Thursday, May 5, 2011

MackeyFit's Top Ten Tips for Maintaining a "Fitness Lifestyle"

It's been a while since I've written an article or blog, and this topic has been on my mind so I thought I'd share a little fitness expertise with the world today! Here is my two cents on how to enjoy a successful "fitness lifestyle", as I like to call it. If you have already made the decision that you want to maintain a healthy, strong body for the rest of your life then this blog is for you! '-) If you haven't, then perhaps it will inspire you to see how easy it can be. Staying fit is not a sprint, it's a marathon - so set your pace accordingly '=)

A little background if interested: I had the great fortune of being a student to Dr. Joan Duda, back at Purdue, who was the Sport Pyschologist to the USA women's olympic gymanastics team at the time. She was one of the most fascinating and one of the best professors I ever had, and she kicked off a huge interest I have in the psychology of sport, exercise and fitness. On this topic, I have also completed training as a performance consultant with Marc Sagal of the Winning Mind and Dr. Robert Nideffer here in San Diego, who likewise consult olympic and other professional athletes as well as groups like the Navy Seals, where optimal psychology is the difference between winning and losing, or a successful or failing mission. Back at Purdue I had a couple conversations with Drew Brees about these topics as well! Now he is a Super Bowl Champion who I think has some of the best 'psychology' I've ever seen in terms of his ability to shift his focus, have resilience, be a leader, etc.

So I have learned that the same principles are true across the board for performance and success of any chosen activity - it's all about attention and focus; knowing who you are (including your strengths and weaknesses), doing what you love, and matching up your skills to the right activities. The following in an accumulation of the observations I've made over almost 15 years as a trainer now, and from absorbing the wisdom of all of these other professionals.

1) Select activities and workout modalities that you enjoy.

If you are having fun, you'll stick with it! Identify whether you are social exerciser or an independent one....some people need to play sports like soccer or flag football in order to be motivated to move and thrive on being part of a group in order to maintain regularity with it. Others are internally driven and enjoy pushing themselves and that is where they find their 'fun'. Whatever it is, follow your bliss.

2) Recognize that exercise is accumulative and can be most any form of physical action.

You dont' have to be a slave to a gym in order to stay in shape. Dance, kayak, garden, walk, hike. Do yoga in a park, get out and commune with nature. Anything that gets the blood pumping and energizes you is an effective form of activity and invigorates the mind/body/spirit entity.

3) Select activities or workout modalities that are right for your body type.

I'm always surprised when I see people out running whose bodies just weren't made for it, for example. I think I can literally hear their joints screaming in pain when they are out pounding the pavement and the biomechanics just isn't right. I want to stop driving and encourage them to get on a ellipictal machine, or get in the pool instead. You get the idea....its not about judgement or criticism - just recognizing that we all have different body types that will be more or less conducive to different types of activitiies. Let me know if you need any help determining the right types for you, because energetically - it can make a world of difference in terms of how your overal energies in life are balanced or unbalanced, in harmony or out of harmony.

4) Be nice to yourself.

This may sound simple and on one level it is, but there is plenty to it. Dont' worry about comparing yourself to other women or men or trying to look like someone else - you have your own figure, shape, abilities, genetics, and beauty! Just focus on mastering yourself, and maximizing your own potential. You define what healthy and fit looks like to you, don't let advertisements do that for you. If you dont' feel like working out or being active one day, dont' feel guilty, just try again the next day. Go easy on yourself by showing yourself love and your body will appreciate that by responding with more energy.

5) Use your intuition.

For me this is actually the number one thing I do.....I totally trust myself, my body, my energy, to inform me on what type of activity is right for any given day. Sometimes you may need an 'active recovery day' - do some stretching, yoga, tai chi, walking, etc. Sometimes you may need a 'passive recovery day' where your body just needs rest. That one is self explanatory '-) Other days you'll sense your energy is at a peak and you may want to climb Mt. Everest......or do a 1-2 hour intense workout. Pay attention to the most intelligent machine on the planet because you are living inside of it.

