5 ways to defeat desk job posture



  Does that look familiar? It should because most of us look like that at work. What do we do about it? One of my clients, Lori, sent me a video of fancy move called the Thoracic Bridge. It's a great way to correct imbalances and tight muscles. You can check out the video here Thoracic Bridge Video   It got me thinking of a few other ways to help undo all the desk job posture that is so common.   1. Sound the alarm    Set an alarm so that you have a reminder to stand up at a minimum once an hour. Preferably every 15 minutes if possible. Or you could always rock the stand up desk.   2. Squeeze the Charmin   A side effect of too much sitting is your glut muscles going to waste. While you are standing up any way when the alarm goes off, why not add a little something to it? Put your feet shoulder width apart, feet pointed out at 45 degree angles, and pinch your butt cheeks together. Sounds weird (because it is), but it will really help you.   3. Pull it apart   You need a band for this one. Hold a band directly out in front of you, arms straight, wrists straight, knuckles up, and then extend your arms all the way out like you are demonstrating your awesome wing span. Make sure to pinch your shoulder blades together in the back. This one will you will feel a difference in by doing them for just a few days.   4. Tight hips don't lie   Sitting too much causes your hip flexors to tighten up. If you have trouble getting into a deep squat, the culprit can be tight hips. Try the 90/90 hip flexor stretch. Go into a kneeling position, with your right knee up and your left knee on the ground. Keeping your back straight, push your hips forward, and think about sinking your hips into the ground. Hold that for 15-20 seconds and then do the same on the other side.  

The Iron Bowl Workout

Iron-Bowl-2013   Happy Iron Bowl Eve to you! This game is always a big deal in Alabama, but there year it is even bigger. The #1 team in the nation versus the #4 team in the nation, championships on the line.   People will be no longer speaking to several friends and family members after this. If you are unfamiliar with this rivalry, I'm not exaggerating.   The game is so nerve racking for some people they can hardly stand it. Why not put all the pent up aggression, nervous energy, and anger towards something else?   Introducing the Official Iron Bowl Exercise Game! Clay Travis is a well known sports write who has a CBS football drinking game. I can't really sponsor that, so I'm totally stealing his idea and just using exercise instead.   Every time something from the following list happens, you will have an exercise to go with it. Since these games last 3.5 hours you could accumulate a serious workout here.   1. Every time the announcers mention "divided houses" (Auburn and Alabama fans who are married) do 5 pushups. iron_bowl_house_divided 2. Every time they mention AJ McCarron's girlfriend Katherine Webb do 5 pushups. If they also mention she is an Auburn grad, add 5 more on to that.


3. Every time Verne Lundquist says "Oh. My." do 15 jumping jacks. This alone could kill you. Verne_Lundquist 4. Every time an old coach for either team is talked about (The Bear, Chizik, etc…) do 20 squats.
Sorry, this picture gets me every time

Sorry, this picture gets me every time

  5. Every time Aubie is shown do 5 pushups. Sorry, this will cost you probably 80 pushups. 220px-Aubie_Flag 6. Any time there is a turnover (by either team), do 10 burpees.   7. When Nick Saban is interviewed, do 5 squats every time he shrugs his shoulders.   8. Any time Gus Malzhan's high school coaching career is mentioned, do 30 mountain climbers.   9. Any time a fan is shown looking dejected/with his or her hands on their head, do 20 pushups. dejected fan 10. Every time they reference Tre Mason's dad being in De La Soul, hold a plank for 30 seconds. De-La-Soul-3-Feet-High-And-Rising 11. If your team is losing at half time, go for a long soul searching walk. Regroup.   12. If they mention an infamous interview with Gus Malzhan's wife, do 20 sprints in your yard if you are a Bama fan. If you are an Auburn fan, turn your TV off. 1322399231-malzahn 13. Every mention of Saban going to Texas will get you Auburn fans 5 sprints. Bama fans can angrily tweet at whichever announcer keeps mentioning it.


