The Lone Reindeer (by Ilkka Hamalainen)
Ways to Get Back on Track: Not long ago, you were energetic and determined to start your healthy lifestyle. Starting with enthusiasm and hope, you watched your food intake diligently, exercised like it was going out of style, and even avoided the temptation that seemed to lurk around every corner. You were confident that you were going to reach your goals once and for all! Then certain tragedy struck! You ate an extra piece of birthday cake. Realizing you had “blown” your diet, you ate another and another and couldn’t get it together the next day either. Or worse, you missed one workout, and that turned into a whole week away from the gym.
After that, your momentum to start over again was gone, and your gym bag hasn’t left the closet since. Every time you misstep on your healthy journey, you have two choices: to keep walking backwards, which will surely take you even further away from your goals; or to accept your lack of perfection as normal and forgivable, and take not one, but two positive steps down the path that brings your closer to the future you want.
If you’re reading this, you might have been walking backwards for a while. But instead of waiting for the next day, week, month or even year to overhaul your habits, start TODAY. And start small. You can’t go from the recliner to running or from burgers to Brussels sprouts in an afternoon. But you can do one, two or even a handful of small things that will help you regain your momentum for healthy living. When you feel like getting back on track is overwhelming, try one (or more) of these small steps each day:
- Try a new recipe. Cooking healthy foods can be fun and it never has to be bland.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. Your morning meal sets the stage for the rest of your day, so start if off right! Get lots of breakfast ideas here.
- Drink your water. Try to aim for 8 cups each day and you’ll feel the difference!
- Exercise for 10 minutes. Jump rope, march in place, or do some crunches. Small amounts do add up to something big!
- Find a buddy. Get support from friends, whether you need someone to listen or a mentor to give you ideas and encouragement.
- Take a walk. Don’t worry about how long or far you go—just get out there!
- Create a motivational collage. Include pictures of your goal and reasons why you want to get there.
- Go shopping for some healthy foods. Use this shopping list for ideas.
- Check the nutrition facts before you go out to eat. That way, you can make an informed choice.
- Ride your bike. Even a leisurely ride has benefits for your body and mind.
- Work in the yard. Gardening and yard work is a great way to add activity to your day.
I COULD NOT LOVE THIS MAN OR THIS QUOTE ANY MORE
(Make sure you stretch both sides! I like to do this routine twice on each side as I find myself a little looser after the first run through. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. )
Stretching for the Splits: Quick Guide
I get a lot of asks about how to achieve a split, so I took a couple quick videos today to help out anyone who is working toward this goal! These are my favorite side splits stretches. Here are a few things to keep in mind when stretching for the splits:
- Warm up fully before beginning to stretch! This is important. Warm muscles are much looser and more pliable than cold ones, and much less prone to injury. It’s best to save the stretching for after your workout, or if you aren’t planning on working out, do 5-10 minutes of a full body cardio session that gets your heart rate up. Jumping jacks, kicks, jogging around, running up and down the stairs, dancing to a fast song or two… whatever gets your blood flowing. I find it helpful to do some squats, lunges, and high-knees before stretching my legs as well.
- Try to keep the hips squared when you stretch.This means that both your hips will be facing forward, your legs should be nearly in line with each other, the knee and foot of the back leg will be facing the floor, and your torso should not twist out to the side. Think of pulling the back leg forward and the front leg back. Whether you perform your split squared or turned out/open will depend on your sport/dance style and aesthetic preference, but when stretching always aim for squared hips as it allows a deeper stretch.
- Stretch to the point of discomfort, NOT PAIN. Don’t hurt yourself! A pulled muscle can set back all of your progress for weeks or months, so listen to your body!
- Don’t stretch every day. My general rule is that if my muscles feel fine, I will stretch 2 days in a row, but try to give yourself a break at least every few days and especially if your muscles are very sore. Just like strength training, your body needs time to repair any muscles damage. Stretching too much can actually inhibit your progress. Light stretching however is ok every day.
- Be patient! Splits don’t happen overnight. It may take some 4 weeks and others 4 months and others 4 years, but keep at it and you will see results :)
Of course there are many many more stretches that you can do to help achieve your splits, but these are the basics that will target the hamstrings and hip flexors for your split. Make sure to vary your routine and add new stretches every so often!
"What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves" ~Gandhi
This is deep
the last one tho
you sir are fucking amazing