Friday, February 20, 2009

How's Your Health This Winter

P90X workouts can take a toll on your body and if you aren't eating enough and taking your supplements, and getting enough rest between workouts you are more likely to come down with a cold or the flu. Extreme workouts like P90X can weaken your immune system (though in the long run they will lead to a stronger immune system as you improve your health and fitness).

Nothing is more frustrating than getting into the groove of your P90X workouts and then getting sick and having to stop working out. During my first round of P90X I got sick with the flu at the six week mark and ended up missing five workouts. When I recovered I simply restarted the week I was on when I got sick and it ended up being P97X.

Some people make the mistake of trying to workout when they are sick. If it is the flu you probably won't feel like working out. Listen to your body. Stay in bed and recover. Opinions differ on what to do when you have a cold. Some say if it is a head cold then go ahead and workout. If it is in your chest then you need to rest. I'm a big believer in the theory of rest and recuperation to get over an illness. Exercising when you are sick isn't going to make you healthier (you won't sweat a cold virus out of your system). Don’t let short term goals or your ego get in the way of common sense. Are you going to even remember in a few weeks or a few months that you missed a few workouts?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure though. If you haven't gotten sick yet congratulations. Here's hoping you stay healthy through the rest of the season. Make sure you are taking your supplements and getting lots of rest.

This article contains some more tips on staying healthy for about $4.00 a month. Much cheaper than any cold or flu medicine you might buy.

The contrast showers are a good way to wake yourself up in the morning but aren't particularly fun, especially on cold mornings.

I've been taking Cod Liver Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar each day for about a month. Wal-Mart sells a Norwegian Cod Liver Oil in the supplements section for about $8.00 a bottle. It is orange flavored which has to be better than the real flavor. The consistency is a little unpleasant but you get used to it. In addition to the Omega-3 it contains, cod liver oil is a good source of vitamin D. If you live north of an imaginary line that passes through Atlanta you probably aren’t getting enough sunlight exposure in the winter for your body to manufacture an adequate amount of vitamin D.

As for the Apple Cider Vinegar, make sure you get a bottle that has "The Mother" in it (check the label). Bragg is available at Whole Foods and health food stores. Don't use the typical brands found in the supermarket. Instead of following the recipe in the article, I've been using the recipe on the bottle. You mix 2 teaspoons (not tablespoons) with water and a teaspoon of honey. It tastes kind of like a bad wine but it isn't intolerable.

Hopefully these tips will help you stay healthy this winter and keep you charging ahead with your P90X goals.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


No I'm not talking about seeds here. I'm talking about a butt-kicking good exercise you can do when you have limited time, limited space and no access to any exercise equipment.

I did a set of these last night in place of my usual Kenpo workout and let me tell you they work!

Tony has you do something similar in the IntervalX+ workout and he calls them Carlito Three Way Push ups but you only do them for one minute (twice) in that workout. With Burpees, the idea is to do a set of ten, rest for a minute, then do a set of nine, rest another minute, do a set of eight, etc., right down to doing a set of one.

You should be able to the full rotation in less than 15 minutes. By the time I got down to five reps I decided to shorten the rest period to 30 seconds. Then at the end I decided to throw in a final set of 10 to bring the total to 65 reps. It's a great interval workout that combines strength training with cardio exercise.

So how do you do a Burpee?
  • Start in a standing position with your hands over your head
  • Squat down and place your hands on the floor
  • Jump back to plank (push up position)
  • Do a push up
  • Jump your feet to your hands (so you are in a squatting position again)
  • Jump up in the air with your hands over your head
Then just repeat that sequence for the prescribed number of reps.

Mike Rowe from the Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs has a good video demonstrating this technique: