Health & Fitness when Working Remote
Disclaimer: This transcript is provided as a courtesy for accompanying the associated episode it represents. The content of the transcript may provide errors or incorrect statements from the recorded episode. Portions of the episode such as opening or closing comments may be excluded for brevity.
Jonathan Well Ari, we've made it to episode 13, which is halfway through season one.
Ari Lucky number 13. That's right.
Jonathan Well let's keep moving on, because that number is not lucky.
Ari Yes, well hopefully many more. Yes.
Jonathan So go ahead and introduce today's guest.
Ari So today's guest runs a business partially from his home, helping other people stay fit in their homes. I want to welcome to the show Dani Singer.
Dani How's it going guys? Thanks for having me.
Jonathan Great to have you here. Thanks for joining us.
Ari Good to have you. So, Dani can you kind of just give us an overview of who you are, what you do?
Dani Sure. I run Fit2Go personal training. I do a couple different things in the fitness industry, that's the main claim to fame. Fit2Go personal training is focused specifically on helping busy working professionals make fitness both enjoyable and practical. The idea is like, in the 21st century with so many people doing remote work or just being super busy with their schedules, what I found is the biggest challenge that most busy working professionals will face with fitness is not actually self-discipline. Even though they'll feel really down on themselves like, "Ah, I can't get myself to stick with it." It's usually just that the plan that they have is completely unrealistic and impractical. Even just taking a gym, driving an hour out...sorry not driving an hour out but having to slot off an hour or more to go drive out and wait for machines, then change, then shower, and then drive back or drive to work. It just ends up being such a huge time suck that it's like I can either work out or spend time with my kids or do the work I'm going to do or whatever it is. That's sort of the problem we try to solve. We do that through in-home training and some online training as well. We just started that last year with our app. The idea is try to make it as convenient and practical for the person's life. Both with the trainer coming to the client's home and with workouts sent through the app and making it quick and convenient so that it just gets done.
Jonathan That's awesome. So, people have different reasons for why they are not commuting to an office. What's your reason for why you decided to work outside of traditional office?
Dani Interesting. Yeah, I guess that's something else I wanted to bring up. This is really interesting for me, this interview, because I kind of have two sides to this. I have the fitness side of it. For a living all day I'm working on how to make fitness practical for people. The other side is I'm personally working from home. I am remote working. It's an interesting interview for me. The reason why I work from home is...I have an office. The truth is that I have an office. It's 5 to 10 minutes away. I just find, this is just me personally, I find that I work better with zero noise and zero distraction around. Even though I sometimes enjoy being in an office where it's busy and there's other people around. I'll get so much more done when it's boring and there's absolutely nothing else around. That's why I like to work from home.
Ari Very cool. So, since you kind of like that quiet area, how do you set that up? What's your work office environment like in the home?
Dani I'm trying to change that a little bit. Right now I'm sitting on my, what would you call this? What's the name for a couch that's only one seat? A one-seater?
Jonathan I don't know if this is...I call it a barcalounger.
Dani A what?
Jonathan A barcalounger.
Dani I've never heard that term before.
Jonathan I'm sure it's probably...
Dani It must be a Midwest term.
Jonathan No, it was one of those things in some English class, with To Kill a Mockingbird or something.
Dani We were completely different students.
Jonathan Yeah, it was a good word though.
Dani Alright, so I'm working on my berkalounger?
Jonathan I think it's barcalounger. I've got to go look it up now.
Dani Yeah, now I'm really curious. Yeah, so I'm on that and then I have a coffee table in front of me. This is just because I'm so busy between the business and everything else that I...so many simple, I'm sure a lot of people can relate. So many simple things that I wish I would have done six months ago, for whatever reason just keeps getting pushed off so I've moved in Baltimore City, I guess it's been almost six months. I moved in November. I talk to people I'm like, "Yeah, I just moved." In my head I only moved a couple weeks ago because I'm still setting stuff up. I just got my office desk delivered a couple days ago. I'm just trying to find the time to set it up.
