Atlanta was good to me. Taught me some lessons about traffic that I shared on Wednesday.
I also learned some lessons while getting lost.
If you have been following me for awhile yo might know that I am not real big on running. My wife loves to run. So guess what I do? I run.
Hate running, love my wife. That's just the way it works.
I had not been running since I ran a half marathon with her in Knoxville, TN earlier this year. Little tip for you- Knoxville is a Native American name that means City With Buttload of Hills.
We woke up early Saturday morning and before I could wake up good I realized I was out on a run. 20 minutes into the run I realized that I had no idea where we were or how to get back.
There is the obvious lesson of: Know where you are going, especially if you are going to make your wife run through some shady parts of town. But I also learned 3 things on this run that I think you might find interesting.
1. Take Your Mind Off the Pain
Have you ever been in the middle of a workout and all you can think of is how much it hurts? The result from that is more pain.
There are times in your workout where you have to go somewhere else in your mind. Go to your happy place, make grocery lists in your head, listen to music, etc...
I was so focused on trying to find our way back, wondering how I got us on the interstate, picturing how my wife was going to kill me that the run was easy.
2. Train For Any Situation
The last time I had run was 4 months ago at the half marathon. This run became much like that one. Hills everywhere. We had to do fancy footwork to run and jump over pieces of random metal, holes, trash, thorns, and other obstacles. There were times when we picked the pace way up when some seedy characters with glassy eyes were starting at us.
It ended up being an hour long run of hills, sprints, and agility work but I was not tired at all despite not running for months. I believe you should train the total package.
Work on strength, cardio, agility, core, balance, speed, and hit all of those in a variety of ways. They all work together as a compliment to one another and well balanced training helps you prevent many overuse injuries.
Those are the things we work on in boot camp. I sometimes get strange looks for some of the things I ask them to do in our sessions, but there is method along with madness. You should come see for yourself how we do things, it's pretty awesome.
3. Take Your Phone With You
Turns out those things have built in GPS and the ability to call people who can come pick you up. You heard it here first.
I don't know how people deal with real traffic every day. It would make me even crazier than I am now.
My wife and I went to pick up my son from a week of camp at a place outside of Atlanta. On the way there we got caught in traffic where it took 45 minutes to go about a mile.
At 730am. On a Saturday.
And what do you do when you sit in traffic for 45 minutes and you finally get past the 3 closed lanes into freedom? You put the pedal to the metal son!
I found myself immediately speeding to make up for the lost time and that feeling of being trapped. Do you do this too?
I think we all do that, whether we want to admit it or not. We also do something similar when it comes to trying to lose weight and get in shape.
Have you ever put yourself on a super restrictive diet? Have you ever put yourself on a 2 hour a day every day workout plan?
What ended up happening?
Chances are you started speeding again. One day you cracked and started eating everything in sight. Or you missed a workout and then didn't workout for a month.
Little piece of advice, never trade short term results over long term health.
Now there are times when you want to be more disciplined with your eating or work a little harder to train for an event, but don't think of that as a long term way of life. You want to give yourself some room for error.
If you think of success as getting it right 100% of the time you will fail. You're only human, born to make mistakes. Get that stuck in your head for a few hours.
Use the 80/20 rule with your healthy eating. Get it right 80% of the time, that way you don't think it is the end of the world if you have a candy bar.
This means that you are eating healthy 8 meals out of 10. High level math is what I'm known for. Then when you are ready to increase your results you increase it to 85-90% of the time.
With your workouts, you use the "don't let a slip become a fall" technique. If you are planning on working out 3 times a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every week, but then you miss a Wednesday one week, don't freak out. There are plenty of other days in the week to make one up. And instead of a structured workout, you can go do some fun movement like hiking or roller skating.
Eating healthy should feel good, not feel like a chore. Exercise should improve your enjoyment of life, not something you dread doing every day.
Long term failure lives in that deprived feeling you get from doing things that are not right for your body.Find ways to cook and prepare healthy meals you look forward to! Find a way to move your body that you look forward to, even when it is hard. When you can find those two things, you have found the key to long term success in looking, feeling, and performing your best.
