This weekend focus on core strength in every contraction… don’t be fooled, this is disguised as a core workout!
Warm up: 15 minutes on elliptical machine or stair master, 2 sets of 25 push ups
- 40 walking lunges
- 20 superman back extensions
- 20 mountain climbers
- side planks; 30 seconds on each side
- complete 4 rounds for time, post your time!
“Clark Kent is who I am, Superman is what I can do” - Superman (the movie) quote
Related PostsRead More
Be a ‘Band-It‘ with these resistance band exercises focusing on legs, shoulders, back and chest…
Warm up: run 400 meters (or 1 lap around track), 25 push ups
Workout: (videos below)
- 20 reps chest press
- 20 squat jumps with lower back pull (back pull not shown)
- 20 lat pull downs
- 20 lunges with shoulder press (shoulder press not shown)
- 20 side steps (20 on each side)
- core; 2 minute planks (beginners 1 min)
- repeat 3 times; Make sure to select the proper band width: adv use a thicker tube, beginners use smaller width
Have fun today and Band-It!
- Rock the Band 8/27/09
- Super Set: Chest & Back
- ‘Escape to Witch Mountain’!
Another way to minimize post-workout muscle soreness is the appropriate nutrition. Not to get too technical, your muscle glycogen is depleted after a workout and other chemicals are being released to break down the muscle tissue. This is known as the “catabolic” state. This is the time to refuel your body with what your muscles [...]Read More
Do you workout, or do you train? Do you know the difference between the two? For those of you not aware, I can’t stress enough that there is a difference between the two. Knowing the difference could have a big in how you approach your diet and exercise program. One leaves you spinning your wheels, never really making progress toward your goals. The other takes you to your goals and beyond!
If you don’t know the difference know, Ill explain it for you. Working out is just that. You go into the gym, maybe with no solid plan, you more than likely don’t have a well thought out program, and you probably don’t have a goal you’re trying to reach. You may, actually, have a goal, but how defined is it? Do you want to lose some weight, or are you trying to lose 20 pounds? How are you going to get to your goal? How do you have a defined plan of attack if you don’t have a goal to work towards? Are you going to bench instead of squat because you’re tired from a long day of work? Skimping on the cardiovascular work, or easing up on it because you’ve “Done enough” today? These are the things that happen when you just workout. You get to the gym, do some work, and get out, just happy that you made it in. While I will say that consistency is important, do you really think that its worth your time to go to the gym just to say you went? For those of you who use your gym time as another extension of your social life, there is nothing wrong with working out. But those who don’t…
Train. They have a completely different mindset in the gym. They have distinct goals. They know that they want to lose 20 pounds. They know they want to put 50 pounds on their bench press. They have a defined program to reach those goals, and they execute. They do the prescribed exercises, and don’t skimp on the cardio. Theyre not anti social, but they keep their mind on the task at hand. They’re in it to win it, and they are putting in the work to get to where they want to be.
Do you want to workout, or do you want to train?Read More
I’m not much of a cook, but I’ve been trying to seek out healthier recipes that my entire family can enjoy. Yesterday, I attempted some organic chocolate cookies with whole wheat. They were AWEFUL! So, that recipe is not the one I’ll share for today. Here is a really tasty Asian chicken salad that even my picky eaters gobble up at dinner time.
* 1 teaspoon finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
* 1/3 cup rice vinegar
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
* 1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
* 2 teaspoons white sugar
* 1 clove garlic, pressed
* 1 (8 ounce) package bow tie (farfalle) pasta
* 1/2 cucumber – scored, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced
* 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped red onion
* 2 diced Roma tomatoes
* 1 carrot, shredded
* 1 (6 ounce) bag fresh spinach
* 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin orange segments, drained
* 2 cups diced cooked chicken
* 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1. To make the dressing, whisk together the ginger root, rice vinegar, orange juice, vegetable oil, sesame oil, soup mix, sugar, and garlic until well blended. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the bowtie pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, and rinse under cold water. Place pasta in a large bowl.
3. To make the salad, toss the cucumber, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, carrot, spinach, mandarin oranges, chicken, and almonds with the pasta. Pour the dressing over the salad mixture, and toss again to coat evenly. Serve immediately. ENJOY!
With the ridiculous and misleading claims that are made on the packaging of many foods, it can be difficult to differentiate the truth from devious marketing. This is important because the failure to make this distinction can have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing.
