The Domino Effect

Domino-Effect

You may have never stopped to consider how one decision leads to another. However, it’s true, The choices we make on a day-to-day and even a minute-by-minute basis will affect our ultimate outcomes in life.

Take for example your first decision of the day, When the alarm goes off, you can choose to get up or to get back in bed. You can choose to go for a morning walk or sit around and do nothing. You can choose to review your major life goals or just read the headlines,

The rest of your decisions are no different. You can choose to pack a cooler full of healthy meals and snacks or take your chances at the vending machine or the drive through. You can take a change of clothes and prepare to hit the gym after work or you can come home and hit the couch in front of the T.V.

The fact is that no decision occurs in isolation. Habits build on one another to shape our character and our destiny in life. The good news is that you can start winning today! I challenge you this week to decide on your major health goal and a realistic deadline for completion. Maybe you would like to drop 10-15 lbs. by Thanksgiving. That is definitely achievable. Maybe you would like to run a 5K this holiday season. It can be done. It is simply a matter of choice.

Next, choose 3-5 things you can do each day to help you achieve those goals. Just write them down and check them off at the end of the day. Imagine them as a row of dominoes falling down as you complete each one. It sounds simple, but this one exercise could change your whole life!

Of course, I will be here to guide you through the process. This blog is an excellent source of information on proper exercise, nutrition and the mindset to succeed. Each week, I share the strategies I have used to lose 75 lbs. and maintain my healthy new weight and lifestyle. If you are not already a subscriber, sign up today. This may just be the first good decision you need to make in order to start your own domino effect!

Exercise is Medicine

The Exercise is Medicine initiative is designed to bring health care providers and health and fitness professionals together as part of the same patient health care system.

This new initiative would call on all health care providers to assess and review each patient’s physical activity level at every visit.

These are their recommendations for the general public:

STEP 1 – Set aside time each day to exercise. Getting started can often be the most difficult part of any exercise routine. Scheduling exercise into your day and making it a priority will increase the chance of being successful.
STEP 2 – Choose cardiovascular activities you enjoy, such as swimming, biking, or playing basketball with friends to get your daily physical activity. If you need a variety of activities to stay motivated, combine a few that appeal to you. Physical activity can be accumulated through a variety of activities, not just running. Walking is a great way to do moderate-intensity physical activity. Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation.
STEP 3 – Start with 10 to 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise daily. Each week, add five minutes to your exercise routine until you reach 30 minutes of moderate intensity for a minimum of five days per week. Alternately, you may do 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise three days per week. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease. It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary.
STEP 4 – Incorporate strength training into your routine. Do 8 to 10 strength training exercises, 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week. This can be accomplished by using dumbbells, resistance bands or your own body weight. If you are unsure how to perform the exercises correctly, seek the advice of an exercise professional.

Sources: ACSM.org 

ExerciseIsMedicine.org

What is Wellness?

We often hear the terms “Health and Wellness” used in conjunction with one another, which has me wondering, if these are not two words that describe the same condition, then what is the difference between them? In other words, how is health different from wellness? So, I decided to do a little research and what I found was pretty amazing. Continue reading

Do The “Write” Thing

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One strategy you can begin using right away to start getting better results with weight loss is to simply write things down.

You can start by writing down your goals. Give them a firm deadline and list the steps you will need to take in order to achieve them. You may also want to create a sort of mission statement. Begin this process by reflecting on the reasons why making healthy changes is important to you in the first place. Do you need to correct a health problem? Do you just want to look and feel better? Do you want to trim a few minutes off your 5K time? Do you want to simply be around for your family as long as possible? All of these are important considerations when compiling a list of goals.

Remember to phrase your goals in the personal, positive, present tense. For example my own goal for this year is “I weigh 179 lbs on May 10, 2014. I have 10% body fat and my midsection is 35 1/2 ” at the widest point.” In order to do this, I plan my workouts and meals and will remain committed to this process until I succeed!

Next, write down your workouts and record your meals. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that following this procedure will contribute to your achievement much more than not doing so. If you have a system in place to track the appropriate behaviors, you are much more likely to stick with it. I have included a free worksheet on my home page that you can download and print to record your goals, meals and workouts. You could easily come up with a similar worksheet or simply write these things down in a notebook or on your computer or phone to start improving your results today.

Remember, as motivational author Napoleon Hill wrote in his landmark bestseller Think and Grow Rich “Reduce your plan to writing… The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire. When you translate something into writing, you have just taken the first step towards moving it from the intangible to the tangible. A written list of goals, plans and actions is a physical object you can hold in your hand. It is no longer a vague, hazy dream that you may forget without acting on. By following this simple process you will be one step closer to making your dreams a reality!

 

 

Interval Training

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Are you ready to take your workout to the next level? If the idea of burning more calories without spending more time at the gym appeals to you then consider Interval Training.

Interval Training is not as complicated as you might think. It simply involves alternating bursts of more intense activity with intervals of lighter activity.

This technique can be used with any type of cardiovascular exercise. Take walking for example. If you’re just starting an exercise program, you might alternate slower walking with periods of faster walking. If you’re already in pretty good shape, you might start by incorporating short bursts of jogging or running into your regular brisk walks. For example, if you’re walking outdoors, you could walk faster between certain mailboxes, trees or other landmarks. The eventual goal is to work up to an all out sprint for one minute followed by a one minute rest period of slower walking. You could do five cycles of five one-minute intervals of increasing intensity for a full 25 minute session.

Whether you’re a novice exerciser or you’ve been working out for years, interval training can help you rev up your workout routine. Check out these benefits:

  • Burn more calories. The more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you’ll burn — even if you increase the intensity for only one minute at a time. Remember, you can do anything for one minute! This mindset can blast your performance past your perceived limitations. This increased calorie burn also lasts for several hours after your workout. This is a benefit you don’t get with slower paced training.
  • Improve your aerobic capacity. As your cardiovascular fitness improves, you’ll be able to exercise for longer periods of time or with more intensity. Imagine finishing your 60-minute walk in 45 minutes. Think about the additional calories you’ll burn by keeping up the pace for the full 60 minutes.
  • Keep boredom at bay. Turning up your intensity in short intervals can add variety to your exercise routine. It gives you something to look forward to. You can’t take it too easy when you are recovering from your last high intensity interval and getting ready for another one!

I’ve been using this strategy for several years with great results. Try this technique in you next workout and watch your results soar!

Take Action!

Most of us know that a lifestyle of inactivity and eating too much processed and refined food is bad for our health, but breaking those habits and making the changes necessary to live a healthy lifestyle is easier than you think. Creating goals and a system of accountability will help you succeed!

Just subscribing to this blog is a step in the right direction. Here are a few more tips to keep you on track

Setting the right goals is vitally important. Most people who are trying to lose weight focus solely on the ultimate outcome. However, it’s more productive to focus on the daily changes in dietary habits and physical activity that will lead to long-term weight change. The people who are most successful at managing their weight are those who select only two or three major goals at a time.

Begin with an inspiring and challenging mid-range goal. Anything more than 2-3 months is considered long-term. Start by envisioning where you would like to be just a couple of months from now. You could break a yearly goal into 3-4 segments with a specific checkpoint and a reward for success.

Useful goals should be (1) specific; (2) attainable and (3) flexible. “Exercise more” is a great goal, but it’s not specific. “Run 5 miles every day” is specific and measurable, but is it doable if you’re just starting out? “Work out for 45 minutes every day” is more realistic, but what happens if you’re held up at work one day and there’s a thunderstorm during your walking time another day? “Do 12 sets of weight training exercise and walk for 30 minutes, 5 days each week” is specific, doable, and forgiving. In short, it’s a great short-range goal!

Once you have a mid-range goal (2-3 months) in mind, and you have set weekly objectives, it’s time to produce some measurable results!  One technique involves selecting a series of short-term goals that get you closer and closer to the ultimate goal.  It is based on the concept of the success cycle.  While a task like losing 30, 40 or even 50 lbs. can seem overwhelming, when you break it down into weekly and even daily steps you can make some pretty incredible progress. I recommend starting out with a small goal like losing 1 lb. a week, and don’t forget to share your progress with an accountability partner or group.

Start implementing these strategies today and you will be well on your way to greater health, strength and energy in the weeks and months ahead! Don’t forget to check in on the Facebook page for daily tips and techniques to keep you motivated. Until next time, Stay Strong and Live with Faith! -Jason