Happy Father’s Day

If you live in the US, Canada, or the UK, then you know that today is Father’s Day, so Happy Father’s Day!! Like most things worth doing in life, being a great father takes time and effort but juggling a career and a family is never easy.


Unnoticed Weight Gain

About the time my son was born, I also had to renew my drivers license. I had to go to the DMV Office and get a new picture taken as well. I’ll spare you the “I had to stand in line forever” story but at the end of the process a clerk handed me my new license. The first thing that I noticed was that I looked heavier than ever.

On the one hand, life was good. This was during the dot-com era so the economy was growing. Business was good and I was busy with work. I ate out a lot but did not make enough time to exercise. Looking back I should not have been surprised by the additional weight, but at the time, I was. For the first time in my life, I thought man, I am getting fat.

Fortunately, I was still young enough that by making a few course corrections like cleaning up my diet, lowering my caloric intake, and exercising, I was able to quickly drop the excess weight.

Don’t Forget to Make Time for Yourself and Your Kids

I am telling you this because if you are a father you know that you are also extremely busy on the home front. Between school, homework, church, and athletic practices and games, summer camps, etc. you are always doing something to help your children grow into amazing young adults. While raising children, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself.

So today make time to exercise with the kids. Introduce them to running or go for bike ride. Take them for a hike or play US football or… football… you know… the game the rest of the world plays and we all know the US can use a better football development program 😉 but that is a different story.

Your Children Will Remember the Good Times you Shared

My amazing father introduced me to running by teaching me the run-walk-run method back in the day to get me started with running. At the time we lived in a place with a big hill out back, so we would begin our run going up hill right out of the gate. That really gets your heart rate up quickly. My father would also take us hiking often as well, usually up a mountain trail with a backpack so again good for your heart.

Don’t Force It

But sometimes the kids are just not feeling it. I have been there too. Once when my children were younger, I wanted to take both of them for a bike ride to a small pond at the other end of our neighborhood. We did this ride with some regularity so they knew what to expect. I thought it would be a great experience. However, my daughter was protesting against going along but I pulled a parental power-trip and forced her to go with us anyway. When we got to the pond she fell off her bike going over a small wooden bridge and tore-up her elbow pretty bad. The experience left a physical scar and I imagine an emotional scar as well.

Nowadays, we tell this story from time-to-time and laugh about it together but the lesson here is that sometimes you probably do need to listen to your children when they really don’t want to do something.

Go Enjoy Father’s Day with Your Children

Exercising with your children and teaching them good eating habits is good for you and good for them as well. Get outside and enjoy your day with your kids and have some fun. Fuel that fun with good nutritional choices and teach your children how do do the same in the process. Happy Father’s Day!!

Update and Shameless Plug

My beautiful wife and children just got me the beats pill+ for Father’s Day. Thank you guys!! Amazon has them on sale for $129.99 right now.

The Power of a Good Night’s Sleep

When Your Body is Telling You it is Time to Sleep Then, Go to Sleep

Most nights I have no problem falling asleep. After using my mind all day to do creative and challenging work, I’m usually quite exhausted. The issue I do have sometimes is that I don’t want to go to sleep. I like reading blogs or watching YouTube or Netflix — catching up on my favorite shows or looking for something new to watch. Fighting that urge to go to sleep can lead to a less than productive start the following morning. Lately, to overcome my fear of missing out (FOMO) when I get the first hint that my body (and mind) is ready to fall asleep, I set down the iPad, put the laptop in sleep-mode and go to bed.


Some Solid Sleep Leads to Better Focus and Productivity

These days I am getting a solid 4~5 hours and I usually tack on another two or three after that initial wave. I think that first wave is the most important. Even if I have trouble going back to sleep after that, I am still able to focus and be productive during the day. However, the second wave, that additional two or three hours is like gravy. I just feel really supercharged the next morning and I usually have a very productive day.

When You Have Work on Your Mind, Work

When I am unable to fall asleep it is usually because I did not exercise that day or perhaps I have something important to do for work and it is causing a little stress. I find that instead of tossing and turning, if get up and work for a few hours it accomplishes two things. One, I make some progress on an important assignment, perhaps even completing it. Two, after expending my mind (and nervous energy) for awhile, I am truly ready to fall asleep.