To help you recognize the deceiving marketing that’s commonly found on food labels, I went grocery shopping and came home with a number of great examples. Aside from the obvious reason of it being unhealthy, I ordinarily don’t buy this type of food because it supports industrial agriculture, and in turn, supports irresponsible and inhumane farming practices. However, if I’m able to help steer you away from these foods, then it will be for a good cause.
The following are some of the most ridiculous and misleading food labels that quickly drew my attention in the grocery store.
1. Froot Loops are a Smart Choice
According to the new Smart Choices Program, which seems to be nothing more than another way for food manufacturers to market processed food, Froot Loops is apparently a “smart” choice despite the sugar, trans fat, and artificial additives that it contains.
It’s true that Froot Loops contains natural fruit flavors, but this shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that it provides similar benefits to eating real fruit. Natural fruit flavors are nothing more than concentrated fruit extracts that contain little to none of fruit’s original nutrition. Furthermore, the term natural has no bearing on the quality of the fruit that the flavoring is extracted from. It’s very likely that this fruit was grown with heavy usage of chemicals which is clearly not natural. In addition, the trans fat, artificial colorings, preservatives, and synthetic vitamins that are found in Froot Loops certainly aren’t natural either.
What I find most despicable about the Froot Loops label is the suggestion that it’s fiber content will keep your child healthy and improve your family life. Aside from the fact that the health benefits of fiber are often overstated, and that fiber can even be detrimental in some ways, fruit and vegetables contain plenty of fiber and are a much healthier source of it. Furthermore, the sugar, refined grain, and chemical additives in fruit loops certainly won’t help digestive health. If you’re concerned about the health of your children, feed them natural whole foods, not Froot Loops.
Another thing that’s disturbing about the marketing of Froot Loops is that Kellogg’s has included it in their Fuel for School program suggesting that it’s a good way for kids to start their day. Anyone having to deal with the resulting hyperactivity will likely disagree.
2. DanActive will Boost Your Immunity
DanActive is a “probiotic dairy drink” that claims to strengthen your immune system with active cultures of beneficial bacteria. Although this claim is supposedly “clinically proven”, the packaging gives no indication whatsoever of what this actually means.
The label is correct in pointing out that approximately 70% of your immune system is in your digestive tract. It’s also true that beneficial bacteria will promote healthy intestinal function, and in turn, strengthen your immune system. However, what the package doesn’t tell you is that DanActive’s 13 grams of sugar will diminish these benefits by suppressing the immune system and fueling the growth of undesirable bacteria. Furthermore, the pasteurized milk that DanActive contains is a common cause of digestive issues, including suppressed immunity.
If you really want to strengthen your immunity and improve the health of your digestive tract, then avoid processed foods and use a high quality probiotic supplement. If you’d prefer a more natural source of probiotics as I tend to, you can use some of the recipes in Nourishing Traditions to make fermented vegetables.
3. Sensible Snacking with Fig Newtons
Although this packaging may lead you to believe that Fig Newton Minis are a 100% whole grain product, a closer look reveals that they’re merely baked with 100% whole grain. Based on this, only a portion of the grains used are whole, and if you check the ingredients, you’ll see unhealthy and highly refined grains such as corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup in addition to added sugar.
A similar claim is made in regard to this product’s fruit content. At first, you might miss the smaller print and be impressed by only seeing 100% fruit. Even after realizing that Fig Newtons merely contain 100% more fruit than a Nutri-Grain bar, you may still be impressed. However, a Nutri-Grain bar is highly processed and unlikely to contain much real fruit, and if Fig Newtons really do have twice as much, it’s still probably a small amount. Regardless of how much better Fig Newtons are than Nutri-Grain bars, neither product even comes close to the nutritional value of whole fruit.
Fig Newton Minis are supposedly a sensible snack because they’re low in saturated fat and contain 0 grams of trans fat. Despite the bad reputation that saturated fat has undeservedly earned, its a valuable source of energy and is critical to the proper function of the brain, the nervous system, cell membranes, and ironically, even the heart. Even though the side panel does list 0 grams of trans fat, the ingredients list contains partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil which is a trans fat. This is possible because the amount per serving is small enough to be rounded down to zero. While this may sound negligible, the amount of trans fat that you consume can accumulate to the point of being dangerous if you eat this type of product frequently enough.
