Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Trigger Your Habits!

Hey Motiv8ers!

We try to check up with Motiv8ers who are missing the workouts and give them a little push to get back out.  Most of you have gotten these emails.

We do our best to keep the Motiv8tion high!  After all, it's in our name!

But Motivation works only for a little while.  It is only good for short term success. 

We need to transform that Motiv8tion into a regular habit in order to continue seeing the same success we do in the first few weeks of the workouts.  A regular habit of making your 3-4 workouts per week, staying hydrated, eating a whole food-based diet and staying focused on who you want to be are what turns a Motiv8ed person into a Transformed Motiv8er!

What is causing once motivated individuals to get so unmotivated?  Why do we start off with such great intent of getting healthy and then just end up falling off the wagon?

Here's the thing.  Your health MUST be a priority above all other things in your life.  Why?

Because at the end of the day ONLY YOU have control over it.  Your boss, your spouse, your doctor and anyone else in your life isn't going to reschedule a lost workout.  YOU have to.  So make time for it and schedule EVERYTHING else around it.

Afterall, if we aren't healthy how are we able to give anyone else our best?  How do we perform at work, how do we give our children the attention they need, how are we able to stay mindful in our relationships?

So here's an example of a priority list (yours may differ but your health should always be at the top):

  2. My family
  3. My work
  4. Personal growth
  5. Helping others
  6. Giving back to my community

You get the idea….

We create habits and routines that drive ALL of our behavior around the things most important to us.  If we have work at the top of our Priority List for instance we:

  1. Make sure we get up at 6am to get ready for work.
  2. Make a habit of leaving at a certain time every day to show up on time
  3. Regularly meet with our boss to understand what is expected of us and get feedback about our performance
  4. Learn on-the-job skills to become better at what we do and more efficient during our workday

Why do we do these things?  Well because we've made "work" our top priority.  If something like personal growth is lower down on the priority list how likely is it that we'll challenge ourselves to read more books, or take more classes or research more articles/studies?  We may set habits to do those things but not with the same focus we'll set habits for our #1 priority!

Ok so we've made our health our top priority and we've decided to start making habits but how do we really do that?

Most of us start from the wrong end of the equation:

So here's the equation: motiv8tion + ability + trigger = behavior 

You've got the Motiv8tion or you wouldn't be at Motiv8!  You have the ability because we create the workouts for you, setup times that work with your schedule and are there to coach you every day.  So the last part of your behavior change is...


After I________ I will_________!

Ok so here's an example.  Let's say getting to your SET is your habit you want to create.  Here are a few small triggers to help you get there.

After I Hit the Snooze I will Sit up!
After I turn the lights on I will put my workout clothes on!
After I drink some water I will eat a banana!
After I brush my teeth I will grab my keys!

This sounds really silly but I promise it works!  

The reason is you are creating an association of your new habit with an existing habit. Making it an easy add-on to an existing habit creates a quick and painless way to ensure you perform the habit over and over without fail.

FACT: The easier a habit is (good OR bad) the more likely you are to continue it!

Here's the great works the opposite way too with bad habits!  I like martinis (I used to drink one every night after work during my corporate days) BUT, I DON'T like to drink them if it takes a long time to make them so.....

I put the gin on the top shelf in a hard-to-get-to cabinet, it's in the back of the cabinet so I have to move bottles around to even make sure I have some, I put my shaker and martini glasses in the dining room, I have to go thru a whole series of behaviors to even get to the point where I'm able to MAKE a martini.  The martini habit is totally GONE at this point.  

Triggers don't have to use association but those are the most effective.  You can also use things like:

  • written notes
  • phone reminders
  • an accountability buddy to call or text you
  • a family member to ask you how your training is going
  • a diary or food journal to remind you about good habits

BUT, the KEY is the EASIER it is, the more likely it is that the behavior will continue.  So think about what has become automatic for you.  Don't start a diary if you've never done a diary WON'T be successful.  Don't use written notes around your house if you won't be mindful of WON'T be successful.  The best you can do is find a current behavior that has become a habit for you and associate it with the thing you want to change.  That is your best trigger!

NEVER forget that without celebrating the little behaviors you are trying to make habitual, your focus and passion will fade as well.  So tell yourself, "I'm awesome" whenever you succeed at your new habit.  Of course we'll help you with this one too! :-)

See you soon!

- Coach Joe

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Why Recovery Is JUST as important as exercise!

