Archive for the ‘cardio’ Category

10 Day Countdown to Fitness: Day 8

July 11, 2007

Welcome to Day 8 of our 10 Day Countdown to fitness!

I’m assuming that you have done the previous assignments from the first 7 days of the Countdown. If not, PLEASE go back and do them. They’re essential parts of this whole process. If you are serious about using the 10 days to jump start exercising for weight loss, you will not get the long term results you want and deserve without doing the previous assignments. If you skipped over them, or if this is the first post you’re reading in this 10 day series, you can find Day 1 here.

Starting today, and continuing for at least the next 30 days, I want you to make a commitment with a friend, child, spouse, parent, work colleague, anybody you chose to go out and take a quick walk.  Do this twice a week.  It can be the same person all the time or a different person every time; it doesn’t matter who it is, just that you get out and move with someone.

This should be a fun, relaxing, and gentle stroll, NOT a full-speed-ahead-heart-pumping-sweat-dripping effort.  Take the time to enjoy it!

In addition to helping you lose weight and get fit, you’ll find that this simple activity can help build the relationships you have with people you cherish.

See you tomorrow for Day 9.

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10 Day Countdown to Fitness: Day 7

July 10, 2007

Welcome to Day 7of our 10 Day Countdown to fitness!

I’m assuming that you have done the previous assignments from the first 6days of the Countdown. If not, PLEASE go back and do them. They’re essential parts of this whole process. If you are serious about using the 10 days to jump start exercising for weight loss, you will not get the long term results you want and deserve without doing the previous assignments. If you skipped over them, or if this is the first post you’re reading in this 10 day series, you can find Day 1 here.

The assignment for Day 7 of the Countdown is pretty easy. I want you to start developing the habit of using the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever you have the chance. This is another great way to get in a little extra movement without actually having to work out.

And yes, chances are this won’t add a whole lot of fat burning to your day.  But remember, this whole 10 Day Countdown has a cumulative effect on you.  You have been gradually adding little things to your day that, when added up, will have the fat dripping off of you while increasing your overall fitness level.

See you tomorrow for Day 8.

10 Day Countdown to Fitness: Day 6

July 8, 2007

Welcome to  Day 6 of our 10 Day Countdown to fitness!

I’m assuming that you have done the previous assignments from the first 5 days of the Countdown. If not, PLEASE go back and do them. They’re essential parts of this whole process. If you are serious about using the 10 days to jump start exercising for weight loss, you will not get the long term results you want and deserve without doing the previous assignments. If you skipped over them, or if this is the first post you’re reading in this 10 day series, you can find Day 1 here.

Today, I want you to head to your nearest sporting goods store or  major chain mart and buy yourself a pedometer.  A pedometer is a cool little measuring device that’s used to record the number of steps taken while your walking.  They’re inexpensive; you should be able to pick one up just a couple of bucks.

Once you pick it up, start wearing it and using it to measure the number of steps you are taking every day.  It’s actually kind of exciting to track your steps, and then finding yourself taking extra little walks just to increase the number of steps!

Set a goal of 10,000 steps a day.  You’ll probably have to work up to that many steps over time, but there’s plenty of places that will help you figure out how to do it.  And it will pay off for you in pounds lost!

But for now, just start paying attention to how many steps you’re taking, and take a few extra steps when you think of it.

See you tomorrow for Day 7 of the Countdown.

10 Day Countdown to Fitness: Day 5

July 7, 2007

Welcome to Day 5 of our 10 Day Countdown to Fitness!

I’m assuming that you have done the previous assignments from the first 4 days of the Countdown. If not, PLEASE go back and do them. They’re essential parts of this whole process. If you are serious about using the 10 days to jump start exercising for weight loss, you will not get the long term results you want and deserve without doing the previous assignments. If you skipped over them, or if this is the first post you’re reading in this 10 day series, you can find Day 1 here.

Starting today, I want you to park your car at least 10 minutes away from every place you’re going.  That way, you’re going to get an extra 10 minutes of walking to your destination, and an extra 10 minutes  of walking back to your car.  Doesn’t matter where you’re headed; church, school, work, shopping, wherever.  Park 10 minutes away and enjoy a little movement.  Remember, this is in addition to the other activities you’ve started in the previous days of the Countdown.  Now, the pace of this extra little walk does NOT have to be fast.  By all means, make it a leisurely stroll for the sheer pleasure of it.