4. Snack Right with Nip Chee
Similar to Fig Newtons, Lance’s Nip Chee claims to contain 0 grams of trans fat but contains partially hydrogenated soy bean oil. The fine print under the ingredients list states that the partially hydrogenated soy bean oil “adds a dietary insignificant amount of trans fat.” Many processed foods contain this “insignificant” amount, and as I previously mentioned, if you eat enough processed food, an insignificant amount can become substantial.
The package also proudly proclaims that it contains no preservatives, which is true, but is negated by the fact that it contains artificial flavors and artificial coloring.
5. Natural and Farm Fresh Chicken from Perdue
Unlike the USDA certified organic label, there are no regulations whatsoever on the use of the word natural on food labeling. As such, you’re left to rely entirely on the honesty of the company behind the label.
In the Food, Inc. documentary, which I highly recommend that you see, Perdue forbid it’s chicken farmers from letting the film’s producers inside their facilities. One farmer who disobeyed this order revealed thousands of chickens that were crammed into a small indoor space and deprived of sunlight. They were fed antibiotics and many of them were too sick and weak to even walk. That certainly doesn’t sound natural or remind me of the nice farm house setting prominently displayed on the Perdue packaging. Furthermore, the label claims that no hormones are used, but says nothing about antibiotics, feed quality, or living conditions.
6. On the Go with Sugar Free Kool-Aid
Despite what the label clearly says, Sugar Free Kool-Aid is not sugar free! It’s second most abundant ingredient is maltodextrin which is a sugar. Like the labels that hide small amounts of trans fat, the amount of sugar contained in the minuscule 1 gram serving size must be small enough to be rounded down to zero. In addition, it’s unlikely for most kids to be satisfied by the 8 ounces of Kool-Aid that this small serving size produces.
This product is supposedly a “sensible solution” because it only contains 5 calories per serving and contains synthetic vitamin C. However, the aspartame, preservatives, artificial flavors, and artificial coloring that it contains aren’t sensible at all. Aspartame in particular is especially not sensible and is a highly controversial artificial sweetener that’s often associated with a number of serious health problems including cancer and neurological disorders. As such, it should be regarded as a legitimate concern.
7. Soft, Delicious, and Nutritious Whole Grain Wonder Bread
If you look to the left of the label on this package of Wonder Bread where it says whole grain, you’ll see from the smaller print that it’s made with whole grain. As with some of the previous labels, this Wonder Bread only contains a partial amount of whole grain. In fact, there isn’t even enough whole grain for it to be listed as the first ingredient. Enriched wheat flour is the first and most abundant ingredient and is a low quality grain that’s so depleted of nutrients during processing that synthetic vitamins and minerals must be added as replacements. Whole wheat flour doesn’t show up until the third ingredient and is immediately followed by high fructose corn syrup and other highly refined grains.
Although whole grains are certainly more nutritious than refined grains, they contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors which interfere with digestion and absorption. Although these substances can be broken down by soaking the grains prior to use, it’s extremely unlikely for processed food manufacturers to incur the added expense and inconvenience to do so. Furthermore, it’s common for grains to cause digestive and health issues for many people.
8. All Natural 100% Juicy Juice
As the label indicates, Juicy Juice is indeed free of artificial flavors and preservatives. However, despite the clam that it’s all natural, the fruit that this juice originates from is almost certain to be a product of industrial farming, and as such, is likely to contain chemical residues.
The claim of 100% juice is valid as well, but this isn’t as meaningful as it sounds. Juicy Juice is made from concentrate like most other juices, and although concentrate is extracted from real fruit, it’s highly processed and pasteurized which results in most of the fruit’s nutrients being lost or damaged. The sugar from the fruit is most of what remains after processing, and as such, juice from concentrate isn’t much healthier than soda. Although the label is again correct in stating that Juicy Juice contains no added sugar or high fructose corn syrup, this doesn’t really matter because it already contains more than enough sugar from the concentrate.
The label also claims that one 8 ounce serving of Juicy Juice equals one cup of fruit. Perhaps the amount of concentrate in 8 ounces of Juicy Juice comes from one cup of fruit, but there’s simply no way that drinking 8 ounces of Juicy Juice is as nutritious as eating a piece of whole fruit. Furthermore, because juice doesn’t contain the fiber naturally found in fruit, the sugar it contains is much more likely to be absorbed quickly and cause blood sugar fluctuation which can promote weight gain, diabetes, and other health issues.
