10 Minute Workout Guaranteed To Give You A Better Body Without Breaking A Sweat

Forget about your pre-workout carb load or post-workout protein shake – you ain’t gonna need ’em. On your way to the gym, take a detour to the supermarket.

Grab a basket, not a trolley, this is a workout remember.

Head for the Fruit and Veg section and grab whatever you like the look of, maybe try something new even if you don’t know what it is – there’ll be someone on youtube cooking something with it.

Next stop is the meat section, unless you’re a vegetarian of course, and take your pick of lean meats.

Now grab some rice or pasta, some eggs too.

Raid the herbs and spices section, meat and vegetables are pretty dull on their own so spend some time working out what goes with what and you’ll benefit greatly in the flavour department.

Go to the checkout, avoid the alcohol section and the treats you normally frequent.

Leave the store and spend the week eating healthy food and losing weight.

Enjoy not missing the hunger pangs junk food causes to your meat vehicle, watch your body return to a normal shape, and maybe go to the gym if you fancy it – but it’s not required.

There, 10 minutes is all it takes to lose weight and you don’t even have to sweat for it.

Don’t Let Your Body Find Out It Is Dying

I heard this from Russel Brand on a podcast. From memory, he met a older man in a gym who was in great shape and during their conversation the older man said, “Don’t let your body find out it is dying.”, what a way to put it.

Always be mobile, exert yourself, challenge your body (and mind). It’s easy to slip into sedentary lifestyle and quickly fall out of shape, it’s hard to get yourself back into shape so why make that hill harder to climb.

There’s a lot to say about Working Smarter, but in the gym there is no escaping the fact that Hard Work Pays Off. You can train smart in your strategy but frankly achieving a high level of physical wellbeing is hard and with that comes work, which is in itself hard. The rewards are worth the effort.

Work Hard and Don’t Let Your Body Find Out It Is Dying

With Great Choice Comes Great Irresponsibility

We’ve all done it, open the fridge for something to eat we look past all the fresh fruit and vegetables, all the healthy stuff, and instead pluck the chocolate cake. Leaving work we plug in our sat nav and two destinations pop up; the pub or the gym. We know the choice we should make and we know the choice we are more likely to make. Choices are the enabler of a decision that is more likely to be costly to our wellbeing.

I eat a lot of crap food, mainly out of boredom and a lack of self discipline. I can remind myself it is not worth eating that huge chocolate bar, consuming a family size bag of tortillas, or  drinking that can of coke, and often that is enough to prevent me poisoning myself. No matter how often I tell myself this though, I always revert back to eating crap, because I have the choice.

I sit on the sofa considering going and doing something active, maybe even just a short walk or even a good climbing session. The choice is hard because I’m comfy and there’s that new episode of Breaking House Of Orange Narcos Thrones is on, the fridge isn’t far away and I have that six-pack of beer to deal with.

I like to attribute my poor choices in this respect to boredom, laziness, or lacking self discipline, but recently I have been wondering is there something else at place. Something less obvious that is overlooked because it appears harmless, and I have settled upon choices.

I read about a care home where the residents began moving the furniture in their rooms around to arrange the layout the way they each individually wanted it. The care home staff were fine with this but didn’t want the residents getting hurt moving around the furniture and so they offered to move the furniture around however the resident wanted it. The residents turned around and said they didn’t want to be told they could do something, they were independent and capable people, with the ability to make their own choices and they continued to defy the staff, even though the staff were happy with the furniture being moved.

This is a great example of the the danger that comes with choices, being able to make your own decisions is often more important than the result of those decisions, even if the result comes at a cost. The residents were willing to risk injury by moving heavy furniture because all they really cared about was having the choice and taking action on it.

When there are snacks in my house they get eaten, because they are there and I can eat them because I have the power of choice and I am a grown adult who can make their own decisions. The moment there isn’t a snack in the house I grumble a bit and consider going out to get something but then I remind myself I could just eat an apple or something else healthy and I’ll be sorted. In most cases I want a snack because I am bored – usually a distraction magically makes my craving disappear. The best case is the poor choice is not available so I forget about it and go on with my day.

