Pain, No Gain!

So I’ve been dealing with some TMS pain over the past few months which has negatively impacted my exercise momentum, and intensity. (Don’t worry mom, I’m gonna be OK!)

pain_fist

And I have to admit, “Pain SUCKS!”.

And working out with pain sucks even more!

I wish I was referring to the No Pain, No Gain quote. But I’m not.

And this is no cry for sympathy. I learned something valuable so I’m hoping to turn this into a teachable moment.

Let’s face it, when you’re in the zone and momentum is strong, you feel incredible! And unstoppable!

Exercise_pain

But when that momentum is disrupted or derailed, it’s easy to get frustrated and discouraged. Which can cause your workouts to suffer. In the form of fewer (aka missed), or shorter sessions. Resulting in a lack of:

  • Desire
  • Intensity
  • Energy
  • Drive

It’s like something has died.

This can take a toll on the results you’ve gained to this point.

And the head games can haunt you in the form of negative self-talk.

  • “What’s another day off gonna hurt?”
  • “You didn’t want to work out today anyway. Just go go back to sleep.”
  • “What if I never get back to it?”

I know, it sounds ridiculous. But we all do it from time to time.

Throw in a busy schedule that’s full of work and family demands, and it’s easy to see how things can continue to spiral downward.

All of a sudden, bad habits begin knocking at your door – HELLO

I think it’s similar to a baseball player that’s going through a hitting slump. He knows what to do and how to do it, but just can’t seem to get on base.

With some of these setbacks looming, and increasing gaps in my exercise schedule, I began to see things from a different perspective. Like what it may be like for others who are going through the same thing. Or who are struggling with just getting started.

I can’t help but empathize with anyone who is dealing with anything similar to these 2 scenarios. Sometimes it’s not as easy as just doing it. Getting started, (or re-started) can be very difficult.

Momentum

But here’s the upside. You can do this. And I know that I will get through this too.

How do I know?

Because I’ve been here before. And you probably have too.

In the meantime, let’s try to learn something from it:

  1. It won’t last forever. But don’t let it linger for too long. Do something about it today.
  2. Sometimes a break (or a slump) is good for us.
  3. You’ll surpass where you left off, but only if you work consistently at it.
  4. Setbacks make us stronger and wiser.
  5. Embrace failure for the valuable lessons it provides.
  6. We can’t go without exercise for too long. Our body needs it for so many reasons.
  7. We are physically, mentally, and emotionally stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

How does this help someone that’s just starting out on the road to better health & wellness? Perhaps someone that’s been sedentary for many years. What should they do?

  1. Discover (or re-discover) your “WHY”. You’re going to need it to jump-start your activity and motivation. And help you through the challenges and setbacks you’ll encounter in the future.
  2. If it’s been years, start slow and stay consistent. Be the tortoise; not the hare. Remember who won the race?
  3. Think long-term, but focus on one day at a time. And celebrate small wins and victories along the way.
  4. Be grateful for your abilities and accomplishments. Gratitude is a POWERFUL emotion.
  5. Enjoy the momentum and the results as they begin to develop.

I wish you all the best as you get back to it and build some ass-kickin’ momentum!

I hope you found value in this post.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I’d love for you to let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Is the content valuable and helpful? Did anything resonate? Will you take action? What else would you like to see in future posts? I welcome your feedback.

What’s your Win to be Thin?

If you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them. And if you like what you see, you can SUBSCRIBE for automatic updates, LIKE US on Facebook, and spread the word about www.thin2win.net with your friends, family and social circles.

Is Your Lifestyle Active Enough?

Have you heard enough about the importance of an active lifestyle?

active_lifestyle

I know, I sound like a broken record. And for good reason. Because activity is IMPORTANT! But there’s a common misunderstanding I would like to put to rest. Improving your health & wellness doesn’t consist of a lot of things [you need to do]. It only comes down to a few things.

So whether you’re trying to lose weight, get into better shape, or improve upon your existing healthy habits, here’s what you should focus on:

  1. Great nutrition
  2. Regular exercise
  3. Adequate rest

When you figure these out and get consistent by making them part of your routine, great things begin to happen. Results begin to show up. And you WILL eventually accomplish your goal.