Worst of all, the manufacturer of Juicy Juice makes an unsettling attempt to bring the welfare of your children into the equation by stating that “with Juicy Juice as your ally, you can focus on the good stuff – raising happy and healthy children.” What this should really say is hyper and overweight children. As if we should be grateful for this awful guidance, the label also states that “parenting doesn’t come with road maps. That’s why Juicy Juice is by your side throughout this journey – creating nutritious and delicious 100% juice products.” Unbelievable!
9. 99% Fat Free Soup and Broth
I firmly believe that fat is essential to good health and am definitely not an advocate of low fat diets. However, the deception behind the labeling of the following products as 99% fat free is still a good example of why most food labels can’t be trusted. As you will soon see, percentages can be very ambiguous.
Fat contains more than twice as many calories as protein and carbohydrates. As such, it’s advantageous for food companies to use weight rather than calories when calculating the percentage of fat. As you can see with the Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup above, it’s really only 85% fat free when calculated based on calories. The Swanson Chicken Broth is an even more dramatic example and is only 50% fat free based on calories.
Jeff Novick, a registered dietitian and former employee of Kraft Foods, has shared some interesting insight. To justify the use of low fat food labels, he claims that Kraft intentionally dilutes certain products with water to make the fat content a smaller percentage of the weight and then adds sugar and salt to compensate for the resulting lack of flavor. He also claims that on his departure, Kraft forced him to sign a legal document that prevents him from talking about this. Fortunately, his conscious has compelled him to talk about it anyway.
10. Weight Watchers Endorsed Popcorn
Although seriously flawed, the premise of Weight Watchers is quite simple. You’re given a daily allowance of points, and based on the point values that Weight Watchers has assigned to various foods, you’re supposed to stay within your limit. Their idea of eating smarter instead of eating less is commendable, but the low fat diet that their point system promotes isn’t so smart. Furthermore, having a daily limit encourages people to equate low point values with healthy choices.
According to the Weight Watchers point system, a regular 12 ounce beer is 3 points and a 4 ounce steak is 7 points. I prefer a 12 ounce steak which is a fairly common size and is 21 points. I assume that Weight Watchers considers steak to be an unhealthy choice, which I completely disagree with, but even despite the misguided dogma surrounding red meat, the fact that a 12 ounce steak is equivalent in points to 7 beers is absolutely ridiculous! Apparently, Weight Watchers thinks that healthy eating is all about calories and completely ignores nutritional quality.
Jolly Time popcorn, which is coincidentally only one Weight Watchers point, makes some familiar claims. A single 34 gram serving contains 2 grams of fat which amounts to 6% of fat by weight. However, 20 of the 90 calories per serving are from fat which amounts to more than 22%. In regard to the 0 grams of trans fat, partially hydrogenated soy bean oil is listed as the second ingredient with an asterisk admitting that it “adds a dietary insignificant amount of trans fat per serving.” Insignificant is not the same thing as zero!
11. Lower Your Cholesterol with Cheerios
Despite the excessive amount of advertising from General Mills that depicts Cheerios as a heart healthy food, 4% of a high cholesterol level is not much at all. Furthermore, the relatively high carbohydrate content of Cheerios has the potential to elevate blood sugar, and in turn, cause artery damage and actually increase your cholesterol.
Even though saturated fat and cholesterol don’t cause heart disease, the fact that Cheerios is low in these two nutrients earns it the stamp of approval from the American Heart Association. General Mills had to pay quite a bit of money to display the AHA’s seal of approval on their products which detracts from it’s validity in my opinion.
12. A Cardiologist Approved Promise
The work of Dr. Weston A. Price clearly shows that butter is an excellent source of nutrition. However, the lies we’ve been fed about saturated fat lead most people to choose a highly processed but “cardiologist endorsed” food like Promise Butter Spread instead.
Out of the 326 cardiologists that supposedly endorse Promise, it’s unlikely that any of them have received more than the one or two weeks of nutritional training that’s typical of most medical school curriculums. Otherwise, they would know that the pro-inflammatory and delicate nature of some polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, which is what Promise is made of, are now believed to be a significant cause of the artery damage that leads to heart disease. As such, this “cardiologist endorsed” product is probably more likely to cause heart disease than prevent it.
