Do you feel pressured to make a New Year resolution?

It always happens: you’re out at a NYE party or dinner, the wine is flowing freely, you’re having a great time, and then someone whacks you between the eyes with “so, what are YOUR New Year resolutions?”

And as quick as that you can be sitting on your backside, planted firmly in the I’m Not Good Enough Reality. Which is a bummer, coz you were having a great night.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I can count on probably one hand the times in my 40 years that I have had a really meaningful look at my life on that particular night. Most years I have just renewed my committment to pick up at least one piece of rubbish everyday. (try do that one 365 times…)

This year, however, was different, so please excuse me whilst I get all teary and vulnerable on you….

This year I have a wonderful lady, whom I have never met, Trish Jones, to thank for giving me some focus. As I said, I have never met Trish, but I stumbled across one of her blogs http://www.trishjones.com/did-you-think-big-enough/ and it really simplified things for me. I came up with a 3 pronged vision for myself in 2012.

  • To make this, the 13th year of our marriage, the best one yet (sordid details witheld)
  • To make my personal training business soar to new heights (business plan witheld)
  • To be in the best physical shape I have ever been in.

To do that last one I am going to, as a minimum:

 do 5 workouts per week,

eat 5 salads a week,

drink 5 green drinks a week, (ask me for my recipe!)

a weeklong detox each month, (ask me for my recipe!)

and have at least 5 days alcohol free a week.

And I realised, after writing it down, that if I can successfully achieve that last one, to be in the best shape of my life, that the other two will then be that much easier to achieve.

So have a think: is there something I want in my life this year? Don’t focus on the lack, or the deprivation, aim instead to bring something new in. Or you could just pick up one piece of rubbish each day!

Till next time, be kind to yourself,

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Can you do 15 minutes of exercise and get 30 minutes benefit?

Well, yes, you can! There are two main ways to achieve this, one is physical, one is mental.

Physical

 – if you find yourself short of time but full of motivation, give yourself a sound thrashing for 15 minutes whether it be

  • fifteen sprints of 30 seconds each, with 30 seconds rest each time,
  • a similar format with a burpee combo (eg: pushups + jumps),
  • simply moving from one weight machine to another without resting
  • tapping a balloon in the air and doing a get down get up (push up) – for a minute on/ 30 secs off
  • best yet try just following your kids for 15 minutes and doing everything they do!
  • or any other combo of high intensity work with little rest

What your body has to do after any of these is recover, and this is loosely termed “the afterburner” – ie: how much energy and oxygen (fat burning, in old speak) you need to restore yourself back to normal.

Walking slowly on a treadmill has little to no afterburn.

High intensity work does – a huge amount more.

And better yet, a recent study* found that doing 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening was significantly better in terms of afterburn than doing 30 minutes in one go – ie: both groups did the same workout (treadmill), the same intensity (%70 of VO@ max), and same duration, but one group did half morning and half evening, whilst the other group did it all in one go. When they measured how long it took in terms of oxygen consumed (and therefore, in a nutshell, the more chance of fat burning), the results were staggeringly in favour of the split group.

OK so we’ve established that high intensity beats low intensity, on the physical side of things. What about….

Mental if you find yourself with more time but your motivation tanks are nudging the “empty” sign?

So, this was me yesterday. It was Wednesday, 4th of January. I’d just read Trish Jones’ (http://www.trishjones.com/did-you-think-big-enough/) fantastic piece on establishing your vision, AND I’d done the whole exercise AND pinned it on my wall. And then there I was: it was 11C outside here in Hong Kong, my heater was on, I’d had a bowl of hot soup and I was wearing warm fluffy socks. Believe it or not (and I’m a personal trainer for cryin’ out loud!) I wasn’t goin’ nowhere baby.

So I thought to myself: “put your bloody shoes on Ads, and just start running, just do 15 minutes.” 

Well I got outside thinking that I’d just run away from my house for 15 minutes. Easy right? Yup easy. Until I got 15 minutes out…and had to get home.

I’d used a very simple motivation trick to get my bum off my chair – and it worked!

I got a 30 minute workout when I thought I was only in for 15 mins – well, not really, but it was a great way to kick my own butt into gear!

Alright gang, that’s it from me for the day – I got lots to do to keep my 2012 Vision alive and kicking, so let’s all get out there and do it!

 

*I’m extrapolating here: the actual study compared 2 lots of 25 mins with 1 lot of 50 mins. So sue me.

 

Is nutrition important?

A lot of client ask me this. My answer is YES, emphatically. Then they ask: “well, how do I know I’m eating correctly?”

The easy answer goes something like this:

  1. Eat from the field, not the factory.
  2. Eat the colours, not the whites.
  3. Replace your grains with greens.
  4. Eat lean protein (fish, chicken, eggs, meat) and vegetables with EVERY meal.

There are a few other general points, and loads of intricacies, but if every person on the planet were to follow this advice, we’d be a MUCH healthier bunch.

If you want help with this, let me know. Until then, have a great day!

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