Archive for workout plan

Getting Fit in 2014, Part 2

Part 1 of the plan to get fit in the new year was all about making a gradual adjustment toward eating healthy foods. It’s just one step at a time, eliminating the foods that you know are not doing you any favors.  This next part is about moving your body to the point of sweat. Yes, that is just another way to say “exercise”.

Remember back in school when you had to do P.E. class and you hated it? I remember that too. I was a math nerd, before nerd was even a word, and I hated gym class. Hated the uniforms, hated the calisthenics, hated being chosen last for a team to play whatever game we were about to play. Even in grade school there were kids who could play any sport with ease, and then there were those of us who were lousy at all of them.

Grade school was a long time ago for me, and probably for you too. We have learned since then that there are things we are good at, and hopefully we have learned to value those things about ourselves. I learned to put my math brain to work and built a nice career for myself. I learned to use my caring, coping, and problem-solving skills. But I was still not good at playing sports, and so for awhile I avoided exercise.

Now, here is the magic:  It does not matter that you can’t hit a softball with a bat, can’t make a basket even from 2 feet away, or can’t properly kick a soccer ball. You can still get fit without doing any of those things. You don’t have to go to a gym, either.

There are some awesome workouts from Beachbody now that are only 30 minutes long. Anyone can squeeze in a 30-minute workout, especially one that does not require driving to a gym! Click HERE to get a preview of P90X3 workouts!

Thirty minutes a day. Lots of modifications, so even if you think you can’t do a move, there is an easier way being modeled just for you. Yes, you can get fit – at home – with no gym membership – with no driving – in the sweats or shorts that you are most comfortable wearing. Just you and a DVD player. You CAN do it, the only questions is: Will you do it?

I am starting P90X3 myself on January 20th. Join me! You have a couple of weeks to get the program ordered so you will have it in time – Here’s the link to order the Base P90X3 Kit.. Let me know that you are IN and I will add you to my private Facebook page so we can all encourage each other. I’m looking forward to working out with you!


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Getting Fit in 2014, Part 1

So, let’s say you have decided to get yourself fit in 2014. You are drawing a line in the sand. At midnight, as December 31st rolls into January 1st, you are giving up the sweets, the beer, the fried food. You are going to finally start to exercise. This is your year, and you are worth it.

How will you achieve this thing called fitness? Will you count calories, or count carbs, maybe go Paleo? Will you start doing pushups and crunches, squats and lunges, and jumping jacks? Have you considered this:

“There is no diet that will do what eating healthy does.
Skip the diet. Just eat healthy”

My local produce market just posted that on their Facebook page. Skip the diet. Just start making simple changes to a more healthy way of eating. Replace French fries with a salad. Change out the bacon cheeseburger in favor of grilled chicken and broccoli. As you eat better food, you’ll find you eat less because your body is finally getting what it needs.

January 1st is not quite here yet. You have a couple of days to get ready. Browse through your local produce market. What looks good to you? Sweet potatoes, baked and sprinkled with a little cinnamon, are delicious. Bell peppers and onions are good grilled or sauteed with chicken for simple fajitas, served with salsa on corn tortillas. Oranges, apples, and bananas are popular, easy to take along in the car or to the office, and a better choice than donuts or Danish.

Making healthier choices is an evolution. You don’t have to jump straight to kale and hummus. Make the small changes and gradually try new foods as you go along. It may take a little longer to reach your goal than Plan B – drinking Slim-Fast three times a day – but making the healthier choices will keep you lean for life. The Slim-Fast plan will have you dumping your New Year’s resolution long before we even get to February. Choose healthy!

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Tony Horton, Bringing It Again With P90X3

Once upon a time, I was lean and active. You could even say I was athletic, although I have no discernible physical talents.  The point is, I was strong and healthy, firing on all cylinders, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, clear-headed and sharp.

Then, maybe 10 years ago or so, all that nice clarity and brightness started to slide.  I ate chocolate-chip cookies for breakfast, nachos for lunch, and pizza at dinnertime.  I didn’t work out, and for some reason I was gaining weight. I didn’t eat all of that stuff every day, of course, but there was enough “low-nutrition” food in my life to cause problems. I was sluggish, didn’t sleep well, had headaches, and started feeling depressed.

Then I heard about workout programs that you could do at home, with  no gym  membership and little equipment. The name of the company that produced these programs was Beachbody.

The first Beachbody program that I bought was Power 90 Master Series (P90MS). At the time, I thought “Master” meant it was intended for older people, like those of us past 40. No, it turned out that it was for graduates of the original Power 90 who wanted more of a challenge. The P90MS workouts are tough!

I still have those P90MS DVD’s in my collection of Beachbody workout programs. My nephew started using them during the summer. So far he has lost more than 30 pounds and has graduated to the Extreme version called P90X.

