Friday Fit 5 Week of 12/30/16

Hope everyone is ready to hit the ground running in the New Year.

Here are the top 5 fittest articles I have come across this week to get you ready to have a happy and healthy New Year

  1. This one is a late Christmas gift from the PTDC.  It is their best articles of 2016.
  2. Setting those New Year’s resolutions?  Success.com is providing 18 motivational quotes to help you effectively set your goals.
  3. 9 Great tips from Dan John on T-Nation to improve the quality of your workout.  I used the first point yesterday to get through a brutal assault bike workout.
  4. This Skinny Burrito Bowl from Delish looks absolutely delish.
  5. I think we all need to end 2016 with a laugh.  After all laughter is the best medicine.  I hope this SNL Dunkin Donuts does the trick.

Have a very safe and happy New Year.  See you all in 2017!!!!!!

Do this one thing before the year ends

The New Year brings  much excitement thinking about what can be accomplished in the year ahead.  But you can’t move forward without knowing where you have been.  You need to know your history, otherwise you will be doomed to repeat it.

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It’s easy to get lost in the monotony of the daily grind.  Sometimes it can feel like we are spinning our wheels and nothing is getting done.

Life is like painting. Up close all you see are the messy brush strokes, but if you take a few steps back the picture’s beauty and message become clear.

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The New Year is a perfect time to take a step back and look at the past year.  It helps us to see our success and failures to determine if things are going in the right direction.

Think of the past year as a roller coaster ride.  There are ups and downs and loops and at some point you get your picture taken making some silly scared face.

Reflecting, whether it be a blog post, or a collage, or in your head is that silly faced photo that ends up on your fridge.

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Here is my silly faced photo of what my past year has looked like:

  • Started the year doing one of the hardest things I had to do and part ways with one of our family members.  We all miss you Boomer
  • Put my big boy pants on and moved out of my parent’s house and in with my girlfriend
  • Witnessed the Eagles draft our future franchise QB in Carson Wentz (Super Bowl!?).
  • Celebrated the marriage of one of my best friends
  • Started a restaurant job to that forced me to learn how to interact with people and learn the difference between providing a service and delivering hospitality
  • Went out on my own and started my own concierge training business
  • Helped my clients get their lives back by developing sustainable strength to help them alleviate pain/become fitter
  • Went back to school to study Physical Therapy
  • Started playing rugby with the Fairfield Yankees where I made a bunch of new friends….and survived rookie night

Not to brag (ok maybe just a little), but it looks like I have had a pretty amazing and eventful year.  And I look forward to another year just like it (minus losing a beloved pet).

I hope your past year has been amazing as well.  If it wasn’t as amazing as you had hoped then use it as a catalyst for change in the new year.

Remember you can’t enjoy the success with out struggle.  The negatives provide you with the feedback to change your course.  For me to have a successful year I had to face adversity.

Facing adversity it what forces us change to succeed.  Toughing it out through adversity is why the payoff  of success is so sweet.

Going back to looking at the painting; It’s not the artist’s skill that makes art beautiful. Actually it is their imperfections and unique view of their environment that we find captivating.

The New Year offers the feeling of new beginnings and change.  I challenge you to reflect before you move forward.  I don’t want you to end up lost out there because you keep making the same wrong turns repeatedly.  I want to see you reach your destination.

Liked this post?  Well there is more where that came from!  Subscribe to this blog to receive weekly training and motivational tips to help you achieve your goals.

We want to hear from YOU!  Share your reflections in the comments section below.  Happy New Year everyone! I hope it’s a happy and healthy one.

snatch
Steve is a NASM CPT and Crossfit Level 1 fitness coach who has a passion for building strength. He views strength building as the ultimate tool for weight loss, performance training, and rehab/prehab for injuries. Steve runs his own concierge training service and is currently studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant.  You contact Steve at sjgsports@gmail.com with any questions or comments you might have.

5 ways to prevent gymtimidation

Do you desire to start working but the thought of the gym intimidates  you?  Well then this might be the best article you read all day to help you get over that fear and start accomplishing your goals.

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The gym can come off as an intimidating and uninviting place. 

