It’s coming to be that time where we part ways with one year to greet the coming year with open arms.
For a lot of us that means new year, new resolution.
Some we will keep and others we will lose in a matter of a week. Ultimately it is a test of will to see how committed you are to your goals. Kind of like that old saying
Motivation will get you started. Habit will keep you going
I made some pretty ambitious resolutions last year and like many of you, some i kept and some i let go. But I did learn a lot in 2015.
Some of what i learned I learned from success. But in keeping honest, the majority I learned from error. However, as JFK once said “an error does not become a mistake unless you refuse to correct it.”
I will even take that a step further by adding that i never failed to produce a result. That’s all we can ever hope for right? To have a gauged result of which if we take the time to recognize the truth of the situation we can take the result and apply it to action where we can correct the course to success.
So it is with this nature of learning from error and applying produced results, I offer you my list of health and fitness tips learned in 2015.
Health and Fitness Tips 2015
1 – IF SOMETHING DOESN’T ADD UP, START SUBTRACTING:
This can be applied to not only fitness tips but life in general.
Some refer to this as Zorro Circles.
Remember when Zorro was learning to wield the sword? He drew a circle close to himself and mastered that space before expanding the circle?
Well, sometimes it becomes apparent when you have too much on your plate that its best to start subtracting a few things. I yo-yo in and out of this all the time.I’m almost notorious for taking on too much at once.
For instance i was doing a bulk program in the gym and I was happy with the Mass I was gaining but didn’t have the definition i had a few months earlier. As the Thai’s would say, i started looking a little pumpui (fatty).
Not a flattering thing to hear when you are trying to add volume. So I started adding an intense HITT program to counter the weight lifting program.
This only served to flood my system with excess cortisol and cause further gain.
My end result was to subtract the excess cardio and trust the process i started in weight training.
2 – LESS CARBS, MORE HEALTHY FATS:
I have to give credit to our Cycling Director Nick Gates.
He was quick to point out that the healthy foods I was eating contained far too many carbs.
He was right. my chicken and rice lunch was rather heavy on the rice. Even though there was a plentiful portion of veggies.
Cutting out carbs is hard to do.
But when you add healthy fats like Monosaturates or MUFA’s you can keep that boost in energy with foods that won’t add to your waste.
This would be avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds and dark chocolate.
3 – LESS REPS HEAVIER WEIGHT:
That old saying “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” has been echoing in my mind all year.
When I find myself reaching a plateau I know it’s time for me to increase the challenge.
For me, this generally translates to increasing the weight.
Of course i don’t try to overdue it.
No sense in causing injury or excess strain on the body.
I usually find myself increasing the weight by 5-10lbs and only if i can push past 8 reps.
4 -MUSCLE CONFUSION:
Getting stuck in routine for too long can cause your muscles to adapt.
Much like adding weights can increase the challenge and further the strengthening and conditioning of muscles, so works muscle confusion.
The way muscle confusion works for me is before my muscles have a chance to adapt to any set routine i add a new routine.
Generally I look to change up my routine every month by adding and subtracting workouts.
5 – DO AS THE ROMANS DO, OR IN THIS CASE THAI’S:
It’s good to check in with your surroundings.
There may be wonderful gems awaiting you if you do.
For me, living in Thailand, there are several. Living in a tropical paradise you can expect to see a lot of coconuts, everywhere you go in fact.
Coconuts are filled with healthy micronutrients which can improve vitality in a wonderful way.
Along with Coconuts there is always a reason to soak up some sun and there is plenty of that in Thailand.
Then there is a the ocean, being that Thailand’s plentiful islands were formed by volcanic movement, there are so many ormus minerals to be found in the ocean.
This is extremely healthy, especially when considering what dire effect magnesium deficiency has on our health.
6 – STRESSED SPELLED BACKWARDS IS DESSERTS:
That’s not a good thing. I am a comfort eater.
When I get stressed I tend to go for the carrot cake.
Realizing this habit is like stubbing your toe on the coffee table. I have done it a thousand times and likely will run into it a thousand more even though i know it’s there.
But while its fresh in my mind as a problem I can redirect course and find other means to deal with my stress.
Like going for a short walk. A little exercise can go a long way. It stimulates the mind, gets blood flowing and often results in sorting out mentally or at least emotionally some of that stress.
7 – BETTER DONE THAN PERFECT:
This is a habit i try to apply whenever possible.
I would rather put in the effort and come up short then not having tried at all.
I use this saying often ” i am successful 100% of the time at producing a result.”
Might not always be the result i was shooting for but every situation has a silver lining. That lining can be learning how not to do something.
Sometimes its good to get out of your head and just try something.
Even if you are not skilled at whatever it is you are attempting. Skill comes with hours and hours of working on your craft.
8 – KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID:
This goes in hand with subtracting.
I find that when i fail to attempt something its because i have worked it up too much or over complicated the process.
