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Fitness Meet and Greet

Beyond a hobby, blogging has become a true passion of mine, and the community is what has kept me around. You have encouraged and inspired me to be a better person, to share workout tips, healthy recipes, etc.

Since I started two years ago, I have seen many people start their blog to share their fitness journey and I would like to help them get to know each other.

For those of you who have known me for a long time, you guys know that I´m an IFBB certified personal trainer, TRX monitor, nutritionist… But many people start their fitness journey with no idea at all about training or nutrition.

No fitness journey is easy, and I hate to see people struggling every day, with ups and downs, and only with a few likes on their blogs. Do you ever feel like healthy living is just tough? You’re not alone.

Let’s change this and let´s create a network of people who support and encourage each other through their fitness journey!!

If you are on a fitness journey, you are encouraged to self-promote, in the comments section.

Introduce your blog to the other guests at the party. Tell the readers about your blog, and post a link to your favorite post, a recent post, your About page, your blog link, or anything you like.

At other Meet and Greets, guests return and leave different links to articles in different comment boxes. You are welcome to return as often as you like and leave links.

If you are not already following Chape.Fitness, I like new subscribers too.

Please, reblog this post, this way more bloggers will know about this meet and greet. Also, edit your reblog post and add tags.

 

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How I run an online business, blog regularly, keep learning and manage my life with Evernote

A short introduction

To understand why I do online training and why I decided to use Evernote, I have to tell you a little story. It all started when the economic crisis hit Europe a few years ago. Many friends and clients were forced to emigrate to find a new job. United States, Canada, Chile, UK, Australia and even Vietnam were some of their destinations. If everyone had gone to the same country, I would have gone with them, but that was not the case. As many of you already know, I live in a small Spanish coastal town that suddenly saw its population drop from 12,000 to just 8,000. You do not have to be very smart to realize that my traditional personal training business was going to sink. Fewer people, with lower purchasing power, would consider personal training as a luxury they could not afford.

So I had three options: look for another job, emigrate or reinvent my business. I chose the third option.

Emails and PDFs always seemed like a shabby way of sending training plans, so I started looking for other ways to network with my expatriate clients.

Each coach understands personal training in a different way. I approach each client as a project. They have a goal, which can change over time, they face difficulties during the process and they need a fluid, constant communication that can adapt to their new situations.
So I tried different apps with them to manage projects like Asana, Basecamp or Trello. They all are great apps, but some way or another they didn´t fit all our needs.

Then, I found Evernote, and everything started to fit in a natural way.

Why Evernote

When you decide to exercise and start a training plan the very first thing you must do is keeping a training journal, period.

Every day write what you have done, how many series, how much weight you have used, how you feel after training and the next day, what you have eaten, how you have slept, etc. To verify how the training plan went, you should also write down your weight and body perimeters at the beginning and end of the training plan. This is called facing reality, has it worked or not? Then you can adjust according to the results.

I used to give each of my clients a paper notebook to do all these things. Today, with Evernote, I do this same thing and much more, digitally.

Even though I can not be with my clients in person, they have a link for each exercise where they can watch a video and read a description to do the exercise correctly. Also, they have a notebook with a lot of recipes, so they do not have to ask me what they can eat today. They have a long list of recipes to choose from at any time.

food

And of course, I’m available via workchat for anything you need, in addition to talking regularly about how their training is going. If they are not convinced that they are doing an exercise correctly, they simply send me a video doing it, and I will correct them, if necessary.

Evernote, the perfect environment for online training

One of my first goals for my business was to create an exercise library. An extensive one. Today I have exactly 1259 exercises stored in Evernote, organized by tags (muscle, equipment, and level) and I easily find what I need to create the perfect training for each client.

Exercise library

I created my own training templates and I just have to copy the exercise I want in the corresponding place. This saves me a lot of time.

fitness templates

Each client has their own exclusive notebooks and it is impossible to get training, recipes or notes that do not correspond to them. With Evernote, you decide what you share and with whom.