In addition, the package prominently lists it’s imbalanced content of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids as if it were a good thing. Based on the diets of our ancestors, it’s commonly recommended that we consume a roughly equivalent ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Despite this, the modern diet is excessively high in omega-6 fatty acids which is believed to be a contributing factor to many of today’s health problems. Promise contains a 6:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids which isn’t awful, but isn’t great either. Furthermore, the omega-3 fatty acid it contains is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which must be converted by the body into the more important eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) forms. Because this conversion can be slow or incomplete, ALA is a less preferable form of omega-3.
13. Fight Heart Disease by Drinking Diet Coke
You can help to spread awareness about the impact of heart disease on women by purchasing and drinking one of the most unhealthy beverages available.
Diet beverages, especially zero calorie sodas, don’t offer any nutritional value and are full of potentially harmful additives and artificial sweeteners. Diet Coke in particular contains aspartame which is one of the most notorious sweeteners on the market.
It would make a lot more sense to associate foods like fruits and vegetables with such a program, but I guess the red dress goes better with the red Coke label than it does with yellow, orange, or green fruits and vegetables.
The Most Honest Label is the One that Doesn’t Exist
Regardless of what a food label says, the fact that the label even exists should raise some concern. In general, the healthiest foods available are the whole foods provided to us by nature such as meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. Although some healthy foods do come in packaging, these foods don’t, and if you truly want to eat healthy, they should ideally represent the majority of your diet.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.
Hi Everyone!! Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend. I’m working on this new venture I keep hinting about… so not much of a weekend for this chick!! Sooooo, THANKS to my good friend Dave Hedges from Wild Geese Martial Arts & Fitness for helping me out during this busy time by providing a guest post for us all!
Dave has written us a great article about finding your best training partner. Who knew your best workout partner might be that person who stares back at you from the mirror every day? Check it out below to make sense of that!! It’s a great read and an even better idea!
Your Best Training Partner
You’re busy, I’m busy. Finding the time and motivation to exercise for whatever goal can be an uphill struggle.
This is where having a training partner comes in, somebody who won’t accept your excuses and will push you to perform at your best everytime you work out.
But, my schedule is all over the place! I train at home! There just isn’t anybody around!
Well have I got news for you….
There is someone, someone who’s always available and can if allowed push you harder than you ever thought possible.
Who? Look in the mirror, you are about to become your own training partner.
The first thing you have to do is make an appointment with yourself. At X O’Clock on Yday the Zth I am going to meet up with me and do workout number 1.
Of course, you have already asked yourself what goals you want to achieve, thought about your training plan and worked out your routines.
Now you have made an appointment, you must make sure you keep it. After all, you wouldn’t let your mate down, why would you let yourself down?
So you arrive at your appointment and find yourself waiting, what next?
Open your training log, you do have one don’t you? A record of each and every workout you do with written detail about how you felt, could you have done more? was it too much? We’re you having an off day or were you on fire that day? How long did it take?
Turn to workout number 1 and have a look at it, tell your self that today your going to beat your previous effort.
Start to warm up, watch yourself, is anything wrong? Are feeling good, do you need to do a little more today? Do we feel good and are just going to rip it up today?
Hit the session, you know what you did last time, so you now what you have to do this time, you have to get that extra rep, go that little heavier, do it a little faster. Record everything, you owe it to yourself. Berate yourself, congratulate yourself, do what it takes, just imagine your encouraging a friend, talk to yourself in the third person, “C’Mon mate, one more!!”, “Dave, move it, push!!”, “2 more and you’ve beaten last week, get going!!” You’ll be amazed at the effect. You may feel a little weird and self conscious doing this in a commercial gym, but persevere. I find if I talk to myself loudly, I tend to get left alone, nobody disturbs me, of course you don’t have to do this, it’s just a me thing…. If you are training at home, go wild.
If you’re struggling, look at the log, how much more must you do to beat last week? Use it as a target, count down to it…
Cool down, take your time with this, no rush allow yourself to stretch and relax, coming back down from the adrenalin and endorphins..
Check your log, write how you felt, what you had on the stereo, could you have done more or are you happy..All little details you can use to your advantage next time round.
Before you know it you’ve done a beasting workout, you feel great, and in good time you’ll look and perform even better than you thought possible.
