. And I would notice that the adults around me weren't eating that much. And certainly the other kids weren't either. And I was a super active kid. But I just remember feeling almost like a compulsion to eat. And then I started noticing that it was commented upon, oh, Gina's eating more, and she's reaching for another portion. And I started bringing food back to my bedroom and eating it there. Because I felt that social judgment of that it wasn't okay that I was eating what I was eating. Now, I was never a heavy child, I was very active. But I just remember, it would almost be like my coping mechanism. I remember going to school and looking forward to being able to eat whatever I wanted from my kitchen, what the second I got home and I wasn't necessarily hungry. So I think that I mean, I sometimes was, but sometimes I wasn't. And I also really gravitated towards the feeling of being stuff rather than just satisfied. And as a young kid, I didn't really understand any of this. But looking back later on some of the work that I've done, I've been able to notice that that was a little bit unusual.

David Sandstrom 13:10
Let me interrupt you right there. It's interesting that you use the word feeling, because what I was thinking when I was listening to talk is that there was some emotional component going on here. And you were perhaps even self medicating with food.

Gina Paulhus 13:21
Oh, for sure. I absolutely was. And it got worse in my teen years when I would say my emotional state was reasonable as a young kid. But as we like a lot of us do. As we get into the teen years, we're trying to figure out where we fit into the world. There's more pressure on us. I had a ton of pressure with an expectation if I brought home an A on my report card, my parents question Why isn't it an A plus, and I'm not blaming them, they truly were trying to help me, it's just that I did feel that pressure. And then being in the sport of gymnastics, as you can imagine, there's a ton of pressure there. So the eating got worse. And then that's when I basically learned about managing my weight. And as I was getting more into the exercise side of things I learned about calories and how those work and I started to count my calories and try to manage my body weight and all of that. I was slipping into anorexia at that point. And like happens with a lot of people who go down that path, they eventually can no longer control their hunger and they begin to really binge. And that's when I would say my binge eating really took a turn to like clinical level rather than just starting.

David Sandstrom 14:30
How did you overcome that?

Gina Paulhus 14:32
The journey of overcoming that was definitely not a quick one. I started reading a lot of self help books. I really started journaling more and I tried to work on it, but it really didn't get a lot better. And so for me it was a problem for me that really impacted my life for a good five to 10 years. I ended up stopping gymnastics at age 19 because of the issue I wasn't able to keep on top of it. So I tried some journaling, which helped some, I hadn't found meditation yet. What helped me more than anything was I met my future husband at the time, we were friends, and then we beat started to date. And he was a great person for me to confide in, because I felt comfortable telling him about my struggles. And he was really supportive of me. And he also made it clear to me that he could be my friend if I had an eating disorder, but he didn't feel that we could date because he didn't feel comfortable with that he didn't think I would be in the state of mind that that would work very well. So that really motivated me. I thought to myself, do I would I rather have this eating disorder, or would I rather have a boyfriend, and I really liked him.

David Sandstrom 15:45
You found your why you had a good reason to to get a handle on this,

Gina Paulhus 15:49
I had a why. And I think that was what I was really missing. I also at the same time, I was conflicted, because my parents really wanted me to do more of a medical career, such as like pharmacy, or even pre med and my heart wasn't in that direction. And I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. When you're in gymnastics, you're sort of just like doing gymnastics, and you don't have free time or energy to think of anything more. Again, we were dating and at the time, but we were planning to get married soon. And so my boyfriend at the time really encouraged me to start my own company with the personal training. And I think that really focused me and it gave me more purpose. And I also wanted to be able to be there for my clients and be a good example for them. So even though my problems weren't resolved in an instant, they got better and better. And it got to the point where I was completely recovered. So that was really amazing for me to find that place.

David Sandstrom 16:48
So you've decided to make some improvements to your health and well being, you're listening to shows like this, where you can get information that can help take your health to the next level. The trouble is, getting educated and implementing effective strategies is time consuming, and can be expensive, not to mention, overwhelming. That's why I wrote my book, the Christians guide to holistic health. In my book, I've taken 20 years of research and experience as a natural and holistic health coach, and distilled it down to what you need to know, to maximize your health potential in spirit, mind and body. It's my contention, that we maximize our health potential by aligning our lives more fully with God's design for spirit, mind and body. My book, the Christians guide to holistic health will put you on the fast track to the vibrant health and vitality you've been looking for. By the way, many of my recommendations won't cost you a nickel, they're free. Because a lot of my message is simply aligning our lives more fully with the Word of God, that doesn't cost you a thing. If you'd like to avoid, overwhelm and get some biblically based holistic health information that you can implement right away. Go to my website, David sandstrom.com, forward slash book, that's da VI, d, s, a n d, s t, r o m, as in mike.com, forward slash book. And you can learn more and pick up a copy today. If that doesn't work, you can go directly to Amazon. It's available there in paperback, Kindle, and audible. Now let's get back to the show.

David Sandstrom 18:31
So Gina, let me ask you this. You've been through some struggles in your life, what have you learned to appreciate as a result of those struggles you've gone through?

Gina Paulhus 18:40
That is a great question, one that I really truly love, because I think that especially right now with some of the stuff that's been going on with 2020, and all the struggles people have had, it's very normal for us to look at a struggle as a negative, and it is a negative and it feels like a negative. However, I am the type of person who really enjoys finding the silver lining in all things. So for me, if I think about my past struggles in my life, I do look back and realize all the strength that I have in my life has been built during times of struggle, we don't get better when things are going great because there's nothing to challenge us. And even in our faith. If everything's going perfectly, you don't find that you lean on your faith as much and it's easier to fall away from it. So I find that struggle is bring me back to my faith and they also helped me build that strength. I also find that struggles tend to teach us something new. I know that in my business, I have changed how I've done my business, what I've offered to clients How have supported my clients during the pandemic. And I'm actually grateful for the fact that it pushed me to these new directions that will moving forward will serve Me and my clients in a better way that I never would have discovered without that struggle and that pressure to find an alternative Then finally, I find that I can use my past struggles to help other people, I can use them, someone else that has a similar struggle, it gives me purpose to help them and guide them. it solidifies me and my place in life and my thinking, Oh, I don't want to obviously go back to that old struggle. And it reinforces to me as I'm helping others, the value of living the life the way and being able to be of service to others, which is another strong part of my faith. I am somebody that really prioritizes serving others. So I do some volunteer work within the church and things like that. But I do that because I just really strongly connect to that feeling of helping others as being really the greater purpose in life that just motivates us and drives us.

David Sandstrom 20:47
What I hear you saying Gina, is, we should look at our struggles as a gift, because kind of like exercise is a form of stress. And it might not be pleasant when we're going through it. But it will grow us and make us stronger, and help us to be more effective human beings as a result.

Gina Paulhus 21:02
Yes, 100%, I can't think of a way that we can grow and achieve that growth without the struggle. So you are in fact correct. calling it a gift. As crazy as that sounds. I'm on board with that bought.

David Sandstrom 21:13
Yeah. All right. Personally, my personality is one of going to extremes. And when I commit to something, sometimes I really just overachiever Go for it. type A personality, it sounds like you might tend towards that as well. Is was there a period of time where you really just went all out? And there was a lot of rigid behavior going on?

Gina Paulhus 21:33
Oh, always, I'm still like that, to be honest, a little bit at this moment in my life. The difference though, for me, I think now is I'm able to step back from it and look at it and say, is this behavior serving me? Or is it taking away? So when I start feeling that obsessive, controlling feeling, I'm able to step back and make a decision as opposed to just reacting?

David Sandstrom 21:58
Yeah, now you're a regular person, you will you realize that fitness is important. Nutrition is important. But I have a relationship. I have a man that I'm married to. And I need to I need to live a regular life.

Gina Paulhus 22:10
Yes, and just I'm not sure if we touched on this earlier, I don't think we did. Um, I ended up once I got better from my eating struggles, I went back to gymnastics and I was actually able to have around to where I was able to compete again, as an adult. And that was really amazing. And I did that from age 25, to age 37. And that was just tremendously healing for me.

David Sandstrom 22:31
Wow, that's impressive. I have girls in there to do gymnastics at a competitive level at 37. That's absolutely amazing.

Gina Paulhus 22:39
Yeah, and ultimately, injuries got the best of me, which makes sense at that age. But at the same time, I actually started an adult gymnastics camp, because there are others like me that want to do the sport as an adult. And I actually have an entire adult gymnastics webpage and resources for them in a camp too. So it's definitely a movement that's growing and expanding, and I tie my fitness knowledge in to help them for other gymnast that still want to have that goal in that dream for themselves. Even though I've stepped back from it, it's still something that's super important to me.

David Sandstrom 23:11
Excellent. Now I know you're a person of faith. And I'd like to ask you this, how does your faith affect the way you approach health and wellness?

Gina Paulhus 23:20
My faith is something that has evolved with time I was raised Catholic, and I got confirmed and everything like that, I did lose my faith, especially during the time when I had the eating disorder. But more recently in my life, I have focused more on it for the past probably five years especially. So one thing that I do every single day is I go over a Bible verse and I journal on that and I take some time to meditate on that. And my overriding belief really is that God is taking care of me and guiding me at all times. So whenever I'm feeling stressed or feeling overwhelmed, that's my first thought is I think everything is just as it should be. God made me perfect. And I don't have to do anything I'm already loved and accepted as I am. And thinking that all is as it should be really does. As you mentioned before with the Type A stuff it helps me with that because I find that the stress and the pressure that everybody can feel, but especially the Type A's we want to control we want to do and if we can step away from that and just allow what is to be it's really calming and soothing.

David Sandstrom 24:30
For me my faith does that is it gives me a level of peace when I can surrender certain aspects of my life to God, which should be surrounding all of it. But I you know, I sometimes have to be reminded of that. One of the verses that's really spoke to me over the years is john 1010. The enemy has come to steal, kill and destroy, but I've come to they might have life and have it abundantly. I believe we should take that literally we have an enemy. He doesn't have our well being in mind and he wants to steal our peace. He wants to kill our joy. And he does that by large by destroying our health. So when we are bogged down with a health challenge, it's like a ball and chain, and we are unable to move into the abundant life that's rightfully ours. Having a faith component to this, it really helps with the journey.

Gina Paulhus 25:18
I 100%. Agree.

David Sandstrom 25:19
Yeah. If you were speaking to a person, which I know you do this all the time in your fitness programs, that was just getting started on an exercise program, what some of the low hanging fruit was some of the tips that you could give that person.

Gina Paulhus 25:31
Sure. So one tip I always give is that you really do need to get some help and some guidance. It's very overwhelming to think about fitness and not know where to start, whether it be a resource, like my books, or even hiring me for a one on one session, or even just a trusted friend or family member who knows a lot about it, those are all great ideas, our minds get very overwhelmed very easily. And when a mind is confused, and overwhelmed, it doesn't act. And the body, of course follows. So getting structure is huge. And then once you have that help, and that guidance, the structure is going to fall into place. And you can free up some mental bandwidth in order to move forward and just take the action. So a lot of people will have maybe an hour that they can work out. And they'll spend the first five or 10 minutes or even 15 minutes thinking about what they want to do or what that workout will involve. You've just lost 15 minutes thinking that's not a great plan, right? Yeah. So those are my first two tips, building in breaks, which we touched on with the eating but also what the working out today actually happens to be my first day of my winter rests from exercise. And I usually do about seven days, without exercising, it doesn't mean I won't go for a walk, or I won't do a few, you know, something like a little stretch of my back's feeling tight or something. But it's there's no formal working out. And that really gives my body and my mind a break. And I usually do that between two and four times per year. And I also do every month I'll do a light week where I'm still working out. But I'm not working out as rigorously and I try to guide my clients and that as well, of course, it depends on your age, I'm in my late 30s. So my pattern of rest might be different from somebody in their 70s. It really depends. And it's not just age, there's other factors, of course that come in. I know you are a holistic program here. And one of the things that I think is super important and is quite often overlooked is our life can really only hold a certain amount of stress at a time. So if you have a job that the stress level is nine out of 10. And your kids are currently causing you a stress level of a nine out of 10 or that's what you're dealing with with that. And then you're asking yourself to work out you're going to have less to give than the person that might not have a job and doesn't have the kids or whatever else might be causing stress for them. So it's important that we look at our life as a whole. And sometimes there are some people I've met, and I've said, I don't think exercising is the right choice for you right now you have way too much going on your stress levels are through the roof. That's something that needs to be considered.

David Sandstrom 28:10
Absolutely, that that's a really good point. You know, for that person that you just described, they can switch to organic food 100% organic diet, but that's not going to solve their issues, that stress is by far going to outweigh their eating program.

Gina Paulhus 28:24
You've got it and so moving on with my top five here, my number four is going to be to expect problems. People think I'm going to work out and it's going to be fine and everything's great. And I'm not going to be injured and whatever and what ends up happening. Oh, I tripped on fonde on the stairs and hurt my ankle and then I had a stomach bug and then I had that and obviously you want to think positively but things do happen. And the magic is in those times when it isn't a normal day with food. The same for exercise. What do you do if you hurt your ankle? Do you exercise? Do you not? Do you modify your plan, I can help people determine what is the best thing. There's always that group of people that makes every excuse in the book and the littlest of things. If they have a hangnail, they're not working out because they have the hangnail. And it's like, well, that's kind of going a little bit too far. But then you have the other person who's ill with the flu, and they're at the gym trying to work out. So there's really that whole mixed bag. Of course, like we talked about, I'm the type that's probably going to push it and try to go to the gym when I'm sick. So I'm that type. But at the same time, I have to rein both myself in and help rein other people into more of the moderation which is what we all seek. And that's something that I really help people figure out and try to be a good role model for excellent. And then the fifth tip I will give is, um, sometimes you just need to have a mantra that can really bring you back on track. My mantra for my clients is the BRR or the bur and it stands for best reasonable response. So somebody comes to me and they say, I had vertigo the other day, and I, you know, I feel really guilty because I didn't work out and I said, Stop. You had vertigo? What was the best reasonable response for someone that had vertigo? Is that to work out? Or is that to take the day and try to recover? And I'll put the question on them, because I'm not telling them what to do. I'm their coach. They get to choose what they do. And I just give them that feedback and that support.

David Sandstrom 30:29
Very good. Yeah. Ultimately, we're all as individuals responsible for our own health, right. It's not the doctors responsibility. It's not your Fitness Trainers responsibility. It's our responsibility.

Gina Paulhus 30:39
Correct?

David Sandstrom 30:40
Yeah. Let's shift gears just a little bit. If someone were a more experienced fitness enthusiast, but they've reached a plateau, what advice would you have for that person?

Gina Paulhus 30:49
Absolutely. So my tip number one is, if it's been a while, take a break is amazing. And I took me a long time to be sold on this, again, the Type A stuff. But I read some materials from some really smart individuals and they promoted you need to take the rest week, you need to have a rest week. And I think a lot of it's because I did come from that gymnastic background where you don't really take rests. I mean, of course, things do change and evolve over time. And it is changing and evolving with that culture. But I was really trained, there's no resting, I remember my family was like that, too. We just went went went, go go go to taking a break. There's been so many times, and I've taken a week off, and I went back to working out and I literally was stronger. And the reason is our body gets stronger during rest, it doesn't get stronger when you exercise, right. And that can happen on a micro level, from day to day you work out on Monday, your body is stronger by Wednesday, but you're not stronger, right away, it takes a couple days. And on a macro level, you can get that long rest that you really never got by taking that longer time. So that's my first tip to to offer. Another tip. Tip number two is to learn new techniques. So quite often, we just get in a rut, and we're doing the same old thing each and every time going on YouTube and finding some videos and trying exercises. They're using a trainer who can teach you some new things. I'm always learning new things. I'm always enrolled in continuing education because even as a trainer, I don't know it all. And there's so much for me to learn. So certainly, if you're not a trainer, learning something new will always be helpful for you. And it will give your body a novel stimulus. Yes. Tip number three would be to learn some new exercises, of course going along with that. So there's technique is going to be say you do a bench press and you do it a certain way. But then you change how you do it. You think about something different using that mindfulness of I'm imagining my pectoral muscles, my chest muscles contracting, that is literally a new technique because you're telling which muscle you want to engage. Rather than just getting the task done.

