Simplify your L.I.F.E

It would be an understatement to say that we are all not busy.  From the busy mom who takes her kids to school and picks them up every afternoon.  Helping the kids with their homework while still making time to do her studies.  The Father who wakes up at 4am to prep all his stuff for his weekly business trip.  The grandparents who work after retiring from a long and meaningful career, decides to take on a small business that works them 7 days a week.

Its easy for all of us to get side tracked because we are trying to define meaning to our surroundings.  These are a few things you can do for yourself to help simplify life so it doesn’t cause you to break down.

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  • Exercising – It’s been said that exercising with decreased weight, not only reduces stress and improve better overall health, but it can help you clear your mind, sharpen your brain and decrease health problems in later years.
  • Clean the Clutter – The last thing we want to do when we are dead beat tired is to trip on something in our house and get injured.  Take a few afternoons to clean up your house (in sections if needed) to ensure that you minimize any potential hazard zones.
  • Grow a simple garden – Start small, like lettuce or tomatoes.  This will not only divert your energy to something positive but also the sense of accomplishment you get without the worries of being over burden with growing a full garden at the early stages.
  • Get Help – If you’re the type of person who runs the world around you at the speed of 200 mph, then its time to get an assistant.  Getting help is a great way to ensure that you don’t shoulder all the work on your own.  Or at least have someone spot check and pick up things you may have dropped or forgotten along the way.
  • Make use of technology – I’ve said this over and over. Technology allows our lives to be a bit simpler by tracking, alerting, notifying us on different stages of our day to day lives.  Take a small amount of time to have someone teach you so you can be more efficient with your day.
    • Focus on the positives aspects of your life – Stay away from negative people and environments. They will only further put you down and prolong your happiness. The positive people can benefit your outlook and health, and keep life in the right mindset.

Source: http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/life-made-simple/15-ways-to-simplify-your-life

We Live because We Choose To Live

I would be lying if I told myself that I have not been affected emotionally about the recent natural and man-made disasters in the past few weeks.  What we are used to seeing in television happens right in our backyard, streets, and neighborhood every day. And while I am not the type to always give my 2 cents, I felt that in my re-introduction blog this week, I will do that.

I’ve had the pleasure of reading a few books from a great author by the name of “Paulo Coelho”.  Regardless of which faith we all believe in, life’s learning lessons apply to all of us. Below is a list of phrases I took away from this man:

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  • Listen to your heart – Follow your dreams… don’t get old and wonder about the “What ifs”
  • Taking the good with the bad – We experience both because strive to move forward and keep living
  • There are many sides of yourself to love – If one aspect of life is painful or feeling empty, remember that there are many sides of your personality to look at.  Look at the things that make you happy and build on it
  • We all have 2 voices that whispers to us (good & evil) – it is up to us to decide which one we will listen to and which one we will ignore
  • All of us are a part of something bigger, something great – it may take years for us to find it, but if you pay attention to the signs happening all around you, open your mind and your heart
  • It’s ok to be a little crazy as long as you don’t hurt anyone else – Don’t hold yourself back just because society states it’s the norm.  People will think the things you say or do is just related to you being a little crazy.  But what they don’t realize is that you are doing what you want to do, where and when you want to do it.  Living life a little bit more than everyone else since you’re removing your restrictions

Assuming that bad things will never happen is unrealistic, however each and every one of us should never stop moving, never stop learning, never stop dreaming, never stop loving yourself and others, and lastly just living life.  There are those who strive their whole lives to take something that is not theirs.  But what they will never take away the one thing that makes us all special, our ability to take the damage and keep rising to the stars.

What Motivates You?

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Have you ever taken the time to ask yourself this question? A few days ago I was asked this question in a group discussion regarding “Work & Life Balance”.  The instructor asked us to scale on a paper what were the factors that took up most of our time.  The typical answers were work at 40%, personal time 15%, family time 15% and misc being 30%.  When asked how we would like to spend our time most were in agreement that they wanted a larger percentage for family (40%-50%) 30% for work and 20% for personal time.

During this time, I thought about all the things I am currently engaged in on a daily, weekly, monthly basis:

  • Work
  • School
  • Exercise
  • Clean House
  • Blog
  • Rec. Time i.e. sports, reading, pc gaming, playing with the kids etc.

Then I thought about all the things I would like to do or add to my list:

  • Play and instrument (Guitar/Piano)
  • Learn another language
  • Read more books
  • Go on vacation

So what can we do to help keep us motivated enough to do what we like to do vs. what we have to do?