Jonathan So basically you're a normal person is what you're saying?
Dani Exactly, so that's why I was saying that this interview is really interesting for me because I struggle with a lot of the same things other people do. A lot of people have it in their minds, "These are fitness professionals so he's spending all of his life working out and stuff like that." It's really not the case.
Jonathan Just a follow on to the barcalounger comment. I looked it up and it's a type of deeply padded reclining chair. If your chair reclines, I think it will qualify as a barcalounger.
Jonathan [Laughs] Success. See, we help people explore a wider variety of culture on this podcast. It's an important part of it.
Dani I love it.
Ari So you make fitness demo videos and in talking about the process that you go through, what kind of studio setup do you have?
Dani Good question. This is something that I go back and forth on in my head. There's the idea of, I'm sure, again, this is something I'm sure everybody can relate with. There's the finding the balance between being perfectionist and getting stuff done. With the videos, it can be as simple as literally just setting up my iPhone and videoing a demonstration exercise. I'm in the process of filming all these new exercises for the app. I actually have right now a combination of both, but when I'm trying to make it professional, when I've had professional videographers come out to my living room and actually had all of our trainers come over. This is one Thursday evening and we just filmed for five hours, just running through all different exercises with all of us. He brought professional lighting and his camera. He had everything set up real nice here. It's really just, this is the same with everything, trying to find that balance between what do I need to do to get this done and how can I make this the best as possible.
Jonathan Once you've recorded your videos, what's the platform that you publish them out. How do you distribute them?
Dani If you're talking about the workout videos specifically, those are really for the app, so for our clients. If it's an online client, if they're doing remote coaching, then we're sending the work out to them. They have the demonstrations in the app. The idea is that if they want to have that demonstration [INAUDIBLE 00:07:36] know exactly how to do the workout. It's through the app. What it does is we post it on YouTube and then it incorporates that into the app.
Jonathan Okay, excellent.
Ari Very cool. You were talking a bit also about your distractions that you have. You don't like distractions, so that's why you like to work from the home. Even though it's just you and a roommate, I think you mentioned earlier, there right now, there are still distractions that come up. How do you deal with those distractions and what are your biggest distractions?
Dani Good question. One of my biggest struggles is that I do so much business on Facebook. Actually, one of my primary roles, I got through Facebook. The second biggest thing I do in addition to Fit2Go is I'm an advisor to the Personal Trainer Development Center, which I'm happy to plug because I'm such a fan of them. They're basically an international organization that's geared towards educating trainers and teaching them everything they should know and don't. The industry is unregulated and there's just so many...that's why there's the sort of stereotype of a dumb jock. They focus on educating trainers. What I do is, a lot of the communication I do is through Facebook. Everything I'm doing with that organization is chatting with people through Facebook. I'm constantly on Facebook and it's so difficult to be able to go on Facebook and focus on I'm having this conversation about this specific project, and then not be refreshing my newsfeed for 30 minutes and jumping in some other stupid conversation. That's definitely my biggest struggle when it comes to day to day. I've done this almost every other week. I keep deleting Facebook from my phone and then I have to download it because I'm out and I need to have a conversation. Yeah, I keep going back and forth with that.
Jonathan I recently deleted from my phone. I have left it deleted, but the stuff that I have to do for work on Facebook, I have to login on my computer. It's the same thing. You fight Facebook's temptation algorithm. They are constantly trying to tempt you with whatever hot story that they think you're going to click on. You click on it and so they're like, "Oh, we won!"
Dani They have the best and brightest minds in the world trying to tempt you. It's a hard battle to fight.
Jonathan I know.
Ari There is actually a chrome plug-in. It skips my mind at the moment, but we can definitely put it in the show notes and I can mention it to you later as well, Dani, that eliminates the feed from Facebook. In other words, you can use Facebook and use everything else, but there's no news feed.
Jonathan It used to insert pretty pictures in there instead.
