Summer Fitness Reboot

It’s summertime. And that means more outdoor activity, less restrictive clothing, and quite simply, more of a visible you. Hollis Lance Liebman, author of Complete Physique has the following tips for anyone who wants to look feel and look their best hitting the beach this summer. It’s a great time to reset your fitness at every level.

TAKE IT OUTSIDE
With the inviting sun and fun weather, it can sometimes be difficult to get to the gym for the usual routine. You can renew your mental and physical spirits by getting back to basics by simply taking it outside. Pushups and bodyweight squats, along with running or biking can all be performed amongst the elements. Additionally, bands, Swiss Balls and other portable peripherals can add variety and fun to a sometimes stale and stagnant workout.

 

WORK YOUR ENTIRE BODY
Sure the chest and arm muscles receive a lot of attention, but keep your workouts in balance. A flawless upper body that sits upon stilts is not a good look, nor is it optimal for total body fitness. The often neglected muscles such as the calves, forearms, posterior deltoids, hamstrings and even your core, will definitely detract from you being all that you can be. You’ll not only look more balanced, you will actually be more balanced in your daily performance in life.

 

EAT SMART FOR MUSCLE TONE
Many fat-loss programs require drastic caloric restrictions and extreme amounts of cardiovascular exercise. The problem is that most also do a pretty good job of wasting away your muscle mass at the same time. Regardless of what your fat loss goals might be, losing muscle tissue is never a good idea–it slows your metabolism to a crawl. Instead of following a low-calorie diet, follow a dietary plan that will enhance your ability to both build and preserve muscle, and rev up your metabolism in the process.

 

STRETCHING IS ESSENTIAL, BUT DON’T GO BALLISTIC
Have you heard of ballistic stretching? It’s a kind of stretch in which you move into a position and then bounce to stretch the muscle. An example would be bending to touch your toes and then bouncing to reach them. Ballistic stretching can do a lot more harm than good, tightening the muscle and leading to injury. During and after your workout are ample times to stretch as your muscles and warm and pliable, unlike at the onset of your routine when your muscles are cold and restrictive.

 

PLAN TO LOOK GREAT…AND FEEL EVEN BETTER!
The desire to  look great in your swimsuit may be what’s inspiring you to get in shape, but remember that the results will be more than just cosmetic. As you build muscle and stamina, you’ll be able to excel at classic summer sports like beach volleyball, swimming, and surfing. The active habits that you form this summer will inspire you to stay fit year-round!

 

HOLLIS LANCE LIEBMAN has been a fitness magazine editor, national bodybuilding champion, and author. He is a published physique photographer and has served as a bodybuilding and fitness competition judge. Hollis has worked with some of Hollywood’s elite, earning rave reviews. Visit his web site, www.holliswashere.com, for fitness tips and complete training programs.

Stairs: A Great Workout

Nationally recognized fitness expert, Michael Wood, CSCS, author of the new book TBC30: 6 Steps to a Stronger, Healthier You published by Wicked Whale Publishing, talks about one of the best and easiest workouts you, and anyone, can do.

 

Running, walking or bounding up the cement stairs at Harvard University stadium for many people, including myself, never seems to get old. All you need to do is to visit the city with the world famous zip code (02138). On any given morning, especially the weekend, you’ll see all types of people, male and female, athlete non-athlete, young and old, moving through their workout routines at the nations second oldest stadium built-in 1903. The oldest stadium, by the way, can be found on the campus at the University of Pennsylvania, built-in 1895. Continue reading

Advice From an Older Athlete To Young Folks: 7 Tips To Set Up Your Life

I am first a grandfather, second a husband, third a father of five great kids that are in their late twenties and thirties, and lastly a healthy life-long fitness guy. I have coached and mentored for a living for approximately 30 years now. Here are some truths I’ve observed over the years. They pertain to athletes, fitness people, and others as well.

 

1. Choices

As a younger person or athlete you need to be reminded that you have choices and that your life is the culmination of your choices.

Show me your friends, show me your checkbook or credit card statement, and show me where you spend your spare time. Then I will show you your future.

Life isn’t rocket science. You can choose a healthy lifestyle and be fit or you can choose to be unhealthy and probably unfit. It is your choice. We all have 24 hours in a day and we all shop and eat.

I work out at my 24 Hour Fitness for my general cardio work. There is a power-lifter-type guy there who likes his big arms and chest. Problem is the doctor has told him he is obese at 5’7” and 260lbs. We talk often as I get ready to shower.

He said he wants to be like me—leaner and thinner. I told him he can but he must want it badly enough to change the way he eats. For three or four years, I used to ask him what he ate, but I stopped because I already know. He is Hispanic and love his chips, rice, tortillas, beans—way too many carbs.

