Monthly Archives: May 2011

Stupid sh*t people say…

… that drives me freakin insane!

Life is short. Eat a donut.

You’re right. Eat a donut everyday and life will be short.

– – – – – x – – – – –

I eat junk food everyday. I know I’ll die young. But I would have lived an awesome life!

You’re an idiot.

– – – – – x – – – – –

Everything should be in moderation.

How about drunk driving? Banging your head against the wall? Feeding your baby whiskey?

– – – – – x – – – – –

I’m a vegetarian. That automatically makes me healthy.

I’m a no-BS-arian. That automatically makes me deaf to your nonsense.

– – – – – x – – – – –

I think I’m just meant to be fat! Every time I diet, I lose control and eat too much.

Well, I cant argue with that!

– – – – – x – – – – –

How many calories does a cup of beans have?

There’s this new thing called Google. Ever heard of it?

– – – – – x – – – – –

I don’t do diets. I like food too much and have no control. Can you help me lose 20 lb?

I love my job too much to waste time on nutjobs. So, no.

– – – – – x – – – – –

I see diets like this everyday. I just ignore them.

I see fools like you everyday. I do the same thing.

– – – – – x – – – – –

Have a fun weekend folks!

Peace out.

Running – The Reality

Note: This post is dedicated to my bud KK – a great entrepreneur, a role model for thousands of students in India, a social worker and an awesome dude in general – who is insane about running but, for whatever reason, never ever listens to me when I talk about training smart! In the interest of keeping my ass from getting ripped, I’ll not go into his history of running injuries!

Let me start off by saying running is awesome! And I’ll be honest with you – I love running! It is one of the most natural human movements, needs literally no equipment/gear, can be done anytime, can be done anywhere and lends itself to progressive improvement! Whats not to love?

Granted I haven’t run much lately but that’s only because it does line up with my goals. But if you’ve read my story, you know I used run a lot – a lot more than is required for my own good! I called it the best activity ever. I encouraged people to run more and invited people on runs and caught up with friends while running and ran many many races. If I have to explain how I feel about running in one word it would be “Home”! Every time I run I felt at home! So familiar, so comfortable, so liberating and always so very my own!

But since my running days, as I have reduced my mileage, I have increased my knowledge about health and fitness and I’ll share that with you today.

The Good

A simple Google search of  ‘Benefits of Running’ will take you to websites that say running does everything from building muscles to preventing cancer to increasing sex drive to slowing down the aging process! While such claims exist from pretty much any physical activity from yoga to olympic lifting, we’ll just stick to the legit potential benefits of running as an exercise.

  • Weight loss
  • Cardiovascular benefits
  • Improved lower body strength
  • Improved fitness

The Bad

Another simple Google search of ‘Drawbacks of Running’, will take you to websites that call running the Satan! In this case too, we’ll stick to the legit potential drawbacks of running for the regular running/fitness enthusiast.

  • Chronic joint pain due to overuse/abuse
  • Muscle wastage
  • Enlargement of the heart resulting in arrhythmia (potentially causing heart attacks)
  • Over-hydration resulting in hyponatremia (potentially resulting in death)
  • Fat storage due to increased cortisol release
  • Increased oxidative stress and systemic inflammation
  • Weakness

Hmmm! Like every other thing in the nutrition and fitness field, this one too has completely opposing views and evidence supporting each view. How can something that makes you fit make you weak? And how can something that builds strength result in muscle wastage? And, for the love of God, how can something that has cardiovascular benefits potentially cause heart attacks? Read on.

The Reality

As weird as it seems, both the benefits and the drawbacks are real! How? It all comes down to three things…

  1. Frequency, volume and intensity of training
  2. Running Technique
  3. Nutrition and hydration

Naturally, if all three are spot on, you will reap most of the benefits of running and almost none of the drawbacks. As you screw up each one of these, you will be gifting yourself to more and more of the drawbacks and hence, none of the benefits. Like everything else, running is an awesome activity… but ONLY when done right and when done in the right amounts! And, again like everything else, running is poison when overdone and/or done wrong! Let me give you 2 examples.

