Connect with us

Fitness

7 Ways To Stop Making Excuses For Not Exercising

Published

on

We’ve all been there. Despite having every intention of going to the gym in the morning, we somehow never followed through on this virtuous goal. We woke up to the tyranny of our alarm before the sun had even risen and thought to ourselves, “Do I really need to go to the gym today?” As if the answer were ever really in doubt. Decision made, we turned off the alarm, rolled over, and snuggled deeply under the covers.

advertisement - learn more

Or maybe it was after work. All we want is to go home, put on some sweats, and veg out with Netflix. Going to the gym when we’re hungry, tired, and utterly depleted from a long day at the office requires real dedication, and sometimes the vague promise of improved health just isn’t enough to motivate us.

I get it.

But the fact of the matter is, we make time for the things we really want to do. I’ve never heard someone make an excuse for why they can’t play their favourite video game or catch up on the latest episode of Game of Thrones. While there are times when we are legitimately busy or truly do need (and deserve) to give ourselves a rest, for the most part, we make excuses to convince ourselves not to do something we already didn’t want to do.

Fitness can come in all shapes and forms, and I’m not saying that going to the gym is the only way to be active, or that being fit should be your only goal in life. But I think we can all agree that movement, of any kind, is essential to our health, and we often find ways to avoid engaging in it. So your ‘gym’ might be hiking, or playing a sport, or even just strolling around the neighbourhood — any and all of these things are going to benefit your physical and mental well-being.

It’s time we stop procrastinating and start responsibility for our health. Here are some of the most common excuses for skipping a workout, and why they don’t hold up:

advertisement - learn more

1. “I don’t have time today.”

We always have time for the things we value. If you think you don’t have time to exercise, chances are it simply isn’t high enough on your priority list. If that’s the case, you need to stop lying to yourself and admit that exercising isn’t all that important to you. And that’s okay. Once you’ve finished isolating the problem, you can work to fix it. You can begin to determine how to make movement valuable.

Maybe you’ve picked the wrong type of exercise — no amount of motivation in the world, particularly motivation driven by self-hatred, is going to get you to consistently show up to something you don’t enjoy. Exercise is not a punishment for eating things you like or for not having thin enough limbs. Exercise is a way to respect your body, to be healthy and vibrant and happy. It is self love, but only if you want to be doing it.

So, figure out what exercise you like. Maybe the gym thing isn’t for you. So what? Take up a sport, try yoga, drop in on a fitness class — there is going to be something that gets you excited. For many people, the social aspect of fitness is what keeps them coming back, and what drives them to work harder. We all feel more motivated when there are other people around, so why not take advantage of that?

For me it was rock climbing.

I’ve been a dedicated gym goer for many years, and I still consider weight training an essential part of my fitness regime, but I began rock climbing two years ago and still can’t believe how different it feels. At the gym I clock in and I clock out, but hours, even days, of climbing can pass by without my noticing. Surrounded by friends and challenging my brain and body in new ways, I get to watch myself improve with every climb, consistently beating my own personal bests while moving in a completely functional and natural way. Quite honestly, it’s my happy place, and I wish for everyone to find theirs, because when you do find your thing, you’ll know it. And it will change your life.

There are also shortcuts you can take and ways to plan ahead so that even the most time-starved can still fit in some exercise. Pack your gym bag the night before, plan your workout before you go, bring a snack so your energy doesn’t flag, and have food prepped at home so you don’t have to choose between eating now and eating well. And when you’re at the gym, throw in some Tabata to cut down your cardio session and do a circuit workout or a HIIT routine to maximize your training — this is my current favourite for a rushed morning. These types of workouts force you to work harder, not longer, allowing you to make the most of your limited time. Even 20 minutes a day, if it’s a quality 20 minutes, is going to do you a world of good.

2. “I don’t have a break from the kids.”

Last I heard, children have a lot of energy. Why not include them? Find a fun workout DVD and exercise with them at home, go outside and play some games, or take them on a hike. If you have an infant, try learning how to strollercize. Your baby needs time outdoors, too, so do yourselves both a favour and get outside!

