awareness // Tag

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20 Dec

While there’s some debate in the functional fitness world whether handstand holds, handstand walks, and handstand push-ups should be considered functional movements, I would say it doesn’t really matter.





People want to learn them.


They’re a cool party trick, they’re satisfying to learn, and they make you feel young and limber when you’re doing them (if you become proficient, that is).


As a former national level gymnast and now fitness coach of more than a decade, I have learned the biggest challenge to learning a handstand isn’t strength. It’s not even mobility, although that’s a close second.


The biggest limiting factor to handstands is a lack of body awareness upside down. People kick up but then they freak out because they have no idea which way is up and which way is down.


Thus, gaining body awareness is the first step in being comfortable upside down.


Below are five progressive exercises to focus on to build that body awareness.


Body Awareness Step 1: Inverted Box Hold

During a box handstand holds, your feet remain on the box while you invert yourself. They’re a great starting point to getting upside down, as they will keep you a little more safe and stable than a full handstand against a wall.


When you’re in this position, spend 5-10 seconds pressing your hands into the ground to get a sense of which way is down, and then a couple more seconds getting as long as possible in your spine toward the ceiling to engrain which way is up.


Make sure your body is as inverted (vertical) as possible on these. It helps to take a video to see if your torso is vertical.



  • Try 3 to 5 sets of 20 seconds where you spend 10 seconds focusing on your hands driving into the ground and 10 seconds lengthening your spine to the ceiling.



Body Awareness Step 2: Inverted Box Hold Weight Shifts

Beyond knowing the which way is up and which way is down, you also need to know your left from your right if you want to walk on your hands. And you most certainly need to be able to shift your body weight from your left side to your right side as you walk. These weight shifts are great for teaching just this.


The idea here is to shift your weight toward one side of your body and then gently lift the other hand two inches off the ground. Then shift the other direction and lift the other hand.


  • Perform 3 to 5 sets of 10 weight shifts per side.



Body Awareness Step 3: Inverted Box Shoulder Taps

These are slightly more advanced than the weight shift. This time, instead of lifting your hand two inches off the ground, lift your hand and tap your shoulder. This is also a great way to build balance and control upside down.


  • Try 3 to 5 sets of 10 shoulder taps per arm.



Body Awareness Step 4: Handstand Weight Shifts

Although you can do these with your back to the wall or facing the wall, I prefer them with your front facing the wall as it forces you to get into a better handstand position. So, if you can wall walk or cartwheel your way up to the wall, this is preferred.


If you’re doing them with your front facing the wall, focus on keeping just your toes and nose touching the wall. If you’re doing them with your back facing the wall, focus on being in a perfect hollow body position and lengthening your spine as much as you can.


The idea here is the same as the inverted box weight shifts, only now you’re in a full handstand position.


Check out the video for both variations: back to the wall and wall facing.


  • Perform 3 to 5 sets of 10 weight shifts per side.



Body Awareness Step 5: Handstand Shoulder Taps

Same as the above: You can do these with your front facing the wall or with your back against the wall. In either case, focus on a perfect handstand position and on moving slowly with control as you shift your weight and raise your hand to tap your shoulder just like you did during the inverted box shoulder taps.


  • Perform 3 to 5 sets of 10 shoulder taps per side.



Body Awareness Bonus: Freestanding Shoulder Taps

If you can do these, walking on your hands across the gym will be a breeze.


Credit: Source link

23 Sep


This weekend Southwest Florida is celebrating 17 years of NAMIWalks, which is the nation’s largest mental health awareness and fundraising event.

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

The entire community is invited to join NAMIWalks on Saturday in Fort Myers Centennial Park where nearly 400 participants are signed up to join the NAMIWalks 5K in an effort to raise money to battle mental illness.

If  you don’t feel you are able to walk a 5K, there are other ways to particpate. You can be a sponsor of the event, as well as a committee member, team captain, team member, individual walker, or just volunteer to help.

If you would like to register or want to find out more information about the event, and what you can do to contribute, visit the NAMIWalks page here.


Credit: Source link

22 Sep

The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) celebrated their 16th year of “NAMI Walks” being the nation’s largest mental health awareness and fundraising event.

September is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the 2019 NAMI walk was celebrated with friends, family, vendors, and other organizations in Memorial Park.

The 5K walk began with participants and volunteers making their way to Carroll College.

A total of 437 people walked, separated into 45 teams, and walked in unison to advocate for mental health awareness.

About 56% of the NAMI Walk’s fundraising goals were met this year, with $84,000 raised toward their goal of $150,00.

It’s estimated that about 20% of children from the ages of 13-18 experience some form of mental illness and 43.8 million adults, nationwide, suffer from depression in a given year.

NAMI spokesman Pete Aspinwall, told MTN News about the significance of the walk: “The whole idea behind the NAMI walk is to help dispel and lessen this whole idea of stigma that’s been attached to mental illness, by making people much more aware of what mental illness is and what it is not.”

He continued, “The idea is to kind of squash stigmas as much as we can, to educate people about mental illness, and to make people aware of all of the organizations that are here to help.”

For more information on the NAMI organization and how to participate,

click here to visit the website


Credit: Source link

21 Sep

“He was a great kid, loving. I can’t really put it to words but he was the best,” said Jack Hilken, Hunter’s best friend and participant of Skate for 8.

The event is about getting kids on the ice for a fun friendly game of hockey that honors the love Hunter had for the sport.

