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Geek Fitness Health Hacks

I’m a runner, a fitness junkie, a nutrition nut, but most importantly--I’m a geek. I used to be overweight, unhealthy, and lazy. I lost 155 pounds, and along the way, I figured out how to lead a healthy, active lifestyle without giving up a single bit of the geekery that makes me who I am. Every episode of Geek Fitness Health Hacks is packed with strategies that I personally used to overhaul my life, and I want to share them with you so that you can be as happy and healthy as I am, all while making sure that you keep geeking out for the long haul. I have severe anxiety, and even though I I practice meditation, do yoga (every damn day!), study Buddhism and am all about mindfulness, I still take medication to keep my panic attacks under control. Mental health is every bit as important as physical health, and I don’t want that to get shoved under the rug. I don’t want there to be a stigma about it, so I discuss strategies for self-care and dealing with panic and stress in your life. Additionally, I truly believe that compassion and kindness are essential to being healthy and happy, so this is a very positive show. I want to motivate you into living a good life and being happy, not scare you into one. So are you ready to press start, player one?
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Mar 31, 2017

Howdy do, geeks! It's Friday, the world is beautiful, springtime is here, and we are all upright and breathing. What's there not to be happy about?

Geektitude!

We added a new podcast to the network this week, GeektitudeOur take on a network is a little different than others, but we think that's awesome. Instead of putting together a monetized group of disparate shows, we are handpicking people and shows that fit with the original idea Void and I had when we started Geek to Geek: being positive and geeky and friendly.

And Joe Hogan does that. With about 70 episodes in his backlog, Joe is a fantastic dude, and you should totally go subscribe to his show. You won't be sorry. Here's the link to the episode I did with him a few weeks ago, too. It's a good place to start, I think.

trimming up, slimming down

I've been heading back to the gym, and like I mentioned on last week's podcast, I have been working on meditating and doing yoga actively, too. It's helped. Between eating better (outside of the delicious Mexican food I just had for lunch) and making fitness a priority again, I've lost a few pounds and already trimmed up enough to wear a few of my shirts I couldn't quite fit into last month.

speaking of shirts!

I'm trying something out with Teespring and put up some Geek Fitness t-shirts you can buy. They're pretty cheap and 10% of it all goes to Child's Play, a super awesome charity.

So head over, buy a shirt, and be on the lookout for more designs in the future. Because merch is cool, I'm cool, so my merch is extra cool. That's how it works, right?

#yogaeverydamnday starts tomorrow

I have a month-long challenge that I'm setting up for myself, and it starts tomorrow. One of my favorite hashtags has been #yogaeverydamnday, and I figure April's a good place to start. It makes me feel better physically and mentally, it's low-impact so my old-man body won't shatter like Hollywood sugar-glass, and it's fun to do.

I'm not sure if I will be doing it in the morning, during the day, or at night, but my goal is to do at least 10 minutes of yoga every day until May 1. That's not a hard goal, and I tend to go longer than 10 minutes whenever I'm doing yoga, anyway. But it's a measurable and attainable goal, and I would love you guys to do it alongside me. What do you say?

firekid

I went to a concert a couple of weeks ago, and I haven't been able to stop listening to the album ever since. Dillon Hodges performs under the name firekid, and his self-titled album is simply phenomenal. I have heard him live before, but I had forgotten how talented he is.

If it makes any difference, this is the only full-length album I've listened to since Void first got me started with Hamilton. So take that as you will.

And as an added bonus, he does chiptune synthing with an original Nintendo Gameboy. Yep. It's freaking awesome. He was doing it live in all his music, and I died. I was in Nerdvana.

So to end this magnificent #FitGeekFriday, here's a firekid cover of TLC's Waterfalls. You're welcome.

Mar 23, 2017

Well, folks, I wasn't around last week to podcast. That was partially because I was playing the new Legend of Zelda game. Breath of the Wild is just so good that I couldn't stop playing it. Between work and Zelda, my time was pretty much taken completely up. And I honestly didn't exercise as much as I should have last week.

I think I went to the gym once, got on the recumbent bike as I read Breath of the Wild articles, and then went back home to play more Zelda.

Then I went out of town on Friday, and when I came back home...it was time for more Zelda.

But now I'm back and I can love you all again! Awwww. (Who am I kidding? I never stopped loving y'all. Or playing Zelda, apparently.)

Yoga Err Day. Err. Day.

I have been thinking about how good yoga makes me feel, and I am going to use it as a way to get myself back to being active. Starting to run has given me a lot of false starts to the point where I don't know if I am going to focus on it at all for a while. I am going to do lower-impact exercise--cycling, bodyweight training, lifting, and yoga.

And for April, I am going to be doing #yogaeverdamnday. Not only is that one of my favorite hashtags, it's a super way to exercise and practice mindfulness at the same time. I am not going to be committing to it hardcore until April 1, but I am getting myself in the habit right now. 

When I get there, I think y'all should do it, too. I'll be podcasting and posting about it a bit, too.

So get yourself ready.

FitDeck

I've mentioned this before, but Jennifer got me a FitDeck of bodyweight exercises for Christmas. It's awesome, and the perfect way to get a few extra calories burned between shrines in Breath of the Wild. I'm really hankering for the yoga deck to supplement it, too. (There are other yoga cards I was told about, too!)

MOAR ZELDA! NAO!