We tend to think that the best thing we can do for our health is exercise.  In fact, this notion has been reinforced so aggressively that it has become a default answer to “How do I lose weight and get fit?”.

The infomercials say it, the diet books say it, the doctor says it, the gym coach in school says it, your mother (or even grandmother) probably says it.  Without fail when the question of how healthy someone is living comes up the first response out of our mouths becomes, “Well how active is she/he?”

Well what happens when this fascination with MORE becomes too much????  What about that other Pillar of Fitness that never gets any attention?  That’s right…what about Recovery???

Before I go any further I should dispel a BIG myth about what recovery is...

It's NOT this:

Or this!

Or EVEN this!

Recovery is about MUCH more than sitting around and waiting for your body to heal.  In fact there are some things you may be doing that are HINDERING your body’s ability to heal rather than helping it!

Nutrition During Recovery:

Of course we want you to eat whole, natural foods in order to fuel your Motiv8 workouts and you will often hear this from us.  BUT, focusing on your diet becomes even MORE important when you are trying to recover from an injury or a tough series of workouts.

Why?  It all has to do with the process of healing!

The first thing you probably notice after an injury is inflammation.  The primary purpose of inflammation is to protect the body from infection and prepare an injury site for delivery of nutritents, fluids and white blood cells to begin healing.  Now what happens when you aren’t putting the necessary nutrients into your body by eating a proper diet?  Well you probably guessed that you’re either going to hinder or at the very least slow the healing process. 

We like to eat for taste but following an injury or any tissue damage (even the good kind in our workouts) it’s SO important to put foods in your body that can be used to put you back to optimal health as efficiently as possible.  If the foods you eat following a hard workout are the kind that your body identifies as foreign substances, it is now focused on flushing them out IN ADDITION to healing whatever it is that laid you up in the first place.  You just set yourself back days simply by putting the wrong food in your body!  One step forward, two steps back! 

In addition to making sure you get the right AMOUNT of calories from WHOLE foods, here are a few items to focus on getting even MORE of than usual for faster healing:

Sleep During Recovery:

Did you know that your body does most of it’s tissue repair during the deep sleep cycle?  Yes, so even while we are unconscious our bodies are working hard to rebuild tissue, repair muscle, re-balance hormone levels and replenish antibodies and immune cells.  In fact, studies show that a very large majority of us need 7 to 9 hours of sleep EVERY night in order to keep these processes from being interrupted.

So what happens if we don’t get enough?

Much like the effects of constant stress on our minds, the buildup of stress on the body from environmental factors (such as hard workouts) or self-induced neglect (such as limiting sleep) is a cumulative effect.  That means that we often won’t see the damage it has done until we are already in trouble.  If you’re not getting enough sleep not only will your brain be “foggy” but you may notice that you’ve lost the ability to quickly bounce back from a simple muscle strain or ligament tear.  What might have been a couple weeks of downtime could quickly turn into months of pain and frustration. 

Balance during recovery

In fact, we may be inviting a new injury to accompany an existing one by not allowing ourselves to heal appropriately.  The natural reaction to pain is often to stop doing what causes the pain.  Honestly if you go to most general practitioners with questions about an injury they will likely tell you to “stay off of it for a while”.  But this may not ALWAYS be the best idea!  In fact, more often than not recovery should be an active process, not a passive one!  We tend to develop many injuries thru movement patterns that are biomechanically unsound.  In the absence of an objectifiable trauma, the best course to recover from these types of injury are to identify the breakdown in the patterns and reprogram them.  This is why your coach may often suggest you see an ART technician, massage therapist, or physical therapist to help you in your recovery.

Even in the case of a force trauma to a muscle, bone or ligament, staying passive in your healing process can lead to lengthier recovery times.  Remember that inflammation process?  Well depending on our diets, lifestyle habits or even our daily routines we could inadvertently extend that inflammation much longer than it’s intended purpose.  The result is that our bodies cannot shuttle away the dead and damaged tissue from our injury site.  When this happens we develop a buildup of waste, scar tissue or other byproducts of our injury that keep us from regaining the mobility, strength and flexibility of our pre-injury state.  The only way to remove those obstacles is often manual intervention in the form of anti-inflammatories, massage or physical therapy that regains our previous movement patterns rather than developing unhealthy compensations for our reduced range-of-motion.  Trying to jump back into workouts without those patterns can either set us back or set us UP for future injuries!

