Archive for August, 2014

Your attitude makes you sick



I read about a crazy study that involved the researchers gaving people the flu. I remember being pretty broke a few times in my life, but not so broke I would take a few dollars to get the flu.

I hate getting sick. Give me poor and healthy any day.

The researchers studied a group of people over a 6 month period to determine if they were positive thinkers or negative thinkers.

If they had more activity in the right prefrontal cortex of their brain (home to anger, fear, sadness), they were considered to be negative thinkers.

If there was more activity in their left prefrontal cortex (home to enthusiasm, feeling upbeat, joy) they were considered to be positive thinkers.

Then after the 6 months of studying these subjects, the researchers gave them the flu.

The end result was that the negative thinkers had lower antibodies, so they were more likely to get sick and would stay sicker longer. Makes sense to me. That's why Zig Ziglar calls it Stinkin' Thinkin'.


Seems like the negative thinkers I know are sick a lot more often than the positive thinkers I know. Think about it for a second and I think you will find the same.

On the other hand, positive thinking can:

-Increase pain tolerance

-Lower blood pressure

-Lower stress levels

-Lead to better relationships

-Increase sleep quality

-Improve memory

-decrease depression

-Make people more likely to eat healthy, exercise, and rest more

That is just to name a few things positive thinking can do for you. You know what the coolest part is?

You alone get to determine your attitude.

I think that is awesome! There are so many things in our lives we have no control over.


It is the things that we don’t control that stress us out the most. Weather, our looks, other people, etc… If you have no control over them, there is no use worrying about them.

Start making a conscious effort to become a more positive thinker. It is like anything else, if you put the focus and energy into changing your thoughts they will change.

Barbara Fredrickson, an expert in positive psychology, recommends a 3 positive thoughts to 1 negative thought ratio. Write that down as a goal and make it happen.

“Psychology trumps physiology.”-Alwyn Cosgrove

How to workout in an office chair



How many of you are trapped at your desk for 8 plus hours a day? Are there a lot of days you don't even get the chance to take a lunch break, much less take time to workout?

The American Heart Association recommends that you get 30 minutes of physical activity, 5 times a week at a minimum. Pretty hard to do that when you work an exhausting and time consuming job.

This is where the office chair workout comes in handy.

Before we move on, just know that you have to meet 2 requirements to do this workout:

-you have the freedom to move around a little bit

-You don't mind people thinking you are the crazy person in the office

This workout is assuming you work 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. It also assumes you have a chair with wheels on it. Just stick with me.

This workout will not always be feasible, but a little something always beats a whole lot of nothing. Write that one down, that was pretty profound.

Here is how it works:


Set an alarm to go off every 15 minutes. Every 15 minutes you will do the exercise for 1 minute, changing exercises every hour. You will get 4 total sets of each exercise in each hour.

Hour 1- Jumping Jacks

As an alternative, you can do chair jacks. Just do the upper body part of the jumping jacks. Don't be surprised if people think you are drawing attention to yourself.

Hour 2- Squats

Use your chair as a guide. Feet shoulder width apart, push your hips back, keep your knees out, sit away from your knee caps, and slowly lower yourself down towards your chair. Lightly tap your chair, then stand all the way up.

Hour 3- Chair Plank

Place your forearms on the seat of your chair, walk your legs out until your body is in a nice straight line. Hold that position, make it harder by rolling the chair back and forth with your forearms.

Hour 4- Pushups

You can do the pushups on the floor, hands on your desk, hands on the wall, knees on the floor, hands on your chair, any option will do.

Hour 5- Push back/walk in

The moment you've been waiting for. This is where the wheels on the chair come in.

Place your hands on the edge of your desk, hands shoulder width apart, explosively press backwards (don't push quite as hard if you are on hardwood floors).

Next, you will dig your heels into the ground and walk yourself back to your desk. Great hamstring workout.

Hour 6- High knees

Run or march in place getting your knees up as high as possible.

Hour 7- Reaches

Gets me every time

Gets me every time

Feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, lift your right heel, pivot, and reach your right arm across your body to the left side, repeat with your left arm. Make sure to pivot each time, letting your belly button lead you to the side.

Make it more challenging by squatting down lower as you pivot.

