DAY 11 – Its OK to Push Yourself!
I don’t mean you should put 300 pounds on the barbell at the gym and give it a go. All the positive thoughts in the world will NOT get that bar off your chest. However, most people do not REALLY know what it means to challenge themselves. They follow the same patterns, do the same exercises, use the same weight, watch the same TV shows, eat the same food and get the same results…day in and day out for YEARS!
Sounds like a death spiral to me.
Your body craves challenge. We were designed to undertake a stress and them grow in response to that stress so we are more prepared for it the next time it happens. This is EXACTLY how muscles grow. If you do not push yourself past where you are today, you cannot expect to be any better tomorrow.
Muscles only grow when pushed past prior limits. As I said, use common sense here, but strive for a bit more.
Examples: For upper body exercises, strive for 1 more rep each week or 2.5 more pounds used. For lower body, strive for the same 1 rep improvement or a 5 pound increase in the weight lifted per week. Eventually, when this stops moving up (and it will) simply change exercises entirely, to keep the muscular system always challenged by new things.
DAY 10 – Start Each Day With 5 Minutes of “You” Time
I say you time because everyone views meditation differently. I never really gave this type of thing much thought. I convinced myself I was too busy for this type of thing and just jumped right into my day.
When I started adding in just a few minutes of quite reflection, it made a world of difference. NOTE: THIS IS NOT PLANNING YOUR DAY
You are not writing ‘to do’ lists with this time. You are simply getting your mind relaxed and positive. This habit allows you to deal with stress and people better as well as keep you in that positive ‘zone’ we all like. This activity could come in the form of meditation, prayer for some, journaling is quite popular among many (my preferred use of this time) or simply reading motivational/positive stories or words.
Once you start this habit, you will find it VERY addictive
DAY 9 – Add 1 High-Protein Breakfast Per Week
You can set the entire tone for your day – good or bad – by what you eat first thing in the morning. If you start with a high sugar cereal (BTW, there are NO healthy cereal products) you have decided to hop on the sugar/insulin roller coaster for the day. Not a best ride for your health.
Try a high-protein alternative: eggs with salsa and guacamole, meat and mixed nuts, leftover steak and veggies. All of these will reduce the blood sugar swings responsible for poor food choices throughout the day.
DAY 8 – Increase Your Fat Intake By 10%
No too long ago, a recommendation like this would result in questions about your sanity. No more. The research is clear. Fat is NOT the enemy we have been taught it was. Although it seems counter-intuitive, increasing your intake of good, natural fats, can improve a host of medical indicators of health, including the often misunderstood cholesterol levels.
Sources of good fats are: Cold water fish such as salmon and herring, avocados, mixed nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans), grass-fed beef, coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil.
DAY 7 – Try Putting Morning Workouts into Your Routine
If you do this already, try adding one more. The goal should be 4 workout sessions per week.
If your study the habits of the wealthiest, most successful individuals, a MASSIVE percentage of them start their day working out. If energizes them for the day and – on a practical level – gets the workout over early; theoretically freeing up more of their day for productive work.
DAY 6 – Do Something to Reduce Inflammation
More and more research points to inflammation as the trigger for many diseases; Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease, etc. The list goes on and on. So how can you reduce the amount of inflammation in your body?
– Increase ‘good fat’ intake though Omega 3 fish oil.
– Add the supplement curumin (also known as tumeric) to your daily routine. I use 1,000mg each day.
– Remove as much refined sugar as humanly possible. Sugar is a pro-inflammatory substance.
– Increase the veggies. Virtually all veggies will have an anti-inflammatory effect.
DAY 5 – Cut Out One Serving of Grains Every Day
Long gone are the days when the food pyramid told us we need multiple servings of grain every day! WE DO NOT. PERIOD.
Fact: If you want to lose weight, cut out grains and watch the weight start coming off.
DAY 4 – Try To Go To Bed at the Same Time Every Day
We all know humans need plenty of sleep. The target here is 7-8 hours per day. It does NOT make you an over-achiever to get by on less! It makes you function more poorly and can actually shorten your life in the long run.
Equally important is the consistency around when you go to bed. If you go to be during the work week at 10:00pm, you need to stay as close to that time on the weekends as well. Your body doesn’t really care if it’s the weekend and you NEED to party. Your body will function much better and your sleep quality will increase if you get consistent about your bed time…all the time.
DAY 3 – Increase your water intake by one full 8 ounce glass per day.
If your intake is already good (meaning somewhere near one gallon per day) you can try to cut out 1 glass of ‘negative’ fluids such as soda, diet soda or alcohol. Cost: essentially $0.00.
Previous Days – Review
DAY 2 – Cut out at least 1 serving of sugar.
You knew this one had to be there. The food companies LOVE sugar and have hooked (literally!) millions of Americans on their products. If you die, they will simply move on to the next victim. No remorse and no real consequences…Think about that…
This could be in the form of soda, cookies, alcohol or even bread, rice, cereal, crackers or pasta. Psychologically, you should treat sugar like the addictive toxin it is. You will notice you start feeling better IMMEDIATELY!
DAY 1 – Add one lifting workout per week to your routine. LIFT WEIGHTS MORE!
Not sure what to do for a workout? Please just email me and I will send along two workouts for you to use. These can be done in any gym and will help you maintain or build vital muscle mass.
The primary point here is the MAJOR need for you to do more strength training along with any cardio-vascular activity you may be doing. Remember: cardio is only 1 aspect of overall health. It is FAR from the only activity to work on.
The research on strength training coming in these days is OVERWHELMING. Evidence shows you can improve your metabolism, keep vital muscle mass we naturally lose with age and even improve brain function. Start this week!