Taking Control in a Crisis

I think taking control in a crisis goes back to what I wrote in here recently about prioritizing your essential activities and letting fall away everything that doesn’t reinforce your immediate goals.

While indoors you can as I’ve written plan out the goals you want to achieve once back outside like usual.

The financial toll can be hard to weather right now. I’m not a CFP so can’t give specific advice about finances.

What I can say is that while living indoors it might conversely be easier to achieve some goals that you had put off.

Maybe you wanted to live more frugally before the pandemic. This is a great opportunity to edit your spending and change your habits.

A friend told me that it could be common that people living through this crisis feel like we have no control over what’s happening.

I’ll end here by saying that each of us can only manage what’s within our control.

What’s outside of our control we need to let it be. To focus on what we can control.

To this end I’ve started up a new 90-day action plan using the Changeology 5-step method for achieving goals.

My long-term goal is to live in a 2-bedroom apartment. To use the second room as an art studio.

To do this I’m using the Danica Patrick tactic listed in her book Pretty Intense: I’m doing one healthy thing. Then I’ll do the next healthy thing.

Feeling like you have control can be as simple as yes compartmentalizing your weekly habits.

Focusing on the here-and-now reality can help you weather this crisis.

While keeping in the back of your mind your long-term goal.

Again I will refer readers to the other useful book: Atomic Habits.

Making small incremental consistent changes to our behavior can pay off.

I will report back in 3 months the outcome of my latest Changeology action plan.

Status of 3-Month Challenge – Update

Hmm _ forgot I scheduled this blog entry and wrote 2 entries with the same title 🙂

On January 14, 2020 in this blog I wrote about the 3-Month Challenge I wanted to achieve.

My goal was to cook my own dinner 4x per week and do a walk-run on the treadmill 1x per week.

On March 17, 2020 the gyms in New York City were forced to shut down along with the retail stores.

As far as my goal of cooking dinners 4x per week this has been achieved.

In the time of the pandemic and living indoors it has been easier to cook dinner nearly every night.

My concern is how the changed nature of living life during the pandemic had disrupted anyone who was using the Changeology 5-Step 90-Day Action Plan to realize our goals and resolutions.

In this extraordinary time each of us needs to act kinder and gentler towards ourselves and others.

I live with the belief that everyone living on earth is doing the best we can with what we were given in life.

No judgments–that is the way to move forward–to live with no judgments.

Before the pandemic hit I had started to use the treadmill. I continued to lift weights.

Now that everything has changed I understand what it feels like to have your life upended by a circumstance outside your control.

I will talk about this more in the next blog entry.

Status of 3-Month Challenge

In January I wrote here my 3-month challenge:

To cook my own dinners 4x per week. To do a walk-run on the treadmill 1x per week.

On March 17, 2020 the gyms in New York City shut down because of the coronavirus.

My goal of using the treadmill was put on hold. I had been using the treadmill before that.

Since January I have been cooking my own dinners. Since March 15 I have cooked my own dinners at least 5x per week.

Forced to stay indoors it has been the perfect time to cook my own dinners.

It’s healthier to cook your own dinners. That is it’s healthier to cook nutritious food.

Red meat and other meat should be avoided.

I have chicken once a week. A salmon filet twice a week. Scallops once a week when I’m able to get them. Tofu-and-broccoli once a week. Some kind of squash once a week. That gives me one free night. With this main dish I have some kinds of vegetable.

I don’t ordinarily eat a lot of whole grains. I have a container of full-fat Fage plain Greek yogurt with organic blueberries and some honey after I do a workout routine.

In the morning I scramble organic eggs and veggies for breakfast. For lunch I have a salad–I try to have a salad at least 4x per week–or 5x per week when I’m able.

For a snack every day I have organic fruit–berries or a banana or a Fuji apple or a pear when in season.

In the coming blog entries I will talk about the current research that proves what I’ve been writing  in here all along: the food you eat can improve your mood.

For more on this you can buy the TIME special edition magazine The Science of Nutrition.

Chris’s Workout #4

Upper Body:

Body Bar Frontal Raise to Upright Row

Dumbbell Bent Over Wide Row

Resistance Band Bicep Curls

Triceps Dips Off Box – use sturdy dining table chair

Bicycles – do slowly

Shoulder Taps

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Lower Body:

Sit to Stands Off Box with Dumbbell – dumbbells at shoulder – can do off side of coffee table

Squat Jacks – body weight exercise

Dumbbell Donkey Kicks

Dumbbell Fire Hydrants

Toe Touches – Legs stay up

Toe Taps – can be done with your toes only – you don’t need a Bosu Ball

Chris’s Workout #3

My old trainer who left the gym used to write out an Upper Body and Lower Body routine to alternate each week. Four sets of four exercises were listed on each workout sheet. I alternated the first two sets of the Upper Body with the first two sets of the Lower Body. Then six weeks later I alternated the last two sets of each sheet.

