The 8th Challenge- Pick it up a notch

  Last week the challenge was to start performing maintenance on your body to keep it in proper working order. Now that we have the body fine tuned, it's time to pick it up a notch.   Intensity is usually the difference between people who get results and those who just get through their workouts. Look back at how some of your recent workouts have gone.   Could you have gone further? Gone faster? Lifted heavier? Done a few more repetitions?   Just a few random examples:   Have you been running 2 miles? Push it up to 2.5 miles.   The challenge this week is to pick it up a notch! Have you been running 2 miles in 20 minutes? Now try to do 2 miles in 19 minutes.   Have you been using the same weight for months? It is time to go heavier.   Have you been doing the same amount of repetitions every workout? Time to do more.   The main thing I want you to do is look back at your last few workouts. What gave out first, your body or your mind? The mind can take the body places, you never thought it could go.   Before your next workout, set a goal that you are going to reach firmly in your mind. Do not stop until you get there. Do not settle for average, do not settle for ok. You are stronger, faster, and fitter than you are giving yourself credit for.   Go prove me right, I know you can do it.

Healthy Valentine’s Day! (Partner Workout, Dessert Recipe, and Bonus Article)

You know the old saying "Couples that sweat together stay together"? Whoever came up with that saying was not married to a trainer. Little advice for any trainer looking to give tips to their significant other. Just skip the advice and go straight to being quiet. Saves you from the whole "Stop correcting me!" Just trust me on that.
So just in case you are looking for a workout to do with a partner, it just so happens that I have one.
Partner Workout
For partner exercises 1-3 each partner will do their exercise for one minute, then switch exercises, and do that exercise for one minute. For exercise 4 and 5, there is no exercise pairing. 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.
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.
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.
3A. Jumping jacks- like what you think.
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. Leg throw downs- One partner lays on the ground while the other partner stands at their head. The partner on the ground will reach back and grab the standing partner's ankles to steady themselves. The partner on the ground will raise both legs up at the same time. The standing partner will lovingly throw the feet back down. The partner on the ground will control their legs and do not let them touch the ground, then raise the feet back up again.
Grilled Banana Splits Recipe
4 ripe bananas 2 Tbsp chocolate chips 1/2 cup non-fat, frozen vanilla yogurt 4 tsp chopped walnuts Directions: 1- Preheat oven to 400 degrees 2- Place each banana on its side on a piece of foil. Cut a slit lengthwise across the top. Leave the skin attached. 3- Push 1/2 Tbsp chocolate chips into the slit of each banana. 4- Wrap the bananas with the foil, leaving the top open. Grill or bake about 15 minutes or until the chocolate melts. 5- Loosen the foil and press the bananas open a little. 6- Top each banana with 2Tbsp of the frozen yogurt and sprinkle with 1tsp walnuts.
Extra article 
I wrote an article for Our Valley Events that covers some other tips on taking care of your own health on Valentine's Day. Yes I am a little bit strange.
Hope you have a great day!

Health and life lessons from a puppy

Just going to be up front and let you know this was mainly an excuse to show you a picture of my new puppy Shug. Feel free to admire his cuteness.
If you've ever had a puppy, you know it is much like having a baby. Lot of cuteness, a lot of work, lot of bodily functions on display.
We've had all of that, but there are also a few things that we could all learn from raising a puppy to help increase the enjoyment you get in life.
1. Attack the day
When that little guy wakes up, he is ready to roll! Right away he wants to charge outside and run around. Makes me a little jealous to be honest. He is mainly ready to attack his food and the bush outside, but still. When your alarm goes off, hit the ground running and don't give yourself time to realize how tired you are. Have something you look forward to doing immediately after you wake up.
I get fired up and excited in the morning because every day I have the opportunity to change someone's life. I go over the workout for that day at boot camp, respond to posts on Facebook, and answer questions and provide solutions for my health coaching clients. I am very lucky to love what I do, find something that works for you.
2. Listen to the warning signs
This is one I learned real quick. When the puppy goes anywhere near the door, you better get to stepping and let him out. Or face the consequences.
Aren't we like that with our health? Most people will not start an exercise program until their doctor tells them to, until they are really far out of shape or overweight, until they realize they can't keep up with their kids playing without gasping for breath.
You didn't get like that overnight. There were signs that you chose to ignore. I've been there too. I didn't just wake up one day 50 pounds overweight, it was a steady climb of bad food and not enough exercise. What signs are you ignoring?
3. Have a routine
The body likes to be in a routine as does the puppy. Both like to know what to expect and they respond favorable to a schedule. Eating, drinking, sleeping, exercising, etc... at the same time every day will help your body respond better. On the flip side, having an erratic schedule can wreak havoc on your system.
I did an internship at a tire plant when I was in college. The factory workers worked 12 hour shifts, one from 6AM-6PM and one 6PM-6AM. Then every few months, the AM shift would work 24 hours straight, and then the two shifts would swap up. Job accidents, heart attacks, and job unhappiness all increased rapidly until someone stepped in and put a stop to this crazy idea.
4. Be enthusiastic
Don't you like being around people with boundless enthusiasm? Doesn't it help you feel more energized? Tomorrow is not promised so we might as well soak every bit of life out of today. If you can't be enthusiastic about your workouts every time that's ok! But if you never look forward to your workouts, might be time to change it up. There are so many options in fitness, why choose one you don't like?
5. Forgive and forget
Thankfully the little fellow forgives me when I accidentally step on him, yell at him, or put him in his crate at night. No matter what, he will still be glad to see me and excited for another opportunity to hang out. How much better would our health be if we could be like that?
According to the Mayo Clinic, forgiving someone can lead to:
  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go enthusiastically attack my routine of forgiving and checking my warning signs.