3. “I’m so sore from yesterday.”

This is the one I struggle with the most, and sometimes we really do need to give our muscles a break. But most of the time what we need is to adjust our plan. If your legs are sore one day, work your upper body. Upper body sore? Do legs! If you’ve overworked both areas, that still leaves your core. Our core muscles repair far more quickly than those in our arms or legs, so unless you really went to town the day before, your abs are probably going to be fine the next day. The exception to this is if you’re just starting out, in which case you may need more time between your workouts to repair your new and lovely muscles.

The other option is to do a low impact workout like yoga, or even Pilates — although I can say from experience that an intense leg day followed by Pilates is still exhausting!

4. “I had a bit too much fun yesterday…”

Believe it or not, exercise is the best way to alleviate a hangover — not greasy food and yet more alcohol. Get yourself moving, sweat out some of those toxins, and I guarantee you’ll feel better. Depending on just how bad a state you’re in, you may want to skip some of the more intense workouts, like a HIIT routine, and you’ll need to drink plenty of water, but otherwise you should go for it. You’ll thank yourself after, I promise.

5. “I’m too embarrassed to work out in front of other people.”

The first solution to this problem is to work out at home until you feel more comfortable. You can even hire a personal trainer for a couple of sessions to show you the basics so you feel like you know your way around a gym, and most gyms offer free orientations.

The second is to wear looser clothing if you’re feeling self conscious about your body. If I’m having a “tummy day” — maybe my period is on its way or maybe I just ate too much (because I’m human) — I wear a looser shirt so I can just focus on my workout without worrying about my perceived flaws. It’s a simple solution to a temporary problem. If all it takes is a different shirt or pair of pants to make you feel comfortable and confident, wear the shirt and don’t berate yourself for needing that security blanket from time to time. Doing that inner work is important — getting to a place where you feel comfortable in your skin no matter what — but you shouldn’t also doubly punish yourself by avoiding exercise until you get there.

In general, however, I encourage you to push outside your comfort zone and trust in two truths about your fellow man. The first: Everyone is just as preoccupied with themselves as you are. In other words, nobody is paying attention to you. And the second: Complete strangers are not standing around hoping you’ll fail. And if they are? They aren’t very nice people, and you shouldn’t care what they think. Why wouldn’t you want people to succeed? If someone is laughing at you for not knowing how to do something, or for the shape of your body, they have obviously not addressed their own insecurities, and this failure is manifesting as bullying. If you should feel anything about this behaviour, it should be pity, for that person has not reached a level of self awareness where they can see how their insecurities are playing out.

6. “I don’t have a gym membership and the weather is terrible today!”

Between Instagram and YouTube alone, you have access to thousands of at-home and no-equipment workout videos. You’re not the only person trying to stay afloat in a busy, hectic world, and fortunately for us, other people have taken the time to share how they manage to stay healthy even on a tight budget and with small children around. All it takes is a little improvisation – use a chair instead of a bench, a pair of rolled up towels in place of gliding plates, and your own body weight as dumbbells. The options are endless, and there are videos to suit any budget and time constraints.

You can also pick up a TRX (or the knockoff version I own, which works almost as well) and turn every space you enter into your own personal gym — including the outdoors (when it’s not raining). At home all you need is a door to anchor it in place, while outside, a sturdy tree branch will do the job. You can work out every single muscle of your body with a TRX, and work it hard. And many people find it more enjoyable than traditional weight training because each exercise requires you to engage your whole body.

7. “I have so much work I should be doing.”

You sound pretty stressed out. You know what would make you feel better? A workout! Exercise releases endorphins, making us feel happy and energized. Movement enhances focus, boosts creativity, and improves mood. The best way to pull yourself out of a funk or even cure your writer’s block is to move your body. The science on this is firm and abundant, so I won’t bore you listing studies you can find on your own with minimal effort.

