It’s All About Balance

Ok, time for some Hector-isms regarding weight-loss, exercise, and the such. These are just some simple fitness and battle of the bulge tips to keep in mind. My clients hear the following from me over, and over, and over again.

1. Women, mujeres, muchachas, you cannot eat like a man unless you want to weigh what a man weighs. Why can’t you eat like a man ladies? Because on average, men are bigger/taller than women, and men carry more muscle mass than women. Being taller and carrying more muscle mass allows for more calorie consumption. So ladies, every time you sit down to eat with a man who is bigger than you, make sure your plate’s amount doesn’t match his.

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2. Women, you cannot drink  as many adult drinks as a man does for the same reasons I just stated above. If your male friend has 10 beers over the weekend, and you do to, you will pay the price more than he will, in the form of fat accumulation.

3. Women, lifting weights will not make you buff or bulky. To be buff or bulky you would have to be really, really strong. Like WAAAAYYYYYY stronger than you probably are right now. Very few women have the genetic predisposition to get bulky/buff. If it was that easy to be buff, you would see buff men everywhere, and that is simply not the case. Ladies, don’t be afraid of getting strong.

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And now for my compadres, the men.

4. Vigorous exercise helps circulation/blood flow to all parts of the human body. Good blood flow helps your friend downstairs stand at attention. Get it!!!

5. Men, if you’re not sure if you have gained weight in the form of eff-aye-tee in the last 10 years, there is a simple way to find out. Go find a pair of pants and a shirt that fit you well ten years ago and try them on. If they are super tight or don’t even fit, you have gained weight. The four things that don’t lie about weight gain are clothing, the mirror, the scale, and children. If a child says “you’ve gained weight”, you probably have. I once was told by a kid that I have big ears, and guess what, I have big ears. But that’s ok because guess what they say about men with big ears? They say we hear well. (Get your brain out the gutter).

6. Men, do you like how women look who workout? You like a nice firm and toned body?  Well guess what? Women like how men look who workout too. You don’t believe me, just ask a few of your female amigas.

7. Men, take advantage of the testosterone you produce naturally and do resistance training. Your body will thank you for it, and you might build some muscle too.

Now some Hector-isms for everyone.

8. Just because you can stomach it, doesn’t mean you should eat it. Think junk food.

9. Your stomach is not a garbage can.

10. Do you have a car? Do you take your car in for its maintenance and scheduled tune ups? Well, guess que? Your body is a much more complicated piece of machinery than a car, so give it its tune-ups too, in the form of exercise, and provide it with clean fuel/food while you’re at it. You can always replace a car, but the last time I checked, you get one body. Yep, just one. True Dat!!!

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11. You don’t run on batteries. If you’re constantly tired and addicted to caffeine, check your food quality and sleep amounts.

Sleep is the best meditation Dalai Lama quotes

12. And finally, I believe life is about balance. Go ahead, have fun, eat some pizza, drink some beer, stay up late, but make sure you balance it out by eating clean, drinking water, exercising, and getting your sleep.

taichi

 

 

How Much Exercise Do You Need?

How much and how often you should exercise depends on your goals. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to get stronger? Are you training for endurance, like a marathon (if you are, you so crazy)? All of the previous goals require different routines, intensity levels, and frequency.

I have read and heard various theories on the amount of exercise one needs to maintain a decent level of fitness. I was recently asked by a client if taking 10,000 steps a day is a good goal? I couldn’t answer because I had no idea how far 10,000 steps is for the average person. So I Googled “10,000 steps”, and I was shocked.

10,000 steps is approximately 5 miles! That is f-a-a-r. At a 3 mile per hour pace, you would have to walk for one hour and forty minutes straight, without a break, to walk 5 miles. If you accumulated 10,000 steps a day, six days a week, you would be walking 30 miles per week, and approximately 120 miles a month. 120 multiplied by 125 calories per mile burned would be 15,000 calories a month used as fuel from walking. That’s almost 5 pounds of fat burned, in one month!!! Ok, did you feel that free-fall descent back to earth? Wheeeeee!! That was the realization that very few people walk 5 miles per day, erry-day.

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I used to tell people that they needed to accumulate 5 hours of exercise/movement per week. Boy, I tell you, I was being kind. Because if 10,000 steps a day is the going rate to stay fit, I was undershooting with my advice, big time. If you are one of those rare folks, rare like a flawless diamond and not like a steak, who walks 5 miles a day, you are a beast!!!!! Being called a beast in the exercise world is a good thing. So I guess you can call my wife and I “Beauty and The Beast”. (I had to write that one).

Now to be fair about calling myself a beast, I doubt that I walk 5 miles a day. I am sure that on days I exercise (cardio+weights) and work, I might get in 10,000 steps, but that’s a stretch.

stretching

Let me share with you what I can do: I can dead-lift 315 lbs about 3 times. I can do anywhere from 12 to 15 full range of motion pullups without kipping. I can do about 5 to 8 pullups with 20 lbs attached to my body. I can overhead press (barbell) 105 lbs about 3 times without my legs helping (so it’s not a push-press). I don’t bench press anymore.  I can do a boxing class without having a heart attack. I can run pretty fast, and jump decently high. That’s me touching a 10 ft high basketball rim, but that was like a year and a half ago. I might have to try that again.

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Peep the Vans I’m wearing.

Please keep in mind that I am 42 years old, 5’11”, weigh 185 lbs, and do not use steroids. I was much stronger in my 20’s, without steroids of course. (I have nothing against roids, it’s just not my thing.)

The previous braggadocious paragraph does serve a purpose other than narcissism. It is to show you that I practice what I preach, because no one should hire an out of shape trainer, and that I maintain those fitness/strength levels with about 5 hours per week of not so easy exercise. I lift weights 3 times per week for an hour per session, and do a one hour boxing class twice per week (most of the time). That’s it!! The rest is diet. FYI, six-pack abs are created in the kitchen, and not in the gym. Sorry.

More on food.

Nutrition is the foundation of how you perform when you workout. The crappier your food, the crappier your workout. Your nutrition is also the main factor that will determine how you look, known as body composition, and how much of your hard work in the gym will show on the outside. The cleaner your diet, and the more you eat according to your desired weight, the more “tone” your body will reveal. Tone=reduced body fat levels. We often say “he or she has good muscle tone”, but what we are really saying is that he or she has body fat levels low enough to show muscle definition. Here’s the ultimate heart breaker. You can workout all you want, do millions of situps, lift weights, and walk everywhere, but if you have a crappy diet, you know what I’m talking about, pizza, burgers, fries, and beer, three to four days per week, chances are you won’t have much muscle tone. Trust me, I see these types at the gym I workout at, everyday. And please don’t forget your New Year’s Resolution, it’s only February. By the way, am I the only one that finds it kind of odd that the day many of us get plastered is the day we swear we’re going to make a positive change? It reminds me of a Hemingway quote: “Always do sober what you say you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut”.

Ok, gotta go. I will keep you posted on my attempt at touching a 10ft high basketball rim later in the spring. The older I get, the higher the rim appears, and the heavier weights feel.

 

 

 

Group Exercise

Happy New Year!! I know, I know, it’s already the 5th of January, but better late than never, right?

Guess how I’ve been bringing in the New Year? I will give you some hints: a runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, headache, body ache, and just feeling overall crappy. Yep, you guessed it. Healthy Homeboy is not so healthy today. I have the flu. For you edge-a-macated folks, I have influenza. Yuck!!! My symptoms began on January 2nd, in the evening.

I scoured my thesaurus and dictionary for the perfect word to describe influenza, found it!! Sucks. Yes, the flu sucks. But I will keep this post positive, like all my posts, and talk about positive experiences I had with my personal training business last year. (One of my New Year’s resolutions is to stay away from negativity and be as positive as possible).

By far, without a doubt, the best experience I had last year with my personal training business was, and continues to be, group training.

It all started in the spring with a group a women who wanted to exercise together and needed a trainer to monitor and push them. I obliged. We agreed to train outdoors at 6am twice per week. Before I knew it, they were doing weighted sled pulls, running and sprinting, push-ups, lunges, and everything else I asked of them. workout-collage

The group stayed together through spring, summer, fall, and now winter. We are no longer outdoors though. It’s muy frio. So we have taken the bootcamp indoors. Guess what some of my neighborhood bootcamp crew asked me to do for them on January 1, 2015? They asked me to run a bootcamp for them. What!!!! I couldn’t believe it. Even some of the husbands showed up. To top it off, the bootcamp we did was outdoors, because our indoor facility was closed on January 1st. Through a camera lens the day was beautiful, but physically, it was a bit cold. Here are some action shots.