The best part of all this? Anyone can do it. Even if you´re not a trainer, you can create your own notebook and save any exercise or workout you want to do, that you find in a blog, YouTube or wherever, thanks to the Evernote Web Clipper.

In my opinion, Evernote is the perfect environment for personal online training and I still wonder why not many more coaches are using it.

More things Evernote has helped me with

Finding this perfect environment is far from starting an online business. You need a website, advertise on Google, create your accounts on different social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. And I had no idea about all these things.

One of the first tips that anyone can find if they want to build an online business is to write a blog. Of course, I started blogging without having the slightest idea where to start, except I had to talk about fitness.

My first fitness posts got four or five likes. Now it’s no surprise, but then that was a disappointment. Blogging has many points in common with fitness, you have to start small, learn to do things correctly, a few tricks and progress at your own pace.

In both cases, consistency is the key. I could not find anything smaller to begin with than a daily quote. Making a simple comparison is like starting doing push-ups and chin-ups. Evernote helped me do this and almost effortlessly, I posted a daily quote for more than 500 consecutive days. How? I simply created a note, I titled it “quotes” and there I wrote down each quote that I liked. Then I just had to publish it on the blog and mark it as published, to not repeat it. I still have about 200 quotes that, maybe, I’ll publish someday.

Quotes

Instead of writing drafts in WordPress, I create a note for each new article and organize them by topics in different notebooks. For me, it is much easier to organize it so I do not have a list of drafts in WordPress.

I also keep in Evernote a lot of post fitness that I find on the internet, on different topics such as injuries, nutrition, new training methods and the latest studies. I keep them all in a notebook, organized by tags, so I find them easily when I need them.

But there is much more than fitness in my Evernote: marketing, web design, SEO, WordPress, Twitter and Facebook tips, and many other things are in another notebook, perfectly tagged. There are many things one must learn to build an online business and with Evernote, I have everything in the same place, organized and easy to find.

Managing my day to day

To organize my day to day, I created my own version of the Eisenhower matrix.

Eisenhower Matrix

I reduced the matrix to only three areas because I do not understand why I need the fourth quadrant if those things are neither urgent nor important and they need to be dumped. Why should I bother and waste my time on that? I apologize for showing you the blank note, but my daily schedule, my tasks, and ideas, are not of your concern:

my todo list

I also have a shortcut to this note on my cell phone, to access it at any time, anywhere.

todo today

When I complete a task I delete it, and every night I check and fill in the blanks for the next day with new tasks. I couldn´t find a way to be more productive, but I´m open to suggestions.

As you can see, there are many reasons to use Evernote, what is yours?

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One more quote

Hello, dears!

I´m sure you´re expecting my usual daily quote but today is going to be a little bit different.

Have you ever heard the expression “stop and smell the roses”, right? Well, the original quote belongs to Mr. Walter Hagen (a major figure in golf in the first half of the 20th century), and his exact words were: “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way”.

I started blogging in September 2015 and I have not taken a break since then. I´ve enjoyed every single day, I have met many wonderful people and made some good friends. I have learned a lot from you and I have grown more as a person than as a blogger. I feel nothing but gratitude: thanks for your support that you have shown all this time, but also thanks for all the inspiration, help, advice and pearls of wisdom you share from your blogs! Keep writing because I´m not going anywhere!!

It´s just that my daily (hopefully) motivational quote series ends today: 532 quotes. I had no specific number in mind when I started but lately, I´ve been feeling it´s time to make some changes. I have more quotes than exercises or post about fitness. When I think about it, a voice in my head tells me something is not right… and I agree 🙂

Back in September 2015, I knew nothing about blogging. In November 2017 I know that more than two thousand followers deserve better than a daily motivational quote, weekly recipes, and occasional fitness post.

After my come back, I plan to post just three times per week, things I think you´d like to see again: playlists, exercises, recipes, fitness tips… and some new stuff. My goal is to deliver twelve worth reading posts every month, starting in December.

