Friday, December 14, 2007
Top Exercise Tips and Tricks - The Leftovers
Tuesday's post on the Top 19 Exercise Tips and Tricks wasn't the whole story. When I categorized the tactics I found online, I had some leftovers - ideas that appeared four or fewer times. My original post was long enough - I didn't want to make anyone scroll and scroll for hours. So, I decided to publish these tips separately:
GET A PERSONAL TRAINER - 4 tips
DRINK WATER – 3
REMEMBER THE STRESS RELIEF BENEFITS OF EXERCISE - 3
JUST START OR RECOMMIT YOURSELF AND START AGAIN - 3
LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE WORKING OUT - 3
DON’T SPEND ALL YOUR TIME WORKING OUT/DO SHORT WORKOUTS – 3
JOIN A GYM - 2
DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOU DO SO MUCH AS JUST DOING IT - 2
SIGN UP FOR A RACE 2
GET GOOD WORKOUT CLOTHES 2
MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS - 2
GET ADEQUATE REST - 2
DON’T CONCERN YOURSELF WITH GEAR - 2
DO YOUR RESEARCH - 1
TAKE A BREAK - 1
CONSULT A DOCTOR IF YOU’RE JUST STARTING OUT OR GETTING BACK AFTER A LONG HIATUS - 1
GET FEEDBACK FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY - 1
...and click here for the original post, which features links to all the bloggers and posts I "stole" these from...
Posted by m6288 at 1:58 PM
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Abandoned All Hope - And Be Happier?
What with the short daylight hours, the dreary DC weather, my uncertain financial situation, no tropical vacation planned, the forced festivity of the holiday season, and winter about to show up for the next three or four months, my mood has been less-than-spectacular lately. So I found this short article - Hope Can Be Worse Than Hopelessness - very interesting and applicable to my situation. Could I be concentrating too much of my energy on wishing these temporary situations and mood-busters (winter, money, etc.) out of my life, instead of focusing more productively on actions (like networking) I can accomplish in the here and now?
If you had asked me, before I read the article, what I thought would make me happier, I would have said "money from blogging and working in Florida."
But that juxtaposition - palm trees/turquoise water vs. grey city streets - is what's doing my mood in. Or so I believe now, after reading:
“If your condition is temporary,” [Dr.] Ubel explains, “you’re thinking, I can’t wait until I get rid of this.” Ubel says thoughts like these keep you from moving on with your life and focusing on the many good things that remain.
Definitely something I need to work on.
Read my previous thoughts on another paradox article from the New York Times Magazine's 7th Annual Year in Ideas: Do Winners (sometimes) Quit?
Posted by m6288 at 2:13 PM
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Top 19 Exercise Tips and Tricks from the Blogosphere
In just a couple of weeks, the holiday food madness will reach New Year's Resolution time, and most of us will lament the calories we've consumed and vow to get into shape. Should be no problem, right? "Life hacking" blogs can help us out. I visited 6 bloggers, 18 posts, and scanned over 200 items to come up with the following most popular tips and tricks that will get us exercising and keep us working out through the rest of winter:
FIND YOUR BEST EXERCISE TIME AND SCHEDULE IT ON YOUR CALENDAR - 17 tips in all
Tactics include: Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Find your best time of day for exercise. Schedule workouts. Do it early in the morning - during lunch - after work.
DON'T GET STUCK IN AN EXERCISE RUT - 15
Be a bit adventurous, try out different exercises. Seek a geographic cure.
START SMALL AND SLOW - 13
In the beginning, it’s best to hold back, and just do a little. Your goal is to set a workout routine that is challenging, but not overwhelming. If you’ve been inactive for years, you can’t run a marathon after two weeks of training.
GO FOR THE RIGHT REASON(S) - 11
Go for Yourself, Not to Impress. Focus on the feeling after the session. It’s Time for you/Time for contemplation. Don’t be motivated only by weight loss goals. Living long enough to see your grandkids … and play with them. Remember that your ultimate goal is an active lifestyle. Go for the long haul - Think of exercise as a life-long habit, and your goals will come to you eventually.
GO FOR THE OTHER RIGHT REASONS - 11
How you’re going to look. Fitting into new clothes. Being attractive. How you look in your before picture. The dread of feeling “yuck” from not exercising. The scale. Others commenting on how good you look. An upcoming day at the beach, or a reunion. Calories burned.
EXERCISE STRATEGIES A GYM TEACHER MIGHT SAY - 11
Stop making excuses. Think positive. If you fail, get up, brush yourself off, and start again. Commit yourself. Don’t worry if you’re not seeing results right away. Exercise even when you feel tired. Don’t get discouraged when you reach your plateau.
BE AWARE OF AND ANALYZE YOUR EXERCISE PROBLEMS - 11
Isolate Your Weakness. What are your priorities? Listen to your Body.
