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Top 5 Ways to Stick To Your New Year's Resolutions

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Top 5 Ways to Stick To Your New Year's Resolutions

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Somehow the New Year has come and gone, and we're now on the fast track to February. How did that even happen? Nevertheless, the "new year, new you" mantra is in full swing and if you are the type of person to make resolutions, let's do a quick check-in. How are they going? If they're no longer going, don't stress. Our DIAKADI trainers say it's time to regroup, start over, and get this show on the road.  

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1. Create specific and attainable goals leading up to your bigger goals.

Instead of generically saying, "I want to get stronger", focus on spelling out goals that you can check off and complete. For example, "I want to deadlift 10 more pounds within two weeks," or "I want to perform 20 continuous push-ups," are two goals that will help you get on track to becoming stronger. A common method to effective goal setting is making them S.M.A.R.T: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Adding two or more of these elements into a goal help make them feel easier to accomplish and therefore motivating for you to take on more goals. Jackelyn Ho, www.jackelynho.com

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2. Write it down.

Whether you make a vision board, write it on the bathroom mirror, or place a post-it note at your front door, choose a method that works best for you. If you're not sure what works, then try 'em all! The more you see your resolution, the more you are likely to subtly make your way towards completing it. Be sure to acknowledge your notes every time you see it instead of letting the message glaze pass you. Gina Gutierrez, www.diakadibody.com

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3. Schedule it.

Putting it into the calendar helps you stay on track because when it's in your schedule, you feel obligated to make it happen. Instead of only scheduling time for hard work, make sure you include restorative time as well. Allow yourself time for both mind and body. You deserve it! Stephanie Dale, www.gethungrysf.com

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4. Ask a friend to hold you accountable.

It's hard to get off track when you have someone checking in with you, simply because our brains are wired in a way in which we don't want to disappoint. Canceling on a running meetup is not fun, so keep it real and don't be a flake to yourself or your friends. Jan Milano, www.milanoperformance.com

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5. Prioritize your goals and focus on one thing at a time.

It's easy to get caught up in wanting to achieve everything yesterday, but that's how you end up on the fast track to chaos town. Take a hard look at your list and decide what's most important to getting you where you need to go. Having a hard time deciding what's important? Ask a friend to review your list and help you make some hard decisions. Dustin Eastment, www.dustineastment.com

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Kicking Ass with the DIAKADI Difference

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Kicking Ass with the DIAKADI Difference

I began working with The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women/HIV Circle shortly after I moved to San Francisco in 2008. This opportunity allowed me to create theater with women who were living with HIV to help release the stigma around the virus. While working there, I met Cassandra Steptoe, a survivor of sexual abuse, addiction, incarceration, and HIV. I also learned that Cassandra was a thriving and radiant grandmother of nine who was raising her beautiful seven-year-old granddaughter, Vassidy, who we call the “Cupcake of Light.” Check out Cassandra's video below:

Meeting Cassandra and the other women of Medea opened my eyes to the realities of poverty. I grew up in an upper middle class suburb of Boston, and while I had long understood that poverty was ‘problematic,’ it wasn't until meeting these women that I truly grasped the harsh realities of economic disparities. Wondering how you would afford to buy your child a birthday gift. Growing up in a community plagued by crack addiction and gun violence. Choosing to walk instead of taking the bus just to save a few dollars.

"Through my work with Medea, it became clear that we are not brought into this world on an equal playing field and it no longer felt responsible to ignore this fact."

Therefore, when Cassandra mentioned that she was struggling with her weight two years ago, I invited her to come train with me at the gym for free. What emerged was a two-year training period where Cassandra not only lost 20 lbs, but also learned to love exercise and had more energy for her granddaughter (who sometimes joined us for sessions!). What emerged for me personally, was the honor of getting to closely know an extraordinary woman who had literally been through hell and back. And to see, first hand, that anything is truly possible.

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Inspired by my experience, I reached out to Billy and Gina to see if they would be open to creating the DIAKADI Difference Program, where other trainers could also offer their services to people who wanted to make a big change in their health and fitness routines, but couldn't due to financial constraints or difficult life circumstances. Met with an enthusiastic “yes!,” the three of us set out to design the DIAKADI Difference Program, which allows a participant to work with trainers once to twice a week for three months, focusing on fitness, diet, and lifestyle choices.

We are thrilled to announce that the program successfully launched a few weeks ago! We have two trainers, Jon De La Torre and Elaine Williams, who are kicking ass with clients Kathy, a mother of three and Nicole, a mother of five (read about their experiences below)!

I am so grateful to Jon and Elaine for committing their time, energy, and resources to this program and to Kathy and Nicole for showing up with so much enthusiasm, readiness, and dedication. Step by step, person by person, my hope is that the DIAKADI Difference Program can help improve the lives of those who are ready to make a change in their health, regardless of their life circumstances.

Do you know someone who could benefit from the DIAKADI Difference program? Have them fill out an application here!

Come check out the Medea Project at their upcoming show, Birthright?, at Brava Theater in collaboration with Planned Parenthood, April 9-19, 2015.

What the DIAKADI Difference Participants have to say:

Kathy James-McWay (Participant): I’ve wanted to get myself in shape and in good health for a while. I was tired of being out of breath when I would go down the stairs and back up, tired of being overweight, and not being able to walk for a long distance.

My goals are to lose at least ten pounds, get some of the body fat off, and to tone my body, and turn the fat into muscle.  I would also like to be able to walk up and down stairs and not be tired, and turn my long walks into jogs.

My experience has been totally new to me; I’m doing things I’ve never done before, but it’s all good and I’m having a great time.  Jon is a great trainer. He pushes me and encourages me at the same time; I need that.  Thank you all for the opportunity!

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JDLT Kathy DIAKADI Diff Mar 2015 103

Jon De La Torre (Trainer): When Polina first presented the DIAKADI Difference program, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. To have the chance to help another person enhance their life through exercise and wellness, sign me up! Though it's only been a short amount of time so far, I've really enjoyed working with Kathy, and feel like we've been doing so for years! Our sessions are always so enjoyable, and Kathy always comes to work hard!

I look forward to helping her reach her goals and beyond!

Nicole Rodriguez (Participant): I'm so blessed to become part of such a huge loving family at DIAKADI. Since working with Elaine I have felt encouraged and supported in every way possible. Elaine has such positive energy that its contagious and her feedback motivates me to make healthy choices. I look forward to our weekly meeting she is such a perfect fit in my life having someone like her by my side makes working out fun and exciting.

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Elaine Nicole DIAKADI Diff Mar 2015 045

Elaine Williams (Trainer): When I first heard about the DIAKADI Difference program I felt an absolute YES in all cells of my body, it's like the physical alignment that I strive for when I'm doing any exercise!  So, with my inner wisdom on board, I knew this would be a fun journey and it would allow me to step outside of my box--it's not everyday I go looking for clients that can not afford my services:)  While I've been told that "I INSPIRE", I know "Like Attracts Like", and Nicole is my greatest Inspiration right now!  Given Nicole's life experiences so far, she could have given up on her health a long time ago, but she didn't and that's why she and I are working together.

We Both agree at a deep cellular level, that We deserve to be healthy, strong, sexy, beautiful, full of energy, and overflowing with Love! 

Since we both said YES to this process, and are truly excited about it, we are learning a lot from each other and are gaining the knowledge we need that comes from giving ourselves 100% to the process!  It's only been the 2nd session and Nicole has had some amazing breakthroughs in her mind & body that will only increase her energy levels, bring about more balance, and lift her up in feeling more playful and free in her body!

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Life Changing: The Secret to Losing 90lbs

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Life Changing: The Secret to Losing 90lbs

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On October 10, 2010, Ashley McCumber walked into DIAKADI as a smoker (pack and a half a day) in a size 54 jacket and size 46 pants. He listed on his goal sheet that he wanted to "Change his life and be known as the 'Healthy Guy'." Today, he is not only a 'Healthy Guy,' but he is an athlete, walking around in a size 42 jacket and 31 pants, carrying over 90 pounds less with him! To get a true sense of this loss, go into the gym and pick up a couple of 45 lb plates or dumbbells and walk once around the gym with them. Trust me, it is not an easy thing. In this video, Billy Polson takes a couple of minutes out of Ashley McCumber's workout at DIAKADI and asks him to reveal the secret behind losing 90+ lbs and completely transforming his life over the period of 4 years at DIAKADI.

Check out the video below for details and use Ashley's list below as a reminder that you can do anything that you set your mind to. Congratulations, Ashley, and thank you for your trust and hard work.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/9qMRd_NQxQM[/youtube]

 

Ashley McCumber's 5 Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss Success

1. Believe that you are worth it. Your happiness, comfort and health is far more important than the temporary sensations you get from bad food or smoking.

2. Accept Failure / Trust Success.  Accept the fact that what you are currently doing is not working. Make the decision to seek out expert help that you can trust to lead you towards your goals.

3. Break up with the old 'food you.' The way you are eating now must end forever, starting with new habits and new favorite foods.

4. Push harder on the bad days. When you wake up feeling sore, sad, beat down, tired, THOSE are the days that you get up and push the hardest. Trust me!

5. Live the journey. Milestones matter. Losing the weight or changing your life is not the final destination. Enjoy the trip along the way. Set and celebrate milestones. You are worth it.

 

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What is Your Brand? Not Sure? Here’s How to Figure it Out

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What is Your Brand? Not Sure? Here’s How to Figure it Out

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This is an archived post that we have decided to re-post because of Pooja's great advice for branding your business. Pooja Dang is a Life Coach that specializes in helping people find and live their AWESOME. She offers one-on-one coaching and also works with companies and groups through focused workshops. She loves taking a no-nonsense approach in helping people live their ideal lives whether that means small (but significant) improvements or a complete rediscovery of their values.

 

According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), a brand is a "name, term, sign, symbol or design intended to identify the goods and services of one seller and differentiate them from those of other sellers."

We hear a lot about branding in regards to companies and businesses. But what about branding yourself? When I was graduating college, I remember being introduced to the concept of personal branding by management guru Tom Peters. Over the past few months, this concept has again been brought to light in my coaching work.Financial District and Embarcadero Dec 2014 1439

Most people think that personal branding is just for celebrities. But the fact is that each and every one of us is already a brand whether we know it or not. So how do you go about figuring out what yours is?

Ask yourself:

What are your impressions about yourself? How do people perceive you?

Whether you like it or not, your brand has a huge impact in shaping the opportunities you get in your career and your life. So whether you work in a large corporation, are an entrepreneur or anything in between, building your brand has never been more important to your success.

Here's the key to branding. It's not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition. Rather, it's about getting your prospects to see you as the ONLY ONE that provides a solution to their problem. Think of a promotion that you are going for...or a client you want to sign on. Would you rather be in a race with your competitors? Or be so far off the pack that only YOU fit the bill.

With the right branding, you don't defeat the competition. You eliminate it.

Sound awesome? I thought so. So how do you go about creating your brand?

Start where you are. Think about your life - the past 5 - 10 years. What major accomplishments have you had? Why do you think you got to where you are? What unique strengths, characteristics and values came into play?

Start playing with words. Keep a journal (electronic or paper) and ask yourself: "Who am I?" If that's difficult, then ask yourself "Who am I not?" Is it consistent with who I want to be? What do I stand for? How do I stand out?

Evaluate your current brand.  Answer the following:

a) I am known for (2-4 things). This time next year, I will also be known for (1-2 more things).

b) Cool things I've learned in the last 3 months include (1-3 things)

c) My current project is challenging me in the following (1-3 ways).

d) Awesome new additions to my network in the last 3 months include (2-4 names).

e) My primary 'resume enhancement activity' for the next 3 months is (1 item).

f) My resume is discernibly different from last year's on this date in the following (1-2) ways;

Go BIG with your vision.

