You are a living machine, requiring daily maintenance.
This site is for those wanting to improve overall health and fitness but don’t know how to begin.
We are all pressed for time. You don’t have to wait for the perfect schedule to take care of your health and fitness. Learn how to incorporate it into your day, right now. Learn how to take control of your well-being with the time that you do have.
Gosh so much has changed in the world since I started writing this blog in 2011. Having no idea where it would lead, I began developing this site. My objective was to encourage a practice of daily mindful physical movement and body awareness for everyone. Little did I know, chronic illness had been taking a firm hold on me and would grip me in its talons for a decade of Chronic Fatigue from CIRS.
At the time I had just spent months experimenting with High Intensity Interval Training and thought it was fantastic. Exploring further, what I found so meaningful was not the High Intensity part but rather the short intervals. Training in this way helped me to dismiss the old concept of long duration for health and fitness. By 2013, I stopped doing HIIT and converted my daily body maintenance practice into a very short morning stretching routine, followed by 30 minutes of swim drills and stretching (3 times per week), on other days I would go for a brisk walk in the woods for about the same amount of time, followed by an evening, before bed short stretching routine – always with the emphasis on body alignment. During the day I naturally kept active but like everyone else (it seems), I spent a lot of time driving and sitting or standing in front of a computer screen. But what I carried away from HIIT was the concept and self-discipline to actually take charge of time. TIME! So simple but so difficult to master. What I was able to achieve in the cumulative 20 second intervals actually changed and shaped my body and health in a way that I would not have imagined had I not experimented for myself. So I carried that concept forward into everyday, mundane chores. I learned to be idle no more (well, not all the time!). HIIT taught me how to become more effective and efficient with time, whether I catch a stretch here or there, tidy the house, send an email, read a few pages, etc. and know that it really does add up. Not to be confused with multi-tasking…The cumulative effect is huge and meaningful and worth the seconds of time.
All the while I was training and getting stronger, simultaneously my body was breaking down on me. Was I just simply aging ahead of my peers? Or burning the candle at both ends? Were my little workouts too much for me, even though I was doing less than I had in the past? I know now, had I been saturating myself with minerals my body might have had a fighting chance. Minerals ARE the fountain of youth. Some fountains (water and soil sources) have excellent quantities of minerals while others are very depleted and often polluted. From my experience, no amount of exercise, massage, physio or surgery will correct chronic pain. The source of our pain is in the imbalance of what’s going on inside our cells. It explains why some people can be exposed to toxins and thrive while others deteriorate and collect diseases. It’s not about bucking up and pushing through the traumas of life but the reality that our planet is sick and most of us are as a result.
With an efficient and effective practice of daily body maintenance each day you can achieve improved health and fitness. You can read my bio here to learn how I arrived at this point.
Use this information to help get yourself started on a simple daily body maintenance program.
- Use your own body-weight for resistance to build the functional strength you need… Body Alignment Matters. I’ve been playing around with Elements program through GMB Fitness.
- Learn stretching routines that support your functional strength.
- Stretching musculature and connective tissue is essential to maintaining balanced functional movement of the skeletal structure. Too much focus on the tightening and toning of the body’s musculature can lead to injury.
- Rest & Recovery is equally important to athletic & functional performance, as is the actual strength & conditioning component. Don’t over-train.
- Learn the importance of having regular professional tune-ups by a Registered Massage Therapist, Osteopath, Rolfer or Physiotherapist.
- Practice Meditation daily. I practice Primordial Sound Meditation which I learned through Deepak Chopra’s online Meditation Enrichment education program.
- Saturate your body with essential minerals and nutrients.
- Eat organic non-polluted food, and drink filtered re-mineralized water.
- Detox your body by sweating out toxins with an Infrared Sauna
- Try Red Light Therapy
- Let sunshine get on your body without slathering on sunscreen. Early morning exposure for short periods of time is safer than high noon hours (10-3pm when the sun is at it’s strongest). Don’t burn your skin. Try the SOLIUS which is a UVB Light Therapy, which offers the benefits of the Sun (stimulating Vitamin D) without the harmful rays.
- Start your day with a 4 Minute Morning – everyday…for the rest of your life!
- Learn and practice the progressions from the 4 Minute Morning series. I do Week 3 – DAY 7 every day. I think of it as my health & fitness insurance should some event in the day derail my exercise or sport plans. But I am learning to maximize even the remote seconds in the day to take care of myself. There is no excuse not to take action, just the lack of knowing how. We all have to start somewhere.
- But before I even step out of bed, each morning I start my day with some gentle stretching in bed. This is the first video of a series: Bed Stretches #1
- Recognize which whole natural foods fuel your body, which in turn will optimize performance and provide the body with usable nutrients. Don’t overeat the same foods. Variety is important. Get food sensitivity testing done if you’re having gut or other health issues.
- Recognize what good hydration feels like and practice consuming adequate amounts of water.
- Learn how your body works in the Anatomy 101 section or through Katy Bowen’s Restorative Exercise Institute.
- Learn how stretching intervals throughout the day can improve your well being.
- Accept that previously conceived ideas around health and fitness have changed and that what may work for some may not be what is right for ALL. Each of us is an experiment of ONE…
“If what you are doing
doing more of it
won’t work any better.”
– Alan Cohen
My intention is to teach you what you need to know
to become accountable
for your own health, fitness and wellbeing.
“Give a Man a Fish,
Feed Him For a Day.
Teach a Man to Fish,
Feed Him For a Lifetime”
I help you to help yourself
be fit and healthy.
To View My Daily Workouts & Activity Follow My Twitter Page
To read my articles: Visit my Blog
Visit my sister site You As A Cook
Updated HOME page
January 23, 2015May 2022
I started doing the 4 minute mornings about 2 weeks ago. My ankle started slowly hurting so I stopped. It’s gotten worse and worse over the past 5-6 days. Just curious if anyone else has had this reaction. It may have been the high knees that strained something in my ankle but I’ve never had anything like this happen before. Kinda bummed cause I can’t go on morning walks now 🙁
Sorry to hear about your ankle. I hope you are feeling better now.
