Exercise

Cut The Bull Sit!

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Are you sitting down? I have some news for you. Stand up!

A recent study of older women (average age of 79) published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who are sedentary have shorter life spans and are more likely to have high blood pressure, a history of chronic disease, lower physical performance scores, and are more likely to have experienced a fall in the past 12 months. The researchers found that the most sedentary women were biologically 8 years older than their actual age.

Another study in the same journal studied dementia risk in sedentary people. They studied people who were carriers of dementia markers and those who were not. The subjects with the markers for dementia developed dementia more often, but being sedentary greatly increased the risk of getting dementia for those who did not have the markers.

On a non-scientific note, I was talking to a physical therapist about the types of patients he sees. He said that 90% of what he sees is posture related ailments, the majority of them from sitting.

This is scary stuff! But it also means we can take control of our health by addressing the problem.

The first step is obvious- avoid sitting all day long! If you have a desk job this can be a challenge, but make it a priority to get up and stretch, walk around, etc… at least once an hour but the more often the better.

The second option is to address your desk area. There are stand up desks, adjustable desks that go from standing to sitting, sitting on and exercise ball, practicing good office ergonomics, etc…

The third thing to do is to address your posture. This might mean being more aware of your body position or doing more stretches and foam rolling to problem areas.

The fourth thing to look at is your leisure time activities. If you are sitting all day at work, then coming home and sitting on the couch or in front of a computer the remainder of the day that will catch up to you one day.

If you need more in depth instruction on some of these things or you would like someone to come speak at your office and address these topics, I highly recommend Dr. Nancy Harden from Flexibility For Life. I call her the Muscle Whisperer, she does pretty amazing work.

Are you making deposits or withdrawals?

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It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day grind of your life. Going to work, errands, social commitments, TV, etc... all take up time, energy, and focus. This leaves you with very little left in the tank to do something very important.

 

It is absolutely crucial to think about your future.

 

Will your future self thank you in 20 years for what you are doing now? That steady diet of fast food will probably get a now, while putting all that money into a 401k would get a yes.

 

Thinking long term also helps you avoid getting caught up in short term fad diets and fad workouts. Are you really going to NEVER have a piece of bread again? Is that crazy workout where you keep hurting yourself going to be part of your routine in 20 years?

This hits home for me because I keep getting hurt doing jiujitsu. Some little stuff like broken toes, up to bigger stuff like tearing a ligament in my knee a month ago. Well someone tore it for me, but I was there when it happened 🙂

 

My choice now is to quit or change the way I train at jiujitsu. The way I have been doing it is very physical, never wanting to tap out, and win at all costs mentality. Don’t think 60 year old me will be able to do that. I am choosing to train smarter, not harder.

 

The same thing applies to the way I treat my body overall. Performing more mobility/stretching, getting more sleep, cutting down on caffeine. These are all things I am doing now that will pay off in later years.

 

A big goal for me is to be that spry old man that can run circles around the whippersnappers in the neighborhood. I want to be strong, fit, and pain free for as long as I possible can.

 

Look at the choices you are making as bank transactions. Are you making more deposits or withdrawals in your long term health account?

It’s that time of year…

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Did you know that now is when you see the most dramatic drop off in gym attendance every year? For whatever reason the third full week in February is when most resolutions are over.

If you have given up on the goals you have set for yourself, it’s not too late! There is plenty of 2017 to go, you just need to recalibrate.

Your first step is to find out what went wrong. Did you choose a goal that just sounded good, but not one you were committed to? Did you set too many goals? Did you have the right goal, but it turns out you hate working out?

It could be several different reasons why things did not work out. No pun intended.

Your second step is to figure out a new game plan. Don’t think about having to commit to the rest of the year. Set a goal for the next 4 weeks. As legendary SEAL Joe Maguire says, “Don’t look forward to the pain.” More on that in Friday’s e-mail.

Your third step is to figure out the most enjoyable way you could reach your goals. What types of exercise do you actually enjoy? Roller skating, yoga, swimming, hiking, lifting weights, shaking weights? Pick something you look forward to.

The fourth step is to do the same thing with food the next four weeks. Find some healthy foods that you like. They are out there I promise, you may have to do some experimenting. Or if you prefer you can start with the food first, then try the exercise in the fourth step.

Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to make you miserable. On the contrary it should make you feel energized and excited! You just have to find what works for you, even if it isn’t the typical “go to the gym, eat foods you hate but are super healthy, and look great but hate your life” tract that people get stuck on.

 

What your workout is missing (homework)

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My son is a huge Calvin and Hobbes fan. I love Calvin and Hobbes too, so this is a great bonding experience because those books are still hilarious.