Ari I think it just puts a little logo in or something saying, something about no feed, no distractions. Something like that.
Jonathan Distraction free.
Dani I need this. That's awesome.
Jonathan We'll definitely get that linked up in the show notes. Personal fitness is really about goals and strategies and putting structure around accomplishing what you set out to do. What systems do you use for productivity beyond just personal training?
Dani So specifically for productivity with business?
Jonathan Yeah, with your business and just how you operate.
Dani I spent a long time actually, at the end of this year going through different project management software. Up until last year, I was using Google Tasks. I use everything Google. I have a Chromebook and I haven't had a computer in over two years. I do everything in the cloud, so I love everything Google. Google Tasks was awesome because it was super quick and easy to use. It's simple. The problem that I had was I was getting into some of this more complicated management software, like Asana and Trello, and I realized I was wasting so much time trying to make it pretty and organized in there. Most of what I'm doing really is just me, so I don't need to have this complicated project management software, even if it's fun. Google Tasks was awesome because it was really, really simple. It's literally you just write a task and check it off when you're done. What I use now, which has actually been the perfect balance for me, I switched over a couple of months ago, it's Todoist, which is also one of the most popular ones I think.
Jonathan Ah, yes.
Dani Are you familiar with it?
Jonathan I am. I have jumped on the Todoist bandwagon about two weeks ago now.
Dani Oh really, okay.
Jonathan I'm loving it.
Dani Let me ask you this, there's different ways to use it. Do you mainly use the projects tab or the filters or labels?
Jonathan I have avoided...this is going to sound really funny, but I've avoided most all of those. I just have a ton of recurring tasks set up. I basically use the today tab and that's it. That's all I care about.
Dani So you don't manage it. You don't organize it by project?
Jonathan I really haven't because it comes down to, for example, I've got a number of tasks related to this podcast. They just are in my general work category because most of them are recurring, so they pop up on a Tuesday. I say, "Oh, I've got to do that related to this." I guess I do use the projects a little bit when I create them, but not when I execute on them.
Dani Are you using Todoist for your full time job as well?
Jonathan Yeah, I use it for everything. Personal life, for example Sunday night I have to take the trash out.
Dani Yeah, I have the same one.
Jonathan I do not want to have to think about anything. I want to be able to look at the task and be like, "Oh what do I gotta do?"
Dani It's external brain theory, right?
Jonathan Yep, exactly. Are you familiar with the book, Deep Work?
Dani I think it's on my list. I don't think I've read it though.
Jonathan Another one that's good, and also dangerous is The Checklist Manifesto. That would be a rabbit hole, but it's another good one to add to your list. Anyway, you were saying Todoist. Carry on.
Ari Awesome product.
Dani So Todoist, what I like about it for me was I needed some [INAUDIBLE 00:13:35] project because like I was saying, what I like about Google Tasks is it was super simple and there was no way to get distracted like playing around with organization. My problem was that I needed to organize somewhat because a lot of my stuff is sequential. I can't just have all these tasks all over the place because a lot of this stuff depends on...I can't do task X until I finish task A. With Todoist, what I like is that it's so customizable. You can have it as simple as you want, like you were using with the related tasks for today and you can have the short codes too. You type in the labels and filters, and stuff like that. I loved it.
Jonathan Excellent. Like I said, I'm only two weeks into it, so ask me in another week and I'll probably embrace projects and labels and all that stuff fully.
Ari I switched about a month ago and the biggest thing for me was exactly that. The whole short codes thing, you type in first Monday of...whatever it is, something crazy like that and it just understands exactly when that should be scheduled.
Dani Don't you get a little bit pissed off every time when you don't mean for it to remind you then, then you have to delete that.
Ari Yes. I have done some wrong, but I guess that's a learning curve.
Jonathan I wish there was a better snooze feature. I know you can go in with a task and be like, "I'm going to bump this to tomorrow," but I wish I could just be like, "Snooze for a day" or "I'm not really doing it this week."