What's a bumper sticker that defines your essence? Live your Awesome anyone?

What is your personal positioning statement?

Create a quarter page ad for You and Co. How does it read?

Repeat.

Get into the habit of doing a brand evaluation every 3 - 6 months. It doesn't mean you'll have to keep shifting your brand. It means that you will stay more true to your brand. To who you want to be.

There are a LOT of coaches out there.

I AM

All about achieving AWESOME. Having an awesome life means you are engaging in meaningful work, have loving relationships, feel elevated by your peers and friends, and feel energized by your day. ALIVE is the word that captures how you feel and who you are. Everything that’s holding you back from feeling alive – we’ll tackle it. My energy and passion ignites my clients into action and their lives start to change. I am not here to give you some tools to provide a temporary fix. I am not a cheerleader. And I am not a friend. I am your coach. And I am here to make sure you are never held back by the same roadblocks again. I will challenge you to dig deep, to be open and to grow into the person you were meant to be.

Who are you?

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Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year's Goals

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Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year's Goals

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We have made it! Day 12 is here with some of the most important advice of all on setting achievable goals and successful New Year's resolutions. First a couple of questions. Looking into next year and the years ahead, do you know when you want to retire? When you look in the mirror now describe the person you see. Are you happy with that person? In your sex life, what do you wish there was more of? Less of? What 3 things would you like to achieve 1 year from now? In 5 years? 10 years?

These are all great things to think about when setting your goals for the New Year and below we have gathered an excellent list of kick-off questions to get your brain thinking.

But to start, I have four pieces of advice for you on successful goal setting.

1. Sometimes you have to take stuff out before you add new stuff in.

If you are already an over-achiever performing at max capacity, you will have to free up some time in your life, before adding more new goals to your to do list for 2014. Are you running full sprint every day to complete what you have on your current to do list? If your life is already at full capacity, then your first goal must be to make time for yourself. And for maxed out folks, I highly recommend that the goal list stop right there. Making free time and breathing room in your life may often take a while from planning to achievement.

Maxed out or not, use a review of your current schedule to remove activities from your life that are no longer needed. This will help you ‘open’ time in your life as ‘free time’ or as time for achieving new goals. Removing items can mean to complete them, such as finally setting aside a weekend to clean out your closets. Or there may be some items that you just need to stop doing each week or day. My vote for the most commonly needed dismissal item is television. Do you really NEED to watch that huge list of TV shows stored on your DVR every week? Will the world REALLY end if you don’t find out what happened to Emily Thorne and Victoria Grayson on Revenge?

[one_half]"Do you know when you want to retire? Are you happy with the person you see in the mirror? Are you happy with your sex life? What 3 things would you like to achieve 1 year from now? In 5 years? We have gathered an excellent list of kick-off questions to get your brain thinking about your New Year's resolutions. "[/one_half]

An insightful way to decide on which activities to remove from your life is to make a complete list of how much time you are spending on unique activities each week. (ie. Watching television, commuting, reading, working, working out, free time that is left unscheduled, etc.) This can often be a fun and quite revealing exercise for people. After creating the list and fully reviewing your current schedule and life, decide (a) what needs to be cleaned out, (b) how much free time you would like to leave open and unplanned (Very Important!), and (c) how much time you can set aside to add more goals and activities to the list.

And one more thought…If you find you are consistently setting the same goal(s) year after year and it is not being achieved, then one item on your list should be to look closer at these ‘carry-over’ goals to study the ‘blocks’ that are preventing you from their successful completion. It could be something as easy as not having enough hours in the day or something as intense as fear or doubt that you have wrapped around the goal’s completion. Either way, taking time for a deeper look into the problem will definitely be a worthy item for your final goal list.

2. Start with "What if's" and Big Cloud ideas.

Now to the fun list! What changes or additions would you like to make in your life, health and body? I like to start with a big, outside the box brainstorm on paper with what I call ‘big cloud’ ideas and what Zen Habits calls ‘what ifs’. These are big dream wish lists like, ‘I want to work for myself’ or ‘What if I went on a leave of absence and traveled the world for 6 months?’. I recommend making this list as big and broad as you want. You want to get all the dreams and hopes and random thoughts out on paper as possibilities.  Consider all of the 6 DIAKADI Elements when brainstorming ideas: Focus and Passion (What drives and motivates you in life?), Fuel (Nutrition), Movement (Fitness and Exercise), Restore (Energy building activities like sleep, yoga or meditation), Balance (Keeping your stress levels low and not over-booking your life), Teamwork (Nourishing your relationships with friends and family. Perhaps volunteering your time or assistance.).blog-checklist

And don't dare discount a possible idea because you are scared to try it. As I always say, ‘Never Make Any Decision Based on Fear.’

Next, try to prioritize which of these big ideas are the most important to you. Which idea will bring you the most positive change and impact in your life? Which of these tasks are related, meaning that you must complete one of them in order to make another one of them possible?

Lastly, using your priority as a guide, try to begin breaking these big cloud ideas down into baby steps leading to the final product. It will be these smaller steps that we will use to start making your initial goal list.

3. Bigger is NOT always better. Decide on an achievable list.

Again, overachievers step to the front of the line. Although it may make you feel like such a successful 'bad ass' to come up with those 10 giant goals for yourself this year, let's make sure we create a successful plan for your year.

Building on the lesson from Zen Habits, I have used previous years as a time to learn the power of less is more. Being an enneagram 7 this was freaking tough for me! Previously, I would map out 5-10 goals each year that I wanted to achieve. I would then spend the year maxed out to the gills, running and gunning through work, life and commitments. And lastly, I would almost always have 2-4 things on that list that I never got to due to lack of time. In 2011, my experiment was to see if I reduced my goals to less than 5 while ALSO scheduling ‘free’ or unplanned time for myself, if I would come out of the year not only achieving my goals but also enjoying the day to day more, lowering my stress levels and having a stronger, healthier body to boot. Check. Check. And check!

[one_half]"And one more thought…If you find you are consistently setting the same goal(s) year after year and it is not being achieved, then one item on your list should be to look closer at these ‘carry-over’ goals to study the ‘blocks’ that are preventing you from their successful completion." [/one_half]

I cannot begin to describe how much better it feels to set and achieve a small set of goals while at the same time having free time to enjoy the random activities of the day to day. So lesson learned for me. Whittle your ‘big cloud’ ideas and your list of small steps down to a finite set of exact goals to focus on. Maximum, give yourself 5 goals. Do not over-book your life. Save time for yourself to breath. Just give it a try. Trust me on this one.

4. Where do I start? Prioritize and schedule your list.

You are almost there. Now take your list of goals with the priority you placed on them and start coordinating them with your schedule, your calendar and your work load. Look at your daily and weekly life and come up with a plan of when you can fit these new areas into your lifestyle. This may have a seasonal element to it as well. For example, each year from December to April I have one top priority that supersedes all goals and lists… Snowboarding. So for me, all classes, studying or business development goals are scheduled during the spring, summer or fall.

I also recommend placing your list where you will often run into it or refer to it. For some people this means setting a monthly calendar pop-up reminder with their goals. For others this means putting one goal on your calendar each quarter and putting your focus on that individual goal completely. For me, I have a printed list of my goals pinned to my bulletin board at work. It may sit there for weeks without notice until it randomly catches my eye as a reminder. But trust me, those goals are always rolling around in my head.

I recommend checking out this video for some additional thoughts on these 4 steps to successful goal setting:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkLfZOev_EE[/youtube]

A List of Life Questions to Make You Think on Life, Your Body, Hobbies, Career, Goals, Travel, Retirement, and More

If you are not sure where to even begin your goals, at DIAKADI, we researched and gathered a broad, insightful list of questions about your body and your life. We want you to think about their current successes as well as current failures…ok, we can call them current “challenges”. Some of the questions are directly related to next year's goals, while others can be extended into years to come.photo 1

In the least, I recommend taking 2 minutes to read through the questions. Sometimes a simple read through will stimulate some new thoughts and directions.

If you would like to write out some answers, then focus on the sections or areas that will be the most helpful with moving you forward and improving your life.

For all overachievers like myself, enjoy answering every question!

Make It a Fun Exercise for You and A Loved One... or Even as Conversation Starters

The ‘sharing aspect’ of this exercise is often an extremely valuable part. If you have a business partner, best friend, husband/wife, family member that you would like to become closer with or sync your goals and journey with, I highly recommend using some or all of these questions as a sharing exercise between the 2 of you.

Now, Just ETR

Now you have done the first step of setting your course. My final piece of advice comes from my very close friend Doug and that is to ‘Enjoy the Ride’. The journey you will take to achieve your goals is often more exciting and rewarding than the success in the achievement. So enjoy every step of the way.

Good luck!

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s

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Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s

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What activity makes you happier and leaves you feeling more balanced and fulfilled than anything else in the world? I am talking about something that makes you smile with contentment and actually energizes you, often for a few days following it. Ideally think about something that you can do near your own hometown so that you have the ability and chance to participate in this activity on a frequent basis.

For those of you who do not know the answer to the above question, then I would like you to set aside some time in the next week, day and year to find the answer. This is an important task for you to complete. Once you find it, then I want you begin doing the activity as often as possible. Also, keep an eye out for Day 12 of The 12 Days of Fitmas, for some introspective questions that just may help you find your glow!

Trainer and Owner: Billy Polson

For those of you that have your answer, we have now made your ideal plans for New Year’s Eve and/or New Year’s Day.

For me, snowboarding is my thing. And luckily I live close to some of the best mountains in the US so that I can ride as often as possible during the winter. So you can trust me that I will be skipping out on the normal New Year’s Day hangover for some much needed therapy in the snowy trees at Northstar.

Set the tone for your 2014 right from the start. Why delay feeling your best.

  • Find out where your favorite DJ is playing on New Years and go shake your ‘thang’.
  • Reserve a spot with your favorite yoga instructor on New Year’s Day.
  • Hike along the beach giggling with your best friend.
  • Find your quiet place with a meditation seminar.
  • Break your 1RM record during a workout with your partner.
  • Melt into a spa day with a massage and pedicure.

2014 can be your year. You have the power to make that decision.

My advice... Set the bar from day number one.

Trainer: Maggie Harding

 

 

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitness, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day

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Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day

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If you are like me, you tend to over eat the most when (1) you are sitting around bored and hanging out at home and (2) when a spread of sugary and/or savory deliciousness is laid out in front of you in the ultimate foodie’s buffet just ready for the grazing! Put these 2 together and you have the definition of Christmas Day for many of us. Add a little spiked egg nog into the equation to blur your judgement and you will be eating until the cows come home…literally.

Sticking with the philosophy of Day 3 and The 80/20 Rule, I am not going to tell you to skip the feast completely, but why not use that cracked on sugar high to move and be active a bit?

Go ahead and enjoy the treats of Christmas morning, but I recommend making some movement part of your Christmas Day tradition.

Whether you are on Maui (you lucky dogs) or in Minneapolis, or even somewhere deep in the ‘in between’, I have gathered some cool ideas for making the Holiday Hustle part of your new tradition. If you are hoping to use these as a temporary escape from the craziness of family, then keep these ideas to yourself and use them as some time alone to regroup. Or feel free to wrap these ideas into something that everyone can do together.

Happy Holiday Hustle everyone!

How to Hustle Where  ‘Baby, Its Warm Outside’  (Mild/Warm Climates)

1. You Better Bike, Britney

All levels of folks can usually handle a casual, cross-city bike ride. Rent bikes or use one of the city bike share programs that are spreading like wild flower across the globe. (Check here to see if your city offers a share program.)

If you are hosting your family in San Francisco for the big day, take advantage of the new Bay Area Bike Share and hop around between their bike pick up points spread throughout the city.