Get Support – My prior articles related to the average guy states that the best way to get into something is to join a group doing the same thing you are doing.  A few examples of this is workout classes, or hobby groups like a reading group or social gathering.  Look towards those friends and family who are there to listen and help.

Don’t talk negative about yourself – instead use productive self talk to overcome the challenges.  For example instead of saying “my life is crazy. It’s out of control.”  Say “Things are really hectic right now.  But I know I can cope.  I’ve done it before.”

Reduce Unproductive Guilt – To help with this, surround yourself with encouraging friends and family members.

If it helps try to think about all the things your grateful for.  For me it’s:

Finally, think about your support wheel.  These are individuals that you are comfortable to sharing your feelings and concerns.  Think about what makes them good for support.  Do they provide service that you can’t do on your own? Are they good listeners because they understand your concerns? Are they good at making you laugh? Write down or keep these individuals in mind as well as how they make you feel.  So the next time you need motivation and support you already know who to call.

Dance your way to Fitness!

We’ve all heard the expression “Time flies when you’re having fun.” This method applies to almost anything you do.  Work, education, recreational time and yes even staying fit.  By taking a break from the weights to breaking it down with the beat, you shed an easy 200-700 calories per hour.  Do this with friends and you have yourself a party.

Zumba, Salsa, Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, and Belly Dancing are just a few different types of dance you can experiment with to boost your metabolism while changing up your regular routine.  Don’t knock it until you try it!

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  • Visit an Expert!  – Not everyone has the ability to just pick up and go.  Going to a class will allow you to take pressure off yourself since everyone is trying to learn it and make mistakes together.
  • View it and Do it! – Another option to consider if you are not ready yet to start attending class, is to purchase the DVD and do it at home.  You get the comfort of being in a comfortable setting while not having to drive home after pouring sweat after a session.
  • Game On! – If you have the Wii or Xbox Kinect, then why not buy the Dance4 game, Dance Dance Revolution, Zumba etc.  This allows you to bring more people in the mix and compete against each other for points, and bragging rights.

Dancing allows you to shock your body in a way that weight training and even cross fit/cardio training won’t do.  It allows you to do it in a setting that is relaxed and fun without the concerns of meeting a certain amount of repetition or goal.

It’s a great way to change your routine in an environment that is meant to be fun and full of energy.  It’s even a great place to meet new friends.

Source:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-80333/Get-dancing–latest-way-fit.html

Slim down tips to for your summer body

With sunny season approaching, we all know it’s time to start dropping our winter weight and prepare for our beach bodies.  Below are some helpful tips to add to your already rocking routine to get you to your bikini outfit or surfer wear.

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Eating more Fiber in your meals – Experts believe that women eating 13g of fiber or less a day were more likely to be overweight.  Eating more fiber can lower your caloric intake without making you feel deprived since it requires you to chew your food more which speeds the passage of food through you digestive tract and boost satiety hormones.  The suggested amount for any person would be 25g in forms of fruit such as apples and oranges.

Add 5000 more steps to your day – Researches say that an average person takes about 5000 steps between going to work, errands and chores at home.  By adding more steps, you increase your health by increasing your HDL cholesterol, lowering your blood pressure, and improving your glucose control.  A study in South Carolina Univ. shows that of the 109 individuals, those who took more than 9000 steps were healthier and thinner than those who took less than 5000.  Using a pedometer to log your extra steps or just aiming for about 50 minutes (2 ½ miles extra per day) will help in slim your down.

Drinking more H2O – If you are not already doing it, drinking up to 8 glasses of water will help speed your metabolism.  The best benefit of drinking water is that you do not gain extra calories.  By drinking a glass before any meals or snacks is a great way to lose a few pounds without feeling dehydrated.

Work only 8hrs a day – Researchers from the University of Helsinky did a study on 7000 adults.  They found that those who packed on extra weight was due to having logged an excessive amount of overtime hours.  Stress along with an unhealthy lifestyle had a direct effect in changes to their hormones.  By setting limits to your workday, you give yourself time to do other more productive things such as taking a walk in the park, cooking a healthier meal and reducing your stress levels.

Eat more fresh produce – Try to trim excessive sugar and refined carbs that will cause your blood sugar to sky rocket.  Eating things like baked sweet potato, grapes and pasta are a great substitute for russet potatoes, dates and pizza.  By eating less glycemic index you can shave additional weight while lowering your sugar levels.