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.
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.
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.
This is mainly where the wheels on the chair come in. Place your hands on the edge of your desk, hands shoulder width apart, explosively press backwards (if you are on carpet, 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.
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 holding a lower squat.
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. If there are thing that are not feasible in your office, adapt t what you can do.
You will find that you are more productive, energetic, and a lot of your back pain will subside due to the decreased amount of sitting. Please report back co-worker observations of your activities.
I would like to give a shout out to one of our boot camp "graduates" Kim Holmes. When Kim first joined boot camp she was very quiet and timid until we started doing punching or kicking activities. Then I was impressed and a little frightened, I knew there was a hidden beast in there.
She was a casual runner, doing a 5K in the 39 minute range. Then next thing you know she is doing much faster 5ks, then 10ks, then she turned into Forrest Gump and has run 50 miles. Like in a row, 50 miles. Last week she traded in her van for a life time supply of shoes at Fleet Feet.
When I met her she was also terrified of swimming and bicycles. And much like her journey as a runner, she slowly chipped away at her fears. Got better, never completely gave into the fear.
This weekend she completed an Olympic distance Triathlon.
So if you are discouraged because you can barely make it a mile. Or you think you will never be able to complete a triathlon. Or even if you feel overwhelmed by life in general, my friend Kim is proof that it is possible.
Why not you too?
4th of July is a reminder of how awesome this country is. Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Landmark Chevrolet.
Anyone else remember that commercial?
It is also a great time to get a quick workout in before all the craziness starts. I recommend a Boot Camp Baseball Workout.
Set up 4 stations like a baseball diamond. Each base represents an exercise. Each time you make it through all the exercises you score a run.
This video is one example of how you can set up the Boot Camp Baseball Workout.
First Base- Goblet Squats Second Base- Sledgehammers (you can use a baseball bat too) Third Base- Kettlebell swings Home- Burpees
10 reps at each base and then I "score" when I finish all the pushups. You can choose any 4 exercises and any number of repetitions you like. It has endless options to make it unique and different each time.
Bonus points if you can rock the flag shorts like I do during the workout. More bonus points if you can barely talk at the end like me.
Set a timer for 15 minutes, challenge Uncle Frank, and have fun. Enjoy your holiday!
75% of kids younger than 13 are considered sedentary.
Obesity in children has TRIPLED since the 1980s and does not appear to be slowing down. Whatever the reason for this is (too much screen time, poor nutrition habits, etc...), I think the one thing we can all agree on is that kids need to move more.
Do you want to get your child active, but you just don't know where to start? That is why we are starting Adventures in Fitness Kid's Camp.
This is NOT a boot camp. This is a fun movement class that accommodates all fitness levels. Your child can expect to experience:
-the power of a positive attitude
-respect for parents and authority figures in their life
-increased self confidence and self respect
-the importance of teamwork
-fun movement on their level
-simple nutrition information
Our mission is to help children develop a life long love of physical activity.
Your child will be coached by certified and experienced trainers who have a passion for working with kids. The nutrition information will be provided by a registered dietitian, as well as a certified Youth Nutrition Specialist. So the kids will get the information on their level that they can absorb.
You will see improvements in their fitness level, strength, flexibility, and coordination but that is a side benefit. We are looking at having a long-term effect on their attitude and outlook on life.
Here are the specifics: -June 18- July 14 -9-10am on Tuesdays and Thursdays -Vortex Performance 3070 Leeman Ferry Road -$99/child or $169 for 2 children -Ages 6-13 years old
Space is limited, so please reseve your spot today. Call 256.468.7146.
We look forward to working with your child!
I would love to know what your guesses were for what I was thinking. Particularly if you have a twisted mind like me.
The answer is...... yoga! This week Rocket City Yoga Week starts. I interviewed the mastermind behind this giant event, Mitzi Connell. Just like Mitzi the interview is informative and entertaining.
What is RCYW in a nutshell?
RCYW is 7 days of free yoga all over the TN Valley. This year, we have almost 70 free events for people of all ages & stages, wherever they are. Events are taught by the diverse and talented yoga teachers North Alabama has to offer.
