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Fitness

Thrive or Strive Quiz: Exercising

The topic of exercise plays a critical role in getting and staying motivated in order to thrive more and struggle less in a high demanding life.

In a high stress work environment, there are three types of hard working adults who operate in a high demanding job. The first group is the Thrivers, those who are productive in their work and sustain a great personal and professional life balance. On the other extreme are the Strugglers who do not operate in a high demanding job and most likely leave on their own to pursue opportunities elsewhere. In the middle are the Strivers who sometimes thrive and sometimes struggle.

My book Change Your Day Not Your Life has a quiz to help you identify where you stand in these three categories and what you can do to struggle less and thrive more. To take the quiz now, visit http://andycore.com/quiz/ to see if you are a Thriver, Striver, or Struggler.

In my quiz, one of the best questions is, “How often do you exercise at an effort level of 80% or higher?” 51% of people rarely exercise at an effort level of 80% or more, 9% exercise at this rate monthly and 40% exercise at this rate weekly. Based on those results, more than half of the people who took the quiz rarely work out at an effort level of 80% or more.

There are many benefits of exercising that create long term satisfaction such as more energy, motivation, work-life satisfaction and less stress. Specifically for people who are high stressed, exercising at an 80% or higher effort level makes a big difference. High levels of exercise can help reduce those high levels of stress like cortisol in your body.

The most common excuse for not making exercise a priority is lack of time or energy. An easy way to start exercising is to split your exercise time into five-minute blocks. I want you to do four minutes of exercise at a level of 60-80%, which is at conversational level, and one minute at 80% or more. After pushing yourself for 60 seconds, you can then go back to that four-minute level of exercise that is a little bit easier. This way, you can recover and it is less painful to jump back into that one-minute timeframe. This is a great way to break up your workouts, capitalize on stress reduction and make sure you’re adding enough positive energy to your life.

For more tips on how to reduce stress levels, read my book Change Your Day Not Your Life.

 

Two Ways to Work Less While Working More

Convincing yourself – and your boss – that some “no” work is good work

How many of you have found yourself:

  • Chasing rabbit trails on the Internet?
  • Checking emails in order to avoid doing other work?
  • Attending unnecessary meetings?

This is a sure sign that you need a break. But, don’t mislead yourself in thinking these types of activities are actually breaks. They’re not! These are known as “junk hours.”

Junk hours are a little like junk food. While they provide short-term pleasure, they contribute to long-term imbalance and exhaustion. You need to replace junk hours with regeneration. Here’s how:

First, realize everyone needs to take breaks and shift gears. You need to identify when you’re going through the motions of work, versus when real work is being done. Sometimes taking a break at the right time enables you to jettison your afternoon junk hours.

 

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Second, work through lunch less often. One of my clients shifted his lunch hours to time with friends or going to the gym, instead of trying to squeeze in more work around bites of a burger. In both instances, these scheduled breaks increased my client’s energy level and sense of well-being. He felt less of a need to take low-value breaks in the afternoon and began to experience more productivity.

And, yes, he began getting out of the office earlier, too.

Are you a junk hour addict?
I can help! Click here to sign up for our free e-newsletter. Each week you’ll receive tips and tricks to stay productive, energetic, and most importantly, balanced during your workday.

 

Get Out, Have Fun, Be Happy… But be Prepared!

fitness motivational speaker

All last week I was running from fast approaching deadlines. After frantically typing on my computer hours on end, I finally reached a stopping point. I got up from my desk and headed into the other room for something. But only steps from my office- I stopped. What had I gotten up for? After a few moments of standing like a deer in headlights, I gave up and returned to my desk. However, I could not concentrate. The fact that in less than ten seconds my mind wandered off so far that it could not find its way back was bothering me. Before I could say “how could this happen,” I looked down at my desk. Spread out In front of me were three completely different projects, at my right was two full page “to do” lists and in the distance a radio was playing, dogs were barking and there was a maddening banging next door as my neighbors were getting their house re-roofed. My mind was cluttered with all that I was doing, as well as pressured with all that I needed to be doing. It was no wonder the smallest additional distraction could cause a mini mental meltdown. I needed a break.

My favorite break is to spend a little time hiking, biking or running on a trail with mother nature. As a professional speaker on work/life balance, stress and wellness, I live what I present.  Even when traveling and Keynoting for corporation and association meetings and conventions, I will search out local trails.

On the trail, when the conditions are right, I feel like I am moving through the woods like a predator on the hunt. When the conditions are right, Mother Nature’s sights, sounds and smells can force me to hum the soundtrack to “What A Wonderful Life.” When the conditions are right, even dodging my way through the strollers and skaters at the local park can be the best part of a good day. However, if the conditions are not right, time on the trail can quickly go from energizing and fun to frustrating and painful.