Calvin is a young boy who is always getting into trouble and having adventures with his stuffed tiger Hobbes. Calvin is not a fan of organized sports, so they come up with something called Calvinball.

There is only one rule to Calvinball and that is that you cannot play it the same way twice. My son loves this idea, so we played some Calvinball yesterday.

It is basically just fun, unstructured physical activity with no rules and it is exactly what most people are missing in their workouts!

When did you decide to stop playing? I hope your answer is “Never!”.

Adults need play just like kids do. Probably even more so. We incorporate play into our boot camp classes for that very reason.

Play can: relieve stress, improve brain function, boost creativity and learning, improve relationships, and keep you feeling young. And it is a lot of fun too!

Your assignment is to go out this weekend and have some unstructured play. Life is too short to be so serious all the time.

Run, skip, hop, kick, throw, hike, dance, or whatever form of movement speaks to you. It doesn't matter if you have a kid with you or not, it is even better with a group of adults. The point is to have fun and MOVE!

Adventure Hiking Classes are back by popular demand!

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I've always wanted to do a back by popular demand announcement. So back by popular demand it is our:

 

Adventure Hiking Classes!

 

We did these awhile back and everyone had a blast.

 

The very first hike will be on Saturday, January 21st at 9am.

 

What to expect:

-Gain strength and endurance

-Learn the basics of hiking

-See the most beautiful locations in north Alabama

-Sweat, smiles, and laughter

-Improved mood

 

Hiking is an excellent way to get an effective, low impact workout in. It is also great for your mood and attitude to get out and explore nature.

 

This class is open to women, men, and children who can handle the hiking. If mom and/or dad join, children can come free.

 

There will be 4 different hikes (1 every week, except for Feb 4th) over the 5 week period. Each hike will be different and will last anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours per hike.

This is going to be an awesome class, sign up today!

Adventure Hiking sign up

What you can learn from my basketball “career”

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Somebody could't have slipped me a protein shake or a steroid or something???

Somebody could't have slipped me a protein shake or a steroid or something???

 

Here are a few of the highlights from my illustrious high school basketball career:

-fouled out in 2 minutes (2 offensive, 3 defensive) -played a total of 13 seconds one game -scored 12 points against! But it was against a team that was down to 4 players by the time I got in

 

Ok, so maybe football was more of the sport for me. My son loves basketball and thankfully as some awesome coaches. I do what I can to help him, but I am amazed at how much I have forgotten about basketball.

 

Despite not playing much, I practiced for so many hours and ran so many drills you would think I could retain a lot of that stuff. Not so much, but there is one thing that I remember.

 

Triple Threat

 

Anyone whoever played for Ronnie Stapler (here are a few other things I learned from Coach Stapler) knows all about Triple Threat. I went to school with his daughter and she would each lunch in the Triple Threat position.

 

Triple Threat is a position you get into when you get the ball so that you can easily dribble, shoot, or pass. To this day I get into Triple Threat whenever I catch a ball.

 

My point of all this b ball talk is to get you thinking about what Triple Threat could be for you in regards to fat loss and getting in shape. After you've been exercising and eating right for long period of time, you have the tendency to forget what worked for you.

 

The basics will always work, sometimes they just need tweaking. Think back to a time when you had success with losing weight, getting in shape, etc... What were you doing then?

 

Chances are you were: consistently exercising at least 3 days a week; cooking more, eating out less, and fueling your body with whole foods; doing the extra things that mattered like sleeping enough, being more active in every day life, having a positive attitude, stretching, and getting rid of harmful stress.

 

Or maybe you were in college and could eat, drink, and do whatever you wanted and still look good. That doesn't count.

 

It’s time to bring back your Triple Threat. Exercise, Healthy Eating, and the Little Things That Matter.

 

You don't have to start doing all of them today, just pick out the easiest one for you to start and then start! Make that step a habit (however long it takes) and then add in the next one. The key is changing something to get you started in a positive direction.

Burpee Calculator? Sickos…

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As One Fitness' Burpee Calculator

As One Fitness' Burpee Calculator

3.4 pounds of candy. That is what the average American eats every year during the Halloween season. I don’t mean to brag, but I think I’m above average on this little stat.

I feel it’s my job as a parent to save my son from eating all of that candy. I’m a giver.

This e-mail is not about avoiding candy all together, it is mainly about being aware how many calories you are taking in. Did you know some sick person came up with a Burpee Calculator? And it wasn’t me if you’re wondering.

You can go check it out and see how many burpees it takes to burn off one fun sized treat. Spoiler alert-it’s depressing.

For instance a person weighing 180 pounds would have to 69 burpees to burn off one fun sized Butterfingers. Dude…

Have a great Halloween, enjoy your candy but also keep everything in perspective.

