FINDING YOUR BALANCE

excuses 2
Isn’t this the case for almost everything?

At times our focus is everywhere except on ourselves. Some of us tend to let our good habits slip. Having that extra serving of fries, that extra drink at a holiday party and not setting aside some time to move.

This can snowball into weight gain and a feelings of guilt. Despair not, with one habit change you can get back on track.

Leo Babatu in his book ‘The Power of Less’ wrote ‘In order to create a sustainable habit you need to address one habit at a time.’ His research tells us that you will have an 85% success rate adopting one new habit at a time.

Trying to change two habits at once the success rate to 33%. Compelling evidence that even when you’re busy, you can make one habit change that will stick.

Some habits that we change carry more weight than others. Charles Duhigg in his book ‘ The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and Business’ talks about ‘keystone habits’

This type of habit change will take you outside your comfort zone and make you feel uneasy. For example, giving up smoking, changing your diet and or trying a new exercise routine.

By adopting just one ‘keystone habit’ you can set a positive chain reaction in the rest of your life. In various studies it is suggested that people who start an exercise habit will start eating healthier because they are feeling better about there bodies.

Also, they start using credit card less and procrastinate less at work.

So, whether it’s a small habit change or a ‘keystone habit’ change, I want you to think about one habit that you can change right now and into the New Year.

Time to put the some of the focus back on YOU during this holiday season.

 

 

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Quick body-weight routine

When you have no time to train or no access to a gym, this is a perfect body weight routine you can do anywhere, anytime. This is great routine to do for recovery purposes or before/ after you indulge in your favorite treat 🙂

INSTRUCTIONS

Complete the four exercises as a circuit with little or no rest in between exercises and circuits . However, if you need to rest, take it. Do a total of 4 circuits.

1a. Marching in place – 30 reps on each leg

1b. Triple extension 15 reps

1c. Reverse flyes– 15- 30 reps

1d. Push ups or incline push ups– 8-15 reps

Smile , have some fun and stay out of trouble.

 

Change your perspective

In this day and age, we have a ton of information at our finger tips, thanks to Google and YouTube. So knowing how to get and stay healthy shouldn’t be difficult, right?

However, the statistics tell a different story.

According to Marketdata Enterprises Americans spend upwards of 60 billion per year trying to lose weight while the National Institutes of Health puts America’s obesity rate at 68.8 %. The numbers just don’t add up. We should be a nation of healthy people.

Throwing money at the problem is not working, information overload is not working either, and I’m right on the front lines. I’m a Personal Trainer /Writer with over seven years’ experience in the trenches and 25 years under the barbell.

Before I knew better, my mentality consisted of better is more, no pain, no gain and move more and eat less. Remember what Dr. Phil said to his guests when they were in a spot of bother:

“How’s that working for you?”

Not good, Dr. Phil. That’s why I’ve been changing my ways. I’m walking a mile in my client’s shoes, keeping my finger on the pulse and doing my best to tune out all the BS. However, the evil forces are strong, and it’s a constant battle between good and evil.

Scroll through your social media feed, turn on the TV or pick up a magazine. You’ll find pictures of photo shopped models telling you how they got ripped in six weeks, or see the Biggest Loser tearing down contestants and turning weight loss into a twisted competition, or hear some expert hawking the latest and greatest weight loss solution. Dr. Oz, anybody?

Let’s not forget what’s good or bad for you changes on a daily basis, thanks to the mainstream media and research twisted to scare you. Let me throw the Food Babe under the bus, too. Scare tactics and shortcuts are coming at us thick and fast.

However, businesses like the PTDC and Precision Nutrition are fighting the good fight in ensuring that coaches who come in to fitness industry are properly trained and immune to BS. Then this will flow on to you, the consumer, so whenever you pick up a magazine or turn on the tube you’ll be receiving good, not evil messages.

When push really comes to shove, you don’t need Google, YouTube, Dr. Oz or the Food Babes of this world. You don’t even need to open your wallet. You need to change your perspective.