2. An Outdoor Version of the DIAKADI Destination Workout

Try this ultimate workout, designed for people of all levels. You need no equipment and minimal space is fine. If it is a family event, allow each person to choose their own appropriate level for each exercise from the instructional videos. This way you can all safely exercise at the same time. If you are in San Francisco for the holidays, I recommend completing the workout down on the new outdoor Fitness Court at The Marina Green. It is a great outdoor workout arena, with some helpful basic equipment, on a padded workout floor with the Golden Gate Bridge as your back drop.

3. The Holiday Stroll

Take a nice holiday walk across the city. Window shop, look at the lights, or maybe even Prancercise. And in the spirit of 80/20, if you would like, bring a to-go cup of ‘holiday cheer’ with you. I have heard of some delinquents in SF using to-go coffee cups with lids to walk around the city drinking champagne while holiday window shopping. But I have no idea who these hoodlums are! The new Bay Bridge also has an amazing new walking and biking path that starts in Emeryville. (You can park in the Emeryville Bay Street shopping mall pay lot and head out from there.)

4. Holiday Hoops

When was the last time you played a good basketball game of HORSE?  Shooting some ball on your own or with the family is always a good time. In San Francisco, head up to Walter Haas Park in Twin Peaks and enjoy playing family 'Hoops with a View' (this gorgeous public park looks out across the entire city) or a game of  ‘Holiday Horse’. If basketball is not your thing, check out Mission Bay Creek Park for some great urban sand volleyball courts.

[one_half]"In San Francisco, head up to Walter Haas Park in Twin Peaks and enjoy playing family 'Hoops with a View' (this gorgeous public park looks out across the entire city) or a game of  ‘Holiday Horse’."[/one_half]

 

 

 

 

5. Act like a 5 Year Old

If you are lucky enough to spend the holidays with your nephews and nieces, then take the opportunity to be a kid again. Skate board around the neighborhood with them. Go on an adventure walk. In fact make it a tradition of the annual ‘Holiday Hunt’ where you set up your own Santa Scavenger Hunt around the neighborhood. Nothing is more fun that being 5 again!

6. Compete with Others

Check Active.com for local road races in your area. In the SF Area, there is a Fun Run in Pleasanton around Christmas and a 5K/10K in Mountain View on New Years.

Hustling Where Your Christmas Bells May Freeze (Cold Climates)

1. Embrace the Cold

Take advantage of that amazing winter weather. Ice skating with family or maybe even some hockey. How close is the nearest ski resort or snow hill? Make a tradition of Christmas being about activity and drive to near by ski slopes with the entire family. Looking for the best rate on lift tickets

photo (4)

nationwide? Check out liftopia.com.

2. An Indoor Version of the DIAKADI Destination Workout

Again, this is perfect for some time to yourself or can be done easily with a group of all levels. Do the workout anywhere, in as small as a 7x7 space, no equipment necessary, no matter what your goals.

3. Group X It

Want to mix it up a bit with some Zumba, power yoga or maybe even a little hip hop class for your inner holiday B-Boy? Most cable providers offer a huge variety of free exercise videos On-Demand. Tune in to one of the hip hop classes for the entire family to try, then video Mi-Maw and Grandpa throwing down and you may have the viral vine you have been waiting for all year. Headed into the waste land of no cable? Download a few classes to your laptop, iPad or phone before heading home.

4. Dance It Out

If you have not discovered the game Dance Central for Xbox Kinect, check it out! I have to say that it is a heck of a fun time for solo home workouts, group dance offs at parties or just shaking your thing a bit before work in the morning. Just watch out for wearing out a section of your carpet with your bad ass moves. (Seriously, it will ruin your carpet! Invest in some break dance card board sections.)

[one_half]"Tune in to one of the hip hop classes for the entire family to try, then video Mi-Maw and Grandpa throwing down and you may have the viral vine you have been waiting for all year."[/one_half]

 

 

 

 

 

5. Compete Virtually with Others

While researching this piece, I ran into another incredibly cool option for people in any climate to challenge themselves with a group race event. US Road Running and US Road Cycling host Virtual Road Races, where participants can enter running or bike races from anywhere, completing the mileage on treadmills, indoor tracks, spin bikes, or bike home trainers. Each participant submits their own goal for their race. It could be a certain time or certain mileage. Then after the race you submit your times and mileage and even receive a medal if you meet your own goal. Super cool right? Check here for more info and to view their remaining events around Christmas and New Years.

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 9: Silent Night:  How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays

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Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays

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For many of us, the holidays signal a time to relax, take time off work, and spend time with family and friends. While this is always a welcome change, it also disrupts our normal schedule. Many of us are in different time zones suffering from jet lag, while others stay up way past our typical bedtimes so that we can reconnect with old friends. What do we do to combat this change in our circadian rhythms?  And why is sleep so important?

BENEFITS OF SLEEP

There are many benefits to getting a full night's rest – aside from the obvious perk of not falling asleep while doing that last minute Christmas shopping. Getting a full 7-8 hours (for adults) helps promote physical and mental health, keeps you more creative, happier and way less 'Bah, humbug!'. Sleep helps to decrease stress levels and it also regulates hormones that control appetite, so you won’t be trying to steal Santa’s Christmas cookie.

THE EFFECTS OF CAFFEINE ON SLEEP

Most of us reach for the easiest thing to pull us out of our sleepy state. And doesn’t it look tempting in those cheery red holiday cups from Starbucks? While caffeine in small amounts (around 250mg or 3 cups per day) per person is moderate, many of us will go to extremes and supersize it with a Venti or even a Trenti! I’m not saying that caffeine is bad, but everything in moderation. Caffeine typically stays in our system for 6 hours. Any caffeine that you ingest after that first cup of creamy delicious espresso to kick start your day will then extend the effects that the caffeine has on your body.

[one_half]Sleep helps to decrease stress levels and it also regulates hormones that control appetite, so you won’t be trying to steal Santa’s Christmas cookie.[/one_half]

Not only can too much caffeine keep us from falling asleep, it can also disrupt our sleep cycle and keep us from getting into deep REM sleep that so many of us need. During our necessary 7-8 hours of sleep each night our body is restored both physically and mentally. We don’t want to interrupt these repairs to our bodies and mind, especially over the busy times of the holiday season. Be cautious when going for that post dinner espresso and keep in mind that it may not give you a restful night.

SLEEP AND ALCOHOL

Alcohol can have many of the same effects on your body’s recovery during sleep that caffeine can.  While having a glass or 2 of wine may help you fall asleep – alcohol typically causes one to become wakeful during the second half of your sleep cycle. It may also make it harder to fall back asleep once you have woken up. I know that many times after drinking red wine I wake up around 345am and have an extremely hard time going back to sleep. This is known as the rebound effect.  The rebound effect changes sleep variables, actually reversing the direction of your sleep patterns. According to John Shneerson, head of Papworth Hospital’s Respiratory Support and Sleep Center in the UK, "As the alcohol starts to wear off, your body can come out of deep sleep and back into REM sleep, which is much easier to wake from. That's why you often wake up after just a few hours sleep when you've been drinking." 

STICK TO YOUR BEDTIME RITUALS

Since we are sleeping in accommodations that are typically not as comfortable as our own cozy bedrooms, we may have a harder time falling asleep while visiting the relatives over this festive season. Whether you are stuck in a Red Roof Inn in Omaha or sharing a room with your brother who snores uncontrollably, there are some steps that you can take to help you get the necessary zzzz’s.

Sleep

IDEAL BEDTIME ROUTINE

It’s time to alert your body that it’s time for bed.

Turn off all electronics about an hour before you want to be asleep. The light emitted from all of our “gadgets” sends signals to our brains that it’s still light out and that you don’t need to stay awake. Instead of reading the latest New York Times bestseller on your iPad, save your E-books for daytime reading. At night, try actually reading a real book. That always puts me right out! Try it and see the real difference it makes.

Sleep in a room with blackout shades, or wear a mask that will keep all light entering the room from disrupting your sleep. Especially that nightlight in your little brother’s room.

Meditate. Use deep belly breaths to help slow down your mind and your body. Try not to focus on all the exciting activities you’ll be doing with family or stressing about the work you’re missing. You want your body to be completely relaxed as it drifts into a restful night. Is meditation a new idea for you? A great beginner's book is 'Wherever You Go, There You Are' by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Better yet, if you want to jump in feet first, sign up for a silent meditation retreat at Spirit Rock in Marin.

Try these above tips during this holiday travel season. You want to be happy and healthy so that you can enjoy time with your family and friends.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qmqg3wHoME&list=PLP14l1-93xOnfWnx6FzTrNiQ9vsPwW74h&index=3[/youtube]

 

 

Reference:  www.i09.com Why You Always Wake up Early after a Night of Drinking, Robert T. Gonzalez

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitness are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary

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Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary

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At DIAKADI, the heart of our mission is that no workout should be generic, since no specific workout would be ideal, safe and efficient for everyone. So when we were asked to create the ultimate destination workout we knew that it had to adhere to the following 3 rules:

  1. The workout must be completely unreliant on equipment
  2.  Clients must be able to complete the workout in even the smallest of spaces (ie. A New York Hotel room)
  3. Above all, the form instruction for each exercise must be clear for clients, with clear progression and regression options so that people of all levels, backgrounds and goals would be able to adapt the exercise programs to match their individual needs

After thorough planning and design, our DIAKADI trainers have developed the ultimate DIAKADI Destination workout that can truly be done anywhere, with any amount of time, for clients of every level, no matter what their goals.

For beginners and intermediates, The Tune Up program is a complete list of basic movements which will wake up your muscles safely, bringing mobility to your joints and excellent blood flow to the entire body.

For advanced athletes, you can adapt The Athlete: Power/Speed Training with Strength Development program to keep you on track with your sport training and challenge your total body strength.

VIDEO TUTORIALS

Each exercise comes linked to an informational video (links at the bottom of this post) which contains:

  • Difficulty levels 1-3 (1=Beginner, 2=Intermediate, 3=Advanced) for each exercise
  • Clear audio form explanations for every level with corresponding video examples

Below are links to each individual video. All videos are also available for viewing on your smart phone through the DIAKADI Youtube channel, so that you can watch the videos at the gym during your workout to immediately answer questions on form and proper exercise progressions.

WHERE DO I START?

1. CHOOSE YOUR STARTING LEVEL FOR EACH EXERCISE

Each of the 8 exercises have progressions from Level 1 to 3.

Level 1 exercises are designed for beginners, people who have not worked out before, or people with previous injuries, muscle imbalances, or joint issues.

Level 2 exercises are designed for intermediate clients with minimal posture issues and minor to no muscle imbalances.

Level 3 exercises are designed for advanced athletes with proper posture, muscle balance and experience doing exercises with a faster, more powerful pace.

NOTE: If at any time clients experience pain during an exercise, they should immediately stop the movement. If the pain dissipates, then try regressing the exercise to a lower Level. If the pain continues or it is not possible to complete even the lowest Level of an exercise without pain, I recommend eliminating this movement from your workout and seeing a qualified trainer or health practitioner to assist with assessing the problem.

To select your your level for each movement, I recommend going through each exercise one by one, to determine your starting level 1 to 3 for that particular movement.  Watch the entire exercise video in order to decide what your Starting Level is for each exercise. If you are unsure, start with Level 1 for that movement. If you are able to successfully complete Level 1 of an exercise, using perfect FORM as seen in the video, then try Level 2 for that same exercise. Upon successful completion of Level 2, then move on to trying the advanced Level 3.  At this point, make note which level you are able to maintain proper form while also being challenged by the movement. This is your Start Level for that exercise.

