Exercise Motivation Tips

Years ago in the New York Times a star track-and-field athlete wrote an article.

She talked about how doing a shorter exercise routine that was less intense gave her better results.

After altering the intensity of my own workouts I can tell you this athlete was right:

I have the bulging biceps to prove that changing the frequency and intensity of your exercise sessions can make all the difference.

I’ve changed to lifting weights for 35 to 40 minutes with a 5 minute warm-up and 5 minute cool-down. For a total of 40 to 45 minutes each session.

You might find better luck with a different exercise plan. However so far this has worked like a charm for me.

Changing the Frequency Intensity or Time of your workouts can help.

As well I remember that sometimes you have to do what’s called a “de-load”: take it easy in the first session of a new routine.

I’m 8 years older than when I first started lifting weights.

Adapting as you go along can help you maintain an exercise habit for the long-term.



Having an Emergency Fund

The greatest thing working to your financial advantage is this:

When you collect SSI or SSDI there’s no rush to get a job. There’s no reason to take any old job that comes along first.

This is because you already have income coming in in the form of SSI or SSDI.

While you collect these government benefits you can read the information I’ve given in the blog entries in the Career category of this blog.

See if any of what I’ve written makes sense to you as being a viable strategy for finding your dream job.

The government allows people who collect these benefits to have something like $3,000 total in a savings account and what’s called a burial account.

Having this money in an FDIC-insured bank account can be your first version of an emergency fund.

Once years ago when I did a public speaking engagement a person didn’t know what an emergency fund was. They thought that someone else gave you this money.

When they asked me: “Who gives you an emergency fund? Where does the money come from?” I was stunned.

Stunned because the person looked like they were older than I was.

Your car needs a new muffler. You go into a hospital for an operation. You lose your job. You have to move into a new apartment.

An emergency fund gives you the ready cash to pay for these things when they happen.

Though I’m no fan of Suze Orman (in one of her DVDs she reduced an audience member to tears) I agree with her on this advice:

Saving up 8 months of living expenses in your emergency fund makes the best sense.

In New York, Los Angeles, even in Boston and other high-cost cities:

If you live in one of these places I say: have at least $20,000 saved in your emergency fund.

In fact, if you ask me you should have tons of money in an emergency fund.

I don’t go by the common advice to have only 3 to 6 months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund.

The higher this amount of money is the better.

In the coming Money Monday blog entry I’m going to talk about having an:

It’s My Money and I’ll Do What I Want With It Fund.

Karen Ramsay was the original financial planner who wrote a book decades ago about budgeting in money to fund your passions in life.

More on this coming up.

How Much Exercise You Need

A shrink told me that the current thinking corroborates that engaging in short periods of exercise throughout the week is definitely okay.

I’m 54–I’ve been lifting weights for over 8 years so far. I find that my older body cannot sustain my former madwoman intense 50 to 60 minute lifting sessions 2x per week anymore.

The health coach I employed vetted what I thought myself months ago: it’s time to exercise in more frequent sessions of shorter duration.

The spring issue of the NIH MedlinePlus magazine gives these exercise guidelines:

Adults and older adults: 2 to 5 hours per week.

Adults with chronic conditions or disabilities: 2 to 5 hours per week as able.

Pregnant women: 2 hours and 30 minutes per week as able.

Kids: 1 hour per day.

Young children: 3 hours per day.

I’m 8 years older than when I first started lifting weights.

I’ve learned firsthand that you need to adapt as you go along. To be flexible to changing when your needs change. To honor your limits in any given session and modify your approach for that day.

The benefits of exercise are numerous. To be blunt: You’ll feel better when you exercise.

My father died of Stage 3 colon cancer that spread to his liver.

He spent 3 hours a day watching FoxNews. Regardless of his choice of state news channel the fact is he was sitting around doing nothing all day when he was older.

Please–I urge you–step away from the TV and break a sweat.

It can be gardening, raking leaves, walking your dog, salsa dancing.

I will report back in 2 weeks the outcome in my life of exercising more frequently in shorter time sessions.

My goal is to give people hope that engaging in any form of moderate sustained physical activity is well worth the effort.

Getting Support for Your Goals

The one small act of scrambling eggs and veggies for breakfast has whirled into action other goals in a snowball roll.

The health coach services end in two weeks. This 2-month health coach service was well worth the money.

