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!

I remember an old phrase someone once shared with me that has given me a great deal of insight through the years and I want to share it with you:

"That which you resist persist"

I'm sure there are many different interpretations, but to me the phrase basically means, the more you time and energy you spend on something, often times the more you will experience it.

Think about it for a second.

When something really gets on your nerves, whether it's traffic, a disagreement with a friend or loved one, or a situation at work, have you ever noticed how much time and energy you spend re-playing the event over and over in your head.  And then wonder why the situation seems to continue coming up in your life?

I'm beginning to believe in this world of instant gratification we all get a bit too easily frustrated and distracted when it comes to getting things done.  When a situation doesn't go our way, we spend so much time re-telling the story to anyone who will listen, we constantly replay the event in our minds, and then wonder why we are continually running into these types of situations over and over again.  Why me?  We sometimes ask ourselves.

Maybe a better question is, why are you spending so much time and energy preoccupied with the very thing you don't want in your life?

Be clear, I'm not referring to some new age spirituality, but instead something that we all know as scientifically true .  Remember my post on reticular activation?

Why not try a different approach.  Try spending more time and energy focused on the things you do want instead of the things you don't want.  Yes, it sounds oh so simple, but try monitoring how much time and energy you spend on the things you don't want in your life versus the goals and plan you have to achieve those goals.  Which one wins out?

Here's a simple example I think we can all identify with to make the point more clear.  You've decided you want a certain outfit or a certain type of car.  Ever notice how it seems that every place you look you see that car or a similar outfit?  That's because your mind is tuned into that stimulus and has increased your awareness of it.  It's an oversimplified example but I think you get the point.

If you're sincere about wanting to transform your body, get out of pain, or just improve your day to day experiences, start paying attention to how you spend your energy and what you let affect your thoughts and grab your attention.

Need a little help nailing this down?  Check out these two:

Liberate_Yourself_from_the_Opinions_and_Judgments_of_Others.doc

Eradicate_the_poison_that_kills_dreams.doc

The bottom line is, if this year is going to be better than last year, you have to be better than last year.  Start paying attention to how you spend your time and energy. 

Now Go Out, Practice, and Get It Done!
It's the second Monday of November and we are stepping closer and closer to that frantic time when the holiday schedules and long lists sometimes have each of us over extending ourselves.  And as you know, if you over extend yourself often enough, you can set yourself up for a battle with a winter cold or flu -- Yuck.

Did you know that if the cold or flu is not full blown often times a moderate workout will speed the healing process? Many times people avoid their workouts all together as soon as they feel a bit sneezy or congested.  When in fact, if you're just beginning to feel the effects of an oncoming cold or flu, moderate exercise can increase certain aspects of your natural immune system so that you fight off or significantly decrease the affects.

Jeffrey A. Woods, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois says, “It is okay to exercise if you have a simple head cold or congestion — in fact, it may improve the way you feel. I would avoid heavy, prolonged exercise with a head cold, though.”  In general, moderate exercise, such as a leisurely jog or walk, may prop up your immune response and lessen the duration and severity of a mild infection, but be honest about your condition.

On the other hand researchers caution, “If you don’t feel well, especially if you have fever or body aches, I would recommend stopping daily exercise until you are recovered.”

Exercise and Your Immune System


Remember that old saying, Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Well it's true.  For one, you've been fasting all night long (called sleeping), your body needs some healthy calories to begin your day. Second, it kicks your metabolism on and starts the fat burn. Third, if you don't have breakfast you actually increase your chances of storing fat and gaining weight (due to the body's increased insulin response from skipping breakfast). And let's be honest, if you don't start your day with a nutritious breakfast you are more likely to grab something unhealthy later in the morning, to calm those screaming cravings for real food.

So here are some great ideas to keep you on track as we begin the hectic holiday schedule.  Remember to make you part of your daily list.  It will make getting through each day easier and make you easier to get along with.

Breakfast Ideas That Take 5 Minutes or Less


Plain and simple, exercise can help you fight off the initial affects of a pending cold or flu and yes, eating breakfast is as important as your mother used to tell you.  Only now there's research to prove it.
It's time for Mid-Week Motivation.

The holidays are just around the corner. Are you going to be out of control or in control and on track? You know it's all about the choices you make.  Whether it's the holidays, getting out of pain, or getting fit, it's all about the choosing the things that work for you and avoiding the things that don't work (or take you further from your goal).

Click the video below and see what I mean.


Well, I don't know how we got to the end of October so quickly, but here we are yet again. And if you've been to any shopping malls or large department stores, you know they are already playing Christmas music.  OUCH!  I mean c'mon, we haven't even gotten through Thanksgiving and they are already pushing us to Christmas.