Once I finish up Breath of the Wild, I am definitely in the mood for more Zelda. I really want to give Skyward Sword a try, even though the controls are supposed to be just atrocious (but somehow it was given a lot of 9/10 and 10/10 reviews when it was new), as well as A Link Between Worlds for the 3DS. I've never touched either of them, but Breath of the Wild makes me want to explore Hyrule so much that I want to make it through other games.

I'll probably use Gamefly to do it, and if you wanna support the blog and the podcast, you can grab a free 30-day trial and let Zelda make you fat. We can be twinsies!

Until next time, stay shiny, fitgeek!

Mar 10, 2017

This week was pretty good for me overall. I made a lot of progress on a lot of fronts, from gaming to fitness to finishing out some freelance contracts. 

This week's main topics include:

What about you, fitgeeks? What is going on in your lives you want to share?

Use #FitGeekFriday and let the world know what's up!

And as always, feel free to reach out to me at 

 

Mar 9, 2017

This time, it's a super short episode with a very strong message that I just had to get out there to you. Got a minute? (Literally!) Then listen up. I've got something to tell ya!

Mar 3, 2017

This week has been cray cray. Cray. Cray. I can't talk about a lot of it right now, but if things work out the way I'm hoping, I have no doubt y'all will hear my shouts of joy from wherever you are in the world. So keep your fingers crossed and send some good vibes my way, would ya?

But first! This week's #FitGeekFriday is brought to you by...TeamTreehouse! I've used them to learn coding and get this busy, and you should, too. Get a free trial at http://treehouse.geekfitness.net

Running, lifting, and...dragon chasing?

I haven't been doing the best at fitness this week, partially because I have been so ridiculously busy. And I'm not the kind of guy who thinks being overly busy is a mark of success, either. It's a good thing that contracts and clients have come out of the woodwork, but it's been 2 weeks since I've had a day off, and it's looking like it may be pushing into 3 (depending entirely on how today goes). That's great, but it also means I haven't been able to move around as much as I've wanted to.

I did make it to the gym earlier in the week, continued working with my barbells and 5x5, used my FitDesk a few times and used it as a standing desk a few times, and instead of running, spent some time playing a video game on a recumbent bike where you chase dragons.

See, my gym has a system called Expresso Fitness. It's basically a video game that you control with the bike, including handles that let you steer. One of the games has you hunting different color dragons for varying amounts of points, and it is absurdly more fun than it should be. My wife and I are totally into it, and the whole thing adjusts to the terrain in the game, so as you go up a hill, you have to shift down your bike's gears, etc.

It's super fun, and you should totally tell your local gym to look into it. They offer recumbent and upright bikes, but I prefer recumbent because it keeps me from being saddlesore.

I wrote a new book!

Well, kinda. I put together a collection of short stories that I've written over the years, and it is now available on Amazon. It's called "Expiration Date and Other Stories," and I am pretty proud of it. I think y'all would enjoy it, too, so make sure you head to Amazon and grab yourself a copy. It would totally help me buy a Nintendo Switch. I'm just sayin'.

I  mean, the first line is "When I think about the end of the world, I taste Cheetos." How can you pass that up? Answer: you can't.

Saga by Bryan K. Vaughn

So people have been telling me to read Saga for years. And I have always meant to, but never got around to it. But when Amazon held a promo recently where I could buy a $2 non-fiction book and get $10 in Kindle credits, I figured it was a good time to grab me some comics. I basically made out with all 6 volumes of Saga for, like, $18 total.

And last night, I finished Volume 6, and I have to wait on the release of Volume 7 soon. And I am losing my ever-loving mind already. Because it's good. Super good, y'all. I mean, it's a totally different comic than I had expected, and it's a strange science-fantasy war story with both magic and tech, but it's so much more than that. Vaughn is one of the best writers in TV and comics today, and he makes this story about the people--from the very first panel.

I can't recommend this one highly enough. It's very adult in terms of content, with sex and violence, but even though it's graphic, it's never gratuitous, and pretty much everything in there serves a purpose within the narrative. I think I have a new favorite comic, y'all. And surprisingly, it's not a superhero book!

So...happy #FitGeekFriday, y'all!

I hope you've all had a wonderful week, too. Hopefully you have had a day off in the past while, been able to rest, and if you are one of the lucky ones to get Zelda: Breath of the Wild today, you have to let me know how it is. I am excited to get my hands on it.

So what have you been geeking out about this week?

And as always, stay shiny, fitgeeks!

Feb 24, 2017

This week's #FitGeekFriday is full of all kinds of awesome. Let's cut to the chase and get to the cool stuff!

Darksiders II: Deathfinitive Edition

First up, I am playing a ton of Darksiders II thanks to @cbdroege, my awesome audiobook narrator, and @13th_story. They told me it was like Zelda for adults, and since I own the HD remasters from a Humble Bundle sale, I jumped right in, and it'a awesome.

If you want to try it, head over to http://www.gameflyoffer.com/geekfitness and grab it for yourself. (Yep, I know. Shameless affiliate sponsorship, but it's totally worth it!)

Running a 5k again! I didn't die!

I also ran a 5k this week! The first one since September. It was pretty hard, but thanks to Void in this week's episode of Geek to Geek, my competitive side jumped out and had to make sure I did what he could do. So thanks, buddy!