2. SELECT YOUR GOAL AND GET TO WORK

Now, using the goal options list below, select the goal for your workout and follow the instructions for exercise order, tempo, sets, and time under tension. Feel free to print the exercise summary photo sheet posted below to follow during your workout.

SHORT ON TIME?

Have 10 minutes to spare? Select your goal and follow that program for just 1 set of each exercise for a quick 10 minute full body pump.

OUR GOAL FOR YOU = KNOWLEDGE

Whether you try the program once or use it over and over when traveling, our goal is that you learn something about your body, exercise progressions and tempos, and how to tweak your own gym programs to keep your body learning, growing and challenged.

Good luck!

C Luecke Nov 2013 224

SELECT YOUR GOAL AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS...

STRESS RELIEF:   Looking to clear your head, breathe deeper and increase blood flow to your body
THE TUNE UP: Full Body Muscle Wake Up for Mobility, Balance and Function
  • For a warm up, move through The DIAKADI Travel Stretch Program
  • Work through each of the 8 exercises, performing your appropriate ‘Start Level’ version of each movement for 60 seconds without rest
  • For dynamic movements (ie. Squats), perform the exercise with a tempo of 2 counts down, 2 counts up
  • Rest 30-60 seconds between each exercise.
  • Repeat the entire set of 8 exercises for 1 to 3 sets, depending on time and experience level.
THE ATHLETE: Power/Speed Training, Strength Development
  • For a warm up, move through The DIAKADI Travel Stretch Program
  • Work through each exercise ideally using the advanced, Level 3 version of each movement.
  • Perform each exercise full out for 20-30 seconds.
  • Focus on speed and power for each movement, aiming for a tempo of 1 count up, 1 count down.
  • Rest 60-90 seconds between each set.
  • Repeat each exercise for 3-5 sets before moving on to the next movement.

One Final Note: Continuously Work Towards the Next Progressions

As you continue to use this workout, ideally your original Start Level for each exercise will become easy. At this point, progress to the next Level for that exercise in order to continue to challenge your body safely.

Hip Bridge Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwWS7uYq1kA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Shelby Jacquez

Levels:

  1. Isometric Hold
  2. Dynamic
  3. Single Leg Hold/Dynamic (Advanced: Perform on Stability Ball)

Optional: Add weight when available, resting dumbbells, weight plate, med ball on hips

Down Dog to Dive Bombers Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3UEb0DZias&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Josh Christopher

Levels:

  1.  Alternate downward dog and upward dog
  2. Downward dog shoulder pushups (Advanced: Raise feet off floor)
  3. Dive Bombers (Advanced: Can try Dive Bombers with feet on stability ball)

Squat Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klrxNNjWJ_M&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Gina Gutierrez

Levels:

  1. Squats to seat
  2. Squats with alternating single leg raise
  3. Squat jumps (Advanced: Single leg squats to seat to jumps)

Optional: Add weight when available, holding dumbbells at sides, hugging weight at chest, barbell on shoulders, or weight vest.

Pushup Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqC8f29qPz0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Mike Clausen

Levels:

  1. Incline pushups with hands elevated
  2. Hands on floor (Advanced: Hold at low)
  3. Pop pushups (Advanced: Pop off hands and feet to Superman pushups)

Optional: Add weight when available: Add a weight vest

Lunge Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNt5dUkT_N4&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Gavin Birmingham

Levels:

  1. Split squats with twist and side rocker lunges
  2. Alternate front and back lunges with alternate side lateral lunges
  3. Split jumps to power alt side lunges

Optional: Add weight when available: Hold dumbbells at sides, hug weights at chest, barbell on shoulders, weight vest.

Side Plank Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhOYKenuV-U&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Ryan Allen

Levels:

  1. Elbow side plank
  2. Side plank with dynamic hips (Advanced: Add twist)
  3. Side star dynamic to hold  (Advanced: Add leg swings front back)

Optional: Add weight when available: Hold single dumbbell at side of top hip, can also hold weight in extended arm above body.

TYT Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNSZrMIZcZg&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Ross Steiner

Levels:

  1. Reverse Flys to Cobra Hold
  2. TYT to Cobra Hold
  3. No Rest TYT with leg lift to Cobra Hold

Optional: Add weight when available: Hold dumbbells in hands

Tricep Bench Dips Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOZxDOrpCF0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Ross Steiner

Levels:

  1.      Seated on edge of bench
  2.      Legs extended or single leg
  3.      Feet up on bench (Advanced: Single leg on bench)

Optional: Add weight when available: Place weight on legs in lap

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

 

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Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays

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Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays

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With the combo of the lower humidity that comes with cold weather, the tendency for people to stay huddled inside by the fire, higher stress levels, lower sleep hours, and of course the balanced holiday diet of booze, cookies and candies, the cold virus is in its glory during this time of year. So look out Granny! Below, I have gathered the leading ways to successfully fight off the common cold, as well as some key ideas on keeping the symptoms and duration of a cold to a minimum if you are already sick.

Feed a Cold…and Hydrate It

Hands down, the leading way to protect your body from a cold is to provide it with the proper fuel and nutrition it needs to run efficiently while keeping your immune system at full strength. I am personally a fan of feeding your body the correct balance of foods, as opposed to relying on vitamins and supplements to do the job. Our bodies have been digesting and breaking down whole, natural foods for generations and therefore are able to absorb and use more of the nutrients from foods as opposed to processed vitamin pills.

[one_half]"The population of people that were given probiotics in the study showed both a reduced duration of the cold (2 days instead of 4 days) as well as symptoms that were 34% less severe."[/one_half]

What are the best foods to eat when boosting your immune system?

1.   Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

  • Unanimously, every single source I spoke with highly recommends eating a large variety of fruits and vegetables during cold season, especially if you end up catching a cold.
  • For Sarah Koszyk, MA, RD, nutrition coach & registered dietitian at MV Nutrition, her top vote for antioxidant super foods to enhance your immune health are Carotenoids & Beta-Carotene.  “Time to get your colors on!” says Koszyk.  Purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow foods have beta-carotene and carotenoids which boost immune health and prevent free radicals from causing oxidative damage. Carotenes also include Vitamin A, which increases the production of white blood cells. White blood cells make up our immune health!”111

Koszyk recommends including these delicious foods this winter season:

  • Sweet Potatoes (eat them for breakfast with some cinnamon)
  • Carrots (you can mix them into a pasta sauce or soup)
  • Tomatoes
  • Pumpkin (add pumpkin puree to a smoothie)
  • Beets
  • Kale
  • Squash
  • Tangerines

To guarantee a good punch of fruits and vegetables every day, use this recipe and start off each day with a homemade Green Smoothie for breakfast.

2.   Cleansing Foods for your Liver and Kidneys

  • Naturally raised, organically grown fruits and vegetables are key in keeping the liver clean since the liver is the organ that detoxifies these chemicals in the body.
  • Traci Freeman, executive chef and founder of Lilah Belle’s Nutritional and Organic Meals to Go agrees. “A strong immune system is the best way to fight a cold or flu.  Good ol' garlic helps your liver activate enzymes that can flush out toxins. It also has a high amount of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing. Garlic packs the biggest antioxidant punch when eaten raw.  A quick ways to use garlic are put it in your salad dressing, or toss it in last minute with your cooked meal. The heat will release a punch of flavor and immune building compounds.”

[one_half]"To guarantee a good punch of fruits and vegetables every day, use this recipe and start off each day with homemade Green Smoothie for breakfast."[/one_half]

  • Freeman also adds that “ Beets are high in plant-flavonoids, which can improve the overall functions of your liver. Adding more avocados to your diet can help your body produce a type of antioxidant called glutathione, which is needed for our livers to filter out harmful materials.  You can make a wonderful salad with kale, walnuts, avocado, beets and mandarin oranges, with a fresh garlic salad dressing.  This will definitely make your organs healthier and stronger!”

Some other great foods that promote clean kidneys and liver include:

  • green tea
  • grapefruit
  • onions
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • brussel sprouts

3.   Probiotics and fermented foods

  • A study posted in the October 2012 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition studied the effects of probioitic ingestion during the common cold. The population of people that were given probiotics in the study showed both a reduced duration of the cold (2 days instead of 4 days) as well as symptoms that were 34% less severe.
  • For probiotics, Chris Kresser, licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of integrative medicine in Berkeley, recommends, ‘Probiotics found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi strengthen and maintain the mucosal barrier system (in our respiratory and intestinal tract), which is our first line of defense against pathogens. What’s more, 75% of our immune system is found in the gut.’
  • Kombucha is also an easy way to get your daily dose of probiotics. Traveling at SFO? You can even purchase a bottle of it in Terminal 2 at The Plant Cafe to drink during your flight home.

4. Bone Broths and Bone Marrow

  • Your Mom was right, that chicken soup and broth are great for beating a cold.
  • Both greatly assist the immune system by carrying more oxygen into the cells of the body.
  • You can easily make your own bone broth at home or Three Stone Hearth in Berkeley is an amazing source for grass-fed beef broths made fresh weekly and delivered to your door.

5.   Avoid or Reduce Inflammatory Foods

Chris Kresser’s worst offenders include:

  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Industrial seed oil
  • Sugar
  • Kresser explains that, “Food toxins provoke an immune reaction that can make us more vulnerable to foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.”

Also to avoid:

  • Junk foods and fried foods with hydrogenated oils (skip those airport food court fries and ask for a piece of fresh fruit or salad instead)
  • Alcohol since it slows down your liver’s detox function while your body is forced to process the cocktail you just drank.

6.   Keep Up with Your Fluids

  • Monitor your urine color to guarantee that you are keeping your body fully hydrated
  • Eating a well balanced diet is just as important as water intake when it comes to staying hydratedIMG_2861

Other than your food, there are a few other useful reminders to assist you in staying healthy this holiday season:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after being in crowded public areas or around people that are sick.
  • Keep your stress levels low. Stress will literally eat you alive if you allow it the opportunity. Check out Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year (LINK) for some good ideas on keeping your stress levels under control this season.
  • Sleep a minimum of 7-8 hours a night, catching even more Zzz’s when time permits. A rested body is a strong body.
  • Stay on track with your workouts and fitness activities. Keeping the body moving and oxygenated will assist with filtration and your immune system.

Follow these simple instructions, keep Grandma from wandering around the yard late on Christmas Eve, and we will all have a healthy and happy New Year!

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class

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Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class

Day-6-Revised5.jpg

Are you and your body truly ready for what is about to happen next week? This is how I see it. You have booked a coach ticket using miles on Southwest to see your family in Milwaukee, connecting through Miami (3 hour layover), on a red eye. Your sister begs you to haul back all the sour dough bread and See’s candy you can carry-on so that she can give them as gifts to all of her neighbors. It is Christmas after all, so you agree (Note to Self: See Day 1 about learning how to say ‘No’). Then, when your favorite niece graciously explains that she will be giving up her fabulous Disney Princess canopy twin bed with the lumpy mattress for you to sleep in, I have a feeling that your body will be in need of a little TLC the next morning.

 

So when you wake up that next morning, gently roll out from under your pink canopy and down onto that ‘wall to wall’ luxurious pink princess carpet and slowly move through some of these stretches as your morning meditation and time for yourself.

