2 Weeks to Health 1st Ed – Day 12: Creating a Detailed Workout Plan

This is day 12 of the first edition of the book 2 Weeks to Health, a 2-week course designed to kick start a healthier life. The expanded and reworked second edition is set to be released in the summer of 2018.

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.” – William James

By now you probably have a workout routine somewhat in place whether it’s classes, a trainer, or a home DVD. Today’s lesson is all about giving you the information you need to plan your own workout. My goal is by the time you are done reading this, you can create a good workout plan for yourself without needing anyone’s help. I still recommend you use a trainer and to attend any classes or at home video programs you enjoy using, but you will inevitably have days where it’s up to you to get a good workout in.

The first question to ask yourself is ‘how many days should I exercise?’ Shoot for at least 3 days per week with 5 being the ideal amount to begin. With work, school, kids, dinner with friends, and whatever you have going on, you can choose what days those 3 to 5 days happen, but ensure you are fitting in good workouts no shorter than 30 minutes in length. If you still feel short on time and 3 days a week sounds like too many, then do what you can. If you  are only working out 3 or 4 days per week, keep working on your time management to fit in 5 days per week. If you continue to struggle to find time to work out do not feel discouraged, because even one day per week is better than none.

Now that you have your 5 days set, just remember that on your rest days you have more to do than just sit around (see day 7). But what should you do during those 5 days? That will depend on a lot of factors such as your SMART goals, but there are a few things that everyone, regardless of their goals, can focus on. In any given week you want to make sure you workout each muscle group in your body, and that you get plenty of cardio. The main muscle groups fitness enthusiasts recognize are abs, legs, back, arms, chest, and shoulders.  Each week you want to work out each of these muscle groups, but each muscle group has several muscles in them that need to be worked out individually.

When you are planning what to do during your 5 days, I recommend doing 20-30 minutes of cardio, 20-30 minutes focusing on your muscle group of the day, and then some time to warm up, cool down and stretch. Cardio exercises includes swimming, biking, elliptical, stair climbs, running/jogging, and essentially anything that gets your heart run up for an extended period of time. If you have 5 workouts per week and you lift every muscle group and do some form of cardio each workout day, your weekly schedule might look something like this:

Monday: Legs, stairs

Tuesday: Chest, walk/jog

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Back, walk/jog

Friday: Shoulders, arms, bike

Saturday: Abs, walk/jog

If your goal is strictly to lose weight, you should still work each muscle group but your focus should be more toward calisthenics rather than lifting weights. For example, instead of going to the bench press to work your chest, it may benefit you more to do push-ups and burpees to work your chest. Also, classes at gyms often focus on the full body. I still highly recommend you hire a trainer so you can know what is best for you, and then you can branch off and do your own workouts based on your own plans. Even if you do not care about building muscle, resistance training (weight lifting) is still very important for your overall health. It has been proven to increase your metabolism, increase bone density, and slows down muscular degeneration which naturally happens with age. Do not just do cardio and neglect the weights.

Now that you made a plan to know what you are doing each day of the week, the next goal is to go into more detail about what you’re going to do when you show up to your workout location, be it your local gym, your living room, or a local track. Let’s say you are planning your own workout for Friday and Saturday, and the rest is with your trainer, and you decided to do yoga on one of your rest days. Now your week is all scheduled, but you just need to make sure you don’t lose any momentum toward your goals on Friday and Saturday. Friday you are planning on going to the local gym, and Saturday you will stay at home and run around the block.

For Friday you decide you need to work your shoulders and arms, and you plan on doing a stationary bike. First you should ensure you are going to work all of your muscles in your shoulders and arms. Your favorite fitness website or application can break down the different exercises for you. You see what exercises are available to exercise your shoulders, and decide to do the shoulder press, and the side lateral raise. You check arm workouts and decide to do hammer curls for biceps and bench dips for triceps. For abs on Friday you decide to do planks, sit-ups, leg lifts, and Russian twists. On the bike you decide to do a 30 minutes interval workout, and the jog will be a 1 mile jog/walk around the block. Now you know all the exercises you’re going to do, and you’re making sure you do cardio, and that you are working out every muscle group this week. If you can do this much workout planning for yourself, you are on the right path and you will learn much more with time. And by the way, your weekly workout plan now looks something like this:

Monday: Legs and stairs with personal trainer

Tuesday: Chest and walk/jog with personal trainer

Wednesday: Yoga Class

Thursday: Back and walk/jog with personal trainer

Friday: Workout without trainer – shoulder press, side lateral raises, hammer curls, bench dips, 30 minutes on the stationary bike with sprint intervals

Saturday: Workout without trainer – planks, sit-ups, leg lifts, Russian twists, walk/jog around the block

Sunday: Rest, stretch, hydrate, recover, motivation, and goals

If all these exercises sound like a foreign language then don’t become discouraged. There are plenty of websites and videos that show pictures and videos of these different workouts, how to do them, and what muscles they target. It will take some time to learn them, and to learn which ones you enjoy doing the most.

At this point in your weekly workout planning you have a trainer or instructor taking care of 4 of your days, and you planning the 3 others. Remember, Sunday may be a rest day in this example, but it doesn’t mean it is an off day. The next question is how many repetitions and sets should you do of the exercises you planned? Individual exercises are broken into sets and repetitions. A repetition is the completion of an exercise when you do it one time. One bicep curl is equal to one repetition. If you do multiple repetitions, let’s say 12, then those 12 repetitions (or reps) make up one set. So if you do 4 sets with 10 repetitions per set, that means you did 40 repetitions total. Another way to measure how much of an exercise to do is by time. For example, you can do planks for 30 seconds or as many sit-ups as you can in a minute.

Any exercise will commonly be 3-6 sets, with anywhere from 5-50+ reps per set depending on the exercise. For shoulder press, and most exercises that are considered weight lifting, you should choose a weight that allows you to do about 8-10 reps before your muscles do not allow you to do any more. The number of repetitions will change depending on your goals, but 10 is a good number. Then depending on the length of your workout, you can choose to do that number of repetitions 3-6 times. You may need to reduce the weight after each set, you will get tired, and that is okay. Allow your body to slightly recover after each set by resting 1-3 minutes.

I’m going to add the reps and sets to the workout plan for Friday and Saturday which now looks like this:

Friday: Shoulder Press 6 x 10 (6 sets, 10 reps), Side Lateral Raises 3 x 10, Hammer Curls 4 x 10, Bench Dips 4 x 10, 30 min bike w/ intervals at an average level of 4

Saturday: Core Workout Circuit repeat 5 times: Planks (1 minute), Sit-ups (1 minute), leg lifts (1 minute), Russian twists (1 minute), once the circuit is complete, jog/walk around the block, 3 minutes of walking with 1 minute of jogging for 30 minutes

You can also add the weight you plan on lifting when you go workout. It is always good to add the extra weight goal into your plan, but it is not required.

 All this workout planning can be done in your food/workout journal, and you can make notes on how you felt, whether you should increase or decrease the number of sets or weight, or anything else that could help you during future workouts. It is also good to do a warm up set with lower weight when you start an exercise. If you are planning on doing 6 sets of shoulder press, then actually do 7, but your first set will be a much lower weight so you can warm up your shoulders before doing a heavier weight.

The Friday workout shows how you might structure a workout at the gym when you have machines available to help you. Saturday shows how you might train at home which includes bodyweight workouts and a jog around your neighborhood. So which one is better? In my opinion neither is better, a balance between the two is what will get you in great shape. If you want to build muscle faster or spice up your cardio life, then a gym is needed. But, becoming stronger, thinner, and healthier can easily be done at home through calisthenics and outdoor cardio. Some of my most difficult workouts use no weights or equipment, and I move no more than a couple feet, so there are no excuses for not getting a great workout in when you are confined to your living room.

Planning can be a lot of fun because you know that the plan you are creating will push yourself to be healthier. It might take a little bit of time to learn and get used to, but once you become more knowledgeable about workout planning, you will be able to walk into the gym without writing anything down and know exactly what to do. That might take a few years, but it’s a great feeling when you reach that point. Next time you do a workout on your own, I challenge you to put some additional thought into your workout based on what you learned today, and ensure that even though there is no trainer there to push you, that you create a plan that pushes yourself.

