Health Hacks 5-17-2017
Take out a piece of paper, think about areas in your life where you are not totally satisfied (your health, work, a relationship), and write down specific goals of what you want to accomplish, change. Be sure to include When (set a specific deadline), How (what changes will you make to accomplish goal?), Who (anyone besides yourself involved in accomplishing the goal?), and especially Why (why is accomplishing this goal important to you? What are the real drivers behind it?) in addition to the What (lose 10 lbs, etc).
If you are looking to lose weight, have your final meal of the day be earlier and lighter. How much you eat and when has a big impact on the amount of fat you carry. Often people do fairly well throughout the day, only to sabotage their health by having a large, late meal. Eating lighter and earlier is one of the easiest ways to drop weight.
You only have so much time you can dedicate to the gym, make the most of it. Long rests between sets are fine for Olympic powerlifters looking to build bulk and tremendous strength, but for everyone else seeking to get toned and lose fat, circuit training is the way to go. Combine ‘push’ and ‘pull’ exercises so that you can move from one to the other with one allowing for rest for the other. For example, do chest and back on the same day. You can do lat pull downs immediately followed by bench press, and then go right back to lat pull downs. There are endless combinations of push/pull exercise you can do – bis/tris, shoulders/bis, etc. If you want a little more rest between your lifts, do a minute worth of abs or some type of cardio, eg rope jump, burpees or jumping jacks. Yes this high intensity, circuit-type approach can be challenging, but you will get more results in less time than doing a set of lifting followed by 5 minutes staring at your phone/texting.
Find a great song that motivates you (some that work for me are “Suffragette City” by David Bowie or “Fix You” by Cold Play). Cue it up for the last few minutes of your cardio session (run, bike, etc.) and for the time/length of the song, go all out. I do a regular run along the beach here in in LJ and for the final half mile or so I play some extra-rocking song and put it into 6th gear for an anaerobic blast. Good for the heart, great for the soul…a cardio version of ‘forced reps’ in the weight room. Will get you stronger cardio wise.
Try writing in a journal each night or morning. As with most things in life, just taking the first step is key. You don’t have to be the next Shakespeare, just jot down whatever comes to your mind for a few minutes. After a while you may discover some patterns or learn something about yourself. Just the act of writing alone can help you to release negative thoughts and reinforce positive ones.