What if you could do something for 5-10 minutes a day for one week and you would reap the benefits for the next 6 months? And the benefits would include:
-higher quality sleep
-get sick less often
-less physical pain
-lower blood pressure
If you could put that in a pill, you could retire and live like a boss the rest of your life. But it is not a pill, does not require physical exertion, and it doesn’t cost you a thing.
It is simply the act of practicing gratitude.
Practicing gratitude has been thought of as a religious or spiritual technique by many people and has many skeptics of its benefits. But there are several scientific studies that back up these claims.
My challenge to you is to test this theory out. We all have 5 minutes in our day to make this happen if we are intentional about it.
Don’t overthink this one. Just spend 5 minutes each day thinking about and writing down things that you are grateful for. Pick a time, either first thing in the morning or before bed, and start. The hardest part is starting.
Then from there, just remember there are no wrong answers. You are doing this for you and you don’t have to show this to anyone. Just. Start.
Are you willing to give this a try?
I was listening to the Art of Manliness Podcast yesterday because I’m always working on my manliness. The interview was with one of my favorite people in the fitness industry, Dan John.
Dan John is a guy I really respect because he talks about true fitness being fit in all areas of your life. Meaning, if you are just a set of six pack abs but the rest of your life is a mess you are doing it wrong.
He practices what he preaches too. He is a world renowned strength coach, record holding athlete, devoted father and grandfather, best selling author, and a well regarded religious studies instructor and lecturer. A true, modern day Renaissance man.
In the podcast, Dan started talking about the concept of shark habits. A shark habit is something you do once and you are done with it, just like a shark eats. Gulp.
Some examples he uses are: when he opens an e-mail he responds to it on the spot; he bought 16 of the same shirts so he doesn’t have to think about what he is going to ear the next day; when he receives a wedding invitation he RSVPs on the spot; when you are booking flights, go ahead and get the rental car and hotel too.
Those are just a few examples that he uses all the time. The main benefit of all this?
It frees up brain space.
Couldn’t we all use a little more of that? I know I can. Clearing the clutter, not keeping you bogged down in the minutiae of life, and allowing you to focus on things that really matter.
What are some shark habits you could do to improve your health? What are things in your day that seem to take up unnecessary time and mental effort? Start there and find out how to conquer them.
I am going to start with the e-mail responses. I get SO many e-mails I can easily get bogged down, so I will start there. If you are unsure of where to start, I would suggest doing another Dan John special.
Create a list of the top 14 foods you eat all the time (the average person eats 14 foods per week). Write them down and make that your grocery list every week. Then use that base of foods to make a weekly menu of foods. When meals are taken care of everything gets easier.
Find your shark habits today and see your life become easier.
It's crunch time! Also, Nestle's Crunch time. We have 2 months left in the year and they are crucial.
Think about how most of your years have gone from this point. Your workouts slowly start to fall off. Your eating habits start to backslide. Stress levels go up, weight goes up, and sleep goes down. A bad combination.
Then the New Year starts and you just don't feel like exercising to eating right. You feel sluggish, out of shape, and just blah. Pretty sure that is a word.
What is your plan to not let that happen this year?
You need a plan! Something to help you maintain your fitness level and maintain your healthy eating throughout the holidays. The plan will only work if it takes into account that you are still going to be enjoying yourself.
The good news is, I have a plan you can use and it won't cost you a thing. Just another gift for continuing to read these e-mails.
Make sure you open the e-mail I send you on Friday to get your copy of the Holiday Survival Guide. Tips, recipes, workouts, and more to help you figure out a game plan to get through the next two months.
2018 is the year you crush your goals and it all starts now!
I know it, you know it, and your kids definitely know it. You are going to slowly eat all of your children’s best Halloween candy when they aren't looking.
This will go on until one day your kid will wake up to a bag of those orange and black candies, a Chick-O-Stick, and some UNICEF change. Happens every year.
So what’s a health conscious, candy-stealing parent to do? If you are me, first you justify that you are doing them a favor by eating their candy because they don’t need all that. Second, you need to develop a plan.
Step 1- Out of sight, out of mind
Put the candy in a place where you and your kids will not be tempted every time they walk into the kitchen. A top pantry shelf is usually a good place to use.