What it does serve as, is a reminder that the holidays are coming.  That means small bowls of candy throughout the office, cookies and cakes being brought in to share (I can think of better gifts to share) with others, and the usual holidays gatherings like Christmas parties, Thanksgiving dinners with family and friends, and of course Christmas dinner. To put it simply, lots of extra calories in the form of candies, cookies, cakes, and other tempting delectable treats that will derail your efforts to stay on track.
                                                                                                                                                                                    
Are you ready?  I mean ready with habits and coping strategies in place to be sure you're not one of the people that gains the typical 7-15lbs over the holiday?

If you're like most of the people I've talked to, you probably haven't even really thought about it.  During this time of year it is critical that you have a plan and coping strategies to keep your habits under control; and you on track through the holidays.

I want you to succeed!

And part of that responsibility is that I provide you with info that is outstanding and ready to use right out of the box.  This is one of those instances.

I was recently emailed this article that really got my thinking cap working overtime. 

Don't let the title fool you.  There is some seriously good information, tips and strategies to help you get your habits in shape before the holidays.

Trust me, take a look over the quick tips here and then click on the link below. I want to give a Big Thanks to Precision Nutrition for posting this article.
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Tips for losing fat from naturally skinny people

How can you learn to think and act like a naturally skinny person in order to reap the benefits for fat loss? Here are some tips.

  • Understand that you have a lot of control over your eating behaviour, regardless of your physiology.
  • Food is just food. It should not be used as a reward or an emotional outlet.
  • Reprioritize food and put it in its proper place — as something that tastes good and sustains us, but should not dominate our thinking.
  • Pay attention to your physical cues. Start eating when you’re physically hungry and stop when you’re physically full.
  • Change your expectations of fullness. Stop before you feel stuffed, or even “full”.
  • Understand that cravings come and go. Ignore the cravings, distract yourself, and don’t keep problem foods in the house.
  • Keep moving, as much as possible.
  • It’s OK to say no to food in social situations. The more you assert yourself, the more people will get used to it.
  • In order for behaviour to change, your identity has to change. Skinny guys have to think of themselves as bigger and more muscular; heavier folks have to think of themselves as working towards being lean athletes.
  • Portion sizing is important. Your idea of the correct portion may be wrong.
  • Change requires practice. The more you practice eating smaller (or larger) meals, the more your body will get used to it.
  • Make your behaviours match your goals. If you’re constantly acting in ways that self-sabotage, you either need to change the behaviours or your goals. In any case, be realistic and honest about what you are doing.


Get the Full Story Here:  Ready For Some Cutting Edge, Useful Info

Often times it seems that people think exercising is just about being buff or having a six-pack.  Truth is, exercise is a lot more powerful than that. The amount of chemical reactions that happen not only in the body, but in the brain is staggering.


1.)  Exercise appears to affect brain chemistry in much the same way as antidepressants

2.)  Aerobic exercise slows the the loss of cerebral cortex (the part of the brain that process information) So exercise keeps you smarter longer!

3.)  Anaerobic exercise (think weight lifting, resistance exercise) stimulates the creation of new brain cells in the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.


4.)  Stressful events actually destroy newly developed nerve cells in the hippocampus, making it harder to retain new lessons or memories.  Simply, exercise combats the effects of stress.


5.)  Exercise actually increases serotonin levels. And by the way, low Serotonin levels have been associated with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and general fatigue.


The long and short of it is, exercise is more about total health and not just how your body looks.  Sure it's an added benefit to look good and have the body you've always wanted, but if you need more motivation, consider the huge impact it has on how your brain functions.


So when you're looking for that little extra motivation to get up and do some exercise, remember it's not just for your body, it'll actually keep you smarter longer, in a better mood so you can keep the friends you have, and will help you combat all that stress you just absorbed from the day.


That should get you up and moving.

I've been receiving some really great responses from the last 2 posts regarding stretches for the lower back. I also received an inquiry for a few more stretches for those that travel and have to deal with long plane flights (sitting for extended periods of time).

So here are 3 more stretches to get and keep you out of pain, whether you're flying every week, spending too much time in front of the computer, or need a little help keeping the hips and back open after a rigorous workout.



Stretch #1 Pigeon
This is a slightly less aggressive form of pigeon from the laying position. Lay flat on your back.  Bring your right leg towards your chest. Grasping your knee and ankle gently, pulling the leg towards the left side of your chest (so you are moving the leg across the body) until you feel a stretch in your glutes. You will create a very gentle stretch in the hip. You should feel no pain in the knee. Repeat this process 3-7 times.



Stretch #2 Windshield Wipers
Here is another version of the windshield wiper stretch from the previous back stretch post. Laying flat on your back, feet slightly wider than hip width, bring your knees together so they meet in the middle. Hold this position for approximately 5-7 seconds. Return the knees out wide over the ankles. Think of the windshield wipers on your car. Repeat the process 3-5 times.



