You don’t need superpowers or an iron will to commit to being healthier this year. Whether your goal is to do 10 push-ups, run a marathon, or simply take the stairs more often—you can get there! Check out these tips to have your fittest year yet.
A Fall Wellness Routine To Boost Your Health
by: Dolores Baretta
The leaves are blowing in the wind. The sun is setting earlier, and the air has a certain crispness to it. The yang, or hot energy of summer has started to wane, and fall is in the air!
Fall is an important transitional time from summer, the most yang time of the year, to the densest yin season of winter. Everything starts to slow down and turn inward and descend. Nature is consolidating and disintegrating, returning to the soil so as to nourish the earth and allow it time to become fertile again. The yang energy of summer still hangs in the wind, though, as the harvest begins. More
You woke up today and looked in the mirror.
And you said to yourself, “Gosh darnit (or #$^@ $#@$@%), I’m going to get in shape!”
Just one problem – you don’t quite know HOW.
It’s okay; we’ve all been there. This might be the first, tenth, or the fiftieth time you’ve tried to lose weight and get healthy. Sure, things didn’t work last time, or the time before that, or even the time before that…”but things are going to be different THIS time,” right?
So you hop on the internet, search “how to lose weight,” and see 7.8 billion websites that promise you fast results with minimal effort. You get overwhelmed, intimidated, and then go back to playing Modern Warfare 3 or Hello Kitty 2: Island Adventure.
Somehow, you stumbled across Nerd Fitness…which means there is hope for you yet 🙂
By the end of this article, you’re going to know exactly how to get in shape.
Get your act together
First and foremost, if you suck at life…it’s time to stop.
I know it. You know it. Even your mom knows it (she called me).
So let’s get started. Think back to the last time(s) you tried to get in shape and lose weight. How successful were you? What made you fall off the wagon? Congratulations, you already know what “get in shape” method doesn’t work for you.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Unless you’re insane, don’t try to get in shape the same way you did last time…it’ AIN’T gonna work! If you counted calories, ran on a treadmill, did kickboxing, tried starving yourself, or whatever, and you’re not happy with the results, it’s time to try something new.
May I recommend the Nerd Fitness method of success: the Triforce of Winning! Well, I just came up with that title, but now that’s what I’ll call it henceforth. If you want to succeed at changing your life, you need three things:
- Education: know HOW to get in shape
- Inspiration: know WHY you’re getting in shape
- Support: having others help you along the way to get in shape
If you can successfully combine these three crucial pieces, then you’ll
defeat Ganon and save Hyrule have a fightin’ chance at getting in the best damn shape of your life.
1) If you made some New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, make sure they don’t suck. Be incredibly specific with your goals so that you can actively plan what steps are needed to achieve those goals. Alternatively, if you somebody that NEVER succeeds at your goals, instead try making a new habit every 30 days…put the focus on the habit and not the goal.
Whichever method you decide, it’s important to be deliberate in your actions:
- If you are setting goals – be SUPER SPECIFIC, write them down, and plan them out.
- If you are making new habits – add them to your calendar, set phone alarms or alerts, and do them EVERY DAY.
- Understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Optimus Prime didn’t transform in one move. This is NOT a diet, or a quick fix, but a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. Don’t expect overnight results, or abs in two weeks. Slow, steady progress.
2) Identify your kryptonite. If you tried to get in shape in the past and failed, it’s important to know WHY. Did you get sick and give up after a few days? Did you go on vacation and say “why bother?” Maybe you just got bored? If you sucked at getting in shape last time, educate yourself on the hurdles and kryptonite that made you suck, and work on either avoiding those pitfalls or develop methods to deal with them.
3) Clean up your diet. Believe it or not, 80% of your success when it comes to getting healthy will depend on your diet – unless you are running marathons on a daily basis, you cannot outrun your fork, and you can’t out-train a bad diet. I honestly cannot stress the importance of this enough. Whether you want to count calories, cut out certain foods, or attempt a new diet all together, this is the most important step you can take:
- Start here: How to eat healthy – yes, it’s a long read. But it covers the basics and teaches you what to eat and not to eat.
- The Beginner’s guide to the Paleo Diet – my preferred diet of choice. Not for everybody, but it works.
- Short on money? How to eat healthy without breaking the bank.
Now, most people suck at eating better because they try to make TOO many changes at once, their stomach freaks out and they run back to their comfort foods. My advice? Pick one food change every few weeks, and stick with it. Whether it’s eating less calories per day, drinking one less soda, eating more vegetables or cooking your own meal once a week…small changes can lead to big successes in the long run.
4) Find an activity that makes you happy, and do it all of the time. Do you like to run? Awesome, do that (just do it right). Do you like to lift weights? Awesome, make sure your workouts don’t suck. Maybe you like yoga, or dodgeball, or Ultimate Frisbee, or rock climbing, or whatever! If you tell me that “I don’t like to exercise,” then you just haven’t found the activity that makes you happy yet.
We’re genetically designed to be active. If you don’t like to move, then it’s time to try new things until you find something that you DO like. Sign up for a new class, join your company’s running club for a day, try out something in your basement or living room, just keep trying new stuff until you find something that you like. And then do it as often as you can.
Remember, your diet is 80% of your success or failure. Exercising regularly will help you build muscle, strengthen your heart, lose weight, increase your endurance, stamina, and/or flexibility. On top of that, regular exercise keeps your mind thinking healthy, which in turn will keep your stomach thinking healthy, which will cause your mouth to want to continue eating healthy foods. It’s the circle of life, sucka.
