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Happy 100th, Mother’s Oats

Celebrating my 100 year old Nana w one of her keys to good health. 

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#Prioritize: Fitness Improves Performance

As mentioned in my previous post (#prepare), the second topic that needs to be considered when on the road is how you #prioritize fitness while on the road.  

There are a littany of excuses: meetings all day, last minute emails, rushing to catch a plane to get home, boss wants to catch up etc.  My dad would say, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”  In this context, I am making the point that setting expectations around how much “me” time you need is important.    

The next question is: How do you use that “me” time?  Understandably, when you feel tired, your first inclination is to sleep.  However, are you really sleep deprived?  If so, why?  I would wager you could connect these issues back to the foods you eat and your exercise routine.  

Case and point: I couldn’t sleep last night and I planned to get up in the morning to excercise before my 10+ hour day of company meetings.  I woke up after 5ish hours of sleep feeling beat.  I knew I didn’t have a full workout in me but, could I walk the stairs of the hotel?  Sure.  Could I stretch out in the gym?  Most definitely.  20 minutes of walking broke me out of my haze, geared me up for the day and reduced my “missed workout remorse”.  

When I was training for triathlons, one of the first peices of advice I received was regarding the 10 minute rule.  Try something for 10 minutes, if you can’t continue, then stop.  I’ll bet you have more than 10min in you.  The benefit?  You feel like you did something and didn’t totally fall off the wagon, allowing you to have the confidence to prioritize a workout at another time

Stop Judging. Know Your Audience.

Why is it that when someone is in shape or makes a commitment to their health, people are always giving them a hard time about it?

“Nice workout gear, little miss fitness. You must be going to the gym after work. Gawwwdd, I just go home and sit at home on the couch.”

“No bread? What, are you on some kind of diet?! What are you going to eat at dinner tonight, just salad and chicken?!”

If you’re inactive and jealous, keep your opinions to yourself and don’t derail someone trying to keep their shit together.  News flash: those statements aren’t compliments.

Just because youre in shape, doesn’t give you a license to run your mouth either. This means you Suzy Sensational and Billy Bragger: you’re not helping the fitness community either. I joined a crossfit gym in 2013 and, laughably, you start to see where some of the stereotypes come from. Most pointedly, “1st Rule of Crossfit: Always Talk About Crossfit”.  I don’t care what sport you’re currently “obsessed” with or approach you’re taking to your health – triathlons,  walking, weight watchers, parkour – people outside your circle don’t really want to hear every excruciating detail.  You don’t wake up one day and do an IronMan, you don’t walk in off the street and squat snatch 225 lbs, you don’t lose a third of your body weight on a random evening when you pass on the bottomless fries. We know it takes committment, but be humble.  Long and short: know your audience. Offer advice when people ask. Ask questions, don’t just speak in statements about your awesomeness.

Lastly, drop the judgy bullshit. We all go through cycles around what motivates us to stay active. I know I felt like triathlons were the be-all-end-all at first and then I got away from them. Whatever keeps you active is the best choice for you. 

What I really find difficult is explaining why I’m motivated to be healthy to someone that simply doesn’t care about health and fitness. Maybe it has something to do with inertia – damn, it’s hard to start moving once you stop but a helluva lot easier to keep things going with momentum.  Maybe I’ve seen too much: with a chronically ill dad, sleeping in a recliner and unable to walk and dying at 65, you internalize that insatiable desire to return to good health so you can simply live like you want. 

My challenge to you comes roughly from Albert Einstein: it’s insane to expect different results if you always employ the same methods.  This goes for your own fitness goals or simply changing someone’s perception.

Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown – gym specs / workout

As for the gym:
5 treadmills
5 elipicals
Free weights up to ~50lb dumbells
Enough headspace to jump rope
Chest/leg/back machines
Swiss balls
Stretching mat
Pool (~15 yards)
29 floors to walk. 600m one way

Todays workout (From @CrossfitLando)

50 Double Unders
50 Squats
40 Double Unders
40 Pushups
30 Double Unders
30 Jumping Lunges
20 Double Unders
20 Clapping Pushups
10 Double Unders
10 Jumping Squats

@spg @suitcasefitness @reebok #crossfit #suitcasefitness #travelWOD

#Prepare: The first step to #suitcasefitness

In my first series of posts, I am going to discuss each of the three main tenets of maintaining good health on the road:

  • #prepare
  • #prioritize
  • #play

When it comes to preparation, there are two major concerns: nutrition and exercise.  The former is probably the most important.  So, ask yourself:

Do you have good food choices at your disposal?  This is important to curb wild cravings.  read: your goal is to avoid getting “hangry”.  That way, you’ll avoid making bad decisions.  For the most part, all the exercise in the world can’t make up for poor nutrition.   Not new thinking, I’m certainly stealing this from someone somewhere.

  • I’ll explore my approach in more detail in later posts, but I tend to use a lot of protein bars (because the nutrition is calculated) and the prepared food section at the grocery story (chicken breasts, tuna salad, prepared whole chickens etc).

Have you briefly searched for gym / fitness options?   I’m not here to bash/support any one approach to working out, it’s most important that you SIMPLY DO SOMETHING.  Also, feel comfortable.  Spend a little money to buy some workout clothes that make you feel confident.  Lastly, bring the items you use during a normal workout.  If you watch an iPad, bring an iPad.  If you jump rope, bring your jump rope.  If you carry a rubber chicken, keep that to yourself.   Not a whole gym bag worth, just something as a reminder.

  • I tend to use Google maps for Crossfit gyms and call them directly to understand the rates, community etc.  I shop at TJ Maxx for workout clothes, best deals around.  Except for shoes, need to make sure you have good support.  I have a small travel bag of my gym equipment, see my instagram @suitcasefitness.

The more you can #prepare to make your approach to #suitcasefitness resemble your approach to fitness at home, the more likely you’ll stay on the wagon.  Don’t beat yourself up for shorter workouts or not doing EXACTLY what you do when home.  Your goal is to #prepare enough to stay engaged, so you don’t feel totally out of sync when you return.