Archive for July, 2017
I was a chaperone for a church youth trip this past weekend. We took the kids to a conference called Motion that was held at the BJCC in Birmingham. It was amazing, overwhelming, and I don’t think I slept more than 6 hours total the whole time we were there. Sleeping on the ground is rougher than I remember. Hashtag feeling old.
Something one of the speakers said really stuck with me He said that knowledge is doubling every 5 years (some sources say every 18 months). So every 5 years the amount of knowledge the world knows DOUBLES. I think that is so crazy!
Like many things that is a two-edge sword. On one hand that means everything you need to know about health, fitness, nutrition, exercise or anything you want to learn is out there for you. On the other hand, there is a lot of garbage out there.
In your every day life think about how often you are bombarded with TV commercials, plugs on Facebook, radio ads, and Spam e-mails for weight loss advice, products, and services. I Googled weight loss yesterday and it came back with 270 million results.
How do you know what is legit? There are a few things that have always worked and will continue to work forever. The basics are not sexy or exciting but they are effective.
Are there great supplements out there? Absolutely.
Are there weight loss systems that help people? Yes!
Are there diets that work? Every day people are successful with any number of different ways of eating. But ask yourself these questions first before you try something crazy: -Could I work out harder and be more active (especially outside of your workout) overall?
-Could I eat more foods that I prepare and eat out less?
-Do I take in a lot of empty calories? (junk and processed foods, soft drinks, alcohol)
-Does my body need more sleep at night?
-Is my stress level too high?
That is a very oversimplified list, but if you answered yes to the majority of those I would start there. Exercise, proper nutrition, recovery, and stress management are building blocks of your health. If one of them is off, it negatively impacts the rest of them.
Where do you need to start? Pick one building block and start there. Over the next few e-mails I will break down each of the building blocks.
Let’s get back to the basics, so we don’t have to sift through all the confusion that is out there.
A recent study published by the Huffington Post found that 31 million people skip breakfast every day. Every day! My biggest problem is holding myself to only one breakfast a day.
Another recent study found that HALF of breakfast skippers are overweight. Breakfast skippers have been shown to: -eat 40% more sweets -drink 55% more soft drinks -eat 45% fewer vegetables -eat 30% less fruit In my informal studies, I have found 4 common reasons people skip breakfast and a few ways to help combat them. 1. "I work and have kids, how do I find time to cook breakfast?" Here are some quick, healthy breakfast ideas that take 5-10 minutes to make: -An apple, 1-2 ounces of cheese, and a handful of walnuts
-Green smoothie- Here are some recipes --> 5 Green Smoothie Recipes
-Plain Greek yogurt, mix in almond butter and fruit such as blueberries or strawberries
-Scrambling eggs really doesn't take that long. Heat up a non-stick pan with a little coconut oil (yep coconut oil, that’s a story for another day) over medium-high heat, when hot crack 2 eggs straight in the pan, scramble, and it only takes a few minutes. You can sauté some onions, peppers, and/or spinach to get some veggies in there. Or if you want a few options to try before an early morning workout, you can try these for some quick, light fuel.
-1 small banana
-Toasted English muffin spread with 2 tsp. strawberry jam
-1 cup nonfat or low-fat yogurt
-Half cup of oatmeal with protein powder or peanut butter
2. "I'm just not hungry in the morning."
There are several reasons why you might not hungry in the morning and that’s ok! You might need to experiment a little to find out what works best for you. This article does a good job talking about some of the reasons you aren’t hungry first thing in the morning --->Elite Daily
You can try starting your day by simply drinking some water or doing some light exercise around the house. Many times this will be enough of a signal to your body that you are ready for some fuel. Or if you are a morning exerciser you can wait until after your workout to eat. If you STILL don’t feel hungry, it’s fine! Don’t force yourself to eat when you’re not hungry, but make sure you have healthy food planned out for the rest of the day for when the hunger does hit.
3. "I don't like to eat breakfast in the morning because I eat too much in the evening and I am trying to save calories." It is not as simple as just burning off the calories you put in, about 75% of the calories your body uses come from your metabolism. Going too long in between meals for days, months, and even years messes up your internal system that tells you when to say when. One of the biggest steps you can make is when you begin to start eating out of necessity and not out of habit.
