Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 Bucket List Challenge!

Last year we had several fun challenges – The Muffin Top Meltdown, The Holiday Fitness Challenge, Planksgiving, The Pushup Challenge, etc.

Welcome to our FIRST Challenge of 2015!  This one should ideally be done NEXT week, and won't involve a dumbbell, elevated heart rate, or lacing up your running shoes. 

One of the most important things we can remember is to "live life with PURPOSE" … or direction, or with a compelling reason, going for something important to you. 

As we wrap up the first month of a new year, 97% of people, perhaps even more, have lost the luster they felt the first week of the year. 

Starting January we had a clean slate.  Ending January it may feel like a dirty slate, or a cluttered slate, or maybe just a little dusty.

It doesn't matter if it's January or July, or December 12th, we have an incredible opportunity to create and redirect our lives in the direction we want to go.

But we need to know where we want to go.

You may already have a "Life Long Bucket List" or a BIG 5 for your life (which is very cool if you do!). 

Next week, your challenge is to come up with a 2015 Bucket List, or your BIG 5.  If you've already created your 2015 BIG 5, well done!  Then your challenge next week is to pick one of the five and do something that matters, something that takes you a step or two closer to realizing that. 

A Bucket List or BIG 5 doesn't have to be big- but it absolutely SHOULD inspire the heck out of you!   

It could be as simple as reading a book you've wanted to read, to finally planning and taking that trip of a lifetime.    

This is your chance to change things up a little bit this year… and live 2015 with purposeful DIRECTION … to recapture that skip in your step, to feel like a kid again, to get out of bed fired up with a ton of energy and excitement. 

And I can't WAIT to see what's on your Bucket List. 

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 |

Monday, January 26, 2015

Super Bowl Week!

I often think of the fourth week of Adventure Boot Camp as our championship week.  It's the week where everything comes together.  We've built a great foundation in the first three weeks, then the final week we go all out, working our muscles to capacity, maxing out our cardiovascular training, and raising the game with nutrition.  We have a fantastic championship week in store!

Speaking of championship, here are some intriguing Super Bowl Facts for the game on Sunday:

  • One 30-second commercial aired during the Super Bowl costs at least $2,800,000
  • Of the top 10 most watched American TV programs of all time, nine of them are Super Bowls
  • 8 million pounds of guacamole are consumed during the Super Bowl!
  • Nearly 15,000 tons chips are consumed (yes, that's TONS of chips)
  • Super Bowl is officially the biggest eating "holiday" of the year, recently surpassing Thanksgiving in some research
  • The Super Bowl is measured in Roman numerals because a football season runs over two calendar years
  • Its estimated that $50 million is spent on Super Bowl Sunday food alone
  • The average American eats approximately 1500 calories during the Super Bowl game.  That's not counting calories before the game. When you consider that most women who are striving to lose or maintain weight, 1500 calories is generally a good number to strive for throughout an entire day (+ or -).
  • Over 700,000 footballs are produced annually for official NFL use and 72 of them are used for the Super Bowl.  Hopefully all 72 will be inflated to NFL standards for this game.  :)
  • Last year's Super Bowl between Seattle and Denver set a record for the most-watched television event in U.S. history.
  • The NFL has a policy against holding Super Bowl games in stadiums that have a climate of less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, unless it is an enclosed stadium.  The NFL awarded the new MetLife Stadium in New Jersey an exception to the policy for last year's Super Bowl. 

If you're hosting a Super Bowl party, or attending one with snack in hand, head over to the Adventure Boot Camp Facebook page for some healthier, yet very tasty, options that your family, friends, guests or host will love:

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 |

Friday, January 16, 2015

How do you keep your DREAMS alive?

Dreams, goals, your bucket list, whatever you want to call those things that inspire you, are an essential part of life.

They give you something to be excited about.  Something to strive for, and perhaps help you stay focused by making quality choices. 

