27 posts categorized "health and wellness"

May 14, 2009

The original Stair Master

Today I'm in Orlando to give a keynote. 

When I went to the hotel gym this AM, it was packed full.  There wasn't a stair master, tread climber or exercise bike to be had.  On top of that, many of the people waiting in line were with the event, and I wanted some modicum of workout privacy -- so they'd meet me properly at the general session a few hours later. 

So I innovated my workout routine. I took the stairs. My hotel has 12 floors, which provided a perfect set of reps. It's like running the bleachers from high school days.  I marched up and down the stairs twice. Then I jogged up and walked down twice. My heart was pumping and my thighs and legs were on fire (in a good way).  

Back in my room I was able to curl my briefcase (fully loaded), do some situps and squats. All in all, it was a good experience and taught me that when all else fails "go old-school." 


April 09, 2009

Wellness is the magic bullet at work

I think that company wellness programs are MONEY.

They create healthier employees and reduce insurance claims.  Many companies find that the few year return on investment is three or four to one!

They are also a source of innovation and and leadership at work.  When ex-Sierra Club president Adam Warbach helped Wal-Mart teach store managers eco-sensibility -- he realized that wellness programs were the missing link.  When employees learned to take care of their bodies, looking out for the planet made sense (finally).  

Here's an excerpt on this subject from my latest book: 
Wellness Programs Excerpt from Saving The World At Work

Please support my work by buying a copy of the book, or if you've read it please review it at Amazon or BN.com.  Buy a box of 12 books and I'll send signed book plates and three different DVDs.  Contact me for more information.

January 31, 2009

Stop thinking

Yesterday, I turned a few friends on to Eckhard Tolle's The Power Of Now

The author, a really deep thinker, has a simple argument that is life changing: You are not your mind.  

To rock my friends' outlook on life, all I needed to do was play them about three minute of Tolle's narrative -- set to music.  Check it out this weekend and change your life too. 

Download Tolle To Music.mp3 (5720.1K)


January 06, 2009

Go back to dreaming and get some sleep

I just found out how to go back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night.  

Go back to dreaming.  

According to Dr. Woodson Merrell in his wonderful new book, The Source, we lose energy in our life because we lose the most important sleep -- the hours between 4am and rise.  

What happens, according to Merrell, is that we wake up, stop dreaming and start to think in real terms. This causes us to stay up and never quite get back into a deep sleep. Through his research and work, he's found that if you purposefully rejoin your dream after waking up, you'll quickly fall back into a deep sleep. 

After reading the book, Jacqueline told me about this and how the solution had worked for her the night before (twice). Last night, I woke up (and didn't look at the clock to check the time). I was having a dream about playing in a football game (stop laughing). I realized I was awake, and said to myself, "it's time to get back on the playing field". I laid my head on the pillow and in a few shakes, I was back asleep. 

You may not always be dreaming when you wake up, but the point is that you've got to figure out how to NOT start thinking in real terms. That is the secret to getting a good night's sleep. This is one of MANY great energy generating tips Dr. Merrell shares in The Source.

Get The Source at Barnes and Noble Online 
Get The Source at Amazon

July 18, 2008

Order good food (off the menu)

I travel about half the year, and spend more time at airports than my own home!

How can I stay healthy? I eat right at the airport, and avoid plane food whenever possible.

Eat right at the airport? How can this be done since it is all fast or chain food?

Simple: Go Danny Devito and order 'off the menu'. Recently, while sitting through a huge delay at Chicago O'Hare airport, I went into an Italian eatery and put together a meal that Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food) would be proud of.

I was very friendly with the server, told him about my quest to eat right at the airport, and quizzed him about the fresh veggies and simple proteins they had in the kitchen. I ended up ordering a half of grilled chicken breast on a half cup of fresh pasta and a big pile of steamed vegetables. (The reason I order a reduced portion of protein is that frequently, protein pushes veggies off the plate. In fact, according to Pollan, we should treat our animal protein portion like a side dish rather than an entre).

I've pulled this off at various fast food joints, such as Chinese and even Au Bon Pain.

The moral: Eating right is about thinking, negotiating and staying disciplined. Frequently travelers don't really do that much. Often we eat bad food for comfort, and wonder why we either gain weight or catch colds on a monthly basis. Pollan has it nailed when he advises: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.


June 30, 2008

When in Brazil...eat some fresh fruit

Brazilfruit

I had a speaking engagement last week in Sao Paulo Brazil at the World Management Conference. I flew in via a red eye, had one day on the ground and flew a red eye to my next gig in Chicago. I didn't get sick, and no one in Chicago told me I looked like hell, which I should have after 10 straight days of travel.

How did I keep myself healthy? I ate local fruit, drank a alot of water and got every second of sleep I could find. It was a recipe for road warrior health.

Where's the fruit? Everywhere. I took the above picture at the elevator. At this hotel (WTC Hotel), every floor offered an array of fresh fruit. I avoided any fast food or plane food and wrote down everything I ate (which improves my self-monitoring).

Wherever you travel, look for fresh fruit: hotel lobbies, convenience stores, restaurants. It is the secret to dealing with jet lag.

PS -- My second book (The Likeability Factor) came out in Brazil last week. It was exciting to see it in Sao Paulo book stores, in between Gladwell's Blink and The Secret!


May 29, 2008

Turn off your alerts and email notifications

Today I attempted to do everything in uni-task mode (as opposed to multi-task).

The secret for me was to turn off all the distractions that make it difficult to concentrate. Let me see…Yahoo Mail alert, my Entourage alert (sound, plus the little envelope icon in the toolbar), Yahoo alerts, my cell phone, instant messenger, etc.

Each one of these alerts provides an avenue for interruption. Not only does these little intrusions hamper our concentration and productivity, they are annoying.

When I participated in the New Economy Depression Study with Heartmath Institute in 2003, we noticed that information overload, combined with constant interruptions (decision shift in psych speak), leads to stress and depression.

I know its tech-cool to be 100% one, Twitterfied and ready for any stimuli, but really – don’t you want to do GREAT work?

So, unless you are waiting for a critical announcement or offer 24/7 instant response service, turn off your alerts and protect your sanity. You can find these alerts in the preferences of your email client, instant messenger or web service. At the very least, turn off the audio portion or ability for it to generate pop ups.


May 12, 2008

It's not a vacation if you are grazing on work...

When is the last time you unplugged, dialed out and took some REAL time off?

We live in a world where, even during our “vacation”, we constantly check back in with the real world to make sure its not falling apart without us on the wheel. At first, you might say that you’ll only check your email once a day, otherwise vacation. Then you find yourself checking it a few times a day, lobbing in a few phone calls to the office and then BANG: You are working remote.

This is not going to heal you from the work stresses and strains that a true vacation addresses.

Researchers indicate that if we truly take one week completely off, the positive effects can last up to a month! However, if we only partially take the week off, still checking in on things, the positive effects last three days. That is a big difference.

When you take your vacation this year, take the time to set everyone’s expectations that you will not be available. Delegate ‘emergencies’ to someone in your office. If you don’t have an admin – ask a coworker to do it for you and promise to return the favor.

Blow everything off but the present moment for your entire vacation. Live in the moment. When you get back home, everything will still be standing -- and you'll be fit and fresh.


April 25, 2008

Elevate while sleeping

Last night I attended a charity event for Yo San University, where Dr. Mao's and Dr. Dao’s new books were being launched. There were about 150 people at the event, which was held at a cool art gallery in Venice.

The surprise MC was none other than mega-blogger Arianna Huffington. (No, it was not Traci Ullman doing Arianna Huffington, I checked). With all of us crowded around her, she introduced special guests and speakers. Dr. Mao's remarks were funny, smart and inspiring. The big aha moment for me is when he quoted one of his patients referring to acupuncture sessions as "elevating while sleeping."

When he said that, I turned around a took a good look at the crowd. Most of them were his patients, many of them famous or successful. They looked healthy and happy, more so than your average crowd at a high end club or restaurant. What do they all have in common? They mix the East with the West. They explore new ways of thinking about health. And it elevates them.

What you are doing to elevate yourself? Try something this weekend: a massage, some green tea, reading Dr. Mao’s new book.

Do something for you.

I promise you, the more you practice this, the higher you’ll fly.


March 07, 2008

Don't kill yourself on the road

Is it just me, or is texting catching on with the grown ups?

It started with one friend that I was meeting for dinner. He texts me that he's running a minute late. Cool. Didn't even know how to use the function. Later that night, he texts me that it was fun. Next thing I know, four of my adult friends are texting me now, instead of calling. Convenient.

Talking on the phone is easy, texting is like writing a book on a deck of cards while operating heavy machinery. One reporter called driving a car while sending a text message: Driving While Intexticated. Turns out you are probably safer to drive with three drinks in you, than to send three text messages while navigating around a busy parking lot.

A Wall Street Journal covers how texting while driving should be considered criminally negligent.

For the last few years, the kids have been trying to drive and text at the same time. It's not working for them. Check out this Philadelphia Inquirer story for the entire scoop.

Don't fall for it. If you want to text, pull over and park. We are obnoxious enough as drivers with phones planted in our ears. At least when we are on the phone, we can see. Let's not make driving a game of bumper cars this weekend because we'd rather text than talk live. Ignore the texts and eventually, if its important, you'll get a phone call that you can take on hands free.

Your caller will ask, "did you get my texts?"

You can shrug your shoulders and say, "I was driving."


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