Tag Archives: fitness tips

3 Tips to Improve Your Posture

It’s that time of year again, when the air is brisk and your Perfect Posture begins to wane in the face of Wintertime weather. I call that your Wintertime Posture, when your body naturally compensates for the cold with a defensive-type posture that seeks warmth by covering up and closing in. As opposed to your Summertime Posture, when the warm rays of the vitalizing sunshine make it easy to stand tall and lift your chin while opening your heart up to the sky, thus enabling a more offensive-type posture, and albeit, a much better one.

In the Wintertime we have a tendency to roll our shoulders in and lean forward, especially when we’re walking. It seems to protect us against the cold and get us there faster, or so we think. And because we don’t even know we’re doing it – who’s thinking about Perfect Posture when you’re walking or standing in the freezing cold – and because excellent health begins with excellent posture, that’s no excuse for letting good ol’ Mother Nature set you back.

Regardless of the changing seasons, arm yourself with my 3 Tips to Improve Your Posture:

1) Spend a few minutes every morning standing tall with Perfect Posture, i.e., feet planted firmly on the ground – shoulder width and hips distance apart, soften your knees and relax your butt, pull through your core (belly button) and feel your entire torso and spine elongating, roll your shoulders open with palms facing forward, shine your heart up to the sky, relax your shoulder-blades down your back and lengthen through your neck, soften and square your chin to the ground and reach your crown to the sky. Now relax your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply and let your inhales and exhales come naturally. Don’t hold your breath…and RELAX.

2) Repeat this Perfect Posture exercise many times throughout the day, for a brief as 10 seconds. Just do it. Like when you’re standing in line at the store, or on the corner before the light changes, or at the teller window, or waiting for a bus, or baking cookies, or even while you’re Watching the Ellen Show! It’s only for a short time and it reminds the body – and your mind – of Perfect Posture, thus creating a benchmark for success.

3) Spend a few minutes before you go to bed standing tall with Perfect Posture…you know the drill. Why, you might ask, considering if you did #1 and #2 then you already spent time working on your Perfect Posture, right? Because, you’d get the same exact answer if you asked any New Yorker that infamous question, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Practice, Practice, Practice.

Happy Veterans Day everyone! Enjoy- R

Forgettabout “I used to”

I can’t tell you how many times I hear this phrase every week about how this guy or that gal used to be in great shape, or used to walk 5 miles with their dogs every morning, or used to bike to work every day, or used to eat healthy with their fruits and vegetables, or blah-blah-blah.

Forgettabout it!

Rich Tola

Rich Tola

Like the forty-something year-old guy I met at the gym this morning who said, “I used to workout all the time and just last month I weighed 190, and now I weight 204.” That’s when I said, “The only thing that matters is your workout this morning and what you put in your mouth today – not what you used to do or even what you did yesterday. It just doesn’t matter.” Then I told him if he was really serious about taking care of himself, like he was – and did – in the past, he could easily get his weight below 200 pounds by Labor Day, and the rest by Halloween…or worst case Thanksgiving.

That’s right, because when it comes to health and fitness, whatever follows that infamous phrase, “I used to”, just doesn’t matter. You’ve got to be vigilant with yourself every day and not rest on your laurels of yester-year! Which is also par for the course when it comes to dating and even your net-worth (believe me, I know). What matters most is your positive attitude and self-respect and discipline today, i.e., live in the present and not the past.

So forgettabout the I used to’s and keep rockin’ it every day!

Enjoy – R

PS – hear all about all what “I used to” do in my heartfelt memoir, Simply Between Millions

5 Ways to Workout on Vacation

So you’re on vacation with lots of time for R & R and you’re thinking you want to workout – or what you’re really thinking is you don’t have to workout because you’re on vacation, right?

Wrong.

Because the only way to keep that Strong Body – Clear Mind is to do something physical fitness related EVERY single day. So keeping with your Daily Fitness Program, here’s 5 ways you and your entire family can workout together while on vacation that’s effective and affordable:

#1 – Walk, Jog or Run

There’s nothing better than lacing up your Chuck Taylors and Kicking the Bricks…literally. Whether it’s a brisk walk, steady jog, or a fast paced run, this is the simplest way to get your heart-rate up while taking in the natural beauty of your surroundings. I always prefer a long walk first thing in the morning, but no matter what time of day, lace’em up and get going!

#2 – Bike or Swim

Perhaps a bit more complicated than #1 since you’ll need a bike or a lap pool, but if you’re anywhere near the beach you’ll certainly find bike rentals, or check-out the local YMCA since they usually have a 25 yard pool. Two more great fitness activities the whole family can enjoy!

#3 – Push-ups and Sit-ups

How can you go wrong with good ole push-ups and sit-ups that you can do just about anywhere with no props required. Start with push-ups and do as many as you can – Chaturanga style for you yoginis – then lay on your back with your legs bent (or bicycle them) and do as many sit-ups as you can. Then do it again and again until you can’t do any more!

#4 – Take a Class: Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Cross-training or Whatever

Whatever suits your fancy – of course mine is Yoga – research the local health clubs and private Yoga and Pilates studios and treat yourself to an invigorating group fitness class. Albeit, the most expensive of your 5 workout options, but certainly a great way to meet people and experience the local teaching styles as well as learn from other popular teachers!

#5 – Rich Tola’s 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts

The most effective of your choices because my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts on the web are simple, easy-to-follow and effective. Plus there’s 100 Workouts to choose from, and you can combine them to equal as much time as you have to workout. And if you’re spending all your time at the beach or poolside, here’s Workout #84 – Lounge Chair Abs to get your started!

Enjoy – R

Boost your Self-Confidence with Good Posture and Balance

Yoga Master, Rich Tola

Yoga Master, Rich Tola

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.

Enjoy – R