But there’s something else. In addition to getting consistent, you’ve gotta give yourself time.

zen_rocks

This doesn’t mean you procrastinate. Or ignore these 3 fundamentals. We are all unique individuals. And whatever your story, it’s taken you some time to get to the place where you’re at now. So that means if you want to improve or fix your situation, it’s going to take some time.

That is of course, only if you’re serious about it and want to really make it happen.

Perhaps it’s been 10 months. Or maybe it’s been 10 years.

It doesn’t matter.

It’s time to learn the fundamentals. And start living them. To begin to make better choices. Choices that will help you build new habits. New habits that will set you up to succeed… By developing the healthy disciplines you need in order to you achieve your goal.

So this week I promised to discuss where and how to add exercise to your day.

Let’s start w/the “where” to exercise.

cardio_gym

The 2 obvious places are at home or at the gym. But it can be anywhere you can increase your heart rate with at least 20 to 30 minutes of sustained activity.

You may be thinking cardio. However, let’s not overlook strength training, which is a very important part of an exercise program. Unfortunately though, strength training is sometimes ignored or dismissed as unnecessary. Especially as we get older.

And there’s no need to worry about bulking up. After 50 it’s a lot harder to build lean muscle than you think. So be sure to make strength training part of your workouts.

So we’ve discovered that the “where” doesn’t have to be in a gym or at home. It can be outdoors, in a park. Maybe biking is your thing. Or you’re into water sports. Hey, it can even be a brisk walk at the mall.

My friend Kathy Robb has been running a successful bootcamp for the past 5 years. If you’re in the Westfield, NJ area, check them out at http://bootcampwf.com/.

The point is to use your imagination. Get creative and make it fun!

Otherwise, you may find yourself doing the same routine for too long, which kills motivation and intensity. And leads to boredom.

And you know what they say…

all_work_and_no_play_jack

So we’ve covered the “where” to exercise.

Now let’s look at the “how”, which includes the “what”.

If home is where you get your exercise, you have many options which may include:

  • Instructor-led DVD’s
  • A set of dumbbells
  • A bench with a set of free weights
  • Resistance bands
  • A jump rope
  • A heavy bag for punching and kicking
  • A treadmill or elliptical
  • A bike
  • A yoga mat
  • Body weight exercises (like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, chair dips, and mountain climbers)…
  • Use Google to search on phrases like “home workout options”, “dumbbell workouts”, or “body weight workouts” and you’ll find plenty of ideas
  • The neighborhood or a nearby park for a brisk walk

A gym sounds self-explanatory, but it doesn’t only have to be for traditional strength training and cardio sessions. Other types of exercise may include:

  • Group classes
  • Martial arts
  • Yoga
  • A dance studio
  • Pilates or Tai Chi
  • Kickboxing

Outdoor training may include:

  • A bootcamp (with my friend Kathy) http://bootcampwf.com/
  • Cycling
  • Walking or running
  • Swimming
  • Kayaking with my friend Jack
  • CrossFit with my friend Victor
  • Sorry, but I don’t think we can include golf here as exercise

If you’re new to exercise, the first thing you need to do is consult your doctor. Then you may want to stick to the basics, and focus on more traditional exercise options in the beginning.

Consider hiring a certified personal trainer. Or purchase a DVD series for an intense, instructor-led workout you can do in the convenience of your own home.

Beachbody is one of the most respected companies in this space. Contact my friend Laura at www.beachbody.com for products and recommendations.

I’ll end with this quote:

“It’s not about having time. It’s about making time.” ~ Chris Freytag

I hope you found value in this post.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I’d love for you to let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Is the content valuable and helpful? Did anything resonate? Will you take action? What else would you like to see in future posts? I welcome your feedback.

What’s your Win to be Thin?

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Move Your Body!

Last week we discussed heart health, which included some shocking statistics. In it, I posed the question “Why wait for a life-threatening disease or illness to strike” (to get you to start exercising)?

move_your_body

I’d like to continue the discussion this week by focusing on the importance of moving your body as it relates to heart health.

So this week we’ll look at what impedes and motivates us to move.

Face it, you may have many reasons or excuses for not moving. So let’s start there. Make a list of the reasons why you don’t or can’t exercise.

Not sure where to begin? Let me help you get started.

Excuses

For the past couple of months I’ve exercised less than I normally do as a result of some chronic pain. For the record, I hate working out with pain. It really sucks. So I guess that’s going to be the first item on my “excuses for not working out list”.

