Archive for February, 2016
I am suspicious of warning lights. This latest warning light started with the not so threatening "Keyboard Batteries Low". It is now trying to convince me that this is an extremely desperate situation.
It takes, what about 1 minute to put batteries into something? But will I be getting up and changing them? No.
This has happened to me before and then I got all mad at myself because I was in the middle of writing something and then my keyboard was useless. By the time I got things taken changed out, my creative thoughts were all gone.
We all have things that like. My wife, for example, is a planner and not a risk taker at all except for one thing.
The gas level in her car.
When that light comes on it is just another pretty decoration for her car dash, not a reason to stop.
The beginning of almost every car trip for us:
-"Hey did you know your gas light is on?"
-"Oh yeah that has been on for awhile, we should probably go get gas."
How about you? What is your thing you avoid even though you know you will pay for it later?
With many people it is starting an exercise program. They get motivated by moments in life that you don't want to have to go through.
The doctor tells you it is time to exercise.
For years you have put on a few pounds here and there now you are 40 pounds overweight and have terrible self esteem.
You have no energy to play with your kids or engage with your spouse.
Don't let it get to that point! Take that first step today.
You know you need to do something, it is just really hard to take that first step. But I promise you that once you take that first one, you will feel so much better.
Do one thing today to get you headed in the right direction.
I sat down to do research for this great article idea I had. I was curious to know what are the actual numbers on what happens when you quit exercising?
Why does it feel like I've never exercised in my life when I take 2 weeks off?
Am I really weaker now or is it all in my head?
Sounds like a really interesting premise right? Well LiveStrong.com thought so too.
So rather than trying to reinvent the wheel here is a link to their very interesting article:
Spoiler alert! Not all of them are things that are unexpected. But I can tell you that #7 encouraged me and then #9 depressed me.
Either way a cool article and a quick read. What number was most intriguing for you?
My wife and I took the train down to New Orleans for a wedding a few years ago. The train is a pretty awesome way to travel if you aren't in a hurry by the way.
We get there pretty late, by my standards any way. It was about 10pm, so it was pretty dark out.
The place we were staying was one of those deals where you pay on-line, the person sends you a code, and then you get the key to your place out of a lock box when you get there. I put the code in this stinking thing about 10 times and nothing!
I was a little tired and admittedly a lot hangry, so my mind was not right. It is always good when you have to preface things like that, isn't it?
I gave the code one more time and then I kind of blacked out. Next thing I know I am holding a lock box that was at one time bolted into a concrete wall. I should have kept a Snickers bar handy...
In the middle of my Hulk Lock Box Smash I am wandering around I see another lock box a little bit down from where I was standing. You can probably guess that the code worked perfectly on that one. That made for a slightly awkward moment for me and the other lock box owner.
How scary would a ginger Hulk be by the way?
Do you ever feel like you are just beating your head against the wall with your exercise and nutrition plans? Giving it everything you have and all you get out of it is a smashed lock box of results. Just go with me on this.
I will let you in on a little secret. Not everything works for everybody.
Sounds pretty obvious, but that truth evades many people. Just because someone you know lost 50 pounds and kept it off doing Workout XYZ and eating ABC does not mean it will work the same for you.
There are several facts that go into, but when you are choosing what workout to do or how you are going to start eating healthier consider a few things.
Consistency- Can I see myself doing this on a regular basis for at least 1 month
Lifestyle- Will this fit into my work/family/home life? If it conflicts with more than one area of your life, it is going to be tougher to establish a routine.
Enjoyment- Are you going to be miserable the ENTIRE time you are doing this plan? If so, don't do it! There are hundreds of ways to get in shape and eat healthier without having to hate your life the rest of your time on Earth.
Be willing to try multiple things before you can find the plan that can give you long term results and that you will actually look forward to doing. There is a plan out there for everyone, it is your job to keep searching until you find it.
This phenomenon is one of the main reasons I have done some unspeakable things to scales over the years. A much more accurate way to see how you are progressing is to see how many inches you have lost, how your clothes are fitting, or body fat percentage lost. Weight is just part of the picture and does not tell the whole story. The scale can go up or down 5-10 pounds in one day!
There are typically two main reasons I see for this weight gain. The first is nothing to worry about, while the second needs to be addressed.
The first culprit in this initial weight gain is water retention. This what happens to a lot of people when they start a strength training program. What you are doing when you are lifting weight is actually tearing them down while you exercise. The process of your body building the muscles while you are at rest is when the magic actually happens. That is why you don’t want to lift weights using the same muscles on back to back days. You have to give the body time to repair itself.