4. "I don't like breakfast foods" Who told you that you had to eat breakfast food at breakfast? They're not the boss of you! I am! Whoops, ignore that. Don't feel obligated to eat breakfast foods just because The Man told you to. Eat whatever your stomach can handle in the morning.
Daniel H. Pink recounts an experiment that tested people’s ability to invest in their future in his book “To Sell Is Human”. Yep, I’m using that book again, it’s a good book. They tested the subjects by having one group look at an image of themselves now and then talk to a digital representation of the researchers.
The researchers asked the subjects if they received an unexpected present of $1000 how would they spread it around. The options they could pick from were:
-Use it to buy something nice for someone else
-Invest it in a retirement fund
-Plan a fun and extravagant vacation
-Put it in a checking account
Everything was the same for the other group, except they were shown an image of themselves at 70 years old for one minute before they were asked the question. You can probably guess that the group that was shown an image of their future selves saved more. They put more than double into retirement than the other group did.
A similar thing happens with health and fitness. It is tough for younger people to picture themselves ever having to change what they eat or their activity level. Remember when you could eat donuts, mac and cheese, and pizza every day and still look the same?
Young people are not the only ones. Very few of us take the long-term approach to health and wellness. Not sure about you, but I plan on being around for awhile and I want to be strong and healthy that whole time.
Every day I get the opportunity to make deposits in my account through what I eat, how much I move, how much I sleep, etc… I can also make withdrawals with those same choices.
Take some time and think how you want to look, feel, and move at 50. 60. 70. 80 and beyond. Let that guide your daily choices. Not what you want next week or next month.
Keep making those deposits, minimize the withdrawals, and let’s plan on being those old people that work circles around these other whippersnappers.
-I started my business during a recession.
-I met my wife in a trailer park. (that would be a great country song)
-Some of the best times in my life were times when I’ve been exhausted, dirty, and in pain.
Why am I sharing all this weirdness with you? Because too many people let their circumstances determine their happiness and what they are able to accomplish.
They become victims of what is known as learned helplessness. This is a term coined by Martin Seligman, a psychologist who specializes in positive psychology. My kind of dude.
Learned helplessness is when someone repeatedly experiences something negative that they cannot escape or avoid. That leads to the person giving up even when they can escape or avoid the negatives in life. They feel like they have no control over the situation.
When bad things happen in your life, how do you react? Do you automatically give in and resign yourself to the outcome? Or are you prepared to fight and overcome?
You can begin escaping this helpless feeling by asking yourself 3 questions next time something bad happens. These are questions from Daniel H. Pink’s book “To Sell Is Human”.
Here are the questions with some bad and better responses for examples:
1. Is this permanent?
Bad response: Yes. I hurt my knee, I will never be able to exercise again.
Better response: No. I may have to scale things back, but I will be as active as I can until I recover.
2. Is this pervasive? (pervasive means it’s everywhere)
Bad response: Yes. Everyone who takes fitness classes is narcissistic and rude.
Better response: No. Maybe it was just that one particular lady I was next to in class.
3. Is this personal?
Bad response: Yes. My coach picked on me because he doesn’t like me.
Better response: No. My coach showed me extra attention today because he was helping me with my form.
The main point is take back control of your life. You do have control of a great many things in your life. Attitude and effort are two of the most important things you control.
Bloom where you are planted, stay positive, and don’t let life’s ups and downs that are out of your control keep you down. You never know what that bad thing in your life might lead to if you have the right attitude. Might even find love in the trailer park like all the greats do.
I don't know about you, but I plan on being around for awhile and I plan on being active for the rest of my life. So the older I get, the more I value endurance.
When you hear the word endurance, what do you think of? Running is my guess. That is part of the equation, but not the whole thing. It is about your heart, lungs, and muscles all being able to do what you want them to do for as long as you want to do it.
That is why we are bringing back our Endurance Training class! It will be a 6-week series on Saturday mornings 7:30-8:30am from August 5 to September 9, 2017.
This class will help you:
-Complete 5ks, 10ks, mud runs, and beyond
-Improve your breathing
-Get stronger and fitter
-Have more energy
-Feel better overall
How awesome would it feel to get up a flight a stairs and not feel completely winded? Wouldn’t you love to be able to go hiking, biking, swimming or just being physically active with your family and not be held back by your current fitness level?
This class was a ton of fun and people saw excellent results last time, so I can’t wait to offer it again. There is a bit of bad news.