It’s certainly not uncommon for people to experience aches and pains and/ or unusual sensations in the body when exploring new movements. Most people are very disconnected from their own anatomy and thus fall victim to their own faulty movement patterns. Physcial movement should be natural, and unfortunately how most moderns move for exercise is very unnatural. The 4 minute mornings are a basic generic way to introduce a morning habit of physical movement. These particular movements may not be right for you especially if your feet and knees are not tracking properly. If you are game to understand your body I would advise you to keep exploring movement and pick up some anatomy books. You are your best teacher; however, we all need a variety of teachers to help us along the way.
I am in a constant state of learning and correcting faulty patterns from my life 🙂
Currently, I’m developing a style of stretching through continuous movement (and so it is beneficial to the body in more ways than one), with which I am having quite interesting results. I hope to share it through video at some point soon.
I don’t condone mindless movement for the sake of “burning calories” or for a set duration. The goal of movement is to lubricate the joints, realign the bones, encourage circulation in blood flow and lymphatic drainage etc. And ideally, for a lifetime.
Kat, it is so wonderful to have found you on cyberspace and see that after all these years you are still providing a sound message of health and fitness! It was 1997 when I spent a year with you on private pilates lessons on 4th Avenue and here I am 18 years later embarking on my own journey to finally become a Pilates Teacher in Los Angeles. We talked about teacher training back then but it was not to be at that time. Sending you much love and big hugs !!! Would love to catch up!
It was so great to meet you today with your daughter hiking the Grind. You look amazing. I love your website, good job, keep up the amazing work. Below is my itscooltobefit.com website and my business is smoodrealestate.com Cheers, I hope to see you on the Grind again soon.
Hi Donna, very nice to meet you and Roger on the Grind today. It was Dot’s first time and we finished together at 64 minutes. I look forward to looking through your site; how wonderful that you can be a source of change and a guide for leading a healthy lifestyle for others in your field and everywhere. We are not regulars on the Grind, just the occasional but now that my son seems to be a natural and wants to continue to beat his personal best (40 minutes today!) we may be visiting more often 🙂
You think you came to us for organic beans but in reality I called for you to bring me to the information on this site – no, no thanks you!!!
It was very nice meeting you and Chef Carson. We enjoyed our dinner with you. We will be sure to stop by on our next visit to Bouctouche, NB.
Thank you for writing which is quite good and best wishes always, and greetings
Here is something that has helped me in the last week to focus on losing weight and eating better.
I traded my mechanical spring step on scales for one of the new digital BMI type scales.
Now all that I need to refer to is the mental image in my mind of the body weight reading from the morning.
Knowing that the scale is accurate to 0.1 kg makes me think that I can be 0.1 kg less on the next weigh in..
Such a small point that seems to be helping me. I hope that it might help others as well.
Just having that mental image of the scale reading from the morning helps me to think every time that I am tempted to mindlessly stuff something in my mouth.
That’s great that you have got a device that is motivating for you. Your comment comes at the perfect time! My husband just brought home a digital scale the day before you left this message. As a couple, we have never owned a scale, ever! There was one in my childhood home, my dad stepped on the scale every day! As a kid I loved stepping on the scale, but as I got older and worked in the fitness field, I felt less and less desire to weigh myself. As a result the only time I would know my weight would be at my annual physical.
So, ironically, when my husband brought home this scale, all of us, kids included got a kick about trying it out. You might wonder WHY after all these years he might bring a scale into the house? He was taking the kids downhill skiing and needed to know their weight to adjust their bindings.
Anyhow, long story short…I experimented with the scale. I wonder how much I weight right when I get out of bed? How much will I weigh after I empty my bladder? You can see where this is going? How much will I wight after dinner, and so on?
The result? My weight fluctuated between 2-5 pounds, depending how much clothes I had on or not and how much was going on internally.
It all made me laugh, and so when I read your comment about being able to detect your weight to the nearest decimal, I hope that you are taking into consideration all the possible fluctuations so that you won’t be unfairly disappointed should your decimal go up a point. 🙂 🙂
(Side note: My husband is returning the scale, they had a fifteen day return policy).
I see your point about the scales.
But for me, I keep it simple and weigh myself at the same time when I get up in the morning after completing my morning ablutions.
Even though there are still swings and roundabouts, at the end of the week I am able to reach my goal of losing 1 Kg a week.
That mental image of the scales from the morning weigh in seem to be a bigger help to me than other approaches I have tried in the past.
All the best for the New Year.
I figured you would be probably weigh in at the same time each time. Being consistent is a big part of the equation and you’ve got that going for you.
Here is a quote for you that I have been rolling over in my mind daily for the last few weeks.
“We must practice in a way that removes the barrier between practice and non-practice.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Happy New Year to you too. Keep well and keep me posted on your progress. Cheers! 🙂
Free to good home – enigmatic digital scales to measure weight, % fat, hydration level, bmi and other mysterious things. Be amazed by weighing yourself (103.5) and then have a shower and come back five minutes later and weigh yourself again (103.1 kg). Amazing? Did you really have 0.4 kg of dirt and grime on you?
Experience a new range of emotions when you have a bad day food wise and then lose 0.5 kg and the oposite happens when you have a good food/exercise day and gain 1 kg.
Alternaatively, I may apply my sledge hammer to the scales out of sheer frustration.
The only good news is that at least the general trend is downwards.
This is so true- and very funny! I think the old fashioned dial scales cause less frustration.
I am really becoming obsessed with the variation in digital scale reading. This has led me to metally outline a bit of a story involving me and the sales rep as he makes up new terms to explain the variation in weight readings so that he does not have to return my money. New words come to mind like juicification (current flow through your body and the scales), sunspots interrupting the scale’s wifi connection to the Cloud, and a few more.