6) and 7) Think Holistically - You are Energy

I combined these two because they really can't be separated.

We know so much more now than we did ten or twenty years ago about quantum physics - and it informs us that every cell in the body is connected energetically. Every cell breathes together, pulses together, communicates together, thrives together, and can even die together. Every thought is a prayer, sending your intentions out into the world, and determining your state of health. Every single thought. If that in itself is not motivation to think positive thoughts and reflect them in consistent/congruent behavior, I don't know what is! We are just a product of our thoughts and beliefs its simply mindblowing. Change your thoughts and your change your entire being. I also like to use the astrology chart to gain further insight into this realm of things, in order to know HOW to this for myself or with/for others because it is a literal map of what the soul is trying to learn and evolve towards in this lifetime. Fortified with this information you can learn about the state of each energy 'vortex' or 'wheel of light' in your body - otherwise known as chakras. As far as I'm concerned - this information is the key to knowing how to heal or restore energy in the body, despite any malady that may occur.

8) Challenge Yourself

If you like a challenge and most of us do to some degree, decided to learn a new activity that you like, do something with a friend that you thought you couldn't do alone or just do a little more than you previously expected of yourself.

Remember that "yesterdays homeruns don't win today's ballgames" (Babe Ruth) - so if you are constantly mixing it up you won't get stagnant or bored. Stay in the present moment and expect to do well.

9) Set Goals

This one too is pretty obvious - but hold a vision for what you want to accomplish in terms of daily, short term, mid range and long term goals. It can be as simple as "I want to do some form of physical activity every day", or as long range as "I want to win the IronMan Triathalon in Kona, Hawaii!". Again if you need some assistance with setting these contact a trainer/coach like myself who specializes in helping people establish and achieve these sorts of things.

10) Attitude is Everything

Engage in the mystery of fascinated by everything....allow everything to be a source of your happiness. Don't be someone who looks for excuses for why things can't be done, but one who seeks pathways where there were none before, and therefore finds them. Be someone who believes they can achieve anything, and you will be right.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bowflex Instructional DVD clip

2004 Bowflex Video and Photo Shoot

After Teaching Fitness Classes in the Phillipines

Playing with the kids of the island of Negros Occidental, near Bacolad City in the Phillipines, part of a two week missions trip on the island.

Just finished teaching fitness classes for kids and local phys ed instructors of the Phillipines. We also worked to build a storage unit for physical education equipment, and toured the area's grounds for missions purposes.

(Feb. 2001)

With the help a dear friend John. D of San Diego, we were also able to provide some the older kids with a brand new Taylor guitar. They had started a band and had no instruments whatsoever!

Inspirational Art Video - Mackey Exhibit (2004)

A inspirational/meditation type video I produced in July, 2004 to coincide with an art exhibit I held in San Diego, CA at a local restaurant called 'The Abbey', to benefit The Special Olympics. The theme of the show was 'Dimensions of Spirit and Space; An Invitation to Recall Your Own Magnificence.

Friday, May 30, 2008

What is Holistic Fitness anyway?

What is Holistic Fitness?

Holistic fitness is a term that I have furthered and developed over the past 10 years or so with my own work, to identify the difference between exercising the body just for physical purposes or appearance, and the more integrated, multi-dimensional view that takes into account the different dimensions of what it means to be fit and healthy.

When I think of what it means to have a healthy, fit body, I ask – are you able to function and do all of the things you want to do in life, with relative ease, fluidity, and pain free?
Is your body flexible, strong, and full of vitality? Do you have the energy you require to meet life’s daily tasks? Do you feel good, both internally, and externally?

When it comes down to defining what it truly means to be fit… the end of the day, it isn’t just about having a chiseled abdominal 6-pack folks! Delete those misleading infomercials from your mind – for there are very few out there that preach the truth of the matter. One has to consider all of the necessary dimensions – emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically, to encounter what it truly means to be holistically fit and healthy.