Hour 8- Basketball shots

Knees slightly bent, feet shoulder width apart, we will start with the right hand being the "shooting" hand. You will pivot and step to your left, reach out with both hands, and grab the invisible ball, step and pivot back, then shoot the invisible basketball.

If you have ever seen a 3 point competition, that is what you are mimicking. Alternate the shooting hands each minute, so both sides will each get 2 sets in.

If you want to make it a little more interesting, this is a great way to get rid of all the balled up papers and trash around your desk.

This will net you 32 minutes of exercise every day at your desk. You can start working in crazy stuff like foam rolling, stretching, yoga, etc... later on after you fully break your co-workers in.

You will find that you are more productive, energetic, and will more than likely reduce a lot of your back pain due to the decreased amount of sitting.

The Magic Fat Loss Formula



A pastor was hired at a new church. He came in on his first Sunday and blew everyone away with his first sermon.

He wowed the congregation with his second sermon. But by the third and fourth sermon, people started to get a little concerned.

The pastor had preached the exact same sermon 4 times in a row. Some of the elders of the church decided it was time to sit down with the new pastor.

The elders said, "Pastor we sure think that is a good sermon, but why do you keep preaching the same one over and over."

The pastor said, "I will stop preaching this sermon will people start doing what it tells them to do."

Now you know why so many of my e-mails sound familiar 🙂

We are all looking for that Easy button to press to make weight loss easy. The truth is that it takes sticking to the basics that you have heard for a long time.

Before you start looking into buying some fancy ab equipment on TV, have you tried planks to strengthen your abs?

Before you look at ordering expensive supplements, have you tried cleaning up what you eat?

Before you look at wraps to shrink your fat, have you tried exercising intensely 3 days a week on a consistent basis?

Before you go looking for that magic fix, remember the basics. If you are looking for a Magic Fat Loss formula, then use this one from Dr. Chris Mohr.



Start there, do these things on a consistent basis and see how the magic works. Once you can make all of these things a habit, then you can start the fine tuning.

Keep coming back to the basics until you get to where you want to be.

Workout Challenge



Your Official Healthy Weekend Plan



Most people can do pretty good during the week. You get into a routine, you do your scheduled exercise program, and you handle your business.

Then the weekend comes and it is laying on the couch surrounded by pizza boxes and bon bons. Maybe that’s just me…

A study in the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine found that people who were sedentary during their leisure time (watching TV, video games, computer time, etc…) were 3 times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease. Pretty scary right?

So I want to help you out. Here is the official Joe Martin Stay Healthy on the Weekend Plan. Needs a better name, but I have been sitting too long as it is. On to the plan!


1. Get 30 minutes of fun, physical activity in on Saturday and Sunday

Just get out and move for 30 straight minutes, preferably outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine do a body more good than you think. It can be a walk, a bike ride, chasing your kids (sometimes not classified as fun), etc…

If it rains, I will even count some Wii or Kinect video games. I want you to be as active as possible, as often as possible.

You can’t just count on your workouts to reach your goals, you have to lead an overall healthier life. If you exercise for 5 hours a week, sleep for 8 hours a night, that still leaves 107 hours for you to make or break your fitness program.

Find some healthy ways to fill in those gaps. Stand up more at work, park farther away, use the stairs. Little things become big things when you do them consistently.

2. Make better, bad choices 


Choose the cheeseburger, small fries, and small drink over the Big Mac with Super Sized Drink and Fries, apple pie.  Choose the guy who is unemployed and missing some important teeth over the guy on Death Row.

3. Try to get it right 90% of the time

If you can do that, especially on the weekend, you will be doing better than most. Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t get every meal perfectly balanced with vitamins and nutrients.

Pizzas happen, alcohol happens (a lot on the weekend), just don’t make it happen all the time. I went to a pizza buffet last weekend, I lived. Barely, but I made it though.

4. Eliminate the negative self talk

Why would you ever talk bad about yourself? That’s other people’s jobs! Never talk bad about yourself, it doesn’t do you or anybody else any good. Thoughts become reality, so pick the good ones.

5. Prep your food for the week

Chop up vegetables and fruit. Bake, grill, or Crock Pot a large amount of healthy, lean proteins. Prepare healthy snacks for the week.