Flutter kicks for abs. This was after jogging, sprinting, sled pulls, lunges, squat and press, and whatever else I had my motivated New Year’s day bootcamp crew do. (If any of you are observant enough to notice that one of the participants is wearing flip-flops, good job. No, she did not do the bootcamp in flip-flops. Exercising on a muddy field in flip-flops is a safety hazard).

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Push-ups to focus on triceps. (Elbows close to body).

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And after the torture, I mean bootcamp, they all had protein shakes that I made for them. Trust me, they were protein shakes, despite what the red cups might allude to.

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Even my sisters, Norma and Vicky, who were visiting from Florida and Cali, showed up for the bootcamp. Everyone said the protein shakes hit the spot.

Thank you, Stonegate bootcamp particpants. You all gave me and continue to give me OJT, on the job training, when it comes to group training, and I love it. Keep up the great work. And remember ladies, strong is the new skinny. (I challenge any man over 40 to do as many push-ups as the lady on the right can. How many can she do? It’s more than 40). strong-beautiful-women

And to my UCG workout crew, your story will be next.

Random Thoughts on Food and Exercise

Have you every woke up with a racing brain? Muy rapido. Of course you have. That’s why many of you couldn’t sleep last night, because of the racing, jumpy, thinking of this and that, for no apparent reason, brain. In honor of Monkey Brain that jumps from branch to branch and accomplishes nothing but noise, I will blog from thought to random thought, and we must KISS. No, not this KISS…

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or this kiss…

kids kissing

I am talking about Keeping It Simple…Silly. Now get your head out of the gutter. Well, thinking about kissing isn’t exactly gutter thoughts, but they might be gateway thoughts to gutter thoughts.

Ok, thought numero uno.

When I exercise, and I see people walking and exercising  with a not so sugar-free energy drink like Red Bull in their hand as they exercise, or any other drink that clever advertisers have convinced us we need to re-hydrate and replace electrolytes, yeah right, it bothers me more than driving texters wearing dark sunglasses. DO NOT DRINK CALORIES WHILE YOU EXERCISE IF YOU ARE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT. Please drink water. And do not text and drive. And if the sun has gone down, take your shades off.

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If you walk a mile and drink a super charged, neon colored, electrolyte filled, vitamin laden, energy enhancing drink that your favorite athlete is being paid millions to swear he or she drinks, and that drink has 150 calories, guess what happened during your mile walk? You simply drank the calories you were trying to burn during your walk. More water benefits below.

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Next thought. Do steroids work? Hello! McFly, of course they do. Why do you think professional athletes use them, risking careers and reputations? Average folks use them too, like exhibit A below.

before and after cycle

I believe I read that dude above  accomplished his body transformation in a 3 month cycle of Anabolic Steroids! The above transformation, without roids, would take about 1 year to complete, at least.

tony on roids

Tony, in the picture above, definitely used something for his transformation, and so did tough guy below. By the way, I got these pictures off websites where dudes brag about what they accomplished with this and that stack. A stack, in the weight lifting world, is a combination of supplements and hormones (roids) that a person uses to gain muscles and burn fat.

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Women use steroids too.

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Yes, she’s a woman, and so is the specimen below.

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Ok, next thought. If someone asked me, well they actually do all the time, what are the best exercises for building strength? Let’s start with the upper body, and you don’t need equipment for this one. Push-ups are a great upper body builder. Below, some of my Marine Corps brothers doing Marine push-ups. Do not try this at home.

marine push ups

The next exercise for building upper body strength is the pull-up, also a Marine favorite. That is Healthy Homeboy below, and a former Marine.

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Front view now, so you don’t think I just took a picture of a guy who was doing pull-ups  at a local park and just happened to be wearing sneakers, shorts, and an L.A. Dodger hat, just like mine. These two pictures of me are about a month old. I guess the saying “Once a Marine, always a Marine” is true, except for the machine guns, tanks, and blowing shit up part. I gave that up a long time ago. My great aim and perfect vision are available upon demand or request.