 It’s already a huge step for you to make the decision that you are ready to make a change. But big weights, loud noises, and the feeling of people judging you can be quite overwhelming and cause extra anxiety. Planet Fitness has done a great job highlighting a lot of these fears in their ads.

You are not alone.  Whether it is joining a gym, starting a new job,or going on a first date we always experience that intimidation factor.

I had the same experience playing my first rugby season this fall.  

All I knew about the sport was it was rough like football and they threw the ball backwards. 

 Showing up to my first practice I had no idea what to expect.  Were we hitting today? What position will I be playing? Will I fit in with the guys? 

 I created all these stories and scenes in my head  that almost prevented me from making the decision to join the team. 

 Because I was so scared of something foreign to me I almost missed out on the fun I had hitting people, having a new purpose to fuel my training, and most importantly meeting an awesome group of guys.

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The Boys

I am sure I looked a fool out there my first couple practices, being out of position and making god awful passes. But I learned and got better as I went.

My teammates and coaches understood I was new.  Instead of making fun of me for not knowing they, taught me, they became my mentor. 

 I went in with an open mind and listened to tips the vets and coaches gave me.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that these guys  wanted me to succeed. 

 They saw my potential, even if I couldn’t.  They let me know when they saw me make a great pass or was in the right position for a tackle.  It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows though, they also let me know where I messed up so I can correct it.

The big takeaways need to be this:

  1. You are your own prison guard.  You are only confined by the limits you place on yourself.  This includes creating false scenes and scenarios in your head.  At the end of the day no one really cares about the things we lose sleep over and it just creates extra stress we don’t need.
  2. We can only become stronger physically and mentally by getting out of our comfort zones.  Who knows you might find something new you enjoy/are good at by doing so.  That is why I started saying Yes to new experiences.  I don’t want to miss out on anything.
  3. Find a mentor to learn from.  This can be a coach, trainer, or the most jacked person in the gym. These people are experienced and have a wealth of knowledge.  Most people who have been in the game for years are more than happy to share their bag of tricks with you because they want to see you succeed.  Listen to them with an open mind and learn.
  4. Understand you are a beginner and mistakes are a part of the learning process.  You will make mistakes and that is OK.  You can’t be afraid to make the mistakes either.  That is how we learn.  The biggest failure is not learning from past failures.  I have made plenty of mistakes with training programs, but this is why we assess and reassess to make sure we headed in the right direction and tweak things as we go.
  5. Very rarely are people rooting for you to fail.  And if they are it’s nothing you can control, it says more about them than it does you.

Like this article?  Then subscribe to this blog to receive workout tips and motivation to help you reach your goals.  As always we want to hear from you.  Leave your thoughts, story or questions in the comments section below.

snatch
Steve is a NASM CPT and Crossfit Level 1 fitness coach who has a passion for building strength. He views strength building as the ultimate tool for weight loss, performance training, and rehab/prehab for injuries. Steve is currently studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. Steve provides in-home personal training as well as on-line coaching. You contact Steve at sjgsports@gmail.com with any questions or comments you might have.

 

The Friday Fit 5 for the week of 12/23/16

 

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Welcome to our first edition of the Friday Fit 5.  Each week I will post 5 of the most interesting and helpful articles to help you reach your goals.  Check out this weeks slate of great articles from around the fitness community.

  1. Check out this simple training template from the great Jim Wendler featured on T-Nation. This is how I structure most of the training sessions for myself and my clients to see results.
  2. The awesome people at Success Magazine help prepare you to conquer your New Years Resolution with these 7 Wealthy Mentalities of Successful People.  Number 3 is my favorite.
  3. Jazz up your diets with These creative and nutritious food ideas from delish.com
  4. Dr. John Berardi from Precision Nutrition teaches you how to meal prep so you can efficiently and effectively eat healthy no matter how crazy your schedule is.  Be sure to check out the tips for easy quick breakfasts along with lunch and dinner ideas for health on the go.
  5. Everyone needs a coach (yes even Me).  We all have things that we suck at that we can get better at.  Thanks for the reminder Movement as Medicine.

Let us know your thoughts about any of the articles in the comments section below.  And to everyone celebrating this weekend please have a very Merry and safe Christmas!

7 mistakes that will ruin your New Year’s Resolution…and how to avoid them

 

It’s almost that time of year again.  That time when the gym goes from empty to packed with new year’s resolutioners.