This is why I tell readers to get the support you need to plan and prepare for the new goals you want to take on.

One of my ideas is to go back to school for a writing degree.

It can be scary to make changes even though the changes might be positive.

That’s why I say: create a support team of individuals you can talk with.

Lastly: to remember that with health you have everything you need.

What I write I would like to educate, empower, and entertain readers.

To give followers the idea that it’s not as hard as you think to make changes.

I’ve been scrambling culinary sunshine for 6 weeks so far.

I say Go for It: risk change.

You don’t know until you try what’s possible.

Saying Goodbye to SSI or SSDI

Disclaimer: I understand that a lot of people can’t hold a job and need to collect SSI or SSDI.

Yet even in this scenario the definition of a “job” can be expanded to doing volunteer work or singing in a choir or playing guitar in a band. Doing whatever gives you joy.

On the other hand:

It’s possible to go down the path of finding the job you love, earning a livable salary from it, and renting or owning your own home.

Last week I had an experience that illuminated a hidden truth.

People with disabilities are told we’re “courageous” for battling what goes on.

The truth would be harder for the able-ist folk to understand:

A lot of people with disabilities simply think that what we want to do is possible.

We expect that we can get out of life the things we want. Just like non-disabled people.

Faced with naysayers who tell us these things can’t be done:

We plot and plan how to get what we know it’s our right to have.

I have met a person who I like to think thought: “Why can’t I?”

You and I and everyone facing a challenge shouldn’t be deterred.

One person who wasn’t deterred I have had the honor and privilege of meeting.

This was a person who wanted to get a professional job even though they used a service dog. And they got their dream job. The dog goes with them to meetings.

You and I and everyone should be thinking: “What if?” and “Why not?”

As a fortune cookie stated:

The best angle from which to approach a problem is the TRYangle.

SSDI gives a person a 9-month Trial Work Period (TWP) during which you can still collect government benefits.

SSI benefits are reduced by a dollar for every dollar you earn.

Collecting government benefits and holding a job is sometimes possible too.

My stance is that I’m rooting for those of us who want to get a job they’d love doing.

The reality that a person can use their service dog on a job is the greatest inspiration.

In the coming Money Monday blog entry I’m going to talk about building up a cushion of cash that will enable you to take the leap into finding your dream job.

Having this emergency fund will help you weather any financial disasters that happen when you’re employed.


Egged On

Succeeding at one fitness goal empowers you to make other changes.

I’ve been scrambling eggs for breakfast for 4 week in a row so far.

For two days this week wasn’t possible.

Remembering that setbacks are to be expected you can cut yourself a break when you fall down every so often in doing what you’re trying to do.

I egged myself on (pun intended) to embark on setting another goal.

I find that trying to achieving one goal at a time is the method for not giving up.

Having too many goals  you expect to get at the same time will backfire.

My goal is to use the Changeology book to execute the 90-day plan of having eggs for breakfast and salads for lunch.

I’ll end here by telling readers that the Changeology book website is flawed. I’d like to use their contact form to tell them to post a list of FAQs with answers for every reader.

In fact the team at the website will not respond to you individually even though they say they will.

I’ve had a number of questions: is it okay if it takes longer than 90 days to achieve your goal? If it takes longer does this mean your goal won’t stick for the long-term?

What if you want to change an aspect of your original goal so that it’s easier to achieve it?

These questions have not been answered.

In the next Fitness Fridays blog entry I will talk more about getting support–from an actual expert like a health coach, and from friends and family,  and peers and others.

It might cost a bundle to hire a health coach yet doing this can be a great use of any extra money you have.

Your health coach can empower to make these changes.

I found out that the simple act of changing what I ate for breakfast activated my desire to make other changes.

It starts by reaching out for support. And this doesn’t have to cost a dime all the time.

Checking a book out of the library on the topic or talking with a person who’s been down this road before: it’s all good–and it’s free.

Using An EAP – Employee Assistance Program

A lot of readers might not know that when you work at a job you might have support options in place within the company you work for.

This is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that some businesses offer. There is no cost to talk to an EAP counselor.

For any kind of stress at work or home that is impacting your success on the job the EAP counselor can help you with resources at your disposal.

In 1991 at my first job I talked to an EAP counselor for one session or possibly it was for two sessions.

The point is that challenges on the job can be managed better with the available EAP support you might have.

In the coming blog entries I’m going to talk about different kinds of jobs.