The other day John and I had to unexpectedly make a trip to Ohio to assist my mother. Our long distance driving trip came at a time when we were both feeling grooved in our daily exercise habits, eating habits, and work-life balance habits.
I mention this because often in my health coaching practice, client’s main goals are often to liberate themselves from the stresses of their day to day lives by increasing their good health habits and eradicating poor health habits.
But what do we do when emergencies arise? Being as they say, “on the wagon”, or as I like to call it, “grooved” is a great feeling no doubt, but then… real life happens
A two-week vacation! A business trip. A visit to the see the kids, or a surprise emergency situation.
And we fall “off’ the wagon.”
Vacation time or visiting family used to get me out of my groove. These days, I am a pro at it. And My husband John is kinda good at it.
Here’s What We Do:
Instead of stressing out about how to continue our good routines during this period of disruption with hotels, eating out, sitting in cars/airplanes, and not getting home until after 10pm, we just take another wagon. We tell ourselves ( sometimes I just tell him) we’ll be taking another wagon for a while. It won’t be the same wagon as when we are grooved in our lifestyle at home getting up at 5 a.m., stretching, walking the dogs, reading meditations, and enjoying breakfast before the day’s work begins, but it will be a better wagon than simply resigning ourselves to poor health habits because we are too stressed about where we will work out and run or walk.
A Better Wagon For You
Could it be possible to find different ways of staying healthy while in different scenarios? When I’m in control of my schedule/food sources/exercise equipment/comfortable bed, I will have one routine. Then, when on the road I will have another routine. And on vacation, I will find another routine.
Even on weekends! I will have a weekend routine!
I will never be ‘off’ my wagon.
Each routine will incorporate as much goodness as possible. Sometimes more goodness than others, but at no point will I just throw in the towel.
I will always stay ‘on’ a wagon.
Here is an Example of My home wagon and my travel wagon (previously known as ‘off’ the wagon). See If it helps:
– 16 oz water with lemon zest. 6 oz. coconut water. Coffee. 20 minute stretch routine.
– inspirational readings 5 minutes. Dog walk with dogs and husband.
– morning shake and supplement routine including multi -vitamin, fish oil, vitamin D, b complex vitamins.
– cardio exercise run/walk, singles tennis, elliptical, bike, steps, or rowing.
– strength training workout at Serenata Beach Club or World Gym.
During the Day:
– well balanced meals including good fats, abundance of vegetables and low sugar fruits, proteins, nuts, seeds, and some beans and whole grains depending on weight goals.
Walk the dogs with John.
Watch 30 minutes of Ted Talks/or Netflix Series.
Read 10 minute in bed.
Work/Family Travel Wagon:
– 16 oz water. 20 minute stretch and strength routine in hotel room including pushups, squats, and abdominal curls.
– 2 minutes meditation mantra – mantra changes with situation. For example recently: ” I can do whatever it is I set my mind to do.”
– multi vitamin supplement only if traveling for under 5 days. Starbucks high protein snack pack and coffee for breakfast
– Find ways to include more walking while at airport, between car stops and while visiting family friends/or during conferences
During the Day:
– Make best possible choices while at restaurants/family/friend homes being sure to always eat lots of vegetables, good fats when possible and lean proteins.
10 oz water. 15 minutes easy television watching.
Here’s the Thing
Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t stress out about real life interference. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying your vacation. And don’t sabotage your weekly progress on weekends. Just identify your wagon and create an easy plan for each one.
You need never be ‘off’ your wagon again. Just hop on a different wagon, and make the most of the ride.
30 Days To Lean Good Stuff!
Congratulations to Brandon and Robin who lost a total of 57 pounds together in 60 days on BodySmartWay’s 30 and 60 Days to Lean Program
And guess what? They just got married!
Good stuff Robin and Brandon! Congratulations!All My Best,
Over the weekend an acquaintance of mine told me he was tired of being flabby. That’s his term, not mine. He said he lost a bit of weight and is now at his college weight, but he doesn’t like what he looks like. He’s only in his early 60’s, and says he doesn’t understand why he looks so differently now since he weighs the same as years ago.
