Tag Archives: Physical exercise

The Anti-boredom workout

I guarantee that most of you will at some point today do the following:

  • You will check your email
  • You will check Facebook
  • You will aimlessly surf the web
  • You will watch some TV
  • You will gab on the phone

Who wants to take me up on this? Anyone want to make a bet? Combined, this time-wastage can span hours. At a minimum it can eat up precious time in your day.

Is any of this advancing your cause? Helping others? Making the world a better place? If you are going to be selfish then at least be selfish in a more meaningful way. Go exercise!

The Anti-boredom workout

Turn off the TV and turn on the radio.  Grab a stop watch or a timer.

Perform each of these exercises for 30 seconds without a break in between. Once done with all of the exercises you are allowed a two-minute break. Repeat this 4-6 times.

  • Squats
  • Push-ups
  • Crunches
  • Lunges
  • Burpees

At least being selfish in this way will make you healthier and more energetic. A more energetic you is a happier you. A happier you is a world slightly better off.



Key Steps in Planning Your Transformation

An excerpt from The Diet for a Busy Life:

Lifestyle transformation takes planning. There is no way around this. The good news is that putting forth the energy to create a plan helps reduce stress. You will feel better about yourself knowing you are starting to do something about your personal situation.  So, let’s get planning!

Chances are before you started the Diet for a Busy Life, 10% of the content in your fridge was actually good for you. The other 90% was way too tempting and loaded with bad things. You need to reverse this so that at any one given time you can open the fridge door and not be assaulted by the enemies of your plan. This takes continuous effort and mindfulness. The last thing you want is to find yourself weak one day staring at a glorious looking slice of cheesecake.

Here is a quick list of things you want to experience day in and day out and therefore plan for:

  • Veggies in your fridge and ready to eat
  • Bad things in your fridge cannot be found
  • Eggs, meats and cheese are available and fresh
  • Time in your calendar is set aside for exercise
  • A peek at  an old picture of you when you were fat. Need I remind you of how far you have come?

Here are some ideas to help:

  • Have a single, master list used for grocery shopping
  • Go to the supermarket at a minimum once a week
  • After food shopping come home and immediately clean and cut the vegetables
  • After dinner prepare things for the next day – clean pans, make handy any dry ingredients, program the coffee maker, etc
  • Keep a fat picture of you next to the bed

Careful planning will help you to eat better and also help you to find time to exercise. With everything else driving us crazy and consuming our time this is always a challenge which is why planning is so important. I have a few ideas on how you can change this around. Here are some ideas on how to increase the odds of exercising on any given day:

Have your exercises clothes ready so that you see them when you wake up you put them on – For stay-at-home moms why not get dressed in your workout gear first thing in the morning instead of your normal outfit? It will be a constant reminder that at some point you need to be exercising.

Simplify your pre-exercise routine – Some people have this nutty routine that can take 20-30 minutes just to get ready to go to the gym:  they need to fix their hair, put on make-up, find the right workout outfit.. yada, yada, yada. Add a 10-15  minute drive to the gym and this leaves  scant precious time to actually exercise! Does this make any sense? The bottom line is you cannot put barriers between you and exercise and your pre-exercise routine is one of these barriers. Here is what I suggest: grab a t-shirt, sweatpants and sneakers and leave your vanity behind. Remember, you go to the gym to focus on exercise and not to win any style awards.

Do not go to the gym – I am not a big fan of gyms and health clubs. They are costly, many times not exactly convenient to get to and can make you feel subconscious about yourself. A home gym can be as simple as a chair and some dumbbells. All of the equipment and fancy gear at the gym are just there to lure you in. You can get a fantastic body with nothing but a winning attitude. No equipment is necessary and I am living proof of it!

A can do attitude – When you get up from bed each day tell yourself you are going to workout. When you go to bed at night reflect back about what you did to advance your goals. Take a look at the picture of the “fat” you. Remind yourself of how important victory is. Set your alarm clock so that you add 30 minutes to your day.

Get it done early – Why not just get a workout done before you do anything else? Get out of bed and hit the weights. Do a warm-up first of course. You know you will feel great once its done and the rev to your metabolism will keep you going all day. Wake up and go!

How often should you change your workout routine?

Research has shown that changing up your workout routine is important to improving your fitness levels. The simple fact of the matter is your body is very resilient and very adaptable. If you keep doing the same kind of workout week in and week out not only will you get bored you will also begin to see results plateau. So let’s start to shake things up OK?

The question is how often should you change your routine? I have the answer and I am emphatic about it: Change your routine every two weeks.

For people seriously wanting to get fit and putting in the time to do so, two weeks is a magical number. Here is my logic:

Your body is VERY adaptable. It creates billions of new cells each day and is in a constant state of repair. You begin to plateau sooner than you think. Fourteen days represents a massive amount of cellular change.

Two weeks is also not a random number. Ever try to quit smoking? After two weeks without nicotine life gets better. The same is true for just about any addiction. Your body is much different after just two weeks of change from both a physical and a mental perspective. Two weeks even has a special name. It is called a fortnight.

Two weeks is an easy number to remember. Without a plan you will forget and change too often or not enough. We are all very busy and we forget things. What did you have for breakfast yesterday? See my point? You should get in a habit of selecting two workout cycles (more on this later) at the start of each month. Cycle one is the beginning of the month and after the 15th you switch to the second cycle. Ta da! It is that easy to remember.

After two weeks and you will be begging for a change. You get bored very easily (we all do…). Three to four weeks of the same routine will drive anyone bonkers. A two week routine is much more palatable.

What about your goals, objectives, plans, changes in your attitude or your ability to workout? Shouldn’t your routine adapt to this? To this I say “NO!” Remember, you are in this for the long haul. Sure you are going to have setbacks but a routine is a routine! You need to have one.  When you are ready to get back to work look at the calendar. If it is before the 15th it is cycle one, after the 15th it is cycle two. Now you are suddenly back on track and no longer confused.

OK. I think I hammered on the two week thing enough so now you are asking “What is a cycle?” A  cycle is a focused set of workouts that either isolates muscles under load to strengthen them or muscles under load to condition them. You alternate these types of workouts bi-monthly.

Cycle One workouts places emphasis on resistance training with light cardio sprinkled in to allow the muscles to heal. When you perform a Cycle One workout you attempt heavier weights but less repetitions. Cycle Two workouts place more emphasis on higher repetitions, less weight, longer cardio workouts and high intensity interval training.

Example of a Cycle One routine with repetitions in the 4-6 range:

Day 1) Arms and shoulder weight training

Day 2) Rest or light cardio

Day 3) Lower body weight training

Day 4) Upper body resistance workout (arms and chest)

Day 5) Rest or light cardio

Day 6)  Abs and back resistance workout

Day 7) Rest or light cardio

Day 8- 14) Repeat above

Example of a Cycle Two routine (repetitions in the 10+ range):

Day 1) Max cardio

Day 2) Rest

Day 3) Core (abs and back) focused HIITS

Day 4) Upper body focused HIITS or Max cardio

Day 5) Rest

Day 6)  Lower body focused HIITS or Max cardio

Day 7) Rest

Day 8- 14) Repeat above

It is tough enough to maintain a workout routine. Don’t complicate things but keep in mind change is good.  What day is today? It just happens to be the 10th and therefore I am off to go work on my manly chest with some heavy iron. Happy fitnessing my friends!

Today’s workout challenge: The Selfless Workout

Today’s workout is a tough one and will challenge you like none other. It will  literally pit YOU against YOURSELF.  When over, I GUARANTEE  you will feel fantastic.  Before you try it though take a look at yourself in front of a mirror and be happy that you have a mirror hanging in front of you…
I call this the Selfless workout:
1) Get out of bed
2) Walk over to the computer
3) Open up a web-browser (If you are reading this then you are already half way done with the workout! Now comes the hard part…)
4) Navigate to www.habitat.org
5) Pull out a credit card
5) Click on the donate button. Follow the instructions.
Feel free to repeat this workout often just make sure your bank account can handle it.

7 Habits of Highly Healthy People

Stephen Covey taught us about The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Today, I want to talk to you about the 7 Habits of Highly Healthy People. I know this title makes no sense but I need to grab your attention some how…

I am a big fan of Mr. Covey and I have read his book several times. Since imitation is the highest form of flattery I figured I would apply Stephen’s logic to our world and our desire to become healthier. I have compiled a list of some of the key things healthy people do to stay fit:

1) Get up early – Most of my idols are the types who like to seize the day. I am sure there are plenty of people who are healthy who like to sleep in but how many of us can do this in the real world? Set your alarm for 5am every day. Gulp!

2) Keep their gym clothes handy. When the alarm goes off healthy people do not reach for their slippers. Instead they reach for their trainers and rather than don a robe they don their workout gear.

3) Stock their fridge right – Healthy people just flat out stay away from junk food. They eat all natural foods dense with vitamins and minerals. They have learned that junk food can act like an anchor slowing them down. When the doors to the fridge open they can blindly grab anything in it.

4) Attack stress –  Healthy people tend to have balance in their lives. They tend to attack stress versus let stress attack them. Healthy people are generally those who have learned to compartmentalize things that stress them so that they can better handle it. Being healthy also means you are physically strong. This strength provides self-confidence and confidence is a great asset to have when it comes to handling stress.

5) Have a plan – Healthy people have built an active lifestyle into their busy lives. In other words they plan ahead and allocate the necessary time and energy to staying fit. They also plan out their diet so they never find themselves face to face with a pizza when they are hungry.

6) Have a vision – Healthy people have a vision of not only how they want to look but they also have a clear understanding of how they want to feel. They want energy. They want to be able to enjoy life. They know that being overweight will just slow them down. This vision drives them to stay fit. What drives you? Remember: energy = happiness.

7) Always have water handy – Healthy people know that one of the keys to having energy is staying hydrated. Smart, Earth conscious, healthy people keep a large water jug next to them at all times. Yes, filled from the tap. Get in the routine of filling up a jug every morning and carrying it around with you all day.

Finally, as Stephen Covey so artfully wrote:  Think “Win-Win”. Come up with a plan to become healthier that works given your lifestyle and does not sacrifice your happiness.

For more tips and tricks read: The Diet for a Busy Life by Phillip Gerard.