I used to the typical gym meathead, more worried about the size of my biceps and whether or not the gym bunnies were checking me out. After training clients with real physical problems and going through some of my own setbacks, my tune started to change. It’s a case of “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone.”

When movement was taken away, I wanted it back. I realized movement is a gift. Take a good look around next time you’re out and about or at the gym. Pay attention to the people who are handicapped. I bet they would love to be able to squat, lunge, walk and jump around like the rest of us. Never take movement for granted as it could be taken away at any moment.

Not only is movement a gift, it’s fun and never a punishment. Remember what it was like to be a kid as you ran outside, played with your friends or reenacted your sporting heroes in the backyard? Close your eyes and imagine that for a moment. Good times.

Your advancing years then brought heavier responsibility, more zeros on your pay check and added inches around the waist. Then maybe you joined a gym to punish yourself with mindless cardio and sit ups because you thought (or were told) that’s what it took to lose weight.

If that sounds like you, please stop it now. You’re going about it all wrong. Start moving in ways that please you, like when you were a child. Move in ways that make you happy, not miserable. Stop slogging away on the dreadmill or wrenching your neck doing endless crunches.

Instead, jump rope, join a rec league, play with your kids or take your dogs for a walk. You’re really only limited by your imagination.

Michelle Segar, Ph.D. and author of No Sweat gets into this concept of moving in ways that please you, avoiding the old way of viewing exercise as a punishment, and how this can brings you a lifetime of fitness. It has worked for her clients over and over again and it’s no fluke.

If you combine enjoyable movement with better dietary choices (less food out of a box and more meals with one ingredient food) the Biggest Loser, Dr. Oz, Food Babe, and any other self-proclaimed expert of the health and fitness world become obsolete.

Our health is a complex problem with multiple layers that far exceed the scope of this article. I’ll leave that to the scientists and experts to debate. However, some of the solutions are simple and right in front of you. All you need to do is open your eyes (not your wallet) and change your perspective.

BREAK OUT OF YOUR EXERCISE RUT

Love exercise but sick and tired of not getting the results you deserve? That’s no fun. Making small changes in your current routine could be just what you’re looking for. Implement one or more of the following plateau busters next time you’re exercising and smiling.  Your body and waistline will thank you.

Change the tempo

Increasing the time your muscles are under tension will spark lactic acid or the “burn” you feel. Feels great right? In turn your body produces growth hormone. This sparks more muscle growth and greater potential for fat loss.

TRY THIS

With any exercise, take 3 seconds on the lowering phase (going to the floor on a push-up) and 2 seconds on the “up” phase. Do anywhere between 6- 10 repetitions. Check your ego at the door and use less resistance when following this. You’ll feel the burn

Hold on

Take the momentum out of any exercise you do by holding the “bottom” position of the exercise. For example holding the position of the squat when you thighs are parallel to the ground. As little as a 3 second hold will do the trick.

TRY THIS

Hold the bottom position of a squat, bench press, push up or any lunge variation for 3 seconds. Do the rest of your lift at a controlled tempo.

Change your repetition ranges

Instead of doing 3 sets of 10 on every exercise, try adding more resistance and doing 4 sets of 5 reps. Instead of working in the 4-6 repetition range go a lighter and work in the 12-15 repetition range. Muscle building and fat loss happen in a variety of repetition ranges.  Change it once in a while.

Change your exercise order

If you’re a stick in the mud and not a fan of the first 3, you can simply change the exercise order of your current routine. Do biceps curls before you do any pulling exercise. Do triceps extensions before any pressing exercise.  Or turn your exercise routine upside down and do what is last, first.

Timed sets

Set your stop watch and go, go, go. Doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions all the time can get dull. But working against the stopwatch can be the plateau buster you’ve been looking for.

TRY THIS

Pick one press exercise, one leg exercise and one pull exercise for example

  1. Shoulder press.
  2. Goblet Squat
  3. Dumbbell row

Do each exercise for 30 seconds. Do as many reps as possible. Rest 1 minute between moves. Rest 2 minutes at the end of circuit. Increase the weight by 10% and try and beat the amount of repetitions you did last time.

Small changes to your  exercise routine can bring you great results.