Effective Strategies For Health and Wellness Pt. 2

The previous post was a bit of an extended lead in to this one. Now, onto the nuts bolts of applying and implementing knowledge.

Sleep/Wake:

  1. Get to bed on time. Put some closure on the day. Plan the next days events, including your workout time. Schedule everything.
  2. Wake up EARLY. Just a few minutes at first. This is step #1 in winning your day.

Nutrition:

  1. Schedule a cheat-day. Keep it the same day, no matter what your week entails. I like Saturday.
  2. Keep foods out of the house that are known culprits of indulgence: alcohol, peanut butter, potato chips, any and all sweet or savory snacks.
  3. Hydrate first. When feeling tempted to eat, or overindulge at a restaurant, drink a large glass of water first. Then, make the proper decision.
  4. Join or start your own group, for accountability purposes. Believe me, there is power in numbers when seeking to elicit change. Well established, in place, peer and work groups are great places to start. Who doesn’t want to make positive change?

Cardio/Aerobic:

  1. Think about activities you’ve been interested in in the past. If they’ve gone completely dormant ask yourself why, then decide if their benefit could possibly outweigh their cost. With a new mindset/outlook/goal you might be surprised at the answer.
  2. Get it in before the day starts. Four days each week wake up to that early alarm and start moving. I find getting it in before sunrise gives me a lot of power and momentum to seize the day. Start with 20-30 minutes for the first 6-weeks. Patiently increase your time each subsequent week until you reach that 50 minute sweet spot.
  3. In areas or times of inclement weather, or simply if you prefer indoor exercise, try utilizing media to make the time pass and gather knowledge at the same time.
  4. Seek enjoyment! The mind is powerful. If you believe what you are doing is improving your health, giving you more enjoyment, and increasing quality of life, you are more likely to be proud of it.

Strength:

  1. Keep it super simple (K.I.S.S.). No sense being overly creative here. The same exercises that worked in the early 20th century still work in the early 21st century.
  2. Be creative in your programming. Utilize ladders, timers, games, competitions, and keep track of your workout totals.
    1. Max reps in 10/20/30/60 minutes. Take 1-3 bodyweight exercises and do as many reps as possible in the allotted time period. Squats, lunges, pull ups, push ups, and dips work best here. Metabolic conditioning movements, such as burpees or squat thrusts are great as well, but don’t combine these with the other movements as they are most effective, in this format, when isolated.
    2. Kettlebells. Simple and sinister. Check these out, but be sure to learn proper form and technique. The best exercises are the Goblet Squat and the Swing.
    3. Deadlifts. If you’ve got a background in strength training, you’ve probably done a few deadlifts. Check out the form here, and then keep the reps simple. Build a solid base of 5-10 reps at 100-150% of bodyweight before cranking out super heavy sets.
  3. Rest 48-72 hours between workouts. Unlike cardio, it’s not advised to “lift” on consecutive days. You can get away with this in your youth, with hormones raging, but let commonsense play out and recover properly. Proper recovery insures we absorb these hard training sessions.

Yoga/Stretching:

  1. Do it. Once a week, minimum, spend 45-60 minutes breathing and stretching.
  2. Focus on the hips, low back, and shoulders. Breathing is everything here.
  3. The foam roller can be extremely therapeutic. I use it as a passive activity for my back and spine, but you can get extremely involved with it.

Search, Seek and Employ. The solutions are right in front of your eyes. Make the time. Make it happen.

Onward, Jake Lawrence

Advertisements

The Plan. The Process. The Commitment.

XF_IMG_7635

Follow your plan and you will succeed. Quiet the doubts in your mind. Understand that they are natural, and will continue to come. Daily, intentional engagement will lead you forward, onward and upward.

Why You/I Need a Coach

Why you/I need a coach.

While shopping for solutions to your health and fitness needs you will run across a multitude of programs, videos, special equipment, and many other products. This is easy to create and sell. Generally the marketing of the products is centered on how simple it is to do on your own. This is where the problems can start…

Starting a self-applied training program is a big step in having some ownership of your health. You are making a commitment. Time in your day that once was given to some other activity is now being assigned to this new fitness endeavor. Comfort and security is traded for discomfort and insecurity. You are being asked to begin the learning process again. It’s easy to start, but will you be able to finish? Can you quell the voices in your head as the soreness sets in the next morning? Will you make the right nutritional choices so that your body can begin to work on changing its composition? These are big questions, but they are real.