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Now, for the lower body. Nothing comes close to the squat for strengthening and building legs.

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Now ladies, do not be afraid of squats. Don’t worry, you won’t build incredibly muscular legs, but you might build  a butt that looks like the one on the right.

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Below is a diagram of muscles worked during squats for men and women.

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Next thought. If you are trying to lose weight, under no circumstances should you ever go to a buffet. Yes, even if you’re starving. Because guess what, you probably aren’t. Starving definitions: to die or perish from lack of food or nourishment. To be in the process of perishing or suffering severely from hunger. To suffer from extreme poverty and need.

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If after reading the definitions for “starving”, you decide that you are starving, go ahead and go to a buffet, eat as much as you can, and stuff your pockets with as much food as possible because they don’t allow take home boxes.

And for my final thought. In fairness, I will turn the looking-glass towards me. Since you read my blog, thank you, and I am always telling you what to do for fitness and weight loss, let’s look at what I eat and drink that is good and not so good.

I drink water with almost everything I eat, and I have no idea how much water I drink, so don’t ask. I drink about 1 glass of milk a day. I love chips ahoy cookies and for that reason I don’t keep them in the house. I have never used roids, and if you think I do because at 41 years of age I have a decent looking body, get a life, LOSER! I workout with weights about 3 times per week, mostly Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I rarely, if ever, do ab exercises, sorry. I love bacon cheeseburgers, sweet potato fries, and ice cream, and have many times ate them all in the same day. I eat red meat about 3 times per week. I love sushi. I eat eggs everyday scrambled in butter. Don’t worry, my cholesterol levels are fine. I just had a physical. Most of my carbohydrates come from brown rice, fruits, and oatmeal. I don’t eat much flour products like pasta, bread, pizza, etc. I am 5’11’. In the Marines I weighed about 185. Today I weigh 183. So much for the slow down of my metabolism. What slows down is activity levels and the ability to recover from exercise as we age, more than anything. When I indulge in adult drinks, tequila or vodka is my preference. Beer makes me burp. When I go to those frozen yogurt establishments that seemed to have popped up EVERYWHERE, I get the small container, that looks like a large to me, and half fill it with vanilla and Oreo flavored frozen yogurt, YO! As toppings for my yogurt I use yogurt covered pretzels, chips ahoy cookies, and pound cake. I don’t have a desk job, and that helps me stay lean. I don’t count calories. The mirror tells me if I am eating too much of this or that. And remember, if you are having a difficult time getting through to someone about something that seems so simple and easy to you, but not so much for the person you are trying to enlighten, just K.I.S.S. And if you really like the person, aren’t in a serious relationship with someone else, and K.I.S.S. didn’t work, pop a Tic-Tac and give them a big ole smackaroo on the lips and tell them how much they mean to you.

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Please tell me how the kiss worked out.

Funny Fitness

Happy Monday and July 1st to everyone. For many of you, this is a short week because of 4th of July, so I hope you have a big cheesy smile on your face. Is it just me, or doesn’t this year seem like it is flying by? I swear it feels like we went from the Christmas Holidays, to Spring, and then BAM!!!, summer is here. Someone please slow down the sand grains in the hour-glass, because I like my life and I don’t want it to zoom by.

Sands of Time

Speaking of summer being here, how about those temperatures out west? Holy hot tamale Batman, muy caliente. In Las Vegas it got up to 115 degrees yesterday! It’s so hot in Vegas that the low was 90 last night. That’s nothing though, because in Death Valley the low was 97 last night. Oh what the hell, let’s just call the low an even 100 degrees. Yes, you read that right, the low was 100.  If the low was 100, just guess what the high was yesterday in Death Valley, California? Good guess, but you guessed wrong. The high was 127 “burn my ass up” degrees! It has been reported on twitter, and in case you didn’t know everything on twitter is true, that people in hell reading “The Daily Devil Press”, while eating Habanero peppers whole, have been saying “God Damn it’s hot in Death Valley”. By the way, if you’re in hell you can say “God Damn”. What do you have to lose?