13. Any time Gary Danielson arrogantly talks about a bad decision by the quarterback on your team, do 10 pushups. images 14. Every time Verne seems like he is having way too much fun pronouncing names like CJ Uzomah or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, do 5 burpees.   15. If your team wins, sprint around the block as fast as you can. If your team loses, angrily chase the winning fans in your neighborhood.   Best of luck to your team today! Either way, it's just a game being played by giant teenagers. Enjoy it for what it is and have fun.  
Football capital of the United States

Football capital of the United States

How Facebook can help you sleep better, exercise more, and get rid of your depression


If you are on Facebook, you have probably noticed that a lot of people are talking about the things they are thankful for. I love it! Too often Facebook is a place where people go to do two things.

Brag or complain.




Especially the dreaded humble brag. "My Ferrari hasn't been washed since I got back from skiing with Lady Gaga in Vail. LOL!"

This all sounds nice, but what does being grateful have to do with your health? As it turns out, it has a lot to do with your health.

Studies have shown that people who show an appreciation for the things they are grateful in life experience the following benefits:

-less depression

-more optimistic

-less aches and pains

-better sleep

-less anxiety

-exercised more often

Another great thing about having an attitude of gratitude is the effect is has on your brain. When you are grateful it effects the part of that releases dopamine. It feels good to release dopamine, so this helps you continue to have that positive attitude so you can experience that feeling again.

Another benefit is that your brain is not a multitasker. When you are focused on the positive things in your life, you won't be focused on the bad things in your life.

All of you doing the Facebook gratitude thing, keep it up! Or you can keep a gratitude journal if you are a more private type. Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life.

I recently wrote a letter (by hand!) to a coach I had in high school who helped me. It really did feel good to picture hime reading the how he positively effected my life. It was 20 years ago, but I still benefit from the things he taught me.

Think of ways you can be more grateful and you will feel better. It's science.

Never let your butt go over your head and other tips for safer and more effective pushups

butt over head 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.    

Pumpkin Circuit and Pumpkin Pie With Nut Crust Recipe



  Did you know that pumpkin is very high in alpha- and beta-carotene? Taking in these two carotenes has been shown to increase your life span. And what better way to eat pumpkin, than in pie form? This recipe from Healthy Living How To is a great one to try.   Pumpkin Pie with Nut Crust  
Nut Crust 
Prep Time:  5 minutes Cook Time:  15 minutes   Ingredients1 cup Almond Flour/Meal ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Meal/Flour ¼ cup Extra Light Olive Oil or Coconut Oil Pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt   Directions
1.     With a fork, mix oil with nut flour and salt until you have a “crumble-like” texture.
2.     With fingers, pat curst into bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate.
3.     Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
4.     Much be completely cool before filling.
Pumpkin PiePrep Time:  3 minutes Cook Time:  50 minutes   Ingredients15 oz. Can Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin 13. 5 oz. Can Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk ¾ tsp. Ground Cinnamon ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg ¼ tsp. Ground Ginger ¼ tsp. Ground Cloves ½ tsp. Himalayan Sea Salt 1/8 tsp. Stevia Extract Powder 2 Large Organic Eggs 1 Nut Crust   Directions
1.     Mix pumpkin, coconut milk, spices and stevia together.
2.     Add eggs and mix slowly just until thoroughly mixed.
3.     Pour pie filling into nut crust.
4.     Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F for an additional 35 minutes.
5.     Thoroughly cool and chill before serving.  What's your favorite way to prepare pumpkin? I would love to hear it.

How to get Revenge

  Have you ever heard the quote, "The best revenge is a life well lived."?   It really makes sense to me, but I see too many people going the complete opposite direction. I see more and more people who get hurt and then take it out on themselves.   It could be a spouse, family member, an employer, or any number of people that hurts them and it leads to self defeating behaviors and an overall negative attitude about life. They take solace in food, alcohol, solitude, anger, and many other destructive things.   They let themselves go completely and their health suffers tremendously.   Is that you? If you have gained more weight than you ever thought you would, what happened? Look back.   Do you remember a turning point? Chances are it leads back to some point where you were hurt.   Find that hurt and use it as fuel for success, rather than an anchor to hold you back.   Don't let that person continue to win!    The best way to get back at the person that hurt you is to forget them. You're worth the effort, so work on you and forget that hurt.    