We partner with local small businesses and historic venues all over our region to host our events. Our intention is to bring like-minded people together to help improve our local economy and connect our community in a way that has never been done before.
It's all free, what's the catch?
Everyone must RSVP for events. -(No walk-ins!) -We expect you to show up for what you RSVP for. -You must bring your own yoga mat. -It's helpful if you also bring a sense of humor. :)
How do you find the teachers?
I work diligently to stay connected to this area's yoga teachers. RCYW is a large event - if you do a Google search for yoga in Huntsville or Madison, chances are really good you will find RCYW in the search results.
When a new teacher moves into town, or anytime a local resident finishes a yoga teacher training program, they often reach out to me & offer to get involved! Yoga Teachers I love to teach and serve. RCYW is an amazing portal through which they can do both.
What are the top 5 most unique yoga classes being offered this week?
This year, I cannot simply list 5 - we have SO many new & unique events to offer! For the first time ever, we were able to offer:
-Tango, Yoga, Salsa, and Mimosas, sponsored by Kathleen Bernal Event Planning, and Rachel Granger - Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay, and taught by Antonio Bernal at Southern Elegance Dance Studio
-Yoga Nidra with Anita Rodriguez, hosted at various locations (unbelievable relaxing and healing!)
-SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) Yoga, sponsored by Mountain High Outfitters.
-Yoga & Beer events, hosted at both The Brew Stooges and at Rocket Republic Brewing Company
-Black Light Yoga, hosted by Studio 180 Fitness in Madison
-Yoga for Curvy Bodies with Rebekah Frank, hosted at 2 different locations including Nancy Harden's Flexibility for Life
-Baby & Me Yoga with Malisa McClure at Fitness Arts Center in Madison
-Bootcamp & Yoga, co-hosted by YOU, Joe Martin, and Jim Gunther! (I may have added this one myself, but you will never truly know)
If I've never done yoga, what classes would you recommend?
All of our classes are great for any level of yogis. Our teacher will work with anyone. These events below are wonderful for beginners and they still have spaces available!
Tuesday 12PM - Yoga for Beginners - Madison - RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tue-1200pm-beginner-yoga-with-chris-irrgang-yoga-fire-tickets-16907729474 Tuesday 6PM - Strike a Pose - downtown Huntsville - RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tue-600pm-strike-a-pose-with-karen-doehrman-big-spring-park-tickets-16871377745 Tuesday 6:15PM - Yoga: Simple & Straighforward - Madison - RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tue-615pm-yoga-simple-straightforward-iron-tribe-fitness-madison-tickets-16908338295 Wednesday 1:00PM - Gentle Yoga - South Huntsville - RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wed-100pm-gentle-yoga-steady-for-life-tickets-16908175809 Thursday 11:30AM - Gentle Yoga - Downtown Huntsville - RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/thu-1130am-gentle-yoga-huntsville-downtown-public-library-tickets-16942540595 Thursday 5:30PM - Unwind Yoga for All-Levels - Huntsville - RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/thu-530pm-unwind-yoga-for-all-levels-fitness-defyd-tickets-16908493760 Friday 1:00PM - Gentle Yoga - South Huntsville - RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fri-100pm-gentle-yoga-steady-for-life-tickets-16908132680 Saturday 10:00AM - Tango, Yoga, Salsa, & Mimosas - Huntsville - RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sat-1000am-tango-yoga-salsa-mimosas-with-antonio-bernal-melissa-howard-southern-elegance-dance-tickets-16908683327 Saturday 2:00PM - Ales & Asansa - Madison - RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sat-200pm-ales-asanas-rocket-republic-brewing-company-tickets-16908697369 Sunday 2:00PM - Yoga at the Rocket - US Space & Rocket Center - RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sun-200pm-yoga-at-the-rocket-the-us-space-rocket-center-tickets-16908751531
How do I sign up?
Start here: http://RocketCityYogaWeek.com/schedule Read the Do's & Dont's Find events to RSVP for.