How hot is it in Death Valley? It is so hot that people are sitting in saunas and taking Bikram yoga just to cool off.

heat wave

As your health and exercise consultant, I am constantly telling you to exercise outside because the fresh air, movement, and sun is good for your health. Well, I have a new rule for you. Unless you are a Mohave desert lizard, training for a marathon in hell, or planning to move to the sun when you retire, do not exercise outdoors if it’s over 90 degrees. My personal “exercise outside” heat limit is 100 degrees, because I am extreme like that. And I am not a Mohave desert  lizard, although I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

I went to an Oriole’s game last week on one of those days when it was in the 90’s during the day here in Silver Spring, Maryland. I think a lady beat me to the punch about not exercising when it is hot outside.

It was an evening game, so the temperature had cooled to the 70’s. My wife and I got some seats out in left field right next to the Oriole’s bullpen. For those of you who don’t know what a bullpen is, it is a pen where they keep a bunch of live bulls during the game. When fans get drunk and belligerent, because alcohol gives them courage and imaginary muscles, they get arrested and then forced to ride a live wild bull in front of all the fans. If they can’t stay on the bull for more than 8 seconds, like a real rodeo cowboy, they go to jail until they sober up. I am just kidding of course. A bullpen is where pitchers warm up before they come in to pitch during a game. I have no idea why they really call it a “bullpen”. Someone please enlighten me. The Oriole’s bullpen is pictured below. And as you can see, there are no bulls in the vicinity. The stadium does sell Angus burgers though.

orioles bullpen

While we were sitting watching the game, a lady no more than 10 feet away to our left, in the same row as us, was doing some exercise movements. I couldn’t quite figure out what she was doing. My wife figured our why this lady was standing and exercising throughout the whole game. My wife is so smart. I busted out my i-phone and got some film of the exercising lady for you to analyze.

If any pitcher in the bullpen stood up to warm up, she stood up along with him and mimicked his movements as best as she could, all game l-o-o-o-o-o-n-n-g-g-g-g-g.

She was a hardcore fan too. I think “fanatic” is the term. The Oriole team colors are orange and black. Her toenails were orange. Her pants were orange. Her fingernails were orange. Even her phone cover was black and orange. Yes, I am observant. Observant is just a nicer way of saying nosy. Just like “I am running some errands” is code for “mind your own business”, when you ask someone what they are up to and they give you the “errands” response. They obviously don’t want to tell you what they are doing because if they did, they would. Guess what I am doing later today with my wife? We are running some errands. haha

 

The Best Weight Loss Exercise is…

People have lost weight biking

BicyclingGroup

Swimming

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Running

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Sprinting (Male and female sprinters are buff)

Female-sprinters

Doing Zumba (I don’t do Zumba, I do the Wobble)

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Walking

People-walking

and lifting weights

Weight-Lifting

All of the above activities will help anyone lose fat, inches, pounds, etc, because they all burn calories. The effect that various exercises have on the body is what differentiates the above exercises from each other.

A runner vs. a sprinter

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Both athletes above are Olympic Athletes, but the one on the right is much more muscular. The one on the left is a marathon runner, the one on the right is sprinter. Sprinting is many times more demanding on the body’s type 2, fast twitch muscle fibers, than running is. Usain Bolt, the dude on the right, who is currently the fastest man in the world at 100 meters, is blessed with fast twitch muscle fibers. He also trains his ass off, adding insult to injury for his opposition. The guy on the left is blessed physically too, but his blessing is in the form of type 1, slow twitch muscle fibers that are made for endurance and not explosive movements that lead to muscularity. These runners are so different physically, that neither one could ever beat the other in his respective Olympic specialty. But we aren’t training for the Olympics, so we can do both.

To feel the dissimilarities between sprinting and running, here’s an experiment you can do for yourself. First, find an open field that is 100 meters or yards long. Your local high school field will suffice.

high-school-football-field

Now, do the following: You will run, not sprint, 100 yards, rest 2 minutes, and run 100 yards again. You will repeat this until you have done it 10 times. It should take you about 1/2 hour or so to complete. Take note of what muscles are sore in the days that follow. Rest 3 days, and now comes the fun part! You will sprint.

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The machine pictured above is James Ellington, a British Olympic sprinter. That is what most male Olympic sprinters look like under their colorful Olympic outfits, and long distance runners look nothing like that. Now back to our experiment.