This month, after two years, I´m going to press the Pause button instead of Publish. No hurries, no worries, I´ll be smelling the flowers 😉

Big hugs!

 

 

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Meaningful quotes with Pooja

Today I´m very excited about this collaboration post with one of my favorite bloggers, Pooja. Pooja is behind Lifes Fine Whine. Among many other things, she uses to post famous quotes. I read quotes on other blogs and I usually wonder which is the blogger´s fav, the most useful, the first one he or she remembers… When she let me suggest topics, so I suggested a post about the most meaningful quotes for us. She liked the idea and here we are.
I didn´t pay attention to quotes, sayings or proverbs until I was in high school. I failed my first philosophy exam. I couldn´t believe it. The exam consisted of three questions, about pre-Socratic authors. I didn´t know the answer to one of them, but I answered it anyway, mixing Anaxímenes with Anaxágoras. I got a miserable 4 (of 10). When the teacher told me my grade, also added: “It´s important to know what you know, but also it´s important to know what you don´t know”. My first thought was “this guy is insane!”. I calmed down days later, but the freaking quote still resonated in my head.
I can´t say it really made sense until next exam: Plato. He asked Plato´s concept of friendship… and I didn´t know a word about it. Here I go again, another 4 – I thought. Reading the other questions I realized that there was no question about Plato´s cave. Five questions, none of them about Plato´s cave. Definitely, this teacher is on meds or something!
I answered the friendship question the last: “I don´t know what Plato said about friendship, but I do know about Plato´s cave which is an important part to understand Plato´s thinking”. The day the teacher came with our grades, I was expecting a good rant. He gave me the exam and said: “I liked your Plato´s cave explanation, I gave you 1 point for it. You got a 9”.
I was astonished! Against all odds, that nonsense quote made sense and it worked in my favor. That was the first time I realized this kind of strange sentences is meant to help. The original quote belongs to Confucius, and it says: “To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge”.
This is, without a doubt, the first quote that I remember made an impact on me. Since then, I faced the exams more calmly, understanding that not knowing a question was not the end of the world. Outside of a classroom, this quote helps me to admit that I don´t know a word about a lot of things so, I listen. Most of the times I learn something new.
Now you know one of my most meaningful quotes and the story behind it. What we don´t know yet is Pooja´s quote. Are you as curious as me? Click here to Pooja´s post.
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6 Workouts that Don’t Feel Like Workouts by Paige Johnson

Hello dears,

Our friend Paige, from  Learnfit.org is visiting us again. This time she had found some interesting and unusual ways of exercising.

If you dread going to the gym, getting in those miles, or hitting the saddle for the spin class, today is the day to stop dreading workouts! Here are some unique ways to burn calories without focusing on each passing minute.

It’s true that not all exercises are created equally. For instance, some burn more calories than others, but that shouldn’t be the totality of how you choose workouts. What about having fun? Working on agility, speed, quickness, or balance and not solely on muscle hypertrophy or burning fat?

Really sticking to a healthy lifestyle means finding selections you enjoy. Here are a few to check out if you want to have a blast while optimizing your health:

