It’s January, and that means….

English: Mid drive fluid motion quantum ellipt...

You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment…what you need is to get started! 

…those resolutions that we always make to eat less and exercise more.

But we never seem to keep them.

Why?

It’s simple, really. We typically don’t like sudden changes, such as sudden changes to our physical or dietary routine.

So the key with managing change is to start slowly, building from a small start, and tracking our progress.

Surrounding ourselves with supportive people is also critical.

Visit our main site for a series of tips

on how to get started in January.

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For Athletes, Risks From Ibuprofen Use

There’s an interesting article on the use of ibuprofen before exercise:

But a valuable new study joins growing evidence that ibuprofen and similar anti-inflammatory painkillers taken before a workout don’t offer any benefit and may be causing disagreeable physical damage instead, particularly to the intestines. 

The potential damage to the intestines sounds quite significant:

ibuprofen

Stay away from this stuff before exercise

The health implications of this finding are not yet clear, although they are worrying, Dr. van Wijck said. It may be that if someone uses ibuprofen before every exercise session for a year or more, she said, “intestinal integrity might be compromised.” In that case, small amounts of bacteria and digestive enzymes could leak regularly into the bloodstream.

This is exactly why topical pain relievers like BioFreeze, Sombra, and even Old Goat make so much sense. By avoiding the stomach and intestines, you avoid the risks described in this article. Even pain relieving patches are a better alternative to ibuprofen and other oral pain killers.

If you stop taking ibuprofen before exercise, and you feel a lot of pain, then reassess your exercise. Perhaps you can switch to a different exercise (i.e., reduce your running and increase your cycling). This is a far safer approach than simply popping more pills.

Remember, pain is your body telling you that it’s uncomfortable. Listen to it!

The Ultimate Secret to Diet, Exercise, and Physical Fitness

Pretty bold title, right?

The reality is that too many of us are overweight, eat lousy foods, and don’t exercise.

We know (intellectually) that we have to eat less, eat better, and exercise more. Yet we don’t do it.

Oh sure, we manage to get to the gym in January, and maybe we go for a few sessions. But, we’re suddenly “busy.” And so, that

English: NORFOLK, Va. (April 26, 2007) - Andre...

We shock our subconscious into thinking we’re boxing champions. 

membership (or the piece of expensive exercise equipment that we bought) is collecting dust in the basement.

So what’s the Ultimate Secret to staying on our exercise plan? The Ultimate Secret to dieting and losing weight?

Well, it’s simple to describe, but difficult to actually do.

Why do we fail?

The reason why we fail at any of these endeavors is because each of them (diet, exercise, etc.) require us to make a change.

Change is difficult! It’s uncomfortable. It’s messy. It’s much easier to keep doing whatever we feel comfortable doing.

Habits are comfortable. Changes are not.

Yet, when we buy that piece of exercise equipment, we’re convincing ourselves that we’re suddenly going to change and start exercising. After all, all the slim, fit people on TV do it. “Just 30 minutes a day for three days a week,” they say.

Just start your diet on Monday and you’ll lose a pound a week! Yes, that new diet might lead to weight loss, but can you suddenly and completely change your eating habits?

It sounds so easy. Yet we try, and we don’t stick with it.

Why? Because it’s change. And change is uncomfortable. Our subconscious does not like change. Instead, it prefers to back to the status quo; to what is comfortable and routine, even if it’s unhealthy.

So what’s the Ultimate Secret?

The Ultimate Secret is simple.

You have to build positive, forward momentum each and every day until your goal is achieved.

But, and this is important, that daily momentum has to be very gradual, almost unnoticeable.

In other words, by making that change as small as possible, it won’t actually feel like a change.

But over time, the results can be life changing.

What The Biggest Loser teaches us about sudden change

One of the surprising results from The Biggest Loser is that nearly anyone can run a marathon, provided they prepare for it. Now on The Biggest Loser, the contestants do nothing but diet and train, which is not practical for the rest of us.

Yet, many of those contestants fail to keep the weight off after they leave the show. Why?

Because they return to what feels comfortable! They’ve shocked their systems into losing weight, but they subconsciously return to what feels normal.

In other words, sudden change, like buying a piece of exercise equipment, or joining a gym for the first time, is unlikely to have a long-term benefit unless you also include the Ultimate Secret.

That Ultimate Secret, again, is to make the change slow, subtle, and regular.

How to use the Ultimate Secret

Here is a process and an example of how the Ultimate Secret works.

First, you need to identify a Big Audacious Goal (B.A.G.). That goal must be:

> Very specific

> Very doable

> Something that makes sense

> Something that can be planned for

For example, “Running a marathon in 6 months” may not work because

> It’s not specific enough. It should be targeting a specific marathon on a specific date and time

> It may not be doable for someone who has never run before

> It may not make sense because there are no scheduled marathons in your area in 6 months

> You may not be able to train fast enough to achieve your goal

However, let’s suppose you establish a B.A.G. that fulfills our criteria, such as “I will run in and complete the Runners Club 5 kilometer race on Saturday, September 23rd, at 8:30 am.”

Again, note how specific it is.

Now, you need to do a few things:

> Put the event on your calendar, and design a plan to achieve that goal (more later)

> Tell people about your goal, but stick with those who will actually support and help you achieve your goal.

As an aside, it’s rather sad to think that your immediate family members may not always be the most understanding or supportive people in your Inner Circle. You may actually find more support from friends, distant relatives, even eFriends that you have on Facebook and Twitter.

> Calendar in hand, work you way backwards and plan your training.

For example, if you’re not in running shape, then trying to run a mile today will only cause pain and disappointment. Remember, sudden change is what we’re trying to avoid!

Instead, try walking 100-200 yards today.