I challenged him to eat small portions of fruits, nuts, oatmeal, protein, and fats for breakfast and lunch. Then enjoy a dinner he likes by 6pm. I also encouraged him to have smaller portions…and no ice cream at 10pm before bed. When he tries this approach, he loses weight, and actually his 260 lbs is down 20 lbs from 280.

Yesterday, I said, “Hey, you look bigger again.” He said “Yep. Can’t control my beans and rice and ice cream.”

Really?

Question: Do you make daily good choices or are you just lazy and a slave to your addictions?

 

2. Patterns

We all set patterns in our life. We have lots of them from how we brush our teeth to how we comb or brush our hair.

When you’re younger, you start setting patterns that affect you later on in life. Some young people choose to exercise and workout as a priority. Others, just flow with life.
It is easier to build a new house than it is to undertake a remodel. Remodels have lots of unforeseen problems.

You don’t want to be a continual remodel in life. It is too hard.

If you set good patterns when you are younger, you will attract healthier people into your life and you’ll also learn to feel good. But if you live unhealthy mentally, physically and emotionally, you will forget that you could live better and you will be a constant “remodel project.”

Story: At 44, my father’s back went out. He was a non-exerciser. He was an academic, smart, but non-athletic Superior Court judge.

The doctor gave him a choice: go buy a hospital bed, because he was going to be immobile for a while, or go have surgery. He wasn’t going back to work anytime soon. He bought the bed and it was put in my room. When I’d come home from college, he’d be laying in his bed frustrated and hurting.

About the fourth months in bed, he said to me “Son, are you learning anything from this?” “Yeah,” I said. “Don’t mess up your back!”

He said “No. Work on your stomach muscles and make them strong. They wrap around your stomach and back and make your back stronger. A weak stomach makes for a vulnerable and weak back.”

We call it “the core” today. The doctor persuaded him do isometric exercises while in bed. The Doctor wanted him to start strengthening his stomach and back.

He finally strengthened his back to the point he could walk to the toilet rather than crawl. And one day he went back to work.

My Father did sit-ups and core work from age 44 until he was 96 years old—everyday! Never missed it. He said he was never going to throw out his back again. He later started golfing, playing tennis and stretching. Life got better. And he felt better. He became happier.

How do you learn—by pain or by knowledge? Show me your patterns now and I will predict part of your future.

 

3. Priorities

Smart people set priorities in their lives. Then they schedule them in. Non-smart people just live and hope for the best.

What are the top five priorities in your life?

What are your daily priorities? Do you have any? Can you be talked out of them? Do they include being healthy and fit?

Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder.

 

4. Disciplines

Nike’s “Just Do It” was a tremendously successful campaign. Why? Because it is so hard to do.

Discipline is hard, by and large, because you have to say “no” to something, or many things, so that you can say “yes” to other things. We don’t like to tell ourselves “no.” But successful people have learned to say “no” to many unhealthy and good things to be able to enjoy the great “yes” things.

Have you learned to be disciplined in many areas? When you do, life gets better.

Exercise is a way of mastering yourself. It takes discipline and work. It is challenging. You must be consistent. You must often challenge and overcome your feelings. You must say “no” to certain ways of eating, drinking, sleeping and other lifestyle choices in order to be successful. It brings up the issue of slavery: are you in charge of your life or are you a slave to your stuff?

We admire successful people. but we can be successful too. Just work on disciplining yourself. There is no victory without a battle! There isn’t any overcoming without overcoming something!

Exercising and becoming fit is a battle you need to win.

 

5. Feelings

I love different types of feelings. I love being in love. I love feeling good. I love accomplishing something challenging. However, I don’t love feelings of fear, vulnerability, embarrassment, shame and sickness.

A young person needs to conquer the habit of being led by their feelings. Certainly, feelings can be helpful and protective but following them, unchecked, can bring terrible results.

Exercise is a challenge. It takes discipline and consistency. If I lived by my feelings, I wouldn’t exercise a lot of the time. I wouldn’t get out of bed. I wouldn’t think about my physical goals. I wouldn’t think about how fat I was getting or how out of breath I am when climbing the stairs.

Either you learn to rule your feelings in many different areas or they’ll rule and dominate you! Feelings can steal that better future that’s in front of you.

Exercise reminds you to challenge and overcome your feelings.

 

6. Consistency

Are you a pro or a weekend hacker? Anybody can hit a golf ball well once in a while. But can you do it consistently and even under pressure?

Why do people seem impressed that some graduated from college or were in the military? Because it shows that they were able to persist through the good times and the bad for four or five years. They didn’t give up or quit. Is that a big deal? Yes, because quitters never win at much of anything, nor are they happy people.

Consistency is a huge attribute. It means you exercise when you feel like it and are “inspired” to do it, but also when you don’t feel inspired.