We’ll focus on just a couple of these in this blog entry, and look at the key point that allows the ‘fitness’ wheel to keep turning and burning for you.

What I find to be the synthesizing point that holds all of these together is the spiritual component, because our connection to our source (or our highest self) is in direction relation to our ability to be able to LISTEN to our own bodies, with the intuitive gift we are all given.

It comes down to this – when your body tells you what it needs, do you listen and respond? Have you developed the awareness and consciousness with which to pay attention to the cues? Your body is a wonderful vehicle, perfectly designed to shuttle you effectively through life, if you cooperate with it, take great care of it, and refuse to abuse it! You must become skilled at cooperating with the information your body sends you, if you want to most easily and effectively meet with optimal fitness for yourself.

If we had to make it through an entire lifetime with just one car – we would most likely be very cautious and thoughtful with its maintenance right? We would pay great attention to protecting and preserving it.

If we listen equally attentively to our body’s signals, we can effectively get in sync with what our bodies need to achieve harmony of health/fitness at any given time.
For example – if you are experiencing a lot of muscular tightness – would it make sense to go crank out some more heavy weight lifting sets or to take a yoga class? Similarly, if you’re exhausted, know your limits – and make the choices that shows you respect and love yourself – give it some rest, or a massage, or some healthy food to assist the restoration and rejuvenation process, instead of participating in any sort of ‘breakdown’ type activities.

Holistic fitness, to me, really can be that simple…….listen to your body, respond accordingly, and you’re there! Use that intuition and trust it! Your bodies are very wise – please don’t forget that!

Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding this article, or any holistic fitness related topics. In upcoming blog entries, I will expand on some of the themes and ideas I’ve introduced here, so come back for more!

Yours in fitness,

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Great Yoga Video for Home

If you dont' have time to make it to a yoga studio or class, here's a great video that we shot a couple of years ago for the Nautilus company. (I'm featured in it as one of the participants.)
It's got 3 20-minute segments and is great for beginner to advanced exercisers.
It's available for $20 at the Nautilus website. Link below:

Friday, August 3, 2007

Want a REAL answer to your your nutrition dilemma? Trust me on this one. This is 'the stuff'.

Feeling sluggish or unusually tired? Do you remember to take your vitamins every day? On the go and looking for quick meals that are actually good for you? Need some energy and need it fast, and sustained for up to 6 hours?

I've shared this with a lot of my clients, but everybody needs to know about it, because this is absolutely the BEST product I have found in terms of a complete meal replacement, and supplement of ANY KIND to get all of the vitamins and minerals and everything else under the sun that my body needs. You can find it online for about $50 (plus shipping) or in Henry's or Whole Foods for about $69. At about $2.50 a serving (or meal) it's a steal for all that you get. I mix it with Rice Dream and a bananna.......and feel like a champ afterwards '-) Give it a try!

More info:

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Seven Sacred Truths

Title: The Seven Sacred Truths
Acrylic on Canvas
Completed: July 2007
Size: 12" x 36" (1 x 3 ft.)

You may place an order for a giclee print to be produced.

Symbolism and meaning of this painting:

The seven sacred truths are synonymous with the 7 chakras or major energy centers of the human body.

The Truths are:
1. All is One - we are all connected. (root chakra)
2. Honor One Another. ( Sacral chakra)
3. Honor Oneself. (solar plexus chakra)
4. Love is Divine Power. (heart chakra)
5. Surrender Personal Will to Divine Will. (throat chakra)
6. Seek Only the Truth. (3rd eye chakra)
7. Live in the Present Moment.

for more information: visit

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Get Your Noodle On : The Summer Pool Workout

With the warm temp's and long days many clients are ready to mix up their routines and take to the water for some exercise. If you have access to a pool with length for swimming laps, and a deep end to do some wading, you're in business for a great workout. The following is a workout I designed for overall fitness, muscle toning, and total body cardiovascular conditioning. Try it out! ( and visit to set up private training sessions for these or other types of workouts.)