Now it's your turn! Head outside and do what you can, fitgeeks! You gotta make sure to get that blood pumping this weekend!

Side Hustle School, or as I like to call it...the streets

That was a really bad joke. I regret nothing.

My friend told me about a really cool new podcast his brother does called sidehustleschool.com. I didn't know a thing about it, but I really like it because it's a daily 5-7 minute podcast about side income streams that you can do with things you might have never thought about. You should totally go listen. I'm working my way through the archives now.

It even inspired me to work on my own side hustle (like I don't have enough already?) that directly relates to this blog and podcast. So I will let you know when I have that ready to discuss.

Proactive anxiety counseling FTW

And then, last but not least, I'm going to my counselor again, yay! I am excited to see her for my periodic tune-up so that she can see how I'm doing, catch up, and really just make sure that I am on the right path from when we met last.

You guys know I'm a big proponent of self-care, and that means that even when things are going well, you need to be proactive to make sure that things keep going well, ya know?

If you feel the need, please go see a counselor. I am not kidding when I say that she pretty much saved my life over the past year and a half. If you need to talk and help with how to approach it, please email me at anxiety@geekfitness.net. I've set that up just for this kind of thing.

So that's it for my part of #FitGeekFriday! What cool stuff have you discovered this week? Let us know by sounding off in the comments, or using the #FitGeekFriday hashtag on Twitter!

Have a great weekend, and stay shiny, fitgeeks!

Feb 20, 2017

Today's a good day. Like Faith would say on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, everything is five by five. What in the world do I mean by that? Well, for starters, I'm running again. Yay! And secondly, I started the Stronglifts 5x5 program. Some of you might remember be talking about this before, and now I'm doing it again.

Why 5x5?

Well, because it works, it's fun, and it's quick.

I did Stronglifts 5x5 a few years back, and I loved it. Like really loved it. I gained strength megafast, and I truly felt like a superhero doing it. I had never deadlifted before, and I found out that I loved it. I had never squatted before, and once again, I found that I adored it.

Doing 5 sets of 5 reps is super quick, and honestly, only having to keep up with and perfect 5 different exercises is pretty good for someone like me who doesn't particularly care for strength training.

Then I hurt myself. Because I thought I was more super than I really was. I started out too hard, I did too much weight, and I had bad form. So I hurt my knee and my hip, and I haven't been able to bring myself to 5x5 in years. So instead of starting off in the squat rack, I am starting in the Smith machine, and I am making sure I take it slow and work on my form first of all, and my bestly gains second.

Plus as a runner, I really appreciate that I can do it on my off-days and still do something that is helping me toward my goals. I can do 3 days of running and 3 days of Stronglifts, and I am set.

Enough, fitness, let's talk about cartoons!

I am all about me some Gravity Falls right now. I love this show so much. I discovered it when I was prozac'd out of my mind in August, and now I'm rewatching it, and it's just as delightful as it ever was. I don't rewatch many cartoons, but this one is making me cackle just as much as I did when I saw it the first time. That's high praise. It's definitely in my top 3 shows these days, alongside Parks and Recreation and New Girl.

And just a quick, geeky reminder, I want to remind y'all that I write books, too. If you want to know more and help support the site and me (yes, I'm shameless), head to professorbeej.com/books to see the whole list of them.

Let me know what strength training y'all do, too. I am always trying to learn something that can get me to stop being made out of spaghetti.

As always, stay shiny, fitgeeks!

Feb 17, 2017

A couple years back back, I had a feature here called #FitGeekFriday. It was pretty cool, I thought, and I’ve kind of missed doing it. So I am reviving #FitGeekFriday into a fitnessy, mindful, hodge-podge of cool stuff I’ve found. (Thanks to Robbie at Side Quest Fitness for the reminder with his Friday High Five emails!)

For this #FitGeekFriday, I am loving some awesome stuff:

  • The Kindness Diaries on Netflix
  • Yoga With Adriene's YouTube Channel
  • @chocobochica's Final Fantasy tattoo sleeve with Nobuo Uematsu's genuine signature
  • RUNNING AGAIN OMG

And a secondary, bonus topic: be freaking nice to each other. It's not hard, and with the negativity that's going around so often, all it takes is a smile to make someone's day better. Or to say hello or ask how they're doing and really listen to their response. That's it. So be a positive moment in someone's day by just being freaking nice to someone else. 

Full notes and discussion can be found at geekfitness.net/fitgeekfriday-the-return

Feb 8, 2017

Ahoy, fitgeeks!

Today is a special episode of Health Hacks because it's not an episode of Health Hacks at all! I appeared on the super-awesome Dumbbells and Dragons podcast this week, and I wanted to make sure that all of you who aren't regular listeners of his get a chance to hear it.

We talk everything from comics to gaming, mental health, meditation, and Buddhism. I nerd out pretty hard about my love of Spider-man (and why I stopped giving Marvel my money for a while because of him).

It's a mega good episode, but I am probably pretty biased on this one. I totally think you'll enjoy it, and like I said, if you're not already a listener to Kenny's podcast, you should be. He does good stuff.

And now, yoinked straight from his notes, here's how you can find more out about him and become friends: 

If you would like to contact me, send an email to ken@dumbbellsanddragon.com. You can also follow the show on Facebook at Dumbbells And Dragons. Follow us on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Tumblr at @DumbbellsDragon.