Your daily workouts are extremely important, but so is what you do every other part of your day that will tip the scale and help you become healthier. If you work a desk job and then come home and sit on the couch and watch TV, even if you workout every day your lifestyle is still fairly sedentary. Tomorrow we will briefly discuss the benefits of staying active around the house and at work.


2 Weeks to Health 1st Ed – Day 3: Getting into a Workout Routine

This is day 3 of the first edition of the book 2 Weeks to Health, a 2-week course designed to kick start a healthier life. The expanded and reworked second edition is set to be released in the summer of 2018.

You’re never too busy, it’s just a matter of priorities.

Welcome to day 3! Today we are going to discuss your options for how to get into a workout routine. I’m going to go step by step and introduce you to the different tools you can use!

Gym Membership:

While it is not required to have a gym membership to exercise, and actually at least a quarter of my workouts do not take place in a gym, this is by far the most common method people take when they decide to improve their health. I see it every year at New Year. On January 1st people flood to the gym with their New Year’s resolution to lose weight, but they never know the commitment it takes and give up when they are two weeks in with no results. That is why it is important to remain mentally strong and to stay motivated.

If you have the money and the time to commute to the gym, I highly recommend you buy a membership and then take advantage of what the gym has to offer. A busy gym can be intimidating because you are waiting for machines that you maybe do not even know if you want to use. Because of how intimidating it can be, I recommend you work out with a personal trainer for at least the first week to learn the basics. If you can’t afford a trainer, I will give you a few tips to get you started (we will talk about more detailed workout planning on day 12).

When you go to the gym, your workout will depend heavily on the time you have and your current fitness levels. This means it would be impossible for me to write a workout plan for you without meeting you. It will be up to you to decide what exactly to do, but here is a skeleton outline of one possibility:

Monday: 5 minute warm up on an elliptical, 15 minutes of ab exercises, 20 minutes of jogging or walking, 5 minutes of cooling down, 10 minutes of stretching

Tuesday: 5 minutes of stretching, 15 minutes of chest exercises, 15 minutes of arm exercises, 10 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of stretching

Wednesday: 5 minute warm up on an elliptical, 15 minutes of leg exercises, 20 minutes of cardio on a stationary bike, 5 minutes of cooling down, 10 minutes of stretching

Thursday: 5 minutes of stretching, 15 minutes of back exercises, 10 minutes of shoulder exercises, 15 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of stretching

Friday: 5 minute warm up on an elliptical, 15 minutes of walking or jogging, 15 minutes on a stationary bike or elliptical, 5 minutes of cooling down, 15 minutes of stretching

This is a very basic outline and assumes you have about an hour to workout. Adjust it as you need to, but remember, right now I don’t really care what you are doing as long as you are doing something every day. Use these workouts as a guideline for now, and we will talk more about this when we discuss detailed workout planning.

Whenever I tell you to do a certain type of exercise (like arms or abs), I recommend you do a little bit of research online to figure out what workouts you can do for them. If you google “arm exercises” you will find thousands of websites and applications that want to show you, for free, a large variety of arm exercises. Just a little bit of research will point you in the right direction. I would have provided a comprehensive list of exercises in this book, but there are already so many great websites that are already doing this. Also, do the same searches for stretching. For example, if you have a bad back, Google search “stretches for a bad back”. It is amazing what loosening your body after sitting all day at work can do for your mobility and overall health.

There are a lot of specialized websites and applications you can use to learn more about workout planning, and I encourage you start learning what does and does not work for you. I caution you, many of them will say ‘get [insert word here] quick’. Don’t be tricked by the get fit quick craze, this isn’t about quickness, it’s about long term sustainable results.

Personal Trainer:

I highly recommend you hire a personal trainer for at least the first week or two if you can afford one. A personal trainer will give you workouts that will push you and match your fitness level. Also, by setting an appointment with a personal trainer you will be less likely to miss a workout. Your gym will have personal trainers available for you to hire. Personal trainers will keep your goals in mind, show you new exercises, they are great to talk to, and they are often great to look at.


