Archive for the tag - focus

How to Reach Your Fitness Goals.

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” - Lao Tzu

Though the above quote works on many levels, I love how it applies to fitness.

My posture isn’t the best; I tend to walk on the outside edge of my feet with the toes pigeoned slightly outward. I often lock my knees and roll my shoulders forward. Such seemingly minor (and relatively unnoticeable) dysfunctions might not seem significant - but when they’re multiplied by the thousands of steps that I take each day, a path emerges.

Moreover, I’m an avid runner. Running several miles a day takes a toll on the human body and serves to further amplify my body’s dysfunctions.

As Lao Tzu reminds me, if I continue on my current path, I’ll probably get where I’m heading. And where I’m heading is in the direction of debilitating injury or joint replacements. It might not happen today - but as you extend the timeline of life further out, the likelihood of injury increases exponentially.

When looking through the lens of time, where I’m heading becomes clear. And so I’ve taken Lao Tzu’s advice and changed my direction. While I continue to run and exercise in the ways that I enjoy, I’ve incorporated Pilates and yoga into my fitness program. Such practices increase my flexibility and help to improve and correct my posture and various dysfunctions.

It begs the question: Where are you heading? Perhaps you’re heading in the direction of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Or perhaps in the direction of becoming obsessively thin. Or perhaps towards stalled or plateaued results due to a stale routine. The destination is different for all of us.

If where you’re heading isn’t where you want to be, ask yourself: What can I do to change course?

Tell me where you are heading in the comments below. I’ll select a random commentator to win a free copy of my Ultimate Guide to Working Out; it will help you get where you want to go. 🙂

The Best-Kept Nutrition Secret Ever…

To say that frozzzen hot chocolate is delicious is to say that Zac Efron is cute.

Last month, I bought a container of Serendipity’s Frrrozen Hot Chocolate Mix. To say that it’s delicious is to say that Zac Efron is cute. Yummy doesn’t even begin to cut it.

Yesterday afternoon, when looking for a snack, I contemplated making some of the mix. I glanced at the nutrition information, only to discover that each serving contains 61 grams of sugar, 66 carbohydrates and nearly 400 empty calories. Yikes! Clearly, it’s a drink for very special occasions - and not something to be consumed every day.

For a few minutes, I was a bit crestfallen. But then I realized that there were plenty of delicious alternatives that I could eat - putting into practice one of the best-kept nutrition secrets: Don’t focus on what you can’t eat. Focus on what you can eat.

If you focus on the foods that you can’t eat, making healthy choices could be unnecessarily painful. You’ll feel deprived, and by thinking about unhealthy foods - you’ll develop cravings from them. If you think about cheesecake long enough, you’re probably going to get a hankering for some. Don’t mourn over what you can’t eat; rejoice in the foods that you can! Take a glass half-full approach.

Indeed, frrrozen hot chocolate might not make the cut - but many other refreshing options like smoothies or fruit salad are viable alternatives. And healthy foods can be delicious and satisfying, so put your energy and attention there.

And there you have it - the best-kept nutrition secret ever. EVER!

What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments below. Don’t be shy.

Working Out Twice a Day: Is It For You?

This guy is one of the few things that could get me to the gym twice a day.

Okay, I admit it. I occasionally workout twice a day. But my second workout is usually something fun and different - like swimming, kayaking, canoeing or a bike ride. It’s not something that I do a lot, but it is common practice for a handful of very dedicated enthusiasts (though most of us have a hard enough time getting to the gym even once!).

Ideally, “twice-a-dayers” will do cardio in the morning and strength training in the evening. Each workout could range from 20 minutes to an hour. Hitting the gym twice a day is really a splitting of your workout. It doesn’t mean that you’ll be doing your normal routine twice - it means that you’ll divide things up accordingly. And in fact, many people find they’re able to push themselves harder by exercising twice a day, and that they’re actually able to shave off some time from their workout.

Here’s what you stand to benefit:

  • Double boost in metabolism. When you exercise, your body burns fat and calories at an increased rate. This increase continues for some time even after your workout is complete. So obviously, when you exercise twice a day, you get twice the boost! If you’re trying to lean up or release some extra weight, this is good news.
  • Shorter workouts. Instead of doing a 90 minute fitness routine, you could break it up into two 30 - 45 minute workouts. Shorter workouts make it easier to focus - and much easier to really give it your all; you’ll avoid the drag that most people experience in the second half of a longer workout.
  • Increased energy. If you workout in the morning, you’ll know that it’s better than a cup of coffee. Whether you’re feeling lazy, sluggish or unproductive, there’s nothing like a good workout to energize your day. But by the afternoon, most of us fade back into a haze. If, however, you hit the gym again in the afternoon, you’ll be stimulated and alive all evening. It’s like a second wind. And don’t worry - working out close to bedtime doesn’t lead to insomnia or sleep problems for most people, though there is some risk.
  • Better results. Maybe. If you’re able to push yourself harder, faster and stronger by splitting your workout in two, then you’ll see better results sooner.

Working out twice a day isn’t for everyone. For me, the benefits are often outweighed by the idea of commuting to the gym twice, changing twice, dirtying two gym outfits, etc. But what do you think? Do you workout twice a day? Is it something that you’re interested in trying?

Not Seeing Results from Your Workout? Here’s Why!

We all know people that complain about a lack of results. Just the other day, I was talking to a woman at my gym who couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t losing weight. Day after day, she’d hit the gym and do the same routine - but alas the pounds were not shedding. Duh! If she’s not getting results, why keep doing more of the same? Doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity. But I know that she’s not alone and so I compiled a list of the top reasons the exercisers don’t see results:

  1. They’ve plateaued. The woman at the gym was playing it safe - she had found a workout that she could manage and performed it religiously. But she wasn’t challenging herself or pushing her body to its limits. It’s time for her to supercharge her workout and turn up the heat. After all, you’ll only get out of your workout what you put it. Break through your plateau!
  2. They’re inconsistent. Consistency is one of the most important factors in achieving any fitness goals. Taking a day off here and there is fine - but days can easily become weeks, and weeks undue progress. At the minimum, get a good workout 2-3 time a week.
  3. They don’t have a clue. Lack of results can often be attributed to cluelessness. It’s one thing to have a fitness goal. It’s another thing to know what you’ll need to do to achieve that goal. Maybe you want stronger arms - but do you know what it takes to build them? Doing good, solid research or hiring a person trainer can help - or you can sign up to get Davey Wavey Fitness blog updates by e-mail. 😛
  4. They can’t focus. I always chuckle at the number of people that only seem to be exercising their mouths at the gym. Sure, it’s great to socialize, but let’s remember the task at hand! Just going to the gym isn’t going to help you get results - you have to actually to do something while you’re there.
  5. They eat shit. If someone is following a tried and true fitness program consistently and they still are not seeing results, then it’s time to look at the other end of the equation: nutrition. Proper nutrition doesn’t mean eating raw eggplant and alfalfa sprouts - but it does mean doing your best to avoid the shitty stuff most of the time.

Are you not seeing the results you want? What’s your story? And which of these reasons might apply to you?