I hope y'all enjoy listening to it as much as I did recording. Let us know what you think, too. Remember, Kenny is @dumbbellsdragon everywhere, and I'm @geekfitnesscast. Say hello! Or not. I can't tell you what to do. 

Feb 3, 2017

These days, it's pretty hard to avoid negativity. It's everywhere. From TV to our social media feeds to discussion with strangers in line at the grocery store, we are inundated right now with bad stuff. And most of it stems from the current political climate and the garbage that's going on in America right now.

So Mike from Force Within (and Be a Healthy Geek) and I sat down and did a podcast on how you can take care of yourself during these stressful times. We both deal with stress in much the same way, using meditation and mindfulness as a foundation for thought management and self-care.

We discuss some strategies such as quick daily journaling (which we both do, and it's nothing like 'dear diary' cliches, so no worries), daily time for meditation, simply setting down your phone and disconnecting (I do this for whole evenings now, and it is glorious), and other small actions that work for us so that we don't get overwhelmed by things we can't control.

Regardless of your politics, self-care is one of the most important skills you can learn. It helps to become mindful of how your emotions affect you physiologically, and when you're aware of that, it's mega important to have strategies to keep stress from affecting your adversely.

Dec 8, 2016

If you’re like most people, you have recently made some sort of resolution to exercise or lose weight. And probably, if you really are like most people, that resolution may or may not have been kept so far. Or at all.

After all, life does tend to get in the way, doesn’t it? Work gets in the way. Birthdays get in the way. Family gets in the way. Pretty much everything gets in the way and stops you from exercising or eating better.

Or maybe, you keep reading blogs like this one, making sure that you’re running the right way, lifting enough weight, using the proper resistance setting on the elliptical. You keep researching how to exercise your body instead of actually exercising it.

Stop it

Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.

As happy as I am that you’re here reading this post (perhaps giddy is the correct term), you need to stop it. Stop reading about working out and go work out. Reading and researching bodyweight workouts has a time and a place, but if you never actually get around to doing them, you’re just wasting time.

So stop making excuses and do something. Do anything. Stop reading about running–lifting, CrossFit, yoga, whatever–and just do it. Lace up your tennies, put on your weight belt, stand up from your desk and do some stretches. Anything.

I don’t care what you do. I don’t care if you go outside and pace around your yard, if you head to the gym to deadlift more than I weigh, or if you just sit down at the dinner table and not eat that cupcake for dessert.

Whatever it is, just do it.

I repeat: stop making excuses and do something.

As Runner’s World basically says, stop overthinking it. Just go out and exercise.

You want a lifestyle change? Lifestyle change comes through small steps and determination. That’s it and that’s all. All the reading and research and good intentions and resolutions and goals in the world can’t help you if you never break a sweat.

So…go break a sweat. 

Nov 7, 2016

Well, this weekend was tough. The dread of quitting my job set in. I hit that "OMG what the heck have I done?" moment in my transition into a new career. And pretty much all I could do was sit on the couch and stare or play Overwatch.

But I still got out and ran. I still got out and did what I said I was going to do. I did days 18 and 19 of my #runstreak. They were only single miles, but I got off the couch and did them--because I told you I would.

And today, after looking at my last week's numbers, I did a 5k. It was a slow-for-me 5K in 30:59, but I did it. And that's what matters. I really look forward to getting more 5ks in during the week so that I can move into 10ks. I love 10ks. They're so fun.

I also discovered the delight of freeze-dried fruit recently. It's so good. Aldi had some apples and strawberries I tried on a whim, and they were so awesome that I decided to buy them in bulk on Amazon. In fact, I may end up subscribing through Amazon Pantry just to get a discount and have regular noms.

It also made me remember just how much I love healthy snacks. I used to subscribe to Graze--which was awesome--but let that subscription lapse. I may end up subscribing to that instead of the Amazon Pantry. I dunno. They're both delicious and health in a different way.

I also tend to munch on pistachios and almonds, salt & pepper cashew. Basically any kind of nut that I can get my hands on. Because protein. 

I also kind of think of fruits and veggies as essentially free calories. I've never heard anyone say "I got so fat from eating too many fruits and vegetables," after all. The calorie:fiber ratio is so high that you're full way before you take in enough calories to matter. Which is why I like freeze-dried fruit over traditionally dried--it's really easy to overeat dried because they're all withered and lack fiber/water.

As I start upping my running, I am going to be on the lookout for delicious noms that I can eat every hour or two. So I am looking to you once again. What kinds of snacks do you tend to eat? Send em my way at @geektogeekcast on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Until next time, fitgeeks!

Nov 4, 2016

Seventeen days in a row, fitgeeks! 17! Wahoo! I just ran 17 days in a row, and I am so tired. Today's run was hard. I only went a single mile, and I ran every step. It was hard to get out the door.

But I did. And I'm glad I did. I feel a lot better now that I have been moving around some and saw the sun. 

I think part of the reason I'm so tired is that I haven't been drinking enough water. All I've had to drink between 6am and 2pm is a cup of coffee. Then I went to run. Sooo yeah, I'm probably a bit thirsty.

You would think that after I gave myself kidney stones from not drinking enough when I was on phentermine, I'd have learned my lesson. Apparently not.

My buddy Chris (@chrisevans17 on Twitter) came up with a really brilliant way to track water. All you've gotta do is put something (he uses rubber bands) on your water bottle, and you can magically see how much water you've drunk during the day. It's awesome, and it's simple. 