Remember: you have to change up the exercises you do after every four weeks or so. To challenge your muscle. To keep yourself motivated. To see the maximum benefits.

Here’s Workout #3:

Upper Body:

Push-Ups [try decline push-ups off a coffee table]

Dumbbell Russian Twists

Dumbbell Flyes to Shoulder Press

Kettlebell or Dumbbell 1-arm row off box – can be coffee table

Mountain Climbers

Jumping Jacks

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Lower Body:

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Goblet Pulse Squats

1-leg Dumbbell Box Step-Up [try a Step-Up to Reverse Lunge] – use platform with risers

Dumbbell Walking Lunges

Leg Raises on the Floor

Plank Jacks

 

Chris’s Workout #2

Upper Body:

Briefcase Row

Elevated Push-Ups [do regular push-ups when elevated are too hard]

Kneeling Dumbbell Curls

Band Bent-Over Triceps Extension

Dumbbell Alternating Lateral and Frontal Raises

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30 Second Jumping Jacks +

Ab Leg Tucks [keep legs elevated]

Medicine Ball Squat to Throw

 

Lower Body:

Dumbbell Squat with Dumbbells Held Off to Side

Dumbbell Bridge

Band Romanian Dead Lift

Disk Slider Hamstring Pulls

Dumbbell Calf Raises [on platform]

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30 Second Butt Kicks +

Ab Crunches

Jump Side-to-Side [16 jumps total] +

Russian Twists with Feet Elevated

 

How to Do the At-Home Exercises

I don’t list the number of sets or reps. It’s up to you what you want to do.

It’s strange and true that I’m a woman and I’m obssessed with having muscle.

I would like to swat with a pocketbook every female person who is afraid to lift weights because they tell you they’ll bulk up.

Those people will make any excuse not to exercise. Then they’ll go to the supermarket to buy a 6-pack of Slim Fast to try to lose weight.

Losing weight should not be the goal you have for exercising.

Ask yourself: Why do you want to lose weight?

To feel strong and powerful. To be able to carry home bags from the market.

These are better indicators than “I want to weigh 127 pounds”–some mythical number you’ve decided you must weigh to be happy.

A person should exercise to feel good. Period. End of story. A research study revealed that women who lifted weights felt better even when they hadn’t lost weight.

So there. My personal trainers over the years have offered this advice I give to you today:

Base the number of sets and reps on how much time you have that day to work out.

Doing a shorter routine is better than not doing a routine at all.

Use foam roller to stretch before and after the workout session. Warm up before and cool down after.

Incorporate HIIT into your exercise. Perform High Intensity Interval Training. Not too easy and not too hard.

You shouldn’t be able to have a conversation with no trouble while you’re exercising. You should need to exert effort to speak to get the benefit of HIIT training from your exercise.

Have a recovery snack after the workout routine. I have a container of Fage plain Greek yogurt the full-fat kind. I mix in organic blueberries and swirl in raw honey in the yogurt.

Strange and true too is that I prefer to do fewer reps and lift heavier weights. Instead of doing more reps with lower weights.

I kid you not I’m obsessed with how cut my biceps are.

 

Chris’s Workout #1

You can watch YouTube videos to see the correct form.

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Upper Body:

Band Chest Press

Kettlebell Row

Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension

Band Bicep Curl

Kettlebell Upright Row for Shoulder

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Medicine Ball Slams – 16 Slams +

Band Core Rotation [Use the leg of a dining table should yours be secure]

30-Second Fast-Paced Step-Ups – I have a platform with two risers for each side +

Alternating Leg Raises Slow – 3 Sets

 

Lower Body:

Dumbbell Sumo Squat

Kettlebell Swings

Dumbbell Single-Leg Romanian Dead Lift

Farmer’s Walk with Romanian Dead Lift

Calf Raises

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30 Seconds Jumping Jacks +

Plank Tucks

30 Seconds High Knees in Place +

Alternating V-Ups

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

I want to talk about getting fit and active while living indoors.

In the time of living through the pandemic the health of my body has become my number-one priority.

Good to Know:

On the Dick’s Sporting Goods website you can buy real-deal dumbbells. Refrain from buying the Made in China dumbbells sold on Amazon.com.

My 15 pound dumbbell set was delivered in only 3 days from Dick’s. The total cost was $55 dollars.

I’ve decided to post here some of the workout log exercises my personal trainers have given me to do in the last 2 years.

For one year so far I’ve lifted weights at home on my hardwood floor for 25 to 40 minutes total in each session. For mostly 2X/per week.

I only go to the gym to run on the treadmill.

My trainer at the gym creates a 2-section routine for me to use. Upper body and Lower body exercises that alternate with each other on different days.

I complete 12 sessions of the current routine. Then the trainer creates a new routine for me. And so on. And so on.

Doing this I have been fortunate to remain fit if not active living through the pandemic.

Faced with the option of talking a long walk outside [it was sunny and warm!] having to gasp for air under a bandanna I chose to life weights indoors.

In the coming blog entries I’ll give some of the exercises.