In August, my wife and I started a gallon challenge. As it sounds, we committed to drinking a gallon of water each day, for 7 days. We were already drinking a good amount of water each day, but decided to bump it up.
After the 7 days and seeing that it wasn't so bad, we decided to do it for 30 days. Now almost 3 months later, we are still chugging our gallon of water each day.
I credit my wife for the idea. Now it's become a habit for us. It's weird if we don't finish a gallon of water by the end of the day.
How it became easy though was a couple of factors.
Those factors being support and accountability. We have each other's back through this. If one of us was slipping on our water intake, we'd encourage the other to get back on track. We make sure that by the end of the night, we both finish up our gallon.
Now that the 7 days have almost turned into 90 days, we have established a habit. We are disciplined now to drink a gallon each day. When a habit is formed, it is hard to break without establishing a new pattern to change that. Our body, our mind, now expects to finish up a gallon.
This example here is how we should approach anything we do. When we are starting anything new, it's important not to go at it alone. First and foremost, we have God on our side to lead us through a new path, a new habit that we are trying to establish.
Then we have to ensure we have the support of others. Others who we trust that will hold us accountable so that we don't fall off track and that we stay committed to that goal.
Research shows that it takes an average of 66 days to establish a new habit, to make it stick. That's where my wife and I are with our water gallon challenge. It has now become a water gallon habit.
If trying to establish a goal or a habit seems daunting, it doesn't have to be. Take it one day at a time and have those around you support your efforts. Our challenge has now spread to other family and friends that have joined in.
There is power in support and making a positive habit change.
You can do it to!
This time around, I have a vlog for you. Our topic is about just getting started. Getting out of our own thoughts, getting out of our own way, and taking action. Check it out below.
Do you know if you are putting more calories in your body or chemicals?
It may sound like a silly question, but unless we're intentional about what we are putting in our body, how do we really know? I'm not saying that we have to put a calorie count on every food item and dissect the amount of macros we are consuming, but at least writing down what we eat each week gives us more insight into what we are putting into our body.
Are we fueling our body with the right nutrients or are we doing more harm than good? Are we hurting our body because of what we're eating or drinking? Do we look for more temporary relief as opposed to looking at long term sustainability?
Our nutrition plays an important factor in our overall health but also in our daily mood. If we struggle finding the energy to go through the day and are feeling sluggish, chances are we need to evaluate what we're putting into our bodies.
And we won't have a good grasp on it unless we write down what we eat and drink. We may be eating too much sugar or junk food. We may be consuming too much alcohol. We might not be eating enough protein or drinking enough water.
Making small changes to what we eat or drink will have a drastic, positive impact on our health and energy levels.
So, do you need help in making that change?
The latest edition this week is a special guest post. We have Elliot, a blogger for GunsmithFitness.com giving us 3 creative ways to lose weight while at work. If you are back to working at your desk at your office, it's important to still get some movement throughout your day. I'll let Elliot take it away:
Working at a desk job for eight hours a day can make it difficult to find the time to exercise.
Sure, you have plans to do so, but sometimes you are just too tired after working. Not to mention
the myriad of house chores that say hello post-duty.
Admit it, you spend more time than you prefer sitting in a chair--whether it is in an office or the
comforts of your home. While it is less challenging, having a sedentary lifestyle is not the best
for one's overall health. You might have tried putting snacks away, opting for the stairs, and
standing for at least 30 minutes per hour, but these do not seem to be enough.
If you cannot avoid being tied to your desk, we have some incredible news for you. You can be
physically active and lose weight even from your work table. The following are simple yet
creative workouts you can employ amid your hectic schedule. These not only burn calories but
complement your mood, too.
Incline Desk Push-Ups
Your upper extremities will surely benefit from incline desk push-ups. This helps strengthen
your bones as well as keep your stamina elevated.
Instead of getting down on the floor, stand only a few feet away from your desk. Place your
palms, shoulder-width apart, against your desk. Then, slowly lower yourself down to the edge of
the desk and push yourself back up to your original position. Then repeat.
Having your arms apart benefits your chest, while holding them close together is ideal for the
triceps. A person weighing 180 pounds can lose 39 calories from 10 minutes of incline desk
push-ups in a day not to mention the increase in strength.
For your lower extremities, you can do chair squats. This is good for your hamstrings and glutes,
while still engaging your core. Also, this is good practice if you are planning to do actual squats.
To do this, stand straight with a shoulder-width distance between your feet. Lower yourself back
down to the chair without (actually sitting) while maintaining an upright posture. Make sure that
your shins and abdomen are of the same angle. Squeeze your glutes as you stand up to your
original position, then do it again!
This exercise burns 34 calories for the same amount of time. Thirty minutes of this exercise in a
day can lose one more than 100 calories and build muscle.