[one_half]Then, when your favorite niece graciously explains that she will be giving up her fabulous Disney Princess canopy twin bed with the lumpy mattress for you to sleep in, I have a feeling that your body will be in need of a little TLC the next morning.[/one_half]

There is a lot of information and research floating around debating ‘To Stretch or Not To Stretch’. My personal belief and the philosophy that I follow with my clients, as well as my own body, is that stretches are useful and helpful  when performed on muscles that actually need to be stretched. Lengthening or over-stretching weak muscles often leads to further imbalances and joint issues. The challenge is that most people have no way of knowing which muscles in their bodies are actually in need of lengthening and inhibition versus which are actually long, weak, or taut and giving false feedback that they are needing a nice stretch. Sadly judging by sensation alone is never a reliable source. A great example of this comes from a client that came to me complaining that his hamstrings were always tight and painful and no amount of stretching would ever bring relief. After a quick assessment of his pelvic alignment and a flexibility screen of the muscles attached to his pelvis, we discovered that his hamstrings were actually too stretched, long and weak. He immediately started a prescription of hamstring shortening and strengthening, bringing about complete relief of his pain within a week. Not magic, just the physics of the body’s lever system. (For more information on stretch testing, check out this link to the complete trainer’s assessment.)art-seats2-420x0

So use these travel stretches as a body wake up, just like a puppy does his stretch and warm-up routine after laying down for an extended period of time. For full body mobility, I recommend moving in and out of each stretch initially. For example, for the hip flexors, lunging forward in the single knee, then coming back to your starting point.  Then as you find some of the movements are tight and difficult to move through, you can hold the stretch for 30+ seconds. Again, always stopping before any intense sensation of pain or pulling.

[one_half]The challenge is that most people have no way of knowing which muscles in their bodies are actually in need of lengthening and inhibition versus which are actually long, weak, or taut and giving false feedback that they are needing a nice stretch. Sadly judging by sensation alone is never a reliable source.[/one_half]

If you are home with a group of family or friends, try making it a fun activity for the entire family, getting the kids and granny to do them with you.  Nothing serious or intense, just a way of getting the blood flowing and joints moving. If weather permits, get outside and do them in a nearby park. Lastly, many of these stretches are designed to be done while traveling in coach on an airplane. On a crazy long flight and getting cramped up? Try some of these compact stretches to loosen things up a bit.

(Note: If you are not currently doing any type of exercise , injured or experiencing any type of body or joint pain, I always recommend consulting with a doctor or health professional before starting any type of new exercise program.)

For more information, or if you have exact questions on which stretches are appropriate for your body, feel free to drop me an email here at info@diakadibody.com.

Happy holidays and good luck making it to the Home Stretch!

1. Hip Flexors

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K10-_fJjaI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility alternate between shifting your weight forward then back, gradually increasing the range of motion as it feels comfortable for 12 reps per leg.

For a static stretch, try holding this for 30 seconds to begin with, continuing to hold the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

2. Quadriceps

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa-5xFRDPdY&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, you can start by alternating legs for the standing stretch, holding each leg for a quick second before switching for 24 reps. You can also use the toe on the wall stretch for mobility by lunging forward and back, gradually increasing the range of motion for 12 reps per leg.

For static stretching, when possible, use the kneeling toe on the wall version in order to relax your body during the stretch. Hold this stretch initially for 30 seconds, feeling for the muscle to relax and the fibers release.

3. Hamstrings

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z4ePzixMcA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, i recommend slowly moving in and out of the bent over toe touch (5 count down, 5 count up), increasing the range of motion as able for 12 reps.

For a static stretch, when possible, use the floor version with one leg resting against the wall in order to relax your body during the stretch. Hold this stretch initially for 30 seconds, feeling for the muscle to relax and the fibers release.

4. Piriformis and Hips

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsZ_70O75Jc&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, I recommend sitting in the piriformis cross leg stretch (shin parallel to the floor) and slowly rocking forward into the stretch and back sitting straight up for 12 reps per leg.

For static stretches, hold these stretches initially for 30 seconds, feeling for the muscle to relax and the fibers release.

5. Lower Back, Hips Twist

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd8nxvs2R0g&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, alternately kick your legs across your body, pulling the knee across with opposing hand for 24 alternating side reps.

For static stretching, try holding the stretch for 30 seconds per leg to begin with, continuing to hold the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

6. Calves

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqlu8IiC2KU&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, use the wall lean version of the stretch and rock back and forth between (1) your back heel down and leg straight and (2) your back knee bent and rolling up on your toes with heel off. Try 12 reps on each leg by alternating heel up, heel down.

For static, hold these stretches for a minimum of 60 seconds to begin with due to the density of the calf muscles. Hold the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

7. Chest

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0aJCziKCnI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, slowly twist your upper body and spine into the stretch and back out of it for 12 reps per side.

For static, try holding these stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds to begin with, holding the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

8. Neck

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ246W0pApI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

I recommend using this stretch as a static stretch only as opposed to a mobility movement. Try holding these stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds to begin with, holding the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

9. Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4y40FwPoFw&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, I recommend rocking in and out of the stretch by alternately (1) shifting your hips with chest drop and (2) shifting your hips back front with chest up for 12 reps.

For static, try holding these stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds to begin with, holding the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go

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Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go

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Tickets? Check. Money? Check. Passport? Check. A delicious, organic carry-on meal and healthy snacks for your flight? Ooops...I knew I had forgotten something. If you are traveling this holiday season, be mentally prepared for those crazy security lines, delayed flights, and sprinting through airports to make tight connections. All of these will leave you with limited time to shop for healthy food at the airport. Even if you do have time, the healthy options are usually going to be few and far between. Trust me, there is nothing worse than eating some airport Chili's To Go meal, then hopping on a coast to coast flight, only to run into your own 'major turbulence' 3 hours in. Add in those damn changes in air pressure and you are carrying a 'bomb' that no security scanner would catch! Remember that these planes are a shared, controlled air environment people. Help a brother out!

My simple advice for food options while traveling, stick to 'Plan and Simple'.

PLAN AHEAD

Once again we return to this same advice. If you are able to just plan a bit ahead, then you should have no problem staying on track with both your food choices as well as your food volume while traveling.  

[one_half]"Trust me, there is nothing worse than eating some airport Chili's To Go meal, then hopping on a coast to coast flight, only to run into your own 'major turbulence' 3 hours in. Add in those damn changes in air pressure and you are carrying a 'bomb' that no security scanner would catch!"[/one_half]

1. BYO MEAL: Headed on a long flight back east into the cold, or for you lucky dogs headed west to Hawaii, pack a small meal to bring with you on the plane. You want to land at your destination feeling healthy and happy, not bloated and uncomfortable. And yes, we are allowed to transport food through security lines. Try these easy carry-on ideas:

     BREAKFAST:

  • 2 hard boiled pasture raised chicken eggs and a piece of organic fruit with a homemade Green Smoothie. Smoothies are always a better option than pressed juices because you get all the fiber. Not sure which eggs to purchase or worried about eating egg yolks? Get more information using our blog on Pasture Raised Chickens.   
  • Organic, plain greek yogurt, a piece of organic fruit, some gluten free granola ('Giddy Up and Go' granola is local to SF and delicious)

     LUNCH/DINNER:

  • Bring your own salad with some protein (boiled eggs, ground beef, chicken, etc). I always bring an avocado to mix with meat and greens for dressing.
  • Pack a simple meat and vegetable meal from your leftovers the night before
  • Nothing in the house? Save yourself an extra 20 minutes on the way to the airport and run by Whole Foods hot/salad bar to make your own salad to carry with you.

2. USE YOUR RESOURCES: I realize that time to plan ahead may be tough to find for most busy travelers, so use your resources to assist with the process.  In San Francisco, take advantage of great meal delivery companies like Lilah Belle's or Munchery to pre-order a healthy meal to take on the plane with you. I have been using Lilah Belle's delicious organic food service for over 10 years now to order a few meals a week as back up for when I arrive home from work too exhausted to cook something healthy. These meals have not only kept me on track with my food choices, but they have also helped me continue to introduce a great variety of organic, sustainably farmed foods into my meal plan every week.

[one_half]"From this day forward, remember that packing your food is just as important as packing your underwear when traveling. (Maybe even more important for those of you commando fans.) "[/one_half]

3. SMART TRAVEL SNACKS: Don't rely on processed, prepackaged protein bars or trail mix as your snacks, when it is just as easy and way healthier to make your own by combining raw nuts with a piece of seasonal organic fruit. (Note: Remember that 6 raw nuts = 1 serving of fat, so don't start shoving tons of raw almonds in thinking that you can eat all you want because they are healthy.)

MY VOTES FOR THE BEST TRAVEL SNACKS: DSC_0432-1024x680

  • 6-12 raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc) with a piece of organic seasonal fresh fruit
  • Homemade trail mix: combine raw nuts with unsweetened, dried organic fruit
  • Local, grass fed beef jerky. In San Francisco, The Fatted Calf butcher has delicious varieties for purchase.
  • Hard boiled pasture raised chicken eggs are also a great, easy travel snack.

MAKE SIMPLE CHOICES

The travel date arrives and you have been running a sprint for days in advance with no time to plan in any way. Do not fret, there are still some healthy options for food while traveling. In general, my advice is to stick to the most simple options available. 

1. GRAB A BITE ON THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT: Again, save just an extra 20 minutes to run by your favorite healthy food bar (i.e. Whole Food) or restaurant to pick up a meal to take with you on your flight. Stick to simple salads, meat and veggies, fresh fruit.

2. THE DREADED AIRPORT FOOD COURT: Whether you are dining at Hot Dog on a Stick or

airport

Sammy Hagar's Diner, always choose the most basic items on the menu at airport restaurants. Boiled eggs, salads, grilled chicken breast, basic meat and veggies are your smartest options. This is no time to order the fettucine alfredo. Always look for the lowest fat meats when you are unsure of the quality of the source, since the fat is where any toxins would be stored.  One final option before boarding, you can almost always count on the Protein box from Starbucks. It is definitely better than getting stuck eating the foil wrapped, flattened croissant egg-wich with Jimmy Dean Sausage and cheddar cheese that is being served on your morning flight.

3. SPRINT TO TERMINAL 2: In San Francisco, get down to Terminal 2 and pick up a salad and a kombucha from The Plant Cafe. Then you can also stop by the Napa Farm's Market for some raw nuts and fresh organic fruit. Heck, you can even squeeze in some vinyasa and a little Warrior 2 in the yoga studio in Terminal 2 if you have time. Yeah, we are pretty much spoiled rotten here in San Francisco. Use this link for a full break down of the food options at SFO.

From this day forward, remember that packing your food is just as important as packing your underwear when traveling. (Maybe even more important for those of you commando fans.)  In the end, you will be saving calories, probably saving money, helping to preserve the air quality of your flight, and definitely reducing the stress of staying healthy during your holiday travel.

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck

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Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck

Day-4-small1.jpg

Stressing out about what to cook for your family meal during the holidays? Want to prepare dishes that will have your guests asking you for the recipe? Worry no more. We have attended local cooking schools, phoned in favors with distant relatives and reached out to the most experienced cooks we know in order to gather delicious AND simple recipes that are guaranteed to bring you rave reviews. You have heard trainers and nutritionists say it a million times, but trust me, the selections below are finally the proof. It IS possible to cook healthy dishes that have an amazing taste and are quite easy to prepare.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I was a student in a cooking class called 'Everything But the Turkey' at SF Cooking School back in November and discovered this delicious AND healthy recipe for Curried Butternut Squash soup. Of the 16 dishes we cooked in class that day, it won 'Best in Show' by far.  I then cooked it for my family's Thanksgiving dinner and it was a huge hit there as well. It really is incredibly delicious and healthy and a perfect appetizer for both vegetarians and meat lovers alike.  I hope it will become a new favorite for your next holiday meal. Enjoy it!download (2)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste (recommended brand Thai Kitchen)
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 lbs) peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 medium baking potato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • 1 can (about 2 cups) coconut milk, well shaken

[one_half]"We have attended local cooking schools, phoned in favors with distant relatives and reached out to the most experienced cooks we know in order to gather delicious AND simple recipes that are guaranteed to bring you rave reviews." [/one_half]

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add coconut oil and, when hot, add the onion, garlic, and ginger with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent but not browned, 4-5 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, a minute more. Stir in the squash and potato with another pinch of salt. Add the stock, increase the heat the medium high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low; add the coconut milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until completely smooth. Heat the soup gently, taste, and season as needed with additional salt and pepper. The soup can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated at this point for up to 3 days. Ladle the hot soup into warm soup bowls, add a pinch of scallions and serve. For total cheat meals, feel free to add a bit of crème fraiche to the bowl as well when serving. Serves 4-6.