I wasn’t sure if he really wanted me to give him the reasons why his body looked differently from years ago even though he is at the same weight, so I listened. In the paragraphs below, I tell you what I was thinking.
Me Thinking Out Loud
When you start to lose muscle and lay down fat around the belly, it’s the first sign that your metabolism is off-track and your health is taking a path towards poor health. Storing fat and losing muscle is one of the biggest signs of aging, and worse yet, belly fat (also known as “visceral fat”) is metabolically active, sucking out your ability to maintain testosterone and build muscle while increasing your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
While this is ominous sounding, muscle actually makes you a better fat burner and more resistant to metabolic problems. The more muscle you have, the better your body balances blood glucose; the better you balance glucose, the better you will feel, the easier it will be for you to maintain and or lose weight, and the healthier you will be.
I Knew He Did Loads Of Cardio Exercise – So This is What I Was Thinking.
He probably knows that lifting weights will burn calories, but what he doesn’t know is that even though he burns 500 calories on the treadmill, muscle building, as in weight training, actually makes us better fat burners day in and day out 24 hours a day.
Not only that, increases in muscle size means not only increases in metabolic processes for a longer time after your workout but there is a direct correlation between muscle mass and basal metabolic rate or called BMR. BMR is the amount of energy expended daily by humans and other animals at rest. Of course the more energy expended, the higher our daily calorie burn is. And who doesn’t want this? I like to call this burning energy or calories in our sleep. And this is just one of the nice things that muscle mass does for us. So the question becomes… Why wouldn’t my acquantance or anyone want increased muscle mass too? Not only does it look good, but it helps us maintain a higher metabolic rate.
You Need To Know
Increased muscle mass for both men and women not only makes us feel better, move better, look better, but allows us to continue to eat in abundance all the nutrients that we are designed to take in, and without gaining weight. This is what normal is. It is not normal to consume miniscule amounts of food while appearing rounder as we age. We can put a stop to this and we can improve our body composition considerably.
Increased Muscle Mass Also Makes the Rest of Life Easier
Muscle makes routine tasks less cumbersome and reduces injuries. Our day-to-day life often involves lifting and moving heavy objects, and when your body is equipped to carry these burdens, it is much less prone to injury. It’s hard to imagine (a young) Arnold Schwarzenegger throwing out his back taking the trash out, yet this is a common injury precisely because so many people don’t build the muscle to support the daily or weekly tasks they need to perform!
Muscle also provides your golden ticket if you want to improve your sex life, boost immunity, and reduce your risk for dementia. In fact, studies at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that building and maintaining muscle improves your: Balance, Fall risk, Blood sugar levels, sleep, and mental health.
And More! Hormonal Advantages…..
Strength training has another big advantage over endurance training athletes. In a recently published clinical trial, athletes who strength trained over 12 weeks reported the greatest testosterone to cortisol ratio while endurance athletes experienced plummeting testosterone levels. Increased testosterone is key to building more muscle, maintaining anabolism (growth), and it also helps with sex drive.
To keep this in perspective, just realize I am not suggesting one eliminate cardiovascular workouts. Our heart muscle is central to good health. What I am suggesting is that you would be wise to focus on more strength training as a means to reach your desired weight and body composition rather than cardiovascular workouts. Or in other words if you are pressed for time, and your heart is in good shape, then avoid the temptation to jump on the elliptical, treadmill, bike or other cardiovascular machines, thinking that a good sweat is going to burn more calories. In the long run, and often in the short run, weight training trumps cardiovascular workouts in weight loss/maintenance, body strength, and overall functional living capacity!
Note: Controlling inflammation after working out (particularly during strength training) is important because it controls the muscle repair process that ultimately causes one to gain lean muscle.
Eating is super important for growing muscle and getting rid of belly visceral fat so tell me what you eat and what you do not eat. I bet you will be wildly surprised that many “health foods” are keeping you from reaching your body composition goals.
Congratulations to Brandon Van Dermark and his fiance Robin Cleary – 30 Days to Lean is not over for them yet but together they have already lost 35 lbs! So much good is going on everyone! People are tired of eating crap!
All My Best,
*BodySmartWay’s 30 Days to Lean Programs start the first Monday of every month. Sign up 5 days in advance by texting 904 501 6002 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a fitness trainer and coach I see people falling into a lot of bad habits at the gym.
Bad habits don’t optimize your potential for success, so I think it’s important to be aware of the traps people most often fall into, in order to making these mistakes yourself.
Here’s a list of the Top 5 bad habits I see in the gym.
TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH, TOO SOON
New exercisers tend to be overanxious and so often will lift too much too soon. This is a recipe for injury. I tell clients, “When lifting a weight, your muscles will tell you that it is too light – I need more weight! But it’s really your tendons and ligaments that need the lighter weight in the beginning of an exercise plan. Ligaments and tendons break down quicker and take more time to recover. So be progressive with strength training even though you can do more initially.”
FOCUSING SOLELY ON CARDIO
Cardiovascular exercise is an extremely important component of an exercise routine. It burns calories, boosts our mood and strengthens our most important muscle: the heart. But too many people spend the majority of their workout time performing relatively low-level cardiovascular exercise. I see this often and it seems that people use cardio exercises to make amends for poor eating habits and or over-consumption of foods. My clients that make the most improvement in muscle mass and body structure are the ones that combine moderate healthy eating with minimal cardio exercise and medium to high intensity weight training.
NOT FUELING RIGHT
Beginner exercisers may train for 3-8 hours a week with various intensities. But here’s the thing: There are 168 hours in the week. If you don’t put things together properly in the kitchen then you may get a little stronger yes- but it will not show on the scale! Guaranteed! You can’t outrun the nutrition piece.
The other day, I had someone call me and say they are so discouraged. They have been exercising and doing all kinds of cardio and strength classes for 5 weeks and have not lost one pound! I am always so sad when I hear this. And I hear this scenario often. With this particular lady, I put her on my 30 Days To Lean program and told her to only do exercise that made her feel good- no wild woman routines- just enjoy movement. In the first week, which is today, she lost 7 pounds and her husband lost 7 pounds as well! I am so happy for them. So the point is, if you are training to lose weight, know you will make the biggest impact in the kitchen.
COPYING OTHER GYM-GOERS
Blindly following what other people are doing is a mistake. You have no idea if the person you are watching is doing the exercise correctly unless they are doing it with a trainer. And even if they are with a trainer, there may be a reason they are doing a particular exercise. Because I have clients that I have been training for several years, they have acquired healthy backs and hips through the various progressions over the years I have them do. But if you have a weak back, various discs that are shot, and or spinal stenosis, and you do some of the exercises that you see my clients doing, you may end up damaging your spine further.
LIFTING TOO QUICKLY
Many people lift way too fast, not allowing for both the concentric and eccentric contractions, and instead, relying on momentum. When you do a bicep curl, for instance, the concentric phase is when you bend the elbow, but the eccentric phase is when you lower the weight. This should be done slowly for increased muscular strength. The momentum piece is when people go so fast, the weights are swinging, their body is rocking and they are using the momentum created to lift heavier. If they slow down, they will work the muscles more effectively. I like to tell my clients that my job is to slow them down. I mean it in two ways however. The first way is to create a better mindset for strength training. Many of us, and it probably goes back to that old style thinking we received from coaches in our early years, that we gotta play the part of “when you are in the gym- you better be exerting continuously.” Ironically when I slow clients down in the gym and make them laser focus on muscles they are engaging, not only does it make for a better experience, but it makes for a stronger body. And although you can’t see it, they are working that muscle like no other person including the moaners and groaners in the gym! And the second way I like to slow down my clients is between sets. It’s not always necessary to rush from one set to another. Stretching in between sets to nurse a tight back or stretch a calf muscle that seems a little strained is just smart!
All my best,