By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
May 29, 2016
Well, it is a time of high anxiety for me once again. Jon has decided it is better to put family first and ditch me. Okay, I’m just joking in that regard, but it is true though. Jon is taking off for North Carolina and this means the blog will be on hiatus and to a lesser extent, so will much of my heavier lifting. On the other hand, this will be a godsend in a way because I don’t have a car at the moment, and so getting to his east side location will not be a problem for at least a couple weeks. Now, this doesn’t mean I am going to drop everything I do and let the forces of gravity and time take over. I mean, I am still in a little challenge and accountability group online and thus, have a little bit of inspiration to stay on task. I’m already getting my butt smoked by a couple of people that have really gone headlong into the process, including our group leader who has already lost eight pounds! (but her weight difficulties never made her less attractive, hehe…yes, I have a crush on the group leader). Now, this will be a dangerous time for me, simply because I can get kind of lazy at times, and the fact that I am primarily stuck at home at this moment will make the temptation even worse. Well, on the other hand, being stuck at home does help me, for all of the places I would consider bad for me are kind of out of reach at the moment.
But seriously, what is a guy to do? Well, in the grand tradition of cracked.com, I once again channel my inner list nerd and try to create some solutions to the problem that will be hitting me the next couple weeks.
5. TURN MUNDANE ACTIVITIES INTO FITNESS!
Here was the scenario yesterday morning. I was due a huge bonus at the plasma donation center, and without my car, I was in danger of losing that bonus. Now, this place I go to is kind of in a weird spot here in Tucson, where the bus system has a bizarre route and schedule for that area due to the lack of residential living. It’s like they are trying to deter people from even going to that spot, period. But I figured some physical ingenuity was necessary. JUST WALK THE DAMN ROUTE! Initially I had an idea about walking to a spot and taking the bus to another spot that would drop me off close enough. But that would still require some walking, and I ultimately felt spending $1.50 on bus fare was not worth. It would have covered only a couple miles and it just wasn’t worth it to my penny pinching mind. So I woke up at 4 a.m. and got out of the house around 4:45, walking the 5.5 miles to the center. I had to take a pitstop to get some coffee and then go to the restroom, but I made it to the place in less than two hours. Now some of you might think this is crazy and hard on the body, but just think of all the calories I burned in the process? This is going be my life for a short while, so just about everything I do will have to planned out in regards to walking distance. Yeesh, it’s like I’m back in high school all over again.
Plus think about the benefits of waking up and doing some sort of workout routine. Not only did I kickstart my day, but I also woke my body up and made me more suited for donation. My blood pressure was an exceptional 118 over 74 and my heart rate was a good 68 beats for second, which made the donation process rather quick. While I did take a nap when I got home (I mean, I didn’t get much sleep!), my day got off on the right foot and I ended up blowing up nearly 800 calories in the process…which could be all the physical activity some people might want in a day. Plus this got my metabolism going as well, for I voraciously ate some steel cut oats with blueberries when I got home. I also learned one thing…I am not much of an artist as I have attempted making emojis out of the said blueberries. Well, the results speak for themselves.
4. USE YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP AND YOUR WORKOUT PROGRAMS!
Okay, this doesn’t really apply to me, for the exact reason that I don’t have a gym membership. But I intend to get one soon as there will soon be a gym war in my neighborhood, but I will probably go to Chuze merely because I have a friend that will need my help with her fitness journey, and I figure it would be nice to have a workout partner. Now I mention this to the world because a lot of people don’t use their gym memberships to the max. Last year I wrote in an article that 2/3 of the money made in the public fitness industry is from people that don’t even use their memberships to its fullest potential. It’s like eating a third of your pizza and then leaving the rest for a bunch of pigeons to snarf down. What a waste that would be, for I might just jump in and start a fight with the alpha pigeon, thus assuming control of the pack and becoming the supreme leader of all pigeons, reaching level 10 of “veganity” and thus receiving the super powers entrusted to me…provided I don’t piss off the Vegan Police. Okay, maybe I need to take another nap because clearly I am tired.
Another thing I will remind you of is to use your home workout systems. Now I am not a big fan of P90X or Insanity or any of those other workout regimens, but since you dropped the money on the program, you might as well do it! For the love of all things, do that Hip Hop Abs workout. Do that silly pogo stick routine developed by the shamans of some ancient Indian town. As Shia Labeouf would say…”Just Do It!” With your trainer gone, maybe it is a good time to remember why you didn’t like that workout program to begin with (cuz you know, there is no accountability or pressure or really anything to push you….hence the reason why I have kind of stayed away since I have no reason to spend that kind of money). I’m just saying as a man of meager means…use what you got rather than let it gather dust.
3. START A CHALLENGE WITH PEOPLE YOU KNOW
I have never worked in an office or a company that has multiple departments field with unhealthy people, but perhaps someday I will. Office and work politics aside, we always develop a little clique system that often times permeates into fierce loyalty amongst office mates. All I can say is this…use that natural rivalry. If the blowhards from Accounting keep calling you and your cohorts a bunch of candy munching troglodytes, this is the time to tell their popcorn stuffing faces off. Of course, always keep this sort of activity friendly, for you certainly don’t want to get human resources involved and have to explain to them like a grade school kid that they started it first. Typically, a lot of businesses already do this sort of challenge on their own, prompting some people to take control of their health in the hopes their health insurance premiums will go down. Always take advantage of this when you can.
Now let me tell a little bit of personal experience. I never would have gotten into running if it wasn’t for a family challenge. Truth is, the family kind of singled me out in regards to the challenge, because I had already started a running regimen and thus, the mileage was going to pile up for me. White they all had the ability to use walking miles as their participation, I was only allowed to run. Now this was a pretty fair compromise, but it secretly enraged me because I still walked some 20 miles a week and I really wanted to pad my lead in the process. Long story short, I pretty much destroyed the competition, for I was the only one actively participating after a couple months. While we were supposed to put some money down on the project, no one actually did. Of course it didn’t that I didn’t put any money down either, but I also figured I would easily win the darn competition, which in truth I did. So when Thanksgiving came around the next year, I was actively boasting about winning. Too bad no one really listened, and I went back to enjoying my food. Right now, the challenge group I am in is more based on support, but we shall what happens when people start getting competitive (which is what I aim to do…hehe). Here is another piece of advice in regards to doing a challenge…just fish for one off the internet. Just searching around the internet for a few minutes, I was able to find one that worked the abs. legs and even the back. People have all sorts of ideas under their belt. Heck, Jon had me doing 50 sit-ups per day once. Granted, I quit after a couple weeks, but now might be a good time to get back into it. I might just try this one challenge for planking…which is something I have been trying to improve on. I mean, a guy just set the world record with an eight hour plank! Got to bring the title back to America!
2. REVISIT OLD WORKOUTS…
Short of saying “hire another trainer,” the only thing I can really tell you is to go back and redo some old workouts. One thing I recommend to anyone is to take firm notes of what you are doing for every workout. While I kind of write up the majority of my workouts, I can always look back at what I used to do. I mean let’s face it, our trainers have to have a life as well. I wish I could force Jon to be at my beck and call and have him spot me for every exercise I need to do, but that isn’t going to happen. Your trainer may look buff and such, but they need to relax as well because lifting weights all the time and trying to keep my flabby butt in shape can wear on them. Now, I don’t know if I will really be able to do some of the things I have done in the past, but I still have a good idea of what I can do and put that to good use. Okay, this is a much shorter entry than I planned out, but this also segues into the most important detail of all!!!!
1. DON’T REGARD THEIR VACATION AS “YOUR” VACATION!
You know what I am talking about. You think, “well, so and so is off for a couple weeks. which means I can take a week off and stuff my face, and then reset for the second week just in time for him when he gets back!” Let me tell you, this sort of thinking is pretty dangerous. Even when you go on vacation, never take it off in a way that will greatly affect your fitness. Do you really like the idea of losing a couple weeks because you wanted to just completely veg out? Now, this is coming from a guy that has never ben on a legitimate vacation, so you can take my word for it or not. While I definitely would like to get my drink on and try the local eating scene, I still want to be healthy as I can in the process. The closest thing to a vacation I really had was a 2012 excursion to Washington D.C. I was not quite vegan yet, so the world was really my oyster considering Washington D.C. might as well be considered the diabetes capital of the world (though it does have a high concentration of diabetes!) I mean, when I woke up in the morning, the lunch trucks were already jockeying for position in front of my hotel. It was quite unreal when I think about it, for when the lunch rush did arrive, they all had long lines. And this includes the multitude of restaurants in the area! Since I was close to the White House, I guess it was to be expected. However, with the exception of a good meal at Zaytinya, I managed to stay on the healthy path and opted to continue that course. All the while, I was also working out every day, whether it was stuff that I thought up on my own or help from Jon. If anything, being more vigilant about your health may be more appropriate when it comes to vacation time. Now I am not saying that I will not indulge in a little more food one of these days, that doesn’t mean I should suddenly blow up a 4,000 calorie meal or something.
So what is going to happen to me while Jon and his family are exploring the Great Smoky Mountains and taking advantage of the local humidity? Well, find out in a couple weeks!
About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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