In an article recently published on Medium called “Put Down The Pink Dumbbell,” Zeynep Tufekci wrote about some misconceptions people have about exercise. At one point she noted: “Last year, New York Times health blog, the Well had back-to-back viral stories: first, how to exercise in seven minutes, and then how to exercise in one minute. There are a constant stream of allegedly better, novel ways to exercise.”

Obviously, people nowadays are looking for a quick fix when it comes to exercise, and everyone seems to think they can shortcut the process to better health. To these people I’d just like to say that in life there are no short… comings when it comes to cutting corners!

Welcome to the 30-Second Workout, where we take the work out of your workout.

In just 30 seconds a day you can get in shape and feel as great as victory tastes. If you’re like me and loved the sound of the one-minute workout but were all, “yeah right — where am I going to find that kind of time?” Then this is the workout for you.

It’s all of the benefits, none of the effort — which, as we all know, is how smart people get things done.

With the 30-Second Workout (copyright pending), there’s no need to leave your home or office, my superbly efficient friend. No gyms to navigate, no full minutes to waste — it’s simply never-before-seen fitness techniques designed to get you feeling amazing. You ready? Let’s proceed.

The 30-Second Workout

Make sure to go through the entire circuit as quickly as possible. Remember you only have 30 seconds, so make them count.

Part 1: Warm Up / Salutation

Kneel down with your hips directly in line with your knees. Sit all the way back so you’re sitting with your legs tucked beneath you. Close your eyes and imagine you’re floating on a sea of tranquility. This position is called the Sitting Duck.

You’re now officially in the 30-second workout zone.

Part 2: Arms

Stand up. Pick up something lightweight but bulky, like a wool sweater. Hold it evenly in both hands and extend arms up overhead. Bend at the elbows and lower the sweater until the wool is over your eyes.

Do this once then move on, you don’t have all day.

Part 3: Legs/Core

Hold your stomach in and bend your knees like you’re sitting in a chair (note: do this over a chair). Now, sit back all the way. Are you sitting down? Good, because I have some bad news — results of the 30-second workout are not guaranteed.

You have no time to dwell on this, move on to the final step.

Part 4: Cool Down / Stretch

(Note: requires a partner.)

Lie down. Specifically, lie down on your back with one leg in the air. Have your workout partner help you extend your raised leg as far as possible. Make sure not to manipulate or cajole the lifted appendage in any way, it should simply feel like someone’s pulling your leg.

Change legs and repeat.

And that’s it, folks. Studies* show that just 30 seconds a day can take you from flab to fab, no sweat equity required.

*I’ve yet to conduct any studies. I keep meaning to but I can’t find the time — if it’s not one thing, it’s another.

its always something

(For best results: Combine 30-second workout with moderate exercise 3-5 days per week. Sorry.)

 

Questions (Serious ones. No more nonsense):

How much time do you spend working out per week? (It takes me many, many hours of exercise per week to look like a regular person who could really use some muscle tone.)

Are you happy with your current schedule or do you wish you could increase/decrease frequency?

Do you have as much trouble sitting still at a desk all day as I do?

Speaking of sweat equity, how much do you sweat compared to a normal person? (If you converted the amount of water I lose per workout into snow, I’m pretty sure it would rival Boston totals)

 

I recently noticed some interesting conversations about healthy morning routines going on at ALOHA, so I thought I’d join.

Without further ado, here’s my routine. A-five, six… a-five, six, seven, eight!

5:00 AM: Alarm goes off. I wake up looking and feeling fantastic.

sleepy

5:05 AM: I leap out of bed, needing only but a couple deep breaths of fresh oxygen to wake me up fully.

coffee 1

5:something AM:  (A few more deep breaths)

all the coffee

Still-not-quite-6 AM: I then slip into my Bar Method clothes…

winter 1

6:00 AM: … And prance on over to the studio where I begin class full of energy and awesomeness.

bar method 2

bar method 3

Over the course of the next hour, a transformation occurs. I go from grumpy beast to happy human. Light radiates from my fingertips accordingly.

Transformation-beauty-and-the-beast

7:00 AM: I leave class feeling stronger, happier and less sarcastic*.

happy

(*That last one is debatable.)

Sometime after 7:00 AM: I return home for more nourishing recipes. While for most people this means a protein-packed smoothie or food you can actually chew, I simply prefer more caffeine and/or chocolate at this point in my day, like this cup of liquid witchcraft:

Superfood Hot Chocolate

Superfood Hot Chocolate: it’s healthy and chocolatey at the same time…

Why yes, ALOHA, your magic is welcome here.