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I have nothing against new year’s resolutioners.  I think It’s great to see people have the desire to start the new year trying to get healthy and better themselves.  Unfortunately many will quit after two weeks due to their motivation fading because they don’t  see immediate results or because they get overwhelmed by lack of knowledge and experience.  Here are a few tips to help keep resolutioners on track and finally make this the year you successfully accomplish your resolution.

Don’t start too fast

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Slow and steady wins the race

Many people want to start quick out of the gate. I get it your motivation is high and you want to ride that wave we want to see instant results  from kicking our butt in the gym.  Starting out too fast is a recipe for disaster.  Starting too fast can lead to injury, burn out, and over training.  Instead ease into training and progressively overload to see results.  Maybe start off training two days a week stretching and working 2-3 exercises.  When you start to adapt to the new stress on the body than you can add in more days, exercises, reps, weight etc.  You need to set your throttle to what your body can handle.   Remember  fitness is all about building a healthy and sustainable life style, not just losing a quick 10lbs.

Letting the scale be your judge

The scale is everyone’s go to tool to track success,unfortunately it is the worst tool.  Your weight only tells you the gravitational pull on your body.  Fat, muscle, food in the stomach, liquids, etc. are all a factor in your weight.  The scale doesn’t tell us what makes up our weight.  I have had clients not lose a lbs but change the composition of their bodies and use things like the mirror test, how well their clothes fit, performance bench marks and body fat % calculators track their improvement.  All those things are better indicators than the scale.

Only focusing on the gym

You can’t outwork a bad diet.  Trust me I know from experience.  Going to the gym can’t be the only thing you do to be successful in achieving your resolutions.  It has to be 100% nutrition and 100% exercise.  When you get a hold of your nutrition it is amazing how much more energy you have, how efficiently your body works to burn calories, and how you feel happier and healthier.

Not hiring a coach

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I know think I might know it all, but I don’t (my friends and family will definitely back me up on that).   You don’t either.  Often times when I leave my realm of expertise I get myself into trouble. This is why we hire doctors to diagnose and treat injuries, mechanics to fix cars, and plumbers to fix pipes because they are experts and possess knowledge we don’t have.  These people will guide you and have the necessary tools to help solve your issue.

Fitness is no different.  Don’t just try to wing it.  Hire a professional to help you determine the best way to achieve your goal.  Fitness coaches are experts in not just working out, but motivation and at holding you accountable. Even the best people have coaches that keep them on track.  Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, has a coach to help him get faster.   Everyone needs a coach that motivates and teaches you even if it’show to lose your 10lbs of fat, and keep it off.  There is no shame in admitting you don’t know something.  It’s better to do it right than do it 10 million times the wrong way and give up.

Not doing something you enjoy

Training shouldn’t be a chore.  Find something you enjoy to get fit.  You don’t have to do the same boring body building routine everyone does in the gym.  Lift heavy if you want to.  Do a body weight boot camp.  Do rock climbing. Do Yoga.  Do HIIT or strongman training.  Do whatever will keep you engaged and coming back for more!

Only focusing on achieving your big goals

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More than JUST another brick in the wall

Achieving goals is like building a brick wall.  Yea we want the wall to just be  built, but for it to be build we must go through the process of mixing the cement, spreading the cement, lifting the brick, and placing it perfectly.  That’s a lot of work and need to feel good when we lay the brick perfectly.  Eventually all those perfectly laid bricks build a strong solid wall built to last.

We all have that one golden goal we want to accomplish.  Unfortunately  achieving goals isn’t a straight line from point A to point B.  There will be set backs, twists and turns along this journey that we can’t discouraged over.  Overcoming these set backs are what actually make us stronger, these are our bricks.

This is why I like to work back wards when I set my goals.  I come up with my big goal of what I want to accomplish, then I think about the steps it will take to achieve that and develop smaller goals based off that.  I also think about the possible hurdles I will face and include them as goals. I know we all want to accomplish big things now (trust me I feel your pain), but we need to realize that it’s the small goals that keep us on a track toward success and when it’s all said and done add up to accomplishing one pretty impressive big goal.

