Monday, December 31, 2012

Motivational Monday

Happy New Year to everyone!! It's been a great year and I appreciate all your support as I dive into this world of writing/blogging.
I will try to pump out more good stuff in the coming year and I hope you will all enjoy it.

Final motivational Monday of 2012

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard

Start the new year off right!! Make your own ending!

2013 is going to be an awesome positive year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fridays Favorites!!

Almost the new year so here are some great articles to get you jump started for 2013.

Nutrition broken down. Because it's all about nutrition. You can't out train a bad diet!

Lower your blood pressure without pills. Why go the med route when there's natural options

It's studies like these that send the wrong message. And I love the response

Hope for the best, expect the worst. Manage your expectations.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Enjoy the holiday!! Thank you to all that have been following and reading this site. I appreciate all the support!!

Happy to get a copy of Exuberant Animal: The Power of Health, Play and Joyful Movement. Looking forward to reading through it.
And The Walking Dead graphic novels.

Most of all I loved watching my son on Christmas, even though he has no clue whats going on this year.

Hope Santa was nice to everyone else!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Motivation Monday

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

I love what I do!! I love challenging people everyday and I love helping people realize their goals and getting them there.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fridays Favorite Things

Heres an interesting test to predict how well you move. Do you move well? Some flaws as it doesnt account for people with sports injuries and such. But interesting none the less

8 ways to improve your life.

If you're taking care of everyone else, whos taking care of you?

Carbs are not evil!!! They are a necessary macro nutrient. Just don't abuse them


Now I know you were probably expecting some sort of review on the popular workout DVD's, but I'm totally going to go in a different direction.  This is more personal, and focuses on you as a person.  What today's post revolves around is 90 things that you want to accomplish this month.  Its about making a list of things you've put off, maybe for months, that need to get done.  We all have these little to major things that you want done, but for one reason or another, they get put off, delayed, and never accomplished. 

I had this concept presented to me by a current training client during the month of December.  She has always talked about positive things like this since I've been training her, and it has a lot to do with the Wisdom courses she takes.  Any time she attends a Wisdom weekend, or a has a conference call with other like-minded individuals, there's always more great ideas coming from her.  Just looking at the website for the Wisdom courses gets you thinking about life. 

Wisdom Unlimited is designed for those interested in growth and development
as an ongoing part of their lives. It is for those who want their lives to be as
great as they can be, to live as productive members of a community,
to grow in wisdom, to develop themselves in ways that
open up new avenues of exploration in living full, contributing, and happy lives.
That is all positivity right there.  Its all about being a better YOU.  

Anyway, her concept and her list for December got me thinking about what I would like to accomplish starting in January.  At first it seems so daunting to come up with 90 things.  10, maybe 20 seems so doable, but 90?  So I'm currently in the midst of creating my list of 90 things.  I may post it so that I am held accountable to all those that read this, but I may hold onto it and keep it private.  I haven't decided yet. 

My list got me thinking about what people do January 1st, and their New Years Resolutions.  There's always the typical "get to the gym," "go on a diet," "lose weight," etc, but how many people actually follow through on those?  How many people come up with something original and really life changing?  Not many.  From my experience, there's a big influx of people to the gym, but then after a few weeks, things die down back to a normal pace.  You wonder what happened to those people.  Did they just give up?  Did the journey ahead of them to be healthier seem to challenging?  Did they find a solution? 

So I decided to take this concept of a list of 90 things and present it to all of you.  This goes way beyond a New Years Resolution.  Its more of a "January get stuff done" thing.  I want you to make a list of 90 things that you want to accomplish in January.  It could be anything.  Remembering to call someone, maybe a PR in a race, organizing a room, decluttering your drawers, etc.  Really anything.  Nothing is too ridiculous, nothing is too small.   Every time you accomplish something on the list, cross it off, check it off, do whatever you need to do to acknowledge you finished it.  This is meant to be a positive exercise so don't be discouraged if you don't hit everything, but do your best to check everything off.  Feeling guilty or blaming yourself for not completing everything is not what this is about.  Its about building yourself up, not tearing you down. 