There are only 15 spots available and they are on a first come, first serve basis. You can reserve your spot below:
PS-There are two payment options after the registration. The shirt option is $89 and includes a tech shirt with our popular Run HSV logo on it. If you just want to do the training, the 6-week series is only $75.
It's been a life long dream of mine to write a fitness post crepe myrtles. Today that dream comes true.
There is a crepe myrtle in my backyard that has been plaguing me. It looks awesome, but it drops its petals on my sidewalk, they stick to the bottom of my shoe, and then I track them into my gym.
So I started off solving this problem by continually sweeping out my gym. Take that myrtle! As you can guess, that didn’t really solve the problem. I was sweeping those petals out every day.
So I really got smart and swept the sidewalk where the petals were sticking to shoes. Listen I didn’t graduate high school with a 2.3 GPA by being a dummy. But guess what? The petals just kept acomin down and that became my new daily sweeping chore.
But if I really wanted to solve the problem, I should the sweet spot where all this is coming from right? By trimming up the branches that hang over the sidewalk I could prevent all this from happening.
There is one caveat for that though. It is not my crepe myrtle. I can trim the ones that I can get to, but there are some that I can’t. I will just have to make it work.
I am a little slow in learning this stuff, but I see the same thing with people with their nutrition and exercise habits. People that try to exercise like crazy to overcome a poor diet.
Then they switch to strict nutrition habits, but then the exercise habit starts to fall off. It becomes too much to handle.
So how do you get to the sweet spot of exercise and nutrition? By changing your mindset.
Don’t try to outexercise a bad diet. That is impossible.
Don’t put yourself on some crazy, restrictive diet that makes you miserable. The sort term results you get are not worth it because it is not sustainable and you will gain all the weight back.
The sweet spot is found where you find some form of movement that you enjoy and you can stick to. Then you find a way of eating that nourishes your body, makes you feel good, and actually tastes good! When you add consistent, effective exercise to consistent, effective nutrition you start seeing tremendous results. And these are long term changes that will stick around.
Then there is the things that are out of your control, like rogue crepe myrtles, thyroid issues, or genetics. If you can’t control it and nothing you can do will change it, then it is time to let that go. You just do the best you can with what you got.
Don’t get down on yourself and don’t use it as an excuse to quit. Just do your best and keep your focus on what you have the power to change.
I was speaking to a group at a college a few years ago and I came to the potentially dangerous "Are there any questions?" part of the talk. I have had some blush inducing moments there, so I always get a little nervous.
But this time, it was not blush inducing. It was more anger/frustration inducing. He actually had a comment and he said "Well, this is good information, but we can't all be successful."
What??? Why not? It drives me crazy when people say stuff like that. You may not be able to get 6 pack abs when you are 60 years old or run a 5k in 15 minutes, but you can do better than you are now. You can improve at any age if you are willing to put in the work.
If you start with that attitude, then I guess you are right. You won't be successful if you are walking around with a self defeatist attitude all the time. Things are not that bad, buck up buttercup!
My wife is a nurse and she mainly deals with older patients. But she met a patient one time that had let herself go to the point that she will probably be bed ridden for the rest of her life. This person is not that old, but she is facing what I would consider a nightmare because she neglected her health for so long.
Don't you think she would trade anything she has to be in a body that could move? A body where she can take care of herself? I'm sure she wishes she would have taken a few more walks and made better food choices, while she still had it in her to do so. I feel so horrible for her because she is a prisoner in her own body and it was totally preventable.
Don't let that be you.
Are you healthy enough to move? Then you can be successful and you can reach your goal. Someone in a hospital bed is wishing they could do the things that you take for granted. Stop doubting yourself and start helping yourself!
Here is your action step. Go 21 days without complaining about anything that relates to your health and fitness.
As a way to keep yourself accountable, use this technique I learned about from minister Will Bowen. Put a bracelet (or a rubber band) around one wrist. Every time you complain, you move the bracelet over and your complaint free streak starts back to zero.
Are you up for the challenge? I hope so because it will absolutely be worth it.
On Monday I challenged you to get in 90 workouts in the time remaining in 2017. But we all know there are times where you get in a pinch and can’t get the workout in you want.
I wanted to give you 2 workouts you could use for those emergencies. These will all be 20 minutes or less, require no fancy equipment, and can be done in smaller spaces.