Dani I have a question for you guys about this. Ari, you use Todoist also?
Dani Okay. Do you guys, be honest, on most days do you check off...what percentage of everything on your to-do list that you set for that day do you end up finishing?
Jonathan I would say, I'm probably 90 to 95 percent. I'm pretty good.
Ari I'd say I'm 75 to 80 percent. It's a mix of getting so involved in multiple tasks that I just do automatically during the day and then the next day I look at my app and it goes, "Oh, yeah. I never checked that off yesterday." Then there's some of the tasks that because I'm just so busy I barely look at Todoist and the next thing I know I never got to that whatever that was.
Dani What I'm trying to get to myself, I'm trying to get into the habit of having it so I have to do everything on there, meaning a lot of times I'll look at it and I'm probably like you Ari, I'm probably even less, maybe like 60 to 75 percent. Because I'm also too optimistic when I'm planning stuff out. What I want to get to is where it's not like a standard thing like, "Yeah, I have some stuff that I'm not going to end up doing and put it off." I want to get in the habit of everything on there I do, so it's not just like a regular thing that it's okay.
Jonathan That's totally true. There have been a couple of tasks I've created like, "I'm going to do this every day," and after like three days of not doing it I'm like, "This is dumb. I need to get rid of that." So, I delete it and my day's so much better.
Dani The key is just deleting it, though I often don't. I'm often like, "No, that's tomorrow."
Jonathan There's a part of me that's like I'm afraid I'm going to forget it then, but we're not doing it anyway so if we just delete it then we've cleared that from our mind.
Ari Yeah, there's definitely that. So, moving on, part of the reason we wanted to have you on here is not just because you're another remote worker we can talk about a lot of things, but because of your knowledge of health and fitness. First, let's talk about a bit about exercise. If your commute is counted in minutes or seconds, a lot of people, remote work, that's what they do. Get up. Walk down the hall on most, maybe, or sometimes even in the same room. Sit down at a desk and go to work. Often that turns into long or unusual hours. How and when do you find time or place for a proper workout?
Dani That's a great question. It's kind of counterintuitive. People don't often expect this until they experience it, but when you can do it any time, most people end up they don't do it at all because they can always do it later. What I always do with clients, what I always recommend for everyone, unless there is some hard, concrete absolute reason you cannot, I always have people do it right smack first thing in the morning. Even if they have a crazy morning, they have to get their kids ready or whatever, I get them in the habit of at least doing a ten minute workout in the morning, before they check their phone, before anything else. Once you get in the habit and you get engaged in any kind of work activities, or whatever, it's going to be so hard to break and then go and do the workout. You're always going to want to do just one more thing before you do it. If you can just get in the habit of it's part of your morning routine, like you shower in the morning. You just get up and you do a ten minute workout. You get that done. The bigger piece there also is when you do that in the morning, that's going to get you in the mindset of health and fitness for the rest of the day. Getting that workout done, the biggest effect you'll have for fat loss is not the calories you're burning then, but it's how much healthier you're going naturally going to eat throughout the day because you already got that focus.
Jonathan You mentioned not just sitting on your phone. That was a little convicting to me, when you said get up and do your ten minute workout. I was like, "Oh!" I was going to get up at 6:45 this morning. I laid in bed until 7:00, checking my phone. That's step one. I've got to end that.
Dani It's not even getting up earlier. That's ten minutes you have right there that you can just be using to work out, instead of going through your phone.
Jonathan Exactly. So for those listeners out there, don't be lazy. Let's get up and do this.
Jonathan Okay, so step one is we're not lazy. We've got ten minutes set aside and we're going to do a workout. What are some exercises that are easy and that you'd recommend for just getting into this?
