Health Podcast Post

Holistic Wellness with Andy Tsz Chiu Chan

George Grombacher November 10, 2022

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Holistic Wellness with Andy Tsz Chiu Chan

LifeBlood: We talked about holistic wellness, why being healthy is so hard, the importance of taking a personalized approach, and how to get started, with Andy Tsz Chiu Chan, author, Founder of Faithful Fitness and movement based strength and conditioning coach. 

Listen to learn why wellness success is found a little bit at a time!

You can learn more about Andy at, Instagram and LinkedIn. Get your copy of Dynamic Balance HERE.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher


Andy Tsz Chiu Chan

Episode Transcript

Unknown Speaker 0:15
my god, this is George G. And the time is right welcome today’s guest strong, powerful Andy Chan. Andy, are you ready to do this? Let’s go. Let’s go. Andy is the co author of dynamic balance. He is the founder of faithful fitness. He is a movement based strength and conditioning coach helping people lead healthy, happy and healthy lives. Andy, tell us a little about your personal life’s more about your work and why you do what you do.

Unknown Speaker 0:41
Yeah, hello, everyone. My name is Andy. I am a personal trainer. I’m a corporate health consultant, I’ve been doing many of those. The reason why I do what I do, is because growing up, I’m fascinated by this talk about his idea of making an impact on the world. And what I’ve found is that every single day, I’m literally helping those around me, helping people move better, thereby living a healthier life, thereby staying away from pain. And so to me, that is super fulfilling and satisfying. And that is ultimately the why behind what I do.

Unknown Speaker 1:17
Yeah, life is challenging, just normally. But when you’re dealing with chronic pain all the time, it makes it way worse. So So I appreciate that. How did you how how’d you get started, walk us through sort of your your, your, your progression to where you are now.

Unknown Speaker 1:35
Yeah, so my undergraduate degree was actually in accounting. And then it’s onto my master’s, I did human movement science. So after I got back from the US, I was in the US for 10 years, including University and I came back to Hong Kong and of all things, I wanted to become a professional soccer player. And back then I was actually thankfully, I was given the chance to go on a trial with a local pub, a Rational Team.

Unknown Speaker 2:02
But once I got there, at the time, I was doing more bodybuilding type, style, type style workout. So I was built, I was focusing on isolated muscle parts, so I’ll be a bit bulky. And then you know, I remember being in training, one day, we’re doing these agility drills on the ladder. So for those who don’t know, you know, he set up cones on the floor, and you do all these flashy fancy moves to work on your coordination rhythm. So, you know, we were going about the drills and fitness coach pulled me aside, and he was like, you know, Andy, when other people would do this drill, they kind of just move around smoothly. But when you do it, you have you have your arms out to the side. And instead of just turning in a rapid fashion, you kind of do like a robot and you do 180 degree rotation before changing directions. In another words, why are you so stiff,

Unknown Speaker 2:52
essentially, and I had a bit of a epiphany, because I realized what I was doing inside the gym, did not help my performance outside the gym. And so subsequently, that’s how I got started to become a personal trainer. And then I went back to school because I realized I needed to be more academically equipped in order for me to actually have a legitimate career in the fitness industry. Nice.

Unknown Speaker 3:14
So fascinating, right? You’re, you’re, you’re spending the time to to build muscle. And at the same time you’re interested in and are pursuing professional sports as as, as a soccer player, and there’s also this other element of actual flexibility and functional movement.

Unknown Speaker 3:39
Fitness there’s a lot been been been healthy, there’s a lot

Unknown Speaker 3:43
Oh, you’re absolutely spot on. I mean, these days when when we do a workshop, I mean I I kind of tell them that it’s kind of a mixture of your diet.

Unknown Speaker 3:52
The way you move and of course the wellness aspect, right we now all you have to do is go online and you realize that a lot of the emphasis is on wellness and the way we manage our lifestyle, because turns out that one hour you spent inside the gym is only one hour of your 24 hour day, right? So there’s so much more to gym than just gym.

