Tag Archives: health and fitness

Do you exercise, work out or do you train?

Let me start off by saying there is no “right” answer to the question above but how you answer tells a lot about your attitude towards fitness.  It is actually a question that I have really struggled with recently.

“Why do I work out the way I do?” And more pertinently “How do I really want to train?”

Maybe it will help if I define the three options for you.

Exercise:

The person who says “I am going to go exercise” typically does not have a real plan in place.  They may be the one who hits the hotel gym and decides based on availability as to whether they are going to run or hit the elliptical that night.  Now mind you, they are still ahead of 28.3% of Americans, who according to the Physical Activity Counsel have done NO EXERCISE AT ALL over the last 12 months…..and they even included walking the mall as a form of exercise!!  The reality is this group is also the least likely to see any type of real and persistent results from their efforts.  It is also the easiest mindset with which to skip altogether and find yourself among the 28%.

Work Out:

These are the people who typically have at least a semblance of a plan.  They know the muscle group they are going to target or the cardio exercise for the day.  They are usually intentional in their workout and they may even have specific goals for the work out (for example, today my goal was 40 minutes on the treadmill at 7 mph).  They make their time for their work out a priority.

Training:

These people have a specific goal in mind.  For some it is a race (think marathon running), for others it is a competition (fighters and bodybuilders), others still it is an amount of weight to drop.  For me it has been various rank advancement in karate or the occasional grappling tournament.  There is a different intensity to the workouts but more importantly, there is a different intentionality.  You are there in the gym, or on the mat, or on the road with a specific goal and purpose all of which leads up to a larger result.

So why bring this up at all?

Because I find myself in a time of transition.  For the last 7 years I have had something to train for and right now, I don’t.  A random set of circumstances has really thrown my training off the rails.

  • Schedule changes at the dojo preventing me from getting in regularly.
  • Work obligations getting in the way of my lunch BJJ sessions.
  • Nothing on the calendar to run towards (although I am going to run a Disney Race at some point)
  • Traveling an average of 4 days a week

All of these have conspired to put me in a spot where I am not training for anything specific right now.  There have actually been moments over the last few months that I have found myself walking into the gym with absolutely no plan…..and it terrifies me.  The good news is I am still walking in the gym or pressing play every day though.

The reality is that people who have something to train for are more intentional about their exercise regime and far less likely to miss a workout.

No- I don’t have a study to back that claim up other than the anecdotal evidence and my own experiences but the bigger question is how do embrace that fact and apply it?

I want you to think back to High School Physics class and to Newton’s first law of motion.  Do you remember?

A body at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an external force. 

Intentionality is that external force to our stagnation.  The Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG for all of you Good to Great fans) is what moves people from exercising to training.  You have to have something you are working towards, or running from, that is so motivating that you not only exercise but you do so with intention.

I am on the hunt for mine now and I will be sure to share it when I identify it.  I am one of those weirdos that are not motivated by a number on a scale but by the things I am able to achieve.  That doesn’t mean that the chasing a number is wrong, it is just not what does it for me.

So what is it that will take you from exercising to training?  What is your BHAG?  Can’t wait to hear from you.

The best dates are Sweat Dates

Over the last 4 years, my family and I have dealt with a lot on the health front.  Four years ago, my son was diagnosed with a papilledema, a condition normally associated with a brain or spinal tumor (he did not have one).   I had a near death experience due to a heart condition (I made it obviously but if you want the full story you can read it here) and we topped it all off  with my wife’s battle with breast cancer, including the treatment, double mastectomy and reconstruction that comes with it (she has been cancer free for 2 years now and you can read her story here).  And that is just with those who live under our roof.

When you are confronted with these types of health crises you are forced to look at your health so to say healthy living is a priority with us would be putting it mildly.  It is woven through everything we do, everything we eat and in just about every conversation we have – my sons just love that part.

It also has led to a phenomenon we refer to as:

The Sweat Date!!

As we have traveled this road to health, we have begun working out together on a regular basis.  My wife and I are both BeachBody Coaches so often these workouts are conducted in our living room our outside on the deck but whatever the workout, we are spending between 30 – 60 minutes with each other pushing, motivating, teasing and sweating together.  They have become my favorite part of the week and when I really stop to examine the benefits of the sweat date, there are 5 key benefits that stand out to me in regards to working out with your significant other.

Feel better:

I know, obvious but true.  There is all kind of research out there about the effect of exercise on mood, mental health and of course, overall health.  More than all of that though, doing something with your partner for the long term benefit of you both is uniquely rewarding.  There is something to simply sharing the fight.

More Relationship Security:

In our BeachBody business, it is amazing to me how many men are insecure about their wife getting in shape.  Quite candidly, it blows me away.  Why would a spouse ever be against their significant other getting in better health?  But I can assure you, it is a real occurrence and happens way more often than you would expect.  However a shared journey to being fit builds bonds of security in a relationship as couples travel the road together.