If I said you had won a prize, a mystery box, you would be happy and take your prize away to enjoy. If I said you had won a prize and all you needed to do now was choose between mystery box A and mystery box B, you would have a choice to make. The choice comes with a range of emotions and unnecessary stress that you wouldn’t have if you did not have to make a choice.

The trick to making the right choice is to make a decision. It might be wrong or it might be right, it might be good but could have been better, the point is that making decisions on your choices is where the reward really comes in. Assess the known factors and make a judgement call, settle your mind with the fact that you might not make the right choice but do yourself a favour and don’t dwell on the decision or the outcome. Often decisions are final and when you make peace with that you let peace into your life.

Taking choices off the table is one option but better yet is not allowing those choices on the table in the first place. Holding yourself accountable works only for a short time, being held accountable by friends is better. Real friends are ruthless, they don’t care how much you might get frustrated at their efforts to compel you to do the right thing and make the right choice, because they know you can’t be mad at them forever and you’ll share a laugh about it later. Having an accountability buddy, or accountabilibuddy, is the best way to ignore the bad choices in the first place. Set real and serious stakes with your buddy and tell them if you don’t make the right choice that they make good on the stake – you’ll never fail to make the right choice again.

Living With Less

I’ve recently come to the realisation that the majority of stress in my life holds its roots in owning stuff. I’ve been working on having less stuff and as a result I feel lighter.

It started with CDs and DVDs, I had a reasonable collection – not many, not few – and managing my music and movie collections was a mixture of physically moving the items, ensuring discs returned to the correct cases, and just having them taking up room in my home. I resolved to buy a NAS drive (I could have stored them in the cloud on a subscription basis but I preferred the upfront cost) that is stored with next to my wifi router. I uploaded all the content to the device and I recycled the physical media by giving items away and selling others. The outcome is that I have more room in my home and still have access to the media, either through the NAS drive or cloud services like Spotify and Netflix. I don’t buy physical media anymore unless I really value the physical product.

My contents insurance quote prompted me to consider what I valued as a possession and it was a refreshing exercise that showed me that the only things I really need in my life are my Fiancé and my Dog – if the house was on fire and they were the only things that got out, I would be relieved and happy.

I listened to a podcast with James Altucher and learned that he now only owned 15 items, choosing to live out of airbnb locations and living his life out of a bag. He probably has a lot more money than me, though I may be making an unfair assumption, and I like to imagine he is financially secure and affords the comfort of such a lifestyle. Whatever his situation is I still appreciate the sentiment and encouragement to live lighter.

I read The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up and stopping short of literally kissing my belongings goodbye in a tearful farewell, as the book suggests, I decided to ruthlessly throw belongings in a bin and see how I felt – it felt great. It’d take things I hadn’t used for a long time (if at all), usually stored in the garage or at the back of a cupboard, and throw them away. If it felt good, I made sure I got rid of that item whether that was giving it away, selling it, or throwing it away if I really had to.

Over the last year or so I have become a big fan of climbing and with the climbing culture there is a the concept of the Dirtbag Lifestyle. Living out of a van #vanlife with just the necessities in life to ensure the freedom to climb and not be tied down by your property. I’m not going to be moving into a retrofitted transit van any time soon but there are important lessons to be taken from the Dirtbag Lifestyle.

The biggest thing I have taken from this period of my life has been to remember that we come into this world with nothing and we leave it with nothing. In the middle we can acquire possessions and property but like Monopoly, at the end all the pieces go back in the box.

I endeavour to be less of a consumer of needless stuff, while at the same time ensuring I can afford comfort and security to enjoy life experiences. So maybe you will want to give it a go, I suggest starting with your wardrobe and donating anything you haven’t worn in at least a year. There is much more to living with less and a good basis for your decisions is to consult Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs as your guide to a lighter life.