That’s it? Only 100 yards?

Yes, only 100 yards.

Again, the Ultimate Secret is to make slow, imperceptible change so that you develop forward momentum towards your goal.

So, walk 100 yards today. Tomorrow, walk 125 yards. The next day, try walking 200 yards. Get to the point where you can comfortably walk 1 mile before you start jogging.

Even when you start jogging, again you don’t want to make too drastic of a change. Try dividing your mile into a quarter-mile walk, then quarter-mile jog, then walk, then jog.

Continue building in this slow, steady way, What you’ll find is that your momentum will cause you to accelerate your training until you achieve you goal.

“This won’t work for weight loss.”

Yes it will.

First, pay close attention to what you eat every day. Writing it down helps. Be sure to count everything, including that spoonful of stew you ate while tasting it during cooking. Or that third cookie you ate because there were only three left in the box.

Then, start cutting back slowly. Use less sugar and cream in your coffee. Eat one cookie instead of two, then a half, then half a cookie and a piece of fruit, then fruit only.

Slow, gradual, but daily change builds momentum that cannot be disrupted until your goals are met!

But again, you must have a very specific goal, such as “I will lose 10 pounds by September 1.”

Remember, the Ultimate Secret is nothing more than a plan for slow, imperceptible, daily change. Working your way towards an achievable goal that is doable and makes sense is undoubtably the best way to achieve your health and fitness goals because you are addressing the one major stumbling block that we all have, namely, dealing with change.

What’s your goal?

What is your gradual plan to achieve that goal?

Does the goal make sense?

Who is in your supportive Inner Circle?

This cheap piece of equipment can help you lose weight quickly and easily

Are you looking for an inexpensive, easy piece of exercise equipment for your cardio workout?

We have an idea.

What if we could offer you a piece of exercise equipment that was:

  • provided an intense cardio workout in a short period of time
  • is small, lightweight, and easy to carry and store
  • less than $10

Would you be interested?

I bet you would!

Our secret is the humble jump rope!

The humble jump rope can be a great addition to your exercise routine.

A jump rope can offer a tremendous cardio workout. By jumping rope for 15-20 minutes a day, you will likely burn more calories doing this compared to light jogging or walking. Amazing!

But first, make sure you are in reasonable physical shape for jumping rope. If you suffer from knee or hip problems, for example, then jumping rope may not be the exercise for you.

The real “secret” benefit to jumping rope is that you are exercising many different muscles at once. When using the jump rope, muscles in the legs, back, shoulders, and the core are all being exercised.

One interesting advantage of the jump rope is that it may be less stressful on the knees than jogging. How is this possible? This is because when you jump, you tend to land on the balls of the feet, and not the heel. Shifting the landing towards the front of the foot helps distribute the shock experienced while landing. Plus, you can have better control over the landing from a short, repetitive jump versus a long, striding run.

But, don’t let the simplicity of the equipment fool you. The jump rope can be a great exercise tool if used properly. Here are a few tips for you to consider:

The rope itself – We recommend staying away from home made or toy jump ropes. A really good jump rope will only be ~$10-$20, so make the investment in a good one. You should get one with padded handles, and one that is easily adjustable.

Surface – Avoid jumping rope on carpet, grass, or other surfaces where you may slip during the jump. Instead, go for solid surfaces, such as an exercise mat. Alternatively, a sheet of plywood resting on top of a carpeted floor may work fine.

Footwear – Cross-trainer shoes typically provide the most cushion for the jump. Alternatively, use basketball shoes.

How to get started

It’s possible that you have not used a jump rope in many years…perhaps since you were a kid! How should you get started?

First, grab both handles in one hand, and start swinging the rope slowly without jumping. Get a feel for the rope, it’s weight, and it’s rhythm. After a while, continue swinging the rope, while simultaneously hopping in place to the rhythm of the rope hitting the floor.

This may also be a good time to adjust the length of the rope.

How long should the rope be?

To gauge the proper length for the rope, try standing on the rope, evenly dividing the rope between your left and right hands. The tips of the handles should reach the top of your shoulders. This is standard length, but feel free to adjust as you jump.

Remember, you do not have to jump very high in order for your feet to clear the rope. You should only need to jump an inch or two off the floor to clear the rope. If you find yourself jumping higher, lengthen the rope.

Try this routine for the first 3 or 4 workouts before trying to actually jump rope. Again, start slowly, with as short a jump as possible.

How long should you jump?

This depends on your overall physical condition. But, generally, anywhere from 1-5 minutes of continuous jumping daily is a great addition to an overall exercise program.

Jumping rope exercises your brain?

You bet! Jumping rope, especially for beginners, requires a certain amount of concentration and focus. You are moving many body parts at once in a coordinated manner, performing a series of movements which are, frankly, unnatural. To do this well, our brains need to focus and coordinate all of these movements to clear the rope. So yes, the brain get’s very involved as well!

Summary

The humble jump rope is an inexpensive piece of exercise equipment that can be a great compliment to your overall workout routine. It’s simple to use, very portable, inexpensive, and highly effective. Start off slowly with a quality jump rope. Develop a feel for the rhythm of the rope, and adjust its length before performing the full exercise. Start slowly, and build your speed and stamina over time. Pretty soon, you’ll marvel at the benefits from this simple, inexpensive “secret” piece of exercise equipment!

Bonus Tip : We love to take our jump rope on business trips, but be very careful jumping rope in hotel rooms. This is because hotel carpeting can actually be somewhat slippery. If the hotel has an exercise mat, try jumping rope there instead.

For more information:

The Jump Rope Institute ( link )

Valeo Jump Rope – a great rope for <$10 ( link )

How to jump rope like a boxer video ( link )