The newest member of the Power 90 family is P90X3, released two days ago. The workouts are 30 minutes long rather than 60 or even 90 minutes like some of the P90X sessions. The shorter time makes it accessible even to those with hectic schedules. Most of us can’t drive to the gym and back in less than 30 minutes – so why spend the time behind the wheel when you could be finishing your workout instead?

Not to worry, you don’t have to have mastered P90X before tackling the P90x3 program. In fact, it’s the other way around. Once you have conquered P90X3, your next step forward would be P90X or P90X2.

I just ordered my copy of P90X3. Shipping is free right now, and if you order through a Coach (like me!) you also get a free bonus workout DVD called “On One Leg” and a free P90X3 hat ($24.95 value)! You also get free coaching when you sign up with a Coach so let’s get you started!

Click here to read the US News & World Report interview with Tony Horton about P90X3

Click here to order P90X3 – and have me as your Coach!

Click here to sign up for a free TeamBeachbody membership, with me as your Coach.  That will give you access to contact me for more information.


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Do You Keep Track?

One of the very best ways to fail at getting fit, losing weight, or improving your health is to not keep track. You can tell everyone you know that you work out for an hour each day, six days a week – but do you, really? Let’s see, you always take a rest day on Sunday. But, you missed your workout on Thursday last week because you felt lousy. Yesterday you missed another one to attend a co-worker’s birthday bash. Neither of those misses was planned, they just worked out that way because that’s how a busy life goes.

On the nutrition side of things, you’re pretty sure you take in about 1,800 calories a day. Do you, really? Calories are much harder to keep track of than workouts, because they happen so many times each day – and how many calories are in one apple, anyway? Clearly some apples are bigger than others, so there is always a bit of guesswork. Calories also happen in different places throughout the day. Breakfast at home, a little Starbucks stop on the way to the office, a doughnut during a meeting, lunch wherever you find yourself at lunchtime, and so on. Even if you try to add it all up at the end of the day, it is really easy to forget some things. Consider the last time you stopped at Costco. How many calories could be in those samples?

What can you do? It would be a pain to write down every single thing you eat or drink every single day and then go look all that stuff up and try to figure it out. You are right, it can be a pain. What about writing everything down one day a week, just as a reality check? Put a sticky note on the kitchen counter and one on your desk at work, and jot down everything you eat or drink that has calories. Or, track everything on your smartphone, either in a note or using an app like MyFitnessPal. Give the phone a chance to really be smart once a week. At the end of the day, tally it up. On days you think you’re around 1,800, are you really? Adjust accordingly, and keep track again one day next week. Repeat as necessary.

For tracking workouts, I’ll share how we do it at my house: we use a paper calendar on the refrigerator and a sheet of little stick-on stars. Did a workout? Give yourself a star! It’s simple, it’s flexible, and it’s right in our faces. I hit 5 workouts last week, so I have 5 little silver stars for the week. There are bonuses to keeping it on the fridge, of course. Maybe on days I do not work out I should open the refrigerator a little less often. We also keep each other on track, since it is clear and obvious who worked out and who did not.

One of the basics of managing anything is measuring it. After all, you manage your weight by measuring it on the scale once in awhile, right? You manage your blood pressure by having it measured. You can manage your fitness goals by tracking at least these two important components, diet and exercise, regularly.


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Day 23 – Making Your Health a Habit

How do you make fitness a habit in your life? Do you connect a new habit to something that you know you’re going to do, like brushing your teeth, so the new habit becomes an automatic part of your day? For example, do you decide to always take your vitamins right before you brush your teeth in the morning? Or, do you make it a point to always have a workout partner because you know that you will honor your commitment to be there for your friend – even when you might not honor the same commitment if you “only” made it to yourself?

Either way can work, or maybe you have other strategies that have worked well for you. The point is to create habits that keep you moving in the direction of your goals – whether that is to lose weight, gain weight, get stronger, get faster, keep your immune system strong, or to feel ageless, timeless, vibrant, and fit forever. Feeling “motivated” comes and goes. Some days you may be motivated, other days not at all. Creating habits lets you take motivation out of the equation.

Besides, sometimes my best motivator has been pure terror. Here’s how it works:  Step 1 – sign up for an event that I’m not in good enough shape to run. Step 2 – know when I should start getting serious about training, and then wait another month before starting. Step 3 – panic! Start training, over-do it, and stress out about the likelihood of getting injured.

See how this is not a great approach? Now that there is ice in the birdbath every morning and I do not have a big, scary event coming up soon, it is very tempting to skip workouts. Running in the cold is, well, cold. Our weights live in the garage, along with the elliptical machine and a stationary bike. Even in mid-afternoon, it’s cold enough to hang meat in the garage. Those metal hand-weights have morphed into semi-portable hand-freezers. My “get up and go” has got up and went, as a very old saying goes. My motivation levels dropped with the mercury in the outdoor thermometer.