David Sandstrom 32:55
There reminds me of a study I came across, I'll try to find it and put it in the show notes. But it was a group of people that did a study on people who actually hit the gym and did exercise three times a week. And then they compared their results to people who just imagined they were at the gym, just went through an exercise routine in their minds. And the people they just imagined got like 80% of the results of the people that actually exercised. I thought that was a super interesting study.

Gina Paulhus 33:20
Yes, I've had I have encountered that study. And in particular, there's been times when I've been injured, and really worried because I had maybe a gymnastic competition coming up. And I would actually employ that. And I can tell you firsthand that it does in fact work.

David Sandstrom 33:34
Yeah. It's amazing. The Mind Body connection is absolutely amazing.

Gina Paulhus 33:38
Yeah. And they've even done similar studies where they've shown somebody who does say a squat, and they're daydreaming about something. But compared to someone who does it while they're imagining their leg muscles, you know, getting firmer and pushing the ground away. The ones that imagine what is happening actually get a better strength gain.

David Sandstrom 33:57
Yeah, not surprising to me at all.

Gina Paulhus 33:59
No, that's really combining the two, like the best of both worlds there. You know? Yeah. Yeah. So that's just the difference of like the new exercises, like I was saying with my tip number three is that you could maybe change it to an incline bench, a bench at an angle rather than flat. And that's a new exercise. And that's a new stimulus for your body and your mind. Then moving on to my tip number four is to look at if there's a way for you to make it more fun. Our perception of pain and effort lowers when we're having fun. So whether that be a group exercise experience, if you're used to one on one, or you know on your own, or maybe getting some medicine balls and tossing them around, that's more than lifting weights is it's got a dynamic component, you're engaged catching it and throwing the ball. And that's always to make it fun. And that can be a great way to break through a plateau. Yes. And then lastly, my tip number five, is think about making a brand new goal. When I stopped gymnastics, I had to figure out what my fitness would look like and why The point of it would be, and you know, it wasn't something I could instantly find. I did have some injuries, I was rehabbing, which gave me some focus. But ultimately what I settled into is I've been going on hikes with my husband, something that I never had the time or really the interest in, when I was so busy with the gymnastics. And that's been a fabulous new activity for me to give myself that novelty and that joy in the movement.

David Sandstrom 35:25
That's excellent advice for it's really good stuff. Before I let you go, I've got one more question I want to ask, first off, how can people get a hold of your book,

Gina Paulhus 35:35
the best way to do that would be on my website, and that would be home exercise coach.com. And once you're there, there's going to be a tab in the menu that says books, and is your website, the best way to get ahold of you? That is there's a Contact Us form there. And that would be a great resource. You can also find me on Facebook at homebodies fit.

David Sandstrom 35:58
Excellent. All right, here's my last question for you, Gina. I'm an airline pilot, I travel for a living and a lot of times the the gyms are closed and the hotels these days because of COVID. I know that you specialize in home exercise routines. So what advice do you have for somebody that wants to set up a home exercise routine? And or does a lot of traveling as I do, and needs to get some movement into their day at a hotel room?

Gina Paulhus 36:23
That is a really good question. And lucky for you, I actually have a couple of clients who are airline pilots. So I have some first hand experience. Very good. Um, yeah. So one of the things just for your particular situation that I've noticed is the airline pilots I know don't always get the full night of sleep. Is that something you're familiar with?

David Sandstrom 36:43
Oh, yes.

Gina Paulhus 36:46
Going back to the, the, you know, the stress levels and all that, I will tell them listen, if you truly need that sleep, you take it because sleep is more important than working out. That being said, there are times when you're going to need a workout and you might not have access to the equipment. For travel purposes, I like to have a very portable, light set of equipment that you could take and have with you. So one of my favorite things to put in that little bag would be the long resistance bands. And one of my tips is if you take maybe three of them, or even just two of them, you can actually make a harder one by just doubling up.