Top 10 ways get out of an exercise rut and stay motivated

    Have you gotten to the point in your exercise program where you dread doing it? Has it become like a part-time job? You go put on your gym clothes, go through the motions, and then do it all over again the next day. You aren't getting results, your motivation is very low, and you find exercise to be extremely boring. Sounds like you are in an exercise rut. Here are 10 ways to get out of an exercise rut.   1. Take some time off There is a good chance that if you have been exercising for a long time you will experience burn out. It happens to the best of us, as well as the worst of us. Personally I take a whole week off a few times a year. Now that doesn't mean I sit on the couch eating cake with no pants on. I wear pants most of the time. What I mean is I take a week off from any structured exercise program. I might go for a hike, play basketball, etc... but nothing in the way of planned exercise. Since I am a creature of habit, it usually kills me to take some time off. It is just part of my daily routine that I have been doing for years, so my body does not like it at first when I take the week off. But after the week off, I am extremely excited to start back and those little nagging injuries that tend to come on with constant exercise start to fade away.   2. Remember why you started exercising Why are you doing all this? Wouldn't life be easier if you just sat on the couch, ate ice cream, and watched The Biggest Loser? At some time in your life you decided that exercise was something you needed to do. Think back why you started it. That reason may have changed along the way and you didn't even realize it. I first started exercising to get bigger and stronger for football. Then I started exercising to get rid of the bigger (fatter) me I had built. From there I have had different goals that have been aesthetic and performance based.   When your goals match your training style you will be much more successful. One of my goals a few years ago was to deadlift 450 pounds. If I had gone out every day and jogged to reach this goal, it would not have happened. If your goal is to drop body fat/weight and you have not addressed the nutrition aspect of your training, you will not reach your goal. Your goals need to line up with your exercise plan. There is something very comforting knowing all you have to do is follow a specific plan and you will reach your goal.   Also, you need to remember what emotion motivated you to get started. When I first started losing weight, my motivation was pretty simple. Stop being a fat guy and never turn back. If I ever feel myself slacking or need motivation, all I have to do is pull up a picture of myself 50 pounds ago. What will do it for you? Are you tired of begin sick and tired? Are you embarrassed by your body? Emotions are very powerful motivator, I recommend you tap into yours.   3. Try something new People who are avid exercisers are very susceptible to getting in a rut because they tend to stick to just one thing. Whether it be biking, running, strength training, or any other mode of exercise they tend to stick to that one thing. Why are you pigeonholing yourself into one workout for the rest of your life. Your body adapts very quickly to whatever you are doing.   Change it up! Variety is the spice of life, go get some flavor in your fitness. Just came up with that phrase so feel free to use it. There are so many fitness options to choose from, surely you can find one you enjoy. Or you can even change the way you are doing the exercise you enjoy. Try changing the exercises, amount of weight, rest breaks, speed of the lifts, etc... This is one of the single most important things you can do to stay out of a rut. You will gain two major benefits, besides staying out of an exercise rut. The first benefit will be a reduction in overuse injuries. If you continually pound the pavement as a runner with no other type of training, chances are very good you will get injured. But if you mix in some other modes of exercise such as strength training or biking you will save yourself some pain. Also, your performance will get better by adding in other activities. Take the aforementioned runner who begins strength training to supplement his or her running program. By strengthening the entire body, this person will become a more efficient and faster runner with less chance of breaking down. Who wouldn't want that?   4. Work on small goals It is very common for people to quit or slack off on their exercise program because of unrealistic expectations. Their goal of "Lose 50 pounds in January", did not happen gain this year so that must mean that exercise does not work for them. Break it up into small goals, starting with performance goals. If you have been sedentary, completing a goal of "Exercise 3 times per week in January" would be a huge accomplishment.  Often it is not one thing that will make you successful, but a combination of several smaller things. A fitness business professional named Pat Rigsby likes to say "Small hinges, swing big doors." Those little changes that may seem insignificant, can be crucial as you go forward.   Accomplishing these smaller goals also helps you stay motivated. If your goal is to lose 50 pounds in January and you lost 5, you would not be happy because your goal weight seem so far away. But if your goal was to lose the recommend 1-2 pounds per week, you are right where you need to be. Come up with a list of smaller goals made up of performance goals (take X amount of time off your mile run), behavioral goals(exercising X amount per week), and aesthetic goals (lose X amount of inches, weight, pant sizes).   5. Use visual cues Are you a Pinterest fan? It is the fasting growing social media site in the world. You know why? People respond very powerfully to visual cues. These can be pictures of someone's body you admire, things you want to accomplish, etc... but one of the simplest and most effective things you can use is the humble note card.  Those simple 3 x 5 note cards that you used to fumble through when you did speeches in school. Write your goals, motivational sayings, etc... and put them on note cards where you will see them every day. Sounds simple and maybe even a little silly, but it works. This will keep your goals and aspirations at the forefront of your mind to help keep you motivated.   Along these lines, you can also do a vision board. A vision board might sound a little too Oprahish for some people, but have seen all that Oprah has been able to accomplish? A vision board is basically like a school project. You need poster board (or if you are going dance, some cork board), pictures, and glue. For the pictures you want to make sure they are three things.   