Last year, preparing for my usual Wednesday trail run, a cool breeze persuaded me to wear my favorite cotton pullover. Now cozy warm, I started down the trail on this beautiful, brisk fall afternoon and I felt totally energized. What I did not know was that this was as fun as this run would get. Only five minutes into the run I started warming up and realized I had made a typical early fall mistake. I overdressed. I pulled off the pullover and tied it to around my waist. But as soon as I started cooling off it started to sprinkle. This sprinkle quickly turned into the perfect storm. In moments, endless sheets of rain left me soaked and very cold. In an attempt to stay warm I put my pullover back on. The upside of this was I felt a little warmer, but the downside was the rain quickly enlarged this cotton garment to the size of a small circus tent. My shoes, now also soaked, started feeling a little “floppy.” This floppiness allowed my feet to move around in my shoes, which was producing a loud squeak with each step. This squeaking soon was joined by a burning sensation as blisters started to form on my heels and toes. As I limped back to the car, flopping, squeaking and trying not to step on my now six-foot sleeves, I felt like a demented trail running Bozo the Clown.

Being prepared for outdoor activity is only smart. Below are two simple, achievable actions that will help you be better prepared so you can get the most from your time with Mother Nature.

Step 1: Check the weather
I don’t know about your part of the world, but in Arkansas the weather can change quickly, especially in the spring and fall. With advances in technology and the Internet you can get up to the minute forecasts. I point my browser to my favorite weather site: http://www.wunderground.com.

Step 2: Wear “Wicking” Base Layer Clothing
The type of clothing you need can vary depending on the weather. However, wearing good base layer clothing is one thing that will help you no matter what the conditions. Base layer clothing is whatever you wear that is in direct contact with your skin; including shirts, underwear, shorts, socks, etc. Technology has helped us here as well. New man-made fabrics, such as Cool-Max and other performance fabrics, are fantastic for outdoor activities because they are very light, comfortable and retain their shape when wet. But the most important function of these fabrics is that they move (wick) sweat away from your body to the surface of the material where it can evaporate. Wicking moisture away from your skin will help your body better regulate its temperature in either hot or cold climates, reduce your chance of blisters and chaffing and increase your enjoyment immensely.

The next time your mind becomes cluttered with the responsibilities of daily life, be prepared, GET OUT! and let Mother Nature take the pain away.

 

Tips to Get the Best Sleep

Lack of sleep can affect you negatively

Lack of sleep can affect you negatively

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance.

In order to function properly, your body and mind needs adequate daily rest. You need to make sure that you get enough sleep by establishing decent sleep routines. 

It is not always easy to get enough sleep because our work, social and family lives place such a demand on our time. You must remember that if you do not get enough sleep, your mental and physical health with suffer and that will have repercussions for all areas of your life. Talk to a leadership speaker about how to achieve balance in your life.

Sleep is an important biological function that allows your body and mind to rest and refresh and prepare for the challenges that you may face in the new day. If you get caught in a bad sleep cycle, all aspects of your life will eventually begin to deteriorate.

Some helpful tips:

  • Turn off the bright lights in your home an hour before bed.
  • Stop using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep.
  • Have a routine set in place that tells your brain it’s time for sleep. Washing your face, stretching, or writing a journal entry may be things to incorporate.
  • Make sure that there are no lights in your room.
  • Turn on some white noise. I sleep with a box fan and it automatically tells my mind that its time to sleep.

You should try to get at least six to eight hours of sleep a night. It is impossible to get a perfect night’s sleep every night but you should try to get decent sleep as often as possible. If you are getting enough sleep you will have plenty of physical energy and your mind will always be sharp; that can only benefit you in your home and work life. A leadership speaker can help you reach the peace of mind that is a necessity for decent sleep.

To learn more on Andy’s programs.  

 

 

To Benefit from Exercise, Don’t Wait. Just Do.

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance.

Some_Motivation_Requiredu2sDetailWe all know that exercise is important. From Legally Blondes, “Endorphins make people happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands.” to a motivational speaker telling you to exercise consistently, you know what you’re supposed to be doing.

But sometimes, when we’re distracted, short on time, tired or grumpy, we don’t want to exercise. We want to sit on our butts and watch tv, eat pizza and have a beer. We’ve all had long, stressful days at work and came home with only the desire to be lazy. My advice- just do it anyways.

My favorite trick is to bring workout clothes with me so that when I get off work I instantly put them on, and I’ll be reminded and motivated to get out there before I go on with the rest of the evening.

Yes, you may feel tired and red faced when you get done. You also might be bored with you’re current workout, but you’ll always feel better afterwards. And not only do you get short-term satisfaction, you’ll also be treated to many long term ones too.

Other benefits include more energy, motivation, work-life satisfaction, less stress and better sex. Plus, eventually you’ll be looking as good as you feel. Plus, those feelings of laziness and discouragement are there because you don’t exercise regularly. Once you make working out a habit, those feelings will basically disappear. Remember, the benefits of exercise don’t require a fitness coach or doing Crossfit. All you need is a consistent practice to give you long term results.

Exercise is a To learn more on Andy’s programs. 

 
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Change Your Day, Not Your Life
A realistic guide to sustained motivation, more productivity, and the art of working well
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Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
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