It’s always best to listen to your coach when trying to overcome any type of injury.  If we tell you to stay off of it, WE DEFINITELY mean it!  And if we refer you to a professional (be it a doctor, massage therapist, urgent care, or anything else) it’s because we think you need the extra assistance beyond what your body is capable of doing itself. 

Never take an injury with a “wait and see” attitude, with Motiv8 you will always have the resources and support to ensure you take an active role in your recovery!  

Stay Motiv8ed!

~ Coach Joe

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Green Smoothie Challenge for April!

 Motiv8ers today we are starting a new food challenge!

Are you up to the challenge?

Will you take the steps to make a whole new you?

Will you take a step this month to making a better you so you can be healthier and stronger?

If you said yes, then read on and lets do this!

But first, I have some quick news for you!

The latest buzz is about a study done comparing different diets and their long term success. For those who want a quick fix, the research is discouraging. None of the diets showed great results after a couple of years. This isn't surprising. The problem with a diet mindset is that we want it to be for a certain period of time. Then we slowly creep back into our old habits and begin to put the weight back on. But there is some good news!

Making sustainable changes and adopting new healthy habits into your lifestyle leads to long term success. Finding the kind of "diet" that works for you and your lifestyle will bring you results. And when you pair your healthy changes with consistent calorie burning/muscle building exercise, you find the weight much easier to manage. 

Which brings us to our challenge Motiv8ers.  Every month Motiv8 puts out a new challenge that will help you consistently do a new healthy habit that will help improve your life.  So take this months challenge seriously and lets take another step forward in becoming awesome!

The Green Smoothie Challenge!!!!!

Crew last month we took on the 28 Day Clean Eating Challenge which had me, and many of you, eating a lot healthier.  I am eating more fruit, starches, fiber, and making sure I get the right amount of calories from real whole foods. My energy has gone up and my recovery time from workouts is becoming much shorter. Which is great. But, I am lacking in one thing for sure.  That is, I have been struggling with getting in my daily intake of vegetables.  Mainly leafy greens.  So I thought it would be a good time to bring back the Green Smoothie Challenge.  In my opinion, greens are the most important vegetable to have in your diet. Here are a few benefits:

  • They are a great source of protein, fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin D, and many more vitamins
  • they are simple and very inexpensive,
  • In a smoothie you don't even taste the green part.
  • and you will begin to feel better in no time.
Now if you are like me, you probably don't like to sit down and eat hand fulls of spinach or kale.  It just doesn't sound tasty.  If anything it sounds kinda gross.  Well that is where green smoothies come in.  Turns out, as we all have heard a lot over the last year, whole-food smoothies are convenient way to sneak more greens into your diet!  They can be super tasty and green smoothies can have huge benefits such as (definitely NOT a complete list):

  • the sweetness in fruit mask the bitterness of greens,
  • therefore, children love them,
  • and, the reduced food particle size help maximize nutrient absorption!

Now I know what you are thinking.  What is a good recipe for a green smoothie?  Well you only need mainly three things.  A liquid like water or a nut milk like almond milk.  Then two or three servings of fruit.  Followed by a few hand fulls of the green of your choice.  Here is a recipe I put together.

1-1/2 cup spinach
1/2 cup kale
1 frozen banana, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 cup frozen peach, cut in cubes
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup water

Blend frozen fruit until smooth, almond milk and water, then add greens.  Enjoy!

THAT EASY.  GUESS WHAT?  It's like drinking an ice cream shake!  I don't taste the spinach or kale one bit. And, it is super healthy. You can make many combinations and you will start to tackle one of the biggest problems we have, which is not getting enough leafy greens in our diets.  Also you can replace almond milk with soy, coconut, or cashew milk!  Or just water!  If you like a protein powder, you can add that as well.  You can use any kind of fruit you want and with the frozen fruit, there's no need for ice!

So, if your bananas start to go bad, peel them and put them in the freezer!

Tell us your favorite green smoothie recipe in the comment section below.  Get creative with this crew and lets make some epic smoothies.  But remember most important part is greens and fruit.  Keeping it simple is best.  Crew check the email for the details of the challenge and lets start making Smoothies together.

Check out this video below if you want more in depth information on the benefits of green smoothies.
 Crew that is all for today!

Stay EPIC and Don't Forget to Be AWESOME!

Coach Ty Out!