When You Wake Up, Get Up and Get Going

When you wake up, do you toss and turn for a couple hours before getting out of bed? Think of the lost time that you can use to exercise, be productive, or go enjoy a cup of coffee outside on your patio. Instead of tossing and turning in the morning, just try getting up and starting your day. The upside of getting up as soon as you wake up and doing some activity is that you will very likely be more tired at the end of a busy day.  Likewise, you will more likely to want to go to bed and get to sleep right away because your body will be telling you that it is ready to go to sleep.

Sleep Made Easy

Going to bed when you’re tired, getting that extra two to three hours, and getting out of bed right away to start your day will not only lead to a good night’s sleep but you will also be more productive during the day — which inevitably leads back to a better night’s sleep. Throw in some exercise on top of a hard day’s work and boom… no problem falling asleep.

Finding Your Motivation

Do you struggle to stay motivated? So do I — and I think many people do. It is easy to imagine other people getting up at 5:00am every morning and going for a seven-mile run, but even they have to find motivation. Where does it come from? Can motivation be more easily cultivated and if so, how?

woman girl silhouette jogger
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Telling yourself that you are just going to do something small is a great way to start. I’ll run eight one-minute intervals, nothing too intense. You do not have to push it too hard at first, just get started. I often find within a few days I’m doing 10 intervals for a minute-and-thirty seconds and before long looking forward to increasing the intensity.

Set yourself up for success by creating a routine. Set out your running clothes and shoes the night before, and go to bed an hour earlier than normal. When you wake up do not stay in bed for an hour or two. Instead, get up, and go eat some blueberries or strawberries with a few tablespoons of zero-fat plain Greek yogurt for breakfast. I often eat a small square or two of 88% dark chocolate for a little boost before a workout; green tea with a little honey works well too. Begin with proper stretching and then walk for several minutes as a warm-up before running or exercising.

Find your “best” time to do it. Some people are morning people. Other people are night owls. If I’m going to be successful, I find it is best to take-on my challenges first thing in the morning. Whether that is go for a run, going to the gym, or doing something challenging for work. I find that my best time, otherwise known as peak time, is the first thing in the morning.

How do you know what time is your best time? If it’s not obvious to you, you can experiment. Try first thing in the morning; try lunch time. Try after school or after work. Even after dinner is a good time because exercising at that time of day for example will aid in digesting your dinner.

I know that getting started can be hard, but if you start with something small, create a routine and determine the best time of day for you to do it, you will have success.

Improving Your Health

Back in 2015 I started running. I was lucky enough to receive a gift card for some high-end running shoes. I never really enjoyed running, mostly because it hurt my knees and shins. Little did I know that having the right shoes can make such a huge difference. After a couple months of training, I ultimately when on to run several 5Ks and last fall I ran my first 10K. I used the C25K app from zenlabs to get started. This app will progressively take you from the couch to your first 5K in just eight weeks.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Losing a few pounds and getting in better shape were my primary motivations but I wanted to be healthier in other areas of my life too. I also began a seven-day juice fast. The juice I made was a combination of kale, cucumber, celery, green apples, lemons, and ginger. I can tell you that after that seven days, I went out and had a chicken burrito as a reward for sticking to the juice fast for seven days. It was the best chicken burrito I ever ate in my entire life. After treating myself to that meal, I also quit eating processed foods and reduced the amount of red meat that I was consuming and ate smaller portions of chicken and fish. I also increased my intake of fruits and vegetables. I still go out to dinner sometimes but often eat salads or split a healthy dish.

Not only am I feeling healthier, I lost several pounds, gained focus, and increased my energy-levels. That said, the best thing that happened was that I was able to lower my blood pressure from around 140/90 to 115/70. Now, I regularly have some of the best blood pressure readings I have ever experienced.

If you would like to improve your health, one of the best things you can do is just pick one area to start with because a small change it all it takes. One of the simplest steps you can take is to try some red tea to detox your body.