Personal-You can't use my board and I can't use yours. My vision board might be filled with dudes sporting rat tails that I am coveting. You want that? Probably not, but I don't know you that well.   Emotionally charged- The pictures should really speak to you and spur you to action every time you look at it. Are there any pictures you can think of right now that do that for you?   Strategically placed- Just like with the note cards, you should put your vision board somewhere where you will see it multiple times EVERY day.   Vison boards are all based on making the law of attraction work. The law of attraction in a nut shell is whatever it is you consistently think (positively or negatively) will come to fruition. I believe in it personally, but I am a naturally positive person any way. When was the last time things went really bad for you when you were thinking positively? It's pretty rare, turn that frown upside down kid it's going to be ok.   6. Read a book, blog, magazine etc... This is a great way to find people who are going through what you are. What did they do to get through it? Steal ideas, share ideas, adapt ideas to your own situation. There is a wealth of information on every subject imaginable out there, use it to your benefit. You can get a lot of it for free. Or you can buy exercise books to get into a new routine. Get a fitness magazine for new workouts, recipes, motivating stories, etc... Pick up a healthy nutrition cook book to help you with the all important nutrition piece of the puzzle. This is something small you can do that really helps with new ideas, as well as keeping your health at the forefront of your mind.   7. Exercise with a friend, group, team, or club The three main things you will experience when exercising with others are: social opportunities; accountability; and motivation. One of the most consistent comments I get from my boot campers is that we are like a family. People have made lifelong friendships in the class. There is just no better way to bond, than through burpees I guess. When you can get together to sweat and smile it really is a magical combination that becomes addicting.   When you are by yourself, you had a hard day at work, didn't sleep good last night, and you are driving to the gym it gets very easy for that car to direct itself on home. But if you had to meet someone for that workouts, whether it is a trainer or a workout partner, your chances of skipping that workout just went way down. Accountability is an absolute key to exercise success.   The group or partner atmosphere also gives you that extra boost to keep going, dig a little deeper, and give it your best. About 90% of the time I workout by myself in my garage. Depending on what time of year it is, the garage is either really cold or boiling hot. In Alabama we have spring for 6 days and then it picks a lane, hot or cold. There are many days when the last thing I want to do is go slave through a workout. There are some benefits to the garage workout. I can wear what I want, being barefoot doesn't freak anyone but my wife out, I can  blast my Justin Bieber shame free, use chalk when I life weights, throw things, etc...   It's a pretty extensive list of reasons I like to workout in there, BUT there are also a lot of distractions. Luckily I am a fairly disciplined person and  also have experienced one thing over and over.   Just start the workout.   No matter what you feel like, how much you are dreading it, just start, and you will feel better afterwards.  If you are not the type of person that can stick to a workout AND give it the proper intensity, you need to seek out a group or a partner.   8. Take a power nap To be fair, this is my solution to everything in life. Your cholesterol is high? Man I would take a nap if I were you.  You got fired? Little snooze will clear that right up. Just understand that I wasn't always like this. The years of getting up way before the sun has caught up to me and now I am a self-taught, napping expert. There are days when I can't find the energy to put my shoes on, much less work out.   WebMD even backs my napping with science in this article Nap Benefits. There is even a gym in North Carolina that offers napping classes. For real, Nap Classes at the gym.   I won't bore you with all of my personal napping techniques and tips, just know they are spectacular. I may write a book on napping one day as my way of giving back to the people. But I will tell you that anything over 30 minutes and you will wake up unsure who you are, what country you are in, and why your pants are way over there. Maybe the last part is just me. If you have 5-30 minutes to spare, try a power nap before you workout for a quick mental and physical recharge.   9. Competition Some people just thrive on competition. Whether it is in a race or in the group setting we mentioned earlier, some people will completely change and come alive in competition. I am that type of person. There are very few things I hate worse than losing. It is something I've had to really check myself on because I can take it too far. There is absolutely nothing wrong with healthy competition.   You know what is a competition I love watching? The one-sided competition. This is when only one person knows there is a competition going on. For instance, have you ever been on a treadmill and you see the person next to you keep glancing over at your console and pushing buttons? Then you increase your speed, they increase their speed. Has this ever happened to you? Did it make you bump up your speed just a tiny bit? Sometimes it takes a little competition to get you out of your comfort zone.   Whatever the competition is, use it to your advantage. Strive to be stronger, faster, fitter, and more flexible than you are now. If you are going to try to do something, why not be the best at it YOU can?   10. Shoot for progress, not perfection You are going to mess up, you are going to miss workouts, you are going to eat fast food. We all do! Even that buff guy of girl you think has a perfect body. It's going to happen, so it's no big deal! Here's the main thing to take home from this. Do not let a slip become a fall. What I mean by that is, when you miss up it is not the end of the world. Pick up where you left off and keep moving. Too many people get stuck by focusing on a mistake rather than remembering all that they have accomplished. Even if are only moving forward one step at a time, you are still moving forward. Keep it up and you will get where you are going eventually.   Action step- Pick out one or two of these and start using them TODAY. There is no way you should be dreading your workouts, so find a way to look forward to them.

Challenge #3 in the Free 13 Week Challenge Program


Are you sitting down? Well you might have an excuse this time. How did you do on last week's challenge?

This is the exercise challenge week. Here's what your challenge is this week.

It is to exercise 5 times this week and to stay active on the other 2 days.

Now before you get too intimidated at the thought of working out 5 days a week, just realize it doesn't have to be for 2 hours each time. There are some days I only workout for 10 minutes, if that is what I have time for.

The American Council on Exercise recommends exercising on as many days as possible during the week. So we are going to take advantage of every day.

I want you to do some sort of resistance training at least twice during the week as well. Resistance training can be lifting weights, body weight exercises, machine weights, exercise bands, isometrics, all of those are examples of resistance training. If you have health problems of course consult your doctor. If you don't know what you are doing consult a trainer to help you with your form and to design a program for you.

Stick to doing compound movements that work more than one muscle at a time, so you maximize your results. Exercises like pushups, squats, lunges, shoulder presses, etc...

Research has shown that people who include resistance training in their exercise regimen lose fat TWICE as fast as people who do not. Ladies, you WILL NOT get bulky and muscled up. It would take a female bodybuilder (the one you are afraid you will look like) a full year of dedicated, hard core training to gain 5 pounds of muscle. This will not be an issue for you.

Just know that the more muscle you have, the more fat calories you are burning even when you are just sitting around for more than 15 minutes. There are other health benefits as well, such as bone strengthening, fall prevention, beating up the bully who kicked sand in your face when you were skinny. Being stronger makes everything easier.