Ah, here is where habit comes to the rescue. My body has become accustomed to being exercised regularly. When I don’t work out, I don’t feel right. There is something missing, like I’m forgetting something. Little aches and pains start to nag me. The body is pushing me to get moving. Yes, I will be getting my workout done today. ChaLEAN Extreme, here I come!

One more note:  Did you know that you can get aches and pains from NOT exercising? True story, if you’re not using your muscles enough, they will start to ache. Boom! One more reason to find time in your day to exercise – to get rid of the aches and pains! Here’s some more info, including references:

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Day 20 – Simple Ways to Start Adding Exercise to Your Day

This post – in fact, this entire blog – is not meant to exclude anyone, regardless of current level of fitness.  As I see it, each of us is on our own journey.  Most of us do not have personal trainers, much less personal chefs.  We have other obligations that may prevent us from spending two or three hours each day working out and another couple of hours in the kitchen preparing all our meals from scratch with organic veggies we have grown ourselves.

Here’s the good news:  You can start moving toward better fitness, better health, with very little time.  Start with just a few minutes a day.  You won’t get ripped in a week by spending 10 minutes a day, of course – but you can start making a difference.  Here are a few ideas that you can do in 2 minutes each, or less:

  • Push-ups – yes, the grand-daddy of them all.  Do them in your PJ’s before you even start your day.  Do them on your knees if you can’t do them on your toes.  Do what you can do at the beginning.  You will get stronger over time.  I have worked up to doing 8 on my toes, and am immensely proud to have come so far!
  • Leg lifts.  Another one to do in your jammies, even before you get out of the bed (although you will have to kick off the blankets).  Lie on your back with one knee up and your foot flat on the bed or floor (this will help protect your lower back from any strain).  Slowly raise your straight leg as far as you can.  Try to raise each leg 5 times.
  • Lunges.  Take a huge step forward, and bring your back knee down close to the floor.  Come back up to standing, then take a huge step with the other foot.  Start with 8 or 10 (4 or 5 on each leg).  Make sure your knee stays over your ankle and doesn’t jet out in front; not usually a problem if you take a really big step forward each time.
  • Jumping jacks.  I’m with you – I can’t jump either.  Lots of us don’t jump, and for a variety of reasons.  Just do “jacks”, without jumping.  You know the arm movement already.  When your arms go up, tap one foot out to the side.  Arms come down, tap the other foot out to the side.  Or, when your arms go up, raise one knee – and when your arms come back down, raise the other knee.  Try for 20 jacks.
  • This last one will take more time, but it is just as simple:  Walk.  My own fitness journey started with a walk around the block.  The next night after work I did it again, and again the night after that.  My block was about a mile and a quarter, and fairly hilly.  It took me a half hour or so, and I was huffing and puffing that first time.  I got stronger, and so will you if you do it consistently.

Like so many things in life, the most important step you take is the first one. Decide that this is your time to take charge of your health, and then start. Start with baby steps, and don’t beat yourself up when you feel like you can’t do enough.  You can start now, you can be stronger next week, you can notice a difference in how your clothes fit next month, and you can reach your goals.  But you have to start!


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Day 4 – Plan To Move


The very best way to make sure you get enough exercise into your day is to plan it.  Choose a time that works in your schedule, even if it means getting up early.  Know what you’re going to do, when you will do it, where, how, with whom, even what you’re going to wear.

And then do it.

Your whole day goes better when your body is healthy.  Working out helps to reduce stress.  You sleep better when your body is physically tired and not just mentally exhausted.

Your brain even works better after you have worked up a sweat.  I’m reading a book right now called Spark:  The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, by John J. Ratey.  [Yes, I do know that I am a nerd.  I am peaceful with my nerdiness.]  This is a fascinating book!  And Dr. Ratey provides some great evidence that you brain does indeed love it when you exercise your body.

I am not buying that your dog ate your sneakers.  Look under the bed and in the back of the closet.  There are some running shoes in there somewhere, I just know it.  You don’t have to run if you hate running.  Take a brisk walk around your neighborhood before winter really gets serious and starts dumping rain or snow on the place.  Kick a soccer ball around the park with your kids, or the neighbor’s kids.  Set up a tennis date with your office buddy after work.  Just chasing all the balls that go over the fence can be a great workout.  Do 100 bicycle squats.  Are you still sore from doing them a couple of days ago?  Me too!

I have no identifiable physical talents.  I ran a 10K on Sunday morning and was near the back of the pack – which means, there were only 3 runners who finished after I did.  It is okay not to be a highly-skilled athlete.  Choose, though, to be an athlete.  Choose to be in shape to do the things you enjoy doing.

So, what time today will you be getting your exercise?

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