  1. Skip and jump rope. It really can be that easy. Jumping rope is surprisingly very difficult for most adults upon revisiting the activity for the first time since childhood. However, it’s also a massive calorie burner and there’s a reason it’s a staple in boxing training. It combines cardio with balance, endurance, strength, and agility. It’s very demanding, so alternate it with simply skipping instead of running. Take a cue from the kids on the playground!
  2. Pole dancing. It doesn’t matter if you identify as female or male—really! Pole dancing has gained popularity over the years as a workout, but still many people haven’t tried it for a number of silly reasons. Some don’t think they can be “sexy” (not true), others are scared of the logistics of pole climbing, and some don’t think they’ll fit in. Pole dancing requires amazing strength and balance in ways you’ve never encountered before. Plus, many studios offer non-pole options like burlesque classes. All ages, genders, and abilities are welcome.
  3. Learn to drive a racecar. Racecar driving is definitely a sport, albeit a costly one. However, if your budget is generous or if you’ve souped up your own muscle car, learning how to drive like a pro can also come with a side benefit of a great workout. It takes an immense amount of strength to handle such a machine like an expert, as well as training. It might not be an ongoing workout for everyone, but if it’s on your bucket list you can certainly count your sessions as part of your recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week.
  4. Walk a dog. Owning a dog that requires daily walks can be a powerful motivator to get in multiple walks each day. In fact, almost half of dog walkers got an average of 30 minutes of daily exercise at least five days a week, but only a third of those without a dog got that much exercise on a consistent basis. Don’t have a dog or care to get one? Thanks to services like com, you can become a dog walker and get paid to burn calories on the regular.
  5. Hit the slip ‘n’ slide. Summer’s almost here, and that means finding creative ways to cool off. Staples of yesteryear, like running through the sprinklers and gliding down a slip ‘n’ slide double as fun, cool ways to sneak in a workout. If you’re around kids, lead the way and introduce them to the go-to entertainment options before screens were the most popular pick.
  6. Facial yoga. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like, but it’s not found in most traditional yoga studios. Fortunately, there are many online videos available, most of which are free. Yoga is about balance, flexibility, and stress release. We hold a lot of tension in our faces. Right now, your tongue is probably pressed against the roof of your mouth! Face yoga helps work very under-worked muscles, and some swear that it can help tighten muscles/skin for a more youthful and relaxed appearance.

Make your workouts fun again and sample everything that’s out there. You might be missing out on your favorite exercise.

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My top tips to inspire happiness w/ The all of it blog

Hello!

Today I´m very excited about this post. This is my first collaboration post, ever! I´m collaborating with my friend Sareena, the awesome blogger behind The all of it blog. Fortunately, she has more experience than me in this sort of post, and working with her was an absolute pleasure.

She showed up with a lot of topics and we choose happiness. Happiness is a familiar topic for me, not because I am a very happy person, but because I studied philosophy. Back in the day, I decided to study philosophy because I needed to understand what it is needed to be happy. Happiness is a fundamental concept in philosophy and I already had to write about it for several teachers. I never imagined that I would write about happiness again. I really enjoyed writing this post, revisiting old Greek authors, old pieces of advice, realizing which ones worked for me… A million thanks, Sareena!

In philosophy, happiness translates the Greek concept of eudaimonia, and refers to the good life, or flourishing. Aristotle stated that the happy life is the good life, that is, a life in which a person fulfills human nature in an excellent way. Since man is a rational animal, human happiness depends on the exercise of his reason. Happiness is not pleasure, nor is it virtue. It is the exercise of virtue. Happiness depends on acquiring a moral character, where one displays the virtues of courage, generosity, justice, friendship, and citizenship in one’s life. These virtues involve striking a balance or “Mean” between an excess and a deficiency.

From Tales to Adorno, all philosophers have reflected on happiness and good life, so we have a wide variety of opinions on what´s happiness and how to be happy. Exploring philosophical, cultural and historical variation in concepts of happiness is the best way to realize that happiness is a fuzzy concept.

Psychology reduces happiness to a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Since the 1960s, happiness research has been conducted in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including gerontology, social psychology, clinical and medical research and happiness economics. In my opinion, it´s pretty interesting how science tries to probe and translate to cold scientific language things that philosophers and poets said thousands of years ago.

“The physician heals, Nature makes well” Aristotle

Spend time outdoors. Recent studies show we spend too much time enclosed in buildings and vehicles. Up to 90% of the time, we´re inside.  This is not just unhealthy but unnatural.

By definition, a jail is a place for the confinement of people accused or convicted of a crime. If you haven´t committed a crime, why do you confine yourself? How are you going to be happy if you´re punishing yourself by locking yourself? Happiness is outdoors!