Kick off 2013 to a great start!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Your Holiday Checklist

The holiday time is full of parties and there is always the temptation to fall of the nutrition bandwagon.  Here's a quick checklist to see if you are doing what you should be doing.

Answer Yes or No.  Add up all the "Yes" at the bottom.

If you're looking to shed some weight, you need to hit at least 8 yes answers.
If you're only looking to maintain your weight, try to get to 6 yes answers.

Sound fair?

Here we go!!

1.  Did you say NO at least 80% of the time when presented with candy or a plate of cookies?

2.  Instead of bringing a sugar laden dessert or candy for everyone to enjoy at a party, did you bring something more healthy like a veggie or fruit platter with a healthy dip, or even a healthy dessert?

3.  Did you skip the bread and breaded appetizers at holiday dinners and parties?

4.  Have you told yourself that sugar and sweet treats will ruin your diet? Here's a quick tip:  Avoid eating sweet treats by eating protein. 
5.  Did you eat balanced meals containing protein, whole carbohydrates and fats the day of a holiday party instead of starving yourself and "saving" your calories?  P.S "saving calories doesn't help."

6.  Did you stay away from alcohol most of the time of your holiday events?
Remember: alcohol causes your body to store fat and not be able to burn fat, and when you add sugar to it, it makes it even worse.

7.  Did you stick to mostly protein and veggies at holiday dinners and parties?

8.  If you can't exercise due to holiday commitments, did you keep your carbohydrate intake lower and focus mostly on proteins, vegetables and some fruits?

9.  If you know you're going to eat more carbs than your body needs at a holiday event, did you plan this into your diet? Maybe the day prior, eat a lower carb diet, and then the day following, eat a no carb diet ? Also, give yourself an extra point for performing an intense workout too!

10.   Even if you can't get to the gym, did you find time to do a short, quick circuit workout?  Maybe a 4 minute tabata workout where you do, lets say squats, for 20 seconds, then rest 10 seconds for 8 total rounds!!  Pick any full body exercise and it works too!! And only in 4 minutes.

How'd you do?

Feel free to post your results


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weight Fluctuations

Are you the type that will go on the scale every day, sometimes more than once a day?
Do you freak out when the number goes up just a smidge, or sometimes even more than that?  Maybe its a couple of pounds. 
Well first things first, get the hell off the scale.  The scale is pretty much the most useless way to measure progress.  Yes, to a degree it can show you if you're trending towards your goals, but the mirror, and how you feel and how your clothes feel are better indicators of success and progress.

Still, there are people out there, and its men and women, that will hit the scale and look for any sign of progress and even with the slightest of fluctuation, will freak. 

I'm here to tell you, IT'S OK!!

Weight will jump all over the place.  If and when I do go on a scale, its never the same, and its always all over the place.  Too many variables go into weight in terms of pounds. 

Here's some physics for you:
The pull of gravity is different at different latitudes, so if you want to weigh a little less, move closer to the equator, or weight a little more go towards the poles. 

Ok back to seriousness. 

Many things go into what you weigh.  Even going past the usual description of fat mass and lean body mass.  Hormonal changes can cause weight shifts, what you eat can cause all sorts of shifts, as can something like going to the bathroom. 

Here's is something interesting I found from Dr. Melina Jampolis, who wrote The No-Time-To-Lose Diet:

For every 16 oz of fluid you consumed, that's an immediate gain of
1 pound

Need to poop?  Being backed up can cause a weight retention of as much as
2 pounds

Air pressure changes in flights that take 4 hours or longer will actually increase fluid retention typically to the tune of
2 to 3 pounds

Have a high sodium dinner and you'll likely find yourself waking up heavier by
2 to 3 pounds

That time of a month?
Hormone fluctuations for up to a week leading into your period, or for the guys truly connected to their wife's pregnancy, expect a water weight gain of up to
5 pounds

So, if you're a thirsty, constipated, frequent flier, with a penchant for pizza and heading to that time of month, expect a quick shift in the scale of up to:
19 pounds !!