Better Bad Things

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I was listening to a podcast called The Impact Show yesterday and the host was talking about having better, bad days. I have been preaching about the importance of better, bad choices for years so this will be a great addition. Let’s get into these two concepts a little bit.

Having better, bad days

This is based on the Japanese philosophy of kaizen. Basically it is focusing on constant and continuous improvement. Getting better every day, even if it is incremental.

But when you are working out, there are some days you just don’t “feel” it. Maybe you are tired, stressed out, don’t feel like being there, or any number of other things. What do you do then?

You make the best out of a bad situation. What can you improve that workout? What positives can you take away? A huge one might be, you showed up even when it was the last thing you wanted to do! That is a victory. Find a way to get better every day.

Better, Bad Choices

This is a nutrition philosophy I learned years ago that mainly applies to fast food. Because you will find yourself at a fast food place, possibly some time soon.

Not exactly the best choice, but life happens. Let’s say you end up at McDonald’s. Instead of ordering the Big Mac with large drink and fries, you order a cheeseburger with medium fries and medium drink. You will save 500 calories (1348 for Big Mac meal vs 848 for cheeseburger meal). That is a meal’s worth of calories! Another victory.

Always look for the bright side and try to find small victories even on days where it looks there are none to be found.

 

The Cubs, Bozo, A Goat Curse, and Weight Loss

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I grew up a big Cubs fan. Kind of weird for a kid from Alabama, but that is the power of television. We had the TV station WGN growing up, so I was convinced of two things:

  1. I would have totally dominated the Grand Prize Game on The Bozo Show

  2. The Cubs were the greatest team ever and Harry Caray was the coolest announcer ever.

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Although they were really fun to watch, they would break your heart when it came to the playoffs. The Cubs were known for finding strange and terrible ways to NOT make it to the World Series.

The Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908 and have not even been to the World Series since 1945. 71 years without making it to your ultimate goal is a long time!

But this weekend, they finally made it. Were able to fight through tough teams, doubt, and even the curse of a goat to finally make it to the World Series.

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I tell you all this Cubs stuff to tell you this. I have seen similar things happen with people trying to lose weight.

They try and try AND TRY without success to lose weight. It seems hopeless (I personally have not seen someone take 71 years though) and with no end in sight. But they tweaked a few things in their diet, tried a new way to exercise that works for their body/personality/schedule, and kept at it.

Then it started happening. Lose one pound there, 3 pounds here, and next thing they know it feels like the weight is just falling off.

Don’t give up! There is a way out there that works for you. A way that fits you and will not make you miserable while you are doing. Hint-If the diet or exercise program you are on makes you miserable every day, it will not work long term.

Here is my offer to you. Please e-mail me at HuntsvilleBootCamp@gmail.com and I would love to help you find the right path. Whether it is with me, a Zumba class, a Crossfit trainer, or a running program I want you to be successful. I’m one of those weirdos who thinks the more people I help in life, the more successful I will become in life.

I truly think this will help both of us and there are absolutely no strings attached. Look forward to hearing from you.

-Joe

BYOT (Be Your Own Thighmaster)

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thighmaster

The inner thigh muscles are also known as the adductors. You can remember that because they pull your leg back towards your body, like you are ADDing it back to your body. You just got 75% of what I remember from my college degree right there.

The adductor muscles are not only important because toned inner thighs look good, but they can also help you prevent injuries and increase your performance in physical activities.

So if you want to look better, prevent nagging injuries, and/or you would like to squeeze the life out of someone Bond Girl style I got your back.

Here are 4 exercises you can do at home to strengthen and tone your inner thighs:

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1. Band Adduction

Connect a band to a stable object and then attach it to your right ankle. Stand up tall with tension on the band before you start. Move your foot to the left like you are sweeping just above the floor. Control the movement as it goes back to your right. Repeat on your other leg, hold on for balance as needed.

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2. Plie Heel Raises

Start with your feet wider than your shoulders with your toes pointing out at a 45 degree (or more if it is comfortable). Then squat down and hold that position with a nice flat back. Hold that position for 60 seconds and alternate lifting one heel at a time. Increase the weight to make it more challenging, decrease weight and/or time to make it easier.

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3. Wall Squat Squeeze

You will need a wall and a ball for this one. Place a ball (exercise ball, medicine ball, basketball) between your knees, back against the wall, and slide down until your knees are bent at a 45 degree angle. While holding the squat, squeeze your knees as hard as you can against the ball.

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4. Chair Adduction

Lay on your left side, place the inside of your right foot on top of a chair or coffee table. Raise your left leg up and touch the bottom of the chair or table, pause at the top for a count, and then slowly lower your leg down. Repeat on the other side.

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