So what can a coach do for me? We all have notions of what the role of a coach is, some are positive, some are negative, but for most of us we’ve never had a personal coach. Coaching is usually seen in a group/team environment, focused on the group’s outcome. In our adult lives most of our achievements are assessed on the personal level. How do you stand out? Why are you achieving? What’s holding you back? Fitness coaching and Health coaching are two sides of the same coin. On one side your have fitness coaching, which is mainly concerned about the nuts and bolts of your physical training on a daily basis. On the other side you have health coaching, which is concerned with who you are 24 hours a day. The focus here is on your life: your stresses, job, demands, time, health, habits, etc. As you can see a lot goes into helping someone become successful. In modern, urban life it’s not innate or natural to have balance. The scale is always tipped one direction or the other. Solutions are there to be found, but we can’t assume that we have the capability, time, or energy to invest in personally finding those solutions. It’s a complex web of factors that produce your current state of health and fitness.

A coach works with you to provide solutions. On a basic level, it is accountability and commitment. On a deeper level it is accessibility. Having a guide to answer your questions, not generally, but specifically, will arm you with real personal solutions. For me, knowing that I have a good coach, with my best interests at the forefront of their thoughts and actions is invaluable. General knowledge is helpful, but it is often communicated as “the way” when in fact there is no one-way.

In parting, keep this in mind:

  • Establish Goals
  • Develop Action Plans to Achieve Goals
  • Become a Part of a Team
  • Receive Individual Guidance
  • Be Armed with Knowledge to Make the Needed Corrections
  • Experience the Power of Personal Health Solutions
  • Own Your Health and Fitness

 

“Short-Time” Workouts

“Short-Time” Workouts

Ease of implementation is the most important factor in a busy, professional’s ability to consistently workout. It should be no surprise that consistency, with proper application, is the most important factor in relation to obtaining results.

We are going to assume that motivation and desire is not lacking, just organization. A sets and repetitions based strength workout does not require a 60-90 minute commitment to be effective. In fact, 30-45 minutes of focused effort is plenty of time to get results. Even, 10-15 minutes can be enough time to create balance in your physique and make small, consistent improvements. Let’s focus on the 10-15 minute, “short-time”, workouts.

Organization:

In order to be effective in your training there must be organization and planning. What do I need to do today, this week, and this month to make the progress I need to get the results I desire? How do I start and finish a workout?

Time:

Knowing, realistically, how much time (each day) you can devote to working out is crucial. The ego always believes we have more time, and a greater ability to complete tasks than we actually do. Set for yourself a high-end (ego-based) time allotment, as well as a low-end (reality based) time allotment. Always start with the low end. It allows a lot of upward mobility and with completion and consistency, comes confidence.

Knowledge:

This is the most important factor, which means it is always the biggest results limiting factor. Strength training can also be extremely confusing. With all of the tools, props, machines, and programs on the market it can be a foreign realm to step into. This is why classes are so popular. People sign up and follow along. The problem with most classes is there is no evolution or progression built into the programming, creating a reliance and dependency on the class format and structure to stay fit. Knowledge, meaning knowing how to workout, is empowering, it creates ownership of your health and fitness. Once you own it, you simply need to apply it. It’s that simple.

Example:

Being a distance runner, most of my energy for training is devoted to running. Strength training takes a backburner to endurance work pretty much all the time in my world. Does that mean I don’t do it? Of course not, but what I do is place restrictions on frequency and duration of these workouts. During my running season,10-15 minutes, 3 days per week is my allotment for strength training. In that time I’m pulling, pushing, lunging, stepping, squatting and planking. Knowing my time is limited I work off a plan and focus on flow, moving from one movement to the next, always finishing feeling like I could have done a lot more. Compressing my time commitment increases my focus. Quality becomes more important than quantity. The stress of chasing fatigue, and muscular exhaustion is eliminated.

Implement:

It may take 8 minutes, or 15…

10-1 Ladder Circuit (10,9,8,7,…1):

  • Squats of Swings
  • Pushups
  • Sit-Ups

Theory:

The more we promote balance in our life the less susceptible we are to the burnout of over exertion, over consumption, and general “life-binging” most Americans engage in and are attracted to.

Think about it, for many people working out is a means to allow them to, “eat and drink whatever I want.” I hear this all the time. This idea of balancing the good behaviors with the bad behaviors is not sustainable and will never be equal.

As a coach and trainer I prioritize balance, completion, and consistency. When I talk about making fitness a lifestyle, it’s not simply being active more often. I’m speaking about taking the values and ethos of exercise and fitness and implementing them to all other areas of your life.

Creating a state of flow, via movement, is transcending. Once it’s felt, the value becomes inherent, an un-fleeting element of one’s existence, and a way of life.

Conclusion:

10, 15, 20-minutes… it’s enough to make a difference.