The more you do to set yourself up for success, the better your results will be. You know how crazy the week gets, take advantage of this time to help yourself out.

Think about what you tend to eat when there is nothing prepared. Not good is it? Having systems in place beats relying on your will power that will eventually run out.

6. Rest and recuperate

Do your weekends leave you completely exhausted? Are they jam packed with activities from sun up to sun down?

Slow. It. Down. It's ok to have some time where you just do nothing. Those are some of the greatest days ever for me.

I stay pretty busy during the week, but I make sure to take time on the weekends to chill. Not getting up at 4am helps to feed my rest needs too.

Whenever I have a really busy weekend, I feel it during the week. My workouts aren't as good, I feel tired all the time, and I regret it.

Get plenty of sleep, take a nap if you can, and make sure to recharge the batteries. Your stress level will go down and you will feel better prepared to tackle the week ahead.

Your job is why you eat donuts

No will power left

No will power left

If you are wearing a watch, take it off, and put it on your other arm. If you don't wear a watch you can move your FitBit, a ring (preferably not a wedding ring), or anything you wear regularly to another spot on your body.

How does that feel? Is it driving you crazy? I always wear my watch on my left side. Moving it my right just feels so wrong.

Why is that? It still weighs the same. It still tells time. Everything is the same except what arm it is on.

It's because it is out of your routine. Did you know that you have a limited supply of will power?

That is why any time it seems like you focus on really eating healthier, your workouts seem to suffer. Or vice versa. How many times have you finally got in the groove with your workouts and you just can't seem to eat healthy?

It happens to a lot of people! You've exhausted your will power supply.

Think about how much you use your will power throughout the day. Not cussing people out in traffic, not eating every donut made my man, doing work you don't enjoy, etc...

All the things that you do in every day life, but don't like doing take away will power. It's why so many people that have jobs they hate, can't seem to exercise and eat right. Their job has taken every bit of will power they have just to get through the day!

Back to the watch exercise. That is why it is so important to take on one habit at a time.

If you were to wear your watch on the opposite arm for a few weeks, it would eventually feel more natural to you. Just like exercise can begin to feel like just another part of your day when it becomes a habit.

Eating healthy feels great once you make it a habit! But it feels very unnatural in the beginning.

Rather than trying to take over the world in one month, just stick to one new habit a month. Once that becomes a part of your life, then you can look to add more habits.

On Friday, I will give you the official Joe Martin Stay Healthy Weekend on the Weekend plan. This will give you some ways to rely on systems, rather than your will power only.

Never again



It is hard for a lot of people to imagine, but I used to be overweight. Many people think I have always been in great shape my whole life.


They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so there it is.

That was me in high school, 50 pounds bigger than I am now. Every now and then I pull this picture out for one reason.


All it takes is a quick glance at this picture and two words.

Never again.

You have to have that moment in your life when you decide enough is enough.

That you are tired of feeling like crap all the time.

You're tired of the way you look.

You're just plain tired of living a life you're not happy with.

When I was overweight, every time I looked in the mirror it was a visual reminder that I wasn't where I wanted to be. For a long time, I let that keep me depressed and unhappy.

Many people who lose a lot of weight have a moment that spurs them to action. I read this story recently -->Retired teacher loses 250 pounds

Her turning point was she overheard a trainer at her gym mocking her for her weight. Instead of letting it stopped her, she used it as fuel to drop a tremendous amount of weight.

What is your "Never again" moment? What is something you can use as motivation to lose the weight and keep it off?

Find something such as a picture, some old clothes, a memory that will motivate you to stay on track. You can do this, you just have to stay consistent and never get down on yourself.

I hated this lady



I used to drive a black, S-10 pickup truck with black seats. It also had air conditioning for the first 15 minutes or so that I had it.

But I also found a Whitney Houston tape in the glove compartment. I want to dance with somebody! Seems like an even trade. AC for Whitney.


It was a hot August day and the worst part of my day happened. A red light. Stopping at a red light meant no more "air conditioning" for me and it was stifling in that truck.

This was a long light I was stuck at, so I was working up a good lather. Then I looked over and saw something that made it worse.

A lady with such awesome air conditioning her air is being blown straight back like she is a wind tunnel.