If you take the subway or the bus to get around, don’t think this doesn’t apply to you!  Just get off a few stops before your destination and start walking.   🙂

You’re going to find that these extra little movements that you’re starting to make are going to rev up your metabolism like crazy.  If you reduce sugar, reduce processed foods, reduce portion size and cover 2/3 of your plate with fruits and veggies at the same time you’re doing this Countdown,  get ready to buy smaller size clothes in a couple of weeks!

See you tomorrow for Day 6.

10 Day Countdown to Fitness: Day 3

July 5, 2007

Welcome to Day 3 of our 10 Day Countdown to Fitness!

I hope everyone had a safe and fun 4th of July.

I’m assuming that you have done the previous assignments from the first 2 days of the Countdown. If not, PLEASE go back and do them. They’re essential parts of this whole process. If you are serious about using the 10 days to jump start exercising for weight loss, you will not get the long term results you want and deserve without doing the previous assignments. If you skipped over them, or if this is the first post you’re reading in this 10 day series, you can find Day 1 here.

Now let’s get started on Day 3.

Grab the physical activity list your made on Day 2, and your calendar/date book. Take the very first activity on the list (which should be the easiest activity for you to perform right NOW), and schedule yourself a 30 minute block of time to perform this activity at least 3 days every week for the next 30 days.

Now, you may not be able to perform the activity you’ve selected for the 30 minute block you’ve scheduled; that’s OK. Just get moving and do the best you can do. I promise you, by the end of the first 30 days, you will be increasing the amount of time you are able to exercise, as well as experiencing an increase in energy levels, and being a few pounds lighter. 🙂

As far as when you schedule your 30 minutes…just pick the time that works best for you.  It doesn’t matter if it’s morning, evening, or your lunch hour.  Just pick the time tht you will find it easiest to stick to.
For right now, we aren’t going to worry about the elements of effective workouts, like cardio, strength training, flexibility, etc.  The whole idea is to just get moving!  I’ll be writing plenty in the weeks and months ahead to help you learn more about exercising.  But for now…simply get moving.

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for Day 4.

10 Day Countdown to Fitness: Day 2

July 3, 2007

Welcome to Day 2 of our 10 Day Countdown to Fitness!

I’m assuming that you took the assignment from Day 1 seriously and actually did it. If not, PLEASE go back and do it. It’s an essential part of this whole process. If you are serious about using the 10 days to jump start exercising for weight loss, you will not get the long term results you want and deserve without doing the assignment for Day 1. If you skipped over it and need to go back and do it, or if this is the first post you’re reading in this 10 day series, you can find Day 1 here.

Now let’s get started on Day 2.

Grab the pen and paper you used yesterday. We’re going to make another list (can you tell that I live by lists?). I want you to write down all the fitness activities that you think you would enjoy and would like to try. Please note, I’m not asking you list the physical activities that you think you are capable of right now! I want you to write down all the things that maybe you secretly dream of trying, or that you enjoyed when you were fitter than you are now. For example, when I made my list, I wrote down things like cross country skiing, kick boxing and running a 5K race. There was NO WAY I could do that stuff when I wrote it down, but they were things that I had always wanted to do.

So don’t limit yourself; write down everything that you’d like to do. The key is to write down things that will get you excited!

Once you’re done with this, start another list. This time, I want you to write down the physical activities that you are capable of doing right now. There is no shame here! If all you can do is walk a little bit, that’s OK. Write it down. Can you do maybe a couple of push ups and a couple of squats? Fantastic! Write it down.

Now once you have both lists, I want you combine them into a new master list by starting with the activities you can do now at the top of your list and working down to the hardest exercise on your list. Your list should start with the easiest activities and progressively work in to the harder stuff.

Once you’ve done this, take a look at what you have just created. You’ve got a plan! You now have a road map to get you started exercising and leading you to the exciting activities you’ve always dreamed of doing. Pretty cool, isn’t it? Start at the top of your list, and as your fitness level improves (and it will improve fast if you’re consistent) start tackling the more intense activities.

Believe me, this works! When I started exercising, all I could do was walk to the end of the block and back. That’s how overweight and out of shape I was. By the time I hit the 6 month mark, I was learning Muay Thai kick boxing at one of the premiere mixed martial art gyms in the world. Not too bad for a guy who smoked 3 packs of cigs a day and weighed nearly 300 pounds 6 months before!

Now, I don’t say this to brag, but only to show you that this system works, regardless of how out of shape and overweight you may be right now. I promise you, if you take these simple steps your life will change.

So, grab the paper, pen and get started now. And be sure to come back tomorrow for the next step in the Countdown.

Straight From the Mouth of Some Big Losers

June 25, 2007

Let me say this right up front: I am a not a fan of “The Biggest Loser” television series.

Why? Because I think it sets unrealistic expectations as far as weight loss goes. First of all, it’s WAY too scale-oriented. It’s nothing for the participants to have a 7, 8, even a 10 pound weight loss in a week. And we watch them get upset if they only lose 3 pounds or so. Most of us would kill for a 3 pound weight loss every week. I’ve also read (and don’t know if it’s true) that the participants work out 4 hours a day, every day they’re in the house.

This is just not the real world of weight loss. And I’m always afraid that there’s people watching it and finally getting motivated to get started eating right and exercising. And then I’m afraid that they’ll be crushed the first time they “only” lose 2 or 3 pounds.

I do have to admit, though, that I get very excited about the success the contestants experience and the fact that these folks are learning, many of them for the first time, how to eat right and exercise. And I get thrilled along side them as the see the benefits of getting fit and thin.

I read an article today with weight loss advice from some of the Biggest Loser contestants, and I have to recommend it to you. You can find it here. The advice in it is AWESOME; it’s very apparent that they have truly been taught how to lose weight. Here’s 10 tips from the article:

10 More Tips From The Biggest Loser

To help keep you moving toward your weight loss goals, Lyons, Alexander and several of the “Biggest Losers” offer these additional tips and tricks:

  1. “Eat often — snack often,” says Alexander. While this may seem contrary to traditional dieting advice, the chef says that as long as you keep an eye on calories and portions, eating often will stave off hunger attacks that ultimately sabotage your diet. “When you’re starving, you grab whatever is available — and that’s the quickest way to get off your eating plan,” says Alexander.

2. “Eat your carbs in the morning,” says Biggest Loser contestant Brian Starkey. “It gets your day off to an energetic start.” Lyons adds that carbs are quickly burned with activity, so eating them may help motivate you for that morning walk or bike ride.

3. “Post a picture of yourself on the refrigerator — at your worst,” says Biggest Loser contestant Dana Desilvio. “The next time you’re thinking of grabbing something you shouldn’t from the fridge, you’ll be reminded of what you don’t want to look like!”

4. “Instead of watching the clock during workouts, listen to music,” to make the time go faster,says Erik Chopin, TheBiggest Loser‘s season-three winner. Lyons reminds us that everyday activities, like bike riding, tossing a Frisbee, or walking your dog, count as physical activity, too.

5. “When eating out, always ask for a ‘to-go’ box — at the start of your meal,” says Biggest Loser contestant Bobby Moore. Then, when your food arrives, immediately put half of it in the box, he suggests. This way, you’ll not only get used to eating smaller portions, but you’ll have a snack for later.

6. Learn to cook healthfully. “Cooking healthy doesn’t have to be hard — or take more time,” says Alexander. While many “Biggest Loser” contestants said they thought cooking healthy would be complicated or time-consuming, Alexander says, most found that cooking healthy is actually easier, less expensive, and faster.

7. “Never overlook the power of seasoning,” says Alexander. One way she made even the blandest diet foods grab the contestants’ attention was by using low-sodium seasonings.

“People never realize what a major difference spices can make on even simple dishes like grilled chicken or salmon,” she says.

8. “When it comes to cooking in flavor, it’s never about the oil,” says Alexander. Many dieters believe that unless food is fried in oil, you don’t get much flavor. But, she says, the real secret is pan-browning, which can happen without oil. The trick to getting restaurant-quality taste, she says, is to never overload your pan with food. “If you put too much in the pan, the moisture content causes the foods to steam and not pan-fry,” she says. “By reducing the amount of food in the pan you get that tasty pan-seared browning, without the use of any oils.”

9. Don’t try to do too much exercise, too soon. You not only run the risk of injury, but you’ll also get quickly discouraged. “Don’t try to stare down 45 minutes of exercise,” says Lyons. “Tell yourself it will be OK to quit after 10 minutes, because most of the time once you get going, you’ll keep going.”

10. Remember: Self-esteem feeds on self-esteem. Accomplishing a little something toward your weight loss goal every day will not only get you on the road to success, but help keep you there. “You are not just losing weight, you are changing your life and your lifestyle,” says Alexander. “If you keep that in mind, you come to see that every change, no matter how small, comes together to make a huge difference in not only your weight, but your life,” says Alexander.

See what I mean?

There is some profound wisdom in this article. There’s even a couple of recipes from the Biggest Loser Cookbook that I’m going to try. So do go spend a little time with this article.

