Archives for May 2013

Feel Great With a Simple Exercise

This is a true story. At a recent martial arts class run by a friend of mine, a 70+ year old women hit a pad wrong and broke her thumb. My friend took her to the emergency room where they spent several hours getting taken care of. I don’t think they got out of there until 1am or so. Do you know what the woman said as they parted ways for the evening?

“See you at class on Saturday.”

Wow! Let’s not even get into how tough a 70+ year old woman must be to take a pretty intense martial arts class. How about the attitude it takes to suffer a broken thumb and then just plan on getting right back to it. Here’s the thing, though. She probably didn’t even think twice about it. She just goes to class every Saturday so why would this Saturday be any different?

Now while I do want to call attention to a super-tough woman busting her tail, the real reason I want to talk about this is to bring up something that I am more and more convinced of every day. It’s simply this:

You make the decision every day how you feel.

We all know some version of the person who gets a little sniffle and, in a panic, dashes to Walgreens for Airborne tablets and Vitamin C. When that doesn’t stem the tide they are left to wonder, “Why oh why am I always getting sick!” I think they’re always getting sick because the second they feel anything, they forget about living their life and focus solely on bemoaning their fate. What would happen if when they got a sniffle they simply grabbed a kleenex, blew their nose and went about their day? It reminds me of what they tell you when you learn to ride a motorcycle: when making a turn, look where you want to go. If you look where you don’t want to go, like at a tree or another car, you will inevitably wind up right in the middle of it. If you keep looking at yourself being sick, that is what you will convince yourself you are.

Now of course I’m not talking about serious illness and I certainly don’t intend to belittle people with serious legitimate health problems, but we all know people that give you an enthusiastic “Great! How are you?” when you ask how they are, and we also know people who you don’t even want to ask. Is it a concidence that the “Great!” people usually are great and the others aren’t? Are they just lucky enough to hit the “feeling great” lottery every single day or have they just made a decision that they’re going to feel great?

This is where the simple exercise that I referred to in the title comes in. Some of you may already be doing it and if you aren’t, you really should (like squats). Here it is:

When someone asks you how you’re doing, respond with, “I’m great!” and really mean it. Not meaning it would be pointless, like if you were supposed to run sprints but you slowly walked them instead. If you do this simple exercise I guarantee that you will start to really be great and won’t have to force it much longer. After all, we spend so much time, energy and money trying to feel better, isn’t doing this at least worth a shot?

Let me know how it goes.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Lean Eating Coach
I help people discover their strength

Random Thoughts To Help You Get Better

Wow! The weather sure has turned the last week or so. It has been beautiful. Walking the puppies each night has been even more wonderful than usual. I have a couple of announcements but first I want to give you some random ideas to help get you better. Some of these things have sure helped me:
1. You just can’t overstate the value of nutrition no matter what your goals are. You don’t always have to be 100% and you can eat some ice cream from time to time but I swear if you just base everything around lean protein, fruits and veggies, cook in olive and coconut oil, snack on nuts and drink plenty of water I guarantee you’ll be doing pretty well.
2. You’ll make more progress working hard doing the world’s worst program than you’ll make taking it easy doing the world’s best program. In other words, effort is the most important thing you can have and that is controlled 100% by you. Effort takes no talent and effort takes no physical fitness. You can be in awful shape and give 100%. Let’s get it going!
3. If you’re not squatting, you need to start. Squatting can be made to assist in nearly every goal from weight loss to muscle gain to increased athletic performance. You don’t have to have a bar on your back with a bunch of weight on it but squatting is a pretty darn important movement pattern that can help spare your knees, hips and back a lot of problems if done right. If you don’t know how to do it right, then find someone who does. By the way, if you think you’re doing it right but want a quick test to check, do the following:
A. Stand in your squat stance facing a wall with your toes about 2-3 inches away from it and your arms hanging down between your legs
B. Squat down so that the top of your things are about parallel with the ground
If your knees or face hit the wall you aren’t squatting correctly.
4. This is about more than physical fitness. This is about discovering inner strength and confidence. It’s about doing things that you couldn’t do before. It’s about doing things you may have never thought you could do.  

5. Take care of your shoulders and your posture. You might not appreciate this when you’re younger, but good posture will help every area of your physical life. 

Enjoy the weather! 

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Lean Eating Coach
I Help People Discover Their Strength