Orange Cranberry Sauce

Also from the SF Cooking School, this is a fun, unique twist on cranberry sauce or relish. It is super easy and a bright, colorful dish due to the tweak of keeping the rind on the oranges. The best part of preparing the dish is enjoying the scent of freshly ground coriander seeds. DO NOT use pre-ground coriander seeds for this recipe, or ever again for that matter. Also a great recipe to make ahead and store in mason jars, which can be a great gift for friends and neighbors.

  • 1 pound fresh cranberries
  • 2 oranges, coarsely chopped, seeds removed (do not peel, orange rinds stay on)
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Grind the coriander seeds yourself using a mortar and pestle (be sure to enjoy the incredible scent of the ground seeds). Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until the cranberries and oranges are coarsely chopped. The relish is ready to serve (and lasts for approximately 2-3 days in fridge), or it can be stored in sealed, sterilized jars and refrigerated (lasts approximately 1 month in sealed jars). Makes about 3 cups.

Aunt Barbara’s Beef Loin

I tend to prefer simple, high quality meat dishes as the main course. This recipe is incredibly easy IMG_7971but so damn delicious.

  • Whole boneless beef loin.  (Figure 8-12oz per person)
  • Crushed garlic cloves (1 clove/8 oz)
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Let meat sit at room temp for about 1 to 1 ½ hour. Mix fresh crushed garlic, olive oil, pepper and salt. Rub mixture all over meat. Pre-heat gas grill until VERY hot.  Place meat on grill and sear, turning gently until all sides are browned. Do not leave it on the grill too long, maybe 10-20 sec per side. You do not want it to begin cooking. Then place in shallow pan and bake at 400. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to gauge the desired doneness. Let stand about 10-15 min lightly covering with a foil tent. It will cook a little more while standing. Slice and serve.

Brian and Max’s Hawaiian Holiday Bark

[one_half]"Stressing out about what to cook for your family meal during the holidays? Want to prepare dishes that will have your guests asking you for the recipe? Worry no more."[/one_half]

So this combination dessert idea actually comes from 2 of my good friends, Brian and Max. Thanks guys! It is actually two completely separate dishes that when served as simple dessert options, or as party appetizers, will quench the holiday sweet cravings of any guest without sending them away feeling completely bloated and miserable.

Brian’s Dark Chocolate Holiday Bark

Brian’s holiday bark relies on your creativity in designing healthy AND delicious bark varieties from an endless list of possible toppings including nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds, etc), sea salt, orange zest, candied ginger, dried cranberries, etc. Or any combination of these!  You can also choose your own percentage of dark chocolate: (over 85% = Unsweetened, 65-85% = Bittersweet, Semi-sweet 35-65%, Milk 10-20%) Keep in mind that the higher the percentage of cocoa, the darker the chocolate and the healthier they will be.

  • Dark chocolate
  • Coconut oil for pan
  • Whatever toppings you choose

Melt dark chocolate slowly using a double boiler or a steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Usually the higher end chocolates will have less stabilizers and therefore must be handled gently during the melting process.  Once melted, pour onto wax paper or a cooking sheet that has been greased with coconut oil. Pour it out super thin, no thicker than 1/4”. Place toppings on top of chocolate while still melted and hot so that it sinks in. Let cool and break apart to serve.

Max’s Grilled Pineapple

As I said, I always prefer simple, and this idea (it really is more of an idea than a recipe since it only has one ingredient) from Max could not be more simple, yet tasty.

  • 1 whole pineapple (skinned and chopped into large chunks)grilled-pineapple-with-honey

Heat your grill to medium heat. Place the chunks on the grill, rotating them as they minimally char on each side. Allow to cool just a bit before serving.

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more. “The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.” Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 3: The 80/20 Rule:  By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays

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Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays

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On Day 1 of DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas, we calmly warned you about the danger of letting stress ruin your holidays, and darn it if Day 2’s Holiday Hunger rules didn’t come along and completely freak folks out about the ‘hopeless effort’ towards a successfully healthy holiday season!

But remember, I mentioned at the end of Day 2 that the single most important rule for Holiday Party Survival was going to be revealed today. Believe it or not, this single rule has the power to supersede just about every other piece of advice we will give you during these 12 Days of Fitmas. In order to reduce the idiotic and worthless holiday stress many of us carry around and to begin enjoying the truly magical and FUN excitement of the holidays, a delicate balance must be achieved between the extremes of perfectly healthy behavior and full all out holiday debauchery. For this, I give you the 80/20 Rule.

[one_half]"If you are aiming to achieve aggressive goals in your fitness or health, such as efficient body fat reduction or muscle mass increases I would recommend living life more as 90/10 or even 95/5."[/one_half]

The basic idea of the 80/20 rule is that by following ideal nutrition, lifestyle, fitness and health practices when making 80% of the choices in your life, then you earn permission to make some not-so-healthy decisions for the other 20% of your choices. I find that this philosophy can be a great way of reducing the stress and pressure of always having to make ‘perfect’ lifestyle decisions by allowing folks to enjoy special treats in all aspects of their life.

To clarify, when I say that the ‘80’ should be ideal, I mean that you are making some near perfect decisions 80% of the time.

A typical 80 version of life includes:

  • Eating the appropriate volume of fresh, whole, naturally raised foods and the proper ratios of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates) for your body’s metabolism and your daily life activities
  • Avoiding inflammatory foods such as dairy, soy, alcohol, processed foods (cereal, crackers, canned foods), and artificial sweeteners
  • Sleeping a minimum of 7 hours a night80-20-1
  • Hydrating well with water daily
  • Consistent strength workouts plus cardiovascular activity that matches your goals
  • Keeping your stress levels low and using stress reduction practices such as meditation, qigong, yoga, stretching or simple breathing exercises as necessary

My definition of not-so-healthy decisions that fall under the ‘20’ category include:

  • It is your first weekend of the season snowboarding in Tahoe and at the end of the day, a giant mug of hot cocoa by the fire pit at Northstar would be the ideal ending to a perfect day
  • On date night each week, you enjoy trying a new glass of wine with your spouse in hopes of learning more about wines and their distinguishing characteristics
  • Your favorite food is a truly good hamburger, so you love to try a new burger with all the fixings at new restaurants around San Francisco each month
  • You love to dance, so you choose to stay out late dancing one night a week, but keep the alcohol at low levels in order to avoid a hangover
  • At your nephew’s 6th birthday party, you really want a big piece, or even 2 of his chocolate birthday cake…so you have 2
  • Work gets out of hand for a couple of weeks due to a deadline, so you are forced to limit your workout days, finding only 15-30 minutes a couple times each week

Make sense?

One disclaimer on the 80/20 philosophy:

If you are aiming to achieve aggressive goals in your fitness or health, such as efficient body fat reduction, muscle mass increases, improving your triathlon time in a month, etc… I would recommend living life more as 90/10 or even 95/5. 80/20 is often what I would call a healthy maintenance lifestyle.

Now for the holidays and 80/20, I have to admit that the holidays in general tend to be the full throttle ‘bachelor weekend in Vegas’ version of ‘20’! Instead of it being a single weekend night of splurging, it is a 6 week marathon of ‘20’ that kicks off with the food fest known as Thanksgiving and thanksgiving-630x419drags us through the gluten gluttony of Christmas until we crawl across the drink fest finish line of New Years (see Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games for details).  So my advice is to try and keep the majority of your life and easy decisions as close to ‘95’ levels as possible during this season. That way, your frequent ‘20’ level temptations do not start adding up and the pounds start packing on.

In the end, remember that life is too damn short to miss out on the many treats for us to experience and enjoy during our lifetimes. But remember that life is also too damn short to miss out on the pride of taking care of your body, being happy with your physique, and feeling good every morning you wake up and with every step you take. It is about finding the ideal 80/20 balance in every decision you make.

[one_half]"Don’t you dare let that little guilt voice inside your head ruin every part of the holidays. Trust me, your Mom will be giving you enough guilt back at home."[/one_half]

So give yourself permission to enjoy the most special parts of this holiday season that make you smile and giggle like you did as a kid. Don’t beat yourself up for enjoying one or even two homemade smores with handmade Tahitian Vanilla Bean marshmallows from Tout Sweet! They are just too good to pass up!

Don’t you dare let that little guilt voice inside your head ruin every part of the holidays. Trust me, your Mom will be giving you enough guilt back at home. No need to add more yourself.  Just remember it is all a balancing act. Shoot for 95/5 when things are good so that 80/20 will keep you content and smiling during the holidays or other challenging times that come your way.

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips

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Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips

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Have you noticed that the majority of holiday gatherings involve a combination of (1) eating the most decadent array of treats from prosciutto and gruyere palmiers to pumpkin gooey butter cakes and (2) toasting in the celebrations with delicious holiday beverages ranging from Grandpa’s secret White Minx Cocktail to Toasted Marshmallow milkshakes for the kids (and kids at heart!). Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these tasty treats. But, it is no wonder that weight gain ranks as one of the top stressors of the holiday season.

So before we even start with food advice, let’s all make a pact to arrange festive gatherings with friends and family that are reliant on activities instead of eating and drinking. Watch for Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout and Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Out of the House Activities for the Big Day, in the up-coming DIAKADI 12 Days of Fitness for some great ideas on creating new traditions centered around active holiday events.

Now, some advice on surviving the Holiday Hunger Games.

HOLIDAY COCKTAILS

Let's start right off with the booze. First up, if you are trying to have the healthiest and happiest of holidays, I recommend that clients eliminate the alcohol or keep the drinking to a minimum. Maybe set yourself the goal of no alcohol during weeknight events. Not only are there extra calories involved, but since your body processes alcohol first, this leaves the carbohydrates and fats you consume to be stored as fat instead of being used as fuel. Alcohol also lowers your inhibitions and lessens your ability to make smart decisions on food and drink later that night.

Then add the sluggishness and bloating in to the mix and the jolly meter definitely starts dropping, and often so do your workouts.

But also be realistic, it is the holidays... When you get stuck talking to your Uncle Jack about the exact details of the past 2 months of weather patterns back home in Oklahoma or when trying to choke down your Aunt Fannie's award winning Christmas ambrosia salad with Miracle Whip, a cup of holiday cheer might be the perfect solution.  So plan for it and keep these thoughts in mind when making decisions on what to drink.

CLEAN ALCOHOL RANKINGS

1st: Wine or liquor straight up at 100 cal/drink. Personally, I think champagne is the perfect holiday choice. From the cork pop to every last bubble, nothing says celebrate better and cleaner.

2nd: Liquor with clean, minimal mixers at 100-200 cal/ drink. Flavored vodka and soda water are always great choices here.image

3rd: Beer at 100-300 cal/drink, but remember that these pack a big gluten bloat along with them.

4th: The grand array of mixed drinks packing 300-600 cal / drink. Absolutely avoid sugary drinks and mixers, especially crappy processed, prepackaged ones. Cheap alcohol and mixers are the perfect recipe for a restless night's sleep followed by hangover hell. For mixers, only use the best, fresh squeezed ingredients in creating your libations. Plus the clean ingredients will help keep your hangover to a minimum. Want to be the host with the most healthy and unique concoctions? Check out the drink mixing class at SF Mixology or the fun hands on classes at the Bourbon and Branch Beverage Academy.