Much simpler than an app where you keep a virtual flower alive, amirite?

And in super geeky news, I am gonna go see Doctor Strange tonight! Yay! I haven't been as excited as I figured I would be about this one, but that's okay. I am getting there now. I really like the character, so I can't wait to talk about it on next week's Geek to Geek podcast with Void.

If you're not familiar with Doctor Strange, Rob from The Comic Box podcast did a wonderful primer for you to listen to before seeing the movie. How terribly sweet of him.

I'll let y'all know how I like it.

Until next time, fitgeeks, stay shiny!

 

 

Nov 2, 2016

I get asked how to start running a lot. A lot. I love this question because it's easy to answer: use Couch-to-5K or a program like it.

But there's a problem. C25K is hard. Like really hard. Especially if you're not a runner. Even more so if you're not active at all, and you're just starting out with fitness and exercise.

That's why I alway include one caveat for starting a Couch-to-5k program: make sure you can walk for 30-45 minutes before you start. That's all. Just take a week or two (think of them as part of the program) where you walk 4-5 days a week and get yourself to where you're used to moving around.

Then start C25K. It will be so much better for you. And you won't feel like you're dying like I did.

Make sure you take the rest days, too. You need to not add in extra runs unless you're using it to get back to a point where you were before. There's a reason you have 3 days on/4 days off. A big part of running is knowing when not to run.

If you want a longer post on this, I have one here.

You also need a good pair of running shoes. I've told you that I'm a big fan of Altras lately. I'm also a huge fan of the Asics Nimbus line. Because I need lots of cushion. I thought it was becuse I had weak knees as a child. But it's actually because I have weak ankles. 

The extra cushion helps your ankle take the strain of your feet hitting the ground. It's a shock absorber. Less cushion can actually be easier on your knees.

So remember: more cushion = ankles, less cushion = knees. More than likely, you're gonna find something in the middle.

If you wanna get good shoes, I always suggest Zappos. They're awesome and have treated me well in the past. Even more than that, I say support your local running shop. Whenever possible, I am all about giving my cash to local merchants.

In other awesome news, my counselor told me today that I was in maintenance mode, and that I seemed to be in a good enough place to lower my sessions with her to once a month. That's awesome. It's taken a lot of work and experimentation to get here, but I want to let those of you who suffer from anxiety and depression, it can get better. If you need to talk, remember I have anxiety@geekfitness.net for that stuff. :)

If you have any questions about starting to run, picking out running shoes, anxiety or anything at all, remember I live @geektogeekcast on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Until next time, fitgeeks!

Nov 1, 2016

The #runstreak has lasted 2 weeks. 14 days! Wahoo! I could not have done it without y'all. I want you to know that. You're awesome. For realsies.

It's also the first official day of my self/unemployment! I'm scared but excited! Eeeeee! 

Halloween was also full of awesomesauce. We had tons of trick-or-treaters, and they got scared at my wife's Haunted Pathway leading up to the house. I wish you folks could understand how much she adores scaring those small children. It's just delightful.

I do think I am going to be getting my FitDesk out again within the next couple of days, or at least within the next week. I am ready to start moving around way more, and that's a great way to do it. I can put my laptop on the desk and work while pedaling away. 

I eventually want to get a treadmill desk, but the FitDesk is a fantastic alternative that costs a heck of a lot less. 

And, ya know, guys, I'm in a fantastic mood. I want you to know how much of that is from you. I've had so many people talk to me lately, root me on, ask advice, and just discuss their own mental health and struggles that I feel such a sense of camaraderie with y'all.

It's really making my life better. My mood has elevated so much lately since I started running and podcasting more, and I know that a lot of what's kept me doing it is the response from all of you. 

This time of year it's hard to stay positive. The time changes soon, it gets dark so quickly, and a lot of us are affected adversely by the lack of sunlight, whether we know it or not.

Additionally, this year has the US elections going on. There's so much negativity around that it's almost overbearing. 

I take that back. It is overbearing.

So it's really important to surround yourself with positivity. To surround yourself with awesome. Not only people, but things, activities, and thoughts. Remember, we only get to do this once. We need to make the best of it.

Between quitting my job, running, and podcasting every day and getting to talk to you, I feel as though I'm doing that. I feel positive. Because I'm choosing to be positive. I want to be in a good mood. 

I don't like complaining. I don't like being negative. I don't like being unnecessarily critical. I like being happy. So I'm working on making sure that everything in my life makes me happy.

It takes a concerted effort, and you're not going to be happy immediately, but as long as that's your goal, you can do it. You can have moments of happy. You can have seconds where things aren't so bad. And those seconds can turn to minutes, and you can just get to a good place before you know it.

That's very important. Sure, we're gonna have bad days, but if you try, I am pretty sure you can sqeeze a few good ones in there, too.

If you need some help with that, just holler at me. I'm here email me at podcast@geekfitness.net or remember that I'm @geektogeekcast on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

That'll do it for today, fitgeeks. Talk at ya tomorrow!

Oct 31, 2016

Happy Hallowgeek, fitgeeks! #teehee I couldn't resist such an amazing pun.

Anyway, I'm back. I did my 13th run in a row. I just did a mile today, and it was a slow one. But it was a good one because I already had 9,300 steps beforehand, and I now have 11,000 on my tracker. 

