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"No Gym, No Problem" from the Blessed Nest

The best exercise in the world is the one your willing to do regularly. That could be walking, parking far away in your company parking lot, morning walks and stretches, or some form of physical activity that will make you sweat a little or a lot around the collar.

He who sweats more in training bleeds less in battle. —Spartan Warrior Creed

I learned from Robin Sharma about the benefits of an early morning exercise routine is not only limited to keeping your body in good physical shape. It can repair brain cells from stress (via a protein released in the brain called brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF) and boost your metabolic rate to give you the energy you need to take on the challenges of the day.

What is BDNF? Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein that can be thought of as “brain fertilizer.” BDNF helps the brain to develop new connections, repair failing brain cells, and protect healthy brain cells. Having enough BDNF around can protect our brains from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.

Interestingly enough, when we first moved to our nest, and I moved from Miami, our finances were uncertain and we held off on the gym expense. I did CrossFit for a couple of years and then went into kickboxing in a big hot sweaty gym and I missed that intense full-body drenched in sweat feeling. For so many years I was told what to do that even if I was in a gym I would go back to the basics of regular curls, bench press, back pull-downs, squats on the bench and it was back to the basics. As I got older I preferred complex dynamic movements that tested our agility and full-body engagement and balance.

Ashley and I started running daily around three-mile runs in our beautiful trail that ran about 4 miles along the intercoastal and it was nice for a little but dynamics were needed. Push-ups and squats, weights were needed and we had to find an alternative. The benefits of a good gym are good trainers with great workouts on the board. We had to start doing our own discipline in making daily workouts throughout the week.

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On Facebook, I was following, at that time, Men's Health, and I would see BJ Gaddour do these amazing Tabata workouts without weights. It's basically 20 seconds blast of an exercise and 10-second rest in-between and each interval of like 8 to 10 exercises would last between 5 to 12 mins each round. He's really entertaining and a very engaging trainer who put amazing workouts together. I would see his daily workouts and write them down on a little paper and we would do them that afternoon. All the workouts were amazing.

The key to our workouts was to not have our phone with us. Or at least not have the phone on while we were working out because it's distracting. Our routine is to use a stop-watch set at 20 seconds, and I would count out lout the 10-second rest. The workouts are drawn out on a small sheet of paper, with stick figures (so I don't forget the movement), and we would pick a spot on our trail and start our workouts. I also keep the workouts in a little ziplock bag because I sweat, like, a lot. We do the workout and I use the stopwatch. Sometimes its 20/10 second rest or 40/20 second rest intervals and every day it was different. I love to listen to Thomas DeLauer, we don't do Keto, but his videos on YouTube are great, and here is a good explanation video on, HIIT, high-intensity interval training works.

There are no excuses, in the end, it really is a mindset and a commitment to staying at your optimal level. We are human, and sometimes we don't want to work out, but will still go and do a bike ride or a long walk and just get a little sweat going. Also, the weather comes into play and that could be torrential rain or fifty-degree weather and in Florida, that could make or break our motivation to go outside.

YouTube really gives you no excuses because there is a class for everything. Even classes with exact times on them, so if you want a 20-minute workout, or an hour workout, type that in the search and you'll find it. Want to do yoga, kundalini yoga, martial arts, or even extreme knitting for 45 minutes I'm sure someone has posted it. Find your kind of crazy and start moving your body.

We eventually joined a great gym that offered amazing kickboxing classes and we were hooked. The trainers were great and we learned a lot of great movements and workouts. At the same time, when we didn't do a class, we would go to the gym area and I signed us up to Athlean-X and followed Jeff Cavaliere on his amazing workouts. Highly recommended, we paid $97 for an AX-2 program that does 56 different daily full programs with an optional ab workout at the end of each day. You do these workouts in the gym area and it's like having a personal trainer. They come with an overview video and individual videos showing you each move. I can't recommend Athean-X enough, go check it out.

Interestingly enough, with Corona (COVID-19) pandemic in full effect, our gym closed as did all the gyms and ours even closed indefinitely. So we had to go back to our basics and I whipped out our old reliable, stick-figure BJ Gaddour and Jeff Cavaliere workouts. Our little packet of workouts came in handy again. Monday through Friday and some Saturdays we pick a workout and get to it from our collection. From Tabata to HIIT (High-intensity interval training) and even just running long distances we maintain our own motivation to keep healthy and strong.

Be accountable for one another in your relationship. There are some days that I just want to stay home and Ashley pumps me up and vice-versa. We heard from some former trainers of our old gym that the gym got new ownership and it was going to re-open soon. We are probably going to hold off for a little while and wait off on these unpredictable times (Corona era of writing this). For now, we will continue our outdoor-gangsta workouts in the fresh air along the intercoastal.

Until the next workout, which will probably be tomorrow and the day after that, go get your BDNF on and sweat into the present moment and rinse and repeat. Your body is your temple so take good care of it.

"A healthy person man has 10,000 problems and a sick person has one." —Anonymous

Keep your temple and Nest blessed.


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