You can also do chair lunges. This helps stabilize your core as well as tone your lower
While keeping your abdomen tight, slowly lower yourself by placing one foot forward while
holding onto a chair. Make sure that your knee is bent to 90 degrees and your thigh is parallel to
the ground. Push yourself back up to your original position and do the same to your other leg,
Five minutes of chair lunges can help you burn an average of 45 calories.
Remember, if you can, start your exercise with a warm-up. This can be done by stretching your
body as well as by performing a decent number of jumping jacks.
By exercising at your desk for 30 minutes per day, you will see results almost immediately.
Imagine getting in 30 minutes of chair squats per day. That would be 500 calories by the end of
your shift on Friday. That’s essentially a whole meal burned for the week. Let the weight loss
Losing weight is tough. There is so much information out there, it's hard to decipher what's right and what's wrong. It's difficult to know what will work for you and what won't. Feeling frustrated at times is alright, giving up is not.
When it comes to losing weight, there are a lot of ways to achieve that feat. Why don't we lose weight? There's many reasons for that. However we'll focus on two.
1) You're Not In a Calorie Deficit
Putting it simply, a calorie deficit is when you are burning more calories than you are taking in. That's it. In order to lose weight you should be burning more calories than you are eating. I tend to break it down over a weekly basis. Over the course of a week, as long as you aren't eating more than you are working off, you are in a calorie deficit.
You want to be aware of what you are eating. Writing down what you're eating helps so you know what you're eating each day and how much. You may think that you are eating fine, or aren't eating a lot, but when you actually write it down, you may be surprised at how much food you're consuming.
How do you burn off those calories? That brings us to our next piece.
2) You're Doing Too Much Cardio
If you've been running for what seems like days on end or endlessly moving from the stationary bike to the elliptical, I'm here to save you time. Cardio alone isn't going to get you to your weight loss goals. There is nothing wrong with cardio, keep doing it, but maybe we're doing too much.
The most effective way to contributed to weight loss in the gym or outside of it (besides nutrition) is resistance training (also known as strength or weight training). Lifting weights isn't only to look like a bodybuilder. Adding resistance to your routine helps to trim off excess fat and get rid of those unwanted calories.
When the fat reduces and we turn it into muscle, that muscle now works for us. Muscle weighs more than fat. So that muscle helps us to burn more calories throughout the day, even when we're not working out. That directly contributes to keeping us in the Calorie Deficit we discussed earlier. The muscle we get from resistance training helps us keep the fat off.
There you have it. Two things you can do to start seeing weight loss if you aren't yet: make sure you're in a Calorie Deficit and resistance train.
I want to start out by saying this: things will never be perfect.
When I was writing out plans to start Vanbar, there were many times I put things on hold for various reasons.
I don't have enough money yet.
I don't have the experience.
No one knows who I am.
Now's just not the right time.
It took some time to get over that hump and tell myself to just go for it. There was never going to be the perfect time, the perfect condition to get things started on this business now know as Vanbar Fitness.
So, don't wait for the perfect time to get started on whatever it is you want to accomplish. Don't wait for the perfect time to start your business. Don't wait for the perfect time to start your brand. Don't wait for the perfect time to begin working out.
I've heard so many times that "I'll start working out when I lose 10 pounds," or "I'll begin working out when I get to such and such weight".
Why wait? The purpose of working out is to help you lose the weight.
And why wait to accomplish your goal? Each day you wait is another day lost. We have to maximize our time and maximize each day we are given.
Stop waiting. All the stars will never align to fit just how you want them. That waiting is just another way of making excuses. Let's stop the excuses and just do! Let's stop waiting and just make it happen.
Don't mask "waiting" for excuses and being afraid to try because we don't want to fail. Take the step today to start. And then take the next step. And then the next step.
I believe in you, so let's go! Let's BE GREATER!
How many hours are in a day?
That's easy. We all know it's 24.
But do you know how much time you spend in each section of your day?
Here's what I mean. We spend, on average, 8 hours a day at work.
We're suppose to sleep for about 8 hours a day. Between the two that's 16 hours.
That leaves us another 8 hours for anything else. That could be personal time and family time. That time could consist of watching TV, cooking, exercising, talking on the phone, and the list goes on.
For my math gurus out there, that's, 8X3=24. So we have 3 sections to our day:
On some days or weeks, we may spend more or less time in one section. For some, our jobs call for longer hours in a day. However your schedule is, what's important to note is that we all get the same amount of time in a day, how you use that time is up to you.
When it comes down to our wellness, how we spend that time is important to our health. It's not enough to guess how much time we spend in each section. We have to be intentional and know exactly how much time we're spending and where.
We need to have time to relax, we need to give our family time, we need to be able to work on hobbies. It may seem that we don't have time for anything, but if we don't how much time is going where, how do you know for sure that you don't have time?
My challenge is this: on a piece of paper write out all 24 hours, and for each hour write what you do in those times. It should only take a few minutes. You block out your time for work and sleep. Now your focus is on the 8 free hours you do have. Write out what you do in those times. You'd be surprised at the extra time you find, and the time you waste on pointless things.