Go outside and enjoy nature, earth and sky, lakes and rivers, beach and mountain. Time outdoors will improve your mood, self-esteem, creativity as well as your vitamin D levels. Also, many studies have found that regular exposure to nature helps to reduce mental fatigue and relieve stress reducing cortisol levels.

Make being outside a ritual, try gardening, find a trail, go to a local park or just sit outside quietly and appreciate the natural beauty around you! Notice the scents, sights, and sounds as you sit quietly and focus on the moment.

“A healthy mind in a healthy body” Juvenal

Exercise. Science can´t explain how it works yet, but exercise brings feelings of euphoria and general well-being. Endorphins, Serotonin, Norepinephrine, it´s not clear what causes these feelings.

A recent research shows that while many people started an exercise program to lose weight and improve their appearance, they continued to exercise because of the benefits to their well-being. Physical activity is an elixir of life, not a punishment for bad numbers on the scale. Give yourself 30 minutes a day to take care of your body, and you´ll see awesome improvements in your mood.

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best” Epictetus

Enjoy time with friends. There is no better way to spend our time in this world than doing activities that we like with people we like. Recent studies about friendship and happiness have found:

  1. Friendship is the single most important factor in determining a person’s happiness.
  2. Those who considered friendship very important were more satisfied in every category from their health, their personal achievements, their safety, their relationships and their lives as a whole.
  3. For married people, their level of happiness is significantly dependent upon the intensity of their friendships.
  4. Single people who think of themselves as being extremely happy and who believe friends are important are happier than married people who do not think friends are very important.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything” Plato

Not just music, but arts in general. Make more art. In 2010, researchers analyzed more than 100 studies about the impact of art on your health and your ability to heal yourself and published the results in the American Journal of Public Health.

From five visual arts studies mentioned in that review (visual arts includes things like painting, drawing, photography, pottery, and textiles), the researchers described the impact that visual art activities had on the patients:

  1. Art filled occupational voids, distracted thoughts of illness.
  2. Improved well–being by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive ones.
  3. Improved medical outcomes, trends toward reduced depression.
  4. Reductions in stress and anxiety; increases in positive emotions.
  5. Reductions in distress and negative emotions.
  6. Improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks.

The impact of art, music, and writing can be seen in your physical body as well. In fact, this study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine used writing as a treatment for HIV patients found that writing resulted in “improvements of CD4+ lymphocyte counts.” In other words, writing actually impacted the cells and improved their immune system.Build something. Share something. Craft something. Make more art. Your health and happiness will improve!

Build something. Share something. Craft something. Make more art. Your health and happiness will improve!

“The happy man is the one who has a healthy body, a wealthy soul and a well educated nature” Thales

For many, formal education ends after secondary school or university. Of course, adults learn things outside of formal education such as how to manage their finances and make a success of their personal lives. Many will learn new skills in the workplace, and some do courses as part of their professional development. Continuing to learn well into adulthood is beneficial to health and happiness. Never stop learning!

These are my tips for you: enjoy time outdoors, with friends, take care of your body, express your creativity, and never stop learning. What are Sareena’s?

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Open invitation to all coaches/trainers

Dear fellow coach/trainer,

Would you like to get more followers and drive more traffic to your blog? Would you like exposure for your content? I have no advice to get more followers, traffic or exposure. But I do have an offer you shouldn´t refuse.

Back in the day, I started blogging as all of you, with no followers and thousands of questions. After two years of daily posting, I´m proud to say I have thousands of followers and a bunch of answers.

There are some well-known strategies to get your blog out there, like awards, tags, and so on. Between nominations and invitations, I realized guest post worked better for me. It´s logical, I got invited to write about fitness at any blog, some followers of this blogger like what they read and they decided to follow me as well.

I will be in debt forever with Kally, at Middleme for showing up in my email with a great idea, exercising at the workplace. Besides all the fun, the biggest advantage for guest authors are the free backlinks, traffic, and subscribers they receive.

