Tag Archives: Excercise

Keeping Track

One thing I have found very beneficial is to keep track of your activities and the results.  This is very good for running or biking times and distances, other exercise activities, or also tracking general projects.  I started an Excel spreadsheet 3 years ago and have tracked every bike ride I’ve taken in those 3 years.  I have a cheap little cateye cycle computer and I collect total distance, average speed, total time, and max speed.  I like being able to see how I have improved my times, improved my number of rides per week, and things like that.  It gives me a great sense of accomplishment.  Tracking a project like a computer build, craft project, or car restoration is also a good idea.  Things like these can the be turned into interesting or tutorial web pages as well.

Track consistently

This is really the most important part.  When you have a nice long history of data it is great to be able to know what you have done and then you have a sense of accomplishment.  Get in the habit of recording your data as soon as you are done.  This will become natural and then you won’t have holes in your data.

Do something

It really doesn’t matter how you track, just keep track.  This can be a simple as writing it down in a notebook, keeping track in an Excel spreadsheet, or getting some specific software to help you track.  Obviously, if your end goal is something to display on the web then it makes sense to input it into a computer.  The format isn’t as important, however as data can usually be repurposed and translated to different applications once it has been entered on the computer.

Using the data

Make sure that you actually use the data.  Periodically go through your numbers and look at things like how often you did your activity, what improved, and what you could stand to improve.  If you have something that would make a great tutorial, publish it on the web and let other people enjoy and learn from your experience.

If you haven’t done anything like this before, I suggest you start today.  Yes, you may not have data from before which would be nice to have, but if you put it off more then you have even more data lost.  Make it important and simple, and keep with it!


Overcoming Inertia – 5 Ways To Motivate Yourself

I needed help with this one today, thus it seemed like a good topic.  I have a few things that I keep in mind which help me moving forward and staying active.  Here is my list of 5 things to get you moving too.  Also, check out my Just Do It post for some other thoughts.

1. Know what you want to do

This seems obvious, but isn’t.  In order to get motivated to do something you need a clear idea of what you want to do.  Call this the planning step.  Figure out what you want to do and then come up with a plan.  Writing things down on paper or on the computer can help.  If you make a list of everything in your head it usually seems less daunting than when everything is floating around in a jumble in your head.  Also, once you have a plan you have already taken action and then it is that much easier to go ahead and execute your plan.

2. Schedule it

Don’t just think that you will make time; actually make time.  Put it on your calendar and when the time comes, don’t make excuses.  If it is something recurring, get into a schedule and then stick with it.  For example, I set a goal to add one new post a day to this site so I picked noon as my time to get it out.  If I miss my noon deadline, then I feel bad and that motivates me to get it done (even if it is late).  If you are running, biking, or working out you can help yourself by scheduling a specific day(s) and time and then stick to it.

3. Use the buddy system

This one works great.  If you want to do something like exercise then schedule it (see #2 :) ) with a buddy.  All last year I averaged one bike ride a week (usually during the work week), but this spring I started scheduling Saturday morning rides with a buddy and now my average has consistently moved up to two times a week.  This really helps for several reasons.  It is an extra motivating factor – you can both encourage each other.  Also, it adds a level of responsibility because you don’t want to let down the other person.  It is much easier to hit snooze or keep watching TV if it is just you by yourself, but if someone else is depending on you then that helps overcome the inertia.

4. Think about it

Take a moment to think about your life and see the direction you want to go.  Are you where you want to be?  Is there something – no matter how small – you could do to move you in a better direction?  By really thinking about who you are and what you want out of life it makes it much easier to get going on something that really speaks to you.  Last week I was watching Jesse James Is A Dead Man and something he said really stuck with me.

    I don’t know if you got the memo, but we’re all on a continuous march to death. I’m going to have as much fun as I can while I’m here before I die.
    [paraphrased from Jesse James – sorry; I’ll fill in the exact quote when I have time to re-watch it]

5. Change your perspective

Change the way you think.  Yes, this seems both obvious and ridiculous at the same time, but it is very effective if you can do it.  You have known yourself for your entire life, so sometimes you are your own worst enemy.  You hold yourself to the ruts and self-images you have about yourself.  Try changing your perspective on yourself.  This one is a little difficult to convey, so lets use some examples.

I grew up an introvert and always viewed myself as shy.  I kept telling myself that I was shy and I continued to believe it.  Once I moved away from my home town, I worked on having a paradigm shift and stopped telling myself I was shy.  I wouldn’t say that I am an extrovert, but I no longer consider myself shy and I don’t act like it either.