Unknown Speaker 4:13
Yeah, it’s I’ve never thought about it like that. It’s like I’m a healthy person. Well, are you how much time are you really spending? Well, I’m in the gym for you know, 45 minutes a day. Okay, well, what about the other 23 hours and 15 minutes? Let’s let’s let’s talk about that too.

Unknown Speaker 4:27
Exactly. And then once she but the problem is right from this wellness perspective, if you talking about it, how much are you talking about? Because if you’re over stressing it is it’s also a bit too much. Right? So I think it’s kind of the sweet spot. I call it the dynamic balance point that we kind of look for. Because what you’ll find is that you need to have a good balance in your diet. You need to have a good balanced in the way you move in the hours that you put into the gym. And you need to have a good balance in the way you manage you know your emotions and your mental health. So everything that’s when you add up

Unknown Speaker 5:00
Getting together, that’s a lot of things to juggle. And so the the important part, the important point that we have to make is, is that we do not want to kind of overcomplicate things, but at the same time to complicate it so,

Unknown Speaker 5:15
right, that’s, that’s the trick. Refer to that in the financial world is planning tolerance is I can easily overwhelm somebody by talking about, you know, investing in the stock market, and this that the other thing, or I can give somebody, not nearly enough information, and both of those are ineffective, because there’s not going to be any action taken.

Unknown Speaker 5:37
Yeah, and also, I am a firm believer in principles, because I think general principles can go a long way. You know, I think sometimes the problem with the fitness industry, I’m sure in the finance world is that people give specific advice without accounting or considering what the person you’re talking to actually needs. And and you cannot just say that this is a good financial plan, or in the same way, say that this is a good diet for everybody. Because you know, the amount of factors, everybody’s dealing with different things, depending on the life stage that they’re in, and the occupation that they they’re doing.

Unknown Speaker 6:14
Right? Do you want option A, B, or C like no that that that’s, that’s, that’s not going to work to be able to tailor a solution.

Unknown Speaker 6:23
So when you are in working with corporations, I think that makes a lot of sense to me, because we get so many of our benefits from the places we work. So bringing some kind of a Wellness Benefit to employees so that they have access to it probably really increases the odds, they’re going to take advantage of it versus me as an individual going and seeking out all this stuff on my own. Yep. And that is absolutely true. And, and also, it also goes back to my why, right? Because if my with my why is to help people move better than if I’m always just working with those who are at the gym, more likely than not, they would have somewhat of an experience inside the gym, and at least they would like to be there. Whereas sometimes if we do these bigger talks at a corporation, then you get someone with absolutely zero knowledge, and they want to move but they’re intimidated by the gym. And so what can we do? What can I do to get them started? Easily? Or what? What can we do just to kind of get the ball rolling? And then and in that way it is it is very fulfilling? Because the hardest part in anything is to get started.

Unknown Speaker 7:33
Yeah, there’s no doubt. That’s interesting, right? Folks who are already at the gym and working hard are probably already converted, we don’t need to necessarily preach to them the same way that just regular folks who are have no exposure are intimidated, as I’m sure that that’s a lot of people. Sometimes I walk into a gym, and I feel mildly intimidated. I’ve been walking to gyms for a really long time.

Unknown Speaker 7:57
So how do you I’m sure it’s a I’m sure it’s an art form for how you sort of kick off a meeting and help people to feel comfortable asking questions and paying attention and just just being there and being involved.