GET A WORKOUT PARTNER OR BUDDY - 9
Pick someone who is committed to their health. If you can't afford a trainer or a great instructor, or you don’t think you’re ready for one yet, grab hold of a friend with similar goals. Just make sure you don’t become so dependent on your gym buddy that you forego working out if he can’t make it. Make it a competition. Bet on who will achieve a certain goal first.
SET GOALS - 9
Set one easy, specific, measurable goal. Not weight-loss or muscle gain goals, but fitness goals. Think more along the lines of “I want to lose 20 pounds” or “I want to get down to a 15% bodyfat level Post goals where you can see them constantly.
MAKE EXERCISE FUN -8
If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. Don’t let it be painful. If you like it you’ll keep at it. Exercise should be fun.
REWARD YOURSELF - 8
When you reach a goal, whether it is a little one or a big one, reward yourself. The first few days are the most crucial. Reward yourself often during this time. Reward Showing Up, Not Weight Loss.
MAKE IT A HABIT YOU WON’T QUIT - 8
If you can do exercise at the same time, every single day for a month, you are more likely to make it a habit. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. Make Time. Don’t let a four day holiday interfere with your attempts to get in shape.
ADD MOTIVATORS - 8
Fitness magazines. A cover model picture on your fridge. Read blogs about people who are into running, losing weight. Find success stories
Print motivational quotes or put them on your desktop. Buy strength training books
MAKE IT SOCIAL - 7
Surround yourself with like-minded people. Get some friends to exercise together. Sign up for a class. Join an online group.
EAT HEALTHY - 6
Incorporate foods high in nutrients and low in fats and empty calories. Get the protein your muscles need to rebuild. If you do intense workouts, you will need carbs, or you won’t have enough energy. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether your getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you. You shouldn’t work out on an empty stomach — but you also shouldn’t eat right before you work out.
KICK UP INTENSITY AFTER YOU'VE BEEN EXERCISING FOR AWHILE - 6
Heavier weight. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity. Increment your exercise.
SET A TIME FRAME - 5
Do it for one month. Exercise Daily. Do a 30-day Challenge.
KEEP A LOG OR JOURNAL - 5
Do a workout, put up a star. Record the way your body feels after workouts and take body measurements.
GO PUBLIC - 5
Tell people what you’re doing! Make your goal public. Post your results on your blog.
Here are the bloggers who did all the work coming up with the ideas, and the blog posts where you can find them:
13 Tips to Actually Enjoy Exercising - lifehack.org
Bored with your Workout? Let's Mix it Up a little! - Dumb Little Man
31 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise | Zen Habits
16 Tips to Triple Your Workout Effectiveness | Zen Habits
How to Exercise like a Pro – even if you’re Not! at Ririan Project
How to Make Exercise a Permanent Habit In Your Life at Ririan Project
Seven Little Known Tips for Getting in Shape - lifehack.org
Finding a Healthier Lifestyle - How You can find the Perfect Exercise Routine – Dumb Little Man
6 Workout Hacks, Plus 8 Tips for Beginners - Dumb Little Man
Top 42 Exercise Hacks | Zen Habits
18 Ways to Supercharge a Boring Gym Session at Ririan Project
15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It) - lifehack.org
10 Ideas to Get You Exercising
4 Simple Steps to Start the Exercise Habit | Zen Habits
Home Gyms And Home Fitness Information: 7 Tips for Starting a New Exercise Routine
Get Healthy and Fit, Part 2 - Exercise Edition | Zen Habits
How to Get Back on the Exercise Train | Zen Habits
10 Benefits of Exercise, and How to Start Doing It at Ririan Project
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Do Winners (sometimes) Quit?
Advice we've heard all our lives may be hazardous to our health.
Persistence is the keyword in life. From an early age onward, we're taught to keep at it, whatever the task, and not be swayed into nonaction by a little bit of failure. One of the first questions we're asked as children is "what do you want to be when you grow up?" The question turns into "what's your passion" once we get into our first job after college (when we're probably so far away from our passion that we just don't know it.) We're advised to Pursue Your Dream and Follow Your Bliss, and ignore the naysayers who counsel us "you probably won't succeed writing one act plays in Minnesota."
We're instructed to soldier on, whatever the cost.
As reported in Quitting Can Be Good for You (part of The New York Times Magazine's "7th Annual Year in Ideas" issue), researchers "found that teenage girls who are unable to disengage themselves from trying to attain hard-to-reach goals exhibited increased levels of the inflammatory molecule C-reactive protein (C.R.P.), which in adults is linked with diabetes, heart disease and early aging."
Now whether or not these findings are observable in the population at large is not known. But it tells me that my decisions to give up highly frustrating, little- chance-of-success goals may be a good thing. Even if it goes against everything I've been taught.
I do know that quitting a couple of projects I've spent a number of years on has opened up brainpower and time for me to pursue other goals.