To learn about more tips on how to get slim for the summer, click the link below!

Source:

http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/weight-loss-numbers-really-matter?cm_mmc=Fit_Life-_-Original-_-8%20Ways%20To%20Speed%20Your%20Weight%20Loss-_-10%20Slim%20Down%20Strategies%20You%20Can%20Count%20On

Relationships – Styles of Love

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In a relationship, there are stages that a person normally goes through when they are in love.  An article from YourTango.com states that there are actually 6 different styles.

Romantic – This love style is when you are deeply into the other person.  Normally due to being swept off your feet or possibly through physical attributes.

List Maker – This style of love is about sticking to your guns on whats important to you.  You may be the type of person that puts extra pressure for your mate to meet your standards in a relationship

The obsessive – This style of love is the type to want to be around the person all the time.  You are always concerned about what is your partner doing when they are away from you.  This can be over kill and may drive your significant other crazy at times.

Giver – This is the person who always gives more than they receive. You’re constantly thinking of your partners needs over yours and will often get the short end of the stick.

Player – This style of love often leads to a short relationship, due to boredom.  You like the thrill of being chased and chasing, but once your there you no longer crave your prize.

The Pal – This means that your love style is more of laid back than the rest.  You take your time and cherish hanging out with the person vs. trying to jump the gun on a serious relationship.  This often means that you take things slowly and waits to see what it could possibly turn out to be.

Regardless of style, you must consider 2 things for love to truly be a wonderful experience.

1 – Take the time to think about the impact that you have on your partner and vise versa.  Love is about opening yourself to receive as much as giving.  Don’t be too greedy or too generous.

2 – Don’t force it or stray it along for too long.  If you are really in love, then show it without shoving it through your mate’s throat.  They will know you affection based on actions.  Just don’t do anything stupid or out of line that it will require them to put a restraining order on you.

On the flip side, if you no longer love the person and your just keeping them there to keep you company, then really you’re not being fair to them or yourself.  Allow them to find their own soul mate, and you may even see that you find another that will give you the feeling you always wanted.

Love can be interpreted in many ways. But in a relationship thinking of only yourself can be a recipe for heartbreak and disappointment. Don’t sell yourself short, but don’t rob others of it as well.  Keep in mind that love is about experience, learning, growth and appreciation.

Source:

http://www.yourtango.com/2013177668/what-kind-lover-are-you

Whats your “secret sauce” to a healthy relationship?

healthy relationships

If you’re in to this sort of thing, then you probably know that a healthy relationship can make this part of your life more meaningful, joyful and fulfilled.  I consider a healthy relationship with a person to be like owning a well maintained vehicle.  Regardless of time, model or year, as long as you do the regular maintenance (like having a date night, tell them how much they are appreciated, do something nice etc) and your 30k, 60k, 90k (anniversaries, birthday, or a special event) then life is good.

I don’t know many healthy relationships where couples don’t have a misunderstanding once in a while.  I personally believe it’s unfair to you and your mate to have to give a part of yourself up to please the other person or vise versa; the tips below are a good way to create and maintain a balance.

  • Speak Up – If something is bothering you, it’s best to let it surface early than waiting till the pot is overflowing.  This way you don’t catch the other person off guard.
  • Respect your other half – Even if you think it’s not a big deal, it still shows your partner that you value their feelings
  • Compromise – This is a big one.  All healthy relationships understand that it’s a 2 way street.  It’s a true testament to give a little to take a little.
  • Be Supportive – Be the shoulder to cry on, be the shield when you need to be, and be the friend that lends the ear to their problems while offering solutions.

But it doesn’t end there.  I was taught a simple saying that stuck with me up to this day. “Separation brings Appreciation.” The way I interpret this is to give yourself some well deserved “you time”, and let your partner do the same.

  • Go out with friends by yourself so you never lose that part of you
  • Continue or get into hobbies that you like
  • Don’t share all your logins and passwords to all your bank accounts and social media sites

On a final note, enjoy each other’s time. Be spontaneous and do fun stuff like going on a road trip, visit memory lane on where you both first met, join some activity together and continue to create (more) fun memories.  Each of us is responsible to adding your own ingredients and spices to create our own relationship’s “secret sauce.” You only live once so don’t take life so seriously that you spend it alone.

Now go to your other half, plan something and show them what they mean to you.  Just be sure to take pictures for your scrap book!

Source:

http://www.loveisrespect.org/dating-basics/healthy-relationships

Fitness motivation through the use of technology

For most of us, technology plays a big part on our day to day activities.  You would think that in the year 2013, we would have it all by now based on movies and sitcoms we watched like “Back to the Future & Star Trek”.  Don’t get me wrong, technology is definitely faster than how it was a decade ago.  Yet as fast as it’s moving, we are no where near the age where we have a “Magic Button” that will give us the body we want in instantaneously.

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The good news is we are definitely using it more to track our progress, get the encouragement and feedback from others, and provide music depending on our workout routine to help us stay motivated.

I read an article (it’s a bit old) from this really great website called prevention.com that talks about women using technology to inform their friends on the status of their weight loss.

I am a believer that with the right mix of mental toughness, consistency and support, anyone can transform their body.  Below is a list of items on how technology can help you stay motivated:

1-      Post your goals in social media– Regardless if you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, My Space, etc, you can gain supporters just by taking the first step to post what you’re trying to accomplish.  From a 5k to a Marathon, to losing pounds or building muscle, keeping everyone updated on your status is a sure way to stick to a goal.

2-      Keep an online diary (blog) – Having a timeline on what workouts you did on a specific date will allow people to see your progression.  This is key; it’s like reading a book or watching a daily/weekly show where those following you are anticipating your updated results.

3-      Join a virtual group – Being part of a group that does activities similar to yours is a great way to stay motivated to exercise.  You comment on how good they are doing or their recent pictures and you can do the same.  This allows you to maintain what I call a “link or connection” with others who have the same mindset as you.

4-      Turn your phone to a coach – if you are one of the millions of people who have converted to a smart phone, you’re in luck! Most phones have access through millions of applications you can download for coaching tips on exercise routines.  This is great if you are at the gym and need a digital trainer to tell you how many more reps or sets you need to do, or how much time you have left before that workout is finished.

5-       Posting pictures of the food you eat – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this, but it does work.  By posting your pre and post workout meals, shakes, etc.  You show your others how you take care of your body.  We all know that fitness is 2 parts (Exercise and Nutrition), if you only do one, you’re not giving yourself the best chance to reach your goal at an optimum peak.

6-      Plan your workout – Gone are the days when a person brings a folder or binder with them to the gym to check off the workouts they just finished.  Just Kidding, I still see plenty of people doing this.  But why haul a binder around when you can just upload it to your notes or tasks in your smart phones.  Make your life easy; don’t carry so many things that you may just forget it accidentally in the gym or outdoors.

Regardless if we are a fitness monster or just starting out, we all can use a little motivation.  By using technology to spread the word of our progress to fitness success, we inspire each other to get out and get active.

Source:

http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/7-ways-technology-helps-you-lose-weight?page=2

Getting Fit for the Busy Person

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Let’s face it; most of us work for a living.  Aside from that we have other things to consider like school, family, and for many another income. This makes exercising for many of us a part time of what little time we have left.

It’s hard to believe, but there are indeed a few moments of the day that you can invest in your health and fitness. I would be lying if I told you that it’s simple or easy, but remember that sometimes all it takes is the “First Step”.  Below are some tips you can use to fitting exercise into your busy day thanks to Fitness for one and all (www.fitnessforoneandall.com):

Goal for it. Set short-term and long-term goals. A short-term goal could be starting from scratch and adding a minute a day to your exercise regimen. A long-term goal could be losing weight or lowering your blood pressure.

Break it up. Exercise doesn’t have to be structured. Busy people can get much the same benefits when they exercise in bits and pieces throughout the day as when they work out in one block of time.

Avoid the all-or-nothing trap. If circumstances prevent you from doing everything you planned for the day, do what you can and don’t worry about it. Tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities to exercise.

Be realistic. Don’t focus on exercises you find unpleasant or uncomfortable. Choosing activities you enjoy will help you stick with your program. Such as Zumba, Hip Hop, Cross-fit, etc.

There are ways to take a creative approach in your exercise if you just don’t have time to go to the gym.

Use stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. When at home, climb to the second floor as often as possible. For variety, take the stairs two at a time, or step up the pace.

Walk when you can. Park an extra block from your destination or at the rear of the parking lot. Look for the longest, rather than the shortest, route.

Learn a new sport. Take golf, tennis, or racquetball lessons.

Join groups that are active. Groups like mall walkers, hikers, or bicyclists.

Source:

http://www.fitnessforoneandall.com/guest/article/training/busy.htm