Unknown Speaker 8:11
Yeah, well, I actually have spent a decent amount of time just reading up on listening. Because, you know, contrary to what people think, obviously, I’m not on a podcast as a personal trainer, people think that my job is to talk. But actually, I train trainers as well. And I tell them our job really is to listen. And the problem is American culture. You know, I was there for 10 years, it taught me how to talk how to be a good presenter, you know, we talk with charisma, we talk with I don’t know, open posture. But I haven’t been to a single course where it taught me how to listen. And so, you know, I remember this book I read, it’s called, you’re not listening by Kate Murphy. And it sounds essentially, whenever we go to go into conversation,

Unknown Speaker 8:58
we have to go in with the idea of Tell me more. So if I’m talking to a new client, if they just say anything about you know, their lifestyle, or their life choices that they have made today, instead of asking why which kind of leads them to be defensive, why do I explain myself to you? I asked them, you know, tell me more about this choice that you made. Why why? You can tell me, you know, if they say that, if that snacks, you know, what makes us next so tasty. And, and so if you if you kind of go at the questions that way, then they’re gonna feel like you’re not really judging them. And then the next thing you know, they’ll tell you everything. And that’s the first the second thing is, don’t put the emphasis on yourself. Great. A lot of times when some people share with us what happened throughout the day or what happened in their life?

Unknown Speaker 9:46
The you might be tempted to relate by saying, Oh, that happened to me too. But when you do that, you’ve put the emphasis on yourself. Because then the person might be oh, you know, I had a cat and I love the cat for example. I mean, but then you said

Unknown Speaker 10:00
Oh yeah, I’m a cat person too, then the conversation just ends there because the person was sharing about herself or himself. And so these are really the two advice that I give people in order to make them feel comfortable, right? Number one is you need to be genuinely interested and just tell the client to tell you more. And second, if they, when they do tell you more, you keep the emphasis and the focus and the spotlight on the person you’re talking to not on yourself.

Unknown Speaker 10:28
Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. And that is something that we all need to practice, it is a skill like any other. And that magic phrase, tell me more is, is a super powerful one. So So I appreciate that.

Unknown Speaker 10:42
Assuming you have a short amount of time to be interacting with, with the folks who are at the companies you’re working with and potential clients. How do you? Is there a way to maximize your time? I guess it depends, but in those three areas about diet movement, and then the psychological and emotional component, how do you how do you get people started?

Unknown Speaker 11:09
Yeah, I, I first get them started by kind of what we did in the beginning, when I tell them that gym is only one hour of the 24 hours. And yes, I’m here mainly as a fitness coach as a fitness instructor. But I want you guys to be aware that it’s what’s it’s those other 23 hours, that kind of sets our lifestyle and determined who we are, because we are what we eat. And I’ll usually throw that face in there some some throughout the throughout throughout the workshop. And then I would usually do a lot of movement, because no one wants to sit there in a workshop just to hear me talk about diet and emotions. But rather, I’ll probably do a lot of moving first cuts, because that’s the bread and butter of what I do from the movement outside to actually mental health. reason I do that is because you’ll find a lot of office workers and other people, a lot of people deal with love stiffness, right, have lower back stiffness, feel like I have a stiff neck, I have a stiff, yada yada yada. And a lot of times that is linked to our emotions. Because if you think about it, humans, whenever there’s a perceived threat, or whenever there’s an actual threat, we have to tense up in order to fight a flight or in order to run away or to fight the perceived threat, hence the fight or flight response. And so as part of the response we tense up, and in this way, we can see that well turns out our our body, the stiffness is a response of my nervous system. And so if I’m stressed all the time, I’m going to be stiff. So we have to first make the connection, that you might be stretching every single day. But if you don’t relax, when you’re stretching, if you don’t find ways to calm down, then all the stretching you do is useless. And so in that way, we established that there’s a connection between kind of our physical well being, and our mental health. And then we go into the diet, because when we think about stress, whenever we’re upset, we’ll feel butterflies in our stomach. And we all have been there, you know, below the stomach, whatever we eat just doesn’t digest well, because in the fight or flight response, but resources in the body is utilized by our muscles. And so digestive system is temporarily shut off. And this explains why we have butterflies in the stomach. So what I’ll also make a point there is the diet can be amazing. And I mean, these days people, some people have amazing diets yet, they still don’t achieve good health. And that’s because they get too caught up memory pinning out the conversation we said, trying to find dynamic balance to where I don’t want to stress myself out too much. Because those who stress themselves out too much over the diet also won’t have good digestion. And so here’s where our diet and emotions are linked. And lastly, because our muscles are mainly consist of fluid, and so if we have a diet that dehydrate us, that also is counterintuitive to good health and, and so you know, in simple ways that took three minutes, and it was quite concise, at least hopefully, to all listeners out there. They can feel and they can start to see that oh, okay. There’s actually more connection than we thought. Because in the US, we’re taught to go to different experts for different things, right. But we don’t really we’re not we’re aren’t taught to see the big picture. And the big picture is everything is connected. Hopefully it just makes sense. Yeah, no, it does totally.

