The New Year has arrived and along with it are many resolutions to work out and eat well. With the holidays now behind us, what better topic to talk about than working out? I've never made a New Years resolution to work out or eat better, because I already eat well and work out 6 days a week.
Last year was an eye opening year when it came to work outs. I did two rounds of P90X - one where I faithfully followed the nutrition program and the second round, where I did my own thing nutrionally. It's an easy guess as to which round produced the best results!
Exercising is easy. Anyone with a little motivation can bring the intensity over 45-60 minutes. Eating well is hard. REALLY HARD. It takes a lot of discipline to opt for a bowl of steamed broccoli over a piece of pizza. It can be extremely difficult being out with friends and opting for the bottle of water over a cold beer.
In 2009, I learned A LOT about exercising and diet. Here are some of the key things you can do to have great success with a diet and exercise program.
1.) Mix it up - falling into a comfortable routine of weightlifting and running is a recipe for failure. Your body adjusts over time to what you are doing and is no longer really "challenged" by your easy, mindless routine.
2.) Tony Horton is a GENIUS. This man with his P90X program taught me so much and he's changed so many lives with his P90X program. An exercise routine for 3 months with no running? How's that going to work? Oh, it works! P90X works like magic.
3.) Running is not the be all/end all of an exercise routine - Weight training is more important, plyometrics is far harder than running, and a Tae Bo/Kenpo karate type of routine provides good cardiovascular exercise. As a fat burner, running doesn't work that well. I've tried it, and it didn't work nearly as well as P90X.
4.) It's gotta be intense - going through the motions whether it be lifting or running isn't going to give you any results. Anyone under the age of 55 who walks as their main source of exercise is wasting their time. You have to get your heart rate up and your lungs out of breath.
5.) The produce aisle is where it's at - salad, broccoli, zucchini, baby carrots, summer squash, green beans. Lunch and dinner should have a vegetable as part of the meal. I'm of the belief that broccoli is the best food you can put in your body. Do I like vegetables? Not particularly, but I know they are very important.
6.) Eat every 2-3 hours. Sounds like a lot, but if the meals are small, it's just the right formula to keep your metabolism burning. Whey protein powder mixed with water or milk is a quick and easy way to get 20g of protein in your body. Almonds are a terrific snack. Don't eat more than 20 of them, though.
7.) Drink your water - lay off the diet soda, regular soda, and juice and opt for the H2O. Your body needs to stay hydrated. A diet soda now and then is ok. My opinion on regular soda is, if I'm going to drink 150 calories, it's going to be a beer. At least beer won't rot your teeth out.
8.) There is nothing wrong with good carbs. Whole wheat breads, whole wheat crackers, brown rice, medium sized baked potatos, are all healthy and should be a part of a good diet.
9.) Perdue Oven Stuffer Roasters are a better alternative than meat from the deli counter. Cook the Oven Stuffer Roasters up, peel off the skin, and carve them up. The carved chicken is a very flexible source of protein that can be added to salads, sandwiches, or by itself.
10.) I really, no REALLY despise yoga. Some people swear by it, but it's not for me. I find myself bored by it and not accomplishing much of anything other than seemingly wasting 60-90 minutes of my day. I'd rather stretch or do something light for 30 minutes instead.
In four days, I will begin Insanity by Sean T. It is advertised as the toughest workout ever put on DVD. I'm looking forward to it, but it's going to be hard as hell. The nutritional piece doesn't look to be as difficult as P90X, but when it comes to the workouts, I have my work cut out for me.