Dani Again, the most important piece when you're starting off is not the...what I want listeners to think about is not how much can I do tomorrow, how much can I do in this workout. You've got to think sustainability. A lot of the fitness industry is basically geared towards getting you to get super pumped up and motivated and then stick with it for a month and eventually fall off and fail, so that you'll be in a perpetual cycle and keep starting and stopping programs and spending money. Anything you're starting, you've got to be thinking, "Maybe I can do this for a week, but can I do this for a year?" You've got to think about it that way. When you're looking at the exercise and which ones you're going to do, don't plan off from the beginning is be like, if you don't go from zero to alright I'm going to exercise for an hour and a half every day. What I often do again, the first step is really nailing down the habit if you want this to be a long term thing. I would start off with no more than ten minutes, just in the morning. Get in the habit of doing the workouts. The first thing I would do is, I created a method for it. It's called the PAUL method. The funny thing is people are like, "Oh wow, this is so great. Where did you think of this?" I had an interview on Fox 45 and I literally thought of it two nights before at two a.m. when I couldn't sleep. I was like, "Oh, I can call this PAUL." Here's the acronym. So it's P for plyometric, A for abs, U for upper body, L for lower body. That's the basic formula that you use. Now, so at the basic level, the first one I have people start with is really simple. Plyometric is basically explosive workout. Anything where you're jumping or you're doing some type of power. It's not just strength, like being able to push. It's about your rate or force production. How quickly you can produce force. The reason that's very effective is because it's going to get your heart rate up. It's going to burn fat very effectively. The plyometric exercise, the basic one is the jumping jack. That might be the first one you do. The second one would be A. A simple one right there, you could do a plank of working your abs. Then you go to U, which is upper body. You can maybe do a push up. L, for your lower body you can be doing the squat. So that's four exercises right there. You need zero equipment. You need zero extra time. You just have ten minutes, so what I have people do is just run through doing 30 seconds of each. You can either set your own stopwatch on your phone or you can have an interval time where it beeps every thirty seconds. You run through each of those four, doing 30 seconds of each. After you finish one set, so it's about two minutes, then you rest for thirty seconds. It's two and a half minutes for the entire set plus rest. Then you jump back in. When you repeat that four times, then that's a total of ten minutes. Trust me, especially if you're new to working out, you are going to be sweating by the end of those ten minutes. It's a great way to maximize the efficiency to both build up strength and muscle and burn fat and improve your cardiovascular health in ten minutes.
Jonathan You just erased all of my excuses.
Dani That was the goal.
Jonathan Ten minutes? I can do that. I didn't even have to buy the special As Seen on TV rocker or bungee cord or whatever it is.
Dani [INAUDIBLE 00:22:25]
Jonathan Yes, I don't even need it. I've got everything I need. I'm still alive. So if you're still alive, then I think that's probably the only qualification at this point.
Dani One thing I'll say is if you are really deconditioned and you haven't worked out a long time, don't jump in right away with the jumping jacks. The whole idea with all of this is that you go at your own pace. I don't want anybody having a heart problem because they just jumped right in and started exploding. What you can do there, with all of this stuff is if the jumping jacks are too hard, go to walking jacks. You are doing the same motion, but not actually jumping. With the pushups, you can be doing pushups on the table or doing a knee push up. With all of them, start where you are and focus on sustainability, versus like let me go all out and crazy right at the beginning.
Jonathan What you're really looking for people to do is consistently every day doing something to get started. Maybe what you broke down with the PAUL method is the goal. That's the first milestone that they're working towards is being able to do all of those. Maybe the first step is just walking around the block.
Dani Yeah, exactly. It could be a walk around the block. I actually gave it to my dad and what he was doing was literally...my mom was so mad at me. My dad started , it was just five minutes. I just wanted him to get his heart rate up. He started stomping around the house every night at 10 p.m. in his sneakers. Walking up the stairs and down the stairs to get his heart rate up. But you can be doing anything, yeah.
Jonathan That is excellent and we'll put in a little comment here that it is important to be considerate of your neighbors if you live in an apartment complex or with other people. Time it appropriately. If you want to do this at three in the morning, then just be ready for a knock on your door.
Ari We take no responsibility if they come at you with anything.