Taking precious minutes away from work to go exercise might seem counterintuitive — you are, after all, spending less time on whatever has you stressed out — and even selfish, but you will return with better ideas and an easier time concentrating, which means you’ll ultimately end up requiring less time to finish your task. Or you can schedule your workout for first thing in the morning (a habit I’ll promote to anyone who will listen, to the day I die); you’ll be amazed at how invigorated and even empowered you’ll feel for the rest of the day.

How do you motivate yourself to keep up with your fitness goals? And what setbacks have you faced? Share in the comments section below!

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Advertisement
advertisement - learn more

Fitness

Why I Stopped Lifting Weights At The Gym & Do This Instead

Published

on

Health and fitness are important parts of life, and are part of a mindset that I make sure is part of my day every day – even if that means just having an active rest day. I believe the body requires exercise every day. For a while I used to lift weights at a gym, but then that changed for me and I want to share some info about why I chose to leave that behind.

It’s not that there is anything wrong with lifting weights at the gym or at home, as there are multiple ways to “get results” in the fitness world. But I believe it comes down to enjoying something and asking what you want from your exercise. For me, right now, I use a combination of training styles, with calisthenics as the focus. With calisthenics (body-weight training) you can get all the same results as weight-lifting, become very strong, and build a truly firm foundation, while lowering your risk of injury significantly compared to weight-lifting.

Calisthenics (Body-Weight Training)

I, along with many others, strongly believe that calisthenics is the future of fitness. It’s already taken off in some countries and is now showing its spark here in Western culture -and for good reason. Many people I talk to lately seems to be looking for something different, as if they are bored of the same old gym/weight routine just as I was. It also seems people want to have more fun when they work out.

Calisthenics is about functional strength, natural looking bodies, free workouts, creativity, self-mastery, and healthy routines. It is also something many people can do. I believe that in general we are moving in this direction because times change, our minds change, and things seem to be shifting towards a more natural way of being, which means getting out of repetitive cycles.

Why I Left The Gym

I worked out at the gym for years and was lifting heavy. Did it work? Absolutely, I got plenty of muscle and gained strength. Exercising was part of my routine in high school, as I was inspired by a kinesiology course I took where I learned all about the body, muscles, nutrition, and how to work out to get results.

But I noticed that I started to get tight, I wasn’t flexible, and it was easy, even with proper form, to irritate joints when lifting heavier weights. I didn’t feel my whole body was getting strong either, just in certain parts doing specific things. Plus, I didn’t like the gym and lifting weights – the vibe, the repetition, the lack of creativity, the people so focused on hyping themselves up, looking at themselves in the mirror all day – it simply wasn’t for me. My goals were never about impressing people with my body. I wanted to be healthy, have functional strength, enjoy movement, have healthy joints, build strong neurological connections to my body, and exercise in an environment I liked.

advertisement - learn more

Functional strength is strength that you utilize in everyday tasks. It also goes along with a lot of natural body movements. What I noticed in my experience from weight lifting was that I could get stronger at certain exercises yet I didn’t notice much functional strength increases versus training calisthenics. This was further illustrated to me when I would train my back and shoulders like crazy with weights, yet could only do a small amount of pull-ups. Weight-lifting exercises can often train very localized muscles, whereas with calisthenics it’s naturally more of a full-body workout. Again this comes down to what you are looking for. This was probably one of the most noticeable differences for me, I was gaining strength throughout my whole body in areas that I felt didn’t get touched when I was weight-lifting. Plus, doing calisthenics and avoiding heavy weights healed injuries that I had struggled with for years.

Coming from a point of having my back and core heavily injured, this was a huge transformation for me. The photo below is of me after only 3 months of calisthenics training. My form for this “human flag” is not perfect yet in this picture, but it’s not far off. Three months later (today), I can now hold that same move with straight arms and flatter legs.

flag

Get inspiring tips and information about how I achieved this exercise and to get out of the gym and into nature! There will be a free 7 Day Challenge soon as well! CLICK HERE

Choosing A Workout That’s Right For You

First off, don’t let anyone tell you what routine you should be doing or what workout methods are best. You have to do what’s right for you, and being aware of your options will empower you. If you don’t enjoy your workouts, then you will have a hard time with motivation and in general you will be forcing yourself to do something you don’t like. Find what works for you, calisthenics is only one option out of many.