Go back to the same field and mark off 50 yards, instead of 100. Make sure you warm up and stretch before this event, with a light jog and some professional looking stretches that will impress any onlookers.

stretching cartoon

Ready? Now sprint, that means run as fast as possible for the whole 50 yards, rest 2 minutes, and repeat until you have sprinted 10 times. Take note of what muscles are sore in the following days. Let me help you in the “what muscles will be sore after sprinting” department, in case you don’t want to actually do my experimento. Your quadriceps (front of the leg), hamstrings (back of the leg), calves, glutes (butt muscle), lower back, maybe even upper back, chest, and shoulders will be sore. Sprinting works out the whole body, and running does not, sorry runners.

leg-muscles

If you notice, in the experiment above you would have sprinted for only a total of 500 yards, and the running exercise would have yielded 1,000 yards of movement. You would be more sore and tired from the set of exercises that cover less distance and took less time to complete, the sprints. Both exercises work the leg muscles, but sprinting will build and define the legs much more than running for distance and endurance. People, male or female, who can run fast have muscular legs because they can generate tremendous amounts of muscular force, to propel their bodies through the air at the fastest speeds humanly possible, in a short amount of time, like seconds. Long distance runners try to not get as tired as the next guy in order to win. Long distance runners are about out enduring their competitor.

sprinter vs runner

Can you spot the sprinter in the picture above?

The muscular demands of running vs. sprinting differ so much that some people in their 60’s and 70’s can still run, easily, but ask them to sprint as fast as they can and they will probably say “no thanks”.

So, the best exercise for losing weight is the one you enjoy doing. Just know that the exercises you choose to engage in have specific effects on your muscles. What good is it if I tell you that sprinting is a great leg building, fat shedding exercise, if you hate to sprint? Or, what good is it if I tell you that running 5 miles will burn 800 calories, if you hate to run? Find what exercises you enjoy and do them. I don’t care what you do for exercise, just M.Y.A. (Please refer to my previous M.Y.A. post for further explanation), thanks.

Again, remember that the exercises you choose to do consistently will play a large role in how your body looks. Walkers look like walkers, joggers look like joggers, runners look like runners, gymnasts look like gymnasts, and on and on it goes. For overall fitness, a little bit of everything is good. I will let you in on a secret. I hate to run for long distances, so I rarely, if ever, do it.

Now, figure out what you love to do for exercise and get to moving, regardless of your age.

older men sprinting

Even the older gentlemen above are a bit buff, in part, because they sprint.

M.Y.A.

The following is just opinion. It is not intended to diagnose, cure, blah, blah, blah….I hope you know that Healthy Homeboy doesn’t cure people. If I did, I would be rich. I just help people get in better shape and try to tell entertaining stories along the way.

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Today’s recommended workout is M.YA. It is a simple workout that you can do almost anywhere and you should do for the rest of your life. It doesn’t require pre-workout motivation, supplements, or hype up. You” just do it.” Hey Nike, I better get a check for that plug. M.Y.A. works. It has been around since the beginning of time. Well, I don’t know that for sure, but I am sure M.YA. has been around for a long time. How do I know? My grandmother told me so. She even did M.Y.A. as a child.

I will tell you what M.Y.A. is shortly, but I need your commitment first, especially if you are on a weight loss plan. Are you committed? I need you to promise me, and more importantly yourself, that once you know what M.Y.A. is, you will participate and spread the palabra. On a scale of 1-10, I need your commitment level to be at a 10 for this one. M.Y.A works best when commitment levels to it are high, like Ray Lewis winning the Super Bowl commitment high. Go look in the mirror and say “I am committed to M.Y.A. at a level of 10. Healthy Homeboy has nothing but good intentions regarding my health and fitness and I trust him. He is my homie.”  I am serious, go do it.

Ok, now that I have your commitment, it is time for you to know what you just blindly committed to. Don’t feel bad, I once blindly committed to a 4 year program. It was called the Marines. Go ahead and exhale now. This is nothing like the Marines. It does not require machine-guns, gas masks, grenades, or sleeping in jungles and eating crappy food. If you quit or even fail, which I doubt, you will not be dis-honorably discharged from my program. I will continue to help you, after I scold you of course.

Here it is. The most important release of information since the Zapruder film. Just kidding, but I would like to think what I am about to bless the world with is important. M.Y.A. stands for “Move Your Ass!” That is correct. If you want to lose weight, get in shape, or stay in shape, you must Move Your Ass. It even works in Spanish. Mueve Tus Nalgas!