Unknown Speaker 14:34
And, and I 100% agree it is it is a very, very American thing to want to segment everything and really understand how this thing works. And then I’ll go on the other thing over there when in fact, they’re all interconnected and how I what I put in my mouth is going to have an impact on how I feel, you know, emotionally physically and how I am able to perform and everything else

Unknown Speaker 15:00
So, if I’m clenching my fists and grinding my teeth while I’m stretching, that’s probably not going to work.

Unknown Speaker 15:07
Hey, that’s right, I’m gonna use that next house really good, I’m going to step next step. So

Unknown Speaker 15:14
that makes a ton of sense in, I’m a huge fan of how small bites, you know, small amounts will add up to huge amounts, even though we have a hard time keeping that in perspective. And just for me, personally, that’s what I try to do. If I don’t have an hour to go work out, I’m still going to try an exercise every day and just get some movement because I know that that’s better than nothing at all. It’s the compound effect, right? It’s like in financial planning, or you have to save up because the word every month, you know, you think of a snowball, right? It just rolls up without you knowing it. And in 10 years time, we better than everyone else. And and it’s the same with exercise and diet, and everything we do just a little bit every day, could go a long way in the long run. And so, you know, we kind of circle back to how we get started. Another.

Unknown Speaker 16:04
Another important point that I try to make is that my workshops is all about everyday practical advice. And I’m sure it’s the same with you, George, you know, we want to have practical advice to leave and, and for me, the one thing that everyone should start doing is just working on their breathing, whenever there are gaps in the day, right, because, you know, we all live a busy lifestyle nowadays, especially with Instagram, social media, there, there’s there’s always a seamless, so if we can just find gaps throughout the day to downregulate. And to take some deep breaths, then at least we can kind of calm down the mind. And as we just illustrated when we calm down the mind, it can lead to a lot of better effects. And so that’s another way where we get people to get started first. And that’s just such a small thing. And as you said, you know, a small practice everyday can accumulate and can amass to something extraordinary in the long run.

Unknown Speaker 16:59
I think that if you were to tell me that 10 years ago, I would just would have blown it off and that guy, whatever breathing, but I now appreciate the immense power of it. And it’s such a small thing. So if you’re listening, and you’re like, Yeah, whatever. Just take a little bit of time right now, and breathe in and breathe out and just do that for a minute or two. And you will, you will feel a huge difference. So it’s a small thing, but like we’re talking about just a massive difference.

Unknown Speaker 17:33
You’re absolutely right, George.

Unknown Speaker 17:36
I know that. Randy, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you?

Unknown Speaker 17:42
Yep, so the the interconnectedness between diet, emotions and movement, I explore and expand on this topic in my book dynamic balance, so they were balanced can be found everywhere books are sold, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Hudson, etc. And if you want to get in touch with me, I’m on Instagram at Teach you Andy. So my Chinese name Tsz Chr. You Andy. And I also have a website cheat Again, TS Z CHR So if you want to know more about my work, if you want to get in touch with me, or if you want to just kind of message me. I’d love to hear from you your feedback, suggestion or anything, so just find me on those places. Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed this as much as I did show Andy your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas pick up a copy of dynamic balance wherever you buy your books. It’s dynamic balance. Find Andy on Instagram, under teach you, Andy it’s Tsz ch IU and d y and then find a Thanks again, Andy.

Unknown Speaker 18:49
Thank you, George. And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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