Stretch #3 Knees Out Wide
As the name suggests, this is a basic groin stretch to decrease inner thigh tightness.  Resting on your knees, move them as far apart as you can comfortably. Place your elbows underneath your shoulders for support and rock back and forth to find your tight spots. When you find a tight spot, stop and breath 5-7 breaths before rocking again. I would suggest repeating for each tight area 3-5 times.

You requested it, so there you go.  Use these stretches along with the other 2 posts on back stretches to get and keep you out of pain.

As always, let me know how they worked for you.


This morning as my client was doing his core work he stated, "I really hate doing this stuff, but you know what I hate worse . . . . how I feel if I don't do this stuff", chuckling just a bit as he finished his statement.

It got me thinking. THAT is probably the single most important perspective to have when it comes to accomplishing any goal. You've got to keep focused on the goal and know that no matter how uncomfortable things are in the moment, it's worth it, because the goal you've chosen is worth it.

I think sometimes in the world of instant gratification, cell phones, emails, texting, we sometimes forget that old saying, anything worth accomplishing takes time, patience and perseverance. Somehow I think many of us out there have forgotten that growth is not painless. Success and accomplishment take time and come with periods of discomfort. Success and Accomplishment aren't things that grow on trees or you that you can run down to your local store and pick up. It's almost like some of us have forgotten what makes success SO FRIGGIN wonderful, it allows you to go past your previously held ideas about what you could accomplish. YOU evolve in the process of committing to and achieving your goals.

Truth is, Growth, Success, and Accomplishment often come with some level of discomfort, if not down right pain sometimes. Now obviously there is a difference between good healthy pain and suffering. Here I am referring to the discomfort that comes from breaking old patterns, and discovering strength and clarity about yourself that you only suspected existed. The pain and discomfort that come along with changing your behavior patterns and perceptions about what you can accomplish, even when it's not convenient.

So the next time you start complaining about how hard cardio is, how uncomfortable it is to do your rolling for self-massage, how inconvenient it is to make time for your exercise and health, think about this:

How committed are you to your success?

How many hours do you think Serena and Nadal practice Tennis?

How many times did Thomas Edison try different elements for the light bulb?

Now maybe you don't won't to become a professional athlete or create something as life-changing as the light bulb, but what you do want to accomplish is worth the commitment. Otherwise why bother making the goal.

You can accomplish virtually anything you set your mind to as long as you make consistent steps. Know that the discomfort you experience at any given moment is just part of the process, It Will Pass. Stay focused, stay on target, and enjoy the transformation.

Now Go Out There and Make It Happen!
Talk about a wake up call. 

The other day I was taking the body composition of a client I've been working with for years.  This client has been struggling with their weight for some time now. We've gone over the nutrition program I've provided. We've made modifications to make it easier to follow. I offered coaching calls and reminder texts to be sent to assist my client in staying on track. I offered to accompany my client to the grocery store to assist them in making good choices that are in-line with their meal plan. We even discussed starting a support group for individuals to provide a sense of community, swap recipes, and help keep each other accountable to staying on track (similar to the Master Mind Group philosophy I spoke of in the previous post). Nothing seemed to be working. This client would lose 4-7lbs and then put it right back on a few weeks later.  Needless to say I was frustrated because I could not seem to come up with a strategy to assist this client in reaching one of their originally stated goals.

Then during one of our body composition check-ins (to see how progress was going) my client stated, "This is really a waste of time".  I paused for a second, shocked at the candor. Then I asked, "Why do you say that?" My client then went on to share that they had no real desire to modify their eating habits, and was not really coming to the training sessions for that purpose. This person went on to state that the issue they had come for had been resolved (they were no longer in pain), yet they kept coming because of the other things they were receiving from the session -- the encouragement, reflective feedback, and other strategies that are my unique brand of training.

And there in my face stood my own ignorance. I had taken my client's original concerns with pain and weight loss as being the major reason (the value) they sought out my services, when in fact those items were lower on their list of things to accomplish than I realized. This client went on to share with me how the philosophy and strategies I use as encouragement and motivation have been helping them change their lives. I had mistakenly defined my value to this client as purely physical.

What I realized is that I had allowed my values to dictate what my client's goals were because of the nature of the service I provide. In fact, my client was less interested in the "training" aspect so to speak, and more interested in my philosophies, strategies and reflective feedback techniques. These aspects of the "training session" held a higher value to them.

Which of course leads me to my overall point. Do you know what values you have? I mean seriously, have you gotten clear, and written down what your major values are? Because your values are the axle around which the wheel of your life turns.

This client reminded me that my value of wanting to produce physical change was limited. In fact, she was clear that her value of "training session" was much bigger than just physical transformation and getting rid of pain.

If you're not clear on your values, you can't set realistic goals and achieve them. Take the time to write down what is important to you. What motivates you. Honoring your what's important to you, your values, helps you achieve the goals you set.

Write it down, and share your story with me.

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 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 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 these things each 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.

As always, let me know what you think.  Was this information a helpful reminder?