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“Healthy Homeboy, can you be more specific? How do I move my ass?” You are probably thinking, or you’re probably thinking “This fools crazy.” Either way, I have your attention. So away we go with M.Y.A.

Exercise class at Covenant. (A-J Photo/Joe Don Buckner)

There are endless ways to move your ass, as even dormant asses already know. You can ride a bike, walk, jog, run, swim, or dance. You can play a sport with friends, or just shoot some hoops at the local park by yourself. Just do something, and preferably not the Wii. I want real movement that doesn’t involve electronics other than headphones for some musica.  Humans are built to move.  Just look at how many muscles are in your legs, from the hips on down. We have a lot of leg muscles, and they are large and strong, so use them por favor.

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How much M.Y.A should you do? People don’t like to hear the following answer, and once they do, they think “that sucks.”  YOU MUST MOVE AT LEAST AN HOUR A DAY, FIVE DAYS A WEEK. I know, it sounds like a lot, because it is. Think about it this way, even children are asked to move an hour a day. The NFL has a program that encourages children to move 60 minutes a day. I think it is called “Play 60”. Adults need to move too. My plan is for adults and children alike. It is called “M.Y.A. 60.” In case you haven’t noticed, we not only have an epidemic of kids playing/moving less and less, but adults move less and less everyday too.

I have some rules for M.Y.A. The first rule is that you cannot count what you do in everyday life as movement, unless you have a job that demands movement like construction workers, house keepers/cleaners, personal trainers, landscapers, professional athletes, etc. So for example, if you park a few spaces further away than normal at work or at the mall causing you to walk a bit more than usual, that is called life, and not exercise. If you go to the mall and walk around shopping and maybe have a snack or meal, that is also called life. I know it feels like exercise and you are moving, but you are just living and doing what humans have always done, which is move. I want you to move more. M.Y.A. is “in addition to”  your regular movement. Oh, before I forget, taking the stairs at work only counts if it is at least 10 flights up, and you take it up to work and back down, every day. Sorry, just trying to help you lose weight.

My second rule is that you should try to do your M.Y.A. outdoors as much as possible. Get some fresh air in your body. Oxygen is good for you. Fresh air and movement helps headaches, back aches, depression, stomach issues, joint stiffness, and a  bunch of other ailments. The crazy part about all the ailments I just mentioned is that statistically you probably have one of them, if not more. Don’t feel bad. Prilosec, Advil, Tylenol PM, Pepto-Bismol and Bengay sell because of its demand, and not for “in case of.”  Here is some disclosure for you. I get migraines and muscle stiffness sometimes, and guess what, movement helps. It helps most when it is warm outside, and I break a sweat.

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Clean, outdoors, not in front of the TV or computer oxygen is the best. Dr. Oz hasn’t talked about it yet because big business hasn’t figured out how to beautifully package oxygen and sell it for big bucks. Don’t laugh, water has already traveled the capitalistic path from free to expensive that oxygen might travel someday. Every time I pay a dollar or so for 16 ounces of water, I do the math and realize that a gallon of water, 128 ounces, would cost me about 8 dollars. Ouch!! That’s almost twice as expensive as gas. Seven Eleven must be making a killing. No wonder they are always open. Dang, I remember when we use to drink water out of water fountains and water hoses, or was that just me. Next up for sale, Oxygen by Pepsi. So start walking outside before they charge for oxygen. Organic, grass-fed oxygen will of course be the best and most expensive.

And now, a reality check. There is no app for exercise and proper eating. Sure, there are apps to help you track what you eat, drink, and how much you move, but you still have to do it. You must have Marine like discipline. No app can do it for you, but I am sure they are working on it. You have to M.Y.A. on your own. You have to say goodbye to sugar drinks and drink water. You have to say no to dessert. You have to commit to movement. Weight loss is entirely on you.

And now, some good news. If you are trying to lose weight and you start moving 5 hours per week and drinking mostly water with your meals, you will lose weight. How much will you lose? That, my amigos and amigas, I do not know, but it will come off. Weight loss is like long-term investing.  It will not happen overnight, and you will have peaks and valleys, but in the long run, you will succeed.