The K.I.S.S. principle comes in handy when you find yourself pushed past the limits of your patience.
For me that is counting calories, weighing portions, creating deficits, so on and so forth. I just have no mind to be bothered by all that.
That isn’t to say the process doesn’t work beautiful for some, and who knows maybe one day i will have a personal chef who can create cubes of food wittled down from a calculated process of macro to micro nutrients. But until that day happens i try to load up on the food i know is healthy and creates the right hormonal response for me.
I can generally gauge this by the effect the food has on me.
If i feel sluggish after I eat then i know I didn’t give my body what it needs or I over consumed. Either way it’s back to the drawing board.
Same goes with my weight training. For me, Isolated movement works for me. I like to focus on muscle groups.
Again this might not be the process for everyone. There are many ways to approach health, this is my fitness tips for you to decide if they apply to your world or not.
9 – STOCK UP TO SLIM DOWN:
This goes right in line with stressed – desserts from above.
Sure that carrot cake still sounds good. But so does a bag a carrots with some hummus.
Life is all about choices. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you go for the cake, but don’t make a habit of it.
Make a habit of having healthy options nearby. You’ll train your mind to replace sweets with healthy comfort food.
Most of us just snack for something to occupy our selves with. Or maybe its a good way to take a break if you aren’t puffing down cigarettes.
Think of these choices as a compound effect. Will one salad make you fit? One slice of cake make you fat? Not likely. But over time your choices will mold your future.
Make healthy choices.
10 – ENJOY THE DOWN TIME:
This is crucial.
You wouldn’t drive your car non stop, around the clock, would you?
Having an off day from the gym and a day to give in to the sweets and carbs is okay.
In fact it’s better than okay, it’s necessary.
Spiking your insulin levels is healthy to shock the system and giving yourself a rest day from the gym is healthy too.
Best to have both on the same day though, in my opinion.
11 – BE PROUD OF THE JOURNEY:
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your body.
Tony Horton used to chime that all the time.
It’s true. You have to take time to appreciate the journey.To smell the roses.
Life isn’t meant to be a race to the end.
Sure we all want to live in our perfect body image, but take a moment to think of where you were and were you are.
12 – GET BUSY GROWING OR GET BUSY DYING:
This could have a different meaning for everyone.
For me it is important to not only develop myself physically but mentally as well.
Actually more importantly would be to work on my mind.
I am constantly reading up on new books.
With subjects ranging from spirituality, psychology, social science, financial, and personal development.
Ibookmark articles I find interesting. You can often catch me carrying around a red journal filled with notes from books i have read, quotes i have found interesting, and general thoughts on life.
Keeping a sharp mind is essential to overall health.
13 – AVOID COCKTAIL HOUR:
No, not all the time.
For me, I learned to gauge my frequency to cocktail hour by asking myself if i was celebrating something, or looking for a distraction.
If it was a distraction, I would make my best effort not to worsen the situation by adding a hangover to it.
The problem would likely surface the next day and only delay the solution.
On the flip side of the coin, if I was celebrating on the upside of cocktail hour that was okay.
So long as it was a regular thing like celebrating that Mcdonald’s brought back the mcrib *only half kidding*.
14 – START THE DAY WITH A GLASS OF WATER:
You would be surprised how this can change your day.
Starting off by drinking a glass of water boosts your whole system.
This is going to prep your digestive system to receive nutrients.
Increase production of new blood and muscle cells. Balance lymphatic system and increase weight loss.
15 – VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE:
Lastly but most importantly is that life is meant to be explored and enjoyed.
Have some fun in the gym, park, track, bike, or whatever you do to keep in shape.
Lets face it, we all end up in the same place so lets enjoy the journey.
All that increased happiness is going to flood your system with oxytocin which in fact will help you with your weight management progress.
All very good things result from switching it up every now and then.
Your body and mind will thank you for the stimulus.
About the Author
Pierre Gagnon practised concentration and insight meditation intensively from 2010 to 2012, then went on to study meditation at Wat Suan Mokkh with the venerable Ajahn Po from 2013 to 2015. As well as his own practice, he has coordinated meditation retreats in the south of Thailand which were attended by more than 1,000 people.
Having a great passion in the field of neuroscience, he likes to integrate these concepts into meditation practice. He believes that much of our life is lived resisting and defending against internal and external experiences that people perceive as threats. Through the development of concentration and meditation, we can insightfully see that all experiences are harmless and there is no need to defend of contract around them. Pierre has experience coordinating concentration and insight meditation retreats, teaching the relationship that exists between Buddhism and neuroscience.
About the Author
Bochakorn began her education in conventional medicine as a nurse, then shifted to embrace natural healing and integrative medicines. Her training and certifications abroad include: Nutrition and Western Herbal Medicines, Acupuncture and Moxibustion.
During her therapeutic sessions, she may also incorporate other aspects of integrative medicines when required, including: acupuncture, cupping therapy, moxibustion, nutritional, supplements and herbal recommendation.