For me, getting out of the gym and into outdoor calisthenic workouts made me LOVE my workouts. Compared to when I used to lift weights, I’ve never felt this good. I’m stronger and more flexible than I have ever been. My mind and body connection is through the roof and even though my goals are health related, the appearance of my body is the same as when I used to lift heavy, except now my muscles are longer and my body isn’t puffy and bloated (could be diet too.) I also don’t need to go through bulk up phases and then slim down phases because my nutrition choice is a sustainable lifestyle versus being strictly fast-goal oriented.

Currently I do a mix of calisthenics and yoga. I add in sports and active rest time on days where I don’t work out. Don’t be afraid to use multiple workout methods and switch things up. It seems we often get afraid that as soon as we stop working out we’ll deflate. If that’s happening to you, you’re probably not building sustainable muscle.

Focusing totally on body image is a mindset I truly believe Western culture struggles with greatly; we are obsessed with physical results and short-term results. We’ll do anything to be a “hunk,” even if it’s not healthy for us. When you take the ego away and go for what’s a true healthy choice for you –  for mind, spirit, and body – your choices and goals become very different, and your results do too.

Check Your Mindset & Goals

So is calisthenics for you? You answer that question yourself. What appeals to you? What do you want your lifestyle to look like? What do you like doing when you work out? You have to enjoy it! There’s no wrong answer.

If you want to be a body builder, and have that huge body, maybe compete in competitions, or be a power lifter (a couple reps of a ton of weight), then you will need to lift weights simply because you have to stress your body to incredible levels to get those results. You also have to eat in a specific manner to get those results and to be honest, much of the diet advice you get from these types of athletes is not all that healthy for you long-term. But of course you can make healthier diet choices.

If you are looking for a lot of functional strength, solid bone, and ligament health, good cardiovascular fitness, or a toned, muscular looking body, calisthenics will give you all of that as well.

One myth you hear a lot is that you can’t build muscle mass or get good results with calisthenics, but this isn’t true at all. You will gain a lot of strength and size, and be in great shape just as anyone working out at a gym does. There are easy exercises and tough exercises, and many of weight lifters have trouble performing some of them. Your body is your weight, so it’s not like you are not lifting weight, there’s just no added weight. You’d be surprised how hard many of these exercises are and how well they work any other body part, without an increased risk of hurting yourself.

calisthenics

Raw unedited images of Frank Medrano, Adam Raw & Hit Richards. Built through calisthenics only.

This guy pretty much sums it up well and he’s been through a ton of different techniques.  He explains why, in his opinion, he feels bodyweight/calisthenics is best. He does still lift weight as he believes in multiple types of training, but he covers some great points.

Bottom Line

I’m simply trying to lead us to realize that it’s about kicking the ego out of your health and make it about a lifestyle choices and health. You can play in whatever realm you like, there’s no need to judge either, but keep yourself honest and in check with what you are doing and why. You have options. Choose what’s fun and engaging for you!

Get inspiring tips and information about how I achieved this exercise and to get out of the gym and into nature! There will be a free 7 Day Challenge soon as well! CLICK HERE

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading

Fitness

9 Unconventional Health Hacks Used By Extreme Sports Athletes

Published

on

Extreme sports athletes have wowed the world by pushing the limits of the human body. These athletes have to deal with much higher injury rates and the mental strain of extremely dangerous stunts.

The top athletes in Skateboarding, Motocross, Snowboarding, and other extreme sports are now finally being paid as much as pro golfers, Olympians, and other more mainstream athletes.

With these high salaries, many athletes are seeing a promising future in what could only be a hobby in years past.

Serious training is now put into place for extreme athletes who have the dream of going pro in their sport. Here are 10 training lessons we can all learn from extreme sports athletes.

1. Training your mind to stay cool under pressure

During extreme sports competitions, athletes will have to deal with the danger of their stunts as well as the added pressure from competing.