  • You all know how much I love deadlifts and how much I tout its awesomeness. But what happens if I deadlift 7 days a week, twice a day for 100 reps each session at close to max intensity using bad technique? Well, I get messed up and end up with a broken spine is what happens! In other words, I can hurt myself, acutely and chronically, so bad that I might never ever be train again in my life.
  • Everyone knows spinach is awesome and that it has more nutrients than almost any other food item! But what happens if I eat 10 lb of spinach everyday? Two words – Kidney stones!

Similarly, running is an amazing activity with multiple benefits. But what happens if you run multiple times a week for distances longer than you can handle using bad running form at heart rates that are higher than recommended? Well, chronic joint pain, muscle wastage, heart enlargement, fat storage, oxidative stress and weakness! You see what I mean?

Clearly, while the benefits are all super legit, the drawbacks of running are due to a severe case of too-much-of-a-good-thing! So then, running is no different from any other exercise right? Overdoing anything will make it harmful right? So why not warn folks about the perils of eating too  much spinach or about the dark possibilities of  too many deadlift reps? Why the hatred and warning towards running alone?

Because very rarely does one seems to overdo the deadlift or eat spinach by the kilogram, but too many folks seem to over do the running too often! Why? Because… running is one of the most natural human movements, needs literally no equipment/gear, can be done anytime, can be done anywhere and lends itself to progressive improvement! Its kind of sad but, the reasons that make running awesome are the same reasons that make it conducive to overtraining!

So whats the deal then? Can running be a part of a good workout program? What id your recommendation?

The Verdict

Like my answers to all other questions, the answer to this question also changes drastically based on goals and current physical condition!

If you have no goals but run because you enjoy running

  • use your common sense and train for your goal (which is recreation). modify your mileage such that you don’t have any nagging joint/ligament/tendon/muscle pains. This might be 5 miles/week for some and 45 miles/week for others. Find what works for you. Your goal is to be able to enjoy running for a long time to come. So be smart about it and run enough to make yourself better and don’t run so much that you end up in pain all day everyday!
  • invest time in mobility work – I know its boring, but you’ve got to do it!
  • on at least one day during the week, do something that is not endurance – this could be resistance training or yoga or HIT or walking.
  • on at least two days during the week, rest plenty and stretch.
  • eat real food.

If your goal is general health (or longevity)…

  • run moderate distances at a low heart rate (65-70% Max Heart Rate) once a week.
  • run short distances (40-200 m) at a high heart rate (90-95% Max Heart Rate) once a week.
  • do resistance training 1-2 times a week.
  • do yoga once a week
  • eat real food per appetite/hunger

If your goal is fat loss (or to get ripped/shredded or get toned or to have abs)…

If your goal is strength gain (or muscle gain or to get big or to get strong)…

  • drop the distance running
  • lift heavy weights
  • walk for 30-45 min on rest days
  • eat a tonne of real food

If your goal is competitive running

And lastly, if your definition of a workout is running on the treadmill (or “doing” the elliptical/stepper/stationary bike) for 40+ minutes everyday…

  • get off the damn machine
  • meet/make some friends, go outside, run and have some fun. Or, in simpler words, get a life!

There you have it – an honest and legit review on running. Though I work with endurance athletes, this is my first post on running and if there is enough interest I’ll be happy to write more about how to train for your first marathon or how to train to beat your previous best or how to recover from running related injuries or how to fuel yourself right and hence improve performance. Let me know in the comments section.

And considering there are more runners than any other athletes today, I’m sure all of you know folks who are into running. Please share this with them. I’m definitely like to hear their take on this.

Peace out.

Macronutrient Madness

  • How much protein do I need Raj?
  • I read I should get exactly 17% of my calories from carbs for fat loss. Is this true?
  • How many grams of fat should I eat to not get fat?
  • I eat very healthy – hardly any fat and lots of whole grains. I still am not losing weight! Why?
  • I eat super clean – hardly any carbs and lots of saturated fats. I still am not losing weight! Why?