But this is not really the appropriate place to indulge this burst of writing creativity.
So I’ll wind up by saying that i have lost my target weight for this month of 1 kg a week.
And another thank you for you and your website helping to keep me motivated and on track.
Thanks for this, Bill.
I think your creative writing gave me the biggest smile of the day!
It was pure coincidence to stumble upon the picture that is a perfect illustration of your views on TV and mass media just the next day you submitted your post. And a great opportunity to say ‘Thank you’ and express my huge gratitude for your efforts and excellent outcome.
Your website IS UNIQUE! There are lots of WODs and fitness/bodyweight tutorials out there, but vast majority of them are for people who ARE quite (or very) FIT ALREADY and they are not suitable for an average (often overweight) office worker who managed to lose their fitness and is now looking for a way to re-gain it and get their body back on track.
You As a Machine perfectly fits into that spot – simple as that and no doubt about it!
Every journey starts with a single step, doesn’t it?
I wish very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, your loved ones and anyone who reads this post!
I really appreciate your comment. My intention is to help people to help themselves, because, I believe that it is the only way to effect change. Thank you so much Andrzej! Happy & Safe Holidays to you too.
We are what we Eat.. and we are what we THINK!..
Wishing you well, but you seem to have that well under control 🙂
I appreciate the well wishes, since as you know (all kidding aside) all any of us can do is, to do our best with what we’ve got; keep learning, searching & exploring. The truth is we don’t have control, but we do have choice.
I couldnt agree with you more… We ALL of us have Choice…. let hope we choose wisely 🙂 xoxox
I wanted to thank you for the thoughtful, and useful blog. I’m a new father and struggling with a truly tragic decline in activity and fitness (although thankfully not a big increase in weight) over the past 5 months.
Your incorporation of simple physical improvement into daily life has been a real help in getting me started on the road back to managing my responsibilities without neglecting my own body’s needs.
Congratulations on being a new father; it’s wonderful and shocking all at the same time 🙂 The lack of sleep and joy all mixed together…Enjoy!
I’m so glad that these simple ideas have been useful for you. Your choice of words so eloquently expressed so much in three sentences. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. It always puts a smile on my face to hear from people like you!
I just wanted to say how grateful I am for your site.
Last year I had two cardiac ablation procedures for ventricular tachycardia. I wasn’t excercising much except for taking care of my horse and keeping him fit (minimal riding) because the tachycardia was rather frightening at times and my body wasn’t getting enough oxygen as a result of it.
I’m happy to say that I am quite well now with only the odd episode!! A friend of mind who body rocks sent me the link to your site and I began with the 4 minute mornings. I’m still doing them (2 months) and feeling great.
I”m not able to do any of the jumping exercises because I have quite a lot of degeneration in my low back and that pounding is contraindicated (and hurts like heck the next day) so instead I’m adding to your exercises to the point now where I’m doing about 16 minutes of the week 3.
I would like to replace the bend down stand up on toes with something to switch it up a bit. Could you recommend a new squat or lunge or something? I’ve started with the wall push ups which is great to add some upper body toning/strength.
Any other suggestions you have for me would be so appreciated.
ps I lost 3.5 inches in the first 3 weeks of doing these 4-5 times a week!
What an impressive turn around! Congratulations on making these changes, how exciting!
I have a new video coming out soon to show the modified sun salutation that I do each morning. It may be what you are looking for to change things up a bit (or not). I hope to have it uploaded in the next week. In the meantime I will give your question some more thought and see what comes to mind.
Thank you kindly for leaving this update on your condition. Continue to refine what you are doing with precision. There is a tendency to want to add on, and we should but equally important to continue to refine the exercises that are familiar. There are many nuggets of information within each phase of movement that can easily be overlooked when we pursue a goal. Practice being present and in the now of each nano-movement, as it is those nano/ micro movements which create the full phase of stretch or lift etc.
Wow fast response! Thank you so much for your kind words and support.
I’m looking forward to your new video.
I am very precise with my movements with your exercises. I’m also doing very beginner Pilates (for dressage) and that, as you know is all about precision and control so I bring that to my exercises with you and boy I know when I’ve done a good job as my body is stiff from the tip of my toes to my fingers the next day!.
What I really love about using the body as it’s own resistance is that endorphin kick you get from weight lifting, because we are weight lifting our own weight 🙂 I find it so much more rewarding than just the cardio aspect.
again, many thanks and I’ll keep you posted as to how I progress. I’m definitely taking it slower than most but I’m okay with that. I’d really love to get a hr monitor but they are a little pricey for me right now.
Hi there, just wanted to stop by to say thanks so much for liking our recent post on bungy jumping in Japan! Much appreciated 🙂
Hi, I really like your blog. Came across your comment on Bodyrock and followed you to your site. I used to be very active and lean, spinning 5 times a week, lifting weights 3 times a week and being very active in general. In fact, i was still spinning until the last week of my pregnancy before my now 22 months old daughter was born. Then we moved from US, SF to Switzerland, and that was the end of my active life or having anytime for myself. My only activities involved playing with my little one and walking 1-2 hours daily. I had gained a lot of weight at pregnancy and had a very hard time loosing it all and getting back to my pre pregnancy weight and/or strength. having a new problem with bladder and a pregnancy related hernia did not help, since even going to the gym and doing cardio or any HIIT was a challenge and a disappointment. My PT said there was nothing I could do to improve those issues except having a surgery. So I have been stuck with the extra weight for 22 months. Now I am pregnant again with my second child, 21 weeks, and again, cannot do any activities except running after my toddler and going for walks. So my question to you is: What can a 21 week pregnant 38 year old with a 22month old toddler do in the mornings as her 4 minute ” insurance ” workout and in general, what workouts can I do that are safe and will help me to gain strength? I feel bad that during my first pregnancy I was so active that i “passed” a lot of the strength and stamina to my child, while I cannot do the same for my second one still in the oven. As for my diet, before I was pregnant with my first child, I was vegan and ate mostly organic. Once pregnant, I started eating chicken, fish, eggs and dairy, while still omitting red meat. Currently, I still eat like I ate at my first pregnancy and still not eating red meat. Please advise. Thank you in advance.
Pleased to meet you. Switzerland is lovely.
Your pregnancies sound very similar to mine. First pregnancy I was very active then with the second I was so tired looking after the first that I ‘shelved’ myself. My second child is super athletic though. Keep a positive attitude and do your best with what you can, that’s all any of us can do.
Though I had a lot of experience with Ashtanga Yoga and Pilates, with my first pregnancy I followed Shiva Rea’s Prenatal Yoga DVD. Here’s a link: http://www.amazon.ca/Prenatal-Yoga-Shiva-Rea-Gaiam/dp/B0000BYNMH
I really enjoyed it and wish that I had started doing sooner.
It may come across as simple but what’s most important is to be consistent with it as opposed to looking for a ‘workout’. Also, you might consider trying my 4 minute morning progressions but leave out the jumping, just stick with regular high knees.
Lately, for my Week 3 Day 7, I do round one: high knees, round two: butt kicks, round three: high knees, round 4: butt kicks. And 20 bend down and reach up between each round as shown here: http://youasamachine.com/about-4-minute-mornings/week-3/videoweek3-day-7/
Here is a link for butt kicks:
I do mine on the spot and I focus on keeping my femurs parallel to each other and vertical so as to accentuate the stretch to the quads and hip flexors. It is a way to counter-balance the effect of the high knees rounds.
One of these days I’ll get around to filming this.
If you can experiment and come up with some Bed Stretches first thing in the morning, followed by a 4-10 minute consistent morning routine you will be off to a good start. Being consistent is the key though.
As well as doing a mini Before Bed routine each night.
Have confidence that doing MORE is NOT the answer. Do some, with intention and precision, but be consistent. Each day.
Sounds like you have a lot of experience with exercise so I have no doubt you can do this. But I totally understand where you’re at. Pregnant and a toddler in a new country.
Focusing on your needs is paramount. It’s hard to be everything to everyone.
You may also get some very good information at http://www.alignedandwell.com http://www.alignedandwell.com/?s=pelvic+floor&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=223
I hope this helps.
Let me know if you need more specifics.
Thank you so much for a thorough and helpful advise. I really appreciate the time you have taken to respond to me, including attaching the links for easy navigation. Your thought of “saving me time” in attaching the links is recognized and valued. Thank you again very much. I have to come up with some in bed stretching routine that does not involve laying on my back, since as you know, at this point in pregnancy, even that is not allowed 🙂
I am somewhat active still, running around after my toddler and my dog 🙂 walking, cleaning, the usual household chores one does, but not nearly as active as in my first pregnancy. I was even using a kettle bell and a medicine ball in the beginning, until I noticed every time i would do a strenuous move or lift, my hernia above my bellybutton would stick out even more, so I decided not to “promote” it’s growth.
I will try your suggestions and let you know how it goes.
Thank you again,
You’re very welcome!
I have a very wordy comment for you about the hernia just above your navel, because I had the same thing. I started to compose the reply here but because I have yet to learn the skill of saying more with few words I have started to piece together a post, which will cover it all. I think it might give you some useful information.
Keep an eye out for it…hopefully within the week.
Here’s my LONG reply.
Thrilled to have found you after following bodyrock.tv for a year and a half… I’ve been looking for MORE information so I can take control of my own body’s daily maintenance. I’m a “TMI” kind of girl, too, so your approach is right up my alley. Many thanks.
SOOO Glad I found ya…Don’t know how you feel about these, or if you’ve already received it, but I’m giving you the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”: http://lifeaisle.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/apparently-i-am-a-very-inspiring-blogger/
Thanks for thinking of me Troy!
What a lovely blog award to receive.
This would be a prefect blog to guide me through my fitness!
Love your blog, and think that the message is a vitally important one! The fact that you use your own body’s weight to work against is key. I’m subscribing and letting others know how to find you!
Good Luck on all fronts! Looking forward to reading updates!
First of all i wanna say thank you for your site and for posting all the precious information. You have got my admiration for all the power, motivation, self-discipline you have and work with and mainly that u share with us all your experiences is a very powerful thing.
I would like to ask you that you look really healthy and have a very nice toned body .. how did u accomplish having not big bulky muscles but really nice toned ones ? cos many times i see women who do bodybulding with huge muslec which dont look too healthy and on the other hand i know women ( who do aerobic exercies without weights) they are thin but not much signs of muscles shown .. so my question is how did u achive not having big muscles but having toned ones ? what i thought might help is to do weights but not too heavy weights combined with running,HIIT,swimming ? thanks and wish u a lovely day
There’s no short answers here, as you may already have noticed! 🙂
I have discovered from personal experience that less is more, but to be consistent with less in a well rounded approach. My mother always said: “MODERATION.”
However, one of my biggest findings to date is the power and importance of achieving balance within the musculoskeletal structure. To achieve this, is essentially the point of exercise; There really is a science behind exercise prescription. It’s very much like building a recipe – too much of one ingredient will set everything off and excluding some ingredients won’t make much of anything.
Working with an RMT/ KMI therapist/ Physio/ Rolfer etc. is probably the most important thing any of us can do if we want to achieve and maintain a sound, functioning body. Our bodyworker is essentially our ‘body mechanic.’
It’s all important, but in the right combination.
Thanks for the answear, its very helpful 🙂 one of the best blogs ive ever read, thanks !
best wishes Kris
Hello!! first of all, i love your blog!! its has really good and real info about health, fitness etc..