The no-check hockey games started with squirt and peewee. Then it changed to a girls game. After, they had bantams and junior gold play, and ended with the Duluth Fire Department playing the Duluth Warriors.

The event is focused on raising awareness on mental health and suicide prevention.

“With society and school and pressures today, it’s a very important big issue that we need to tackle,” said Fronden.

“This helps the cause. You can have some fun and get ready for hockey season,” said Hilken.

Donations and funds from the event are going to Sources of Strength, a peer-to-peer support group that started in the Duluth school district this at Duluth East and Denfeld.

“The main goal is to eventually create peer leaders in a sense that can create a bridge between student and faculty and resources that can help if you’re struggling,” said Shanze Hayee, a spokesperson for Strength for Sources.

Peers are trained on techniques they can use to help those struggling with mental health.

“You connect people with resources of strength in their lives to help create a better environment in terms of mental health,” said Hayee.

“Being touched by suicide personally myself and all of the parents, I don’t want to see it happen to anybody else,” said Fronden.

Several booths at the event provided information on local mental health resources.

Hockey pucks, shirts, and bracelets with the number 8, hunter’s favorite number, were sold at the event.

The Fronden family hopes to make this effort grow every year, knowing they’re making a difference in the community and honoring hunter’s memory.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever really know how many people we’ve touched because a lot of people don’t want to talk about this, but by us doing this we are raising awareness in showing that there is support for everybody here,” said Fronden.

A dinner and raffle for the Skate for 8 event is taking place at Clyde Iron Works from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

To learn more about Skate for 8, click here.

Credit: Source link

21 Sep

Bettendorf, Iowa (KWQC) – About 1,000 people registered and participated in the 16th annual national mental health awareness walk on Saturday despite the rain at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Bettendorf.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has “NAMI Walks” events all across the country to raise funds and awareness to help combat the stigma around mental health.

“We are working on this event for months and months prior so this event goes on rain or shine,” said Laurie Edge, Great Mississippi Valley NAMI instructor. “Even though we had the rain coming down, we still had about 1,000 people come and walk and participate.”

In the Quad Cities, NAMI Greater Mississippi Valley puts on the event and has raised about $100,000 so far.

“The funds that we receive from the walk are used to provide education and support services for the community,” said Edge. “All of our services that we provide are free to those who receive it.”

Other places from the Quad Cities came to show their support.

“We wanted to form a team and show how much NAMI means to us,” said Genesis Social Worker Bekka Jacobs. “We refer to them all them time and they refer to us. It’s a great resource in the community so we wanted to come out and show our support today.”

Edge said it is important for family and friends to take part in awareness events like this.

“Unfortunately those who live with a mental illness many times live in fear and shame of the stigma. So it’s the family members who many times become the voice,” said Edge.

“This is a brain disorder — nothing more. The people who live with a mental illness many times don’t recognize it and they can’t control it. It’s not a pull yourself up by the bootstraps kind of mental illness. It’s far from that.”

Jacobs came to the event to show support for those battling mental illness in her life.

“I’ve had personal mental illness struggles with people in my life as well as professional life. I’ve always been really involved with this field even if I wasn’t working in it. It’s really important to me and I’m proud to be here today,” Jacobs said.

Great Mississippi Valley NAMI said it hopes to reach its goal of raising $120,000 over the next month.

Credit: Source link

15 Sep

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) – A clubhouse in Bangor for people with mental health issues is raising awareness about help in the area and raising money at the same time.

Photo: Pixabay

Melodies for the Mind, a musical event to benefit Unlimited Solutions Clubhouse will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 10 at the Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center (PAC). The inaugural fundraiser will be held on World Mental Health Day, a day that aims to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world, while mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. This musical event is designed for the public to learn more about mental illness while enjoying live music.

Melodies for the Mind is a concert to benefit Unlimited Solutions Clubhouse, a psychosocial rehabilitation program offering those with mental illness opportunities for employment, education and wellness. The evening will include the stylings of Maine Street R&B Revue and the Retro Rockerz, as well as a special performance by Unlimited Solutions Colleagues. Tickets are $20 each and available at the door, with family pricing also available. For details on family pricing or the event itself, e-mail

Unlimited Solutions Clubhouse is a service of Penobscot Community Healthcare. Find more details online at

Credit: Source link

15 Sep

“She was so full of life, full of energy,” said walk participant Dominique Garcia.

Garcia and her family walked for her sister Briana Martinez. Martinez died by suicide four years ago.

 “She would get bullied a lot. There’s really no tolerance for bullying and this is what this walk is for—for people that feel like they are getting bullied or they have no hope and no resources,’ Garcia said. “This is a place where they can come and have resources. People show the love and show ways to deal and cope with mental illness.”

Garcia’s friend Tay Salazar had a message for anyone out there who is struggling with suicidal thoughts.

“Make sure you guys do get help because there is a lot of help out there,” Salazar said. “I used to struggle and now I work in the health field and help people so don’t give up, just keep fighting.”

Bee Chavez with the New Mexico Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention organized the walk and said it’s important to raise awareness.

“We also raise funds to help support our education and advocacy,” Chavez said. “Our peer to peer support groups that we run and just help survivors get over the grief.”

Chavez said the walk also helps break down the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health.

“I think the stigma around suicide really affects families and maybe they don’t feel comfortable talking about it so here they can say either I’m struggling or I lost somebody, and so it’s just and open space for them to say it and tell their story because their story does matter,” she said.

For those struggling with thoughts of suicide and other emotional concerns, call the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line 1-(855)-662- 7474.

Credit: Source link

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