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

Top 10 Excuses

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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

Get a good lead

North Pole Sunset

When you’re a base-runner it’s always best to get a good lead so you’re in a better position to advance.  And just like in any sport, and in life, it’s always best to be well-conditioned and well-prepared to achieve whatever advantage you can over the opposition.  So let’s consider Mother Nature and Father Time the pitcher and the catcher, and let’s say you’re on base.  Why not get a good lead by starting your new daily fitness program today, if you haven’t started one already?  Because with all the punishing weather out there it’s easy to just curl up in a ball and chill out on the couch for 12 hours.  Well, that sounds relaxing, but don’t forget to get your workout in, even if you stretch out and work your abs for 15 minutes.  Hint: “Thursday’s 15 Minute Fat Burning Workout”.  Plus, you’ll get a head start on your New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get in shape or start sculpting that bikini body for next summer.  So take advantage of Mother Nature and Father Time and get started today.  And don’t forget the sugar-free hot chocolate!  R

What are friends for?

Thursday's Fat Burning Workout

This morning I met this fifty-something gal in the gym with a great body who’s always there.  The first thing I asked her was if she worked out everyday.  She said yes.  Then I said, 5 days as week, and she gave me this look like are you crazy, and emphatically says, “No, 7 days”.  Then along comes her fifty-something guy friend who meekly says, “ahhhhh, I won’t be here tomorrow so Merry Christmas”.  She then gives him the exact look she gave me and asks why not. The man hesitates and says he won’t be there because he has to baby-sit his grandkids.  So she proclaims, “At 5 o’clock in the morning, oh come on Johnny, you better be here!”  Now what are friends for, right?  Just that.  To care about you, to support you, to motivate you, and to make you accountable when things get hard  – like working out everyday at 5am.  I totally understand why some people have more success with a fitness or weight loss program when they have a partner, or network of like-minded, mutually supportive individuals to help them through the tough times. So if you’re that type of person who benefits from the extra push from your friends, then embrace it and find your workout partner today!  And get started with your daily fitness program – whatever it may be.  Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves?  R

No judgment

In my opinion, this is the most important lifestyle and yoga principle that everyone should embrace.  And I truly dislike that word should because it implies that one is projecting their personal standards and opinions upon another.  But in this case it applies.  Because whether or not you did or didn’t do something, like shirking a responsibility, or not working out, or partying too much, or being mean to your parents or your dog, well, forget about it and don’t judge yourself for doing it.  It’s in the past and every new moment gives you a new beginning.  No reason to waste energy, effort and feelings on something you can’t change.  Especially when it comes to other people.  Because for sure we can’t change what others do or say.  And why should we or even want to?  That’s what makes life interesting.  The uniqueness of people we meet who impact our lives and help us evolve in whatever subtle or major way.  All this coming from a guy who was once the life of the party who also judged.  Believe me, anyone can change at any given moment, if you really want to.  Or like my father used to say to me in baseball, “you gotta wanna bunt”.  So let go of any judgment you may have for anything you did today or this holiday season.  And I’ll see you tomorrow.  R

Sick and tired of being sick and tired

I was speaking with a friend today about how most people are sick and tired of the same old thing.  That is to say, the state of our economy, the 12.5% unemployment rate in California, the depressed real estate markets throughout the country, how it’s more difficult to make the same amount of money for the same amount of work (or more), how going to a gym or yoga studio has become so expensive that it’s prohibitive for most of his twenty-something peers – $15 for a gym workout and $25 for a drop-in yoga class in his neighborhood, and finally, how bad overindulging with food and alcohol at holiday parties – or anytime for that matter – and not working out can make you feel.  But really, who isn’t sick and tired of being sick and tired?  There’s a new year coming, it’s time to reflect, refuel and re-focus, and it’s time to get your mind and your body in the best possible condition via the simplest and most affordable way. So forget about being sick and tired and get with a 15 minute fat burning daily fitness program today!  It’ll make that same old same old seem much much better. And I’ll see you tomorrow.  R

A little above the weather

Monday's Fat Burning Workout

Everyone knows the feeling when the weather’s got you down and you’re ‘a little under the weather’ right?  Well how about turning the tables on today’s bad weather and telling yourself exactly the opposite – that you’re a little above the weather!  Because that weather malaise is just a temporary mindset you can enthusiastically change.  I know for most of you Mother Nature has been rather frigid and snowy and all around nasty, but for those of us in LA it feels like we should be boarding Noah’s Arc right about now.  And since we’re relatively spoiled with our clear blue sunny skies – well, who says you can’t move to LA – it’s especially easy to feel under the weather and fall off your daily routine.  Don’t do it.  Or if you do, just make it one day only, not two or three in a row.  Because while everyone else around you feels a bit more weather-like with each passing day, you’ll be the bright a cheerful one who got your workout in.  For sure you’ll feel better and for sure your positive energy will radiantly affect everyone around you.  And maybe you’ll even motivate your loved ones to do the same, so they can bask in the sunshine of their own positive energy.  So get your 15 Minute Fat Burning Workout in today.  And I’ll see you tomorrow.  R