Jonathan Yes, insert disclaimer here. We consult a lawyer for a proper disclaimer, but it's not our fault.
Ari So some people on their remote work space are digital nomads, as they're often called, is people who don't even have necessarily a same location they're in. They're moving around a lot. Is there anything that you recommend somebody like that, who doesn't have a regular space to stay and do their workout. Is this something that you think can be done anywhere?
Dani There are two big pieces with travelling. All of our clients are busy working professionals, so we focus on this a lot. I've been giving travelling a lot of thought specifically lately. I mean there's two pieces. There is the workouts. I think the bigger piece for most people is nutrition, because it's a lot harder to stay consistent with any kind of nutrition once your environment keeps changing. With the workouts, so again, same thing, just setting aside, and I think in almost every single case no matter what your schedule looks like, you can usually just set aside ten minutes doing a quick workout in the morning before you start your day. Worse comes to worse, making sure you do it at some time and just keeping it to ten minutes. A lot of times, what I've found is that when I have clients and they're already more advanced and they're doing 45 minute workouts and they say, "Yeah, I can absolutely do this three times next week." I'm like, "Okay, cool, great, but worse comes to worst, here's the ten minute workout and just do this one in case." A lot of times it will be that, they'll get two and they're like, "Yeah, I wasn't going to do the third, but then I had the ten minute workout so I did that." That's number one, just planning realistically. The second piece I'll recommend for the workouts is the only piece you really need for working out of home or working out in general is resistance bands. I actually just got, really for our clients, but we're selling them now to the general public. Especially with the PAUL method, a lot of people are looking for it. The resistance bands that are, are either of you familiar with resistance bands?
Jonathan Yes, I'm going to simplify it to just say it's like a bungee cord.
Dani Yeah, exactly. So the idea is like, people think to have resistance to work out, I need to have heavy weights. The interesting thing to me is with resistant bands you can create the same amount of tension, so your muscles are working just as hard but they don't weigh anything. They're really, really light. They're really easy to grab and put in your travel bag or just keep at home, because they don't take up space, also. I love using resistance bands when I work out of home. A lot of our clients have found that useful when they're traveling. You don't need a whole complicated...when people ask me, "Okay, I want to start making a home gym. What do I need to get? How much space do I need? How many thousands of dollars do I need to invest?" I'm like, "Start with $30. Get a resistance band kit. Start with that and then if you want to get more advanced from there you can, but that's the most important versatile piece, to make sure you can hit every muscle in your body."
Ari I've actually seen something recently, some people posting online pictures. They've been taking this thing with them to hotels. It straps onto a doorway that uses a more complicated resistance band thing. Is that reasonable or is it just a resistance band would be enough?
Dani The brand name is TRX. It was a really a number of years ago, maybe like five years. It was created by an ex-Navy Seal. That's a completely different system. Resistance bands, you're using the tension of the bands. Like you were saying, they're like rubber bands, almost. They're bungee cords, so the more you push, the more tension you have. The straps you put over the door are completely different. Those are suspended bodyweight training. You put it over the door. It anchors them in and then you're basically pulling up your own body weight. To simplify, the simple exercise you might be doing is rows where you're working your upper back. These things are locked in over the door. You have the handles and then you're just leaning back and holding onto these handles to pull yourself up. You're using your own bodyweight versus any kind of tension of the bands. I use those a lot also with our clients. I like them a lot as well. The only thing with those is that you've got to be careful where you're using them when you're traveling. You've got to make sure you have a sturdy door in house. You don't want to ruin somebody else's or a hotel's door house.
Jonathan Yep, that would be awkward. Leave the room and the door is just on its hinge, or not on its hinge I should say. That was me. Anyway, the first part we've kind of talked about the mechanics of exercising. This next question is related more to the input and food and healthy habits. One of the challenges when you work from home and you have a kitchen readily available or a pantry, it's tempting to go hit those Cheetos and eat unhealthy. What would you suggest in helping people to stop eating the junk.