Step 2- Awareness
Despite looking so “fun” and innocent those little candy bars will add up. PopSugar, oddly enough, has a chart where you can look at the calorie, sugar, and fat content of the most popular fun-sized candies. Eat a few of those and next thing you know, you’ve taken in a quick 500 calories. Enjoy the spoils of being a Halloween candy tax-collecting parent, but be aware of what you are taking in.
Step 3- The Aftermath
Not only do you have your child’s candy to contend with, but often times you have leftover candy AND everyone brings their leftover candy to work. I would suggest you either donate your excess candy or donate it. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and organizations who support our fighting men and women overseas are a few options to donate to.
The candy at work problem is a little trickier. You can suggest that you donate the candy as an office to one of the above-mentioned organizations. If not, avoid the places where the offending candy is as much as possible. Avoiding temptation is easier than overcoming temptation.
Also, don’t let yourself get too hungry at work with no healthy options or you will find yourself curing your hanger by eating small families of Snickers.
All of it gets back to being aware and having a plan to overcome. We will get through this, stay strong.
PS-when in doubt, just steal all the work candy and donate it. Burn this message after you read it.
I had the opportunity to do a boot camp for a group of breast cancer survivors this week. It was such an awesome experience! Two things really stood out to me about this group.
The first thing that stood out was the diversity of the group. There were women of all races, ages, sizes, and backgrounds. Cancer truly does not discriminate and can affect anybody at any time.
The other thing that stood out was how positive they all were! Laughing, smiling, and supporting each other the whole time. It was a sight to see.
They were all a part of a program at Huntsville Hospital called Surviving and Thriving. An awesome program that helps women overcome all of the obstacles that come after treatment. If you ran the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run this past weekend, you helped to fund this group.
Two takeaways that I would like for you to glean from this. The first is, please stay informed about breast cancer risks. Ask your health care provider which screening tests are best for you and how often you should do them.
The second take away is to never fight alone. Whether that is facing cancer, depression, or anything else. You are not alone. Get with a friend, find a group, talk to somebody. It is a hard step for a lot of people, but one you need to take
In my fitness business I train a lot of moms. Including my own mom. It is one of the things I really love about what I do. Moms continue to amaze me with what that they are able to accomplish.
I mean think where we would be without the patented "mom licking her thumb to get something off your face" move? We would be living like savages.
Giving birth is not a pretty scene, let's just put that out there. The beauty of childbirth is a myth along the lines of Bigfoot.
It is a miracle for sure, but an ugly miracle. There are also many changes that occur with childbirth, but there is one that continually crops up pertaining to exercise.
The peeing problem.
Yep, I'm going there. Because it is a real thing! Hardly a day goes by when I don't see a jumping jack turn into a flapping of the arms with no jump.
I don't even ask any more, I just know. There is about to be trouble up in here if she keeps jumping.
So I want to offer a fix for this problem in the form of a little something called Kegels.
What are Kegels?
They are exercises for the muscles of your pelvic floor that get their name from a doctor named Arnold Kegel.
I'm working on getting an exercise named after me one day. Hopefully a totally different muscle group will be involved.
The purpose of Kegels is to strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor. Just like any other muscle if you exercise it, the muscle will improve.
On the flip side though, if that muscle is not exercised or gets damaged it will not function like it used to.
Why so you need to do Kegels?
Besides, the main reason I mentioned earlier, there are several reason why you should do kegels. Lately I have talked to several people who have older parents suffering from incontinence.
It has been a horrible experience for both the parent as well as the child, as you can imagine. They want to help their parents any way they can.
It is not just age that can cause incontinence; the pelvic floor can be adversely affected by giving birth, a sedentary lifestyle, and being overweight.
Along with incontinence (of the bladder and bowels if you really want to know), weak pelvic floor muscles can cause prolapse of pelvic organs and decreased sexual enjoyment.
How do you perform Kegels?
Like all heartwarming stories, this one starts in the restroom.
Next time you are urinating, contract the muscles that stop the flow of urine. These are the muscles you are looking to work. Chances are you have done Kegels before and didn't even know it.
Have you ever been peeing, heard a suspicious noise, and cut the stream off? If so, then you have gotten your Kegel on! That looks much worse in writing than I imagined, but I'm still going with it.
Once you figure out the correct muscles to contract, don't do it any more while urinating. You can actually weaken these muscles by continuing to contract the pelvic floor muscles while urinating.
Start off by contracting these muscles for 10 seconds at a time, then build up as your muscles get stronger. You can do these every day and at just about any time of the day. You might get a funny look on your face, but who cares?