In the other hand, I had the chance to be the host. Again, more followers and traffic. I dare to say it´s a win-win situation. That´s why I openly invite you, fellow trainer, to write a guest post for this blog.

I can offer you 2000 WP followers, almost 3000 followers on Twitter, and near 1000 on Facebook. But most important, a great and active community I love and care about. So, a positive and encouraging message towards a healthy living is required.

Please, email to info@chape.es if you´re interested.

Best,

Chape

 

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My first campaign as influencer

Hello, dears!

As you may imagine reading the title, today is a special day! If you have been following my blog for a while, probably you have noticed the Fitfluential badge but no sign of sponsored post anywhere. This is not a sponsored post either. How to make money blogging is a hot topic any given day of the week, and I want to share my experience with all of you, brothers and sisters bloggers. You made it possible and this milestone is much more yours than mine!

How to make money blogging is a hot topic any given day of the week, and I want to share my experience with all of you, brothers and sisters bloggers. You made it possible and this milestone is much more yours than mine!

New bloggers and new followers may be wondering what am I talking about so, let me explain them and remind you how it all started.

Fitfluential is a huge community of fitness enthusiast but also a platform which connects fitness brands with fitness bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, etc. Anyone who wants to apply for Fitfluential Ambassador has to meet some requirements: followers, daily unique visitors, and so on.

I became Fitfluential Ambassador thanks to your continued support to my blog. So, I will never get tired of saying thank you, dear bloggers!

Once I got in, I realized it wouldn´t be easy to take part in a campaign. Why? Because usually, things are more complicated than they seem. This wasn´t going to be any different 😀 Fitfluential is an outstanding platform based in the USA. The brands give their newest products for free and pay for reviews. But only to US and Canada based influencers. The problem is I live in Spain, and I´m not moving to the US just for a pair of shoes and protein shakes. The thing is I couldn´t apply for any campaign until now.

FitFluential is now partnering with Find Your Influence, a leading influencer marketing technology platform, and I have received a new campaign offer from Sony! Probably, I won´t get paid because influencers have to pay taxes, they have to fill the W-9 form, and there is nothing like that for foreigners (yet?). Anyway, I was looking forward to getting involved in an influencer campaign, so I did! If you only do things for money you´ll do very few things in your life.

Do you want to know what the campaign is about? It has nothing to do with fitness, haha! But I just loved it when I saw it! Jenna Elfman has a new TV show. Her imaginary friend promises lots of laughs! Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c on ABC!

Please, like and retweet to celebrate the milestone!

Big hugs, my friends 😀

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Workouts for free

Hello, dears!

Thirteen months ago, I received one of the most exciting emails of my life, from Stanza. Long story short, after an interview they invited me to use their app and get involved in Nike´s 21-day challenges. Since then, I´ve been thinking, overthinking, and working on my own calendar, trying to find a way to make it helpful and easy to use (myself included).

Thirteen months later, I think I´ve found it! And it feels REALLY good 🙂 If “Get in shape” is one of your resolutions, you don´t want to miss this!

In a single category, you have three daily events with different goals. Each event has multiple routines, you only have to choose the one you want to do. Circuit training to lose weight, strength training, back pain relief, and so on. Currently, there are 17 different routines, but the number is going to get much bigger. Organized like these, I can easily add more routines, but I don´t have to create more events a day.

Well, take a look to my new landing page first, and then I´ll tell you how it works, with more images 🙂

free-workouts-webpage

The key in this process is to hit the “Add-to-calendar” button. If you pretend to do exercise, this shouldn´t be an effort, right?

calendario-insertado

As you see, we have three daily events, but the time is just a way to organize them. Once you sync to your calendar, you can set the time that best suits your daily schedule. Copy the event to your calendar and edit the options. Examples, from Outlook:

ejemplo-copiar-a-tu-calendario

and Gmail:

google-calendar

You can sync the whole category (recommended to stay updated) or single events, the choice is yours.

I hope you like my little Christmas surprise! Wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!!

Big hug, David