How To: Train Smarter and Stay Injury Free

The older I get, the more important it is to me to stay injury free.

Not to say that when I was younger I didn’t care about my personal safety, or health, it just wasn’t something I thought about because, should anything happen, I was able to spring back in almost no time.

Now? Not so much.

Whether you are an avid gym-goer of advanced years, creeping up on middle-age, or you are a beginner trying to put your couch-potato ways behind you, there are few things you need to know about how to stay injury free during your fitness journey.

So let’s dive in, shall we?

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What Does The Word “Diet” Really Mean?

Continuing my quest to answer all of #TeamHooman‘s Twitter questions (see Gym Bag Essentials for the first in this series of articles), I have another one to tackle:

@Bvrdan“Recently came up with me. The difference between diet weight loss and the importance of diet for weight gain?”

This is a confusing, and extremely important, topic!

So many incorrect, preconceived, notions pop into people’s mind when they hear the word “diet”. So let us take a few minutes and clear up any confusion, and then look at the specifics of his question.

Mmm’kay?

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Gym Bag Essentials

So a couple of weeks ago I asked on Twitter what topics people wanted me to tackle, and the #TeamHooman community came back with a bunch of requests; here’s the first one of the responses I want to tackle:

@MTW3ESQ“Have you done anything about gym bag contents? I run, but thinking of gym, 1st since HS, so new paradigm for gear/clothing.”

What a great topic, and one I can’t believe I haven’t tackled already!

I guess it is one of those things that I take for granted, but if you are new to the gym it is definitely something you should think about.

So below are my bare-bones essentials for what to pack in your gym bag. Oh, and a quick aside before we get started. Whatever you do end up packing in your gym bag, make sure you are doing it the night before and either leaving it next to your front door, or in your car. One of the most common reasons people skip their workouts is because “I forgot my gym bag.”

Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Plan ahead!

Now, on to what you should be stuffing inside of it… hint, it is not your cat.

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Getting Fit with Pokémon Go!

In two weeks, Nintendo has done more for fitness than anyone else in the last few years.

Somehow they have turned walking into a game everyone, not just nerds, enjoys.

Take a minute and think about that. Somehow, with nothing but a simple app and some cute digital creatures, Niantic has taken this Nintendo property and magically convinced people that walking around their neighborhood, or through local parks, is fun!

With Pokémon Go, life has become some sort of giant RPG-like scavenger hunt that everyone is playing.

In a month, Pokémon Go has become the number one mobile game in the world with over 75 million downloads worldwide.

I’m going to let that number sink in a minute.

That’s more than the population of Sweden, Portugal, Greece, Belgium, Cuba, Finland and Denmark combined!

So for the three of you out there not onboard the Pokémon train, here’s what it is all about:

Players use their phones to hunt and search for digital creatures (Pokémon) by getting out, and walking around, to find these creatures and capture them by throwing devices called Pokéballs at them. Players are rewarded for exploring new areas (as different Pokémon appear in different locations so finding all 151 types is a massive under-taking) as well for capturing and holding landmarks designated as Poké Gyms.

And if you are one of those people proudly proclaiming on the Internet how you are somehow above a harmless game that is getting people out of the house and being more social than you can go #$%@ yourself should read on.

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An Interview With Ming Chen

Loyal readers of the site know that, whenever possible, I sharing other people’s philosophies on fitness (and if you aren’t a loyal reader, come on… get with the program!)

I do this for three distinct reasons:

  1. My views on fitness are just that, my views. I want to share as much positive stuff as I can
  2. Sometimes an occasional break from my awesome sarcastic ramblings is good for you all
  3. Because I am selfish, and sometimes I want to hear what someone else has to say…

I say this because this last month I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ming Chen, from AMC’s Comic Book Men and the I Sell Comics podcast.

We met in Washington, D.C. at Awesome-Con 2016, and he graciously agreed to sit down with me for a chat about his passion for running, what it was like growing up a geek, and his love of comic books.

So sit back and enjoy!

(Also, if you just want to listen, the podcast version is embedded all the way at the end of the article…)

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A Guide To Proper Gym Etiquette

aka How Not To Suck At The Gym

I recently asked a bunch of people on Twitter what some of their biggest hurdles were in their desire to get in shape. The number one answer?

Being afraid of the gym.

I get it; new things can be scary. In no way do I want to discount your trepidation about stepping into a potentially intimidating environment.

But while at-home workouts are great to get you moving, get you on a regular exercise schedule, and preparing your muscles for the rigors of strength training, they will only get you so far.

