11 Things To Move You Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Do one thing every day that scares you.Eleanor Roosevelt

 

A big part of what we do in our practice is to push folks out of their comfort zone.  Very little positive occurs when you just go with the flow.  We strive to make the exercise experience challenging physically but also mentally.  Improvements and growth only occur with pressure.  Set the bar high.. BE better.  Here are some suggestions to improve, grow or get outside your comfort zone in 2012.

1. Wear A Rubber Band and Snap it ! ~ This is a practice advocated by sport psychologist Jack Singer.  Dr. Singer was ask to work with a college quarterback.  It seems that the quarterback who was otherwise perfect, had a nasty habit of letting negative thoughts and pressure get to him during games.  After conversing with the youngster, Dr. Singer discovered that the player was sliding into a pattern of negative thinking when the game got close.  Together they created a way to change the course of his thinking.  Dr. Singer placed a rubber band on the players wrist and whenever a negative (self defeating) thought pattern started to drift into his mind he would snap the band on his wrist and start to visualize positive images of what he wanted to have happen.  Problem solved!   So next time you are about to down a bottle of wine when you should have a glass or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s at the end of the evening just snap it ! I’ll even provide the rubber band.

2. 30 Days of eliminate ~ I used to be from the school of subtle change..be gradual. Two years ago I did a 180.  Subtle didn’t work so I adopted the all in total immersion approach.  If you need to clean up your act take a 30 day pledge to change.  A few ideas include, no alcohol, no grains, no dairy (or all of the these) 30 days of workout, 30 days of 8 hours of sleep.  The list goes on.  If you really want over site and results you should join our PR12 program. Best hurry ! The winter addition begins next week.

3. Sign Up, Register, Enroll~ Some of the best leverage you can have over your training and lifestyle behavior is to pay the entry for a competitive event.  Paying the money to participate in anything from a benefit walk to a Tough Mudder will keep you on track with your training program.  Remember to tell your 5,000 best friends on Facebook too.  They will hold your accountable. We have a schedule of events that we will be supporting.  Plan on attending our kick off gathering on 1/18/2011 to learn how our methods can get you event ready on less effort !

4. Brain Trainer ~ Your brain like muscle needs to be stressed.  Reading, doing crossword puzzle and dedicated brain trainer exercises is critical to neural function. Daily brain training can strengthen willpower and promote healthy lifestyle choices. A University of Amsterdam study found that problem drinkers who followed challenging cognitive training regimens drank less than a control group who did only the easiest regimens. Morever, improvements endured one month later.Two on line options I like are My Brain Trainer and Lumosity.

5. Work on your balance ~ In assisted living communities they like to monitor the aging process with balance assessments.  A decline in balance equates to rapid aging. With that in mind each day perform a mundane task while standing on a single leg.  Brush your teeth or unload the dishwasher while standing on one leg.  If this becomes boring find a firm pillow to stand on and do the same.  Ever wonder why we perform so many single leg moves?  Well now you know.

6. Walk when you could ride or drive ~ N.E.P.A. stands for non exercise physical activity.  This is the non schedule exercise you get from parking further from the front door, the office entrance or the designed walk to the market instead of driving the grocery getter.  Adding these extra measures can add up quickly to improved health and opportunities to get some sunshine and vitamin D.  So next time your on the way home from the movies ask to be let out several blocks from home and hike on home.

7. Wednesday Benchmark~ Every Wednesday get out the measuring stick. This can be a weigh in, measuring the waist, charting food consumption, or a fitness yardstick like push ups.  This keeps you in check over the long haul.  Weight is NOT a great metric and BMI is an even worse idea.  The point is to keep 1 pound change a one pound change and not wake up in 12 months 15 pounds out of range.  If you really are bold you can get a Twitter account and tweet your weight.  Got questions just ask me.

8. Dump 4 Pints ~ When you donate blood it’s a double win.  You save a life and you rid yourself of old blood.   Some evidence points to the positive benefit of donating to reduce toxic build up and accumulation of minerals. So in 2012 donate once a quarter

9. One Sentence Journal ~ I taking this one from Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubins.  Everyday write one sentence on why you are grateful for today.   Prepare to be surprised.

10. Mess-O-Greens ~ While I’ve been accused of being a low carb Nazi ~ thank you.  I am in fact a vegetable advocate.  I typically eat one meal each day that includes a large vegetable serving. My favorite is a tossed salad.  I look to include red, orange, yellow and green matter in my salad.  (ROY Green) I toss it with olive oil and it’s good to go.  Eat a mess-o-greens like me and feel the benefits.

11. Get Lab Work ~ Unless you have a specific issue, when you go to your GP he/she is going to focus on your blood lipids for the most part.  I suggesting that you also start monitoring more.  Look at hormones as well.  You may get some push back if you ask for it from your physician.  If you don’t want to deal with your GP you can purchase lab work al a carte from Privatemdlabs.com ( Reading the results is a different thing but reference ranges will be provided with your results) Once you have the results plug them into a spreadsheet and plan to look at them again at five year intervals. (I have a strong concern for the future of the homo sapnien male but that is a post for another time.)

There you have it.  Ten things to push you out of your comfort zone now get you list organized.

 

 

 

Lean & Mean For The Holidays

For me the irony is amazing.  It’s absolutely the best time of year to limit carbohydrate and focus on strength and sleep longer.   While the internal clock talks to us on this FM frequency, the AM frequency is listening to the social animal. Let’s party! Drink more booze and eat whatever this weekend’s party host is serving. Someone told me this morning that they have 10 social functions on the calendar in the next 3 weeks!  I know I’m a bit anti-social but that’s a good 10 months worth for me.

With that in mind I offer my old school strength and conditioning coach lean and mean for the holidays considerations.

1. CAP ON YOUR CARBS~ October until the end of March offers the best time of year to tinker (Robb Wolf speak) with very low carb eating.  Our inner caveman would not have had access to many pumpkins, carrots or broccoli so naturally he subsisted on meat and fat.  In my world taking carbs down during these months is very natural.  Low carbs on my meter is 50 grams of less per day.  This practice can help with the holiday carb bloat to come. You can read more about ketogenic diets from Lyle McDonald or Mauro Di Pasquale.

2. INTERMITTANT FASTING (IF)~ The only known longevity promoting practice involves structured fasting. In a classic study, rats who ate less lived longer.  This study was a day without food followed by a day of feeding. (24 hours on / 24 Hours off)  More recent evidence suggest 16 hour fasts will yield very similar results and is a bit more user friendly.

Personally, I’m not tough enough for go without food for 24 hours but on occasion I can cowboy up for 16 hours.  Have your last meal by 7 pm.  Then skip breakfast the next day and eat lunch. This will turn on all kinds of positive adaptations and cellular repair.   If you have a holiday outing in the evening you could skip breakfast to offset the badness you will no doubt encounter.  I would highly discourage breaking your fast with alcohol.  This will not only give you a nasty sugar crash but could lead to the ugly $hitface of your career.

3. WATER, WATER, WATER. ~  I’ve found most athletes perform best on .5 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight per day.  During the summer we are constantly reminded by talking heads to drink water to prevent heat stroke and dehydration.  Actually, the lack of reinforcement during the winter lends itself to greater dehydration. Dehydration can express itself as hunger and weakens the resolve to eat smart.  I propose that you have a container of water with the minimum requirement of water for the day.  When it’s gone you know your minimum quota has been achieved.  Consuming water prior to the holiday outing will blunt hunger fill your stomach and limit the foods.

4. INTELLIGENT EXERCISE~ From October until the end of March we spice up the mix with two different templates and focus on strength.  We want our athletes stronger coming into the Spring and Summer.  This strength focus sets the stage for some nice benchmark improvements and sport specific accomplishments.

5. SLEEP~ This is the base of your health pyramid.  If you suck at sleep you will suck at everything else and retain the fat you are trying to loose.   There have been several sleep studies that have demonstrated greater fat loss for those who sleep more.  Plan to hibernate more this holiday season and reap the returns.  Besides you will likely need it to recover from the holiday festivities.

Now enjoy your holidays and be lean.