For many of us, exercising is something we know that we should do – but not always something for which we have time or energy. With ever-increasing schedule demands –work, family, activities– it can seem impossible to include fitness on the calendar.
But what if I told you that you could jump-start a new fitness routine and boost your overall health and wellness even with your very tight schedule? Would you be down? It’s possible, I promise!
Over the years, I’ve learned that motivation and commitment are the keys most essential to any fitness regimen. I’ve also figured out how to create fitness plans that maximize results for those who are constantly on the move and can’t spend hours at the gym.
You can now share in my tips to success –as well as customized workout moves– in my new online workshop Jumpstart Your Fitness Routine. I’ll break down everything you need to know, demonstrate fitness techniques and detail fitness hacks that maximize your time and space. This 5-day course is designed to help you reinvigorate your health + fitness goals and it starts today! Click here to join me.
Today has been a day of observation AND a day of action. These are increasingly troubled times. My hope is that positive reflection on examples of strength and perseverance will radiate outwardly towards our communities and the world.
As Monique Walton and I relaunch Legacy Workout, we hope that you will take part in the #MOVEment by answering the question: “Who moves you?” This is a highly personal exercise. It can be someone that you know. It can be someone that you wish you knew. It can be a group of people. It can be a moment in time. Once you’ve identified your subject –and if you’re interested in participating publicly in this self-care social experiment– we ask that you:
1/ Watch #LegacyWorkout
2/ Take a photo and/or video of YOU doing a move, an exercise. Remember, it should answer the question: Who moves you?
3/ Post to your social media accounts: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, BurnThis, etc
4/ In the comments section:
a. MOVE’s name. Who the move is named after. (The “who” can be a person, group of people, pivotal moment in history)
b. Why they are important to you OR Why you chose to name the move after that person/people/point in time
5/ Hashtags: #WhoMovesYou and #LegacyWorkout
EXAMPLE: A picture of you doing a wall sit.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. Thank you!
T-minus two weeks until Thanksgiving. Can you believe it? Let’s collectively not wait until after the ever-lengthening holiday season to reboot fitness goals! Here’s a look at the bigger picture.
How can you tell if it is time for a fitness reboot?
If boredom sets in during the regular fitness routine, followed by apathy towards exercise in general, it’s definitely time for a fitness tune up! If you avoid outings or leisure time that involves physical activity –hiking, biking, bowling, beach play, recreation league softball even– for fear of sweating and breathing hard or you avoid form revealing workout clothes, that tune up needs to come sooner than later. The mental stress and self-deprication associated with “not working out enough (or at all)” shouldn’t supersede the physical stress that a normal body endures during exercise. Avoiding friends and family who’ve seen your “normal” for fear that they will comment, critique and judge “the new you,” make the tune up a priority. Altering lifestyle routine(s) and personal relationships instead of changing fitness routines is a sign that you are no longer “living” and simply existing. Tune up!
How do you pick a fitness routine that works for you?
It’s important, especially as you age, to approach exercise and wellness in a balanced manner. This means a healthy combination of nutrition, hydration, cardio, resistance training, stretching and core work, both abdominals and lower back. In my experience, many folks’ attempts at “tune ups” involve too much too soon. A better exercise goal is to design a program that is manageable, sustainable and changes every four weeks to ensure that the body does not become too accustomed to the work and plateau.
Depending on the intensity of workouts, the American Heart Association advises working out for at least 30 mins, 5 days per week. Remember though, the greater the intensity, the shorter the required duration and frequency per week. Understanding typical busy working-adult lives, I usually advise that clients workout at least three times per week emphasizing different modalities each day (resistance, stretching, cardio) to keep the body fresh and mind engaged.
Why, besides “looking good,” is exercise important?
Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, more than all cancers combined, and it is both preventable and reversible through commitment to exercise and healthy diet. For many, this means simply engaging in aerobic activities like walking and jogging. Resistance training is often neglected but it should be brought to the forefront, especially for women as they often suffer from bone density issues as well. Also, training fast twitch muscle fibers will help people be more reactive in daily life — avoiding falls, being more responsive, etc.
What’s more exciting is the fact that physicality stimulates drive, innovation and creativity! This is especially important in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive society. Sure, the black dress or tailored blazer may fit better but being more connected with one’s body is the true measure of success and a gift to oneself.
What can you do to start your fitness reboot, right now?
The awesome thing about exercise that many people forget is that is doesn’t have to be punishment! In fact, it can involve play and even fun. Dancing, playing with your kids in the backyard, frolicking with your pet at the dog park, joining a recreational kickball league, planning a “heart hour” with friends. What’s more, exercise bouts add up! What does this mean? Interstitial moments of physical activity during a busy day add up and create the same value as sustained workouts. 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, 12 minutes later!