You may not lose 10 pounds in a week, but if you take this advice to heart, you can lose weight EVERY week and keep it off. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

8 Ways to Burn 100 Calories That You Probably Haven’t Thought Of

June 21, 2007

As much as I believe in scheduling regular exercise sessions 3 – 6 times a week, I also believe that there’s weight loss benefits in the simple act of moving.  That’s why I always tell people to just get off of the couch and move.

I got an email today that’s been forwarded a billion times, listing dozens of ways to burn calories.  I’m not sure the origin of the list, but I found it really interesting.  I thought that you might, too.  So here’s 8 fun ways you can move to burn 100 calories, and I bet you haven’t thought of most of them:

  1. Hula hoop for 22 minutes
  2. Cut your lawn with an old push mower for 17 minutes
  3. Jump rope hard and fast for 8 minutes
  4. Do 780 jumping jacks
  5. Ride your bike for 7 minutes at 20 miles per hour
  6. Got a WII?  Play WII tennis for 13 minutes
  7. Play “Chopsticks” on the piano for 41 minutes
  8. Pole-vault for 15 minutes

Of course, none of these will ever replace regular cardio or strength training exercise sessions.  But I think they illustrate what can happen by just getting off of your butt and moving.

So c’mon; grab the hula hoop and meet me outside.

🙂

Time Well Spent

June 19, 2007

What do you think is worse;  not exercising at all, or performing ineffective exercises that don’t give you any results?

In my humble opinion, I think you’re worse off by performing ineffective exercises that don’t give you results.   If you’re not exercising at all, you have no expectations. You KNOW that you’re not going to get thinner or fitter, because you’re not putting forth any effort.  On the other hand, the person who is performing ineffective exercises has the intent to lose weight or get healthier and is taking action to do so.  Just think of how frustrating it must be to those people who are exercising and not seeing any results.

Yet this is happening every day, all over the world.  I see it every morning when I stroll down to the hotel’s fitness center to work out.  People using bad form, using weights that are too heavy, people using exercise machines that really don’t offer any benefit…I see them all every morning.

While I applaud these folks for at least doing something, I wish they’d take the time to at least educate themselves a little bit, or even spend a little bit of money on a personal trainer for a session or two (not that a personal trainer is necessarily an answer…I’ve seen some “personal trainers” that don’t know diddly about how to help people  achieve their fitness goals).

Here’s an article about 10 ineffective exercises that I urge you to take a few minutes and read.   Hopefully, you’re not wasting your exercise time with any of these.  I want to see you get the most out of the time and effort you’re spending exercising.

Like almost everything in life, you’re going to get more out of exercise if you’re doing it correctly.  Take the time to go to the library and check out a book or a DVD to learn the correct methods to exercise your way to fit and thin. The time that you spend learning how to do it correctly can mean the difference between your success and failure.

6 Reasons Why You Should Start Your Journey to Fit and Thin by Walking

June 12, 2007

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is, “I want to start exercising. What’s the best exercise for me to do when I’m so out of shape?”

Without fail, my answer is, “Walking”.

It’s how I started exercising. I was so heavy and so out of shape that when I first started that I couldn’t walk more than 10 minutes. I bet a lot of you are in the same boat.

And you know what? That’s OK. All that matters is that you start MOVING, even if it’s for ten minutes or less.

By all means, I believe walking is the best exercise for you if you are just starting out. Here are 6 reasons why you should start walking tomorrow, IN ADDITION to the fact that it will help you start losing weight:

  1. De-stresses you after a busy day – You’ve been cooped up working or running your butt off all day. Take a few minutes to relax and enjoy the scenery.
  2. Helps more oxygen to the brain – Walking increases your circulation and helps get more oxygen to your brain. This helps all of your thinking processes.
  3. Decreases risk of dementia – There’s evidence that the age groups more prone to dementia and help keep it at bay by walking.
  4. Helps fight osteoporosis – The act of putting your weight on your knees and other joints help makes them stronger. This in turn helps you fight off osteoporosis.
  5. Requires no special equipment or skills — And you’ve already been doing since you were about 12 months old! 🙂
  6. Lets you spend more time with family and friends – Why not spend 30 minutes in the evening enjoying your kids or your spouse instead of in front of the TV?

SPECIAL, NO-COST BONUS 7TH REASON – It’ll even help you sleep better!

There’s an old saying that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. There is no place where that is as true as in weight loss. So go ahead…put on your tennis shoes and walk to the end of the block and back. It’s a simple start, and the payoff is huge!