Try it out. Reclaim your time.
A couple of months back we talked about the difference between a personal trainer and a fitness coach. They both may sound the same but the duties are different. Mainly a personal trainer is one who you meet with, whether at a gym or at your home, and guides you through a workout.
Our focus here this time around is to dive into the role of a fitness coach and what I do.
A fitness coach provides a few things:
With a fitness coach, a level of self-motivation, self-discipline is required. You won't have a coach standing next to you giving you instructions during your session. What you will get though with a coach is some staying on you consistently, making sure that the workouts they designed for you, and any other tasks given are completed on time.
I've brought up accountability and consistency quite a few times over various different posts, and it's because those are the key ingredients to successfully making improvements to yourself. We fail at bettering our health and wellness due no one holding us accountable. Then we're not consistent. We don't see the results we want and then we quit.
As a coach, quitting is not an option for my clients. We're in this together so we work as a team to reach that goal. As a coach, regular check-ins are provided to ensure we're staying on the right path.
Picture a bridge with you on one side and I on the other. The middle of the bridge is unfinished and needs some work done on it in order to be completed. We'll meet at the middle of that bridge with me giving you all the tools and discipline needed. From there we'll work as a team to get the job done!
So, let's get started!
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I remember it like it was yesterday. The day I signed up for my first gym membership. With my newly acquired contract came a free personal training session.
I was a skinny 18 year old, ready to enter into this new world full of dumbbells, sweat, weights, and racks, so why not take them up on the offer?
Let me tell you, I got worked! My legs felt like jello after that session. I felt as if I needed a cane to walk up and down the steps. My legs were of no use to me at all. I wondered why anybody would put themselves through this kind of torture to feel pain all over their body. I was ready for that to be my first and last time I ever went to the gym.
I waited a couple of days (alright, maybe a week) before I went back to the gym for my next workout. I went straight to the back of the gym and occupied a bench, because that's what we're supposed to do, right?
I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but figured I'd look at what others were doing and then copy them. As time went on, I became more educated with working out by learning, by studying, all because I fell in love with it.
But how many of us were like me, or are still like me? Went into the gym and had no idea what they were doing, or didn't like the feeling of being sore.
Now I'm not saying you have to enjoy being sore, but that brings me to one of the reasons we don't stick with a workout program.
1) We don't like being sore.
I know it seems hard to believe, but the soreness that sometimes come with working out hold some of us back. We want to avoid. We don't want to go through it. We don't want to experience some temporary pain and so we avoid working out all together.
Another reason why we don't stick with a program:
2) We don't know what we're doing.
Think about it, would you stick with something that you don't know how to do? Of course not. We try a few workouts, but don't really have a clue if it's working, so we stop. Now that shouldn't give us an excuse to stop working out. We should either educate ourselves or find help, whether that be from a friend, coach, or trainer.
The last reason we'll cover today is:
3) We set unrealistic expectations
We get caught up with fads, or think that we can lose 50 pounds in a few weeks or build exploding biceps after a few sessions in the gym. I'm here to tell you that's not going to happen. Wherever we are physically right now didn't happen overnight, so changing it to where we want it to go won't happen instantly either.
The great news is that the process to get where you want physically is shorter than the years it took to get our body to the point that made us decide to make a change.
Now, this isn't a complete list of all the reasons why we don't stick with a workout program, but it is a start. I wanted us to start the conversation and see if one of these reasons are holding us back from working out. Maybe it's none of these. Maybe it's more than one. Or maybe it's another reason.
Do you have trouble sticking with a workout program?
I want to hear from you and help you overcome that. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and reply to me with #1, #2, or #3. Then let's work to make sure that's not an issue any longer.
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When it comes to working out, there are plenty of different types and things that you can do. However, every workout should have a basic structure of three things to it. Those three components are:
We've went over the three components of a workout before, however I think a lot of attention and focus gets put on Component 2: the Exercise. What's often neglected are the Warm-ups and Cool-downs. Those two steps are equally as important as the exercise itself.
The warm-up gets your body ready for the exercises ahead while the Cool-down helps to prepare you for the next workout.
Want to focus for just a few moments on the Warm-up and what that looks like. How long should the warm-up be? It depends on the length of the workout itself and what exercises are going to be included. I generally would aim for 3-5 minutes minimum for the Warm-up.
That could be static stretching (holding a position for a set duration) or dynamic stretching (taking that same position and including movement with it). I find it best to go with the dynamic stretching to better warm-up your muscles and get the blood flowing.
Do you warm-up, or do you typically skip it and get right into what you have planned?
If you tend to skip them, I urge you to reconsider. Warming-up has many benefits besides getting your blood pumping. It prepares your muscles, prepares your body for what's ahead. It also helps prevent injuries.
No matter your age, no matter your fitness level, make sure that you are getting your body ready and loose for your exercise.
I want to know: what do you do for warming up? Comment below and let me know!
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