Being one and done

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Not a rap or Jay Z fan but when he is right, he is right

So you stuck it out and achieved your goal.  That doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up shop and high tail it out of here.  Your journey is far from over, like Jay Z said it’s “on to the next one”.    Sure give yourself time to celebrate and feel good about your success, but your job is not done and it’s time to set your sights onto something else.  Maybe you lost those 10lbs and now it’s time to maintain.  Maybe because you feel healthier and lighter you took up a new hobby and you have to train to get better at that.  Maybe you enjoy getting stronger and want to add another plate to your lifts.  There is always something else to accomplish and keep us going making health and fitness a fun and never ending journey.

There you have it.  Avoid those seven  mistakes and you will be well on your way to having a successful and healthy new year!

We would love to hear about some of the issues/tips that have prevented or helped  you achieve your new year’s resolution.   Let us know in the comments section below

snatch
Steve is a NASM CPT and Crossfit Level 1 fitness coach who has a passion for building strength. He views strength building as the ultimate tool for weight loss, performance training, and rehab/prehab for injuries. Steve is currently studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. Steve provides in-home personal training as well as on-line coaching. You contact Steve at sjgsports@gmail.com with any questions or comments you might have.

Your Holiday Fitness Survival Guide

Im starting to really get in the Christmas spirit over here.  In fact my girlfriend and I were so excited to get our first tree together yesterday. We even got to cut it down ourselves. That felt really manly.  Too bad I didn’t wear any flannel so I could really look like a lumber jack with my awesome beard!

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O’Christmas Tree, O’Christmas Tree

When we got home we had a ton of fun decorating it with lights and ornaments and jamming out to our favorite Christmas tunes (mine is Holly Jolly Christmas in case you were wondering).  In the midst of all that fun it got me thinking about you.

I  got to thinking how last week we talked about why the Holiday Season is the perfect time to start getting fit (if you missed it you can read it here). I told you the what and why but I never told you the HOW.  I know it’s easy to talk the talk during this season, but now I am going to show you how to walk the walk.

Not much of what you have to do changes from the rest of the year.   It’s just with so many holidays and events occurring within 1 month that it can be easy to be thrown out of your rhythm.  Pretty much what we need to do is put some of our good habits into hyper-drive to stay fit this season.  So hang on to your elf ears because here we go!

Make Your List and Check it Twice

naughty.jpgI love food.  I love delicious food.  There is plenty of delicious food to be had during this season  Everything from Christmas cookies, to just ordering out because you are tired from cutting down Christmas trees will happen.

We can’t let our nutrition can get away from us.  Meeting friends for drinks, parties with finger foods, family gatherings can throw our nutrition plans off track and really pack on the pounds.  Logging your food with either pen and paper, chisel and stone or more humane ways like the My Fitness Pal app can help you track your nutrition.   Tracking is vital to see where you have been naughty and where you have been nice in sticking with your nutrition.   Logging let’s us see where we can have a little leeway and have fun, or where you have to tighten up and reel things back.   It may seem like a lot of work but it literally takes 1 minute a couple times a day.

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Flame

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The holidays are a double whammy for me.  I love to eat, There is no doubt that food plays a major part in celebrating the holidays.  You can limit the damage by finding healthier ways to make some of your favorite dishes.  You can find fun, healthy, and delicious holiday themed recipes here such as healthy eggnog and ginger crinkle cookies.  Remember healthy foods can be surprisingly delicious.

It’d be A Blue Christmas Without You

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We don’t need Santa to bring us a lot of toys to get fit.  I workout in my apartment and survive on a few resistance bands, kettle bells and my body weight.  We don’t need over-complicated workouts to get the job done.  Just as long as you focus on pushing, pulling, squatting, hinging, twisting and carrying things you are golden.

I love working out like this because I can get in great workouts without worrying if the gym is open due to weather or holidays, spend 2 hours doing my workout because I had to wait for equipment, or go out of my way to travel to the gym.  I love how taking a minimalist approach to training allows me to work around my busy work and school (and now holiday) schedule.  I can work out whenever, whether that be first thing in the morning (after coffee of course), sneaking it in between clients, or in the evening after work.  Here are a few ways that I  conveniently train.

