The Data Warrior

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Archive for the tag “healthy-living”

The Simple Fitness Habit Holiday Challenge from @zen_habits

One of my favorite non-tech bloggers is Leo Babuta over at ZenHabits.com. This post came up yesterday and caught my eye.

Why?

I had just been at my weekly yoga class and was a bit bummed out looking in the mirror at the profile of my not-so-slim-anymore belly while doing Warrior 2.

Not a pretty picture. ūüė¶

To be a good warrior of any kind it really helps to stay in shape. And, like every year this time, I do think about such things as I contemplate all the yummy treats headed my way.

I really could stand to loose a few pounds here (definitely before Christmas), but have been pretty unsuccessful doing so in the past few years.

The older I get, the easier they go on, the harder they come off. It’s a fact of life.

Then I see Leo’s post and think – hmm maybe this will get me going in the right direction. He made it a challenge, and who is not motivated by challenge eh?

So here is the intro for my fellow warriors to peruse.

The SFH Holiday Challenge

We recently announced our holiday challenge to SFH members, and today I’m sharing it with you guys too.

What‚Äôs the challenge about? Basically, sticking to rules you create to stay healthy during the holidays ‚ÄĒ not gaining all that holiday weight, and maybe getting leaner and healthier in the process.

How does it work?

  1. Choose an eating habit. We have several suggestions, from No White Foods to our Mindful Diet to a vegan diet, but what you choose is up to you.
  2. Choose an exercise challenge. Again, it’s up to you, though we have a couple of suggestions here.
  3. Make a big public commitment. Announce it big time.
  4. Stay accountable. Check in daily or as often as you have time for. This will help you stick to the challenge.

Sound good? Read more here.

Read the entire post here:  The Simple Fitness Habit Holiday Challenge : zenhabits.

Once you click through everything, you will get to all the details. One of the suggestions is a push up challenge for the exercise piece. Since I already walk most days at lunch I decided to try that one out.

This morning I did the the initial test and pulled off 30 good-form pushups in a row.

In a few days I will start the program based on that result. Looks like I get to skip all the way to the week 3 program!  Wow.

So who else is will join me in this Data Warrior Challenge?

Leave a comment below to let us know who will give it a shot (that counts as #3 above – public commitment).

Let’s get in better shape so we can start 2014 in prime form!

Pil Sung!

Kent

The Oracle Data Warrior

Breaking a non-Fitness Habit

After writing about creating a new fitness habit yesterday, I had my own little ah-ha moment today about a bad habit I had formed..

For lunch today, I went downstairs to the building cafe and got a pretty healthy sandwich and some steamed broccoli (instead of fries) and headed outside to eat. There are a few shaded tables outside our building in a little garden-like area. Good place to sit and eat in relative peace. (I even kept my phone in my  pocket)

It was a nice day, only about 75 degrees . (That might seem warm for November, but for Houston that is bordering on cool.)

After eating, I realized I had about 30 minutes to spare before needing to get back to work. So I decided to take a little walk along The Woodlands Waterway, which is a few blocks from the office. Figured I could get in a quiet little stroll.

As I was walking, it occurred to me that, at least this time of year, I could probably do this most days.

Hmm…that could be a little fitness habit for me to start.

That was not the ah-ha moment though…

The ah-ha part was realizing that, in fact, I had walked at lunch everyday since I started this new contract.

Huh? How could that be?

Well since last week was my first week at a new location, with a new client, and new co-workers, I had actually gone out for lunch everyday (not something I normally do). Due to the location of the office, I had walked to get lunch every day since there are a bunch of restaurants and shops along and near The Waterway.

So, even before I wrote the post yesterday, or had read the post on Zen Habits, I had actually already started forming a new fitness habit.

Cool.

Getting more regular exercise was one of the reasons I took the new gig with the shorter commute.

Check! This is a good start.

However, there was also a more dramatic ah-ha in all this.

In starting this new habit, accidental as it was, I had actually broken a really BAD non-fitness inducing habit that many office professionals (you know who you are) do on a regular basis:

Eating lunch at your desk!

That really is not a healthy habit for a bunch of reasons (which I hope I do not have to explain to anyone).

Today I realized that I had fallen prey to that bad habit over the last 2+ years while I was working at my last assignment. I ate lunch at my desk, on average, up to 4 days a week (unless I went out to lunch with someone).

Four days a week eating at my desk, while reading blogs, writing blogs, or reading email!

Bad Data Warrior! 

Good way to become a Data Zombie.

Well that’s over! With my little awakening today, I plan to making it a habit to NOT eat at my desk and to get outside and walk 15-20 minutes at lunch at least 4 days a week. ¬†If the weather is too hot, or raining, I will check out the fitness center in our building (free to use!). Worse case, there is a treadmill.

So, what is your story?

Do you eat lunch at your desk trying to be more productive?

Stop that now (you are not being more productive, really).

Get up, get outside. Even if you don’t go for a walk, at least eat somewhere other than¬†your¬†desk. Get away from that computer. Talk to some real people – in person. Or talk to yourself.

See the world outside¬†your¬†cube. It’s pretty nice out here.

Later.

Kent

P.S. Side benefit of my walk today was that I found a hidden Zen Garden and Koi Pond along the way. No idea how long it had been there, but I know where to go now for even more peace along the already pretty peaceful waterway. Might be able to proactice a little Tai Chi or Chi Gung there while I am at it.

My secret Zen garden

 

Do you have a Fitness Habit?

With my new assignment comes new opportunity.

One of those opportunities is the time to exercise a bit more (I just eliminated a rather long commute).

What to do and when to do it? How to arrange my new schedule efficiently to get in a work out , do my job, do my user group activities, write blog posts, attend school functions,  etc.

Several years ago I had a very regular exercise routine. Then things changed, as happens in life, and my routine had to change.

Now that things have changed again, the hardest part is getting started again. I got out of the regular habit.

Seems to be a common problem as evidenced by this recent post on Zen Habits:

In the last few months, I’ve spent a bit of time working with a group of fantastic fitness experts to create a fitness program that I think could change people’s lives.

But what I’ve found in doing research and working with beta testers is that the most important thing isn’t some secret ideal fitness plan … but forming the habit of fitness.

It’s the habit, not the plan, that makes all the difference in the world.

It‚Äôs fascinating, really. I‚Äôve found that you can give beginners 10 different fitness plans ‚ÄĒ yoga, running, Crossfit, TurboFire, P90X, bootcamp workouts, MoveNat, etc. ‚ÄĒ and they can all fail. Why? Because it doesn‚Äôt matter how good the workout is, or how good the diet is ‚Ķ if people don‚Äôt actually follow the plan.

The problem isn’t that people don’t know what kinds of exercises to do … they generally do know what they should be doing. And really, no matter what people choose, it’ll generally be better than nothing.

via ¬Ľ Why the Fitness Habit is More Important Than the Plan :zenhabits.

So that’s where I am. I know what I should do…I just have to do it.

What about you Рdo you have a fitness habit?  How did you form yours? Please share your experiences (and suggestions) in the comments.

To your health.

Kent

 

Learn a Little Chi Gung with my KScope Morning Chi Gung Video

A¬†little¬†background…

Last year for the ODTUG Kscope conference, then-president Mike Riley asked me if there was something from my martial arts training that I could offer to Kscope attendees that would enhance their conference experience.

I proposed doing some Chi Gung moving mediation exercises in the morning, something I had started teaching at summer martial arts camps about 20 years ago.

The ODTUG Board accepted the proposal and the rest, as they say, is history.

We introduced Morning Chi Gung at Kscope11 in Long Beach, California with great success and reviews.

We did it again for Kscope12 at the beautiful JW Marriott in San Antonio, Texas, with another great turn out. I lead sessions every day, Sunday through Thursday at 7 AM. (It went so well a few folks even joined me on Friday morning after the conference for one more session.)

This year we also added organized running groups and a running meet-up sign up board to encourage attendees to network in a new way.

Fitness activities are fast becoming a ODTUG tradition, so we plan to do them again at Kscope13 in New Orleans.

As far as I know, ODTUG is the first, and maybe only, Oracle user event to offer organized fitness activities for attendees. It may be the only technology conference doing so.

Pretty cool. Hopefully we will inspire other events to add similar activities.

Morning Chi Gung at Kscope12

My morning Chi Gung group

Chi Gung – The Video

Several of the attendees this year wanted to be sure they could continue to practice the meditations after the conference was over. So they asked if I had any videos of the routines available. There are a few clips from KScope11 but none with audio instructions.

Thanks to Lori (ODTUG Social Media Maven) and her digital video camera, we have a brand new instructional video to share with everyone. Now I had to work around having a microphone with a short cord attached to my jacket, but the audio is really good so you will have no problem hearing my instructions and descriptions of the various exercises.

The video is now live online on the ODTUG YouTube Channel over here.

In the video you will see¬†me give detailed instructions and explanations of several Chi Gung “still stance” breathing meditations. I lead the group in doing Upward-Downward, Inward-Outward, Raised Hands Stance, Tai Chi Ball, Four Forms, and the Warrior Energy Form. Each of these moving meditative sets can be done individually or in the series as demonstrated, depending on your available time and fitness level.

So if you were in my classes, I hope you find the video useful to help you continue your practice.

If you weren’t there, I hope the video will inspire you to start a new practice.

Either way I hope you will all join me at KScope13 next year in New Orleans.

Until then…Peace

Kent

P.S. If you have not done so already, please consider subscribing to this blog, or follow me on Twitter @KentGraziano

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