David Sandstrom 37:26
Yeah, and you're talking about the ones that would look like a surgical tube. Correct. a handle on the end? Yeah,

Gina Paulhus 37:32
well, you know, I don't even see the need for the handle. Because guess what your hand gripping the band can be a handle, okay? I mean, if you like the handle is fine. But I tend to not recommend people buy those just because they're bulkier, and they're harder to gauge. So say if you have the long one, you can hold it anywhere you want. And you have more choice of exercises, if you have the handles are sort of tied to using those handles rather than grab at any point.

David Sandstrom 37:56
I get it. Yeah,

Gina Paulhus 37:58
just so it's more versatile. It's usually less expensive and more portable. And then Aside from that, I really love those small loops. I don't know if you've seen those. Explain it more. So it's a circular band, it's probably six to eight inches across the circle. Yep. And and you can actually make one if you imagine your long one that you have, and you tie that and form a loop of it.

David Sandstrom 38:22
Okay, yeah, you know, I actually have one of those that came in one of the fitness kits I bought one time and I didn't know how to use it. So how do you use those,

Gina Paulhus 38:29
I could probably give you 100 exercises, I'll give you my two favorites. So my first one, what you do is you take that loop, and you're going to put it right above your knee. And so now you've got you know it around your legs, and you're going to bend it to a squat. And then you're going to walk like a crab sideways to left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, and the whole time you're doing that you're pushing that loop, apart from each other. Gotcha. That's gonna work your hips and glutes a ton. And that's actually really good for airline pilots as well, because it helps counteract some of the sitting. Yeah. And then aside from that the upper body, my favorite one is what you can do is get into a push up position, you've got your loop around your wrist, and then what you're wanting to do is take one hand and move it out as far as you can to the side, and then move it back. Okay, and then you're going to take that same hand and move it in front of you, and then move it back. So the whole time you're holding your push up position, but you're moving that arm and then of course you do the other arm. And that's going to give your shoulder capsule a great stretch and also strengthen it in unusual planes of motion. When we do only do push ups or only do squats. We're really just doing that one plane of motion. We're not moving to the side, we're not moving to the diagonal. And when we don't move our body in a diverse manner, we're going to set ourselves up for more overuse injury.

David Sandstrom 39:47
Excellent. That's good stuff. All right, Gina. Well, I think that's about all we have time for today. I really enjoyed this conversation. Thank you so much for being here.

Gina Paulhus 39:55
It was wonderful and I really do love your podcasts have subscribed to it. Now that I know about And I'm going to continue listening.

David Sandstrom 40:01
Thanks a lot.

Gina Paulhus 40:02
All right, thank you.

David Sandstrom 40:04
All right, I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Gina Paulus. She's a wealth of information. And if you've ever thought about learning how to do some better workouts at home, I highly encourage you to go check out her website. It's home exercise coach.com. She's an excellent, very informed Personal Trainer with a holistic perspective. And if you're ready to embrace a more holistic lifestyle, you should check out my book, the Christians Guide to Holistic Health. The book is really designed to put you on the fast track to the vibrant health and vitality you've been looking for. Go to my website, David sandstrom.com, forward slash book, and you can read more about it and pick up a copy today. If that doesn't work, you can always go to Amazon. It's available in Kindle, paperback and audible. One last thing that I want to mention is if you're enjoying the show, I sure would appreciate you leaving a review on Apple podcast. So much so that I've created a page that you can go to to help you walk you through the process because it can be a little complicated. If you're not really familiar with the process with Apple podcast, go to my website, Davidsandstrom.com, forward slash review, and I've got detailed instructions on how to leave a review at Apple podcast. It helps other people find the show, and it's a huge source of encouragement for me. Once again, thank you for listening. I appreciate you and I'll talk with you next week. Be blessed


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About the author 

David Sandstrom

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a Naturopathic Doctor, and a Biblical Health Coach. I am also an Airline Captain for a major airline based out of Atlanta, Ga. I've been helping people maximize their health potential by nurturing their body, mind, and spirit since 2005.

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