These are some common questions I receive on the blog and via email all day everyday! No I’m not kidding. You have no idea what kind of questions people come up with! But why? Why do people have these questions? Well, because their experts/gurus/researchers make ridiculous, baseless and sometimes compelling statements like…

  • Carbs cause obesity. The average man gets 45% of calories from carbs and the average man is fat!
  • Eating fat will make you fat. The average man gets 40+% of calories from fats and the average man is fat!
  • The body runs best on ketones and hence most of your calories must come from fat.
  • Protein is toxic in high doses.
  • Protein spares muscle, gets converted into glucose and even fuels the brain when needed. Load up on protein!
  • Eating more than 150 g of carbs a day will cause insidious weight gain.
  • Chicken breast and brown rice for the win! This is the way to get ripped!
  • Carbs are required for glycogen replenishment… low carb will starve your muscles!
  • Eating carbs at night lead to fat gain.
  • Never eat carbs and fat in the same meal!
  • A protein:carb:fat ratio of 30:30:40 is ideal for fat loss.
  • A protein:carb:fat ratio of 50:35:15 is ideal for gaining muscle AND losing fat!
  • A protein:carb:fat ratio of 10:20:70 is perfect for health and longevity!

Holy bambolly!! Who would not be confused right? I’ll admit that I’ve fallen for every single one of these statements. I’d read one experts blog/article/book, get convinced and change my diet. Then I’d read something else which says the right opposite and change my diet again. This cycle kept repeating itself for too long… but only until I realized I have the ability to think!

This post is a result of years of gullibility which resulted in astucity.

All macronurient recommendations are BS

Firstly let’s address in general the claims made my the million diet gurus in the gazillion diets they create/recommend.

Plain and simple – it is absolutely ridiculous for anyone to come up with any macronutrient split and claim it to be universal! I mean come on. Everybody is different and every body is different! This is line 1 on page 1 of the million page book of nutrition, fitness and health. If a health and fitness professional doesn’t realize this, then, well, he/she ain’t no professional!

The fact that we are all humans and hence we should all thrive with one magic macronutrient split is downright stupid! The fact that we all have the same kind of digestive system only means that we are all meant to digest the same kind of food. That is it. Nothing more. Nothing less. Why?

Let’s talk evolution for a little bit… just a little bit.

We humans today are at the peak of the food chain. We are so awesome that we have no predators! The only way we can die is if we kill ourselves (which we’re so good at) or due to some natural calamity. Why do you think we’re at the top of the food chain? We were never the strongest species! Neither were we the longest lived species! Neither were we the species with the more defense/offense mechanisms!

But… we were, are and will always be… the most adaptable species!

Sorry folks, survival of the fittest was true only to an extent. After a point it was all about survival of the most adaptable and we sneaky little humans excelled in it! How else could you explain 7 billion weak and diseased humans controlling the entire planet today? We control the survival and extinction rates of every other animal and plant and fish there is today!

The point I’m trying to make here is that we were, and still are, bloody damn adaptable! A lion is a hundred times stronger than a human. But if he doesn’t find his meat, hes done! But we humans can live off  leaves and yams and coconuts as well as we can live off bugs and milk and cow blood! And if you think I’m bullshitting you, read about the kitavan diet and then read about the masai diet.

So then… the answer is easy right? Macronutrient composition doesn’t matter! Boom! Done!

But wait… this is only true if you are healthy and lean and if your only goal is to live long and reproduce. But that isn’t the case today is it? We are fat and diseased and/or we all have different goals. Some of us want to lose every ounce of fat while some want to get big and strong and some others want to keeping running till our legs fall off!

In other words, what is the optimal macronutrient split for different people with different goals? Is there a health biased split? What about fat loss? What about strength/mass gain? What if you’re a competitive endurance athlete?