Dani So this is a great question and I think, again, the approach here...a lot of people take the complete wrong approach. I was just writing about this the other day, about how what I was mentioning before how the fitness industry is literally geared towards your failure. Gyms will sign up, they count on two out of three members never actually showing up. That's the whole model. They can't operate if all those people actually showed up. A lot of not just gyms, but the overall industry is focused on creating these systems that won't actually work for you. The general idea of, "I should be working really, really hard and I'll see results" is just wrong. It's the complete wrong way to go about it. Let's take that. That's a great example. You have the Cheetos there. The typical approach that somebody would have is, "I've got to muster up the willpower. I've got to watch this Tony Robbins motivational video so I can have...watch Arnold Schwarzenegger tell me not to eat the cookie so I can have enough motivation to not go and eat the Cheese Doodles or whatever."
Ari [In Arnold Schwarzenegger Voice] Don't eat the cookie!
Dani It's the complete wrong approach. What I tell people to do, especially busy working professionals, is that if you look at the way you approach your fitness and you look at the way you approach a business project, you'd see how inefficient your approach is. It's so hard to really look at it that way because there's so much emotion that goes into your own fitness. If you look at what your long term goal is, like let's say it's losing ten pounds. You look at your method and you look at your resources. The resource here is going to be your willpower. If you're allocating willpower to all these stupid mini-battles throughout the day. If every time you walk through the kitchen and see pretzels or Cheese Doodles or whatever and you're trying to fight right then, that's just such a waste of your most valuable resource which is your willpower. What I have people do is change the environment. Look for the key catalysts that make all those mini-battles no longer relevant. The biggest thing for people usually with their general meals is meal prepping. The main reason, like I was saying before, usually the biggest trouble with fitness for busy working professionals is just having the time. It's not even the self-discipline. The struggle is, "I'm happy to eat healthy. I like cooking. I like eating healthy. I just don't have the time to spend an hour cooking every night." If they meal prep every Sunday, they don't have to. Then they spend five minutes, because the vegetables are chopped up, the chicken is seasoned, and everything is just ready to go and throw in a pan and they're done. For the snacking, specifically, you just want to not keep...if you know that the Cheese Doodles are your Kryptonite, don't keep them in the house. If you're going to keep them in the house, definitely don't keep them sitting on your counters, somewhere you can see every time you walk through. It's basically looking at it as a more efficient and effective approach for how can I not have to have all these mini-battles throughout the day.
Jonathan One thing that I heard somewhere along the way is drinking water helps too, to stay hydrated and it can help with your metabolism. Then, if you're eating carrots instead of Cheetos, replace it with a carrot, life will be better.
Dani Here's an important piece that I'm glad I have a chance to speak about. There's so much just BS and pseudoscience out there. Drinking water is not going to make you lose weight, directly. If you want to lose weight, the only thing you have to focus on is your total calories. It's not your carbs. It's not your fat. It's not your protein. It's not apple cider vinegar or any other scam. The carbs and the fat and the protein, all that will affect your total calories, but if you watch one metric, watch your total calories. You can eat McDonalds. You can eat pizza. You can eat anything. As long as your total calories are certain amount, you will objectively lose weight because it's an energy balance. Drinking water is not going to spike your metabolism and make you lose any appreciable amount of weight, but when it comes to water actually helping you lose weight, what it will do is if you are dehydrated, especially chronically dehydrated, people often, the sensation of feeling thirsty will often then confuse the signals in their head and they'll feel hungry when really they're just thirsty. I always have clients drink a full glass of water before each meal because in general it avoids overeating. It will cause them to slow down. It will make them feel a little bit more full and it will avoid them for mistaking thirst for hunger. Yeah, in general throughout the day if you're just drinking more, that will have the same effect. I definitely do recommend the piece of advice that you just said, just for a different reason than metabolism.
