Archive for February, 2011

Just Do It

There is really not a lot I can say about Just Do It, other than it’s genius.

Readers who know me, know that I love shoes, and that wasn’t exclusive to heels and boots and flats and strappy sandals, my shoe love had no problem bleeding over into training shoes and running shoes and any athletic shoe I could try on.

And I can name a million designer brands (Louboutin, McQueen, Jimmy Choo, Prada) but I only know the basics of athletic shoes (Nike, Reebok, Adidas). Of all these shoes, who has the greatest advertising? Nike! Just do it? It’s genius and I’ve never really thought about it until recently, when I was putting on my Nike trainers and was saying it to myself, like a big nerd. Just do it. And it hit me: I have been, unknowingly, applying that slogan to my life for the past 7 months.

I don’t want to train. Just do it.
I don’t want to run. Just do it.
I want a Nacho BellGrande. Just (don’t) do it. (Fooled you).

What a fantastic thought to keep you going. Just do it. I know its going to hurt, but at some point it will hurt in a totally good way, if you just do it and then keep on doing it. Plus! Nike is the goddess of victory. You don’t need to wear the Nikes, you just need to think Nike.

I think we could all use a little bit of Just Do It in our lives, no matter what it is.

Easy Ways to Keep Yourself Motivated and Continue your Workout Regime (guest post)

Today’s post is contributed by Vanessa Jones, who writes on the topics of dating sites.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: vanessa.jones42@gmail.com.

 

Experts suggest that two-thirds of all New Year resolutions, specifically those pertaining to health and fitness, are ruined within a week. On average, some can make it to St. Patrick’s Day but due to the lack of motivation, the importance of fitness tends to dwindle down shortly after. If you’ve managed to keep your workout resolution thus far, congratulations you are half way to the typical stopping point. But to keep going and surpass the 3-month time frame, it’s important that you find ways to motivate yourself to continue your workout regime. No matter if it was your new year’s resolution or just a mid-year epiphany of needing to change your health and lifestyle, continue reading below to learn some simple ways how to keep your workout regime in check.

The very first thing you want to do is to always focus on your ultimate goals what is it that you want to accomplish? Are your trying to get into shape for a special event? Are you planning on taking a trip to the Bahamas? Or are you simply trying to squeeze back into your favorite pair of jeans? No matter what it is, always reflect back on your goals whenever you are feeling too tired to work out. A good way to keep yourself motivated is to leave items that remind you of your goal in plain view. Meaning, post a picture of the Bahamas on your bathroom mirror so you have to see if every morning and be reminded about all your exciting plans, or have those pair of jeans hanging in the front of your closet. Anything that you can do that can inspire you to keep going and to remind yourself why you are doing this is the first place is the key essential technique on how to make your fitness plan stick.

Another way to be more motivated is to simply switch up your workout routine. Sometimes regiments can get too monotonous–not only is it boring but your muscles may not be challenged enough if you continue to do the same machines and sets everyday. So a good way to get out of a rut is to spice things up and learn some new exercise moves. Another way is to simply attempt to make your work out “fun.” Instead of concentrating so much on using the exercising equipment and machines and trying to burn calories on the treadmill, try joining a class instead. Most gyms offer belly dancing, hip-hop and latin dance-ercise classes. These types of classes can ultimate help you get into shape without the feeling of a real “work out.” You can also consider alternating strict work out regiments with recreational activities such as swimming, playing tennis or basketball, or riding a bicycle around the block. If you insist on only staying true to using the gym equipment at least bring your iPod and make a playlist of music that is sure to pump you up and keep you motivated.

Lastly, you want to get support from your family and friends. It’s easier to maintain your workout regiment when you have a support system with someone who has similar goals. Convince a friend or co-worker to join your gym or see if your membership includes any free guest passes. Having someone to talk to and knowing that you are not the only one struggling to meet your goals is sometimes motivation enough to continue going.

other people’s handiwork

By the time this post goes live, I will be in New Jersey. I’m doing two presentations at their state music teacher’s conference, and I’m going out a few days early to visit people and meet my new (in December) niece. While I’m not looking forward to NJ’s weather, I am looking forward to the trip.

I have one guest post lined up for you this week. I have given Nichol free reign to post this week as well — we’ll see what happens!

WordPress doesn’t allow me to compose posts on my iPad, so I won’t be writing while away. I’ll talk to you again Monday next week!

In the mean time…

Sick at Work? How to Prevent Germs From Spreading in Your Office Cubicle & Desk from Money Crashers: Your office is a germ-fest. Here are some tips to reduce its potency.