Signing up for classes is another great way to hold yourself accountable and have fun while working up a sweat. Your local gym will have a class list available, and there may be smaller gyms around town that focus on a certain type of class. Some classes to look out for are Yoga, Bodypump, Zumba, Bootcamp, spin classes, CrossFit, and TRX. Talk to a representative at your local gym to see what they have available!


Ask your friends what they are doing to stay in shape, and ask if they want to be your workout buddy. Be careful about what friends you ask. If you have a friend who is pretty fit and frequents the gym, they would be a good person to ask to tag along with. This way you knock out two birds with one stone, you catch up with a friend and fit in your workout for the day. You should avoid working out with friends who are less fit than you are, or friends who know less about health and fitness than you. You want to work out with someone who is going to push you, not someone who will hold you back.

At Home:

If you can’t afford a gym membership or you are stuck in the house then don’t worry. In a recent survey, we discovered that only 29% of people who reach their weight loss goals had a gym membership. There are plenty of ways to get fit at home. First, I encourage you to go for walks or jogs outside when the weather is reasonable. From my personal experiences, there is almost nothing that feels better than completing an outdoor run when the weather is beautiful (especially if you are finishing it at sunrise). If you have the money you can also buy home gym equipment such as a stationary bike, a treadmill, or free weights so you never have to leave the house to workout.

Calisthenics are also very easy to do at home. Some of the most difficult full body workouts I’ve ever completed occurred without any weights or equipment. You would be amazed at how much you can improve at home from 30 minutes of calisthenics. If you are struggling to fit in a workout during the day, then if you have 5 minutes a few times per day, spend that down time doing some sit-ups, lunges, or jumping jacks, or just something that gets your heart rate up.

Another at home workout method is to purchase a workout DVD or application. There are hundreds of DVDs and YouTube videos that you can exercise along with at home. With so many it can be hard to decide on which one to buy. I recommend trying out P90X, but other brands are definitely worth trying. You can find recommended workouts in the 2WeekstoHealth.com store.

If money is a significant concern but you want to spice up your workouts, there is very cheap exercise equipment you can buy to use at home. A jump rope only costs a couple dollars and is a great way to get your heartrate up and to exercise your legs. A medicine ball can increase the effectiveness of your core workouts, and add some additional challenge to your upper body workouts such as push-ups. Also, you can exercise almost every one of your muscle groups with a set of cheap resistance bands.  These can also be purchased in the 2WeekstoHealth.com store.

If you have a smartphone then there are several applications that you can exercise with. Go to your app store and search for fitness applications, and you will find they have workouts for almost everything! Also, video websites such as YouTube have thousands of videos posted by personal trainers that take you through full workouts. Definitely take advantage of all the free workout videos online.

Time Management and Prioritization:

Your day is already packed and it can be difficult to make time for working out, which is why it is important to properly manage your time and prioritize your workout. Whatever you currently do to manage your daily schedule, make sure you physically write in a time to exercise. By putting your workout plan in writing you will be more likely to complete it. If you are having trouble finding time to exercise, then this is where it becomes increasingly difficult. The solution to not having enough time is making sacrifices for your health. Think about what you are currently doing and what can be moved or eliminated so that you have the proper time to work on yourself. For example, maybe you don’t need to go out with your friends 4 days per week, watch hours of Netflix, spend time on social media, or even sleep a full 8 hours per night. Some things you will need to sacrifice to improve your health, even if you need to lose an hour of sleep (although don’t go below 7 hours of sleep).

Heart Rate:

Regardless of how you are exercising, you need to keep your heart rate up. If you are unsure if your heart rate is getting high enough, then I encourage that you buy a sports watch that shows your heart rate. Your target heart rate is a factor of your age, so if you are 30 years old you have a different target than if you are 50 years old. Here is a guide by the American Heart Association that tells you what your target heart rate is when exercising.

Age Target Heart Rate Zone (50-85%) Average Maximum Heart Rate (100%)
20 years 100 – 170 beats per minute 200 beats per minute
30 years 95 – 162 beats per minute 190 beats per minute
35 years 93 – 157 beats per minute 185 beats per minute
40 years 90 – 153 beats per minute 180 beats per minute
45 years 88 – 149 beats per minute 175 beats per minute
50 years 85 – 145 beats per minute 170 beats per minute
55 years 83 – 140 beats per minute 165 beats per minute
60 years 80 – 136 beats per minute 160 beats per minute
65 years 78 – 132 beats per minute 155 beats per minute
70 years 75 – 128 beats per minute 150 beats per minute

Do these sound too difficult?

You may be reading this thinking ‘there is no way I can do any of this’. If this is you, then do what you can, but remember to do something every day. Start by walking up and down the stairs a few times, or walking a couple blocks outside. Slowly increase your intensity, and make sure you are reaching your target heart rate. You will slowly start getting stronger, and you will go back and read this knowing that you are ready for the next step. No matter what your starting point is, you can finish in the best shape of your life.

Sprint Interval Workout

Sprints are a great way to improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen your lower body, and to aid with weight loss. A sprint is simply running at your full speed, giving it your all. This could range from a fast walk if you are just getting started, all the way to the speed of a car giving it a little gas, it all depends on how fast you can run. An interval is a stop and go style of training and is typically measured in periods of time or distance. This means a sprint interval is running as fast as you can for a specified distance or time, taking a short break, and then sprinting again. This type of high-intensity interval training can benefit you more than normal jogging due to the resultant increases in power, speed, and strength that normal running will not give you.

There are two primary ways to setup your sprint interval workout: time and distance. If you chose to time your workouts, you will choose how long you will be sprinting for, and how long you will conduct a slow jog for. When you’re first beginning, a good goal is to sprint for 10 seconds and jog for 50 seconds. Every minute on the minute you will start a new sprint. Continue doing the intervals until you reach your total workout time, which if you are a beginner may be about 10 minutes. Distance based intervals work best on a running track. Choose how many laps you want to sprint and jog, and use the track to determine your flow. On a quarter mile track it is fun to jog the turns and sprint the straight away.

While everyone’s sprint interval workout will differ due to one’s own abilities, it is always good to begin with a few interval periods where you keep it at a slow jog. Once you are warmed up, then you can begin the sprints. Jumping straight into a full speed workout can lead to an injury, so make sure you properly warm-up.

You can mix and match distances and times however you want! For example, a common sprint interval workout is to sprint for 200 meters, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat 5-15 times. Do what works for you, but ensure during your intervals you are running at full speed during your sprints.

You can also do sprint intervals with other exercises besides running. Try doing sprint intervals while swimming, cycling, ellipicalling (I think I made that word up), or rowing.

Nickels and Dimes Workout

Nickels and Dimes is a fun workout you can do almost anywhere. At the top of every minute for 10 minutes you will complete 5 pull-ups (nickels) and 10 push-ups (dimes). By the end of the workout, you will have completed 50 pull-ups and 100 push-ups.

Your first set you may be able to complete the nickels and dimes within the first 20 seconds. As your workout continues, it will take longer to complete each set, thus giving you less and less of a rest period. By the 10th minute, you may not get to rest at all, and you will need to power through to complete the workout! It may sound easy, but it just 10 minutes you can get one heck of a workout.

You can modify this workout as needed. For example, you can do the workout for 15 minutes instead of 10, shorten or lengthen the rest period, or you can do pennies and nickels and complete 1 pull-up and 5 push-ups.

You can also change the exercises from pull-ups and push-ups to exercises that strengthen other muscle groups. You can do 5 tuck-jumps and 10 lunges, 5 leg raises and 10 sit-ups, or even sprint for 5 seconds and jog for 10 seconds. Each one of these will be repeated at the top of the minute.

I enjoy this exercise because at the surface it is very simple, every minute you do 5 pull-ups and 10 push-ups. But to meet your fitness goals, you can modify it to be a simple timed circuit that can be completed almost anywhere.

Woman Bench Pressing

The 7 Laws of Training – Getting the Most Out of Your Workouts

With hundreds of workout routines available for us to choose from, it is important to choose a program that follows the seven laws of training and is suitable for our desired training outcomes. The seven laws of training were developed by Dr. Fred Hatfield. These laws outline the principles upon which optimal fitness is achieved. The seven laws are:

  1. The Principle of Individual Differences – We all have different genetics, thus we will all have different outcomes to exercise and training.
  2. The Overcompensation Principle – Our bodies respond to stress with overcompensated growth. For example, if we stress our muscles, our muscle fibers will grow in size.
  3. The Overload Principle – In order to increase physical performance, we must experience resistance great than what our bodies normally encounter.
  4. The SAID Principle – An acronym for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. Your body will specifically adapt to imposed stresses, so your training plan should specifically match your training objectives.
  5. The Use/Disuse Principle – “Use it or lose it.” If you stop stressing specific systems, your body will adapt to only be able to meet that lower stress level.
  6. The Specificity Principle – When you are training, start with general fitness training and as your competition or event gets closer, transition to highly specific training.
  7. The GAS Principle – An acronym for General Adaptation Syndrome. Our bodies go through 3 stages when a stress is introduced. First, the body is alarmed, then our bodies resist, and finally our bodies exhaust. Because our bodies experience trauma from the stress and exhaust energy reserves, the body must have a rest period after being trained.

Some workout programs may not follow every law. Let’s look at a popular training program and see how it compares. CrossFit is a high-intensity system that focuses on universal fitness and non-specific training. Famous for its workouts of the day, CrossFit daily workouts will typically result in a good full-body burn. Let’s use the  7 laws framework to analyze this non-rigid system.

The principle of Individual Differences – CrossFit does not tailor workouts to the individual.Overcompensation Principle – Most CrossFit workouts are group oriented and specify a weight to

The Overcompensation Principle – Most CrossFit workouts are group oriented and specify a weight to use, so already strong individuals may have an easier time completing a workout. As long as weights are adapted based on strength level, CrossFit can meet the criteria of this principle.

The Overload Principle – With its high-intensity workouts and emphasis on pushing yourself, the culture of CrossFit motivates people to overload themselves.

The SAID Principle – CrossFit is designed not to follow the SAID principle. The training objective of CrossFit is to not specify the training.

The Use/Disuse Principle – Workouts of the day are typically conducted 5 times per week and are designed to use every muscle at least every other day, this it follows this principle.

Specificity Principle – CrossFit does not specify training.

GAS Principle – Rest days are typically given 2 times per week. Depending on the CrossFit gym, muscle groups are broken up so that there is ample time for full recovery.

CrossFit meets 4 of the 7 training laws. Whatever your workout plan is, use the 7 laws to evaluate the training effectiveness of your program. If your workout program doesn’t meet all 7 laws, then adapt your plan until it does. For example, if you enjoy CrossFit but are also training for a 5k, then mix endurance training, sprints, and CrossFit into a 5 day a week program, rotating between the workouts and focusing more on running as the race gets closer.

Black Notebook with Pen Sitting on Top of It

Free Printable Workout and Nutrition Logs

There are a lot of benefits to logging and recording what you eat and how you exercise and workout. There are dozens of workout logs you can buy, but we decided to offer our readers free printable logs to help with diet and nutrition tracking. You can download and print the log as many times as you like, and we encourage you to print out enough copies to use one every day while trying to achieve a new fitness goal.

You can download and print the workout log here, and the nutrition log here.

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An example of a filled out free nutrition log
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An example of a filled out free workout log

The Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise and Why it Matters

I’m sure you hear the terms aerobic and anaerobic all the time. The term aerobic has often been used synonymously with the term cardio and is sometimes confused with a type of fitness class from the 1970s. What exactly are aerobic and anaerobic exercises, and why does it matter?

It turns out that these are directly related to your metabolism and the way your body uses energy. The amount of energy your muscles keep stored at any given time only allows for about a second of maximum exertion and after that, your body needs to begin making more energy for itself. For the first couple minutes of a hard workout, your body will use carbohydrates in the form of blood sugar or glycogen (sugar stored in your muscles) to generate additional energy. These first couple minutes do not require additional oxygen to create the new energy, so it is called an anaerobic (no oxygen) process.

If you exercise extends longer than a couple minutes without a long enough break to allow your muscles to restore their energy, then your body begins to run out of glycogen and blood sugar to safely use and must find a new way to produce energy. Your body decides to start breaking down fats, carbohydrates, and even proteins to use as energy. If your workout lasts long enough, your body will even go as far as breaking down your muscles for energy! These metabolic processes require oxygen, which is why they are referred to as aerobic processes.

How you train determines what type of energy pathway you are using. If you are lifting weights, throwing a ball, or running a sprint, then you are using anaerobic processes to provide your body with energy. This type of exercise forces your body adapt to become better suited for short, explosive movements. Your muscles will start to store more energy and they will begin to grow larger. If you decide to go jogging, swimming, or dancing, you are using aerobic processes to fuel your body. The more you do these kinds of workouts, the more your body will adapt to utilizing and mobilizing fat, which could lead to a lower body fat percentage. Also, your ability to store and transport oxygen in your muscles will increase and your aerobic capacity will rise.

A good mix of aerobic and anaerobic activities are required to stay healthy and fit, but depending on your fitness goals you may want to choose to train one more often than the other. To lose weight, aerobic activities should be favored, while to gain muscle size and mass, anaerobic exercises should be your go to exercise type.

How to Stay Healthy While Working a Desk Job

One of the perks of working for a large company is they often have fitness programs and on-site gyms so you can squeeze in a workout during lunch or after work. However, your average company does not have the benefits that a larger company may have. This does not mean employers and employees can’t find ways to make the workplace a healthier place to work.

If you work an office job you probably spend at least six hours per day sitting down. Try to find reasons to get up and walk around. Organize your office space so that any time you need to print, scan, or copy a document you are required to get up and walk to the printer. Park in the farthest parking spot at the office to give yourself an extra few minutes in the morning to walk into work. Instead of calling a co-worker, walk to their office and see if they are available to talk in person. If they are unavailable, walk back later. Instead of sending a mass email to everyone, post information on a bulletin board that requires everyone to get up to read new information.

You can also push to have more programs like the larger companies, but with fewer expenses. An internal ‘biggest loser’ competition can motivate employees to lose weight by offering a nice reward such as a few extra vacation days. Spend a few dollars per person to buy everyone a pedometer and see who can take the most steps in a one month period and offer a reward for the most active employee. Offer a longer lunch period for employees who plan to exercise during that time. Work out a deal with the local gym to give employees a reduced price on their gym memberships. Also, you can cater a healthy lunch every once in a while.

Office outings can be a great way to build camaraderie and a healthier company culture. Instead of the office going to a sports game or someone’s home for a party, plan for everyone to attend a ‘high ropes’ obstacle course, play a sport, or play paintball. If your company is large enough, create your own internal sports league that meets and plays your favorite sport once a week after work. Or even better, challenge other companies in the local area to see who the best firm in the local area is.

Even if your company does not offer all the fancy perks to help you reach your health goals, there are plenty of ways to make your work life work for you and not against you. Pick your favorite idea and start talking to your colleagues about setting something up. It only takes a few people to like your ideas to get the ball rolling.

Quote of the Week – 23 Jan

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Haruki Murakami

When doing physical training, pain is inevitable. The pain often begins with the sound  of an alarm clock and continues until the last muscle is no longer sore. You attitude toward this pain means the world to your progress. To ensure you are getting the most out of it, don’t see it as suffering. If you perceive your workouts or healthy meals as something that is ‘the worst’, then your attitude won’t allow for long-term progress. Embrace the pain, but never suffer as a result. Always keep a positive attitude.

Do you have a favorite quote? Send it to 2weekstohealth@gmail.com and we will feature you in one of the upcoming weeks!

Quote of the Week – 16 Jan

“Find passion, embrace fear, and create success on your own terms” – Dulce Candy Ruiz

There are hundreds of different hobbies and careers that lead to you becoming a healthier individual. Start exploring what is out there and find one you enjoy doing and can become passionate about. If you have any fears or anxiety that will inhibit living a healthier life, it is time to try to conquer them. It can be difficult, but life begins at the end of your comfort zone. If you do these two things, success will be on your own terms. Forge your own path to success by taking charging of your own fears, passions, and life.

Do you have a favorite quote? Send it to 2weekstohealth@gmail.com and we will feature you in one of the upcoming weeks!