As I mentioned yesterday, dreams can go dormant. 

So how do you keep them alive, and your outcomes or Big 5 energized?

Well, if one of your BIG 5 is a dream vacation, you could revisit the website/brohures and read about your upcoming experience, view the photos of where you're going, and plan out what you'll do when you get there.   You could put a deposit down. 

If your child has a dream to go to Harvard, then you'd go spend some time on the campus, talking to students and faculty to get excited about going to school there. 

If you want to start your own business, go talk to a seasoned small business owner and pick her brain on what it takes to make that leap, what challenges to avoid, and how to prepare for ownership. 

If you want to play the drums, or start a new hobby, do some research in that area.  Get the juices flowing!

If you want to master your health and fitness, find someone that not only lost weight and looks great, but who consistently does the things she needs to stay in outstanding shape.  Buy her a coffee and ask her about her beliefs around health and fitness, how she stays motivated, what she does when she has a bad day, etc.   Surround yourself with those that place a high value on health and fitness.

For me, I had to put a stake in the ground by setting a date.  I registered for a marathon 11 months out from now.  I created my target.  I took a step. 

And it keep me enthusiastic, to keep my goal energized, I'm remembering all those benefits I mentioned yesterday.  I'm reading the book, 26.2 Miles to Boston.  I've got my target time posted all over, and a picture of the coveted Boston Marathon jacket on my phone and computer. 

You see, dreams can be illusive. To make them real, you've got to believe and you've got to stay focused.  Dreams are demanding.  They require extraordinary energy.  But, lofty or pragmatic, they inspire us.  They allow us to express our deepest desires and to find the self we forever have been seeking!

Make a list of actions you can take to keep your biggest dream alive, energized, and well!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 |

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

26 Miles to Boston ...

Those around me have heard me talk the past 5, 6 years about my dream of running the Boston Marathon.  Some might even be tired of me talking about it.  :)

At my age, I have to run 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 25 minutes in order to be eligible to run the Boston Marathon.   That's a 7 minute and 49 second per mile pace. 

And it's a big stretch for me. 

I finished my only marathon 10 minutes slower, at 3 hours and 35 minutes (8:12 pace).   I used every single ounce of energy to get that finishing time and I couldn't have run any faster, not even one second.   That was five years ago, and it gets harder the older I get.  My joints can't take as much running.   Critical hormones that help recovery between intense training runs reduce as we age.  Heart and lung capacity diminishes.   Etc, etc.

But I'm committed to achieving this dream. 

I don't care about being the fastest runner.  Although I love it big time, I'm not obsessed with running like a lot of runners.  I love the challenge of a tough goal and striving for something difficult.  I enjoy stretching outside my comfort zone.  I've put Boston on the shelf several times, discounted it on occasion, and justified that it's not that important to me. 

All that may be true.  And I may never achieve a fast enough time to qualify, but I'm gonna go for it.  I'm Recapturing this dream. 

I'd rather fall short of qualifying, but have an inspirational quest.  At the end of the day, it really is about the journey (and not the destination).  There are so many other things we get when we're courageous enough to take that path. 

If I end up running another 3:35 marathon (or 3:26, or 4:15), I STILL get the benefit of being in excellent shape.   I get the benefit of going after something – putting myself out there, even if I come up short.  I get the advantage of being focused.  I'll have more ideal eating days than not.   I will generate more energy in my body.   And create more feel-good brain chemicals.  Through the process of training I'll deliver more oxygen and nutrients to all the cells of my body, naturally cleansing toxins.   I'll be doing more of something I love.   I'll feel good about my health.  All these will happen on the journey towards Boston, regardless of the outcome. 

Think about one of YOUR BIG 5 outcomes for 2015.   What are all the benefits you will realize during YOUR journey, all the good that will come as you put in the effort required to strive for that outcome?  More often than not these "other" benefits significantly outweigh what we initial thought was the intended outcome. 

Fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, or ninety percent of something that inspires us is WAY better than 100% of nothing.  

How do you want to put yourself out there THIS year?

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 |

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Your Big 5 ...

Our first week of ABC is officially in the 2015 books, and what a GREAT one we had!

I've talked with many campers over the past 24 hours, hearing about your experiences foam rolling. 

It's not necessarily as fun or "sexy" as down and backs, pushups, or running a half marathon, and it doesn't typically give you the same buzz you're feeling after today's 15 minute fitness challenge.  But rolling will allow you to stay in the game, eliminate pain, and help you function/perform at your best.

This weekend spend some time on Saturday and Sunday with your roller.  The more you do, the sooner those "painful" rolls transform into enjoyable rolls.

Also, consider the following to help you hone in on creating a new year in which you're proud:

1. Review your BIG 5 for the upcoming year. What are the 5 "big" things you are going to accomplish this year?  Work, family, personal, vacation, with the kids, education, growth.  Write them out and go after them!

2. Make sure your THEME for 2015 resonates deeply with you and elevates your spirit.  What is YOUR one word that emotionally charges you up for 2015?   Action?  Transformation?  Mastery?  Contribution?   Growth?  Stability?  Happiness?  Energy?  Passion?  Relax?  What is your year going to be all about and what ONE WORD defines the year you want to create?  All that matters is YOUR word means something to you!

3. Make a commitment to be in camp for all days you're registered next week. 

Have a GREAT weekend … we can't wait to see you Monday!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 |

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Perfect Day of Eating ...

My 2015 theme is all about Recapture

Recapturing some of the things I've allowed to slip a bit.

Nothing major, but some areas where my standard has dropped a little here, a little there.

For example, I continue to run several days per week.  But in 2014 my long runs dropped from an average of 2 hours and 20 minutes down to 1 hour and 45 minutes. 

It's all relative.  Most people would say the difference is insignificant - it's still an hour and 45 minutes of running!  And big picture I totally agree. 

For me though, it's a noticeable drop off.  It has meaning to me – I'm not in the running shape I prefer.  Again, I don't feel like I'm a slacker, but simply not at the level I want.

And I haven't run a competitive race since 2013, two years in May. 

I am recapturing my long runs, my running pace, and my running intensity (more intervals, track work, and hill repeats).

And I'll get back down to my running weight.  Right now I'm 5-8 pounds heavier than my ideal running weight.  Recapture! 

The added 30 – 60 minutes of training each week will allow me to recapture my running weight, ideal running pace, and a half marathon in 4-5 months. 

But, nutrition will be the determining factor in getting to my goal weight.  It's far too easy to out eat our exercise … it happens to all of us.  Train hard, get hungry, eat more calories than we just burned working out.   It's very, very common.  Here's a short clip on how easy it is out eat your exercise

So to help me stay on track with my nutrition, I created my personal "Perfect Day of Eating" memo that I've posted at home and in my office.

I do NOT expect to have a "perfect" day all the time.  But posting my perfect day of eating keeps my ideal day of nutrition in the forefront of my mind, and gives me a much greater chance of having great nutrition days.

So now it's just a game to me …. How many perfect, or close to perfect days can I ring up in 2015?

Here's my perfect eating day:

To make this work longterm I need to be very flexible with my mindset.  There are tons of variables that will create "perfect eating day" variations.  Long run days I'll need more complex grain-based carbs and starchy carbs to replenish 2+ hours of running, for example.  When I travel my environment won't be as controlled as when I'm in Cincinnati.  There will be food-centered gatherings with friends and family.  I'll be at a restaurant that I may not have chosen.  I'm mentally and emotionally prepared to handle these things.  I'm going to truly do the best I can to rack up as many perfect, or close to perfect days as possible.  And as long as I truly do my best, I refuse to feel badly when situations beyond my control alter my perfect eating.

What does YOUR ideal nutrition day look like?

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 |