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The Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge: Week 2

The Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge: Week 2

Lifehack Editor's Fitness Challenge Week 2

    We are a couple of days late on our 2nd week results for the infamous Lifehack Editor’s Fitness Challenge, but it has been anything but a normal week (especially for Mr. Vardy). From traveling like a mad man to back cramps due to improper form, here is the low down on how the Lifehack Editor’s 2nd week of the fitness challenge held up.

    Mike’s Take

    I’ve dropped the ball over the past week. Turns out that traveling and exercise isn’t as easy to do in tandem as I’ve been led to believe. Mind you, I think that those beliefs have overshadowed whatever willpower and discipline I had going into the last week or so.

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    So, despite bringing along exercise gear on my travels, I didn’t complete any of the NerdFitness workouts. Nor did I proceed into the second week of Run 2 5K. That’s not to say I didn’t do any sort of exercise while in New York City. I did a lot of walking.

    And I mean a lot of walking.

    I walked for over 10 hours last week throughout Manhattan. That caused me to burn over 2600 calories alone. So i wasn’t all bad.

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    The eating part…a bit of a different story.

    I ate less pasta, but still ate out a lot. And my lack of anaerobic exercise and less-than-stellar eating habits over the week led to the following weight and measurement results (initial results are in parentheses):

    Tale of the Tape: Mike Vardy

    • Weight: 178.8 lbs (177.4)
    • Waist: 36.1 inches (35.75)
    • Hips: 40 inches (41.75)
    • Biceps (flexed): 12.6 inches (12.5)
    • Legs (mid-thigh): 19.8 inches (21)
    • Total inches: inches (111)

    CM’s Take

    I feel like I made some great process this week. I increased my workouts considerably, doubling my weight on my deadlifts, DB presses and DB rows. This was the exact right amount of weight because it was easy to work at first, but at the end of each set I started to feel the burn. I also increased my reps on pushups (moving from inclined pushups on the stairs (8) to knee pushups (15) ), squats, hips raises, pretty much everything. I’m loving NerdFitness so far and can’t wait to dig in even harder this week.

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    One thing that caught me off guard though (and something that Mike was very adamant about last week) was not paying attention to proper form. I got a severe cramp in my back on Sunday afternoon when I wasn’t keeping my back straight for deadlifts. So, word to the wise; make sure to keep your form when working out.

    The running has been difficult this past week. I found that increasing my running from 45 seconds at a time to 90 seconds proved to be difficult. I also cramped up during running. After talking to some people that have completed marathons and the like, all of them said I was probably dehydrated. So, I made sure to keep up with my water intake during the day, and boom, cramps are gone. I may redo week 2 of the Couch to 5k to not make Mr. Vardy feel so alone (actually, so I can complete the workout, but don’t tell him that).

    My diet has been awesome. I’m eating a “modified” paleo diet and have done an awesome job of keeping out the processed sweets which have been my downfall in the past. I had a day where I had some fries, but nothing terrible. I feel like when I concentrate on working out that my diet just “falls into place”.

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    Here are my results for the past week (initial results are in parentheses):

    Tale of the Tape: CM Smith

    • Weight: 202.6 lbs (208)
    • Waist: 42.1 inches (43.5)
    • Hips: 42.5 inches (43)
    • Biceps (flexed): 14.25 inches (14)
    • Legs (mid-thigh): 24 inches (23.5)
    • Total inches: 122.85 inches (124)

    (Photo credit: Dumbbell on Red via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

    How to Beat Procrastination: 29 Simple Tweaks to Make Design Is Important: How To Fail At Blogging 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 6 Unexpected Ways Journaling Every Day Will Make Your Life Better Why Getting Things Done is the Best Productivity System For You To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System

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    Last Updated on October 14, 2019

    10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

    10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

    When it comes to increasing your metabolism, getting a good workout a couple of times a week is only one of many players. If you’re not a fan of lifting heavy stuff, then you’re only expending extra energy for that, say, one hour of that specific day. But what about the remaining 23 hours? How can you make sure you’re burning blubber all throughout the day? Here are 10 simple ways to increase your metabolism without working out.

    1. Stand More

    Many health practitioners claim that sitting is the new smoking. We sit in the office, we sit in the car, we sit when we get home. It’s not only terrible for your health and posture, but you require a lot less energy when seated. So, a good way to ignite the furnace a bit is to stand as much as possible through out the day. You work in an office? Put two boxes under your keyboard or laptop. There are many free solutions to making a standing desk—so you have no excuses. When you’ve gotten used to standing while working you will quickly find that it’s easier to stay engaged as well—you’re less inclined to drift away mentally. In fact, this post was written standing.

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    2. Gamify Your Life

    Toys such as the Fitbit or Nike Fuelband, or apps like Argus, can help you increase your metabolism by giving you an incentive to walk more. Argus, and other apps like it, use the accelerometer in your smartphone to measure your steps and let you know when you’ve hit your daily goal. Fitbit and the Nike Fuelband do the same, but have a host of other functions to make being healthy a tad more fun.

    3. Eat Your Veggies

    Fibrous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli increase your metabolism by putting your digestive system on overdrive. It just simply requires more energy to break down the tough fiber of these nutritional powerhouses. You’ll also start feeling like a rock star from the overload of vitamins and minerals from eating more vegetables.

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    4. Eat Protein

    This is one of those rules that’s not to be misunderstood. While it does boost your metabolism to eat more protein, it should be instead of other foods, not on top of other foods. If you’re stuffing your face with a chicken breast when you’re not hungry just to boost your metabolism, you’re doing it wrong. Of the three macro-nutrients—fats, carbs and protein—protein is the one that requires the most energy to break down. So, if you switch out some of those cheese sandwiches with a few hardboiled eggs you’re on the right path.

    5. Drink Loads Of Cold Water

    Drinking a few glasses of ice-cold water in the morning can boost your metabolism quite effectively. Your body expends energy on constantly staying in homeostasis when it comes to temperature, so if you chug a bunch of icy water you’re making your body expend more energy on keeping itself at the same temperature. Using temperature to expend more energy is called thermogenesis and it’s one of the most efficient ways of cranking up your calorie burning—more on this further down.

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    6. Spice Up Your Meals

    Spices like cayenne, chilli, ginger and turmeric ignite your metabolism and make your meals a bit more exciting. If you make it a habit to add a little bit of spice to each of your meals it can be a habit that turns you into a fat-burning furnace.

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      7. Drink Caffeine

      No, drinking loads of coffee is not bad for you. The sugar and heavy cream you could be inclined to chase it down with might be though. Caffeine helps mobilize—that is, get rid of—adipose tissue, or fat. It also helps athletic performance, and some individuals report it to have appetite-curbing effects. If you’re very sensitive to stimulants, try not to have caffeine too close to bedtime though, as it can mess with your sleep.

      8. Plan Your Meals Around Exercise

      I know the title of this post says “…Without Working Out” but this trick technically is more a nutritional trick than an exercise-related one. When you’ve exerted yourself and, hopefully, broken down some muscle fibers, your protein synthesis, or the rate at which you build muscle, increases. So, having heavy meals after a workout will make sure those calories get stored in the right places. This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to get a heavy session in before the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

      9. Do Intermittent Fasting

      It’s long been said you should always eat a heavy breakfast as it kick starts your metabolic rate. There hasn’t been any study proving this though. There have only been behavioral studies correlating obesity with breakfast skippers, but it’s always been a case of confusing correlation with causation. It’s not the fact that you skip breakfast that makes you fat; it’s the poor food choices you make throughout the rest of your day. Studies have shown that fat burning increases the longer you get into a fast, obviously depending on the body fat level of the individual. In fact, in one study lowered metabolic rate did not occur until 60 hours into a fast. Intermittent fasting is very much one of the bigger wins when it comes to increasing your metabolism.

      10. Use Cold Exposure

      For some reason it’s been common knowledge for a while that sweating increases metabolic rate. Scientist have known for a while though that the opposite is actually true; exposing yourself to cold temperatures increase your calorie burn significantly. Just slight shifts in your home temperature can mean pounds lost or gained when you gather the numbers yearly. How else do you think swimmer Michael Phelps is able to eat 12,000 calories a day? Obviously, he swims hours each day, but it’s not just the exercise he gets from swimming that allows him to consume such quantities of food, it’s also the amount of energy the body has to expend to keep itself at its baseline temperature in the cold water. So, taking ice-cold showers, decreasing the temperature of your home, or swimming in cool pools will help you burn a lot more calories.

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