Do free-standing, total-body exercises. Avoid machine-based, single-joint exercises. In life, we don’t isolate our muscles. When we live and move, we use our muscles in an integrated, coordinated fashion. The best exercises are similar. Want some great lower-body exercises? Do squats, lunges, step-ups, and similar exercises. Great lower-body exercises are simple. Any exercise that requires you to raise and lower your center of mass is a great lower-body exercise. Avoid leg extensions, leg curls, calf raises, and similar exercises. In these exercises, you simple isolate some of your lower-body muscles and you contract them in isolation of other muscles. Want some great upper-body exercises? Do presses, push-ups, dips, pull-ups, bent-over rows, and similar exercises. Great upper-body exercises are simple. Any exercise where you push something away from you or pull something toward you, without the artificial support of bench, chair, or similar device is a great upper-body exercise. Avoid tricep extensions, bicep curls, and similar exercises. In these exercises, you simple isolate some of your upper-body muscles and you contract them in isolation of other muscles. Remember: integration, not isolation.
Make leftovers all the time. When you are cooking, whenever you can, make extra on purpose. The leftovers can be your lunch the next day, or your dinner one night when you don’t have time to cook, or even breakfast. Last night, I was making a vegetable salad as part of my dinner and I simply made about three times what I needed for dinner. Now I have a big container of already made vegetable salad that I can use as part of my lunches and dinners for the next few days. The tremendous thing about leftovers is that it provides you with something nourishing to eat at a time when you are short on time. Here are some great leftover ideas:
1. Make a large vegetable salad or fruit salad and store away what you don’t eat at that meal.
2. Cook extra chicken (grilled, roasted, or prepared any way you like) and keep it in your fridge to use the next few days.
3. Make stir-fry in a wok. Have some for dinner and make a few lunches out of the rest.
4. Make a homemade pizza or two and eat the leftovers for breakfast. You know you love leftover pizza for breakfast—it’s okay to admit it. 🙂
5. Make a big pot of soup, stew, or chili. These make awesome leftovers.
Do one thing that scares you today. It can be anything. Last night on a walk, I came to this park that has a few structures that you could call obstacles, like part of an obstacle course. One is this rope ladder you can climb and then cross over the top and climb down the other side. The top part is about 20 feet in the air and you have to hold on tight and be very careful as you lift one leg over. I wanted to do it. It was a gorgeous night and I was having a super fun walk and it seemed like a good cap to the evening. As I started to walk toward it, I thought, “I don’t really need to do this. I’ve done it before. What do I have to prove?” It scared me. But I knew this reaction was normal. I knew I would feel better if I went ahead and did it. So while I was having those thoughts, I kept walking toward the ladder. I had the thoughts that were telling me not to do this scary thing, but I didn’t let them stop me. I climbed the ladder. As I knew it would be, the top part was pretty scary. As I did it, I had this huge sense of triumph. Not so much that I climbed the rope ladder and crossed over to the other side, but that I faced a fear straight in the eye and did what scared me. IT FELT REALLY GOOD. I felt really empowered. That’s my experience with doing things that scare me. It’s almost never as scary as I thought it would be and I always feel super energized by doing it. So there you go. What is something scary you can do today? Is there something you’ve been putting off that you know you want to do? Go for it! Let me know how it goes for you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Remember your mantra for today: NOURISHING MOVEMENT, NOURISHING FOOD, NOURISHING LIFE.