External motivation

Let’s face it.  Sometimes you need a little external motivation to get you going to the gym or yoga studio, or for that power walk around the neighborhood.  Take me for instance.  In six weeks I turn 48, which makes it 31 years since I started driving and began my daily workouts at Man’s World gym in Trenton, NJ.  But even today, after all those years, I often require that external motivation to keep me interested and to give me that little extra something to work towards.  Fortunately, in my gym there’s this guy who’s built like Adonis, and like me, works out every single day.  Yesterday I asked him his age thinking “if this guy is anywhere close to my age I’ll retire”.  Luckily he said 31.  That makes me old enough to be his father, and since he was born the same year I started working out, I felt relieved.  Because we all know the powers of Father Time and Mother Nature, and how your body certainly slows down as the years click by.  So in the gym this guy’s my motivation.  As for the yoga studio, I started practicing in 2005, so let’s just say my internal motivation kicks in at all times!  So if you need a little external motivation to get you going, pick someone who’s got that rockin’ bod, or better yet, find that beautifully sculpted body in a magazine and post it our your vision board.  And if you don’t have a vision board, then post it on your bathroom mirror.  Because when if comes to anything fitness, sometimes we can all use a little help.  Enjoy your workout – R

Peaceful pool of water

My yoga teacher used that phrase today in Savasana at the end of class. For those who’ve never taken a yoga class, Savasana is the final resting pose when you totally let go and experience the sensations from your practice.  It’s awesome!  It’s also that quiet surrender to your feelings and affects of the physical and mental challenges you just endured. Yoga truly helps you achieve that peaceful pool of water while wringing the body of all sorts of negative things.  Even if it’s practicing Warrior II for 5 minutes a day, pushing the body to limits that challenge your focus and your mind.  So do some yoga and get a little more peaceful.  And staying with that peaceful theme, check out my friend Molly’s Peaceful Offering – she’s amazing!  PS – she’s the beautiful blond at the beginning and the end

Cultivate self-discipline

The topic of my horoscope today was self-discipline and how no one is born with it, but is something that must be fostered.  I believe self-discipline is something you can cultivate everyday with conscious thoughts, feelings and actions.  And since actions lead to results, than it’s best we take positive and deliberate actions on anything in our lives that will lead to positive and desired results.  In the case of physical well being, it’s therefore important to take action that will lead to a healthier, leaner and longer life.   By embracing a daily fitness program, whether it be walking, biking, weight-lifting, yoga, or any other preferred form of exercise, you’ll be cultivating self-discipline everyday in the realm of physical well being.  Which also helps strengthen your mental well being.  So if you’ve already broken that New Year’s resolution to workout every day, don’t despair.  Leave those negative thoughts behind and start your new routine today.  Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to achieve a strong body and a clear mind?  Enjoy your workout!  R

Help with Sciatica

Lesson #30 - Zoo Yoga

I spoke with my brother yesterday who said he could use some help with his sciatica.  Sciatica occurs when there is pressure or damage to the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in the spine and runs down the back of each leg. It controls the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg and provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot. Sciatica pain can vary widely. It may feel like a mild tingling, dull ache, or a burning sensation. In some cases, the pain is severe enough to make a person unable to move.  So what can one do to help?  A simple, yet rather uncomfortable yoga asana called Lizard Pose.  I cover Lizard in Lesson #30 of my Yoga Survival Guide, aptly named Zoo Yoga.  So if you could use a little relief, as I encouraged my brother to do, spend 4 minutes a day in Lizard (2 per side), then roll over on your back and come into Happy Baby for another minute – which is also covered in the same lesson.  Remember to slow your breath and try not to wiggle around in the pose, however uncomfortable it may be.  And enjoy your time at the LA Zoo!

A good hurt

I just got off the phone with my sister who’s been doing my fat burning workouts for past two weeks.  She says she loves them and after every workout she feels the burning which she eloquently calls “a good hurt”. She especially favors Thursday’s core and abdominal workout – which she usually does in addition to whatever day she’s on.  Something I highly recommend, as you can certainly tell, since I’m quite the fan of working your abs every single day!  And today she made it a family affair by having my niece (age 11) and my nephew (age 10) join her for Sunday’s workout.  They loved it too!  So if you’re looking for something the whole family can do on a rainy Sunday afternoon, well there you have it – 15 minute fat burning workouts for anyone of any size, weight, age or gender.  And I’ll see you tomorrow – R

Top 10 Excuses

www.RichTola.com

So what’s your excuse for not making fitness a daily part of your life?  Here are the top 10 excuses I’ve heard this year:

1.    It’s too expensive. Well, if you can’t afford the $13.93 to download my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts – only $1.99 per workout – or the $14.99 to download my Yoga Survival Guide, then go for a free 15 minute walk or just lay on your back and stretch and work your core & abs – for any amount of time.
2.    I don’t have the time. Who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves?  And if 1% a day is too much time for you, then make it 5 minutes.
3.    I don’t know what to do. Educate yourself for free on the Internet, or better yet, purchase any fitness or yoga video that resonates with you – hopefully mine.
4.    I’m injured. Speak with your doctor about what you can do to avoid that area of your body – and mindfully and cautiously workout around your injury.
5.    I’m afraid of getting hurt. Before you begin any fitness program, check with your doctor about what you can and cannot do, and really listen to your body at all times.
6.     I’m too old. Nonsense!  Everyday – including this morning – I exchange hellos with this eighty-something year old man in the gym.  Plus, my oldest yoga student was an 88 year-old woman who could barely walk.  Need I say more?
7.    I don’t have the desire. Who does?  I mean, what’s desire got to do with strengthening and preserving your body and your mind for the long term.  It’s a necessity.
8.    I don’t like working out. Same as above.  Plus, try working out everyday for 30 years then tell me if you really like doing it.
9.    It’s too cold outside where I live. Who says you have to go outside to workout?
10.  I’m going to start in the New Year. Great.  Now download my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts or my Yoga Survival Guide, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

All the best in 2011 – R

Start from scratch

This morning I spoke with this twenty-something year old Ethiopian guy who moved here to pursue the American dream.  You know the one:  money, kids, cars, a big house – am I forgetting anything?  Well, he explained to me how his family is considered wealthy by Ethiopian standards, with a nice house and a live-in servant for $20/month (yes, $20), and how he’s basically had to “start from scratch” since arriving two years ago.  Because regardless of his perceived wealthy past, he’s had to start from square one here in the United States.  Just like many people and their fitness programs.  If you haven’t worked out in a really long time, well, you’ll just have to start from scratch.  But that’s not a bad thing.  In fact, why not make it a good thing!  Like with my Ethiopian friend – who has his own apartment, works a full time job and goes to technical college – starting over doesn’t have to be feared.  Keep it simple and keep it short, as in 1% of your day.  Embrace the challenge and have fun with your new beginning.  Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves?  R