10 Reasons You Should Be Exercising Outside

Fall is my favorite time of the year to exercise because I do 99% of my workouts outside. It is beautiful right now!
I actually feel weird when I exercise indoors. Even though the temperature is always nice and I don't have to worry about this weird neighbor I have who pulls out a chair and watches me exercise, I don't like it as much.
That is a weird twist because I used to do nothing but gym workouts. I started to wonder why that is, so I did some research. Turns out researchers have proven that there are some awesome benefits to exercising in the great outdoors.
Top Ten Reasons You Need To Exercise Outside
1. 50% greater improvement in mental health over gym workouts.
2. It decreases tension, anger, confusion, and depression (know anyone who could use less of those beauties?).
3. Increased rates of exercise compliance (easier to stick to your workout routine).
4. Vigorous, outdoor exercise increases energy and alertness better than a cup of coffee.
5. Much higher Vitamin D levels. In a related note, people with low Vitamin D levels are twice as likely to be overweight than people with normal to high levels if Vitamin D.
6. Helps you sleep better at night.
7. Test subjects scored 50% better on a creativity study after exercising. Side note, you have to go phone/MP3 free for this one to work.
8. No need to worry about germs on the equipment or waiting on the guy who is reading a novel while camped out on the piece of equipment you need.
9. Better way to increase your fitness level, especially for runners. Dealing with wind, temperature changes, different terrain, etc... makes your body work harder, expend more energy, and become more resilient.
10. Adventure Boot Camp is outside. This has been scientifically proven by the way.

Kick off your Sunday shoes and feel like a kid!

Nobody, and I mean nobody, stops Kevin Bacon from dancing!

Nobody, and I mean nobody, stops Kevin Bacon from dancing!

  Man my toes are killing me! Do you get many blogs that start like that? Every Sunday I do a circuit style workout with my wife and son. Great family time and it is a quick and effective workout. We did 30 seconds on 30 seconds rest for 4 round of: -Battle ropes -Kettlebell goblet squats -Kettlebell single leg deadlift  (right leg) -Kettlebell single leg deadlift (left leg) -Pushups -Hip thrusts -Sprints   In 28 minutes you get a full workout in. But back to my toes...   Why are they sore from all of that? Because I kicked off my Sunday shoes!   When was the last time you kicked off your shoes and ran barefoot as fast as you could? It really is an amazing thing that will give you a flashback to your childhood. Plus running in bare feet feels much better on my knees and strengthens your feet and toes (the reason for the sore toes).   When my son was about years old, he looked over at me and said, "Hey daddy let's take our shoes off and go run in the grass!"   I can't turn that offer down. And neither should you.   You don't have to run fast and you don't have to run far, but I encourage you to give it a try. It will be worth it.   Just be prepared to have grocery feet afterwards.
Don't say I didn't warn you

Don't say I didn't warn you

The “Whenever You Can” Workout

Not exactly what we are looking for

Not exactly what we are looking for

  I've recently taken on some things in my life that have really cut down on my available workout hours. I'm very lucky that I am able to drop off and pick my son up at school. Family time is not something, I'm willing to compromise on. Getting up earlier is not going to happen either, 4am come early enough.   So what am I going to do? Go back to being fat? No thank you. Although I have to make a confession. I have daydreams of letting myself completely go. Eating like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day if you have ever seen that movie. It's a pretty sweet daydream.