  1. Bodyweight exercises-Don’t have heavy weights? That’s OK me neither.  You can still get strong and burn fat using your own body weight. Push ups, squats, lunges, rows, jumps and crawls are super effective exercises to help you reach your goals in any environment.  Here are 50 exercises to help you get started and add variety to your workouts.
  2. HIIT Training– When I am in a crunch I love to work High Intensity Interval Training.  In under 20 minutes I can get a full body strength workout that will also get me breathing heavy.  Another awesome feature of HIIT training is that is puts you in a fat burning state for hours after your workout.  Theoretically HIIT training can have you burn fat while you party.

Here is an example of a body weight Tabata workout. :20 work/:10 rest 8 rds of one exercise before moving on to the next.

Lunges

Push ups

Rows

Mountain climbers/bear crawls (2 steps forward/2 steps backwards if you’re in tight quarters)

Complexes– This is one of my favorite ways to train. You can use bodyweight, kettle bells, dumb bells or bar bells and get a full body workout in a relatively short amount of time.  When it comes to complexes you can either do it for either reps or see how many rounds you can complete in a given time.  The idea is you want to move your body/weight from the floor on up the body in a sequence that makes sense.

Here is an example of a simple kettle bell complex.  Notice how the order of the exercises make sense on getting it into positions for the next exercise.

  1. 5 2 handed kettle bell swings
  2. 5 2 handed kettle bell clean
  3. 5 2 handed kettle bell goblet squat
  4. 5 2 handed kettle bell presses

5 rounds

This is a great chance to get creative and just mess around.  If you are stuck in pinch and need some kettle bell complex ideas check out my man Pat Flynn.

On The First Day of…..

Usually I am against challenges.  I see them as gimmicky and because they leave you stranded at the north pole once you are done.

One thing I do like about challenges is that it gives you a clear goal and a set of guide lines to accomplish that goal.  That goal keeps you committed and accountable because no one likes that feeling of failure.

I did Dan John’s 10,000 swing challenge last year to keep me on track during the holidays.  The challenge lasts anywhere from 4-5 weeks depending how many days you decided to workout. I started this challenge 2 weeks before Christmas that way the momentum of training carried over and set the tone for the new year.  I also wanted to have that feeling of being successful and accomplishing something to start off the new year.

I am not saying you have to do Dan John’s challenge (although I’d recommend it, but prepare for mental and physical evil) but pick one that meets your goals/interests you and get to work!

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

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I like to schedule one cheat day a week.  Right now it’s on Sundays so I can enjoy (and I use that term loosely this season) watching my Eagles play with beer and wings.  Between parties and celebrating the holidays with family I will probably be a bit more flexible on when I take my cheat days that way I am not a wet blanket on those days.

Rock Around the Christmas Tree

We all hate the feeling of cheating.  After all cheaters never win right?  It sucks because even though we schedule that cheat day we still feel awful.  Whether it be the guilt or the food making us physically sick it never feels worth it.

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That is why I make it a point to workout on my cheat days.  It is a bit of damage control, but it also helps me mentally to feel less guilty because I know that I did something good and that the day wasn’t a complete disaster.  My cheat days are the days I make sure to do my HIIT training so I am in a fat burning state as I am being bad.  I know at my house we make it fun and play 5 million rounds of Just Dance on the Wii on Christmas.  It’s good for a few laughs (especially because I have 2 left feet) and a lot of sweat.

Follow these rules and you will survive the holidays and be ready for a healthy and happy New Year!

Let us know how you plan to stay fit this the holiday season.  Let us know in the comments below

snatch
Steve is a NASM CPT and Crossfit Level 1 fitness coach who has a passion for building strength. He views strength building as the ultimate tool for weight loss, performance training, and rehab/prehab for injuries. Steve is currently studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. Steve provides in-home personal training as well as on-line coaching. You contact Steve at sjgsports@gmail.com with any questions or comments you might have.

Why This Holiday Season Is The PERFECT Time To Get Fit

Finally, I can officially say Happy Holidays to you.  I may be a little late as many people consider it the holidays right after Halloween or when they see Santa Claus comes down Fifth Avenue in the Thanksgiving day parade. For me it is not the holiday season until I see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on TV.  Well Rudolph was on Tuesday night so HAPPY HOLIDAYS YA FILTHY ANIMALS!!!!