Also, pace yourself. As my friend Malcolm says, "It is a marathon not a sprint." Always try to alternate alcohol, water, alcohol, water.  If drinking 'boring water' between cocktails is tough, order a Pelligrino with lime squeeze as your re-hydrator ‘between drink’. Trust me, you will be thankful the next morning.

[one_half]"Why not decide to make this the year where you actually feel great about your life and body as you head into the New Year by buckling down now and getting ahead of the game?"[/one_half]

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THE HOLIDAY FEAST

For food and beverages, there are two main guidelines I recommend to clients: 1- Track and 2- Plan.

TRACK YOUR FOOD and drinks every day during the holidays. No matter how ugly it may get, track every meal, each Starbucks PSL, each incredible hand crafted bite of deliciousness you choose from the trays passed at your friend’s holiday gala, every piece of that damn peppermint bark in the break room at work, and definitely every glass of champagne. Myfitnesspal, Meal Logger and EatingFree are all smart and easy ways to keep track of your intake, food group ratios and calories using your computer or smart phone. (Of course a pencil and paper work just fine as well.) Simply having to track all food and drink, then looking at the amounts will help keep you aware of the damage and will assist you in making smart decisions each day.

PLAN AHEAD for dangerous parties and unhealthy family meals. Whenever possible, offer to bring

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a healthy dish with you to events so that you have control over at least some of the food choices. If you are headed in to a big dinner or party, for a couple of days leading up to it, eat a little less fat each day in order to balance out for the extra fat and alcohol you will be consuming at the big event. Have several nights of parties in a row, reduce your ‘day-of’ fat and calorie intake for breakfast and lunch to bank for each evening’s festivities. Also try eating a healthy meal before heading into events, to help balance out your alcohol and to avoid over eating the pass around finger foods. A chunky salad with some protein and a quality starch like sweet potatoes or quinoa is always great pre-party fuel for me.

 

CHOICES, CHOICES! Your smartest selections off the buffet or trays are foods that are quality meats like salami, chicken skewers, or prosciutto. Grab the low sugar, low glycemic index choices like stuffed mushrooms or endive salad pick-ups. These will help to keep your blood sugar levels balanced and to keep your cravings in check. The earlier you make the mistake of boarding that Holiday Sugar Energy Roller Coaster, the longer that damn ride is and the harder it is to get off of it, often leading into the following week. If you are going to grab sweets, get super small tastes of them and try to set a limit up front in your head.

[one_half]"The earlier you make the mistake of boarding that Holiday Sugar Energy Roller Coaster, the longer that damn ride is and the harder it is to get off of it, often leading into the following week."[/one_half]

FOCUSED MAINTENANCE = GOOD, EXCUSE TO LET IT ALL GO = BAD. Once again, I return to the reminder to be realistic. Depending on your lifestyle, the holidays can be an impossible time to lose weight, especially for you social butterflies. Be aware of your life and your abilities so that you do not set yourself up for failure. If one of your typical holiday traditions is to gain 5-10 lbs every year between Thanksgiving and New Years, a goal of simply maintaining current body fat levels may be just right and plenty challenging for you. At the same time, do not use the holidays as your excuse to under achieve. Why not decide to make this the year where you actually feel great about your life and body as you head into the New Year by buckling down now and getting ahead of the game?

GO TEAM! Having a supportive partner or team mate (friend, relative, spouse) to set goals with, check in with, party hop with, and share challenging office party stories with is always a great help when aiming your sights on achieving difficult holiday health improvements.

TRAVELLING A LOT DURING THE HOLIDAYS?  Worried about finding healthy foods during transport or back home in Inorganicaville, NC?  Keep an eye out for Day 5: Planes, Trains and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go. We have some great tips headed your way.

I do have one final piece of advice, and it is honestly the most important rule I have for you concerning holiday party survival. It is so vital in fact that it deserves it’s own blog post. So it will be revealed tomorrow on Day 3: The Rule of 80/20. Stay tuned!

 

HOLIDAY PARTY SURVIVAL TIPS REVIEW:

  1. Realistic and reachable personal goals for your holiday food plan are key
  2. A strong support team always helps
  3. Smart decisions around alcohol consumption
  4. Make an effort to plan ahead
  5. Track your holiday intake
  6. Be choosy with the ‘treats’ you partake in at parties
  7. Final piece of advice to come tomorrow in Day 3

And may the scale be ever in your favor!

Bon appetit!

 

DIAKADI's The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of FitmasDIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

 

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Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress

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Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress

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Day 1 of 12 in DIAKADI's The 12 Days of Fitmas

According to a Consumer Reports Survey of 'The Top 10 Stressful Things About the Holidays', the stress of (1) crowds, (2) gaining weight, (3) going into debt while gift shopping, and (4) having to see 'certain' relatives is down right ruining our holidays!

Now shouldn't this time of year be all about fun times with friends and family? (That is, the members of your family that you enjoy spending time with.) We should be focusing on closing out and looking back on the year gone by, reminiscing about the good times and successes and looking forward to new adventures and growth in the year to come. The holidays should and can still be this for all of us. How, you ask? I have 2 simple pieces of advice for you as you head into the holiday season: 1- You Gotta Plan, 2- Look Out for #1 (aka You!).

PLAN FOR IT

The leading stressors of crowds, weight gain, and debt can all be managed easily through proper planning. As my wise husband always reminds me, remember the Six P's: Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

[one_third]"As my wise husband always reminds me, remember the Six P's: Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance".[/one_third]

If  CROWDS AND SHOPPING are your main stress, then plan well in advance for what you need to buy. Take advantage of online shopping and delivery. Use creative online gift sites like etsy.com,  giftly.com, sincerely.com/sesame, and quarterly.co to find incredibly unique gifts for even the most difficult folks on your list, all purchased from the uncrowded comfort of your home. I also recommend keeping Amazon Prime as a go to option for just about anything you could ever need to buy, plus you always get FREE shipping.

If  WEIGHT GAIN is raising your holiday blood pressure, then again, it is all about the right planning. Watch for Day 2: Surviving the Holiday Hunger Games, for key advice on enjoying holiday food without popping the button off your pants. Also, if it helps to keep you on track, schedule additional workouts for yourself throughout the weeks leading in to and out of Christmas. Keeping some time for you will be the key to maintaining your sanity and life balance.

Budgeting and a little creativity will be the simple solution to STAYING OUT OF DEBT and coming out on top in the New Year. Honestly, the last thing that most of us need is more stuff. Maybe this is the year when you have 'The Talk' with your family about no longer trading gifts between the adults and focusing more on just enjoying your time together this season. If you would like to show your love with a special gift, take the time to mason jar your favorite hearty winter soup recipe for your co-workers.  Put together a collage of your favorite picture memories using iPhoto to give to family. Take time out for a nice long lunch with a close friend, enjoying the time to laugh and smile with them. These gifts are some of the most valuable presents we have to offer and all are well within a tight budget. They just take a little planning and fore thought.

photo (2)In general, DO NOT OVER COMMIT! Limit your weekend holiday events to one or two max. On weekdays, try to avoid any unnecessary evening or late night events in order to stay rested on ‘school nights’ and keep weeknight plans to a minimum. Those 200 cards you send every year, maybe it is time to cut these out. Honestly, I am starting question if the typical Christmas card tradition still still adds to the holiday magic as it once did. If you still love sending out cards to a huge mailing list AND you have the time to do it, then you go! But make them creative, unique and fun to make the work worth while and the experience fun for the recipient. For those of you that the cards have become just another task on the dated traditions list, save the trees, the time and your sanity. You have the power to draw the line and limit your over scheduling, you just have to have the ‘Christmas bells’ to do it. I cannot tell you how incredible it feels to say ‘No’ to over-commitment and ‘Yes’ to breathing room. Give it a try.

Lastly, use your resources, friends, and family to DIVIDE UP TASKS. Having a big group of friends over? Let everyone help with bringing a dish or drink. Share the responsibility, share the fun of the preparation, and bank a little extra free time for yourself.

LOOK OUT FOR #1 (aka You!)

I know, I know. But Billy, the holidays are a time to give to others, to be selfless, to share your love with the world. But my point is that you cannot share yourself with others, when you are a strung out, over-committed, train wreck mess. One of my favorite mentors consistently reminds me, you can only take good care of others when you are taking great care of yourself. I am not saying to be a self-centered dick and screw everyone else, but I do think that a lot of us can become too selfless and lose sight of the balance of taking care of ourselves.

During this holiday season, take time to SCHEDULE FUN THINGS THAT ARE JUST FOR YOU. Stop and ask yourself, what are my favorite holiday traditions? Not your mother's, but YOUR favorite traditions. Don't have any yet? Then make up some of your own this year. Have you ever 399048_10200474081319729_1376403477_nmade your own wreath? Flora Grubb and Succulence, my two favorite go to garden stores in San Francisco host workshops on weekends during the holidays teaching you how to make those incredible, live succulent wreaths. Check 'em out. Or how about creating a fun, active tradition like a neighborhood walking tour across San Francisco. Every year, Mike and I take one of the quiet days during the holidays to leave our house in Bernal Heights and walk way down to the Marina. We window shop, check out the holiday lights and stop in our favorite coffee shops, watering holes and dining spots along the way. I give you permission to set aside some special events like this just for you.

[one_third]"You have the power to draw the line and limit your over scheduling, you just have to have the 'Christmas bells’ to do it. "[/one_third]

A final warning: DO NOT LET SOCIAL PRESSURES PUT YOUR OWN PERSONAL GOALS AND LIFE ON THE BACK BURNER. If your favorite neighbor is having a martini and fruit cake party, but you are doing your best to avoid alcohol and desserts during the holidays, worrying that it might be a challenging night for you, then kindly pass on the event. I give you permission to do this. Yes, you may have 4 holiday invites in one night and yes, they may all be from 'best' friends that would 'hate you' if you did not show up. Well, I am here to give you permission to only do what you would really enjoy doing this holiday season. If they are truly your 'best' friends, then they will continue to be, even if you don't show your face at their 200 person, “who’s who” holiday party. Trust me. In advance, let them know that you would like to meet them for drinks or lunch as a makeup. This time spent would be far more enjoyable and intimate for the two of you anyway

So there you have it.

Plan all that you can, take good care of yourself and BREATHE.

Remember to protect the FUN during this time of year. Life is way too short to take any of it too seriously.

Remember the goal, have yourself a truly Happy Holidays.

 

DIAKADI's The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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4 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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4 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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When it comes to the holidays, do you consider yourself a traveler, party host, chef, or planner? Maybe all of the above? The winter season tends to flood our calendars with multiple events and we're wondering if you're ready to stay on track with your diet with all the crazy fun you'll be having?!

From seasonal eggnog lattes to greasy food on the go, during your travels it can be hard to keep off a few extra pounds. It's certainly difficult to resist all of the temptations surrounding you, but have no fear. DIAKADI has tips and tricks for every personality type so you can maintain your fitness goals and kick start your way into a Happy New Year.

 

the traveler

 

 

Will you be the one traveling from coast to coast this holiday season? Traveling can be such a stressful experience and for many people, this means turning to salty, sugary, high fat snacking to calm down the stress. You might be feeling great in the moment, but two trips later and ten pounds heavier is going to put you on a downward spiral. Prepare yourself this holiday season by bringing your own snacks with you while you travel.

Don't rely on processed, prepackaged protein bars or trail mix as your snacks, when it is just as easy and way healthier to make your own by combining raw nuts with a piece of seasonal organic fruit.

 

BEST TRAVEL SNACKS

  • 6-12 raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc) with a piece of organic, seasonal fresh fruit
  • Homemade trail mix: combine raw nuts with unsweetened, dried organic fruit
  • Local, grass fed beef jerky. In San Francisco, The Fatted Calf butcher has delicious varieties for purchase.
  • Hard boiled pasture raised chicken eggs are also a great, easy travel snack.