Trust me, I'm a powerhouse ;)

So that's the lifting part. You also need to do your cardio. Cardio can be running, walking, biking, rowing, jumping, etc... If you are already doing cardio, do 10% more. For instance, if you are doing 30 minutes at 4 mph on the treadmill, you can either go 10% faster (4.4 mph) or 10% longer (33 minutes).

You have to get out of your comfort zone. You can't keep doing the exact same workout and expect different results.

On the two days you stay active, that just means don't be a 10 toed sloth. Walk a dog (even if you have to borrow one), go on a hike, do some stretching, just do something physical. You're not trying to kill yourself, you are just keeping the blood flowing. Send your body the message that this is the new way of life, so get used to it. I am no longer going to sit around and let my body go to waste.

So in review:

1. Exercise 5 days a week

2. Make at least 2 of those workouts resistance training

3. Stay active on the 2 days you don't have a formal exercise plan

This doesn’t happen to Dirty Girls

Does your GNO stand for Girls Noshing to Obesity? I know it stands for Girls Night Out usually, but you will see why I renamed it later. This is a study you may find interesting. When a person in the study became obese, there was a 40% increased risk their sibling would become obese too. And for the spouse, there was a 37% increased risk.
Here's the most interesting part. When your friend becomes obese, you have a 57% increased risk yourself! And if your friend was of the same gender, that jumped to 71%!  That is crazy, but it does make sense.
Think about the social events you go to or the things you do with your friends. How many of those events involve physical activity and healthy eating? For the most part it is dinner and drinks with little regard for caloric intake.
GNO's are awesome and really can help with stress, but can sabotage your fitness program. So what do you do? Try to be the leader, not the follower. Be the one who orders the healthy meal, doesn't eat 4 loaves of bread or 4 baskets of chips while they wait.
And here is a way to really be a leader. Are you signed up for the Dirty Girl Mud Run? It is a woman only race through mud, water, and other obstacles. Should be a ton of fun and a great way to have a healthy outing with your friends. We have a bunch from boot camp signed up for the one that is in Birmingham on March 9th, just let me know if you want to join us.   To help you get ready for this event, we have aspecial 8 week class starting this Saturday January 12. This will be a little more hard core than regular boot camp and will involve more running. So even if you aren't doing the race you can get some great training in on the weekends.   Sign up today ----->Dirty Girl Training

Don’t let this happen to you. No regrets baby.

Research shows that 75% of people name their biggest regrets in life as the things they didn't do in life...not the things they did. I like Max Lucado's advice on the subject:
"Go to the effort. Invest the time. Write the letter. Make the apology. Take the trip. Purchase the gift. Do it. The seized opportunity renders joy. The neglected brings regret." 
-Max Lucado
Take a look around at a lot of our older population. There are too many people that are bed ridden and pill riddled. Don't let that be you!
Next time you don't feel like working out, think of the person in the wheelchair who would give anything to complain about running, lifting weights, getting up early to workout, being sore.
Think about not just living longer, but better, healthier, stronger.
Who wants to live stuck in a bed or chair? That is not living, that's just surviving.
Stop eating the junk food. Use proper portion control when you eat, especially if you eat out a lot.
Cut down on alcohol intake.
Do your cardiovascular training to keep your heart and lungs strong.
Lift weights so you'll be able to take care of yourself in your later years.
Cut out cigarettes completely.
Stretch or do yoga to keep your body limber, so you'll be that spry old person people are amazed by.
It's never too early or too late to start getting healthy, but the earlier you start the easier it is. Along the way you might just start looking better, but don't let that be your only motivation.
Exercise is as close to a miracle drug as you can get. It will be the key to having more quality of life, not just quantity.
What is it you really want to do? Why aren't you doing it?
Live without regret!

Be the 10% this year

  Exercise resolutions are everywhere! But here is the deal that we all know.   Resolutions don't work.   90% of resolutions fail.   Sounds pretty grim doesn't it? I don't know about you, but I'm like the guy in Dumb and Dumber when he is told the odds are one in a million against him.   So you're saying there's a chance!   Why can't you be that 10% that accomplishes everything they set out to do?   Why can't you be like Stephane Stegen who gave up making excuses and started getting results? You can watch Stephane on the news talking about the results she has earned at boot camp.    Super Star Stephane    She's lost nearly 3 FEET off her body! Crazy huh? It's weird how she did it too. -Consistently showing up -Working hard when she got there -Eating healthy foods that nourished her body -Not letting excuses hold her back   I want you to be next. And I want to help you get there. We start a brand new Fat Blasting exercise class that starts on January 7th.   Go to www.HuntsvilleBootCamp.com to get started.   Be the 10% this year!  