I encourage clients to curate their own workouts in nontraditional places and with non-traditional exercise equipment when they can’t make it to the gym. Often times these workouts don’t require any equipment and minimal space is needed. At work, setting an alarm for every hour and standing up from the desk to do 15 squats and arm circles. In the kitchen, doing overhead presses with the fruit bowl (Kitchen Workout), while tackling mountains of laundry using the dryers edge as a push-up platform (Laundromat Workout) and even while commuting to work in the city center (Subway Workout).
Finally, I recommend note taking and data analysis. What did you eat — snap a photo with your smart device. You know that you were planning to post on instagram anyway! Keep record of your workouts in a notebook or with tracking software. Analytics will keep you on track, help with goal setting strategies and prove that the commitment to self was worth it!Turn up and Tune up, Andia
My journey to one of the biggest fitness meccas in the world was not direct by any means. Before New York City, I lived in Lake Placid, NY at the Olympic Training Center as a USA Bobsled & Skeleton Federation athlete training in preparation for the Winter Olympic Games. The frigid tundra was about as extreme as those sliding sports and seemingly worlds away from the scorching summer deserts of Arizona where I had become a Professional Golfer years prior. My later-than-normal exposure to the world of professional Track & Field is the athletic tape that holds this story together.
Even before I settled in Arizona, I lived in Orlando, Florida and had the most extreme fortune of cross-training with Jesse Owens Olympic Hall of Fame Coach Brooks Johnson and his team of Olympic and World Champions. Our time together —his analytical coaching, directed mentorship and the elite examples set by my training partners— served to solidify my understanding and love for the marriage of sport, science and athletic performance. I didn’t know then that my speed and sprinting skill would years down the road secure an invitation to join America’s best and fastest in the snow and on the ice.
What does sprinting and speed have to do with golf? Everything. Kinetic sequencing, conservation of angular momentum, maximum velocity. This list continues until acted on by an outside and superior force! All Sir Isaac Newton jokes aside, form and rhythm —the proper sequence of events— is what sets apart the winningest golfers and sprinters alike. The awareness of body, breathing and centeredness can’t be overlooked either; though the former aren’t as sexy as the importance of strong glutes and sound core so desired by athletes and non-athletes alike.
In golf, we strive to create torque. It’s that rotational spring effect created when one’s torso (think core: abdominals and lower back) is disassociated (turns away) from a quiet, and strong, lower body (hips) on the backswing. This is how golfers generate power. In the same way, sprinters generate power and propulsion by means of their hips stability (axis) and legs (radius) speed. Everything comes full circle in the creation of speed and the application of force. Beyond understanding the underlying science and technical skill required for athletic performance, it’s important to acknowledge what else makes elite and professional athletes perform at such high levels.
Tips to train like a pro athlete:
1/ Program Design.
Periodization, for optimum in-season or pre-event performance. Believe it or not, most professional athletes don’t workout for the sake of working out. There is a science behind the timing and modality of the work that we do. Not everything is “all out” extreme strength work all of the time nor is everything is sport-specific.
2/ Support Team.
Sport-specific coaches, strength and conditioning trainers, massage therapists, physical therapists, nutritionists and sport psychologists can all assist in creating well balanced performers. They most-often communicate with each other in the best interest of the athlete.
What’s good? What skills need to be improved? A good notebook or digital tracking system can help an athlete record their programs, recall gains over time and reflect on the process of becoming greater than the season before.
4/ The Little Things.
Often neglected but integral to consistency: proper sleep, lack of stress, non-sport outlet(s), structure/organization, mental health.
5/ Diet and Hydration
Rather than think of what’s being cut out, think about what intake yields maximum performance. Also, depending on the sport, the timing of meals and post-event recovery strategies can prove game changing.
6/ Game Film.
Reviewing footage of games/races/tournaments and analyzing stats. There is no better way to organize improvement strategies. Analytics forever!
Check your ego before you step onto the sand. You may need for it to carry you home after the workout. -Christopher Grant
A resounding thank you to all participants of last week’s “Strength in the Sand” event sponsored by Under Armour at Chelsea Piers. Over 55 people turned out over two sessions to workout and to watch the festivities which celebrate #IWillWhatIWant, the international Under Armour Women campaign.
Headlined by the amazingly talented American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland, the campaign seeks to empower and inspire women, and men alike, to be active and engaged in their own bodies. This, as you may know, is a message near and dear to my heart and I’m honored to have been asked to be a part of the team. Stay tuned over the next months as I will be hosting Under Armour sponsored fitness events around New York City.
But that’s not all! Manhattan Beach Workout has been making quite a splash with press recently (yes, I went there). Check out our features by The New York Times, Well+Good and Self Magazine. I choreographed the class with the intention of helping athletes to re-establish the natural signature of the foot and to directly strengthen the foot/ankle complex. Not to mention strengthening the entirety of the leg, core and body. Low impact conditioning at it’s best, the workout varies, at times focusing on body-weight-only strategies while at others employing variable resistance equipment.