Groundhog Day movie image Bill Murray

  But it ain't happening. Never again is my motto.   Do you have a schedule like that? A schedule where you have 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. That's not enough time to workout!   It isn't enough time if you are trying to run a marathon, but if you are trying to lose fat and get in shape you can make it happen.   Here a "When You Can" workout I did the other day:   1. Got home from teaching my first class: 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest for 8 round. Alternating between pushups and kettlebell swings every round. Took about 4 minutes.   2. Throughout the day: Randomly run up and down the stairs. Also helps break the monotony of working. Dropping down into a plank for 30 seconds here and there.   3. Just before I went to pick up my son: 5 minutes of sprints in the yard   4. Had 10 minutes: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest for 8 rounds for numbers 1 and 2 below. 1. Weighted hip thrusts 2. Alternated between overhead presses and squat/upright row.   5. That night while grilling fish: 15 minutes of Goblet squats, barefoot sprints with the little man, and checking Facebook (keeping it real).   All of that adds up. Look through your day, you have little pockets of time where you can do something! This goes for anybody. Even if you workout every day, you still need to become more active overall.   Audit you day and find out where you are wasting time. Eliminate the waste and fit in some physical activity.

5 Weird Training Tips for 5Ks

Don't let the pretty face fool you, she is a terror if you talk bad about her dancing

Don't let the pretty face fool you, she is a terror if you talk bad about her dancing

1. Don't be like Racquel Welch   Have you ever seen the sprinters in the Olympics? These are the fastest people on Earth and they have huge upper body muscles. Why is that? Fast arms, make fast feet.   If you run with your arms motionless and in by your side like Racquel Welch dancing on Seinfeld, you are not going as fast as you can. And if you missed the Seinfeld era, my sympathies.   Try following these cues: arms bent at 45 degrees, keep your hands loose (don't clench your fists),  let your arms swing back and forth (not across your body), and think about driving your elbows  back as opposed to pushing your hands forward. These things take a little practice, but can really help.  


  2. Stop sweating in your work clothes   How awesome is it when you finish a run, get dressed for work, and you are still a sweaty mess? Wait, that is not so awesome. The first thing you need to do is a proper cool down. If you immediately stop your run/walk and go get ready, you will sweat a ton more. Try fitting in a 5 minute walk and some light stretching afterwards.   Most of us are not into cold showers, so try this simple trick. Run cold water on the inside of your wrists. Because there is a large concentration of blood vessels there, it will help cool the rest of your body.  


3. Jedi mind trick   One of the most important parts of running is the mental game.  It can be really overwhelming to think about going 3 miles, when the furthest you've gone is one mile. Treat it like you would eat an elephant. One bite at a time.   Tell yourself to make it one step further, get to the next light pole, then the 5th mailbox. Keep setting mini goals that propel you forward and don't let the big picture discourage you.    
The areas in red are the areas you will work with one "simple" exercise

The areas in red are the areas you will work with one "simple" exercise

4. Stay still, avoid injuries   Growing up my mom would always say "Planks don't stank." And even though my mom totally did not say that, the saying is true. When your core is weak it can lead to injuries and decreased performance.   Planks are a simple, yet effective exercise that can help make you a more efficient runner.  Here is how to perform a plank: -Lie face down on the floor, with your forearms on the floor and your elbows under your shoulders -Push off the floors only your forearms and toes are touching the floor -Don't let your hips sag down or your butt come up in the air   A good goal to start with is 30 seconds. If you can't get the full 30 seconds, just get to where you can. Look to add more time every week. When you are able to hold the plank for a minute straight, make it harder. Pick up one leg, raise on arm, lift and arm and a leg, etc...


5. Get up on the good foot and blow out the candles   You're out running, your legs feel great, breathing is on point, and then someone stabs you in the side with a knife. The dirty side stitch cramp. They are awful and can really cramp your running style. Let the hilarity sink in.   A simple way to prevent these side stitches from occurring is to breath out when your left foot hits the ground. These side stitches are basically spasms of the diaphragm that running can cause because it makes the organs attached to the diaphragm jump up and down. You put a much larger strain on the organs attached to the diaphragm when you breathe out when your right foot hits. The organs on the left side are much smaller, so there is less strain.   If you do get one, the best way to fight through them is to slow down and breathe out with pursed lips (like you are blowing out a birthday candle).   Hope these help!
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