That's some intense weight gain right there!

So don't freak out over every little half pound or pound(s) gain or loss.  If you're doing your work, which means eating well(80/20 rule) and exercising, then you should have nothing to worry about. 

In the end, its all relative.  Just go ask Santa.  He lives at the North Pole, where you weigh the most. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Motivation Monday

Keep moving forward! Just keep swimming! 
All about moving on, getting over the past, staying positive, and well moving forward.  The past is the past.  Whatever happened this weekend is gone, so if you screwed up your diet, or didn't get your workout in, its ok.  It happened, its over.  Make sure today is the best day of your life.  Then say that again tomorrow. 

Today's motivation comes straight from Rocky Balboa

Killer freakin speech!! 

"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!"

Thanks to Unattainable Life for this clip, and check out the link posted for more Inspiring Videos.

In the stream of moving forward we have Walt Disney:

Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.  (side note, this was also at the end of the movie Meet the Robinsons)

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Surround yourself with positive people everyday. It rubs off. On how you think. On how you act. On what you do. None of us is guaranteed any certain amount of time on this earth. And your quality of life is directly related to the quality of the people who surround you. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Who make you smile. Who make you feel special. Who are committed to a life of faith. Seek them out. LOVE each other. And celebrate everyday you share together.

This seems more appropriate than ever after the events in Connecticut yesterday. You just never know. Live life to the fullest everyday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Are you a liability?

That's the question you should be asking yourself.

Are you a liability at your job? In your home?

In NY, we just had Hurricane Sandy. Crazy storm that had wide spread damage. What if you were one of the unlucky people that had everything wiped out? What if you were stuck and had to help other people? Would you be able to? Are you healthy enough, or fit enough to be useful, or are you out of shape, unhealthy and require someone else to help you survive? to get out?
Hopefully the answer is "yea I can manage myself." Hopefully you can.

A great story that illustrates my point comes out of NYU Hospital in NYC. The nurses there had some serious work on their hands. They had to evacuate 20 newborn babies down 13 flights of stairs, carefully as some were sick and needed extra attention. Do you think they could have done all that if they were not healthy and in any kind of physical shape? The story is not only a testament to the great work that the nurses do, but also to the fitness level of all of the women that helped out. Here's the story if you want to check it out: NYU Nurses

At home, are you able to play with your kids? That's the one thing that keeps me going back to my workouts. The one thing that has me working on my mobility and trying my best to stay in shape. I want to be able to run around with my son AND keep up with him. Are you able to do work around the house? Yard work, house work? Laundry? Or are you so out of breath, so out of shape, that you physically can't do anything but lay on the couch, which leads to more inactivity and even more unhealthiness.

What about at work? Are you putting everything you can in terms of work capacity into your job? Or is your health holding you back from being a productive member of the team? If you're out of shape and unhealthy, do you think you'll be able to have the same output as someone who is healthy and in shape at work? When you lead an unhealthy life, you are bound to miss more time at work due to illness or doctor appointments. You are bound to have less energy than your fitter coworkers and therefore get less done during the workday. This decreases not only your capacity to work but it will decrease your value as an employee. If you have no value as an employee, then what are the chances you keep your job?

Tough, harsh questions. Maybe a little insensitive, but such is the world we live in where the obesity rates are climbing and the activity levels are dropping. You can't just beat around the bush to get someones attention, you have to be straight forward. You can call people out on being smokers and kick them out of bars/restaurants, or being alcoholics, but there is this oversensitivity when you call someone out on being out of shape and overweight. Why? I would think the same logic applies.