Time spent together:

My wife and I have a blast when we work out together.  It is between 30-60 minutes where we are sharing an experience, working towards a common goal and in many cases, have a common enemy (yes, I am talking about you Autumn Calabrese!!!)

Autumn

Healthier eating:

When you focus on health together rather than just exercise, you have to spend time on your diet.  This is so much easier when you are attacking it as a team.   Meals can be prepared for the family and not for an individual who is ‘dieting” (I hate how we use that word) and if you are going through the effort of putting in the exercise you are way less likely to want to compromise those gains by letting your diet go to pieces.

Side benefit of the Sweat Date:

Couples that play together……..well, play together.  Let me spell this out for you, you are exercising, building confidence and connection together.  When you exercise, endorphins are released improving mood as well as health.  You are sharing experiences together.  All of these contribute to a heightened sense of connection in all kinds of ways.  Yeah, we call them dates for a reason.

So there are my top 5 reasons to make time for Sweat Dates in your relationship.  I promise you, if you make your family’s health a priority together your relationship will grow in all of the right ways.

Happy Birthday!!! – A year’s worth of blogging lessons

It is hard for me to believe but today marks the 1 year anniversary of the very first post on RoadWarriorFit.net.  I remember posting with a very specific goal in mind, providing a resource for travelers who want to put their fitness and health at the forefront of their travels.  What it has ended up being?   A completely hot mess and a total work in progress.

There are definitely a few things I have learned over the past 12 months that I want to share with all potential bloggers.  These are the things I wish someone had told me that I would learn over the first year so go ahead and do them now.

Just write: 

When I began the prep work for this blog, I had all kinds of ideas of categories for posts.  Reality has been that it has been a random collection of my thoughts and observations over the last year.  Candidly, I think it has turned out for the better that I did not stick to the ‘script’ but the key to that evolution has been to just write.  Some topics never see the light of day but none the less, you need to write.

Sometimes you have to break the rules: 

One of my first blog posts was on the Guardrails that every RoadWarrior needs to have in place in order to keep yourself true on the road.  When it comes to writing blogs though, see lesson number 1.  Write, write, write.  Rules be damned.   Don’t worry about which ‘tag’ you haven’t written for in the last month or that the content on this ‘tab’ is stale.  Just write.

Get a Swedish Fitness Model/blogger to follow your blog early:

fitness on toast

So I have no idea how this happened but very early on, I had a Swedish Fitness model and blogger follow my blog (you can see her posts at Fitness on Toast – I recommend it, I actually really have enjoyed following her travels).  I think it actually may have been my post on the motivating factor of an empty water bottle that attracted her attention.  Regardless, it has led to a slew of attention from the European Fitness Fashionista/Blogger set and I would like to specifically thank FitnessonToast, Alys, Akvilee, faceandfortune, The Keen Peach and others for their support.  If I believe my own hype, I am actually a big deal among the European fitness and fashion blog set and I chose to believe my own hype.

Laugh at yourself:

SNL 1

My second most read post, and by far my most popular based on Twitter/Facebook, was about #snowleopardpants.  They have fueled a fantastic date night, raised thousands of dollars for Love Is Louder Than Cancer and taught me the hard lesson of not internet shaming anyone for their fashion choices.  However they never would have shown their power if I was not willing to completely release all pride and let the #snowleopardpants power shine through.

Share the real you: 

People read posts that reflect your actual experiences, not the ones you wish you had.  My original idea of posting a variety of workouts you can perform that conform to the resources available to you at various levels of hotel standard has still not materialized.  Drinking more water at conferences?  Two posts, hundred plus reads and counting.  The story of how Being fit nearly killed me?  By far the most popular and most read.

Study your stats: 

I know that if I post on Wednesday, you are the most likely to read this.  On Monday…not a chance, which is ironic considering that our anniversary is falling on a Monday so I have to honor the date.  Oh well, here is to re-blogging on Wednesday.

Don’t obsess over your numbers: 

OK – this one may just be me preaching to me but you can’t obsess over how many followers/likes/page views you have.  It is not healthy.  You need to blog for you not for the followers.  That being said, thank you for clicking on all of the links here so I can obsess further on why you clicked on how I nearly died but didn’t on combining sightseeing with your travel.

Enjoy the evolution: 

RoadWarriorFit.net is nothing like I thought it would be when I started this.  Thanks to all of you and your feedback, it is so much better.

So thank you.  Thank you for letting me process this crazy life on the road.  Thank you for ‘listening’ to my occasional rant.  Thank you for providing me with the accountability loop necessary to keep myself on track while on the road.  And most importantly, thank you for sharing the journey with me.

Here is to another year of travel, fitness, diet, health and wellness.  Looking forward to spending it with you.