How about when you get on the scale immediately after a workout and the numbers have gone up? Clinical exercise physiologist Jeffrey A. Dolgan explains this brilliantly:
"A person's scale mass is a combination of muscle, fat, bone, the brain and neural tract, connective tissue, blood, lymph, intestinal gas, urine, and the air that we carry in our lungs. Immediately after a workout routine, the percentage of mass in each of these categories can shift as much as 15 percent." Intense workouts cause variability on the scale due to factors like hydration status, inflammation from muscle damage repair (ever been even more sore 2 days after a workout?), even the amount of intestinal by-product or urine and blood volume, Dolgan says.
So no worries! You haven't gained weight, you are just full of hot air 🙂
This tearing down process makes the muscles inflamed. With this inflammation comes increased water retention and then the accompanying, "My trainer/treadmill/Shake Weight/boot camp does not work, why am I killing myself just to pack on more pounds" freak out.
If you are using the Pants-O-Meter to measure success this would not bother you.
The second reason the scale can go up when people first start working out is increased caloric intake. This especially occurs with resistance training because it really gets your metabolism revving, which increases your appetite. Think about how hard it is to burn 800 calories in an hour. Now think about how quick you can put that back in. 10 minutes maybe? You can not out exercise a bad diet.
That is why I recommend keeping a food journal, so you can see in black and white what you have been eating. The rules with the food journal are, “If you bite it, you write it. You hog it, you log it. Tater Tot it, you jot it." Feel free to come up with your own rhymes.
Everything that has calories that you ingest has to be recorded. Liquid calories are especially, so don't leave them out. It is a very eye opening experience to a lot of people who have never kept track before. You can use on-line apps, write it down, however you want to so you will keep track. Use that food journal as a road map to figure out if it is the nutrition that needs to be assessed or something else.The lesson as always is: The scale is a fickle mistress, don’t trust her as your only gauge of success.
We all do it, whether we admit it or not. Watch too much TV.
Does this routine look familiar? Get home from work, change clothes, eat dinner, settle down on the couch for a few hours of TV. It happens right? You're exhausted from the day and all you want to do is relax. Unfortunately, I have a few disturbing stats for you.
-People eat 71% more while watching TV
Mindless TV watching, leads to mindless eating. Focus on enjoying your food, not the TV.
-People who watch more than 19 hours of TV a week increase their odds of being overweight by 97%.
If you are eating 71% more and being sedentary for at least 19 hours a week, that is a recipe for disaster.
-For every hour of TV beyond 80 minutes that you watch daily, your chances of developing Alzheimer's increases by 30%!
The brain, just like your muscles, needs to be exercised. If you are turning your brain off for hours at a time during TV viewing, you will not be as mentally sharp.
We got rid of our cable and have not missed it one bit. Yeah, I'm "that guy". Hundreds of channels and nothing to watch. It is amazing how you can fill your time with more worthwhile activities when flipping through channels or catching up on DVR'd shows is not an option. And an extra $100 in the bank every month doesn't hurt either.
If you are in this routine, try something new this week. I'm not asking you to quit TV cold turkey. Take 30 minutes out of your TV routine and go for a 30 minute walk.
Start there and work your way up. One 30 minute walk per week becomes 2 walks per week, then you could add in 15 minutes of stretching. 15 minutes of foam rolling, etc...
It takes burning a little energy to have energy. The more active you are, the more energy you will have. You will notice that you are much more energized and no longer feel like collapsing into the couch at the end of the day. Break out of the couch potato cycle!
Children are developing habits right now that they will carry for life. Several studies have shown that by the time you are 13, most of your habits are fully formed. That is scary.
As parents, grandparents, aunts uncles, or anyone who cares about kids we guide them to make the right choices. Something absolutely crucial you can pass onto that child is a love of exercise.
Are you out of shape or overweight? Were your parents? Think about where you got your ideas about what nutrition and physical activity look like. They came from who raised us. If you grew up out of shape and overweight, you can still be the one that breaks the cycle!
Give your child a habit that will continue to pay dividends for the rest of their life. The number one way you can show your child the importance of exercise, is to do it yourself.
Here are 5 ways to help your child develop a love for physical activity:
1. Get them to buy in
Give your child some buy-in, let them be the one to choose the activity, and show them that their opinion matters. This will go along way in helping them stick with exercise.
2. Be their cheerleader
Now is not the time to enter drill sergeant mode, especially if your child is overweight. Be their number one encourager, build them up every day, and only use positive words. The world is already a negative place; children don’t need any more from their parents.
3. Explore with them
Be willing to think outside the box and try new things, you never know which one may become a life long habit. You may find something you enjoy too. I will go in the gym and let my son take the lead. He comes up with pretty awesome activities! You have to be willing to participate along side them.