Another example came when I did a 10 day lemonade cleanse or lemon juice diet.  It was a great experience and I actually didn’t feel very hungry, but I really missed the action of eating.  Sort of like an ex-smoker missing the oral activity of having a cigarette in their mouth.  This was driving me crazy until day 3 of no food.  I finally had a serious talk with myself and just changed my attitude and perspective.  I got it into my head that I just wasn’t going to put any food in my mouth, and the rest of the 7 days went by like nothing.

Logan Challenge

So here is my challenge to you.  Find one thing that you have been putting off and get motivated to do it today.  I gave you 5 ways to motivate yourself, so you certainly can use them to do one thing today.  Be sure to post a comment with your results.  Good luck, and get off the couch!

My New Year’s Resolutions – Follow Up

Since today marks the half way point of 2009, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look back at my resolutions from my New Year’s 2009 – My Resolutions post and check in to see how I’m doing.  While there is always room for improvement, overall I think I’m doing great.

Do more

I made this resolution because I have had problems being inert in the past and not really living life.  I have done pretty good here and this blog is one example.  I have had periods where it didn’t get updated as often as I wanted, but lately I’ve gotten back on track.

I want to keep the ball rolling with this blog and I also have ideas for two other sites.  Also, last year I had started the site drivemoregreen.com which has languished without any attention.  I’d like to revamp that and get it going again.

I resolve to continue doing more and keeping my momentum going for the rest of 2009.

Spend more time interacting with my kids

This one I have done pretty well.  I’ve really tried to focus on enjoying being with the kids (which isn’t always easy!) and finding more time to spend with them.  I have also spent more one-on-one time with my son.  We started watching Deadliest Catch on Discovery.  Yes, it is a little hypocritical for an ethical vegetarian to enjoy watching them pull so many crab out of the ocean, but it is exciting and has great talking points for conversations with my kids.  I just had to shoo away my daughter so I could finish this post :( but overall I’m still doing better.

I resolve to continue spending more time interacting with my kids.

Stay in shape and maintain my weight

This one I’ve done great at.  My ideal weight is 175 and I don’t like going over 180.  So far this year I’ve only been over 180 once and have stayed between those two numbers the rest of the time.  I have been biking about two times a week, which is up from last year’s one time a week average.

I resolve to continue staying in shape and maintaining my weight.

Get stronger

I don’t have an official or proper program for this yet, but about a month ago I started doing pushups every day.  I have seen an improvement in my arm muscles and I’m really happy about this.  I plan on continuing with the push ups and will consider adding in more strenght training if I can figure something out.

I resolve to continue working on getting stronger.

Conclusion

This has been a good excercise to write down my resolutions and track them.  I highly recommend it – and even though it isn’t New Year’s right now, you can make a resolution right now and start trying to live better.  Do you have a follow up for your resolutions, or something you want to start doing better now?  Be sure to post a comment and let me know.

What Is – Living Better?

So what exactly do I mean by living better?  I’ll spell out in this post what type of things I’ll cover and what point of view I have.

Eating Better

I always keep the adage of “you are what you eat” in mind.  What ever you put into your body becomes your body.  I will cover topics like eating organic, eating healthy, eating less, and eating higher quality foods.  I’ll also offer tips for food and meals.

Treating Your Body Better

After eating better, exercise is one of the most important things you can do.  I’ll cover weight loss, exercise, cleansing your body, alternative healing methods like acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, and herbal therapy.

Treating Others Better

When we strip away all the junk of daily living, we are left with basic human interactions.  I’ll cover topics like getting back to basics and getting more from your relationships.

Treating Animals Better

I have been a vegetarian for 17 years now, and will cover topics of vegetarianism, animal rights, and being aware of how animals are treated.

Treating The World Better

Our world is being abused every day.  We can each do our own small part to help out with the things we chose to buy, the companies we choose to patronize, and working hard to minimize our carbon- and trash- footprints on the earth.

Living Simply and Simply Living

In our day of rush-rush and consumerism, I’ll help to remind you that we all can benefit from simplifying and reducing stress.  I’ll cover tips for getting back to the basics, as well as financial advice.

Inspiration For Living Better

Hopefully all of this will result in small ways to inspire you to live better.  Some times it might be a complete paradigm shift while others might be just a small tip to help get you through the day.  I’m not perfect myself, so I plan on working through some of these myself.  I hope you decide to join me on this journey.