8:14 AM: Realizing it’s 14 minutes later than I thought, I peel myself away from the Today show, frantically throw snacks into my purse and make myself presentable(ish) with a vim that was severely lacking an hour earlier.

8:16(ish) AM: Leave for work feeling good!

happy 2

Moral: While we all like to think the perfect morning routine involves beautifully dawning sunlight, 72 degree weather, an ocean view and some outdoor exercise, that’s simply not reality when you live beyond the wall in the Northeast in wintertime. (Note to self: relocate, Charlotte.)  Maintaining a happy outlook and healthy habits takes work and, quite frankly, delicious things.

Disclaimer: As you all probably know, I accept brand incentives in the following forms:

  1. Money
  2. Power
  3. Merchandise that’s made of chocolate, caffeine and/or alcohol
  4. Compliments

ALOHA gave me none of the above.

 

Questions:

What’s your morning routine?

Are you a breakfast person? (Once I get to my desk, I eat every hour on the hour til lunch)

If your routine is thrown off, does it affect the rest of your day? (YES!)

Greetings.

I am writing to you from inside one of Boston’s many mega-tall snowbanks.

snowbank 4

I can not be sure how long I’ve been here, but Comcast has already come to install cable, internet and home phone services (two of which I neither need nor want, but it’s cheaper for all three so okay) therefore I can only assume it’s been a few weeks. I don’t even know how they found me, but according to the technician, I was the 3rd snow bank appointment that morning.

As he was leaving I tried to follow him out, but he said I couldn’t leave until HQ called to test my new landline. So here I remain, but I have to admit it’s not that bad now that I have wifi.

You see, a few weeks (months?) ago I was walking down the street minding my own business when a snowplow came out of nowhere and buried me in what I now affectionately refer to as my winter snow palace.

How am I surviving you ask? Well, luckily I always carry snacks in my purse so hunger hasn’t been a problem. Additionally, there is plenty of water around, which I’ve always thought of as something you drink when you’re out of wine, but it’s actually quite refreshing in it’s own right.

What have I been up to? Well, for starters I joined twitter. I published a couple things to Medium on snowbank real estate. And I caught up on my correspondence.

texting

In snowbank neighborhood news, I think I have a new neighbor based on the sounds of shivering and chattering teeth I’ve been hearing for the last few days. (These walls are so thin #IglooProblems.) Luckily I spent my childhood building up a tolerance to ridiculously cold indoor temperatures because my mother “runs hot.” I nary remember a day the thermostat was over 56, so I feel right at home in here.

I look forward to my release with the impending spring melt, but I have to admit it’s been a nice staycation of sorts. Anyways, I gotta run. Not literally of course, but the pizza delivery guy seems to have finally burrowed into the right snowbank.

Questions:

How have you been surviving snowmageddonpacalypse ’15?

New Englanders — lets take a poll — does this make us stronger or want to move south? (The latter…)

 

As I was trying to figure out what to have for a mid-morning snack the other day (deciding between a yogurt followed by a banana, or half a Chocolove chocolate bar followed by the other half of that bar) I started thinking about nutrition labels.

Experts have agreed upon the following label as the best way to educate mankind about what we’re putting in our bodies:

nutrition label

These labels are fine. Totally adequate. We’ve all been taught what they mean. However, if we actually understood them we wouldn’t need Weight Watchers to simplify things further and count points for us.

When it comes to labels, I like them to tell me exactly what’s going on without numbers. This is the proper way. Case and point: The letter A was used in 17th century colonial Boston to label adulteresses as evidenced in The Scarlet Letter, and in more modern times fashion designers have been kind enough to use labels such as “Prada,” “Ralph Lauren” and so on. Therefore, my proposed labels would be free of meaningless math as well.

no capes no math

My proposed labels would also deconstruct the current ones even further. For example, when I look at fat content, I’m really wondering how long until I’m hungry again. When I look at potassium, well, I don’t– if I wanted potassium I’d eat a banana. My point is, each line on my new nutrition label still answers the same question as it did on the old label. The line for sodium still tells you about sodium, the line for cholesterol still tells you about cholesterol… but in a way that does not require conversions:

For example, let’s say I wanted to eat some junk food:

new nutrition labels

So there you have it. I’m sure Mrs Obama will reach out to me when she’s not so busy and we’ll start a new health campaign called “Food: Ready, Filling and Labeled.”

So that’s what I’m thinking (out loud) today. Thanks Amanda!

Thinking-Out-Loud2

 

Questions:

What do you look at when you look at nutrition labels? (I always glance at fat, sodium, and protein. And sometimes sugar.)

Do you pay attention to suggested serving sizes?  (I do pay attention, I just don’t always agree with their suggestion.)

Do you like numbers? (Gross.)