Thank yourself and hit the showers.
You’ve just become your own training partner.
As an aside, if you are hitting the weights, especially Benching and Squatting, it’s a good idea to get somebody to keep an eye on you, while you make a great training partner for yourself, you’re a lousy spotter!
Home training with bodyweight, this isn’t an issue.
Let me know how you get on.
Wild Geese Martial Arts & Fitness
Dave is also the author of a great book called: No Equipment, No Excuses – Bodyweight Training for the Home, the Office & on the Road. Click the title of the book to head over there and check it out for yourself. You’ll love it.
And in my usual fashion I have managed to extract from Dave what his favourite workout song is, so here’s today’s Workout Song of the Day. Be careful playing this at work or around the kiddies, though. There’s a couple of explicit moments in this one. I have to agree that this one would be GREAT for weight training, it’s absolutely chock full of good, hard, angry ANGST!! And we all know how I feel about angst-ridden music and weight training! Pour that emotion into the iron and let it translate into brute strength! Have a great workout to this one, gang!
JayZ / Lincoln Park – Points of Authority
Don’t forget, if you love it for it’s angsty-goodness, you can click through on the Buy button on the sample player to go get your own copy and add it to your collection of great workout songs, too!
Thanks again for the post and the song, Dave. I’m sure everyone really enjoyed this one! I know I did!
… and don’t forget to check out Dave’s book at No Equipment, No Excuses – Bodyweight Training for the Home, the Office & on the Road.
That’s it for today, gang!! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and we’ll see you again soon.
I’m no gourmet, but I’ve compiled some simple vegan recipes that are guaranteed to convince skeptics that a vegan lifestyle doesn’t have to be boring. Nutritious eating can be delicious and satisfying!
Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
Who doesn’t love pancakes? Wake up your family with the smell of cinnamon on a weekend morning and they’ll be begging for more vegan breakfasts. www.lose-weight-for-life.com/apple-cinnamon-pancakes.html
Vegetable Bean Stew
Does your family eat at different times? This hearty Vegetable Bean Stew can be made ahead and left on the stove. Stop your family from resorting to processed frozen dinners and fill them up with vegan sources of protein and the most nutritious vegetables around. www.lose-weight-for-life.com/vegetable-bean-stew.html
Easy Vegetable Stir-Fry
In a hurry? This easy vegan recipe can be thrown together in minutes with pre-cut vegetables and tofu. Serve with quick cooking brown rice for a scrumptious healthy dinner. www.lose-weight-for-life.com/vegetable-stir-fry.html
Think vegans don’t enjoy dessert? This Vegan Sorbet will convince you that a healthy vegan dessert can be an every day indulgence. www.lose-weight-for-life.com/vegan-sorbet-recipe.html
Sweet Potato Chips
Vegan snacks will keep you satisfied between meals. These Sweet Potato Chips are a healthy twist on ordinary potato chips loaded with fat and empty calories. www.lose-weight-for-life.com/sweet-potato-chips.html
Easy vegan recipes can make the transition to a vegan lifestyle a delicious experience!
- Kickstart Your Health With a Vegan Diet (thepetitionsite.com)
- Plum Bistro: Vegan Fare Thats Too Flavorful? (seattleweekly.com)
- How to Eat Healthy When No-One Else Will (dietriffic.com)
Despite the fact that many of us are extremely busy, stressed, and deprived of sleep, we somehow manage to watch more television than ever. If you’ve ever wondered why you’re always short on time and why you never seem to accomplish what you’d like, the answer may very well be right in front of your eyes.
According to a report from The Nielson Company, the average American watched a record breaking 151 hours per month of television during the fourth quarter of 2008. This amounts to approximately 35 hours per week which is almost the equivalent of a full time job.
Although television is a convenient source of entertainment, it’s usually mindless, provides little to no meaningful value, and can sometimes be a harmful influence. The following are three reasons why television detracts from the quality of your life and why you should minimize the amount of time that you spend watching it.
Time is Precious
We each have a limited amount of time to accomplish our most meaningful goals and experience a rewarding and fulfilling life. If watching television is what’s most important to you, that’s fine, but chances are that you’d like to do much more with your life.