The Split

The answer is – Yes. Goal based optimal macronutrient splits change drastically with goals. Stated differently, what is optimal from a health and longevity standpoint might not be optimal for a 4-6 month strength gain phase or for marathon training. But before we get into grams and percentages…

First –  you need to be eating real food. Food quality is paramount and as far as long term health is concerned, there is much more to be gained from a real food based diet than from a perfectly weighed and measured processed food based diet. So step 1 – Eat real food! Get 70% of your calories from meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit and dairy, 20% from performance enhancers like rice and whey protein and 10% from whatever it is that keeps you happy (cheesecake anyone?!).

Second – you need to know what you are after in the short term. What do you want in the next 3 months? Lose 10 lb? Run 50 miles? Do 20 pullups? Deadlift 3 x BW? So step 2 – Define your goals and decide to stick to them!

Now on to macronutrient splits and other fun stuff.

Case 1 – Health & Longevity

Let’s say your goal is general long term health and you don’t really have a short term goal. You don’t care about losing weight or looking ripped or lifting 200 kg. You just want to live long and healthy. If you’re a lean and in good health, then macros shouldn’t matter much.

You would need to get about 10-20% of calories from protein to ensure normal functioning of your body. The remaining 80-90% of your calories can come from either fat or carbs. It’s all about food quality and it doesn’t matter if you’re eating fat or carbs or when you eat what. The only conditions are…

  • Your carbs need to be from fibrous and starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, yams, taro, cassava etc.) along with some fruit
  • Your fats need to be the good ones (mostly saturated and monounsaturated and a tiny bit of polyunsaturated).
  • You need eat to satiety. Never stuff yourself. Never starve. Done!

Case 2 – Fat Loss

But let’s say you’re a good 15-20 lb overweight, what should your macros in order to produce optimal fat loss in the next 3 months?

Irrespective of what your diet was like previously, you will need to eat a bunch of protein. Protein, though not the preferred fuel, is the king when it comes to leaning out. There are three reasons for this –

  • Protein is extremely satiating and hence helps with curbing appetite and prevents overeating.
  • It has the highest thermic effect among all three marconutrients and hence helps burn some extra calories.
  • It builds, repairs and spares muscle tissue which is critical when leaning out.

Though there is a lot of debate about how much protein is really required, about 0.8-1 g of protein per pound of body weight should keep you satiated and healthy. For most folks this will work out to be ~ 25-35% of their calories. The remaining 65-75% of your calories need to come from either fat or carbs.

If you’ve been on a high carb diet (like most people are), then there is no questioning the low carb approach. Realize – low carb doesn’t mean no carb. It just means reducing your intake of carbs from the current level. For eg. if you eat ~ 350 g (~ 70% of a 2000 cal diet) of carbs per day, you’ll do really well if you drop that down to about 100-150 g (20-30%) and get the lost calories from fat and protein.

On the other hand, if you’ve been on a very low carb (< 50 g per day) or a zero carb diet for a while and if you’re weight loss has plateaued, you’ll definitely do better with the addition of carbs. Once again the 100-150 g of carbs per day seems to work best for most people (more or less depending on body weight and activity level). The reason folks plateau in chronic low carb diets is that severe restriction of carb results in messing with  normal thyroid functioning and hence slows down metabolism to a crawl. Reintroduction of carbs (and by that I mean safe starches and fruit), almost always results in breaking such plateaus.

So for efficient fat loss, carb-cycling seems to be the best tool. In other words, go low carb and ride that pony for as long as you see results. Once you stall, do a major carb reload for a couple of days and get back on the low carb pony. For more fun stuff about carb cycling check this and this.

Case 3 – Strength Gain

Surely, all this becomes super easy ‘cos the only diet plan that works for strength/mass gain is… Eat! Eat real food and eat as much as you can. The only things you need to keep in mind are…

  • Get enough protein (~ 1-1.5 g per lb of bodyweight)
  • Eat about 30-100 g of starch starch post training depending on the intensity of your training and your body weight. From what I’ve seen in my clients, ~ 0.5 g of carbs per lb of lean body mass seems to be a good place to start. So if you’re 200 lb with ~ 20% BF, start with ~ 80 g of carbs post training and modify as you go on.

And No, you can’t gain slabs of muscle without gaining almost equal amounts of fat (unless you’re a genetic freak or you’re juiced up!)

Case 4 – Endurance

The thing with endurance training is that you need to constantly fuel your body and more importantly provide it with the right fuel. Like I mentioned earlier, protein is an inefficient fuel for the body and hence needs to be low compared to the other two macronutrients. Depending on the intensity of the sport/event and the nature of your training, you would need either a fat dominant or a carb dominant diet but based on anecdotal and scientific evidence it looks like a carb dominant approach works better when it comes to competitive endurance sports. So, if you are…

  • endurance training ‘cos you love it and are fat adapted – drop the protein, up the fats and eat little carbs.
  • endurance training to compete and/or are carb adapted – drop the protein, up the carbs and eat little fat.

Moving on to special cases…

What about cholesterol?

As much as the media would have you believe that eating fat will kill you and the blogoshpere will have you believe carbs mess you up, the truth is that macronutrients seem to have little to no effect on blood lipids. Sure eating transfat and/or huge amounts of sugar and/or gut irritants like wheat regularly will wreak havoc, but if you stick to the ‘eat real food‘ recommendations and base your diet around real foods, eating more fat or carbs won’t have any negative effect on your blood lipids.

What about diabetes?

Low carb is definitely helpful here, but then, building all your meals from real foods will automatically drop your carbs down and up your fat and protein. So as long as you keep your fruit consumption low to moderate and stay away from fruit juices and sugars, real food meals which are rich in fat, starch, fiber, protein and micronutrients will keep your blood sugar in check.

In summary…

  • There is no one macro-nutrient split that is applicable for everyone.
  • Humans are super well adapted to thriving on both high fat and high carb diets.
  • Protein is essential for normal functioning but also toxic in very high doses and is an inefficient source of fuel.
  • If fat loss is a goal, up the protein, cycle carbs and eat good fats without guilt.
  • If strength gain is a goal, up the calories. Eat anything you see, smell, feel or dream!
  • If (competitive) endurance is the goal, drop the protein and fat and up the carbs. Or get fat adapted and run on ketones!
  • Macronutrient splits have little to no effect on blood lipids.
  • Diabetics benefit from a low carb approach (which is built into the eat real food recommendations).

I know this isn’t like the other maronutrient posts you’ve read, but recommending random numbers without understanding the person’s goals and current physical condition is just nonsense. As always, be patient and keep experimenting till you find what works for you. Irrespective of what the studies or experts say, at the end of the day, n = 1 is all that matters!

If there is enough interest, I’ll follow this post up with sample meal plans for each one of these cases. Let me know in the comments section.

And as always, if you found the post useful please do help spread the word by sharing it.

Love mom? Make her exercise!

I understand that your mom is old. She is probably frail or fat and possibly has diabetes and/or high blood pressure and/or cholesterol issues. But chill out for a minute. I’m not talking about making your mom doing dumbbell complexes or training for a triathlon (though there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!). I’m talking about staying active by including some cardiovascular exercise and resistance training as a part of their lives.

And yes, I understand that the last thing you ever want to see is your mom slapping chalk on her hands and ripping that loaded barbell off the floor! But resistance training is not just that. Resistance training is any training in which you exert force against a given resistance. This resistance could be a dumbbell or stone or a bag of potatoes or a barbell or a machine or…. your own bodyweight. I’ve said this multiple times and I’ll say it again… most people need nothing more than bodyweight training to reach significant levels of fitness. And your mom, with no real aesthetic or performance goals, will be well served with the same!

S0 before I go ahead and make a bunch of recommendations, let’s define the mom we’re talking about here.

She…

  • is about 55 yrs of age
  • is about 5ft 2 inches
  • weighs about 70 kg/155 lb
  • has one or more of the following – diabetes, high BP, insulin resistance, chronic joint aches, chronic headache, respiratory issues, a big ‘ol tummy
  • can walk but can’t run
  • can manage to walk up stairs but can only barely manage it

We’ll call her ‘our mom‘.

Should ‘our mom’ exercise?

Yeah! Hells yeah!

But first, let’s make this clear – We don’t want to find ‘our mom’ in some fancy equipment rental space a.k.a gym walking on a treadmill (or rocking that elliptical) watching a cooking show. We want her to lead an active life. So, let’s rename exercise to activity.

The thing is, women, traditionally, have been extremely active throughout their lives. Even when men lazed around, they ‘gathered’ (as hunter-gatherers), cooked (detailed meals with minimal unsophisticated equipment), cleaned (for multiple hours a day), lifted heavy objects (fire wood, water etc.) and lugged around wiggly weights (a.k.a babies) a lot! Sure, women do all this now too – just that gathering now means picking up donuts from the bakery, cooking is basically turning on the microwave, cleaning translates to dumping clothes into the washing machine and transporting now is more like ordering online.

So slowly but steadily women have become super sedentary and hence have lost all the benefits of the strenuous daily activities that used to be an obvious part of their lives. This has resulted in creating… ‘our mom’!

The Why

Well, we all know that staying active has a million benefits, but I’ll just list the top ten benefits that someone like ‘our mom’ can reap out of staying active.

  • healthier joints (resulting in possible elimination of joint aches)
  • healthier bones (resulting in improving or preventing osteoporosis)
  • better endurance (resulting in doing daily activities with ease)
  • maintenance of lean tissue and loss of fat tissue
  • improved heart health resulting is lesser risk of cardiac events
  • enhanced mobility and range of motion
  • increased strength
  • better respiratory control and circulation
  • better lipid profile
  • better sleep and hence stress reduction

I can go on and on but you get the idea – Irrespective of age and current physical condition, an active lifestyle will help. As a matter of fact, the older/weaker the person is and more health issues he/she has, the more important it is to stay active!

The How

Realize that voluntary activity is foreign to ‘our mom’. Though she possibly spent the major part of her teens and early adulthood being active, I’m pretty sure she didn’t enroll in an exercise program of any kind (and definitely did no obsess about what she ate). With that in mind, I have the following rules when it comes to introducing anyone like ‘our mom’ to exercise or voluntary activity.

The activities that you are trying to get her to do…

  • should not be weird or embarrassing in anyway.
  • needs to contain elements that are familiar.
  • should be super low intensity with a very gradual ramp up.
  • should produce minimal to no muscle soreness.
  • should not aggravate any existing physical conditions (lower back pain, knee pain etc.)
  • should take up no more than 40 min per day.
  • should show obvious results (wrt look, feel and function) within a few weeks.

So keeping all this in mind, what are some activities ‘our mom’ can do to stay healthy?

Ya know how when you were a lil kid your mom mixed your medicine with honey and fooled you into eating it? (Thassraight… you were dumb!) She did this because she wanted to ensure that you don’t spit out the very bitter (but beneficial) medicine.  Same deal here. You need to mix in some (painful) exercise with some other fun activity so she doesn’t reject it.

1. Make her walk

I know this is lame and boring, but walking has more health benefits than most exercises. An activity needn’t be badass or hardcore or fancy for it to be effective. As a matter of fact, the opposite is almost always true. Walk, in addition to being extremely safe and having obvious cardiovascular benefits, stimulates the nervous system and sets the stage for good blood circulation throughout the day, revs up metabolism, curbs appetite and gives the spine a much needed break from all the sitting. Also, walking outside instead of inside some pretentious fancy looking dungeon a.k.a gym will provide her with a good chunk of Vit D and some fresh air to go with it!

And the best part about walking – no mom will ever say no when asked to go for a walk with her son or daughter!

Honestly, for someone like ‘our mom’, a 30-45 min brisk walk 2-3 days a week is all the cardiovascular exercise that is required to to reduce blood pressure, stress levels and maintain overall good health.

2. Introduce her to yoga

Any legit yoga class will have elements of resistance training, core work, mobility and respiratory control. Going for a good yoga class (or having a personal yoga instructor) once a week is a good start. Add in an extra class after a couple of weeks and help her increase capacity up to 3-4 short classes a week. If this is not an option, start off with sun salutations. Just plain sun salutations. Have her do about 4-5 reps per side. Slowly increase the number of reps until shes ready for a more traditional yoga class.

3. Help her get stronger

Basic moves such as the squat, lunge, plank, pushup etc. strengthen multiple muscles, help with coordination and proprioception and have functional relevance in everyday life. The key here is to not make it an ‘exercise program’. You need to keep things easy and simple. Have her do some basic squats and twists focusing on depth and range of motion more than rep count or speed or intensity. Build up her strength slowly so shes able to perform a few without feeling like she was kissed by King Kong. Once shes at that level, tether some of these moves together and have her perform them one after the other in a clean fashion.

4. Take a stand

It isn’t just the desk job workers that sitting kills. It kills ‘our mom’ too. Since household chores have become so much more easy and less time consuming than they used to be, most times ‘our mom’ ends up sitting. And the one solution to that – stand. Tell her why sitting is unhealthy and encourage her to take short standing/walking breaks multiple times a day.

5. Scam her!

If none of these structured approaches click, resort to the same medicine-in-honey idea and work up a scam! In this case, medicine = activity and honey = spending time with you! Go for a walk with her. Suggest that you guys walk to the grocery store instead of driving. Take the stairs with her instead of the elevator. Park a little further away on purpose. Say you want to help clean the house. Do whatever it takes to get her to move!

If it isn’t clear yet, I’m saying ‘our mom’ should get off her bottom and be active! I know this sounds mean and rude and all that jazz but that is only because we live in a world where watching TV and eating sugary junk is considered ‘ideal’ and having to do work is a call for ‘awwww!’. Seriously, wake up!

And here is your reality check and take home message…

If you truly care about your mom, stop doing stupid things like buying her chocolates and sweets for any and every occasion, and do whatever it takes to get her to eat real food, stay active and live a healthy life!

She did all she could to keep you healthy… its your turn now!

And yea… for what it is worth – Happy Mothers Day.

Take a break…

You know how you crave the weekend when you’ve had a hard week at work? This is because you need a break. A break from mental stress that is associated with work. A break from the weekday routine of waking at a certain hour and sleeping at a certain hour. A break from looking at the same faces at work. A break from being ‘responsible’ for something. A break from swallowing lunch in 10 mins. A break from traffic. A break from fatigue!

You know what else needs a break?

Your ass!

Seriously… I’m not joking here. Irrespective of what you’ve been doing all week, one thing has been constant – Your ass has been glued on to something!

  • You wake up from laying on your bed.
  • You sit down to eat breakfast.
  • You drive to work sitting down.
  • You reach work and sit down on your chair at your desk.
  • You have meetings to sit in.
  • Around noon, you walk/drive to the place where you eat and sit down to eat.
  • Back to sitting at your desk.
  • You drive back home sitting down.
  • You sit on the couch and watch TV or talk or whatever else you do.
  • Cook dinner real quick and sit down to chow.
  • Hang out with the family in the living room where you again sit on a couch or something.
  • Get to bed and lay your ass on your bed for 7-9 straight hours.
  • Wake up… and it continues!

See what I mean? Give your ass a damn break this weekend!

How?

  • Take a relaxing long hike.
  • Play with your kids or pets.
  • Meet friends for a game of ultimate (or volley ball or tennis…)
  • Go to a club and dance till you drop.
  • Do mobility work.
  • Go for a yoga class.
  • Work on your balance.
  • Find a friend you want to catch up with and have a walking-chat.
  • If you don’t have friends or kids or pets… just stand and watch TV maybe?

I can go on and on, but you get the idea…

The thing is – its a damn weekend folks!! Be excited! Take a break from the usual nonsense… do something different!

Get off the chair/couch/bed/car seat and use those legs! Your spine will thank you. Me? I’ll be doing everything on that list… except the dancing of course.

TGIF!

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