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Steve’s Blog

Pretty much just stuff going on in my strange life….


Physical Fitness

Written on February 22, 2012

Several people have expressed interest in my personal exercise routine, so I decided to write a short article about it. I am not a fitness expert, this is only what has worked best for me so far. Your results may vary. Please be mindful of your limits to avoid injury. With that said, I hope you will get as much out of this routine as I have.

Diet

I totally amazed myself with the results diet can make. However, using my diet to improve my fitness was totally serendipitous. I’ll explain…

I break out with pimples any time I consume wheat products. (bread, pasta, pizza, cake, cookies, etc.) So, I started avoiding any foods containing wheat. I also avoid dairy products (ice cream, whipped cream, etc.) because they also contribute to my breakouts. It’s too bad really, because I love those foods. Anyway…

The breakouts stopped, but something else happened as well…

I lost about 20-25 pounds in one month, without any exercise. Yes, without exercise!

That was a cool side effect! Since I started noticing more of my muscle definition, I was encouraged to start actually working out again.

I also eat lots of vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, seafood, and some meats. (Not too much meat, it makes me sluggish.) I also eat rice, eggs, and anything else gluten/wheat/dairy free.

Push ups

Ah, the classic push up. It used to be one the hardest exercises for me, but this time I persisted in doing them regularly. My body soon adapted well to them. But then I started doing these so much that I caused myself some minor lower back discomfort, so…

Planks and side planks

I was neglecting my core muscles. So I did a bit of research, and discovered that planks were great for core strengthening. I’ve been doing these for a while, and I no longer have any lower back discomfort.

Wrestler’s neck bridges

Obviously, I’m no wrestler. I started doing this exercise to strengthen my neck muscles in hopes of eliminating some minor (but chronic) upper back/neck pain. To my surprise, bridges worked wonders. Be careful with this one though, it can cause serious injury if done improperly…

Dips

In addition to push ups for chest strengthening, I decided to add dips as well. These have really increased my overall upper body strength. I use an “Ultimate Body Press dip bar” (http://www.ultimatebodypress.com/) for my dips.

Jump rope (without a rope)

I’ve always heard that jumping rope is a very intense workout, good for strengthening the heart, and great for burning fat, and I thought, why not try it? I never learned how to jump rope as a kid, and I’m pretty clumsy with one now. After tripping on the rope multiple times, I decided to just mimic the motions of jumping rope without using a rope. It works quite well for me, as it’s one of the exercises that can actually make me break a sweat. I try to do this every day for at least ten minutes straight.

One of these days, I will actually teach myself to jump an actual rope.

Weight vest

I originally got the idea of wearing a weighted vest from watching the animated series Dragon Ball Z. Goku (the protagonist) usually wore a weighted shirt for his martial arts training. Now how cool is that? I had to have something similar…

The vest can intensify your normal workout, or you can wear it during your normal daily activities. (I usually do the latter.) I use and recommend the “Smartvest” (http://www.smartvest.net/) as it fits close to the body and can be worn under your clothing, and I haven’t seen any other product like it.

Taking advantage of random exercise opportunities

Like the stairs in the subway, or an uphill sidewalk. Running for a train or bus is good as well, but it can be extremely frustrating if you end up missing it. (I don’t usually like to run for transit…) I love using the subway stairs at Roosevelt Island and at 53rd Street/ Lexington Avenue, it gets my heart going. But that’s just me. Do what’s best for you!

Work out safely!

Filed in: Self Improvement.

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