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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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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Navigate the Grocery Store Like a Superhero

How To Navigate The Grocery Store - The Jerd

Does grocery shopping intimidate you?

Do you often wonder how to separate the healthy from the not-so-much?

Do you ever leave the grocery store with more than you wanted and less of what you needed?

Well guess what?

You’re not alone!

Visiting the grocery store is a necessity, but without a little preparation it can be a difficult trip!

A majority of them feel like they have been set-up by super-villains; catering to every craving and emotional twinge you might have.

It’s going to take a bit of planning to enter these lairs of temptation, filled with their sweet treats, salty snacks, boxes upon boxes of unhealthy processed products, and survive with your wallet and diet intact.

Have no doubt, powerful marketing and eye-catching advertising is a dangerous foe!

So today I am going to show you how to approach grocery shopping with meticulous planning of the world’s greatest detective, Batman (Sorry Sherlock…) and cross the cashier line with a cart full of healthy food!

These 5 tips are guaranteed to help you avoid the common grocery store traps and make your next trip to the grocery store faster, cheaper and healthier!

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How to Fail at Fitness

How to Fail at Fitness 1

In case you hadn’t noticed, I spend a lot of time trying to help people get healthy.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lose some weight, build some muscle, or just feel better about yourself; if you are willing to put in the effort I am willing to put in the time to help you achieve your goals.

That being said, when I survey my social media networks I can quickly point out people who despite the best of intentions are setting themselves up for failure by falling victim to trends and fallacies.

It drives me into a gamma radiation induced rage (Hulk SMASH!!!) every time, but I usually manage to remember Law #7 of the Jerd Herd and keep my mouth shut. I figure if they want help they will come ask.

That isn’t going to stop me from passive aggressively addressing their nonsense here though!

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How To Measure Your Body Fat Percentage

How To Measure Body Fat Percentage 1If figuring out your optimal weight is difficult, then trying to understand body fat percentages can be downright impossible!

It’s tough to calculate, tougher to track, and often misunderstood.

So I am going to do my best to answer some pretty common questions:

  • What the %@$# is body fat percentage?
  • How much body fat should I have?
  • When is it important to calculate it?

This is a bit of a dry topic, so I am going to do my best to not ramble on and on like normal be concise as possible, and if you make it through to the end I have a prize for you. So let’s get going!

What Is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

How To Measure Body Fat Percentage - BMI

Even though I feel that the Body Mass Index (BMI) is outdated (and basically a waste of time), I wanted to start with this as it is still a common measurement taken in the healthcare industry here in the United States.

If you go to a doctor for a check-up, they will probably calculate your BMI.

Body Mass Index uses something called the Quetelet Index to determine whether you are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese by calculating the ratio of your height to weight.

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How To Track Your Fitness Progress

How To Track Your Fitness Progress - Write Things Down

There’s one important activity that separates those that succeed at something, from those that don’t.

Whether it’s people who have lost tremendous amounts of body fat, gained serious levels of muscle, developed high levels of athletic prowess, or built successful business and lifestyles for themselves… the specific goal doesn’t really matter.

No matter what they are pursuing there is one important thing that they all seem to do…

They write everything down.

I know that since you are reading TheJerd.com that you are smart, incredibly good looking and all-around awesome but I am going to assume that you’re also serious about making changes to your life to become even more awesomer (Shoosh! It’s my website, I can make that a word if I want to.)

If that’s the case then I truly cannot stress enough the importance of this! This doesn’t mean just watching the scale either, I’m talking about following and keeping track of a plan that helps keep you on the path to success! It’s not easy, but I am here to show you how to track fitness progress.

Let’s get started RIGHT NOW!

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How To Warm Up Properly…

… And Avoid Injuries

How To Warm Up Properly to Avoid Injury

We all want to get done with our workouts as quickly as possible.

We have games to play, comic books to read and things we want to accomplish in life and the more time we spend in the gym means less time doing all that fun stuff right?!? I get it…

What we don’t want is a pulled hamstring, bicep or pancreas though! It’s really difficult to lose weight, build muscle, feel better about ourselves, and continue on our path to becoming a real-life superhero if we’re laid up on the couch nursing an injury.

So don’t be that guy who wanders into the gym aimlessly and then plops down on a bench, or a machine, and starts cranking out a workout immediately.  I see it all the time, and very often these are the same people who end up never seeing real progress because they either:

  • Hurt themselves and have to take significant time off of their program
  • Never perform at their peak because their muscles aren’t primed and ready to go

Luckily, you’re reading The Jerd… and I’m going to keep you straight!

So today, in honor of Rule #6 of the Jerd Herd, we are going to talk about training smart! You’re going to learn why you need to warming up before every workout and how to warm up properly.

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How To Develop Super Heroic Willpower

How To Develop Willpower the Superhero Way - Professor X and the Xmen

It’s a new year, so inevitably everyone is talking New Years Resolutions and about Building Positive Habits.

And while we might know what we want to do and what’s most important to us, a lot of times acting on that knowledge is really difficult!

Because willpower.

I don’t care if you are a super hero of Professor Xavier proportions, at some point in your life you are going to have to wrestle with your impulses and face down self-control issues. It is inevitable.

In the book The Willpower Instinct author Kelly McGonigal explains that ultimately it is your frame of mind that fuels your willpower:

“It’s almost as if we have two minds. We have one brain that is very responsive to our immediate needs, and when we’re in that mindset, we tend to make decisions that are inconsistent with our long-term goals. But we also have this other mindset that thinks about long-term consequences, remembers what our big values are, and takes a kind of expansive view on our lives and our choices.”

When we focus on the immediate we find ourselves caught in a constant cycle of instant gratification, making it really difficult to do the things we know are good for us; but when we place our attention on the long-term, we tend to act in a way that makes our future self (the real-life superhero we aspire to become) happier and healthier!

Willpower is the super-power that directs our energy and attention to what we truly care about, and when it is weak (or even worse, completely absent) there will be a giant gap between our thoughts and actions.

So because I want to give you every possible tool available to change your life for the positive, here are five great tips for how to develop willpower like a superhero!

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How To Build Positive Habits

We are fast approaching that time of year when not only will visions of sugar plums dance in your heads, but so will New Year’s Resolutions.

So I wanted to take the last article of 2013 and get everyone prepped for 2014!

I’ve talked about how to not suck at New Year’s Resolution before, and one of the key elements to success that I pointed out was to approach them as habit changes.

What I didn’t do, was spend a lot of time talking about how to actually do that though. /facepalm

So I wanted to take this time to rectify that omission by giving you some tips on how to build positive habits for a heroic and happier life!

How to Build Positive Habits and Be Happy

The Power of Habit

If you’ve been reading The Jerd for any length of time you know what you’re supposed to do to get healthy (and you are also obviously super cool!) :

And yet, time and time again people still find themselves struggling to make changes that actually stick!

In time I have been running The Jerd, I can’t count the number of times I have heard this:

“I know what to do, I just can’t seem to do it.”

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How To Give Awesome Gifts

How to Buy Awesome Gifts

Gifts.

Every holiday season it is the same thing.

The wrapping paper Yin and Yang. The joy of receiving cool stuff (and the occasional ugly sweater from your crazy Aunt Helen) coupled with the soul-crushing despair of never knowing what to get for the important people in your life.

It can be really stressful, that’s for sure. Both on your wallet and on your peace of mind.

Fret not my Jerdlings.

Since the holidays are supposed to be about giving, I want to impart onto you all some solid gift-giving wisdom that should not only stop you from sucking at giving gifts, but also elevate your gifts into the realms of awesome!

Right here is the most important thing you need to know about picking a gift for someone important to you.

Are you ready for it?

Don’t give a thing. Give an experience.

While I am going to pontificate (as I am want to do) about what that means, and how to tailor it to the people in your life, that is really it in a nutshell.

Giving an awesome gift is really that simple. I promise.

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How To Cheat On Your Diet (And Not Feel Guilty)

How to Cheat on Your Diet Guilt FreeCheat meal.

I am sure you’ve heard the term; whether in an article, interview or show.

When you get your diet under control and start eating clean (remember, this means your long-term eating habits not a short-term fix… those don’t work!), eventually you will encounter this oft misunderstood concept.

I’m going to break down the do’s and don’ts of “cheating” for you, and teach you how to cheat on your diet and not feel guilty, so you don’t sabotage yourself!

A “cheat meal” is just an opportunity to enjoy some indulgent food that you don’t eat on a regular basis.

No matter what your intentions are, it’s impossible to be completely perfect with your diet all the time (it’s not necessary either to be honest)! “Cheating” on your diet occasionally, and enjoying some decadent food, can be a vital and integral part of a long-term healthy lifestyle.

How to Cheat on Your Diet Guilt Free - SupermanWhile some people will say that allowing yourself to “cheat” is the gateway to an all out binge, I think it is a good way to further hone your growing, superheroic willpower.

I won’t lie to you, sabotaging yourself by binging can and does happen, but I don’t think that’s a valid reason to treat cheat meals like kryptonite.

I spend a lot of time trying to help all of you loyal readers how to shop, prepare meals, eat clean and deal with temptation, but you also have to learn how to cheat the game and satisfy your urge for unhealthier fare!

When you first start on your Heroes Transformation, fixing your eating habits and trying to right your dietary ship, being ultra-strict to your diet plan is smart.

Identifying the “trigger” foods that will lead to overeating and bingeing (and avoiding them) is important, but every aspiring superhero has to eventually face down his nemesis and this is no different!

So how can you do it without backsliding into bad eating habits?

Face your Nemesis

When you really break it down, food is just fuel.

Yes, some things taste better than others but it’s usually emotional issues that are stopping you from controlling yourself. A Twinkie, no matter how much you may crave it, is not some evil version of Professor X controlling your mind and forcing you to cram it into your face hole.

A lot of “foods” are specifically engineered to increase cravings (read all about the food industry’s nefarious plots in the great book “Salt, Sugar, Fat”) but self-control, an amazing power that we all possess to some degree, can easily combat them.

A power greater than any carefully designed sugar-fat-salt-bomb!

Just like any new challenge it won’t be easy, and you will fail at times, but you will pick yourself up and you will eventually succeed!

I know it might seem like a logical solution, but simply avoiding your favorite foods and saying “I can’t have that because it makes me overindulge” is not the answer and it is a disservice to yourself.

How to Cheat on Your Diet Guilt Free - Contra Code

How to Conquer the “Cheat

So what’s the solution?

I’m glad you asked! The answer is a controlled cheat meal.

Here are some guidelines you can follow to help define exactly what I mean when I say “controlled” and how to fit these occasional “cheats” into your long-term dietary plan and remove the stress and guilt out of the process.

A “cheat meal” is just an opportunity to indulge and enjoy food you don’t normally eat.

  • Enjoy yourself: This is arguably the most important! Don’t feel guilty, don’t obsess over the calories… no regrets!

That being said, here are a few more guidelines so that your indulgences stay positive and don’t impede your Heroes Transformation progress like an attack from the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

  • Plan your cheat: In order to remain in control of your eating habits, you have to factor in your cheats intelligently! Yes, it takes the joy of spontaneity out of the experience but let’s be honest it was your lack of correct meal planning that landed you in this boat in the first place; so we aren’t leaving this up to chance! Realizing you have nothing in your refrigerator and then ordering a pizza and then counting it as your cheat works against you. This isn’t some sort of hall pass that gets you out of trouble for cheating on your diet; they should be included in your plan from the outset. I think picking a specific meal time is the way to go (maybe you don’t know what you’re going to eat but you know when) based on your social schedule, the holidays or what have you. Whatever it is, you should know in advance that it’s your cheat.
  • Track your progress: We are all different and, while cheating once or twice a week is fine for most, your individual goals may call for more or less. If you’ve been losing weight steadily and integrate 2 cheat meals a week into your diet plan and then stop seeing progress you are going to have to cut it back to 1 or change what it is you are indulging in. I have preached in the past about the value of food-journaling and I feel it is a worthwhile exercise to pick back up your first couple of weeks of “cheating” as well.
  • Don’t go crazy: This is very important, so I want you to listen to me… more does not taste better. There will always be another planned cheat so just eat slowly and savor this indulgence that you have earned, but don’t overeat!
  • Cheat meal ≠ Cheat Day: Unless you are an athlete burning crazy amounts of calories on a daily basis I don’t recommend taking an entire day to indulge. Yes, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has his famous doughnut days where he destroys dozens of the tasty treats but his Herculean regimen through the rest of the week allows for it… for us mere mortals our food for the rest of the day should be no different than usual. One “cheat meal” a week should not be enough to undo all your planning and hard work but a full day? Well that might just lay waste to all your hard work…

So there you go! I know I love my cheats… they tend to either come in the form of Chinese Food or Sausalito cookies, and some weeks they come more than a couple of times. The Jerd is not immune to the siren’s call of crappy food choices! I just remember that I have the positive habits I have built for myself as the first line of defense, and then I make sure I step back and identify when I am over-indulging and correct as necessary.

Like I keep saying, living a fit and healthy lifestyle is a lifelong and iterative process.

Don’t be afraid to course correct as needed!

What about you? What are your go-to cheats? Beer? Pizza? Wings? I want to know what they are and how you factor them into your plans, so let me know in the comments below!

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter and get your FREE e-book! Also subscribe to the YouTube channel (if you want access to our Nerd-Core Fitness exercise videos), follow me on Twitter, and like us on Facebook and Google+ (there is content on both not available here on the site.)There are so many different ways for you to get your daily dose of Jerdly goodness so don’t miss out!

Signed by the Jerd

 

 (Picture #1 credit)

PS: Make sure to get your free e-book, “The 7 Fitness Obstacles Newbies Face” by subscribing to our newsletter… no spam, I promise!
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How To: Become a Real-Life Superhero Pt 2

Heroes Transformation Journey 1Several weeks ago I started to explain the process that governs how to actually “Go from geek to real-life superhero” in How To Become a Real-Life Superhero Pt 1 (if you haven’t read it, take a few minutes and catch up now!)

Today I want to continue defining what it means for people to take their own personal Heroes Transformation journey.

In Part 1 of the series we defined what a hero actually is, how to visualize the heroic traits you want to embody, and explained the framework for this personal transformation… aka Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth, or Heroes Journey.

Don’t forget, you are the hero of your own story!

In the last installment we covered the first step of the journey, the “Call to Adventure“, so what is the second step?

Refusal of the Call!

That’s right; in almost every adventure, the hero punks out at first!

Let that mildly amusing fact be a comfort for you. We all get scared, and we all will try to rationalize our way to maintain the status quo. Fear of failure and the unknown is 100% natural and understandable!

What separates a hero from the masses is his/her ability to get past that initial refusal to do what is necessary.

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How To: Become a Real-Life Superhero Pt 1

Heroes Transformation Journey - BatmanOne of the tag-lines we use here at The Jerd is “Go from geek to real-life superhero.

I spend what could be considered an inordinate amount of time referring to people undertaking their own personal Heroes Transformation journey (in fact our 8 Laws of the Jerd-Herd are specifically designed to govern this process), but I realize that I have never sat down and defined exactly what this journey actually is.

So sit back, grab a healthy snack and get ready for a long ride!

I am going to break this up into multiple parts, and try to make it as entertaining as possible, so as not to put you to sleep with my ramblings. I hope when we are done with this exercise that you have a much more defined sense of purpose to help guide you to success.

First things first, the most important thing for you to remember is… you are the hero!

What’s the Definition of a Hero?

Before we can assign the title of hero to ourselves, it’s important to grasp exactly what we mean by that. Now, there are a lot of different ways people define exactly what a hero is:

  • The chief (male) character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize.” – Oxford Dictionary
  • A hero kills people. People that wish him harm. A hero is part human, part supernatural. A hero is born out of a childhood trauma or out of a disaster and must be avenged.”Dwight Schrute
  • A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”Joseph Campbell

Now while Joseph Campbell’s definition might seem a little grand for our purposes, that is where my inspiration for the Heroes Transformation comes from (which, along with this series of articles, is deeply rooted in Mr. Campbell’s ‘Heroes Journey’.)

If you aren’t familiar, then definitely check out his book “Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation” because it is fantastic!

A hero is someone who has made a decision to change his or her life and become even more awesome.” – The Mighty Jerd

How Does Being a Hero Change Things?

As you get ready to embark on your fitness journey (or any journey for that matter, be it a new business venture a bold move to an unfamiliar place… whatever!) it is vital that you change the way you see yourself.

You aren’t some innocent bystander, watching your story unfold from the sideline and you aren’t a side character with a small, and ultimately inconsequential to the main plot, storyline.

No… You are the hero of this tale dammit, and you are going to start acting that way!

When you think about all your favorite stories, the heroes (even the most reluctant ones) all end up having a code of some sort they live by… a way of addressing problems that stand in the way of their goals.

So if you think about your own personal fitness journey from that perspective, how do you plan to do things differently after you don the mantle of the hero?

These are all very important questions!

The hero does things differently than the average Joe, and if you’re going to embrace the fact that you are the hero of your own story you need to start acting differently than you have in the past.

That change in attitude can very well mean the difference between success and failure!

Now, of course you can embark on a journey towards better health and fitness without actually embracing this philosophy; that’s completely fine.

But if you want to play this like a sidekick, you can’t expect that this will turn out any differently than any attempts you might’ve made in the past (and a lot of times the side character in a heroic journey gets eaten by a dragon or something. Just sayin’.)

Don’t get lost inside your own life looking outward for heroes. Never forget, you are the hero of your own story!

What Does the Term “Hero” Mean to You?

How to Become a Real-Life Superhero

Even unlikely heroes like Neil from “The Legend of Neil” have a code!

I don’t know about you but one of the main reasons I am attracted to comic books or movies is my admiration of the hero, his ideologies, and the fact I know he will overcome what lies before him.

I see qualities in these characters that I like to think I possess, or wish I possessed, within.

Whether it is Superman‘s noble altruism, Captain Jack Sparrow‘s keen ability to talk his way out of any situation that befalls him, Red Sonja‘s aptitude for kicking ass or Kwai Chang Caine‘s almost inhuman self-discipline.

Your favorite heroes are a spectacular place to start looking for traits or qualities that you want to embody yourself.

I mean, there is probably a reason they are your favorites… right?

There is something about them that calls to you… whether its the fact you see a spark of recognition because you too already hold that quality somewhere inside, or maybe it’s due to admiration because secretly (or even not so secretly… I mean I’m pretty vocal about wanting to be Batman. Don’t judge me!) you wish you were more like them.

So why don’t you just take a minute and list them out?

Just grab a piece of paper and start scribbling. List your favorite heroes (and the trait that defines them to you) from books, movies, comic books, mythology… and most importantly,  from real life!

Now take the top three that appeal to you the most and assign them to yourself.

Write them down and tape them to your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, your computer monitor… wherever you will see them each and every day. Let these be a constant reminder that these are the things that define the real-life superhero you want to become. If you are having a hard time envisioning yourself as the hero, you can even take it one step further.

Turn it into a daily affirmation, a mantra if you will, that you repeat to yourself everyday!

Let’s use me as an example here…

I highly admire Batman‘s unflinching resolve and sense of justice, Theseus‘ courage and determination to never take the easy way out and my grandfather for his tenacity and drive to always do things himself… and if I boiled those down into three words that apply to my fitness journey, they would be:

  1. Determined
  2. Brave
  3. Self-reliant

So for me, that would turn into “I am a determined, brave and self-reliant hero.” I need to believe that.

It needs to resonate within my very soul!

I need to truly believe that no matter how hard I find a workout to be, or how tempted I am by a meal I know is going to sabotage me, that I can put my mission above my desires (be they to quit or satisfy my sweet-tooth) and stand resolute like Batman.

I must embrace the fact that even if I am afraid of failure, or that I might look silly or weak the first few weeks I am in the gym learning how to exercise properly, that the courage that allowed Theseus to face the Minotaur bare-handed will see me through.

Anytime I feel like I am not sure what to do next I will remember that my grandfather, the man who taught himself so many trade and life-skills on his own, would always first try to learn and understand something for himself before just taking someone’s word for it.

Let The Journey Begin!

Heroes Transformation Journey - The Shire - The Jerd

So now that you have defined what being a hero means to you, let’s go back to Joseph Campbell’s “Monomyth,” or hero’s journey, for a minute.

The first step always begins with our hero-to-be living some sort of mundane existence, usually in a place they don’t want to be (Ex – Luke Skywalker living on his uncle’s moisture farm on Tatooine). They then experience some sort of “Call to Adventure“; this is where destiny summons the hero.

This could be:

  • Deciding on their own to accomplish some adventure as Theseus did when he heard about that Minotaur
  • By getting sent abroad by an agent of fate like Odysseus was by Poseidon
  • A mere blunder or tragedy, a stroke of fate, be it a seemingly benign phenomenon that catches the wandering eye, or an event that transforms the person to their core and leads them down the road less traveled.

So for our purposes your “Call to Adventure” could be anything.

Maybe carrying in the groceries left you out of breath? Perhaps your doctor, or a loved one, pointed out that your life habits are putting you in danger of serious health issues? Perchance you aren’t happy with what you see when you look in the mirror?

Whatever it is that set you on the road to becoming a real-life superhero, you are ready to take the first step.

I want you to firmly believe, deep down in your heart, that the moment you set foot on this path that you became something new. Something better!

I will be right here to show you the way and help you when you need it. Now go forth and be even more awesome than you already are.

Be a hero!

Check out part two of the How To: Become a Real-Life Superhero series right here.

But before you do I want you to let me, and all the other aspiring Jerds out there, know what kind of hero you are going to transform yourself into, so speak up in the comments below!

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the new YouTube channel, follow me on Twitter, and like us on Facebook and Google+!

(Photo #3 credit)

PS: Make sure to get your free e-book, “The 7 Fitness Obstacles Newbies Face” by subscribing to our newsletter… no spam, I promise!
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How To: Survive San Diego Comic-Con

How To Survive San Diego Comic-Con

Nerd Prom.

Geek Christmas.

Nerdvana.

No matter you call it, the fact doesn’t change – San Diego Comic-Con, is without a doubt, the largest convention of its kind!

It is a literal sea of people, all coming together to celebrate their love for comics, movies, video games and geek culture… and if you’re attending, it doesn’t matter if you plan on spending your entire time in the convention center or if you are going to venture out to the many off-site events (like NerdHQ or the Geek & Sundry lounge) because either way you are in for sensory overload and a lot of stress!

So how do you survive a mega-con of this proportion with your sanity and fitness goals intact?

The Basics

How to Survive San Diego Comic ConWhile these apply to any convention, they are vital to your survival of a con of this magnitude:

  1. Budget – There is one simple fact you just have to accept; you will spend more money then you planned! To keep it from getting out of hand though, split up “floor” money and “entertainment” money. Know how much you want to spend on all the cool stuff you are going to see on the convention floor and separate it from what you plan on spending on tickets to off-site events, going out drinking with your friends, etc… That way, when you find that Limited Edition Bedazzled My Little Pony Galactus variant figure you just can’t live without you know you won’t be stuck in your hotel room at night because you’re broke.
  2. Bring Snacks – I could lump this into #4 below, but I feel it’s important enough to call it out on its own. You’ll be walking around non-stop, and you will get hungry! You could stand in one of the ridiculously long concession lines to spend $18 dollars on some cold, nasty chicken fingers or you could toss a few snacks in your bag, freeing up your time, cash and saving you from eating a plate of deep-fried shame! I recommend tossing an apple, a banana, a bag of raw almonds and maybe some jerky or a Quest protein bar into your bag each morning.
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Eating Healthy While on Vacation

Editor’s Note: Summer is here, and that means vacations! Guest author, Cole Millen, has some solid tips for you on how to stay on track… so heed his wisdom and check out his blog, Cole’s Mill, when you get a chance for more of his musings on travel and food!

Eating Healthy While on VacationThe entire point of a vacation is to interrupt the daily grind of life and hit a “reset” button.  Things like eating healthy and exercise are just two of them, but it’s so easy to let them slide.  It is, after all, a vacation.  Time to cast aside all the worries of daily life.  Eventually, all good things (including vacations) must come to an end, and it will be a rude awakening if certain habits like exercise and healthy eating have not been kept up.

If you are traveling by air, eat a healthy meal before you get to the airport. This will minimize the likelihood of you raiding the vending machines and snack shops for cookies, chips and other fatty items. Also, stash a few healthy snacks like raisins, nuts and sunflower seeds in a plastic baggie and put them in your pocket just in case you get hungry while you are waiting for your flight. The airport can be a very difficult place to find healthy food. Make sure to look for grilled chickens and salads whenever possible.

If you are traveling by car, pack a cooler full of your favorite health foods. This will keep you from swinging by fast food joints and ordering greasy burgers and fries. Turkey on whole wheat, low fat yogurt, water, carrot sticks and boiled eggs are nutritious options you might consider packing. Also, avoiding fast food places at all costs is very important. Even the salads that you order from fast food joints are processed and not good for you.

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How To: Recover from a Workout

how to recover from a workoutSince I have been dealing with a few back-end site hiccups the past two weeks I thought I would use it as a round about way to discuss the importance of an oft-times overlooked, but vital, component of a fitness regimen. Recovery time!

First off, before I lay out how to recover from a workout, let’s talk about what really happens after a workout and why we get sore.

Muscle soreness (not the burn you feel while performing an exercise, but that sucky dull ache we all experience the day after a workout) is caused by tiny microscopic tears that occur in the muscle as a result of high intensity exercise. After the workout, the muscle begins to rebuild itself. This is the process which creates new muscle that is bigger and stronger than before. In other words, the pain you feel is your muscles growing! Unfortunately this soreness is proof of a successful workout as it means you’ve trained hard enough to break down muscle tissue; so now, as a result, you are rewarded with muscle growth. Yay!

Luckily the human body is an amazing machine that adapts to whatever you throw at it. So don’t worry true believers, the workout that initially felt like it crippled you will eventually be a walk in the proverbial park. The cruel joke of it all though is that we need to constantly “shock” our body with new exercises in order to steadily stimulate muscle growth and improve our fitness level. So expect the soreness to return every time you try something new at the gym. It is a never-ending cycle, but there is definite truth to the old adage “No pain, no gain!

The good news is that there are ways to cut down on the miserableness of post-workout soreness, so let me arm you with a little knowledge on how to recover from workouts and to help mitigate the suck factor.

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How To: Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions

Stick to Your New Years ResolutionWe are now almost a week into 2013 and I am already seeing friends and family complain about slipping on their resolutions.

It is a phenomenon that happens every year without fail!

I think studies show that something around a staggering 80% of all resolutions are unsuccessful; and while the science behind why your brain goes into cognitive overload when you lay down all those well-intentioned resolutions on your frontal lobe is fascinating, I want to focus on something a little more useful to my readers.

How to Not Suck at New Year’s Resolutions!

How to Not Suck at News Years Resolutions - The Jerd

That’s right Jerdlings, let’s break down what to do (and not to do) when it comes to this yearly cycle of fail and guilt.

I am sure you already have your list of resolutions, either in your head or scribbled on a piece of paper hanging on your refrigerator, but let’s take a few minutes to look at why you might be setting yourself up for a morale crushing failure; and even better yet let’s use this as an opportunity to revamp them in a way that will make you successful!

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