3 Old-School Strategies to Enjoy The Holidays and Stay Lean Into The New Year

Three Unconventional Strategies To Enjoy the Holidays Without Packing On The Pounds – Even if You Occasionally “Stuff Your Face”

chocolate covered strawberries

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/3345154686

Every once in awhile, usually around the holidays while I’m eating something delicious at a social event, I receive a comment like this one:

It must be nice being able to eat all of that and not get fat.

So they say with a playfully-despising look. Or, maybe it’s a well-intentioned, “are you really going to eat ALL of that?”

Why, yes. Yes, I am. Oh, and would you be a dear and pass the butter, please? Thanks.

Seriously, that kind of conversation has happened more than a few times over the years. And get this. Despite my seemingly “binge-like behavior” as it may be described by the casual observer, I’m still healthy, fit, and lean. And that doesn’t change over the holidays. So, yes. It is possible to “stuff your face” and still not get fat. And in this short article, I will show you how to do it.

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15 Reasons Why Exercise Is NOT Boring

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mediaflex/5308369301

I’ve heard it a million different times in a million different ways.

Exercise is boring.

Well, you know what? Being weak, deconditioned, injured, and unhealthy SUCKS! So, what’s it gonna be?

Oh, was that my “out loud voice?”

Sorry about that.

But seriously, there are three main issues with this…

1) Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. And physical activity doesn’t even need to be “exercise.” I’ll tell ya – you can get a lot of exercise during a pick-up game of basketball or an hour playing ultimate frisbee. Plus, there are ways to make more traditional exercise fun and interesting, too.

2) Just because it’s boring doesn’t mean it’s not good for you. Doing my taxes is boring. Flossing my teeth is boring. Sitting in traffic is boring. But I still do those things when I have to because I have to. And sometimes, boring things are not only necessary, they’re worth it.

3) If you’re not willing to trade a little bit of so-called boredom for a huge amount of benefits, then you’re probably missing the whole point.

Having said that, here are 15 reasons why exercise is definitely not boring. It’s time to put the nail in that coffin once and for all.
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5 Subtle Ways to Make Pull-ups and Chin-ups A Little Easier

Pull-ups Are Tough, But They Don’t Have To Be! Here Are Five Strategies To Make Pull-ups, Chin-ups And Their Many Variations A Little Bit Easier

pull-ups

Let’s face it. Pull-ups and chin-ups are tough. I don’t care who you are. They’re just a really challenging exercise – period.

And get this. Even though I’ve been doing pull-ups since I was eleven years old, they’ve never gotten any easier. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things we can do to make them a little easier. And the way I see it, the more you and I can do to put the odds in our favor, the better! So, in this short article, I’m going to give you five subtle ways to make pull-ups and chin-ups a little easier.

But before we get to the five tips, here’s a little hint…

Before you try anything else, simply try using a different grip. Some people are surprised to find out that although they can’t do any pull-ups, they can do a couple of chin-ups simply because a simple grip adjustment changes the musculature involved in the exercise. Also, many people find that using a neutral grip (ie hands on parallel bars, palms facing each other) tends to be a little easier than regular pull-ups, too. So, experiment with these three grips – my top 3 pull-up grips – and use the one which feels the best for you.

Hopefully, a simple grip adjustment will improve your performance right from the start. But regardless, you can also use these five strategies, too.
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“I’ll start my new diet/workout next week.”

Suuuuure you will…

When you rationalize to yourself, “I’ll start tomorrow…next week…when I get back from my trip…after that thing ends…when I’m not so stressed out…etc.” I’m pretty sure you’re really just saying “I’m not ready to commit to this yet, but hopefully, I’ll be ready then – even though I probably won’t be.”

True story. And you know how I know that? Because I’ve done it, too! We all do.

But maybe you really are planning to start tomorrow, next week, next month, etc. And if that’s truly the case, and you’re not just procrastinating, then I must ask, what are you doing today - right now, even – to prepare for it? How have you set yourself up for success? Have you even thought about it? Have you set a goal, made a plan, or told someone else about your commitment? Or, have you just put it off and decided you’ll handle it later.

Because if that’s the case, then that’s the problem! And it’s likely the same problem that got you into this predicament.

So, if I may ask, why wait?

I mean, life doesn’t wait for you to be ready. And the people who succeed at virtually any pursuit don’t wait for conditions to be perfect before they get started either. They take action and do what it takes to move the dial towards their goal each day.

And if I may be so bold to ask, why would you hold out on yourself?

Well, it can be for all sorts of reasons, which I won’t get into here for brevity sake. And besides, you probably already know why you’ve been procrastinating on that thing you’ve needed to do for awhile now.

So, let’s cut right to the chase with a solution.

The Solution for Fitness Procrastinators

If you’re struggling to start something important, then here’s the strategy I’ve found that works better than anything else…

Make the process of starting as easy as you possibly can. And I mean easy. Like brain-dead easy. So easy that you’ll practically laugh at yourself about how easy it is.

Want to become a daily walker or runner? Start by walking for one minute – just one minute – the first day. Like I did here.

Want to start eating healthier? Replace one calorie-containing beverage with a glass of water once daily for a week.

Want to start lifting weights? Do one set of pushups when you get up each morning. Or, try this easy workout.

Want to quit drinking? Just tell someone, for starters.

Want to start something that intimidates you like yoga? Start by spending one minute focusing on your breathing like this.

The point is that whatever it is that you decide to do, make sure that you’re 100% sure you can comply with it.

And here’s the cool part. For a lot of people, getting started is the hard part. But once you finally do get started, all you have to do is keep going. It’s called momentum, and it gets easier with practice. Those little victories will eventually add up to bigger victories and you’ll amaze yourself at the results you will experience with simple baby steps.

Summary of Take-Home Point

So, to summarize, all you have to do is start with one small step – one tiny immutable goal that you will not compromise on. Start here and now. And make it easy. So easy that you know with 100% certainty not only that you can do it, but that you will do it.

That’s how you get started today. And that’s a much better start than waiting until tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or never. Because the truth is that you’ll never be more ready than you are right now – in this moment. So, go ahead. Take that leap of faith. You can do this.

And you know what? Before you know it, it’s going to be next week, next month, or next year, and you’ll find yourself wondering “how did I get so far and so easily? That wasn’t hard at all.”

It’s called “baby steps,” people.

So, take the leap, and make it happen. Because you’re worth it, and we’re counting on you.

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How Long Should I Hold The Plank Exercise For?

What Scientists, Researchers, And Fitness Coaches Think About How Long To Hold A Plank: Including Official And Unofficial Standards, Average Plank Exercise Test Results, And The Latest World Records (Plus, Two Free Programs to Help You Increase Your Plank Time)

how long to hold a plank (plank time) - female

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lalonsorm/9927172703

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about how long to hold the plank exercise. And I always say the same thing, “it depends.” You know, on your goals, conditioning level, which plank you’re doing, etc. It just depends. That said, there are some general standards you can use to gauge your performance.
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