It is important to train your mind to stay cool under this pressure if you are working toward a career as an extreme athlete. Try looking online for brain exercises that will help you relax under pressure.

advertisement - learn more

Learning to meditate can also be a great way to learn to stay cool under any amount of pressure, and has helped all sorts of athletes from golfers to NBA players.

2. Prepare yourself for injuries

As an extreme athlete, you are bound to experience more frequent injuries that will keep you out of your sport for a long period.

Recovering from injuries is almost as much of a part of becoming a world class extreme athlete as mastering your sport.

In most major cities, there are physical therapists who have had experience working with extreme athletes.

These professionals will be able to help you learn the best ways to recover from your injuries quickly and effectively.

3. Create an intense and effective training schedule

Professional athletes don’t get to the top of their sport by accident. It takes a schedule and power of mind that many individuals simply don’t possess or know how to develop.

Waking up early is a key for athletes that want to go pro in their extreme sport. Long gone are the days of the lazy idea of skateboarders who just party and skate when they feel like it.

With the money there for the taking, extreme athletes like Nyjah Huston now have schedules and regimens that will keep them at the top of their sport.

Huston is very strict about his diet. He and other extreme athletes are now taking their training much more seriously. This helps them avoid injuries, perform at a higher level during competitions, and land tricks more often than if they were unorganized in their lives.

4. Always train with athletes who will push your limits

If you are always training with skaters, bikers, and skiers who aren’t as good as you at your sport, it is going to be difficult to get better.

You need to challenge yourself by finding athletes that are better than you at your sport. This may be hard to do if you are the best in your local area.

However, it is worth travelling to a different area where there are better extreme athletes than yourself. If you are going to be competing against the best in the world, you need to be training with the best in the world.

5. Get into the right frame of mind

Just like golf, extreme sports are a very mental thing to do. Going into a competition when you aren’t feeling mentally fit can be disastrous.

Confidence is key when trying dangerous stunts. You can’t be afraid when flying down a mountain or launching off huge ramps.

Take some time to clear your mind and get into a mindset that will help you ace all of your runs.

6. Hop in a chilling ice bath

Travis Pastrana is well known for attributing his low recovery times to regularly soaking in an ice bath. This cold therapy helps to soothe sore muscles and improve recovery times.

Head to the grocery store and buy a big bag of ice. Once you get home, throw the bag of ice in your bathtub and fill it up with cold water.

This will give you a chilling yet invigorating soak that will help you recover quickly from sore muscles or injuries.

7. Use a GoPro Camera

GoPro cameras are one of the best advancements in extreme sports training technology that athletes have regular access to.

With the inexpensive price of these cameras, it is easy to pick one up and start analyzing your runs, tricks, and other performance.

Filming yourself can be a great way to identify bad habits and fix them before they set you back years in your progress.

8. Engage in activities that strengthen your mind and will

Hiking mountains, writing a short story, and remodelling a home are all examples of activities that will strengthen your mind and will.

Learning how to push through hardships to accomplish a goal will help you to be an amazing athlete. Also, activities like chess, crossword, and sudoku are amazing ways to keep your mind strong.

9. Learn everything you can about your equipment

When you are constantly slamming your equipment trying big tricks, you need to learn how to repair it yourself.

Also, learning about the different accessories you can use on your equipment will help you have an edge over the competition.

For example, having the best wheels on your longboard will help you grip the road during your downhill races.

There are many resources online that will help you learn everything you need to know about all of your extreme sports equipment.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading

Fitness

Yoga and Cannabis: A Controversial New Trend That’s Gaining Popularity

Published

on

“Yoga and herb intake have been linked since ancient times. The yoga sutras, written in Sanskrit before the time of Christ, are considered the practice’s foundational text. The sutras list herbs as one of five methods to lift the veil of ignorance, or the barrier between the conscious and the unconscious.” [1]

While many people feel that cannabis and exercise go anything but hand-in-hand, there is an emerging group of individuals coming forward claiming that, for them, the two actually pair quite well. In fact, they go as far as to claim that practicing yoga and receiving the therapeutic benefits they so desperately need would be all but impossible without the relaxation and pain relieving qualities cannabis has to offer.