4. Doesn’t have to take all day
A perceived lack of time is what holds back a lot of adults from exercising. You don’t need 2 hours a day to get in shape. Do you have 15 minutes? Then that is the length of your workout. If you have more or less, then that is what you do. Teach them it is more important to have consistent workouts, than it is to workout for hours at a time.
5. Don’t make it a “workout”
Just like you can hide vegetables in their food to trick them into eating vegetables, you can “trick” your children into working out. What sounds like more fun? Sprints or running to that next tree to take cover from enemy fire? Squats or acting like a frog?
In our kid's class we have the kids sprint 20 yards, meet their partner and do The Whip. They can't wait to get to the middle and do the dance. If I ask them to run to the middle, I don't get the same enthusiasm. Stress fun and freedom over formal exercise.
You know the old saying "Couples that sweat together stay together"? Whoever came up with that saying was not married to a fitness coach.
Little advice for any young coach looking to give tips to their significant other. Just skip the advice giving and go straight to the part where you are quiet. Just trust me on that.
True love is working out together and no one is on anyone's nerves. Just pure exercise bliss. I put together just such a workout for you to do on Valentine's Day.
The True Love Partner Workout
For partner exercises 1-3 each partner will do their exercise for one minute, each partner will rest 30 seconds, then switch exercises and do that exercise for one minute.
For exercise 4 and 5, there is no exercise pairing. Exercise 4 is done for 45 seconds. Exercise 5 is 30 seconds on each side, then the other partner goes.
Go through the entire list 3 times, for a full body workout in a fairly short amount of time.
1A. Plank jacks- In the pushup position, you will jump your feet out like jumping jacks. Make sure to keep your hips down. For low impact you can step one leg out at a time or do this from your knees.
1B. Plank hold- Hold the pushup position or hold the same position on your forearms. Don't let your hips sag down or let your hips go up in the air. Low impact from your knees.
2A. Squats- feet shoulder width apart, push your hips back, sit back and away from your knee caps, making sure to keep your knees out and don't let them cave in.
2B. Seal Jacks- Start with your arms and feet out wide. Jump your hands and feet together. Low impact, step your right foot out to the side while bringing both arms out wide, feet back to the middle, then go to the other side.
3A. Jumping jacks- like what you think. Low impact, step one foot out at a time like in the seal jack above.
3B. Flutter kicks- lay on your back, sit with your hands on the side of your butt cheeks. Kick your feet barely off the ground like you are swimming.
4. High five pushups- Set up in the pushup position head to head arms length apart from your partner. Lower yourself down at the same time as you come up you will high five your partner at the top of the pushup. Alternate hands each time, feel free to do fist bumps instead.
5. Anti-rotation push- One partner clasps their hands together and then pushes their arms straight out from their chest. That partner's job is stay still and not let the other partners move them. The other partner will push on the side of their hands, then relax in a pulsing rhythm.
Do you have a word of the year? I'm not talking about the Oxford Dictionary Word of the year.
By the way, do you know what "word" won last year? That emoji that looks like it's crying. It's officially called "Face with tears of Joy". Now you have some worthless trivia.
I am talking about award that motivated, empowers, and inspires you to do more and be more. We were sharing our words of the year in our boot camp Facebook group and there were great examples.
-Discipline -Persistance -Stronger -Simplify -Control -Blessed
And my personal favorite:
Having a one word mantra can be a very simple, but powerful thing. Something to help you get refocused and back on track to reaching your goals.
For instance, my word of the year is momentum. Or if you really want to know, it is actually Joementum.
I use it to help me avoid procrastinating. While I'm sitting down to write a blog post, go ahead and write two of them in one sitting while I'm in writing mode.
Get my workout in right when I have time, not when I think I will have time later.
While I am prepping some chicken to grill later, go ahead and rip up some lettuce and chop some vegetables while I'm at it. And I have used it very successfully this year. Give it some time today and figure out what one word you would like to use as a guide this year.
Jerry Seinfeld was asked his advice on how someone could become a great comedian. I found his answer really helpful and wanted to share it with you.
He told them that the first thing they should do is get a big wall calendar and hang it up. Next thing you do is write jokes every day.
Every day that you write jokes and get better at your craft, put a big, red X on that day. The idea is to start making a chain of these red Xs.
The secret to success is not breaking the chain.
Flip this around a little bit and you could do the same thing.
Every day that you did something to move yourself closer to your goal, put the red X on the calendar. If you are like me and you love crossing items off your list, you will really love this technique.
Some examples could be:
-You prepped a couple of meals for the week on Sunday
-You worked out that day
-You got on your foam roller for 10 minutes
-You brought a healthy snack to work instead of going to the vending machine
There are hundreds of things you could include in there and they don't all have to be huge accomplishments. The goal is to do at least ONE THING per day to get you closer to your goal.
Remember this formula:
Consistency over time= Results