Final question. If I'm going to do just ONE class, which one should it be?
Sunday, 2PM - Yoga at the Rocket - our grand finale event at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.
It's an unbelievable experience, practicing yoga with 399 other yogis, beneath the Saturn V Rocket!
Thank you Mitzi for setting this all up and for taking time out for the interview. Great opportunity to try some yoga, which one do you want to experience the most?
Keep up with Rocket City Yoga Week with the following links: RocketCityYogaWeek.com Facebook.com/RocketCityYogaWeek Twitter.com/RocketCityYoga Instagram.com/RocketCityYogaWeek
Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes get a lot of news coverage when they occur, but do you know what kills more people annually than all of those events combined?
I know it seems like 2 weeks ago it was 20 degrees, but the heat is here and you need to be ready.
Some warning signs to look for are: weakness, dizziness, muscles cramps, nausea, rapid heartbeat, and vomiting. You are in danger of a heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or in my case you are probably doing public speaking.
If you feel yourself succumbing to the heat, immediately stop, get to a cool place, and drink some water.
Here are a few other tips for you to follow:
The body can quickly become overwhelmed when you are not used to the heat and humidity. If you’re like many people, you go from an air conditioned house, to an air conditioned car, to an air conditioned job.
You can’t expect your body to handle the extreme demands of exercising in this mess around here right away. Getting fully acclimated to the heat can take 2-3 weeks, so be prepared to slow your pace.
You need to drink fluids all day long this time of year, not just down a glass of water right before you head out. If you are exercising for more than an hour, it is a good idea to have a sports drink to replace electrolytes.
There is nothing like a nice bowl of steaming hot, oatmeal after a morning workout in 90 degree weather. Not too appetizing is it?
Anyone who exercises or works outdoors will tell you the heat has a negative effect on appetite. You will have to consciously monitor your eating habits to make sure you are getting enough fuel for your workouts.
This is a good time to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Not only will it help you get more nutrients and vitamins, but will also help with hydration because of their water content.
Timing is everything
The best times to exercise during the hot months are before 7am or after 6pm. This doesn’t fit everyone’s schedule, but if you can avoid the hottest parts of the day you will be much better off.
The best thing to wear is something light (in color and weight) and breathable. Or at the very least switch from jeans to jorts.
My son rode his bike yesterday and found out that helmets really keep that heat in. Whenever you take a break from biking, make sure to take your helmet off so your head can breath.
Wearing a hat and sunglasses is a good way to get extra protection and prevent those nasty, eye squinting headaches.
It won’t improve your performance but it will help prevent growths on your body, which is nice. Also, sunburned skin can’t get rid of heat as efficiently and you can become overheated much easier.
For gingers only:
There is no such thing as a tan ginger, stop trying. All you will get is more freckles, a sunburn, and then skin cancer.
My clients probably don't appreciate my love of the humble pushup, but there is a reason I love this exercise. Most people know it as an upper body exercise (chest, shoulders, and triceps), but it also works the lower back, abs, back legs, and butt.
Whether you are doing pushups on your toes, your knees, an incline, or a wall these tips can help you get more out of your pushups.
1. Don't let your elbows flare out
It all starts with proper hand placement. Your hands should be directly underneath your shoulders at the top of the pushup. As you lower yourself down, keep your elbows in close to your body. Think about keeping your elbows lined up with the middle finger on your hand. When the elbows flare out, you place more stress on the shoulders.
2. Push through your pits
Focus on pushing with your armpits. This sounds weird, but will help you better recruit the muscles in your chest and triceps, gets the lats (the muscles on the side of your back) involved, and helps to protect your shoulders.
3. Never let your butt go over your head
This is just good life advice in general, so there's that. It will also help you avoid a common problem of "piking" your hips up. Keep your butt muscles tight, your chin off your chest, and lower yourself down chest first. This will give you a better range of motion and a more effective pushup.
4. Keep your chin up
When pushups starts getting hard a lot of people have a tendency to drop their chin down and keep grinding out the pushups. This can not only negatively effect your breathing, but can also cause you to injure your shoulders. Keep your head in a neutral position.