Accounting for a large majority of said individuals are those with painful physical conditions who desperately
need the therapeutic benefits of yoga but who are unable to receive them without cannabis, due to its immense pain relieving and overall relaxing qualities. Others who are adamant about the fact that cannabis use enhances their yoga experience are those who are so tense, stressed, or anxious that they are unable to practice yoga in a manner that provides all, if virtually any, of the full range of benefits the practice has to offer due to their inability to fully surrender and melt into the process.

Such individuals feel the relaxing properties of cannabis help them clear their heads, relieve physical and mental tension, eliminate racing thoughts, and center them in a way that enables their minds, bodies, and spirits to benefit far more from the practice than they otherwise would. Since cannabis calms overactive brain activity and greatly reduces tension, it is not the least bit surprising that people are finding it to be the centering remedy needed to allow them to surrender to the practice; essentially opening the gateway to the renewal and rejuvenation yoga brings, which so many are starving for in the fast paced, high-stressed society we currently live in.

Arguments Against the Use of Cannabis During Yoga Practice

Of course, not everyone is on board with the growing trend of combining cannabis and yoga, most notably those who consider themselves to be disciplined yogis who view yoga itself as a strict, structured discipline to achieve mastery over the body and mind. To those who oppose the use of cannabis during yoga practice for this reason, “marijuana use in this context may suggest that a person is dependent on the drug for that mastery.” Furthermore, they feel that “attending a class in this drug-induced state may not allow for a clear, tranquil mind.” [2]

Arguments for the Use of Cannabis During Yoga Practice

The subtler attainments come with birth or are attained through herbs, mantra, austerities or concentration. Cannabis use allows for a quieting of the outside world, and the ability to focus more totally on the interior process of meditation.

advertisement - learn more

– Yogasutras 4.1 [3]

Although many people do not typically associate cannabis with exercise or any other productive activity, largely due to the “stoner” stereotype that casts people who use cannabis as unmotivated and lazy, the truth is that more stimulating strains of cannabis like sativa or sativa dominant ones can prove to be uplifting and motivating. Such strains may work to encourage productivity by providing users with smooth energy while simultaneously calming tension in the body and/or mind. These effects are especially beneficial for those with physical or mental conditions, such as chronic pain or severe anxiety, who would otherwise be rendered unable to participate in much needed therapeutic activities like yoga.

Final Conclusions on Cannabis and Yoga

In conclusion, while both sides hold validity in their own right, nothing in this world is black and white and there is rarely only one side to any given issue. So, what it comes down to, at least for those who are pro cannabis and yoga, is this: While it’s nice that many are able to engage in an activity like yoga, whose benefits are so broad in range and nature — positively affecting the mind, body, and soul to an immense degree — not everyone can be so lucky. For those who are not so lucky as a result of a debilitating physical or mental condition, they are at least lucky enough to have found something that enables them to practice yoga and improve their lives, which in this case happens to be in the form of cannabis.

Related CE Article: The Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Consider Not Smoking Weed On A Regular Basis

CE has also written many articles on the medicinal benefits on this plant in treating various diseases, from cancer to epilepsy. Please sift through the website and use the search bar if you’re looking for me!

REFERENCES:

  1. Winer, L. “A Yoga High With a Little Help.”. THE NEW YORK TIMES. Published December 5, 2012. Accessed March 2,2016 fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/fashion/marijuana-and-yoga-pairing-up-in-classes.html?_r=0.
  2. “Cannabis and Yoga: What You Need to Know.” HERB. Published May 2, 2015. Accessed March 2, 2016 from http://herb.co/2015/05/02/cannabis-and-yoga-what-you-need-to-know/
  3. HSU, J. “Getting High During Yoga is an Ancient Practice.” THIRDMONK. Accessed March 3 2016 from http://thirdmonk.net/knowledge/high-yoga-ancient-practice.html.

 

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading
advertisement - learn more
advertisement - learn more

Video

EL