The reason I had so much even before 2:30 when I started was because of my big, awesome, amazing, spooktacular announcement. The book festival I'm working on...IS GETTING R.L. STINE IN THE SPRING!

For realsies.

I am going to get to meet R.L. Stine, the author of Goosebumps and Fear Street and so much of what made me love reading and horror when I was a kid (also, how did I forget that when I was talking to Void about horror on the Geek to Geek podcast earlier this month?)

But how does R.L. Stine coming to Florence, AL make me walk an extra 4.5 miles? Because we announced on Halloween and did a huge media blitz today. My wife and I posted fliers all over downtown and the local university. I walked a ton...a ton! 

So even though today was supposed to be a longer run for me, and I was gonna try for a 5k, I figured I shouldn't since I had already exercised without exercising.

How to Exercise without Exercising:

I mean, going out and exercising (or working out) is only one way to increase fitness and lose weight. What you're looking for is an increase of your base activity level. 

That's the idea behind progressive overload. You progressively overload what you're used to so that you build up muscle and cardiovascular strength. That's why you increase running each week. That's why you can increase weight as you pick heavy things up and put them back down.

In the real world, this may mean doing 5 minutes of yoga before bed at night if you're used to just going straight to sleep. It may mean getting out of the car and pumping gas if you are usually the one to sit while someone else fuels. It might even be running around with your kid at the park for an extra 5 minutes before sending them off to play with other little tykes.

Or it may be doing an extra 5 minutes of yoga before you sleep if you already do that. It may be walking for 5 minutes after your run. It might even be parking further from the grocery store.

The goal is to move more and be more active than you currently are. You don't have to hit the gym. You don't necessarily have to set time aside for it. You just have to incorporate moving into your life more often.

Which is what I did today--I walked around and hung up fliers instead of sitting at my computer, writing and coding and designing.

That's all it is. Since I'm not used to getting 11k steps during the day, this was great for me. I was able to exercise without exercising!

How cool is that?

Now, if you don't mind...

Since it's Halloween, I am going to spend some time with my lovely wife of the past 7 years. I'll talk to you folks soon!

And hey! Be sure to watch this video that we used to announce R.L. Stine. It has me being a real goober, and it's pretty much how I act during the day. So if you've ever wondered what it would be like to sit beside me...here's your chance to see (hehe). And btw, my wife is the one in the "I'm with creepy -->" shirt. 

Hope you all have a happy Hallowgeek! ;)

Oct 29, 2016

Day 11! What what! 

Today got me thinking about activity trackers because we have a fundraiser zombie/costume walk as a fundraiser for a local charity tonight--Shoals Crisis Center. I only ran a mile because I knew that I was going to be moving around a crazy amount between setting up and doing the walk itself.

 

I used to use a Jawbone to track my steps every day, and I've thought about doing that again. I tried to use my iPhone for it, but I leave it aside so often that it wouldn't be accurate--and we all know that untracked steps and miles never happened, right?

Do any of you use an activity tracker like a Fitbit or a Jawbone? Even the Apple Watch does this, I think, which is another reason I want the Series 2. 

I also wanted to start today of getting back in the habit of posting a workout selfie each day. Used to, Mike from @beahealthygeek would keep me honest about it, both encouraging me and my stupid faces and poking fun at them. 

I've missed doing that, so I think I'm gonna start again. And I want y'all to do the same thing. 

I wanna see the dumb faces you make after a workout (and that's not a dig at anyone--my faces are always super dumb!). So post them on Twitter and tag me (@geekfitnesscast) or hit up the Geek to Geek Network subreddit!

I've also been working on the revamp of Geek Fitness. I've recategorized lots of old posts, and started working on ideas to enhance the site with some subscriber content as well as more interactive parts of the community (such as weekly fitness Twitter chats, etc.). What direction would you like to see Geek Fitness take?

Oct 28, 2016

So big news: Professorbeej is dead.

From a certain point of view. #obiwan

You see, yesterday...I quit my job. So, if you look at it a certain way, professorbeej as you knew him is dead. I'm just Beej now. The same way that Darth Vader killed Anakin Skywalker, Beej killed Professorbeej. (I don't think I'm gonna change my Twitter name just yet, though.)

And I'm an emotional mess right now. I've been at my school for 8 years, and I've had a wonderful career. But it was time to move on for many reasons, but not the least being the 3-hour round trip commute that was causing panic attacks.

When taking my mental health into consideration (and that of my family), I made the right choice for me. I am starting to freelance--Wordpress development, writing, marketing consultation, etc.--and work on revamping Geek Fitness.

Nothing on this front is going to change, though. The GF that you know and love will always be here exactly the same. I'm just trying to figure out how to eat now, too. #kiddingnotkidding

But yeah, so that's why I didn't podcast yesterday. I was dealing with turning in my resignation and all that emotional stuff of going and cleaning out my office of 8 years.

But I still ran. I still did Day 9 of my #runstreak, and I did day 10 today. I ran 1 mile yesterday and 2 miles today. So yay!

How are y'all doing? I know some of your messages are letting me know you're having a rough week. That's okay. Me, too. I'm there with you. #solidarity

But you know what? You know how I always get through the hard times? I remember that the sun will come up tomorrow. And that the world, me included, will keep on going.