Stand up, walk around, and cut down on inflammation from Disease Proof: “…prolonged sitting has been linked to increased risk of death regardless of the amount of exercise activity performed.”

5 Reasons to Slow Down Your Life Today, and How to Do It from The Positivity Blog: I know there are some people who have their lives perfectly balanced and don’t feel like they’re being jostled through life. For the rest of us, this is a good read.

Debit & Credit Card Skimming Fraud – How to Avoid Card Skimming Devices from Money Crashers: Do you know what skimming devices are? Some things and places to keep an eye open…

how I came to love triathlon — and how you could, too!

OK, I’m sure that I lost some people at the title, but as it turns out, triathlon is a fabulous fun sport or activity (depending on your definition of sport).

I landed in triathlon almost accidentally. I was looking for a new gym post-chemo, and I wanted to join one that had someone on staff who could teach me how to swim. As I told them, I knew how to not drown, and if dropped in the middle of a lake, I could probably get to the shore. But laps? No way.

After working out for a few months, I decided I was ready to learn my way around the pool. I had a few lessons with little but significant feedback, and it wasn’t long before I was able to swim laps for much longer than my attention span wanted to permit.

Triathlon discipline #1: swim.

This story is out of order, though, because swimming was the last of the three disciplines that I got into.

When I moved to AZ, I didn’t bring my car (which is a long story in itself) — I just had my bike. So except for occasions when I hitched a ride, walked, or took the bus, I biked everywhere. I had (still have) a decent-quality mountain-type bike (I think it’s actually a hybrid, but I’m not really sure) and rode it all over the place. Since buying a car, I ride it a lot less…

Triathlon discipline #2: bike.

The first gym I belonged to was in NJ before I moved. The last spring that I lived in NJ, they had a benefit 5K for the daughter of an employee who had contracted some serious illness — I don’t recall now what it was — so I decided to do it. I was not very fit at the time, though I was much better off than I’d been at my “worst,” but 5K is only 3.1 miles.  I can make it 3.1 miles. My goals were: 1-don’t walk; 2-don’t die; 3-don’t come in last. (I’ve since learned that the first goal was not necessarily appropriate, that walking in running races is totally fine and in many cases will actually give you a better finishing time.) Regardless, I did meet all three goals and finished somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-40 minutes.

Since then, I’ve done many 5Ks. My PR is 29:58. My post-chemo PR is around 32:00. I’m currently not interested in running anything longer than a 5K, though that might change in the future.

Triathlon discipline #3: run.

So after learning to swim, I realized I could do all three things … and learned about an all-women’s sprint tri a few miles from home … and decided to jump in and try it.

It was amazing. Crossing the finish line in that race was one of the proudest moments of my life. If you look at Second Chance FitCenter’s website, there is a small tri photo collage on the left if you scroll down a bit. The pic in the lower right — with the yellow bandana on — was taken at breakfast after the race. Do I look like a happy woman to you?

There are triathlons in many different distances. The shortest standard race is a sprint and is usually a half mile (800-meter) swim, a 12- to 14-mile bike ride, and a 5K run. There are shorter ones. There are some with pool swims instead of open water swims. There are, of course, longer ones. There are some for women only.

Triathlon is the friendliest sport I’ve encountered. People are nice, want to help you out, give you tips, see you succeed. I don’t mean that you can expect a fellow racer to stop and give you pointers during the race, but tri clubs are full of people who love the sport and love to help others love the sport.

There are people of many different shapes and sizes at these events. Sure, the pros are all built like machines, but I’m not, and there were quite a few people next to whom I look like I am 😉 The first finisher routinely finishes a full hour before I do (my most recent race, I came in a few minutes over two hours). And as I cross the finish line, there are still people who have just started running.

Oh, and my first race, I didn’t run a lick. I walked 5K.

If you’re toying with it, I encourage you to give it a tri 😉 Find a race in your area that gives you enough time to train for it, and register!

If you are already able to swim half a mile, bike 14 miles and run/jog/walk a 5K, leave 9-12 weeks to train. If not, leave more time. The advantage to registering early is that the entrance fees are usually lower.

All of the gear in triathlon can be intimidating. Here is a short, simple article from active.com that lists the bare essentials.

Have questions about triathlon? Go ahead and ask! I can’t promise to be able to answer all of them, but I have three races under my belt, so I do know a little.

Are you thinking about trying it? What’s stopping you?

Nichol on … computers?