This is a simple, but effective technique that can really improve your quality of life. If you know of anyone this article can help, why not pass it on to them? Anyone can do them and they can help everybody.
PS- do you know what else helps? Having a stronger booty. Keep doing those squats, deadlifts, and bridges!
On Friday I sent out an e-mail with two resources to help you cut down/eliminate your sugar intake. They are The Sugar Addiction Answer book and the home study course the 28-Day Sugar Free Me.
Both resources are each $19.95 a piece and come with a money back guarantee if they don't work. That is my promise to you, either they work for you or you get all your money back no questions asked.
These will take the guess work and frustration out of having to try to kick this habit on your own. Use these step-by-step instructions for your very own success blueprint.
You just need to decide what type of person you are. If you are a dive right in, give me all the information at once! Then you would choose The Sugar Addiction Answer book. You get all the information right away to consume at your own pace.
If you are more of a give me the information in small doses, so I can process it and understand it. Then you would want to take the 28-Day Sugar Free Me Course. With that, you would get one lesson per day for a month.
You can choose which one you would like below:
Health professionals have been saying for years that there is a connection between sugar and cancer. Now scientists have discovered more about how it actually works. This article describes how sugar traps cancer in a vicious cycle that makes it harder for people to beat cancer.
According to the USDA, average American eats 152 pounds of sugar every year. Then there is this stat from the National Cancer Institute:
In 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease.
While cancer is obviously the worst-case scenario, sugar has several other negative effects on our bodies. Weight gain, poor digestion, decreased energy, brittle bones, and so many more bad things we don't want in our lives.
And since I'm on a roll with the bad news, I will remind you that we are reaching the peak time of year for sugar intake. It starts with Halloween, goes to Thanksgiving, holiday parties, Christmas, and then New Year's. You will be surrounded by sugar very soon, if you aren't already.
What is your plan?
If you don't have a plan, I have two options for you. The first one is my home study program for kicking sugar, called The Sugar Addiction Answer.
The goal of the book is to help you:
-Cut your sugar intake
-Gain more energy
-Reduce mood problems
-Learn about physical and emotional causes behind sugar cravings and ways to counter them so that you can control your cravings without going cold turkey
-Learn ways to get sustained energy without the ups and downs caused by sugar
-Learn to use food to curb sugar cravings
-Learn how to identify hidden sources of sugar
-Learn about sugar substitutes, and their pros and cons
It costs $19.95 and is a digital download so it is available right away so you can get started. You can get that here --->
The other option is the 28-Day Sugar Free Me. It's a 28-day program that is easy to understand and follow. You will get a step-by-step plan for weaning yourself off of sugar and replace your stress eating habits with new, healthy habits.
You get daily lessons, tips, and tools to help you fight off sugar. Everything is laid out step-by-step all you have to do is start!
Both of these options come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you try them out and they do nothing for you, please let me know and I will get you your money back.
I'm very serious about helping people with this, so I wanted to take all the risk away. It works or you get your money back, simple as that.
Also, if you have purchased The Sugar Addiction Answer in the past you get free enrollment in the 28-Day Sugar Free Me course. Please send me your purchase receipt and I will get you set up. Take that sugar!
We do our boot camps outside pretty much year round. This time of year is the absolute best. Makes all the hot and cold days from the rest of the year worth it.
If you’ve never exercised outside on a regular basis, now is the time to give it a try. I think once you give it a try you will be hooked!
Here are 10 reasons you should take your workouts outside:
1. 50% greater improvement in mental health over gym workouts.
2. It decreases tension, anger, confusion, and depression
3. Increased rates of exercise compliance (easier to stick to your workout routine).
4. Vigorous, outdoor exercise increases energy and alertness better than a cup of coffee.
5. Increased Vitamin D levels. On a related note, people with low Vitamin D levels are twice as likely to be overweight than people with normal to high levels of Vitamin D.
6. Helps you sleep better at night.
7. Test subjects scored 50% better on a creativity study after exercising. Side note- you have to go technology -free for this one to work.
8. No need to worry about germs on the equipment during cold and flu season or waiting on a piece of equipment during your workout.
9. Better way to increase your fitness level, especially for runners. Dealing with wind, temperature changes, different terrain, etc... makes your body work harder, expend more energy, and become more resilient.
10. The variety of workouts you can do outside is only held back by your imagination.