Eventually, if you want to shed serious pounds and build muscle, you are going to have to get on a strength training program.

And more than likely, that is going to require joining a gym.

So let us take a minute and talk about the realities of going to the gym for the first time, proper gym etiquette, and getting over some of your fears.

Sound good?

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How To: Get Convention Fit

There are 60 days left until San Diego Comic-Con. That’s:

  • 60 days to get your legs ready to lap the San Diego Convention Center a gazillion times.
  • 60 days to get your back ready to stand in lines; oh so many lines.
  • 60 days to get your shoulders ready to carry all your sweet swag.

60 days.

Not a lot of time when you really think about it, is it?

Luckily, even if SDCC has crept up on you, you still have time to get yourself in convention-going shape!

Here are my tips for getting in Comic-Con shape, and getting the most out of your SDCC experience.

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Product Review: Blue Apron Meal Delivery Service

Members of the Jerd-Herd should already know that I believe diet is 80% of the fitness battle.

Not only does eating a clean and healthy diet help keep the pounds off, it helps you feel great and gives you the energy you need to smash super-heroic workouts on a regular basis.

But sometimes finding the time to cook a good meal is hard!

Even when you know it is the “right” thing to do…

This is where meal planning and delivery services come in! I have already championed the eMeals planning service, which sends you weekly shopping lists and recipes based on your dietary requirements, but Blue Apron takes things a step farther!

So how does this service work? Glad you asked!

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7 New Year’s Resolution Mistakes You Are Probably Making (And How To Fix Them)!

Every new year I have multiple discussions about New Year’s resolutions.

Whether it is listening to friends talk about what they have planned, participating in discussions on social media, or pontificating here on this site about how you can stick to them.

It happens every.single.year.

So I figured this year I would let you all get started, let some of you fall off the wagon, and then swoop in like a superhero after the fact to point out some common mistakes you are probably making with your New Year’s resolutions.

In the sincere hope that I can help you avoid sucking at them, and get you back on track, if you need it.

So put down your Ultra-Green-HerbaCare-Superfood-Detox smoothie (because Detoxes are complete $#@%!) and let’s get into this!

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How Do I Help My Family Get Healthy?!?

Do you have someone in your life that you really worry about?

Someone who is unhealthy, on the road to serious health issues or consequences, and who doesn’t seem to care?

Do you want to help them but aren’t sure how to, or how they will take it?

You’re not alone!

This is something I have been thinking about a lot of late, and I wanted to address it with your help. So I am going to share my thoughts and ideas on the subject, but I sincerely want to hear what you guys think.

After reading this, I want to hear your thoughts. How do you think you would handle these situations?

Okay, now let’s dive into these perilous waters…

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3 Fitness Buzzwords That Drive Me Insane!

Anyone who has read more than of my articles already knows how much I hate poorly researched health advice, over-hyped programs, and deceitful product advertising.

I am all for people doing their best to spread health and fitness wisdom, or come up with products that satisfy a real need, but if your entire goal is to make a profit off the backs of people’s insecurities then I probably find you contemptible.

And if you are trying to trick people into believing they will achieve quick results as long as they pay three installments of $29.99, only to then offer them your next latest and greatest product that you are “crazy to reveal to the public”?

Well, then I hate everything about you and I want to Batman Judo-Chop you in the throat!

The people that do this aren’t interested in helping people reach their goals, and they don’t have their best interests at heart; they are just trying to line their pockets with fat cash.

Fortunately loyal readers, I’m here to protect you from this nonsense!

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I Will Look Like That… Eventually.

Editor’s Note: I asked Stormy Riot from GeekGirlStrong to offer up some of her thoughts on body shapes and image this week… and she definitely delivered!

I think it is fairly common for most kids to think that eventually, they will look like the adults they see most often.

For a kid today, the adults they see the most often are the ones they do not even know personally. Even once we grow up it seems that we are forever aiming to look like those we see before us.

Whether that is Scarlett Johansson, Lara Croft or maybe Ororo Monroe, we believe that there must be something we can do to achieve a look we thought we would grow into.

Society (I’m painting with a really big brush here) expects for us to look something like an hourglass or a pear for women, and an inverted triangle or carrot for men.

So much so that we have found all kinds of shapes and objects to describe different body types/shapes. It is said that there are evolutionary reasons behind this, women with wider hips (think waist to hip ratio) appear better able to carry offspring to term and give birth. Men with broad shoulders (the waist to shoulder ratio) seem strong and capable of protecting and providing.