Now, if you want specific direction on weight lifting, weight loss, or running, I’ve offer a few premium resources on Nerd Fitness. Yes, they cost money, but they work. These guides have helped hundreds upon hundreds of NF readers transform their lives. Each guide comes with specific workout plans depending on your fitness level, video demonstration of exercises, and more…they all come with 1-year, 100% money-back guarantees as well.
- Rebel Fitness Guide: a fitness guide for beginners who want specific diet and exercise advice.
- Rebel Strength Guide: a guide for people looking to build strength and muscle, either bulking up or slimming down
- Rebel Running Guide: a guide for new runners who want to have fun while AVOIDING INJURY
If you want to buy more than one guide, email me atSteve@NerdFitness.com for combo pricing.
If you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person, you can build your own workout, or get started with a free resource like my Angry Birds workout. The important thing is to GET STARTED, and then try to get better each time.
5) Put it all together: These are the steps you can take today:
- Determine your goals or habits you want to establish. Write them down and hang them up.
- Determine why you sucked in the past and how you can avoid it in the future.
- Start cleaning up your diet in whatever method works best for you.
- Pick an activity that makes you happy, and do it. A lot.
WHY do you want to get in shape? What is your reason for wanting to do so? Do you want to get in shape to…
- Impress a cute coworker?
- Win a weight loss competition at work?
- Eventually play with your newborn son?
- Grow old with your significant other?
- Prove everybody wrong who said “you can’t do it?”
Have a freaking reason, friend! Write it down, hang it up in your bedroom, have a calendar alert pop up every day, whatever. But keep that reason for wanting a better life at the front of your mind at all times.
Many people get inspired by reading success stories of folks like them.
Last but not least, you need support.
Yes, I understand its kind of fun to be an army of one: the lone ranger trying to succeed against insurmountable odds….but it’s not necessary.
Once you decide to get in shape, want to know the best way to guarantee success? Make it public. Tell all of your friends, start a blog, and/or inform your co-workers and ask them to keep you accountable! Unless you like being called a quitter, you’ll probably think twice about skipping out on your workouts.
Maybe your word isn’t your bond, and you need a different kind of motivation and support to succeed. Try money. My buddy Saint said he would pay his friends $500 if he didn’t get in absolutely incredible shape for his wedding six months down the road. Saint didn’t have $500 to lose, so he decided instead to just get in great shape…and it worked.
Build your own Jedi Council – find people who are stronger than you and work out with them, or faster than you and run with them, or more educated than you and ask them questions. These are people that you can turn to when you need advice or help. If you don’t know anybody in real life, keep reading…
Find a workout buddy! There are going to be days when you want to sleep in and skip your workout. There will be afternoons following a crappy day of work where all you want to do is play Halo. Find somebody who’s at a similar level of fitness as you, and work out with them! He/she will push you on days when you’re dragging, and vice versa. You can inspire and support each other, feed off of each other’s success, and offer up tough love when the complaining gets too much (and yes, there will be complaining).
3 Signs You Need a New Pair of Running Shoes
The relationship you have with your running shoes isn’t meant to last forever. Here’s how to know when to buy a new pair to prevent injury and prolong an enjoyable running experience.
A comfortable and supportive pair of shoes are a runner’s best friend, but even the best aren’t built to last forever. Avid runners know working out in worn-out sneakers can cause unwanted running injuries like shin splints or runner’s knee. But how do you know it’s time to trash your sneaks and invest in a new set? Here, two running experts share the signs that cue a much-needed trip to your local shoe store.
You’re racking up miles
“As a rule it’s best to update your running shoes every 300 to 400 miles,” says Nikhil Jain, senior footwear product line manager at Brooks Running. Since wear and tear on the shoe itself isn’t always obvious, this method ensures you get new shoes before your worn ones cause pain or an injury.
You can easily track your runs with apps such as Strava, MapMyRun, or Wahoo, or with a fitness tracker. You could also opt for an old-school approach and hand write your runs in a journal. If you’re looking to eyeball your mileage based on time, take advice from a pro: New York City-based running coach John Henwood says he replaces his own shoes every two months.
You feel aches and pains
“As soon as one of my runners feels a shin splint, the first thing I do is ask them how long they’ve had their shoes for,” says Henwood. Knee pain and shin splints, which cause pain in the lower part of the leg, could both signal you need new shoes, especially if you haven’t changed up your running routine at all.
Not ready to part with your precious sneakers? Jain suggests keeping them around for leisurely walks or running errands. “While they may no longer be in good condition to run in, it’s likely that you won’t need as much cushion and support in your other activities,” he says.
Your shoes look shabby
According to Henwood, there are three areas on the shoe itself that signal it’s time for a replacement: the sole, the tread, and the exterior fabric.
“The cushioning in your shoe will be the first thing to break down because midsoles are designed to absorb shock and protect the body,” says Jain. “The tricky part is that this wear isn’t easily visible.” If the soles are shot, the shoe may appear lopsided from putting more pressure on one part of your foot than the others.
The tread of the shoe will be the next area to wear out, so if the bottom of the shoe appears flat and smooth, chances are your soles have lost their support and cushioning. Any holes that appear in the shoe’s exterior fabric provide a third red light that they’ve deteriorated.
To prevent your shoes from wearing out before you hit 300 to 400 miles, Henwood suggests using them exclusively for your runs. “If you’ve got running shoes, don’t walk around in them,” he says. “Have your running shoes for running and other shoes for walking because how you use them changes how they last.”
Jain also suggests rotating between two pairs of running shoes to prolong each pair’s life. “In addition, having more than one running shoe in your rotation helps you work a slightly different set of muscles in your feet, helping you strengthen them,” he says.