Some accessories that assist:

1) Foam Water Noodle
2) Hard Foam Kickboard
3) Goggles (and swim cap if you like)
4) Aqua gloves and or shoes

  • Begin with 4 to 5 laps of breaststroke or freestyle to warm up, swimming the length of the pool
  • Return to the shallow end, standing in water that comes about mid-torso high.
  • Perform 30-40 'Water Jacks' - jumping jacks with extra added water resistance, making sure to keep the palms extended and open.
  • Follow this with 30-40 squat jumps, propelling yourself out of the water as you leap up and down into a squat as you come down, immediately propelling upward again.
  • Next wrap a water noodle around your waist and tuck it under your arm area. Move both ends of the foam toward one another, out in front of you, simultaneously in a chest flye motion. Make sure to use the resistance of the water to assist as you perform this exercise. As you bring the ends back to the starting position, perform a 'reverse flye' against the motion of the water you just created. This works the back musculature and rear deltoids nicely! 30-40 reps.
  • Rows - extend the noodle parallel out in front of you holding onto the ends and drop it into the water, pulling it back toward you against the water in a rowing movement. Pick it up out of the water, extend your arms out in front again, drop in water, and repeat the motion. 30-40 reps.

Cardio Interval #1

Running from side to side of the pool.....Exaggerate a running movement by lifting the knees high and rotating at the waist and with arms pumping as you cross the width of the pool, touching side to side, for 10 lengths.

Run backwards for 5 lengths, and do 5 'side shuffles' as well. Always be aware of where you are in the pool, glacing backward or to the side if necessary so you dont' hit any walls '-)

  • Continue workout with kickboard extended out in front of you, just using the legs to butterfly kick the length of the pool for 3 to 4 laps. This is very challenging, as it takes a lot of kicks to make any forward motion.
  • Next perform 'frog kicks' as you dram the feet up toward the rear and then explosively extend back. 2 laps....looks like the breastroke kick.

Upper Body Toning

In addition to those rows and chest flyes above, you can work the upper body with :

1) push ups on the side of the pool, standing waist deep

2) aqua gloved tricep kickbacks with arm curl combination

3) aqua glove shoulder lateral and front raises

4) and push ups that you do UP and lifting and holding onto the edge of the pool, as if you were going to 'get out', and then returning to standing position waist deep in the pool.

5) if you have a diving board, you can do pull ups on it. just be careful of hitting your head '-)

Cardio Interval #2

Deep Water Wading - 5 minutes. Use water noodle under armpits to support and help float if necessary. Progress and Advance to doing it all on your own.


1) In the deep end, with water noodle still under the arm pits, lift the knees up in a reverse crunch position toward the stomach/chest. Extend and repeat 25-30 times. You can also do this with legs extended.

2) Perform #1 with a bit of a torso rotation as you lift up, involving the obliques, or 'side abdominal musculature'.

Finally, stretch at the shallow end:

- hamstrings, inner thighs, chest stress, overhead triceps stretch, calve stretch on the wall, and neck rotations. If you have a partner to assist you go for it!

Have fun and let me know if you have any questions!


ps - here's an article on how and why aqua workouts are gaining popularity:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Welcome to the Mackeyfit Blog Site!

Change Your Body.
Change Your Mind.
Change Your World.

Welcome to Mackeyfit Holistic Health's Blogsite!

With my holistic fitness business I encourage the development of, and fuse together the principles of inner strength, creativity, intuitive/symbolic sight, self-awareness, total consciousness, and inner peace to enhance total health and well being. I'd like to use this blog site as an opportunity to further discussion on these topics, as well as to offer periodic insights and thoughts on everything between life, love, art, inspirational stories and quotes, and general health topics.

Please participate and leave comments and thoughts as well! You're welcome to post health and fitness (or other) questions here too, just please keep them relevant! Thanks. I look forward to hearing from you.....