That's really comforting to me. I know that no matter what, I'm gonna be okay. I'm gonna keep moving forward. Sometimes it may be hard, and I won't know what's going to happen or how long the bad stuff will last, but I know that things keep moving forward.

And so will I. I just have to keep making the right choices for me.

Quitting my jobs and changing careers is the right choice for me. But it wasn't an easy choice.

Neither was losing weight. But I set my mind to it because it was the best thing for me, and I did it. I did the work. The same thing will happen here. Switching careers is the best thing for me. So I am going to do the work.

And while I'm very sad at not being around my students and colleagues anymore, I know this is the right thing for me and my family and my health.

I also know that the world will keep spinning, and the sun will come up tomorrow. And I am going to keep moving forward.

So will you.

But hey! In lighter news!

It's under 2 months until Star Wars: Rogue One! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

I totally forgot it was that close until I saw the Side Quest Fitness post about using the Dark Side to achieve your fitness goals. And while I didn't ever really think about that before, Robbie's totally right. 

Sometimes,  you have to be aggressive and non-complacent to really live the life that you want.

It was exactly the kind of article I needed to read after a day like yesterday. Because I was non-complacent. I didn't let myself drift through life. I made the decision to make my life better, and I acted on it.

Like a Sith.

Anyway...

I want to thank you guys for reaching out to me. I love hearing from you. Remember, I'm @geektogeekcast on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Oh! And as I am revamping the site and content-model for Geek Fitness, let me know what you want from me.

Stay healthy, fitgeeks. Remember: the sun's gonna come up tomorrow. 

Oh, and I'm sorry about the title. I couldn't resist. #teehee

Oct 26, 2016

I ran a mile! Yaaay! It's the second-longest runstreak I've ever done. I've had a 60-day streak and a 7-day streak, and now there's an 8-day one smushed right up in the middle.

Hooray!

Hip hip!

Today's run was pretty easy. A 9:27 mile, and my heartrate never went over 165, really. Not that I noticed, at least. And that's awesome. Recovery runs aren't meant to tax you. They are just there to keep you moving and making sure your body doesn't wither away into a lifeless husk.

Or, you know, work out soreness. But I think the lifeless husk thing sounds better. Whatevs.

Anyway, I also wanted to check in on you guys. I tried to give a shoutout to you folks who have been really rooting me on, and if I missed you, I AM SO TERRIBLY SORRY! I will give you an apology hug if I ever get to see you in person. I promise!

And I wanted to ask y'all a question: how do you like the format? How are you feeling about the daily, candid episodes? Did you like the previous style better? Or do you like the personal stuff mixed in with topical content? What works for you guys.

I'm open to suggestions, so shoot them my way on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

Oct 25, 2016

I did a 5k! Just like I told y'all I was going to! And it was super easy and super hard...depending on which point in the run we're talking about.

I wore my Altras today since I expected a longer run, and they were awesome except for the laces coming untied early on. So once I stopped and double-knotted them, things went swimmingly (runningly? hehe). 

I finished 3.1 miles at 9:55 minutes per mile, but I had to push myself at the very end to keep that pace. I was running faster than that overall, but my walk breaks took my average pace down. 

I pushed too hard. When I stopped my watch at 3.1, I thought I was going to have an asthma attack. I thought I was going to pass out. And I had even taken my inhaler before I went out.

So yeah, don't do what I did. Don't push yourself too hard when you know you shouldn't. While I am physically ready for a 5k, I am not physically ready for a sub-30 5k. 

After all, it's been a week. What do I expect? I'm not the Flash here.

That said, what made this run easier for me is the fact that I focused on proper running form for a lot of it. By focusing on how my body and my posture, I was able to glide through the hardest parts.

I was really using my body and my form as an object of meditation--letting my mind focus on something other than the most pressing issue at hand. See what I mean when I say running is meditative?

In the episode, I discuss proper running form at length, but in a nutshell, it boils down to keeping your head up and spine straight, leaning ever so slightly back, pivoting your arms at your shoulders and never crossing your hands across the midpoint of your chest, and making sure your feet glide beneath you so that your upper body doesn't move around and make you expend extra energy.

So yeah. I did my 5k, and I fully intend to keep going. I don't know how long, but I am liking this. It's getting me out the door because I have a goal. And I have people behind me and beside me. 

You guys are awesome.

Until tomorrow!

Oct 24, 2016

The week is almost done! The week is almost done! The streak is almost done...?

Really? Is it?

No. No, it isn't. The streak is gonna keep going. The streak has been one of the best things that's happened to me in a long, long time. Y'all's support for the streak has made it wonderfully enjoyable.

And I just can't bring myself to stop.

I mean, I don't know if I'll be able to beat my 60 day streak that I had a couple years ago, but I do know that I'll beat my initial 7-day streak that I tried a while back.

So yeah, starting day-after-tomorrow, I'll be trying to push for an official #runstreakchallenge for y'all (maybe #geekstreak?). I dunno. Something.

Anyway, today, I talk a bunch about yoga, going over some of the apps that I've used and use, as well as other resources (like Mike's Daily Jedi Workout!):

I also ran in the Asics Nimbus 17s today, and lo and behold, my knee hurt again--but I ran faster than I did in my Altras. So I think the Altras are going to be my dailies (but not the gross kind that ruined WoW for me, tee hee!) and for long-runs, but the Asics may end up being my short-distance shoes and potentially 5k race shoes.