Why do you do it? Because it is right and it is good for you. And you know you will feel better after you do it! Developing consistency in your life is huge. And if you marry someone who isn’t consistent, they will drive you crazy.

It is a character trait that reveals so much about you.

At 63, I wanted to do something that most 30-year-olds would never try. But for me to pull it off, I’d have to be consistent in changing my body for at least two years. So I made my plan. But half way through, I tore up my right shoulder. It set me back a year. It took me six months to rehab the shoulder. Then I had to start over.

In all, it took me three years of consistency on my goal to accomplish it. Most people thought it was impossible and too big of a goal. Now they admire me. Let people admire you too! Just find a goal and learn to become consistent.

 

7. Money

Show me where you spend your money and I will show you what is of most value to you.

If you want to become more fit, stay fit, or become healthier, it may cost you some money or maybe not. (With all the exercise apps that are available today, many of my friends workout and train from home at no cost.). But if you’d rather eat crappy food or drink your money away, then knock yourself out. A smart person will include health and fitness in their budget before throwing money away on “stuff.”

 


Robert Hamilton Owens has completed 12 Ironman Triathlons, the 238-mile “300 of Sparta Endurance Race,” the SEALFIT’s Kokoro 50-Hour Challenge, and the World Marathon Challenge: 7 Marathons 7 Continents 7 Days, to name but a few. For more information on Robert, please visit: www.roberthamiltonowens.com

Get Fit With Only One Piece of Home Gym Equipment? Here's How.

Jessica Schatz, The Core Expert™, uses her extensive knowledge, skill, and heart to motivate others to live better, happier lives. Find out from her why she thinks the Bosu Ball is the only piece of equipment you need for your home gym for total fitness.

 

If there is only one piece of home gym equipment that you will ever buy, make it a Bosu Ball (www.bosu.com). It will provide you with the most comprehensive workout every time, hands down. Continue reading

Expert Tips for the School-Aged Athlete

According to Stanford Children’s Health, there are over 3.5 million children who sustain sports-related injuries every year. Add to that the notion that around 70% of kids who play organized youth sports quit by the time they turn 13, and it’s clear to see the red flags. Those who have a school-aged athlete can help them to avoid being injured and becoming burned out, leading to a longer love of and participation in sports.

“Many parents start out seeing how their child loves a particular sport, only to be surprised when they either walk away from it altogether or they end up with injuries,” explains Coach Sarah Walls, personal trainer and owner of SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc., who is also the strength and conditioning coach for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. “The good news is that by taking a proactive approach, this can largely be avoided. I’ve worked with many young athletes and have helped them to avoid injuries and hold onto that passion for the game.” Continue reading

How Not To Get Sick at the Gym

The Emmy Award-winning daytime talk show The Doctors headed to three different gyms – budget, mid-range and luxury – to investigate what germs and bacteria are lurking on your treadmill.

What did they find? Bacteria on several pieces of cardio equipment, and multiple strains of bacteria on yoga mats, even at the expensive gyms. The dirtiest place they found, however, was the water fountain, which was hosting e coli and feces bacteria. Continue reading

Top 10 Tips to Avoid Running Injuries

Running is a great exercise enjoyed by all age levels and abilities that carries many benefits: keeps the heart healthy, reduces stress, burns calories and more. Unfortunately, runners and injuries go together like kids and dirt, and you rarely have one without the other. What can you do to protect yourself from injuries?

Dr. Alan Shih is the director of podiatry at Head to Toe Healthcare, and offer these 10 tips for runners to better protect themselves from injury. Continue reading

Top 10 Tips for Better Posture

William Smith, MS, author of Exercises for Perfect Posture, has provided his top tips for better overall general posture.

1. Morning Wake-up

Breathe deeply into your belly five times, expanding your chest, ribs, belly and lower back. Stretch your arms and legs in all directions, elongating all the tissues at the neck, shoulders and hips. Squeeze your shoulder blades five times for 3 seconds each. Continue reading

Top 10 Tips for Triathletes

Terri Schneider, author of The Triathlon Training Handbook, provides these 10 tips for those doing triathlons.

1. Swim each session in organized, coached workouts.

Add the most value to your time in the pool by working with a coach on your stroke each time you hit the water. A group swim session will motivate you to get the most out of your swim time. And its fun! Continue reading

5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Treadmill Workouts

As tantalizing as all those fancy elliptical, stair climbing, rowing, and stationary biking machines are, the treadmill remains the best piece of exercise equipment in terms of efficiency. The treadmill, compared to other forms of indoor exercise equipment (stationary bike, rowing machine, etc.), is the most efficient form of aerobic exercise for burning calories. That is, at the same level of perceived exertion, you burn more calories per minute on a treadmill than on any other type of indoor exercise equipment.

Here are 5 tips to help you make the most from your treadmill workouts: Continue reading