Well ive been bodyrocking for almost 2 years, and since october 2011, after an 8 day trip with my classmates were i just did 1 workout, i came back and started back with my routines but my low back started hurting… Sometimes it hurted more sometimes it didnt hurt at all, I have a feeling its sciatica, cuz its a pain that radiates to my legs and butt. It used to hurt both of my sides, and as i said, sometimes it doesnt hurt but sometimes it does!! Now i feel its more in my left side. Anyway for example today I did an old workout, Metabolic Inferno Workout, and the second exercise really woke up the pain (squat and step up) and i actually did the first 10 squats jumping and maybe that worsen it more.. OOPS… I’ve realized that the exercises that triggers it the most are squats and side lunge jump up.. its mostly squats, i can do jump lunges with no problem… Oh and i forgot to say ive Scoliosis, lumbar and dorsal, its pretty crooked but not too much, (about 40ª degrees both curves) .
I just said this to ask for some advice, its been like 4 months.. 😀 I still do all the workouts, though when i have the pain, i cant do one leg squats and ninja jumps 🙁
forgot to say, now (4 hours after metabolic inferno workout) i can barely stay sit, it hurts alot and when i stand up im like ouchhh, its takes a while to get to a straight position!! im gonna do a 10 min ab workout from cindy whitmarsh, it actually helps.
Do you have a physiotherapist that you can see regarding your scoliosis and exercise prescription? They could help you best. Sometimes the exercises we choose to do in a workout are not well suited for our particular needs. Media and equipment manufacturers bombard us with images of apparently fit and healthy-looking people doing those exercises and we assume that we will gain the same results. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, and as result people end up working harder – for longer – mistakenly thinking that the results will surely come that way.
Because each and every one of us has imbalances in our skeletal alignment (some more than others – scoliosis, for example) specific exercises can be beneficial or worsen our condition. By the sounds of your complaints you should seriously consider getting some professional guidance from a Physiotherapist. Your psoas could be over-tight and your gluteus muscles may not be firing as they should be when you are doing squats and lunges. These types of things can be easily remedied with the right diagnosis and prescription for exercise.
Remember that exercise is meant to create balance for our body. Do you stretch or practice yoga? I have a video series of morning stretches that I do in bed first thing in the morning. They may be useful for you, so keep your eye out for them.
Thanks for your comment. I hope this helps somewhat.
Let me know what you end up doing.
Thanks for your quick reply!
Nope, unfortunately i dont have any physiotherapist, I went to one specialized in scoliosis a few months ago (The Schroth method) but i dont know why i stopped going, lazyness i guess… maybe i should start going again, i went to only 3 sessions :/ . She gaved me some exercises to do to rotate and balance the muscles , more like different postures with breathing techniques.
Ill check out your morning stretches, I do some yoga videos sometimes, though for a bit more than a month ive been doing Budokon: Flow & flexibility DVD on some of my rest days.. I’ll keep doing what im doing but im gonna go slow down with all the jumping exercises, especially squats. And what u say about the psoas is probably one of the reasons because i have really tight hips, I think my hips are the most unflexible part of my body. thanks again!
Hi, YAAM… 🙂
I just wanted to leave you another note to thank you for your work here. The more I explore your blog, the more I am impressed by your thorough and questioning approach. I am a nurse and so I tend to look at health and body care information with a questioning and scientific eye as well. As a nurse I have also become really averse to the idea of using a pill for whatever symptom shows up as a consequence of our western diet & sedentary lifestyles…treating the symptoms and making money on them….don’t get me started on my rant, but I do feel really passionate about the holistic prevention approach.
I have witnessed first hand (and experienced myself) the effects of treating with a pharmaceutical after disease has started as well as the effects of healing from the inside out and, though I do think we need those interventions when we need them, I also think taking care of ourselves from the beginning is the bigger answer.
Anyway…thanks again, and please keep it coming. It’s inspiring and helps to know others see things this way as well.
You’ve also reminded me how much I love Ashtanga yoga…I have restarted my practice a couple of times a week with that David Swenson vid I posted and can already feel a difference.
Thanks again and I hope the flu is getting kicked from your house!
Thanks for this insightful comment!
Sometimes a break from the great Ashtanga Yoga is a necessary step in being able to appreciate it for what it truly is. I find whenever I have taken a break from it and gone back I am awakened to aspects that eluded me. Or maybe I’ve just grown up and I’m not trying so hard! 🙂
The flu touched base and I have been taking it easy these last three days. Feeling fine but I can tell not 100%. Still able to start each day with my 4 min. morning though, but know better than to push it beyond that.
Thanks for checking in…look forward to hearing more from you when inspiration strikes.
It is my pleasure.
Ah yes, that ‘trying so hard’ thing… most definitely does it’s work on me as well. And I can see that ‘the Ashtanga’ could invite some folks (like the younger, more driven, harder-on-myself me) to go there. But then, I can also suppose that it’s all part of the journey. I do love how the return to practice seems to coincide each time with my being much more self aware and thoughtful about taking care of myself…interesting lessons here.
Good for you for taking it easy with the bug lurking. Hard to do sometimes, but so important.
I have also been doing the 4 min. mornings for the past 5 days. I love them! I feel fabulous afterward and ready to take joy in my day. Thank you for those as well.
Today was a rest day for me also….no bug here, just the day of the week for it. 🙂
Yes, I will share more as time goes on and I continue on my latest journey of reconnecting with this body of mine. Inspiration will strike, no doubt.
Just to give you a short progress report.
After six weeks, I am starting week 4 exercises.
Eating less volume and better quality food.
Weight down from 105 kg to 99kg.
Your website motivated me to see a dietician and that was enough to get me on track. Now it is just a matter of getting into better habits.
Thank you for your website and for your inspiration.
That’s great news, Bill. Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate knowing about your progress.
I came back to admire your physique to give me motivation and read a little more. Your blog is just great! I love coming and reading everytime for a little pick me up. Do you have a pic of that 69 year old man on here still? I want to see it again or do you know his name? I want to show him to my wife! So impressive! Anyway, I want to wish you a merry christmas and great holiday season. Keep the blog going. So inspiring!
You are thinking about John Turner. I have the photo under the INSPIRING heading. I just might have to change the heading altogether to: John Turner @67.
Happy Holidays to you and yours. It’s always nice to hear from you.
Sunday, December 11, 2010
I keep coming back to your site for motivation.
Consistency seems to be the hardest part for me.
It is your website that led me to seek some outside help.
But the good news is that I have been to see a dietician and can see the weight beginning to drop and the pants feel a bit looser in the waist.
I will leave it to the occasional comment to let you know how I am going.
You are taking the first steps to becoming consistent. This is wonderful news. I can’t thank you enough for letting me know about your progress, it means the world to me.
Thank you so much for all this useful information ! As others before me, I discovered your blog through Bodyrock.
I am experiencing some troubles lately and I was wondering if you could help me.
I started Zuz’ excercises in Febr 2011 and the first 6 months everything went fine. I always did the warming up and cooling down sessions from Bodyrock and every week I went to a RMT, a friend of mine, for massage of my neck and upper back. This is an area that I need to watch and keep flexible (did not know anything about back then).
Summer came, I went on holidays and after that, it took me several weeks to get it going again with eating clean and bodyrocking.
I did start out great again by October, but after a while I had a tennis elbow and shortly afterwards, my knees began to hurt.
Before I discovered Bodyrock, I was under treatment for a bursitis of the hip. That went away with daily excercises (after extensive treatment by an osteopath).
These are all inflammations and I am beginning to wonder what I do wrong. I read your blog and have started the 4 Min Morning stretches and just today the 4 small stretches every hour at work (I work full time in front of the computer…).
I am also type O bloodtype and I will be trying this diet approach for the time to come.
I am just wondering whether to continu doing Bodyrock excercises for now ? Both my RMT and osteopath do not believe that my inflammations stem from these workouts. I do try to maintain correct form (so max reps is not really my priority) but of course no one’s watching me when I do them…
So, overall, I now have pain in my neck, in my elbow and in both knees…
I know this is a lot to ask, but if there is something more out there that I could try, I would be so grateful of you would let me know.
FYI : I am a 44 year old woman, no kids. I played volley and tennis from the age of 12. Not anymore since 2003.
Thanks again for your wonderfull blog.
A desparate Bodyrocker
I wonder if this view might give you something to work with?
Thank you for your reply, I will certainly look into it!
Hello! I chose you for the Versatile award, take a look 🙂 http://thecurvyspine.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/the-versatile-blogger/
Thank you. That is very kind.
Because you so motivating, and I wish I had the dedication you have to looking great and staying healthy, I am giving you the Lovely Blog Award: http://wp.me/p1U4zR-bf
That’s so sweet…thanks again for the nomination. It’s so uplifting to be recognized but fellow bloggers.
Years ago I had a Pilates client who ALWAYS told me how disciplined I was. In those days I didn’t really feel disciplined at all, but from her perspective I was. NOW, I feel disciplined because I am consistent with my daily practice, more than when I was younger and tried to workout for hours at a time. Now, I spend much, much less time at one go but am more consistent with a little each day and throughout the day. It has made the world of difference for me. Just doing a little stretch here, a flight of stairs there, adds up.
Like anything,it just takes practice – daily practice.
ai wai wao , why i didnt search you before ? 😀 well i never looked for it thats y 😛
thats amazing that you are 40 years old and still young 🙂
im 20 , my fats level is nearly zero. much time will it take for me to pop these abs out ?
Hello! I found you via a comment you left on the bodyrock site. Your comment intrigued me so I clicked on a link that took me here. I’m looking forward to exploring your blog more. From what I’ve read so far, I love your approach to fitness. I am 33 and a mother to 3 boys. I have been experimenting with my diet for the past two years trying to find what fits for me. I most recently tried a very clean vegan diet for about five months. At first I felt fantastic, but lately have been introducing meat as I just feel starved and exhausted all of the time. I am curious to know more of your thoughts on the blood type diet. Have you written a post by chance? I too am type O… I checked out a book on the diet from the library so I’m somewhat familiar with it, just struggling to accept the info that I may require a lot more meat than I want to eat. I’ve read so much about eating to fight disease and so much of that information is pro-vegetarian or vegan. At this point, I’m confused. My conclusion for now was to eat like you described – like a vegan meat eater 😉 I definitely avoid dairy and have cut back drastically on wheat/flour products. Anyway, would love to know more about your journey in this area.
Thanks for all the great info! I have not come across anything quiet like what your offering here and based on what I’m seeing it’s just what I am looking for.
I have a quetion about the four min morning. I am in fairly good shape and no stranger to burpees. Should I still start at the beginning or can I skip ahead?
You can definitely skip ahead. If you are already well versed in exercising your body and do everyday, the 4 minute morning is like your ‘health insurance’ in the case an event in the day prevents you from getting to your scheduled workout. Besides it is just a sensible way to start the day. Remember the Fuzz Speech, by Gil Hedley.
Because I already do a lot of Burpees and High Intensity Training, I have customized my 4 Minute Mornings to suit me; Every morning I do Week 3 – DAY 7, and lately I’ve gotten into the habit of doing 4-5 Half Sun Salutations BEFORE my 4 minutes. And because I see an RMT regularly, I generally focus on a particular muscle (or a few) each month, so I incorporate a stretch which focuses on the “featured” muscle of the month, into my mornings. In this way I make progress with my posture. A little each morning really does make a difference.
My hope is that others will do the same, customize – that is. The main idea is to move and stretch everyday, as our bodies were meant to.
I hope this answers your question.
Fun to read your blog since I am training a lot myself
Wow, what an interesting concept. I’ve been training intensively at the gym three times a week for a year now, often with a trainer, and with decent results. But this is something I’d like to absorb and read more about on your blog. Thank you.
You’re fabulous! I took your recommendation from a BodyRock post and checked your site out, and I’m in awe! Thank you for your perspective and philosophy. I’m adopting 4-minute mornings, and did my first THIS morning! 🙂
Love your blog! I also stumbled across it from a Bodyrock comment you had posted. You write informatively, engaging and ‘real’. Your ‘4 Minute Mornings’ are a fantastic idea…..great concept to ‘begin’ before you are even out of bed. Thanks for the inspiration!
Thank you for your feedback!
I just wrote you the other day…I notice you eat a lot of kelp and seasnacks. I love them but, am concerned b/c of the radioactive material in Japan. I just wanted to get your thoughts on this b/c I hear it can be pretty damaging to one’s health. I’m breastfeeding so my husband and I research the value of everything. I’m in the process of searching for seaweed made in the states. Perhaps I am paranoid…
Love your blog. I too used to run and run and was “skinny-fat.” Love bodyrock and all their
new exersizes. This week has been brutal but, so much fun.
Take care, Jenny
Funny, that particular week in my log, I did eat a lot of sea weed. I brought home a few packets of the seasnax from Kelowna (can’t find it in Vancouver as yet) so I haven’t had that brand or much seaweed since August. I have prepared some Kelp in the oven though and had a few bits of it from time to time. I can’t comment on the radioactivity concern…it freaks me out too but…? I don’t think you’re being paranoid, just cautious and if there was ever a time it is now while nursing (or in pregnancy). Let me know what you find out.
First, before you eat seaweed or kelp you might consider if you actually need it. My thyroid was in the very low/ normal range and I just wasn’t feeling right. It took about five years to solve this puzzle. Pregnancy and nursing sure zapped me of everything, so in an effort to get my body chemistry back to MY normal level of function I found an MD who specializes in homeopathy and he was able to test me for deficiencies. I take Iodine (220mcg) per day. I go regularly to check my free T4 and TSH levels. This is why I eat seaweed and Kelp, they are sources high in Iodine which my thyroid needs to function. If your thyroid is functioning at a normal level and you feel fine then I would stay away from food sources that might be potentially harmful.
I think of food as medicine. I put in me what is beneficial and what makes me feel best. A lot of us can get easily misdirected and fill our grocery carts with foods that are promoted as healthy. My question is: Healthy for Who?
Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. My husband researches everything so I’m being careful about eating anything from Japan. I’d love to find a yummy brand of seaweed from the states. I’ll let you know if I find anything. Will you let me know as well? I too think food is medicine and certain foods work better for other people. For example, everyone says to eat whole grain and I’m allergic to grain!
Thanks for all of the background w your diet choices. I think I’m going to look into an MD who can check some issues out. I have been diagnosed w low thyroid before as well as low blood pressure and I CRAVE salt and spirilina. Anyway, I could go on and on but, I think since I’m breastfeeding, especially, I need to keep my energy levels up and make sure I’m not taking in anything I’m allergic too (like dairy.) Eating right for your blood type might be something to look into.
TAKE GREAT CARE!!! many thanks,
Here is a link for Kelp noodles: http://www.kelpnoodles.com/products_seatangle_noodles.html
They are produced in San Diego (since 2001), I couldn’t find out directly WHERE they source their Kelp, maybe your resourceful husband can find out for us?:)
I just found these noodles at my grocer a few months ago and have used them twice. I used the noodles tonight with garlic pan fried spot prawns and fresh halibut. This dish is equally tasty cold the next day with a green salad.
It was very nice meeting you the other day! I’ve since started working in LA. Traveling for work is not as glorious and fun as it outwardly appears to be, I’m deathly exhausted.
I’ve started using your training program and have been feeling great! It’s such a great start of the day! Although I can’t figure out what stretches I need to do to complete the process.
I wanted to message you as I promised and let you know that your website is really great and I finally got an appointment to see the RMT.
As I mentioned in a previous message, I am a former boxer. I also practiced for a long time on the gym equipment (high bar, parallel bars for exemple). At 41 I was looking for a new way of training to obtain a better shape without equipment.
I discovered thanks to you, the book of Mark LAUREN.
He gives good advice and it is very useful.
Thank you again for your site wich is very well done.
Sebastien – South of France
I learned about Mark Lauren from BodyRock! He is a wealth of information. I love the research he has gathered.
I’ve always been a hard worker and willing to put in any amount of time for my health, and absolutely LOVE that I get the same (if not more) intensity from these bodyweight workouts as well as great satisfaction without the time commitment…as a mom, I just can’t be as selfish with my time as I used to be. Besides, though it used to be hard for me to imagine, that there is more to life than working out! 🙂
Thanks for visiting and look forward to hearing more from you as you explore these workouts!
I am very fit, but can’t seem to get it out of my head that ‘quantity equals leaner body.’ I train very hard, at moderate to high intensity ( I will run on 12kph for 25 min and do your 12 min workout). I am worried that if i just do your 12 minutes workout it won’t be enough, to loss weight. I think I am becoming really efficient at my workouts that it does nothing for me. What would you advise me?
I just wanted to clarify that the 4 Minute Morning exercises/ routines are not meant to replace a workout. I think of the 4 Minute Mornings as my health insurance, a way to cover myself should some event in the day prevent me from doing my usual exercise routine. For example getting stuck in back to back meetings then having to pick the kids up from school, make dinner, help them with homework then before I know it there’s no time left because if I stay up too late then I’m really no better off not having gotten enough hours sleep.
At least with the 4 Minute Morning we’re off to a good start; one good thing generally leads to another, better food choices and better physical choices throughout the day, i.e., take the stairs more versus the escalator, park further from your destination, which forces you to walk briskly to get there etc.
Try this outline for a few weeks as an experiment to see how your body responds. You should refine it to suit your needs, it’s just a suggestion.
BEFORE you do your 25 minute run, try incorporating a HIIT workout from BodyRock Tv
The HIIT workouts I’m referring to here are completely different in terms of intensity from my 4 Minute Mornings -they are not the same thing.
On my Twitter feed, I list which workouts I do daily, whether it is a rest day, a swim day or a HIIT day, click here: http://twitter.com/#!/YouAsAMachine
Day 1 – 4 Minute Morning upon waking. (Later in the day? do BodyRock (HIIT workout -choose 10-12 minute workout) + Run + stretch)
Day 2 – 4 Minute Morning upon waking. (Later in the day? do 4 Minute Tabata of Interval Skipping (8 Rounds of 10 sec. Rest + 20 sec. Max effort skipping/ jumping jacks/ high knees, whatever you want just work hard and write down how many reps you do in each 20 sec. interval.) + yoga or stretch your body.
Day 3 – Same as Day 1
Day 4 – Same as Day 2
Day 5 – 4 Minute Morning upon waking. REST & Recovery Day = no official workout, but be physically active all day (means live an active life).
Day 6 – Same as Day 1
Day 7 – Same as Day 5
Some research shows an increase in fat loss when 20 minutes of cardio is done after a 4 Minute HIIT workout. BUT you need to experiment for yourself!
Let me know if this is helpful. Of course, I don’t know your schedule and you may have to do your workouts first thing in the morning. If that is the case, you can do my 4 minute morning as your warm up, stretch out a bit and then do your workout. Enjoy!
I am not sure whether my post went through the first time. Sorry if this is a repeat. Thank you so much for your response. I think your site is fantastic. I have recently been told to lay off dariy and wheat for a while, since I have been getting skin rashes. I wanted to know any recommended diet that I could follow. Cookbooks you think is useful?
I think the best thing each and everyone of us can do is to create our own cookbook. There is the tendency to follow what works for others out of convenience, but in the long run what literally works for someone else’s ‘gut’ may not work for ours. Having said that, however, we do have to start somewhere. You are starting with an elimination diet; eliminating wheat and dairy. It’s a good start. Be strict with it for at least six weeks to three months and then reintroduce wheat or dairy and see if there is a reaction. Once you have determined if those foods do in fact cause a reaction or not, you may then explore some other theories.
Through experimenting with Eat Right For Your Type -I’m Type O, (which includes eliminating dairy and soy, corn…) and becoming gluten-free, I’ve gotten to know what foods make me feel energized, satisfied, satiated and which foods cause a sense of dis-ease, an un-well gut, bad taste in my mouth, headaches, lethargy etc. I eat like a vegan but have meat, eggs and fish…I think of myself as Vegan-ish. There is a Cook Right For Your Type cookbook which may be useful to you if you are interested in experimenting with this theory.
My kids show signs of food sensitivity so it is an on-going project to figure out what is best for them to eat as well. But it’s not so easy to direct what kids will eat. I feed them less wheat and dairy which has made a difference but kids tend to want to binge on what their friends do and luckily their sensitivities aren’t life threatening so I have to step back and let them figure it out for themselves at times. “You can lead a horse to water…”
Explore Brendan Brazier’s Thrive diet book, which has recipes. I add some of his VEGA powder to my kids smoothies a couple times a week, and have noticed a significant change in their energy and vitality. It seems like a positive and healthy way to cover the nutrients that they otherwise might be missing from their diet.
Anytime we start to eliminate certain foods from our diet it can seem overwhelming and daunting with respect to feeling that “there’s NOTHING left for me to eat.” But in fact there is so much variety that we miss out on because we have settled on our pattern of convenience.
Let me know if this is helpful.
Thanks for your questions.
Hi. I just discovered your blog a week or two ago, but I’m enjoying going through it and planning on implementing some of your ideas soon. (Although I don’t even know what my own blood type is.) Anyway, just thought I’d let you know I’m giving you the Versatile Blogger Award. Congratulations! Go to this post http://myonepreciouslife.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/tickled-pink/#more-2363 to claim.
I am a 44 year old mom of 3. I have been a marathoner and now I am a librarian–guess where my fitness is right now? I am embarking on a journey to get my groove back, and I have a question: Are the Bodyrock workouts the only ones you do? Do you think they are the only ones Zuzana does? It’s so hard to believe she/you get a body like that in a maximum of 20 minutes 3-4 times a week.
Thanks for reading—
“Are the BodyRock workouts the only ones you do?” The answer is pretty much yes. Each week I do anywhere from 2-4 HIIT workouts. I also swim but only for 20-30 minutes at a time, 1-3 times per week, but as you can imagine ones schedule is not always one’s own. So each week has a different rhythm and really is like a new beginning.
I kept a ‘week-in-the-life’ log at the end of August just to show what I do. You can view it here http://youasamachine.com/my-log/
I too found it hard to believe that these short intense workouts could be so effective, so I gave it a try. My results are honest. I sincerely believe Zuzana and Freddy are practicing what they preach.
I was a one time Marathoner and two time half marathoner. I know the training, TIME and injuries that go into being a runner. I am grateful to have found this type of training to keep my body strong and healthy for the Marathon of LIFE!
As an aside, I also believe that for the runners out there that this type of training as a supplement to one or two running days per week may actually make for stronger runners. You’ll only know by experimenting with it.
I believe you are a very talented blogger…and i love your blog and all the training tips you give us. Thats why i have put you in my list of the versatile blogger’s awards..
Is this ever sweet! Thank you. I had no idea there was a versatile blogger award. Good luck to you on your nomination and thanks again for the kind gesture.
100 push ups , 10 mins sit up (or crunches) a jog to the shops (3 miles) for a pack of smokes , a pizza and an apple in the evenings 5 – 3 min rounds of punch bag and the body is all well!
OOh My gosh!! is that you in the picture??!! I genuinely wanna steal your abs.. they are amazing!!!
Woahhh, that’s all it takes? 4-12 minutes?!