Hey readers! So, do you want to hear a story? Good.

I was finishing my Wednesday post and my trusty little MacBook went black. *sob* Now, I’ve been talking with AppleCare and the following is a summarized — and pretty much completely made-up — way more interesting version of my conversation with the AppleCare person.

Nichol: My friend is dead!
AppleCare: What’s wrong with it?
N: It’s dead!
AC: *asking lots of questions* blah blah blah
N: Well, I have been having an issue with saving and syncing because I haven’t set up my time capsule yet.
AC: Why not?
N: Uh, because I have a job and I’m way more interested in arranging and rearranging the song selection on all my Apple products than backing stuff up. Is MacBook going to be okay?
AC: Do a bunch of boring stuff. Do some more boring stuff. Blah, blah, blah, bring it to the Genius Bar at San Tan.
N: How do you know that’s the Apple store I go to?
AC: Because Steve Jobs knows everything about every person every where, and he shares it with us.
N: But people are dying to read my special Wednesday blog post about “Just Do It,” and I don’t want to disappoint, because IT IS REALLY GOOD.
AC: Well maybe now you have learned your lesson.
N: Could this same thing happen to iPhone and iPad and iPod because MacBook was too full to sync.
AC: Sigh.
N: What’s that supposed to mean?
AC: Steve will be at your house in 5 minutes to repossess all Apple products. You, miss, are a terrible Apple mommy.

Okay, so it didn’t exactly happen that way, but I have been remiss in my Apple maintenance. Not a scratch on any product, but a lot of junk that I haven’t deleted or backed up. So my awesome blog post about exercise and eating right and general healthiness and an iconic Nike slogan is currently being held hostage by a dark, silent, and vengeful MacBook. I have to go hide my Apple products now. Steve’s helicopter just landed on my roof.

Final note: whether you want to change your whole life, or just remember to regularly sync and back-up your Apple products, Nike + Heather say it best: Just Do It because Change Is Possible.

Sent from my iPad

the roles of language and lifestyle in healthy living

Language plays a huge role in how we interact with food, exercise, and health in general.

Are you “being good” today? Did you “cheat” over the weekend because you “deserved” it? Are you going to “start later”? Do you exercise because you “have to”?

All of these phrases set us up for failure.

Your eating habits are part of your lifestyle. If you try to make them not match, you’re working against yourself (and the clock).

For example: do you watch a lot of TV? Do you snack while you’re doing it? Or drink soft drinks/alcohol? If you cut back your TV time, your caloric intake would (almost) automatically drop, simply because your snack time went away.

A friend of mine was recently telling me that while she just picked up a weekend job, she’s actually eating better now than she did when she was less busy. How can that be? Busy = bad eating, right? No! Because she continues her weekday routine which includes packed lunches AND because she’s not snacking around the house on the weekends.

Do you need to get another job in order to cut back how much you eat? Of course not. But look at your lifestyle in general. What changes can you make that have nothing to do (directly) with food that will change your consumption?

Personally … I don’t eat healthy food to “be good” and I don’t think I’m “bad” when I eat junk food. But my body feels it almost right away. It’s not a matter of feeling good or bad emotionally – there is no guilt component – it’s a matter of feeling good and bad physically.

Most people have eaten so badly for so long that they don’t even realize that they don’t feel good because it’s just normal.

But if you can make healthy changes and sustain them – and throw in some regular exercise – you will feel different. I hear it over and over and over again from clients, from friends, from random people who I talk to. “I feel so much better. I have so much more energy. I focus better.”

It doesn’t happen in a day, or even a week, but it happens.

“I deserve it.”

You deserve something good, something that you like and want.

Why does it need to be something destructive?

“There is nothing that is healthy that is fun or good.” (Yes, sadly, I have heard this more than once.)

Easiest example: massage. Do you like massage? Would that be a nice reward?

I know a handful of people who reward themselves with exercise. Are they crazy? How is exercise a reward? Well … they have households that are a bit crazy (think: kids) and exercise is their alone time. They go out for a run or a bike ride and are alone and can think and enjoy the outdoors and the solitude for half an hour or an hour.

Combine that with the stress release, increased mood, etc. that exercise brings, and it seems to be less and less a crazy reward.

Still not convinced? How about reading? Do you like to read? Reward yourself with some time to read. Or to do anything that you enjoy. Ultimately, these sorts of things will make you happier than eating will anyway.

a bit on tumeric

I just came across this little article about the health benefits of tumeric.  I thought I’d share, since I just mentioned it on Friday.

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