12 Days of Christmas Workout (No equipment needed)

Merry Christmas! In between your present opening and egg nog fueled rants on why in the world kids' toys have to be locked up like Fort Knox, maybe you feel like getting a little workout in. I'm here for you my friend. You know that 12 Days of Christmas song right? How it seems like it lasts forever? Now you can make your workout seem like it lasts forever! Very exciting right? This workout works just like the song. You do the first exercise (verse), then the first exercise and the second exercise, then you do the first, second, and third exercise. Pretty sure you get how it works. It does help if you sing the song out loud, unless there is someone else there to hear you. Here are the exercises: 1st day... 1 minute running (in place works too) 2nd day...2 wacky jacks 3rd day... 3 Pike pushups 4th day... 4 box jumps 5th day... 5 jumping jacks 6th day... 6 bench dips 7th day... 7 belly blasters 8th day... 8 close grip pushups 9th day... 9 jump squats 10th day... 10 walking lunges 11th day... 11 hip raises 12th day... 12 burpees See how fast you can get through the list. Hope you have an awesome day.

The Get Happy Workout (weird)

Negative self talk is a huge problem in today's society that can actually spill over and have negative physical consequences.   You say you don't talk bad about yourself? Just to make sure, look through this list and see if any of these sound familiar.   Four Common Forms of Negative Talk 1. Filtering You eliminate all the positive you did and just pick out the negative aspects about yourself.   Person-"Hey you did so awesome on that presentation!" You-"Yeah but my hair was parted on the wrong side, my slides were the wrong color, I didn't roll my R's properly, and I sneezed 3 times."     2. Personalizing Anything bad happens it is automatically your fault.   "I can't believe they cancelled Gilmore Girls it's all my fault!"   3. Catastrophizing Always anticipating the worst is going to happen.   "I spilled some milk, looks like this day is shot."   4. Polarizing Things are either awesome or a complete disaster, no in between.   "I am great at this!" "I am the worst human being to ever attempt pinning things on Pinterest."   Just by having a positive attitude you can expect these benefits:  
  • Increased life span
  • Lower rate of depression
  • Lower level of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
    So in response to that, I've come up with The Get Happy Workout (Trademark pending). One of my strong points as a fitness instructor is my ability to make people laugh. It is part of my formula for making a happier and healthier person.   Sweat + Smile= Success   Don't you just feel great after you exercise? And after you have a good laugh? Try this 10 minute workout to get into a better mood.   Warning-do not take yourself too seriously and if you are a very serious person there is no need to read any further.   DO NOT do this in front of others.   Trust me.   Each exercise is for 45 seconds, rest 15 seconds, then move onto the next exercise. Go through the whole list twice.   1. Wacky Jacks- hands behind your head, then try to make your knees and your elbows meet on the side of your body jumping jack style. Ridiculous.   2. Plank- the whole time I want you to think of something hilarious while you hold your plank. I find everything funny, but others might struggle here. Let me know if you need me.   3. Pushups- think about pushing through your armpits while you do these. This will make you stronger on pushups, but I also want you to make up benefits for pushing through your pits as you do so. For instance, did you know hair grows slower under your arms if you push hard enough while doing pushups? Less shaving=win.   4. Hip bridge talking- Lay on the ground, knees bent, feet near your butt. Push through your heels and make your hips go up in the air. I want you to contract and relax your butt without letting your hips drop down. Also, I want you imagine that those contractions and relaxations are your bum muscles talking to you. What could they possibly be saying? I need to know, so pass it on.   Great, low impact exercise that will also teach you how to get your glute muscles activated if you sit down a lot.   5. Squats- Push your hips back, keep your shoulder blades back, keep your knees out, and sit away from your knees on the way down. Push through your heels to stand back up. Whatever it takes, I want you to smile while you're doing this. Fake it until you make it.   It's 10 minutes of your time and if you embrace the goofiness properly I guarantee it will make you feel better. I have a PHD in goofy so you are in good hands.   When in doubt, check out this video of a baby laughing hysterically. Good times.   http://youtu.be/RP4abiHdQpc
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