#ManhattanBeachWorkout sprints and drills in the sand –some disguised as games– made for a very fun, dynamic and challenging workout! -Shavaun Christian
Until the next time, get beached! Andia
The SXSW Interactive Festival is an amazing experience that you won’t soon forget. The following are cues to maximize your on-the-ground resources and minimize the “could have, would have, should have!” Adventure is near the beginning of the dictionary, and that is where this story will start too. Let’s look at it from a sports perspective.
- Prepare your game plan by downloading the official SXSW App for your mobile devices and peruse all scheduled offerings – both official and “un-official” events. Next, strategize which are “Must Attend,” “Maybe” and “Hey, I’m curious.” RSVP in advance for events, talks and parties if required. But remember, sometimes plans don’t pan out and opportunities that you hadn’t expected present themselves. Game-time decisions are for the bold, just do it!
- Organize your roster of teammates, coaches and subs. Are you traveling with a group? Set up “group text” to build a community around you and maximize intel. Make a list (or several) of people/businesses whom you want to meet and pre-schedule face-to-face time if possible. Take advantage of mentorship sessions offered by industry leaders and have your pitch and questions prepared. Follow Twitter handles and hashtags of folks and/or trends you’re interested in, you just might “street meet.”
- The “Go-Bag” is a must for organized players. In it, consider including: business cards, a Sharpie (permanent marker), and a Mophie self-charging cell phone case or mobile power station (you can bet the provided charging stations and outlets will have long lines). Always have at least 3 pens. You’ll lose one, you’ll let someone borrow another, and that will leave you with your one and only. A protein bar, —or a zip-lock bag full of almonds or other non-perishable protein foodstuffs— bottle of water and breath mints. Hand sanitzer — hopefully you’ll be shaking a lot of hands.
- Rest and recovery. You won’t get much when you touch down to Austin so organize your sleep schedule to include less hours per night. Start tonight.
- Comfortable trumps cute. But comfortable and dapper? You’re a winner, especially in the shoe department! Chuck Taylors are a go-to for many, just add an insole and you’ll be ready for action whether dressed up or down. Also, don’t forget your sweater or light jacket —the conference rooms are often air-conditioned.
- It’s been said that SXSW is the sum of serendipitous meetings. Compliment someone on their exquisitely tied Chucks, ask a friendly face what sessions they’re excited about, strike up conversations with strangers while waiting in line for lunch. There’s no danger there and it’s prime networking time. Remember, that’s just the point of Interactive and no one will find it awkward. Also, try to venture out on your own, you’ll meet friends as you go (plus yours will probably be late to scheduled meet-ups anyway) and you might encounter an awesome session or experience that you hadn’t intended. Snatch a flyer here or there too. If the company/party spent money on advertising, the promotion might just be worth it.
- Get in the zone, live in the present and if you don’t like it —leave it. If there is an event that you’ve had your eager eye on, you had better get there early. Don’t be late. Don’t be on time. Be early. Remember what your grandma said, she was right! The lines may astound many first timers. Then once you’re in a session, engage. Avoid the habit of thinking about what’s next or what could be better that you’re missing. Finally, if you need to take a time out in the form of leaving midway through an unfulfilling session or a taking an unscheduled nap, just take that knee and don’t chastise yourself later.
- Don’t get placed on Injured Reserve. Most likely you’ll be operating on little sleep, high salt, sugar and hops intake and suffering from “tech neck.” Do your body and brain a favor. Hydrate. Hydrate. And then hydrate some more. Try to get fresh air whenever possible, stand up, stretch and un-crane your neck at least once per hour. Also, try to walk to venues whenever possible. Often times lines for free rides and traffic will take longer anyhow.
- Unsportsmanlike conduct can take you out of the game. Get familiar, but don’t get too familiar. The parties and after-hours festivities are memorable but if you go too hard you’ll miss the wealth of day-time opportunity. Don’t forget that the camera is always watching and now more than ever. Folks will take great pleasure in posting your lowest moments to social media and watching them go viral overnight. Be mindful that you represent the company you work for and/or your own personal brand. Have fun? Of course! But don’t do anything that can’t be undone.
- Did you get the win? Not until you follow up post-conference. This means taking account of all that you saw and learned —review your notes and devise implementation strategies. But the human element will prove most important in your game stats accounting. Hopefully you collected business cards on which you wrote the date, time and place where you met the person, and a unique quip or conversation cue that will allow for a personalized email or tweet correspondence.
Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia
The Legacy Workout is dedicated to the memory of bodies of work. Of bodies at work. And at play. Of minds committed to mining greatness, to combating injustice, to insuring a future for future bodies, and minds. The Legacy Workout is dedicated to legacy makers past, present and future. The black body. The celestial body. The empowered human body, in motion.
This is not trivial. This is tribute. Each movement reflects a person, a people, or a point in time — an era. Because they dreamed us, because they dreamed of a better place for us -and for themselves- we owe them. We owe it to ourselves to do/be better. To be caretakers of our bodies without which we cannot persist; we cease to exist. Infinity is our limit. THIS, is the Legacy Workout. Visit: www.LegacyWorkout.com
Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia