A client asked me the other day why do I think it takes some people so long to get results while other people seem to have faster results. 


I think this is such an outstanding question.


It’s all about habits.  Some people will come in each week and do hours of cardio, but then leave the gym and pay little to no attention to what they eat. Likewise others will come in and do all sorts of rehab exercises and then go and sit in their office chair with their legs crossed for 3-4 hours a day and wonder why their knee or hip is still bothering them.


It’s all about HABITS.  To me the whole idea of working out, exercising and training, is so that it makes what we do in our day to day life easier and more enjoyable. If you spend 3-4 hours a week exercising, but spend 20-30 hours a week sitting improperly or not paying attention to what you eat, you’ve dismantled all the hard work you’ve done at the gym.


See, working out, training and exercising is like fluoride for the body.  It fortifies the body so it doesn’t break down while you’re going through your daily routine. Eating properly does much the same thing. It fortifies and encourages your body to burn fat, digest and eliminate properly and repair damaged tissues.

The curious thing is many people treat fitness like we do our car repair. We think if we just show up and do some exercise, that’s the end of the responsibility. Unfortunately you can’t just drop off your body and pick up a new one, without aches and pains, and with the perfect shape you want.  You have to be aware of your habits outside the gym as well.

Simply put, health, fitness and wellness is a lifestyle.  It is something that should be made part of your everyday living if you are going to get results and reach your goals.

Here are some HABITS to assist you in reaching your goals.


1.)   Focus on the task at hand.  If you’re training, train, don’t make it a social outlet. Get what you came to get done, done.

2.)   Plan your meals in advance. Make food choices that assist you in reaching your goals. You deserve to see the results of all your hard work, and it will help you stay motivated.

3.)   Get body work/massage done regularly. Whether it’s going to a massage therapist or using a roller or tube for self massage, take care of your body. It’s as important as changing the oil in your car.

4.)   Be aware of your posture. How you sit in your chair, how you walk, how you stand. You spend WAY more hours doing each of these things than you do training – Fortify!

5.)   Get your rest. At the pace most of us are working, none of us can afford to miss any sleep. It’s a necessary part of recuperation both mentally and physically.


Your habits, like it or not, decide your success in anything you do in life.  Don’t just go through the motions. You’re putting in the hard work, why not see the results? Whether it’s physical pain, a few extra pounds you want to get rid of, or a financial goal you have set for yourself, your habits will dictate your success.

 

At the risk of sounding a bit too cliche, changing your habits can seriously change your life.

 

Remember the 80/20 Rule -- 80% of your results are based on 20% of your actions!

 

As always, let me know what you think.  

It's scary even for me to read.  Especially when I think about the busy schedules everyone has, but the following two links are by far 2 of the most important things you need to consider this year!

 

Yes, I realize that sounds rather sensationalized, but believe me when I tell you the information shared in the following two links will indeed get you thinking about your life differently.

 

The first one I just received -- literally.  And it impacted so much that I raced home to send this blog post out to you right away!

 

23 1/2 Hours by Dr. Mike Evans

 

or just watch the video below.

 



 

The next link is to a post I wrote a little while back that shares some pretty startling research on how sitting for over 3 hours at a time can actually decrease you life span.  Yes, I do realize it's hard to believe, but it is actually backed with some interesting research.  Either way you look at it, it should move you into action.

 

Sitting For Long Periods Can Kill You

 

No matter how you look at, both of these pieces really serve as great reminders that no matter how wonderful technology is, you still have to make time to take care of your body.  And that means, whether it's getting out of pain, getting back to enjoying your favorite activity, or wanting to lose a few of those unwanted pounds, you have to get up, get out and move that body!

 

Have a day that makes you glad to be alive!

It's been a while since I've had a chance to share with you some Tips, Tricks, and Info to keep you on Track and making progress. I had quite a few major changes going on on this end over the past couple of months, that literally demanded my attention.

 

But that aside, let's get to it shall we.

 

This past week it has become painfully apparent to me that your Comfort Zone Can Kill You.  I know, you think I'm probably overstating the problem for shock effect, right?  

 

Wrong!

 

I presently have a client, a former triathlon competitor, that originally came to me with concerns about his increasing cholesterol, as well as nagging hip and knee pain. As you would expect it was the usual suspects, tight quads and hip flexors, rounded shoulders from way too many hours in front of the computer, weak glutes from little to no activity since he stopped competing, and of course a weak core.  He regularly attended sessions twice per week.  In addition to those sessions, he was given homework to do so that we could rid him of pain as quickly as possible.

 

Then life happened.  His job began to require him to travel 2 weeks out of the month and POW, the progress we had made slipped backwards.

 

As you might have guessed, the homework he had been doing went out the window, the amount of sitting he was doing had almost doubled, thanks to plane travel, and on top of it all he was not able to keep his regular sessions.  So in essence he had gone back to the comfort zone that had originally created the pain and increasing cholesterol.

 

After reviewing what had transpired we agreed that taking care of himself couldn't be something he would find time for, taking care of himself would something he would have to make time for.