That’s one humble bumble

The holiday season is a busy time for all of us.  This season is full of  parties, visits from family and friends, travel, and other festive events which leads to overeating/drinking, hectic schedules and stress (this makes me think of that song the “12 Pains of Christmas”).

Despite everything going on I am here to tell you that this holiday season is THE PERFECT time to start working toward your fitness goal, and here is why:

Strike While the Iron’s Hot

Inspiration can strike at any moment and anywhere.  Maybe that feeling after Thanksgiving dinner was the catalyst you needed to jump starting your fitness journey.  Whatever the reason might be act on it immediately.  The longer you wait to act the more likely it will be that your inspiration will fade and make it that much easier to make excuses on why you shouldn’t/can’t start.

Making the decision to start is a huge and  uncomfortable step.  It involves us getting out of our comfort zone and admit we need to correct a problem.  Keep in mind you don’t have to start with anything huge.  Many people want to fix the problem immediately and hit the ground full steam ahead.  They quickly get overwhelmed with everything and eventually give up.  To set yourself up for success start small and keep adding other small things.  Before you know it all those shall things will add up to big things.  It’s about getting 1% better everyday, not 100% better in 1 day.

It Only Gets Easier From Here

We already mentioned how this is one of the busiest time of year.  If you can start healthy habits and keep them going this time of year then the rest of the year should be a cake walk.  Figure this as trial by fire.  It is easy anytime of year to make excuses on why you can’t work out.  This time of year it seems to be 1,000x easier with so much going on.  Excuse making can become a slippery slope.  It might start with skipping workouts, or adding an extra cheat day on your diet because of a  huge events.   Before you know it you are cancelling workouts because the grass is green and ordering Dominoes because today ends in a Y.

I have no time!, I can’t get to the gym! etc. are awful excuses.  Thanks to High Intensity Interval Training we can get a great workout in in about 20 minutes.  Take Tabata for example. Pick 4 exercises (body weight exercises work great btw :)), do 8 rds of one exercise before moving on to the next.  Each round consists of :20 seconds of work/:10 of rest.  That is a 16 minute workout right there.  Add in a 5 minute warm and BOOM! 20 minute full body workout that will increase strength and burn fat.  You don’t need much room to do this as well making it a perfect workout to do at home (see don’t need the gym all the time;)).  Work this in 3-5x a week and you have a solid holiday workout plan.

Your Body Doesn’t Deserve Coal

We give everyone else a gift, why not give one to our bodies? That is unless you think your body deserves to be on the naughty list.  We treat our bodies like we are Scrooge and our bodies are Bob Cratchet from a Christmas Carol.  We overwork them (yes even on Christmas) for little pay.  It’s time we take care of it.

Exercise has been proven to help relieve stress, which there is an abundance of this time of year.  Stress can have a negative effect on our body including weight gain, aging, and an increased risk of getting sick.  Working out can alleviate this.  It has also been proven that working out helps to increase dopamine levels (the happy hormone) in the brain, which can help really make this a Happy Holiday for you.

A Successful Start to the New Year

I always heard that successful people make their bed in the morning.  I never knew why until my mom told me it was because it was the first successful task they completed every day.  No matter what happened the rest of the day these people can look back and say that the day was not a failure because they have done something successful

We are taking bed making idea to the next level.  New Year Resolutions are all about fresh starts and setting yourself up for success.  The number one New Year’s resolution is weight loss.  How great would it be to wake up January 1st having already accomplished a goal?  Pretty awesome right? Instead of starting on the 1st we are already had success and are set up to continue steamrolling toward our goals (and creating new ones).  This is the time we throw more gas on the fire and buckle down to get where it is we want to be.  It will take work,  but you can set your self up to have a very Happy, Healthy and Successful New Year.

Need help surviving the holiday season. Stay tuned for the holiday survival guide coming out soon!  Or click this link to set up in-home or on-line personal training.

 

What are some methods you use to survive the holidays?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

snatch
Steve is a NASM CPT and Crossfit Level 1 fitness coach who has a passion for building strength. He views strength building as the ultimate tool for weight loss, performance training, and rehab/prehab for injuries. Steve is currently studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. Steve provides in-home personal training as well as on-line coaching. You contact Steve at sjgsports@gmail.com with any questions or comments you might have.