  1. Pain.
  2. Not enough time.
  3. Too tired or my energy level is low (so I just don’t feel like working out today).
  4. FULL plate at work and feeling overwhelmed.

Except for the first one, these are all lame excuses for not exercising. But don’t worry, I’m looking for ways to get back to pain-free workouts. So expect a future post on this once I discover how to kill the pain!

Without going into a lot of detail, the “not enough time” excuse can easily be solved by going to bed a little earlier so I can get up earlier without sacrificing sleep.

The “feeling overwhelmed” excuse can also be easily corrected. It’s during these times where we need that workout more than ever. It allows you to blow off steam and gain some additional energy to power through your work.

But if we allow that feeling of overwhelm to control us, guess what happens? Right, we’ll blow off the workout and dive into our work instead. Uggghh!

So take a look at your list. Do you see any patterns? Are there legitimate reasons for exercise gaps; or just lame excuses like on my list? And don’t let any so-called “legitimate reasons” trick you into rationalizing your reason for moving less or opting for the more sedentary lifestyle.

Scrutinize each one to see if it’s disguised as an excuse that needs to be eradicated. Then find something to get motivated about, and plan your next workout.

you_have_time_to_exercise

As I think about it, I believe that I’m speaking to two audiences here. The first group exercises, but not enough. Maybe once or twice a week. The second group is sedentary and doesn’t exercise at all. In either case, I think we can all learn something here from each other.

An active lifestyle that includes regular exercise, defined as 3 to 5 days a week, has been proven to be beneficial. Check that, regular exercise has been proven to be essential to your health & wellness. And the advantages of regular exercise are not only limited to medical benefits.

Exercise can improve our mood, memory, and attitude.

Exercise increases our energy level. And brain health in the form of clearer and more focused thinking.

As we age, exercise helps us maintain muscle mass, bone density, and balance.

So help me understand why you can’t squeeze in a few hours of exercise during your week. You’ve got 168 of them to work with (hours that is).

Need some inspiration?

exercising_with_trainer

Let’s shift gears and take a look at what motivates us (or could motivate us) to exercise.

I’ll jump in to help get you started. Here’s my Top 10 list of what motivates me to exercise:

  1. Looking and feeling great.
  2. The sense of accomplishment.
  3. The euphoric feeling I get when I’m done. I equate this to a runner’s high. Don’t worry, it’s legal in all 50 states.
  4. Momentum. I don’t want to lose it.
  5. If I’ve missed a few days, my body tells me “I need this workout!”.
  6. When I’m in the zone, adding an extra workout for the week is very motivating.
  7. I want to live to at least 100 years young with an incredible quality of life the entire time.
  8. I want to be a role model to my family, friends, and everyone I encounter.
  9. Approaching it from the other side, I don’t want to have a heart attack or a stroke.
  10. And I don’t want to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or Alzheimer’s.

What’s on your list. Think about it and write them down. These can be the catalyst to help you take action on those days when you’re not feeling it and need a jump-start.

So what does moving actually mean?

It can mean many things. Perhaps it’s based on your age, fitness level, health & wellness goals, medical condition, injuries, environment, and desire to be in great shape.

Or to just take better care of the one body that you’ll ever own.

Next week we’ll discuss where and how to add exercise to your day.

For now, make your two lists – the ‘reasons’ you don’t exercise; and ‘what’ motivates you (or would motivate you) to exercise. And see if this video gets you to Move Your Body.

Then leave a comment.

I hope you found value in this post.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I’d love for you to let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Is the content valuable and helpful? Did anything resonate? Will you take action? What else would you like to see in future posts? I welcome your feedback.

What’s your Win to be Thin?

If you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them. And if you like what you see, you can SUBSCRIBE for automatic updates, LIKE US on Facebook, and spread the word about www.thin2win.net with your friends, family and social circles.

Why Wait?

According to the Princeton HealthCare System (www.princetonhcs.org), more than 6 million Americans suffer from heart failure. Defined as a condition where the heart doesn’t pump enough blood as well as it should.

Heart_disease

And according to the American Heart Association, more than 800,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. A number that is expected to DOUBLE in the next 20 years. WHOA!!!

They say it’s due to an aging population.

Aging, ‘SM-aging’… I ask, why wait?

WHY WAIT for a life-threatening diagnosis or disease to strike? Is that what’s needed to motivate you to start eating right and exercising? Are you freakin’ kidding me?

Are you living, breathing, and capable of moving? And you choose not to exercise because… why?

Although this blog is dedicated to helping the “over 50” population, this concept applies to anyone and everyone.

Healthy_heart

Are you in your 20’s or 30’s? 40’s or 50’s? 60’s or 70’s? Older?

Then you need to move your ass and start eating right!

It’s never too late to start. So don’t give me any excuses about how:

  • You’ve tried but failed.
  • Messed up when you were younger.
  • You have bad genes.
  • Don’t know what to do.
  • Don’t have time.
  • Aren’t interested or motivated.

Are you freakin’ kidding me?

I know, I just repeated myself. But as far as I’m concerned, this is a SERIOUS topic that needs more awareness and attention. And maybe even some tough love.

Call it an excuse, neglect, laziness, or fear.

It doesn’t matter because knowing that you should do something but you don’t is not only foolish. It’s ridiculous.

Okay, let me tone it down a bit for a second.

Drill_sergeant

It’s unfortunate. And unacceptable. Is that better?

Take last week’s post for example. Every health issue that was listed is preventable.

Okay, stand by. I can already hear the comments and lame excuses. “Yea, but…

  • you can’t predict your future.”
  • we don’t get to choose how long we live.”
  • illness and disease can strike anyone, at any time.”
  • I know someone that was in great health and died of **insert illness**.”

I totally understand that despite good intentions and actions taken, we are not in complete control of our fate with regard to disease and illnesses. But you can’t live your life fearing things that may never happen. Especially those things that are outside of our control.

Take_control

Instead, you’d benefit much more by taking preventative or precautionary measures that will pave the road to your healthy future.

Besides, these lame excuses usually come from uninformed, pessimistic sources who don’t focus on taking care of their own health & wellness.

Not only will regular exercise, good nutrition, and adequate rest do wonders for extending your life. It’s a wise preventative approach.

This healthy 1 – 2 – 3 combination will keep disease and illness at bay. It will limit or eliminate your need to be a slave to medication. It will keep you fit and firm. And elevate your energy level while keeping you looking and feeling great.

So there’s no way you can convince me that the alternative “lazy” lifestyle is a better choice. Coasting and neglect will never take you where you want to go.

As Darren Hardy said so simply and effectively in…

The_Compound_Effect“If you took a bite of a Big Mac and immediately fell to the ground clutching your chest from a heart attack, you might not go back for that second bite. If your next puff of a cigarette instantly mutated your face into that of a weathered eighty-five-year-old, chances are you’d pass on that, too. If you failed to make that tenth call today and were immediately fired and bankrupted, suddenly picking up the phone would be a no-brainer. And if that first forkful of cake instantly put fifty pounds on your frame, saying “no thank you” to dessert would be the true piece of cake.

The problem is that the payoff or instant gratification derived from bad habits often far outweighs what’s going on in your rational mind concerning long-term consequences. Indulging in our bad habits doesn’t seem to have any negative effects at all in the moment. You don’t have that heart attack, your face doesn’t shrivel up, you’re not standing in the unemployment line, and your thighs aren’t thunderous. But that doesn’t mean you haven’t activated the Compound Effect.”

So getting back to the initial statistics on heart failure, the first step in diagnosing this and other diseases is a physical examination. Your doctor will evaluate any symptoms and risk factors based on your medical history.

Signs_of_heart_disease

And here are some signs to watch out for regarding heart failure:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue / weakness
  • Swelling in your legs, ankles and feet
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Persistent cough or wheezing
  • Frequent need to urinate at night
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Sudden weight gain from fluid retention
  • Chest discomfort

So make it a point to get checked out. Especially if you are planning to start a nutrition or exercise program. And if it’s been years since you’ve exercised, start slow.

What do you think? Will you make an investment in your future?

I hope you found value in this post.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I’d love for you to let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Is the content valuable and helpful? Did anything resonate? Will you take action? What else would you like to see in future posts? I welcome your feedback.

What’s your Win to be Thin?

If you know someone that can benefit from this content, please share it with them. And if you like what you see, you can SUBSCRIBE for automatic updates, LIKE US on Facebook, and spread the word about www.thin2win.net with your friends, family and social circles.