Most people watch television for pure entertainment, and by doing so, they’re sacrificing precious time to live through the experiences of others. In most cases, these experiences are either stressful, completely worthless, or influential in a harmful way. This is especially the case with reality television which is often centered around people who create drama with everything they do. Unfortunately, it seems that many of us enjoy watching others encounter problems, perhaps because it makes us feel better about ourselves. We also tend to love fictitious stories that are intense and highly exaggerated, and this is probably a result of being bored with our own lives.
The only thing stopping you from living a more balanced, enjoyable, and exciting life is yourself, and sitting in front of a television for 35 hours per week is certainly not going to help. Imagine if you dedicated some of this time to reading more, exercising, preparing healthy food, and getting more sleep. After a few months, you’d likely feel invigorated with new knowledge, better health, more energy, increased mental clarity, a leaner and more muscular body, and an improved sense of overall wellness. You definitely won’t experience any of these benefits from watching television.
If it’s mostly your job that’s holding you back from living a better life, 35 hours per week is plenty of time to learn new skills, discover new passions, and create the opportunity for a new career that’s more exciting and fulfilling. In addition, you could dedicate more time to leisurely activities and hobbies that will provide more meaning and allow you to experience life directly rather than through a television screen.
An Unrecognized Source of Stress
Anything that causes you to be excited, fearful, nervous, anxious, or worried is a source of stress that imposes a physiological burden on your body. Although few people realize it, the intense television programming that is so common today can easily invoke these negative emotions and add to the high load of stress that most people are already dealing with.
Watching the news can especially be a considerable source of stress. The leading story right now from CNN is about a woman who was violently beaten in front of her child. Some of the other headlines include a terror probe, letting guns on Amtrak trains, the strangling of a Yale student, and a gang rape at Hofstra. While it’s highly doubtful that these stories will add any value to your life, it’s very likely that they’ll invoke some unnecessary negative emotions. The news is always full of sensationalized drama that’s sure to affect your mood. You’ll likely find out about all of the important stories that you need to without watching the news. Despite the fact that I haven’t watched the news in several years, I always manage to find out what I need to, and I feel that I’m better off not knowing about most of the ridiculous things that are going on around the world.
Watching television can also consume the time we need to get important tasks done. When this happens and we finally get around to doing them, it’s common to feel panicked and work frantically to get them done. This is yet another source of stress to add to the hectic lifestyle that’s overwhelming many of us and leading to compromised health and adrenal fatigue.
The Power of Persuasion
Although you might think that you don’t pay much attention to television commercials and that they have no influence on you, you’re most likely mistaken. If this were the case, companies wouldn’t be spending enormous amounts of money on them. Most commercials are intentionally designed to inspire a strong desire or a perceived need for the product or service being advertised. For example, you might see misleading commercials suggesting that Cheerios lowers cholesterol, that you can lose weight easily with FullBar, or that taking Aspirin could save your life. Regardless of how effective the product or service actually is, it’s in the best interest of these companies to have you believe that it’s the best solution to your problems, and there’s a good chance that you will.
Drug and food companies run many of the commercials that you see, and unfortunately, they often promote the shortsighted symptom chasing mentality that’s such a significant factor in the development of today’s most serious health problems.
It’s also common for misleading information to make it’s way into regular programming. For example, the popular weight loss show, The Biggest Loser, glorifies the effort of contestants who overexercise and practically starve themselves. Not only is this awful for your health, but it’s an ineffective way to lose weight which is made evident by the many contestants who regained the weight they lost after leaving the show. Unfortunately, this show has inspired many people to follow the same flawed and unhealthy approach, and many other shows are influencing people in similar ways.
Although it may sound as if I’m blaming a lot of things on television, that’s not the case. It’s your responsibility to look after yourself, manage your time, protect your health, and be critical of all information. Television is just one of many modern influences that can make it difficult for you to do these things effectively. In fact, other popular sources of mainstream media such as the internet, magazines, newspapers, and radio can have this effect as well. If you’re unable to benefit from these outlets without being negatively affected, the only person you can blame is yourself.
Warm up: 100 yard sprints, repeat 5 times
Exercise 1 - 30 Jumping Squats, take 30 seconds rest and repeat 5 times.
Exercise 2 - Planks; front 30 seconds each, Left Side for 30 seconds, Right Side 30 seconds; repeat entire set of planks 5 times
Each day is a new day and a chance to face your challenges. What would you do if you knew you would not fail?