 

The Host

 

 

To drink or not to drink? That is the question...

As the holidays roll around, you're the one to throw the annual holiday party. You've prepared all of the hors d'oeuvres and have bought enough varieties of alcohol to cater to everyone's tastes. When the party starts and you're ready to have a drink, you panic because you don't know if drinking is such a good idea for staying on track for your fitness goals. Luckily, there is a simple approach to drinking, sparing us from the social exile of not enjoying drinks during this time of year.

DIAKADI Trainer, Zach Scioli, explains how drinking alcohol can benefit your well-being this holiday season. Drinking alcohol in moderation is not so bad for you. It improves endothelial function, reduces post-prandial blood sugar and lipid peroxidation, promotes socializing, and reduces stress hormones. Studies show that people live longer who have 3-4 drinks a week than those who don't. AND YES, it's a bell curve. 6+ drinks a week is not better. The real trick to drinking healthfully is about quantity, quality and purity.

 

BEST ALCOHOLIC CHOICES FOR YOU + YOUR GUESTS

  • Top shelf highly distilled clear spirit (Vodka , Silver Tequilla, or Gin) in soda water (re-hydrate as you dehydrate) with a splash of citrus juice (lemon, lime, or grapefruit) to blunt any insulin response. It's nearly calorie free, strong and refreshing.
  • Dry White Wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño, or Pinot Grigio
  • Dry Sparkling Wines such as Extra Brut, Prosecco or Cava

 

WORST ALCOHOLIC CHOICES FOR YOU + YOUR GUESTS

  • Beer. It's high in calories, carbohydrates, and inflammatory gluten.
  • Dark Spirits
  • Syrupy Cocktails. We remember that night all too well, or should I say, the next morning?

 

The Chef

Are you the one who will be cooking up a storm this holiday season? From appetizers to desserts, family and friends look to you for a spectacular meal. We know how hard it is to try and cook healthfully during the holiday season. Especially with grandma's casserole calling for 4 sticks of butter. However, it you're looking to lighten up this year, check out some of our favorites below to give you some inspiration for trim holiday recipes.

 

THREE INSPIRING RECIPES 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

This soup will make your taste buds go wild! With 100% fresh ingredients and coconut milk substituting heavy cream, this is sure to be a hit as a starter at your next dinner party.

Aunt Barbara's Beef Loin

Use a high-quality slab of beef loin to make this simple recipe into the perfect holiday entree.

Brian's Dark Chocolate Holiday Bark

Get ready for a delicious holiday bark recipe that lets you mix and match ingredients, allowing you to fit this dessert to your dietary needs.

 

theplanner

Are you the type of person that likes to plan your holiday travel weeks, or even months, in advance? Were you the one who sent out the invitations to your holiday party two months prior to it actually happening? You spend so much time planning where you're going to be; why not dedicate some of that time to planning what you're going to eat so you can stay on track this holiday season?

 

FRESH, WHOLE AND SKINNY MEAL IDEAS

These can be eaten in your home or easily be taken on the go.

BREAKFAST

  • 2 hard boiled pasture raised chicken eggs and a piece of organic fruit with a homemade Green Smoothie. Smoothies are always a better option than pressed juices because you get all the fiber. Not sure which eggs to purchase or worried about eating egg yolks? Get more information using our blog on Pasture Raised Chickens.
  • Organic, plain greek yogurt, a piece of organic fruit, some gluten free granola ('Giddy Up and Go' granola is local to SF and delicious)

LUNCH/DINNER

  • Bring your own salad with some protein (boiled eggs, ground beef, chicken, etc). Bring an avocado to mix with meat and greens for dressing.
  • Pack a simple meat and vegetable meal from your dinner leftovers the night before.
  • Nothing in the house? Save yourself an extra 20 minutes on the way to the airport and run by Whole Foods hot/salad bar to make your own salad to carry with you.

 

In the end, no matter how hard we try, weight gain during the holiday season may be inevitable. Half the time it is more bloating than fat gain. So don't let the holiday blues bring you down! There is always time to come back and shed that holiday weight with proper diet and exercise. The holidays are a time for enjoyment, so don't let a little weight gain and lack of diet get in the way of connecting and celebrating with friends and family.

Happy Holidays!

 

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What Do You Really Want?

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What Do You Really Want?

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Many of my clients come to me to figure out the answer to this very question. They have lives that are pretty good but they still feel like something is missing. It’s just not awesome. They want more.  And they want to know what they can do about it. The first thing we do is figure out and identify what you really want. What would your ideal life look like? Your work life? Your personal life? At first glance, it seems like these are simple questions to answer. And we often treat them as such - giving simple answers where we write down a few details and we’re good, right?

Not really. This is actually how many of us end up not achieving our dreams. We are so eager to connect the dream to specific tactics quickly that we forget the fundamentals.

For example, when I wanted to make my career transition, and was brainstorming about my ideal work life, I thought about how many clients I would want to have, how many hours I wanted to work and how much money I wanted to make.

This is how I was taught to articulate my vision. Get super specific. Identify everything I can. But, here’s where it can go wrong. While those are important questions to answer, it’s important to start somewhere else. Instead of thinking about how many hours I wanted to work or how many people I wanted to work with - I needed to answer the fundamental questions first.

What kind of work makes me come alive? What kind of people make me love doing the work I want to do? What’s work that I would do just for the sake of doing it? What is the work that would make time stop (or slow down) for me?  

These questions get at the underlying emotions and needs associated with your dreams. These questions help you craft a vision for the future that is stronger and more compelling than any detail you can dream of.

Once I knew exactly what kind of work made me come alive...the number of hours I worked did not matter. Once I knew the type of people I LOVE to work with, the actual number of people I work with ceased to matter.

Now I understand that getting to the specifics is important. After all, it’s how we bring our vision to reality. But there’s the fundamental reasoning that they must be based upon or you’ll find yourself struggling to maintain change in your life. So how do you do it?

Think of the path for change as a linear one. At one end is your dream and vision for the future. At the other, the tactics to make your dream a reality. But the middle isn’t simply an empty line - it’s a bridge. The bridge that connects everything together. It allows your emotions behind your dream to connect with the actions you take to make it real. And ultimately, it will make change easier and more likely to happen.

Have an area of your life where you feel like something is missing? Or do you generally feel like there has to be more to life? Don’t know what you really want? Answer some fundamental questions first. What do you want that part of your life to FEEL like? What could you do that would make you come ALIVE?

Figure this out and you know you’re on the path to awesome.

 

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Top 7 Reasons Everyone Should Learn Handstands

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Top 7 Reasons Everyone Should Learn Handstands

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1. Practice Forming Healthy Habits

There are two ways to adopt new behaviors: increase motivation or decrease the barrier for entry. In fitness, attempting to increase motivation is the predominant form of behavioral modification, and most often through “negative incentivizing.” Have you ever been pressured or guilt tripped for not training hard enough? I certainly have.

Increasing motivation, especially though guilt, results in the gym-goer feeling bad about the very thing they are trying to do more of. One solution is to replace negative reinforcement with positive and the best trainers and coaches do this.

However, there is an even simpler solution - make new fitness behaviors much smaller and easier to accomplish. As one example, a gym-goer who adopts the goal a single, daily push-up is much more likely to continue to expand her fitness repertoire than the fitness-enthusiast who sets the goal of running a marathon next year. Running a marathon is too big a leap at the beginning.

Learning handstands is a goal similar to practicing a daily push-up.  It is difficult enough to be challenging and specific enough - if you know the steps - that learners continue on the path of skill acquisition.

(If you are interested in the learning more about increasing motivation versus decreasing barrier for entry, check out the “Fogg Behavioral Model” at http://www.behaviormodel.org/)

2. Handstands: The New Fitness “Gateway Drug”Robin 2

There are extensive scientific studies that show that push-ups are a “gateway drug” to increased physical activity. Push-ups provide an easy exercise, that can be done anywhere with little oversight. Push-up progress is easy to track (“How many push-ups did you do today?”) and lead to wanting more challenging physical activities.

Handstands are the new fitness “gateway drug.” Handstands are more challenging than a single push-up, but need not be impossibly so. Because handstands can be broken down into dozens of tiny, incremental steps, they can be equally easy to learn, and inevitably lead students to wanting even more physical activity. Handstands provide a relatively complete exercise – bringing into play the arms and upper body, chest and core, legs and balance. Like push-ups, handstands can be done anywhere, and with little oversight.

3. Break Down The Steps

People don’t learn handstands because of a lack of knowledge of the necessary steps.

Progressing through small, incremental steps to the ultimate goal is the fastest way to learn a new skill. Unfortunately, handstands are almost never taught in this way. Every student and most trainers want the outcome - the end result of balancing upside down - right away. The result is that a student is taught to repeatedly throw themselves into handstands, usually against a wall, and struggle to find a balance in this completely unknown position. It is human nature to see a goal and attempt to accomplish that outcome now. In the case of handstands, this impedes our progress.

Instead examine the steps that make up a handstand, just like an infant learns to scoot, crawl, and cruise before walking freely on her own. If you do, you’ll learn handstands much more quickly

For video tutorials of all of the steps necessary to learn handstands visit Robin’s “How To Learn To Do A Handstand” YouTube playlist: http://bit.ly/1wl1PGD

 

4. Learn To Learn

Breaking down the steps required to balance a handstand will teach you to learn how to learn. By focusing on a specific task, understanding the components, and the habitual patterns that keep you from progressing, you will strengthen your ability to learn. The skillset and confidence that you gain by learning handstands will transfer to other skills that you would like to master. To learn more about learning and mastery, join the Accelerated Learning mailing list, where I send out monthly tips on how to speed up your learning process. Visit www.robinpzander.com/blog/ to sign up.

5. Learn To Dance

My friend Ben Weston teaches men to dance so that women approach them in bars and clubs. I find this a hysterical career (although I almost never go out to bars), but know all to well what it is like to feel uncomfortable dancing in public. Learning handstands was one of the pivotal moves that allowed me to gain confidence in my ability to dance and move effectively. Learning handstands can be a pathway into greater physical comfort – on and off of the dance floor.

6. Overcome Fear

Standing out in a crowd is an important ability to cultivate, whether for getting a job, finding a partner or making an impact on the world. Some people have more natural charisma than others, but the ability to be noticed is a learnable skill. Training handstands develops the skill of standing out. Embarrassment and nervousness are antithesis of balancing a handstand. When you learn to overcome your fears in handstands, you will also overcome fears elsewhere in your life.

Most people training in a new skill aren’t even aware of how much fear plays into limiting their performance. Once in a while I’ll hear an expert gymnasts declare of their masterful double backflip with a full twist that they were scared, but more often, even though our fears play into every physical activity we do, none of us have been taught the simple tools to combat this condition. Practicing handstands is literally practicing the skill of overcoming fear.

 7. Have More Fun

Finally, handstands are fun! Handstands can be an empowering physical activity that anyone can learn. They need not be complicated. The daily practice and small victories that I teach in “How to Learn a Handstand” will reward you for incremental progress, and create a fulfilling experience. Practicing handstands, in the gym and outside of the gym, will give you connection to the reasons you want to get more fit to begin with – to look better, to feel better, to enjoy your body. Handstands will help you to have more fun.

The Book – “How To Do A Handstand”

I have together everything I know about learning handstands together with more than 50 images and videos into an e-book entitled: “How To Do A Handstand: Learn To Balance A Fearless Handstand in 20 Day or Less.” The book is available for free on Amazon for the next 5 days.

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Visit http://www.fearlesshandstands.com to learn more. You can reach me through my website http://www.robinpzander.com or through DIAKADI, where I coach people to learn and master new skills.

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