This made me so jealous of her that I developed a hatred that lasted for at least the 30 more seconds that I was at that light. But then my literally cooler head prevailed on down the road.

Why was I hating on her for having great air conditioning? Isn't that what I wanted?

I should have been wondering what she did to get that super AC. How could I get that for me?

Famous people get a lot of negative press just because they are famous. Some Kardashians deserve it, but that's for another day.

I'm not the only guilty one on the vehicle side of things. "What's that old man need with a convertible?"

Have you ever seen someone with a body you admire and dislike them right away? It's ok to admit, we all do it.

But next time you see someone at the gym or at a workout that you admire, try something new. Watch what they do.

The people who have bodies and lifestyles that I admire, I study what they do. Because I want to get there one day!

Here is what I have found out. It is a lot of hard work and discipline that goes into being successful.


That is very encouraging to me! Because it does not take one ounce of talent to give it your all. Anyone can be more successful than they are now.

Make it a priority, study the path to get there, and never give up hope. People are achieving great things all the time.

Why not you?

For parents of teenagers



If you are a parent of a teenager, first of all my condolences for what you are going through. I coached middle school football for 7 years and it was a very unique experience.

Mood swings, hormone changes, breaking down in tears at strange times. It actually did a great job of preparing me for what I'm doing now. Kidding! But not really...

I'm joking around, but if you have a teenager there is something serious you need to know. If your teen is overweight now, there is a good chance he or she will become overweight for the rest of their life.

Studies have shown that overweight teens have a 50-80% greater chance of becoming overweight adults.

It makes sense if you start thinking about why most teens are overweight. They have developed poor nutrition and exercise habits over the years and they take those habits into adulthood.

It is your job as a parent to prepare your child for life and that includes teaching them how to lead a healthy lifestyle. You can't do that, if you aren't living it yourself.

I know you would do anything for your children. So this is your chance to give your child something that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

-Teach them about reading food labels.

-Let them know the dangers of processed food, fast food, and sodas.

-Help them find active hobbies that they enjoy.

-Teach them how to cook and prepare healthy, delicious meals on a budget for when they leave your house (hopefully).

-Help them discover that exercise is not confined to a treadmill and weight machines.

There are a hundred things you can teach them, but the main thing is to teach them something! If you don't know these things, there is no better way to learn than teaching.

Educate yourself or get help, but make sure you do something because this is a very important topic that is often overlooked. Today is always the right day to start and now is always the right time.

PS-if you have younger kids, it is never too early to start teaching them.

Using your brain to train, the Mind Muscle Connection



This is a tip you can put into practice in your next workout. It involves what fancy people call the Mind Muscle Connection.

The idea is that if you focus on the muscle you are working it will increase the effectiveness of the exercise. For instance, Arnold Schwarzenegger used to picture his biceps turning into mountains as he did bicep curls.

Now this may or may not be a goal of yours. And it doesn’t work for everything.

I sometimes lay in the sun and picture myself being as tan as George Hamilton, but I just end up burnt and peeling. So let’s stick to exercise with this technique.


The next time you do any resistance training exercise (his works with weights, bands, bodyweight, anything heavier than air) give this a try. Focus on the muscles being used for that exercise.

Picture them working through the full range of motion. Picture how you want that muscle to look. Do that exercise all the way with the muscles involved.

Let’s use the bicep curl for an example again. If you are doing a bicep curl,  concentrate on your bicep doing all the work. Keep everything else still, no swinging at that hips, no slinging your arms around. Just folding your arm up, squeeze at the top, and then lower the weight down under control.

Put an image in your head of that muscle doing all the work. As you raise the weight up and especially as you lower the weight down.

The lowering part, or eccentric contraction in fancy talk, is one that many people neglect. Have you ever lifted a weight and then let it just kind of flop back down on it’s own? Um, yeah, don’t do that anymore.

Remember to ABC:


Be in

Control of the weight


Start focusing more on muscles and less on the movement you are performing. You will see a lot of people just trying to get the weight up and down by any means necessary.  This is usually done with momentum doing most of the work, rather than their muscles.

Start taking advantage of the mind muscle connection to improve your form, reduce your injury risk, and get better results.

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