Current studies and articles in academic journals support this. It is not that we would rather be in a long-term relationship with this person, but the evolutionary attraction is definitely there.

For some more insight, check out these links:
http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/4/716.full
http://www.unm.edu/~abryan/articles/femalehipratio.pdf
http://www.ehbonline.org/article/S1090-5138(09)00109-3/abstract

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BOD PODs – What Are They?

aka How In-Shape Is The Jerd?

One of the most popular articles here at the Jerd is a piece entitled How to Measure Your Body Fat Percentage.

In it I detail why Body Mass Index (BMI) is a really poor way to measure your health (and why doctors need to stop relying on it), what body fat percentage is, and the five major ways you can accurately measure it.

Of course you should read that first, but here’s a recap of those methods (in order from least to most accurate) if you’re in a hurry:

One thing that has always bugged me about that article is that, at the time of writing, I had never done anything more accurate than using body fat calipers; and as frequent readers of the site know, I pride myself on being thorough with my research.

So when my gym announced they had a BOD POD coming in to do body scans I had to jump at the chance!

Out of the three higher-end methods the BOD POD was, not only the most accurate but also, the one that intrigued me the most; I think because, after a little Internet research, I was convinced it was fueled by some sort of dark sorcery instead of science.

So let’s take a look at exactly how the BOD POD works, and what my experience was like!

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An Interview with Ryon Day

Editor’s Note: This interview is long. So hella long in fact, that I almost thought about splitting it up into two or three parts; but I decided against it. You get it all at once! And if you just want to listen, the podcast version is embedded all the way at the end of the article too… enjoy!

Whenever possible I like to bring other people in to discuss their fitness philosophies with you, my fine readers. I do this for three distinct reasons:

  1. My views on fitness are just that, my views. I want to showcase as much positive stuff as possible
  2. I want to give you guys an occasional break from my awesome sarcastic ramblings
  3. Because I selfishly like hearing what other people have to say…

I say this because this week I sat down with Ryon Day, of Geek & Sundry and #TeamHooman notoriety.

I was lucky enough to meet him briefly at San Diego Comic-Con this year and he graciously agreed to sit down with me for what I thought would be a simple chat about fitness; and while we definitely talked about working out, and eating right, it turned into a wonderful discussion about what it means to be a geek, how to positively affect change in those around you, and how to love yourself.

So sit back and enjoy this very long, but fascinating, look into the geeky mind of a fit, and healthy, geek!

(Also, the full NSFW audio interview is available as well for those who want our voices in their ear-holes… see below!)

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5 Awesome Workout Motivation Tips!

Show of hands, who has ever wanted to skip a workout?

You… you too… you over there…

Well guess what? Me too!

We have all been there.

It’s not just you. It happens to us all, but when life tries to drain you of all your superpowers you can’t let it!

If we only worked out when we felt like it, or when we weren’t tired or stressed or too busy, we probably wouldn’t exercise very much at all.

There’s a reason we set our alarms for 5:30 in the morning and decline that tempting chocolate muffin! We’ve got goals. So for the days when the snooze button is just calling your name, or your goals just aren’t convincing enough, here are 5 way to get motivated and keep your eyes on the prize!
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How To Eat Healthy On A Budget

“Eating healthy is too expensive!”

If I only had a dollar for every time I have heard that nonsense I could finally buy that awesome Batman – Arkham Asylum LEGO set I have always wanted.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not going to sit here and tell you that unhealthy food isn’t often more accessible and sometimes cheaper than healthy alternatives; but I am going to clear up some misconceptions that go along with this line of thinking.

#JerdFact – You can eat healthy on a budget, it just takes some planning!

Today I want to talk about changing the way you think about healthy eating, specific foods that are a great bang for your buck, and how you can win at food!

I know I have said this before, but it bears repeating.

Whether you want to lose weight or pack on some muscle, making the right food choices will always account for 70-80% of your battle!

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4 Superheroic Steps to Stop Snacking!

 

Editor’s Note: I am off preaching the good word of geek fitness at Awesome-Con this week, so I have asked the geektastic Mike Sweetman, from Be A Healthy Geek, to step in and shares his thoughts on how to stop snacking late at night… Take it away Mike!

It’s after supper, and I just can’t stop myself from heading to the cupboards for even more food.

This was me every night – I’d head to bed feeling defeated, and wake up tired because of all the food I’d ate late at night. It took me a lot of reflection and research, but I managed to defeat my personal super villain.

And I know you can too…

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