 

You see we all have crazy busy schedules.  I completely respect that.  But what I also know without a doubt, is that if you don't make time for wellness, you will be forced to make time for illness.  Whether it's in the form of physical pain and discomfort or other more serious issues of health.

 

Our plan was simple.  I created a program for him that would take no longer than 15-30 minutes to complete.  We agreed that while it was important to make his scheduled appointments, equally important was that he follow through on his homework each and every day.  That he make time to take care of himself -- whether he was traveling or not.

 

And honestly, I believe that is the difference between getting to your goal or just taking 3 steps forward and 2 steps back.  You've got to make time each and every day to do something for your health. Because just keeping with your same old comfortable routine, could kill you.

 

Need a quick and easy stretch program to make sure you keep on track?

 

Try this one on for size. (Stretches to Keep You Out Of Pain).

 

No more reasons, only results!

 

I thought about it for quite some time before I decided on this title.  I look at it this way, you have an owner's manual for everything from your toaster, to your blender, cell phone, automobile, computer, and stove, etc.  And let's be honest, how well you follow the owner's manual great decides how long that item will last.  Either you follow the manual and have significant success or you don't and . . . . 

Pretty much anything that has any value to you, you have an owner's manual for, right?  But for some reason when it comes to getting out of pain or improving the quality of your fitness, people just tend to "wing-it".  Then they wonder why they get the results they get.  It's not by accident.

But there is so much information out there, how do you know what is good information guiding you in the right direction and how much is just hype and trends? 

Check out today's video blog and know which is the right information that will help you quickly build your own manual.

I was just painfully reminded of how important it is to keep things simple in life. Had an unbelievable workout on Saturday, only to awake on Sunday feeling as though I had been run over by a truck -- repeatedly.  Yes, I do typically feel my workouts a few days later; but this soreness was far beyond that "typical" feeling.  So I traced my steps back to see what was different.  What I realized is that I had tried out some new "exotic" movements in my warm-up to replace some of my usual movements.  Doing my usual research, I came across some stretches and warm-up movements that were said to replace several other movements I was already doing.  So I figured, hey, that sounds like a good idea, if I can save time and accomplish the same amount of quality work, why not do it.  What I quickly realized is that these new (exotic) movements in fact did not work as well.  They did not warm my body up properly nor effectively prepare me for my workout.

And of course being me, I started thinking about how this example of using the "new and improved" happens in not only when it comes to staying healthy, but in life. 

Check out today's video blog post to see what I mean:

At work today I was approached by a gym member and asked about 2 specific issues: How to get rid of knee pain, and The most effective way to lose weight and keep it off.  Needless to say I loved the questions because it gave me an opportunity to help someone achieve their goals by sharing the experience I've had as to what works and what doesn't.  But what was really interesting about the whole conversation was the person's high level of knowledge.  This person already knew what they should be doing as well as how often they ought to be doing it.  But for some reason, even with all of that information, the person was still in pain and not getting the weight loss results they wanted.

By the end of the conversation I came to one of those light bulb moments.  Actually it was so powerful I kind of had to look up and make sure there wasn't actually a light bulb above my head.

Check out today's motivational video to see what I mean.  I think you'll agree with the conclusion.

It's a new month.  And we are on the cusp of another holiday season.  What's your commitment to, comfort or success? So many people say they want success, but seem to miss this one point that would literally change their efforts from frustration to success.

Check out today's video blog and start being a success.


Over the past couple of months we've gone through some pretty deep stuff; getting in The Zone, finding your Big Rocks, etc. This month let's keep it simple and to the point. 

Today I want to share with you some basic and to the point ideas to help you create a successful weight loss and keep it off program.  It's largely about the planning.  Funny thing is, so is gaining quality muscle -- it's all in the planning and consistency.

Check out the video below to get your 3 Critical, Ready to Apply Strategies to Transform Your Body.

 
After last Friday's post I received quite a few emails regarding which were the most important stretches. "I don't have time to do them all Kurt, c'mon."  So I thought it might be a good idea if I broke the stretches down into groups so that you can use them more effectively.

By and large most of my clientele spend the majority of their day sitting at a desk.  They tell me that they have few if any opportunities to get up from their desk for any length of time. And if they do, it's usually to go to a meeting where they spend anywhere from 2-4hrs sitting again. 

As all of you know, who have been following my posts, sitting for long periods of time has significant consequences to your body.  Especially your lower back, knees and sometimes wrists (depending how much time you spend on the computer).  So let's get rid of that pain and discomfort.

Below I have listed the 7 most important stretches if you're a person who is stuck at a desk for most of the day.

I would encourage you to do these stretches a minimum of 1x/day. They will take you approximately 15-30 minutes to do.  Not much time to invest to get out of pain.  Think about it for a second.  You spend 4-8 hours sitting.  I'm just asking for 30 minutes a day to get you out of pain, and help you decrease your stress level. Sounds like a good investment to me.

 This is Stretch#1.

Position your body with your right leg bent at a 45 degree angle. Straighten your back leg with the toe facing the floor. Position your upper body so that your knee is in line with your sternum (chest bone). Hips should be parallel to the floor.  You should feel no pain in the knee. If you do stop immediately. This pose is also know as Pigeon.

Hold position for 7 breaths.
 

This is Stretch #2.


Begin on your knees, with your knees out wide, resting on forearms. Then straighten one leg out to the side. Be sure that the toe of the straight leg is in line with the knee of the kneeling leg. If possible, reach out to touch toe of straight leg with same side hand.


Repeat movement 3 times on both sides.


 This is Stretch #3.

With your calves against the supporting surface take a medium to large step forward. Place one foot, shoe strings down, on the stable support surface behind you. Kneeling down bring the back leg knee to the floor. Now if you're just beginning you may need to place a pillow under your knee for cushion and to decrease the intensity of the stretch. Be sure that the front leg knee is bent at a 90 degree angle and the shin is perpendicular to the floor.

Hold for 5-7 breaths. Repeat on other side.



This is Stretch#4.

Begin with your head, forearms, shoulder blades, and butt against the wall.  Feet should be 6-8" away from wall. Make sure there is minimal space between your lower back and wall.
 


Ending position for Stretch #4.

Extend your arms up and out into a 'Y' position. Be sure to keep forearms and hands in contact with the wall at all times.

Repeat movement 7-10 times.


This is Stretch #5.

Taking a lunge position halfway through a doorway, use this inverted 'V', place your hands on a door frame and gently lean forward until a stretch is felt in the shoulder, chest and/or arms. Make sure your weight is evenly balanced between the front and back leg.

Hold this position for 5-7 seconds.  Repeat 2-3 times.


This is Stretch #6.


Stand straight and clasp your hands behind your back.



Ending position Stretch #6.

Tuck hips underneath you (by flexing your butt) and tighten your stomach, move clapsed hands towards floor, while pulling shoulders back and lifting chest. This should create erect posture. Be sure not to arch lower back.

Hold for 5-7 breaths. Repeat 3-5 times.


This is Stretch#7 (1/3).
This stretch is often called Child's Pose. From a kneeling position, toes pointed straight back, sit backwards so that you are sitting on the heels of your shoes. Reach forward with both arms, far enough to feel a stretch in the lower back and shoulders.

Hold for 7-10 seconds
 


Stretch #7 (2/3)

Keeping your legs where they are at, engage your abs and move both arms to the right until a stretch is felt on the left side of the body. Think of making your body into a half circle. Be sure to remain seated on your heels.


Hold for 7-10 seconds.



Stretch #7 (3/3).

Now do the same process you did for the above picture for the left side.

Hold for 7-10 seconds.

Well, there you go.  The 7 most important stretches for those of you who spend way too many hours seated at your desk.  These quick 7 should get you out pain and help you stay that way. 

As always let me know what you think.

I realize this has gone around numerous times, but it is an outstanding jumping off point for what I want to share with you for the month of September, to help get you on track and keep you there.

The Mason Jar Parable

A philosophy professor stood before his class at the end of the year with a table full of somewhat odd items.  He began class by filling up a very large, empty mason jar with rocks from a sack on the table.  As he topped off the jar, with some rocks spilling over the side, he then asked the students if the jar was full.  They all answered that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of small pebbles and poured them into the jar, shaking it lightly to allow the pebbles to meander into the open spaces between the rocks. He asked again if the jar was full.  They again agreed it was, but some, sensing he wasn't quite done, said "Well, not really."

The professor then picked up canister of sand and poured it into the jar until all the openings between the rocks and pebbles had been filled.  "Now you could say it's full", said the professor. "And I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.  The big rocks are the important things: your family, your spiritual practice, your partner, your health, your friends, your children - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still seem full."

The pebbles are the other things that matter, such as your job, your home, your car.  The sand is everything else.  The small stuff."

"Now think of this: If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks.  The same goes for your life.  If you spend all your time, space and energy on the smaller stuff, you will never have room for the things that should truly matter to you."

"So be attentive to the things that are crucial to your happiness.  Play with your children and spend time with them.  Don't neglect your health.  Take your partner out dining and dancing.  Be there for your friends."

"There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, run errands, and fix the disposal.  Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter.  Set your priorities.  The rest is just sand."

The students were speechless and all agreed it was a great year-end lesson.

But suddenly one student asked about the bottle of beer still on the table.  "Ah," the professor smiled and poured a bottle of beer into the jar.  It went in just fine, being soaked up through the sand, and truly made the jar full. "It's here to drive home the point there's always time for a cold beer with friends."

Some of you may be asking what the heck this has to do with health, fitness and wellness. Well, how many of you out there have clearly defined, written down goals with a time line?  How many of you out there are clear on what your "Big Rocks" are? Check back with me in a week and I'll show you how to guarantee your success by getting clear on your Big Rocks and goal setting.

See you next week for more on this. . .