Mindfulness studies were done at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where “researchers found that after a group of undergraduates went through a two-week intensive mindfulness training program, their mind-wandering decreased and their working memory capacity improved. They also performed better on a reading comprehension test — a section from the Graduate Record Examination, or G.R.E.”
And if you know a thing or two about meditation – it can be done anywhere. Although the best results may be achieved by following the secular pillars of the practice, including sitting in an upright posture with legs crossed and gaze lowered, you can incorporate mindful meditation into all aspects of your life…including your workout regime.
Because when it comes to clearing your mind and strengthening your body with a Daily Fitness Program, it’s always best to keep your thoughts – and feelings – focused on the exercise at hand. Don’t obsess about the past or futurize about what you have to do later that day.
Make it a moving meditation. Stay purposeful, focused and relaxed (breathe), and BE PRESENT in everything you do.
A sixty year-old man stood watching me blast my biceps in the gym this morning before he approached me and said, “This is my very first time here and I think I know what to do, but not how to do it.” I relied, “To perfect your body in the gym, knowing what exercises to do is not enough. It takes perfect form – including your posture and breathing – in everything you do. Not to mention good focus and concentration, just like a surgeon would in the operating room.”
That’s right…like a surgeon in the operating room. Because getting results from any kind of exercise regime takes a seriousness that goes beyond just knowing what to do.
So if you’re one of those fitness buffs who thinks you can perfect your body with ‘speed and quantity’ rather than ‘precision and quality’, think again. No matter what you do in the fitness world – weights, yoga, pilates, or my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts – take your time, pay attention to your posture, breathe deeply and slowly and don’t hold your breath, and use perfect form.
Trust me, it works.
Because achieving a perfect body – or one that looks and feels 20 years younger like mine does – takes a hellava lot more than knowing what to do.
This weekend I spent time with a bunch of twenty-something year-olds talking about exercise and the importance of a Daily Fitness Program – a concept as foreign to them as The Jack LaLanne Show.
When I said “good posture and balance will boost your self-confidence”, they looked at me like I had three heads!
Because good posture and balance (and NOT slouching) exudes self-confidence to everyone around you as well as: 1) properly aligns your spine and puts less stress on your joints, 2) helps the bones, muscles and ligaments in the spine to move smoothly and pain-free in everything you do, 3) improves your breathing by making it easier for your lungs and diaphragm to expand, and 4) engages your abdominals at all times enabling a strong core and flatter midsection – and better looking Abs!
So get your Yoga groove on today and improve your posture and balance like I did with Ardha Chandrasana (Half-Moon pose) in the beautiful sculpture gardens at The Huntington Library.
Well my vote is in: hands down this year’s Oscar for Best Actress goes to…Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn. If I had to describe Michelle’s performance and her exquisite reincarnation of the beautiful and legendary Marilyn Monroe in two words, I’d say phenomenally awesome. Because she’s just that! And for someone who loves the “art of acting” and who sees almost every film out there – in the past two weeks alone I’ve watched MoneyBall (again), The Descendants, Mission Impossible, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (twice), Sherlock Holmes, Young Adult, We Bought A Zoo, War Horse, and My Week With Marilyn – she certainly gets my vote.
And if you’re wondering what else I’m doing in Hawaii besides admiring the best films and acting performances of the year, I’m almost finished with my book, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood. Which, by the way, has some pretty cool Cover Art that you’ll find quite fitting. So wherever you find yourself this holiday season, make sure to find time for the lovely and amazing Michelle Williams in a true-to-life story of Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn. You won’t regret it!
And what else you won’t regret is getting your daily workout in. Especially if your holiday diet calls for Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake or perhaps a little Tiramisu. But no worries, just take a quick break and slim down your waistline with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #82 – Easy Abs. Enjoy – R
Everyone has heard the adage, quality not quantity, right? Well, the same holds true for fitness. Whether it be yoga, free weights, exercise machines, treadmills, abs, whatever. Because it’s better to do anything with proper posture and body mechanics, than to do it improperly, for a longer time. Like the fifty-something guy I heard talking in the gym this weekend. He told his friend he was going to do his 1,200. And when his friend asked, “1,200 what?”, the guy said, “Abs”. Now this guy looked like he just swallowed a bowling ball. Whatever he’s doing for abs, isn’t working, regardless of the 1,200.
So don’t settle for quantity, go with less – and that goes for food too – and go with quality! And here’s to the guy in the gym who needs a new ab workout – today’s 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #88 – Screaming Abs. Enjoy – R
It felt like a ghost-town when I walked into the gym this morning at 6am. I expected it to be light because of the holiday, but it was barren. And as I was making my way past the Chest machines, this older gentleman sat up tall and said to me, “I’ll glad you’re here.” Of course, right. Because when it comes to a daily fitness program, sometimes it helps to get a little boost from your compatriots. Let’s face it, honoring our Nation’s Independence deserves a day off from exercise, right? Wrong. That’s all the more reason to honor yourself and your freedom with a strong body – clear mind. So don’t let the Fourth of July festivities spoil your routine. Grab a fellow barbecuer and challenge yourself with today 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #95 – Dancer’s Pose. Enjoy – R
I was working out next to this very large twenty-something year old guy in the gym the other day when he says to his friend, “I told myself I’m going to lose 15 pounds, so when I don’t make it and only lose 10, it’ll be a success. Because I only need to lose 10.” So what’s wrong with this statement? Besides the fact that he’s just casually throwing around words and talking about what he’s going to do, he’s playing mind games with himself and not facing up to the truth. Because when it comes working out and/or significant weight loss, it’s critical to be honest with yourself. Never judge yourself or the outcome, but be honest. Mind games never work. Because your subconscious knows the truth and will always sabotage your games. Rightly so, since any successful program begins with honesty, commitment and self-discipline. So forget the mind games and let the real games begin with a daily fitness program. With today’s 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #100, why not BRIDGE your way backwards to the next 100 days! Enjoy – R
Balancing poses are great for the mind and body because they help you develop lightness, strength, agility, muscle tone, coordination, concentration, self-confidence and overall control of your body. And when you add a backbend to your standing balancing pose, like we do with today’s 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #95 – Dancer’s Pose, you’ll also rejuvenate the body, giving you more alertness, openness, flexibility, energy and courage. So add some balancing & backbends to your long holiday weekend. And enjoy! - R
Everybody understands the concept of eating smart, right? And what a great time to get mentally prepared for the long holiday weekend by consciously respecting your body with a smart approach to eating. Because eating smart with healthy foods and smaller portions per meal will certainly complement your daily fitness program. So enjoy stretching it out today with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #94 – Leg Stretches. - R
This week I updated my YouTube Channel home page (click HERE to check it out) and changed my Profile section. For anyone my age or even 10 years younger, this New Age internet world with all it’s social networking, websites and tags is quite a handful, right. Whatever happened to calling someone or sending them a handwritten letter. (like I’ve been doing in recent weeks). It’s also interesting how few words you use when you write a note or letter by longhand. With computers and all, we’re usually bombarded with TOO many words. Oh well, adapt and survive! Nevertheless, in my Profile on YouTube I wrote, “My style is precise to maximize gains and minimize injury.” Simply put, getting the most out of your workouts is achieved when you know exactly what to do and exactly how to do it – as in proper form and body mechanics. Plus, you’ll reduce your chances of getting hurt. Which is exactly what and how I teach. Even if you exercise regularly or practice yoga, check out my videos and expand your knowledge base. You’ll definitely learn something that will help you and that you’ll never forget. So enjoy going to the “extreme” today with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #93 – Extreme Abs. - R