Are you useful to society when disaster strikes(zombie apocalypse anyone?) or are you going to hold people back, needing others to save you all the time. It's not an easy thing to ask, and it may be a little insensitive, but in order to survive, you need to be able to help out and not be a hindrance. Or even just for self survival. If you're being chased by someone (zombie?) you can?t stop to rest or call a time out because you're out of breath. You have to keep going, keep pushing on. There's no way to do that if you're out of shape.

Now it comes out that the military is kicking people out for being out of shape (out of shape soldiers). Well that's great. We have an army of unhealthy, unfit people. How the hell are we going to protect our country when all our soldiers are out of shape. According to the article, the number of personnel deemed overweight or obese has tripled between 1998 and 2010. Even worse than being overweight and out of shape, recruits that even make it to training are so screwed up when it comes to movement patterns that they fail anyway. They can't do basics like rolling, running, jumping, or crawling. Since our lives have become more sedentary, movement patterns have gotten awful, and we have sub par recruits to protect the country. Being healthy and fit is now a matter of national security.

You owe it to yourself, your family, your coworker, society, and your country to live a healthier life, get active, get moving and increase your ability to do more work. Otherwise you'll just get left behind.

Survival of the Fittest!!

Motivation Monday

"Perfection doesn’t exist. Measure your progress against where you used to be, NOT the perfect ideal."

Too many people get wrapped up in comparing themselves to other people. Especially in the gym!
"oh he/she is stronger, skinnier, more toned, faster..etc"
Or even comparing yourself to some celebrity in a magazine. Trying to live up to the celeb world of ideal is only going to end up in failure and frustration. And besides, most images you see in a magazine are photo shopped and airbrushed.

Its all a bunch of BS. Compare yourself to yourself. Where did you start? Where are you now?

Don't worry about what someone else is doing or worry about being perfect.

Just be you.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fit Kids = Smarter Kids

In an article published recently by Science Daily, it was found that kids in better shape or more fit, finished higher in their class in terms of test scores. 
Fit Kids, Smart Kids
This is a super important study as it shows that schools that try to eliminate P.E class and/or recess are only doing the students harm.  The more fit the kids are, the better they do on tests, specifically funding related standardized tests.  Not only that but if you teach fitness skills early, kids are more likely to adapt and keep up a healthy lifestyle. 

Studies have also shown that by exercising, students learn new skills, and develop more neurons.  This enables more pathways in the brain, therefore making learning easier.  John J. Ratey’s book SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain examines something called Zero Hour P.E. Class in which students exercise before first period.  The results were astounding. Zero Hour PE showed improvements in reading and comprehension.  I'm not going to get into all the details, you can read the article for that.  But its interesting to see the correlation between exercise and success in the classroom. 

In a related study, Brain Development/Fitness, it was found that there was an association between fitness of 9-10 year olds and hippocampus development.  The hippocampus is an area of the brain associated with memory.  And as any student knows, memory is important in terms of learning.  In the study, it was found that there was a larger hippocampal volume in fitter 9-10 year olds.  So once again, exercise and learning are related. 

And its never too late.  The neurological system is plastic and is always changing.  Challenge your brain, try new skills, work out harder and smarter.  Who knows where it'll take you. 

In the end, it should never be an issue whether kids should have P.E class or recess.  Exercise and playing have a huge role in brain development and learning ability.  Lets keep it that way. 

Favorite Things of the Week

Here are some articles and in one case a picture that caught my eye during the week. 
If you're curious to know how I find these, some I see posted online, some I see linked from twitter.

Cool Picture

Sugar Addiction

Do you gain weight during the holiday season?

Training is as much neurological as it is physical.  This was my favorite of the week, as I've kinda known this for a while, but its nice to see in an article.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Motivation Monday

Part of success is just showing up. The other part, doing the work, day after day. Don't get distracted. Stay focused. That's how you become better than everyone else.