Sunday, January 27, 2008

Motivation To Get In Shape

If you are a male who needs some motivation to get in shape, you need to watch this short clip! I'm serious. Put the donut down and watch this now. If you are a female and the man in your life needs to lose a few pounds around the middle, you need to drag him (kicking and screaming) over to the computer screen to watch this short video! If this doesn't do it, nothing will!

Wasn't that fun? Quick, while you are still motivated, start to devise a plan of action. Eighty percent of the problem with doing exercise is basically SHOWING UP AND DOING IT. Now, what are you going to do?

I try to do things that I enjoy doing. If you don't enjoy it, you won't be doing it for long. I love the feeling of speed and the wind in my face. We have a lot of bike paths around my neck of the woods so I like to ride my bike and go inline skating. I have done a few century bike rides (100 miles) with some local bike clubs that were very enjoyable. It is socially as well as physically healthy. On weekends I like to go on long rides on my skates too. I have been known to go 20 miles in an afternoon. I have invested in a couple of pairs of good performance skates. My favorite is made by Technica. These are the same people that make high quality ski boots. Speaking of skiing, it is rough to skate or ride my bike around the Chicago area in the winter. I like to go snowboarding when I can but when I don't have that kind of time, I try to go cross country skiing. It is very economical and I don't have to wait in lift lines.

Having a dog has been helpful too. She loves to go for a walk with me and it gets us both out of the house and into the sunshine. Actually, I think I am going to go right now before the sun goes down. I'll be right back . . . .

Ok, I'm back and I feel better now. I am trying to explore some other things that I can do to build more muscle and vary my routine. Although I have never ordered his products, I have been interested in Matt Furey's "Combat Conditioning."
Every once in a while, I go to his blog at Matt Furey Uncensored
He advocates exercises that are ancient but powerfully effective. He says, "Forget Weights and Forget Cardio." His exercises use your own body weight and can be done in as little as 15 minutes a day. I'm not into body building and I don't care what others think of my physique. I just want to be healthy and toned. Aerobic exercise is good for your heart, lungs and major muscle groups. Weight resistance training and stretching are good additions to that. The good thing about Matt Furey is that he shows you how to exercise using more muscle groups at one time in order to get more done in 15 minutes than most people could get done in an hour. Saving time is a good thing!

Benefits of Anaerobic Strength Training:

• Increased muscular strength

• Larger muscles that burn more calories

• Increased flexibility and balance

• Decreased risk of heart attack

• Prevention of muscle loss and falls during aging

• Improved bone density and decreased risk of osteoporosis

I like the fact that more muscle helps my body to increase it's metabolism and burn calories even while I sleep!

So here are a few exercises that I have found on Youtube that illustrate some variations on the old "push up" and the "squat." The first one is called a "Hindu Push Up." If you can do a hundred regular push ups, I dare you to try that with a Hindu push up. Try to do at least ten. Another variation on that would be a "Dive Bomber" push up. The difference is that it uses more different muscles than you are used too. If you notice, it also stretches the spine and increases flexibility. The second one is the proper form for a Hindu squat. If you don't like the name "Hindu", feel free to change it. If you want to call it a Presbyterian push up or a Second Day Adventist squat, that would be fine. It is still the same movement.

What is great about all of these exercises is that you don't need to spend a fortune on a lot of exercise equipment. If you have that kind of money and that equipment isn't collecting dust or acting as a place to dry the laundry a year from now, that is great! More power to you.

Another great way to develop muscle without breaking the bank is to use what is called a "Swiss Ball" or "Stability Ball." They are relatively cheap and you should get one based on your height. You can usually get a book with it or you could go to and find some exercise videos that you like. Here is an example of 10 exercises that you could use with the Swiss ball.

Sit ups and crunches on the Swiss ball put less strain on the back. Because you are having to balance yourself all the time as you sit on the ball, you are actually using more of your stabilizer muscles and getting a little better work out.

So, I hope that gives you some more variety for your workouts. The important thing is to enjoy what you do and to stick with it. I would you do several things.

  • Keep a written journal of what you do every day
  • Write down your goals of what you want to accomplish and by when you want to accomplish it.
  • Tell someone what you are going to do and ask them to hold you accountable to do it. Better yet, find an exercise partner. Two are better than one.

Feel free to make a comment here and share some of your own workout tips and ideas too.

For more excellent reading on this subject, read the following blog posts:

The Seven Essential Habit Of A Seccessful Fitness Routine

What Motivates You To Get Fit

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