Stick to Your Guns

Whenever I hear the expression “stick to your guns”, I think of Tom Cruise (aka Maverick) in the 1986 blockbuster, Top Gun, when he’s in the heat of battle with six hostile MiGs and triumphantly declares, “I will not leave my wingman”.  Now that’s someone with true conviction who literally sticks to his guns, and one who sets a great example for anyone with little or no resolve to even make it through Lent without abandoning their abstinence.

Case in point:

I recently had dinner with two friends, a man and woman about my age (i.e., 50), who have each gained 20+ pounds in the past year. And both said exactly the same thing – that they “gave up sugar for Lent” and were determined to shed their unwanted weight. But when it came time for dessert, they both changed their tune and ordered the most sugar-filled items on the menu – Tiramisu in an edible chocolate cup and a slice of Red Velvet cake.  So when I chuckled and asked, “Aren’t you going to stick to your guns and not eat sugar for the next 40 days”, they simply brushed me off and said it was no big deal since it was only this one time.

So much for having the courage and discipline to stick to their guns, especially when it comes to their health and well-being. Something I just can’t get my arms around (no pun intended).

Think about it. Setting your intentions and following through with your game plan, i.e., doing what you say, is not only good for your psyche and your self-confidence, but also helps everyone else around you because you’re leading by example. And if you don’t believe you can do it…NONSENSE. Just set your intentions and muster the fortitude to stick to your guns.

YOU CAN DO IT…just like I’ve been doing in Hollywood for the past 7 years. Peace – R

Rich Tola at LA Fashion Week
Rich Tola at Los Angeles Fashion Week (March 10, 2014)

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

Time to Weigh-in

When was the last time you stepped on the scale? If it wasn’t this morning, then it’s Time to Weigh-in!

That’s right, it’s time for you to check your weight as we enter the final three weeks of the year. And if you haven’t taken my advice from last New Year’s Day – click HERE to read my blog – then consider the following discourse “to make the better choice” as articulated in Chapter 67 of my new memoir,

Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood (click to preview on Amazon.com):

author, Rich Tola
author, Rich Tola

Chapter 67 – SELF CORRECT

“If you consider Lucy, a 3.2 million year-old ape, as our human ancestor, then as a species we’ve been around a long time. Individually though, it’s less than 100 years. The way I figure it, I’ll be happy to get 80 great years out of it, so why not keep my body (and mind) as young as possible, for as long as possible. How do I plan on doing that? Through proper diet and exercise, two of the hardest simple words in the English language. Because to do each one correctly requires pain and sacrifice. Maybe discomfort is a better word than pain, but you know what I mean. And to master each of these two simple words, you need to “self-correct”. Self-correct refers to making adjustments along the way, consciously reminding yourself to make the better choice.”

And for those of you who believe there’s no chance you can lose those extra pounds you’ve already gained this holiday season – NONSENSE!

Anyone can lose a few measly pounds in less than 21 days! Just MAKE THE BETTER CHOICE when it comes to food and alcohol – you know what that means – and be sure to embrace a Daily Fitness Program. And if you don’t have money for a gym or yoga studio, then start walking everyday and/or start doing any one of my 100 Days of 5-Minute Fat Burning Workouts on YouTube: Boulevard Zen.

Because who doesn’t have 5 minutes a day to respect themselves? Enjoy – R

5 Years Goes By Quick!

Exactly 5 years ago today I purchased a one-way ticket and boarded a plane to Hollywood. Of course, I had a “Five Year Plan”, which you’ll read all about in Chapter 3 of my soon-to-be-released memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood. But when does anything go according to plan, right? Nevertheless, it’s been an amazing 5 years and I’m really looking forward to the next leg of my journey! Because, no matter if you’re “on-track” to meet your pre-determined plan, life always throws you a curve ball. And just like a batter expecting the fastball but gets the curve – relax, stay focused, keep you eye on the ball, and go with the pitch. And always remember, wherever you go, go with all your heart.

Here’s my Top Ten highlights of the past 5 years:

1) Produced, directed and starred in my first feature film, Boulevard Zen
2) Created and produced a video encyclopedia of 100 yoga poses, Yoga Survival Guide
3) Created and produced a yoga/fitness video for 7 days a week, 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts
4) Created and produced 100 consecutive days of free yoga/fitness videos, 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts: 100 Workouts in 100 Days
5) Founded a charity teaching yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters, The Boulevard Zen Foundation
6) Launched the Fat Burn America Tour: 100 Cities in 100 Days (albeit, I didn’t procure the necessary funding)
7) Quit drinking and my “player” ways (OK, that’s 2 but they go together)
8) Lived in paradise (Hawaii) for 3 months
9) Wrote my first book, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood
10) Moved to the most lovable and unique city in the country: San Francisco

Oh, did I mention I worked out every day for the past 5 years. I guess that goes without saying, because anyone can commit to a daily fitness program, if you set your sights and try. So for those of you not currently trying to fight Father Time on a daily basis, here’s another 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout to get you started. Enjoy – R

Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood

As I get ready to publish my rather colorful memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, I like to give a shout out to my team at CreateSpace – thanks so much for all your hard work and for doing such a timely and professional job! It’s been a blast finishing my book in Hawaii, and come this Valentine’s Day you’ll have a chance to read my “fun and inspiring page-turner” as described by my psychic, Jeanie MacDonald (who appears in Chapter 64 – The Glass Tower). Because what’s an aspiring best-selling author without a vote of confidence from one of the world’s best psychics!

And if you need a little help restoring your body – and your daily fitness routine – today, here’s another 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout to put a spark in your day! Enjoy – R

Yoga can hurt you…so arm yourself with knowledge!

There’s been a lot of talk these days about how “yoga can wreck your body”. Well, there’s no question that practicing yoga with an inexperienced or bad teacher can lead to injury; I’ve been hurt three times in the past six years from so-called master teachers and their inappropriate sequencing of poses. Unfortunately, just like Glenn Black says in the NY Times article, “To many schools of yoga are just about pushing people”. Add to that, too many yoga teachers have no background in physical fitness and/or body mechanics, and voila, yoga can hurt you.

Proof in point: Last summer I read a GQ article and posted my Letter to the Editor in my July 22nd blog (click HERE to read). In short, a NYC studio owner prescribed a 15 minute yoga workout with three twisting and forward bending poses that made me cringe. Because there are certainly yoga poses that should never be attempted without the proper (and complete) understanding of how to come into and out of each pose, as well as properly warming up the spine and preparing your body. And if you’re new to yoga, be extremely careful with any teacher that’s pushing too hard or moving too fast – especially an overzealous one that’s new to the profession.

And if you’re someone who truly wants the benefits of yoga but are reluctant to take a class (for a variety of reasons), then try my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts that are based on yoga principles and employ my very precise teaching style that’s designed to minimize injury to any body part, especially the neck and low back. Or better yet, if you really want to arm yourself with knowledge, then watch my Yoga Survival Guide with 30 fun lessons teaching you the proper and safe way to practice 100 yoga poses. Enjoy – R