How is your streak going, fitgeeks? What's working for you?

 

Oct 23, 2016

Day 5 is over and done! I went for a run, just did a single mile...and it was horrible! Seriously. I feel great now, but while I was running, all I could think about was sitting on my couch with a laptop in my lap and something awesome on TV. 

But I went, and that's the most important thing. I got off my bum, laced up my Altras, and ran for nine minutes and nine seconds. Then I came inside, put on my Superman jammies, and went to town on this podcast.

And you know why? Because I work hard at keeping myself motivated. And yeah, that's work. Especially when it gets to this point in setting up a new habit. It's been 5 days, and this is the point where it's easy to quit. 

So. I want to help you stay motivated by telling you how I do it and sharing all of this awesome with you! How magnanimous, right? I know! Thanks!

Basically, what I do is surround myself with running. I read, watch, and listen running. Here are some of my favorites:

And then of course, there's you guys. Y'all keep me moving. Your emails and tweets and messages just keep me going and motivated even when I don't wanna move an inch. So thank you. I hope I can do the same for you. 

Alright. It's jammie/TV time. See you tomorrow, fitgeeks!

Oct 22, 2016

Day 4! Woo! I only ran a mile today, but I did it faster than I did yet: 8:54. I look forward to when my typical mile time gets down to the 7:50-8min mark again. That's always a good boost to my confidence.

I ate myself a pretty good sweet potato today topped with chicken stew, which doesn't make up for the 3 slices of pizza, two slices of cake, and garlic knot I ate last night while watching the Hamilton documentary on PBS, but I'm not going to beat myself up for it. I need food to run, and I feel fantastic.

My main goal is keeping myself active and able to run, so I'm not gonna beat myself up for it. Besides, it was delicious. Nummy and delicious. Pizza is so good. Did you know that? Mmmmm...

Also, today I ran in my pair of Altra Olympus again. My knee/calf didn't hurt like they did yesterday in my Asics Nimbus 17s. I think this means I'm an Altra guy now despite the past 5ish years being dedicated to Asics.

Honestly, what I think is doing it is the 0mm drop in Altra. They mimic the form of running barefoot (or wearing something like the Vibram Five-fingers), but have cushioning like typical running shoes. They're awesome.

I ran in Asics before because I struck the ground with my heel, and their 10-12mm drop helped even out my gait. But when I started changing my form and hitting the ground with my midfoot, I got a stress fracture from the angle the Asics made my feet hit the ground.

So we'll see if that keeps up. I may end up selling my Asics on ebay because they only have about 30 miles on them (since I haven't been running much at all this year), and there's no reason to keep them if they hurt me.

All that said, this runstreak is doing me great. It's lovely, and I feel fantastic. I am so glad I took on this project. I know it's doing me a world of good.

How about y'all? How is the runstreak going for you?

Oct 21, 2016

First of all, tomorrow's gonna be food day. I pushed it a day because I wanted to talk about something else that's on my mind because day 3 of the #runstreak went phenomenally well. I was able to do 2.3 miles, and they were great. I felt great, and I ran in my Asics (which made me really appreciate my Altras, let me tell you). 

But I didn't run the whole time because...why would I? It doesn't make me any less of a runner to take a break. I moved for that amount, and I am proud of myself. I've seen some people talk about how "real" runners don't walk.

Yes, they do. I did a full post on it a while back. So you can check that out if you want, too. But essentially it boils down to your legs use different muscles for walking and running, and taking breaks from beating your legs up can help them rest and run even further.

So why wouldn't you?

That said, the runstreak is going great, and you guys are awesome. You're keeping me motivated on Twitter and the subreddit, and I can't thank you enough. The solidarity and friendship y'all show amazes me, and I can't thank you enough.

So are you running? Are you streaking in any way? If not, join me!

Oct 20, 2016

Day two of the runstreak happened. I recorded while dripping sweat from my run (or maybe it was from the rain that started in while I was out). I ran 1.1 miles, and my shoelaces came untied at 0.9. Never try to run a quarter mile with loose shoes. It's just bad.

That said, I weighed myself in today so that I would have a starting point for my goals. The measurements also validated what I said yesterday: I'm not fat, I am simply unfit.

I weigh 182.6 lbs right now, have 15.1% body fat, and a BMI of 24.9.

The last time I did these measurements I was at 155 lbs, 11% body fat, and some BMI that I can't remember because it's a useless metric.

My goal is to get myself back (close) to where I was before. It's a reasonable goal. Losing ~27lbs and 4% body fat. I give myself a 6 lb buffer when it comes to weight, so I can go up or down 3 lbs and still be in my zone. So..24 lbs! hah! 

I figure I will run 2 miles either tomorrow or the next day (honestly depending on the weather), and maybe work up to a 5k (3.1 miles) by next Thursday. Again, I don't think that's unreasonable because I ran a 5k for the first time in 5 months just a few days ago (but my legs were sore for a couple days since they weren't used to being used).

That said, tomorrow I am talking about food and fueling for a run. Because I run to eat like the fat guy I used to be, lol.

What are your favorite recipes and how do you keep yourself energized? 

And remember, you can find me at @geekfitnesscast on pretty much all social media platforms.

Also, we have a thread on /r/geektogeekcast about this runstreak challenge! You should definitely check it out and get involved!

 

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