Jonathan Excellent. So just to summarize here, you're saying the best way to combat junk food is to not buy it at the beginning. Don't bring it home and you won't eat it and to also be smart about meal prep ahead of time. So batch that all together, rather than prepping meals five times a week, just do it once. Sunday night, lay out the five meals for the week and then that helps to free you up from not having to spend an hour a night cooking.
Dani Exactly. I mean, again, if you look at it like a business project and say what's the most efficient way I can spend my time? My golden rule of meal prep that I tell the clients, if you make one, make seven. That's with everything. You can really break this down as far as you want to. On a bigger scale, with my chicken, when I'm making chicken for the week, let's say Sunday night. I'm seasoning out chicken because I'm going to make chicken that night, if I'm making one, I'm going to make seven. I'm going to season out enough for seven days and then I'm going to portion it out into seven different portions, put it in a Ziploc bag and throw it in the freezer. The day of, just take it out, defrost it, throw it in a pan and I'm done. I'll personally take it pretty far. I'll go with my oatmeal in the morning, I'm in such a rush I don't want to have to measure out the oatmeal and measure out a half cup every day. I'll measure them all out on Sunday and then have them in plastic Ziploc bags, literally ready to go. I can just take hot water, pour it out. It's already measured out. My oatmeal's ready. You can go as far as you want with it, but anytime you're doing any kind of prep for a meal, you just want to ask yourself, "I'm making one. Can I make seven?" Then look at any kind of prep you're doing and just do it for the week.
Jonathan That's a great point. I think my wife discovered that in practice with our daughter and her clothes and laundry. It was this big dramatic thing for my daughter to get her clothes for school in the morning. My wife ended up, when she does laundry, she now takes all my daughter's clothes and pairs it up with pants and underwear and a shirt and socks and everything. Rolls it together and puts a hair scrunchie around it. We have all these rolls of my daughter's clothes. So now it's like, "Go get dressed." So she goes down, picks a roll of clothes and it has eliminated the drama.
Dani I love that because that's exactly the approach that I take to fitness. Look for where your struggles are and then look to make them no longer necessary. Don't try to get better at fighting those battles. Try to develop a system so you no longer need to fight them.
Jonathan It's been a groundbreaking thing for us. I never thought to apply that to other situations. This is great.
Ari That's really awesome. So, some of us you say, don't keep the snack items around the house, things like this. Some of us feel the need, maybe it's mixed signals as you kind of said, things like that. Some of us feel the need to have some kind of snacks over the course of a long workday, to have something handy to snack on throughout the day. Do you have any recommendations for something to fill that in, in place of potato chips or the Cheese Doodles or whatever, the Cheetos or whatever it might be?
Dani There's two reasons usually that people snack. It's either because they're hungry or because they just want a snack. If it's hunger, I definitely recommend look at your meals and make sure they are more filling. You have more whole grains in there or fiber or whatever you need, so that you're eating enough so you're not hungry. If you just like snacking, you want to look for something healthy. What I find a lot of is that usually people have a general idea of what is healthy and what's not. It's just really how to make it practical. Anything that sounds too good to be true, is too good to be true. Don't have some kind of crazy, gross snack because somebody said it's going to spike your metabolism and make you lose weight. If you have an apple instead of Cheese Doodles, yeah, that's going to be great. What I like to do, personally, and you've got to see if it works for you. What I found really helpful myself is I love snacking and I love fidgeting. I'll often, if I feel like snacking but I'm not hungry, I'll just chew a piece of gum. The one thing to keep in mind is that this has been great for some people and for some people they find that when they're chewing it just ends up making them hungry. You can try that and see if it works for you. Just keep that in mind so that you're aware that that might happen.
Ari I definitely like that gum idea. That's a good one.
Jonathan What other advice would you give someone? We've been talking a lot about habit forming and really how that plays out at home. What other advice would you give for developing healthy habits? It seems like we've been talking about, basically, consistency is the key across all of it.
Dani Right. The key to consistency is really establishing your routine. You want to make it so that your workouts are just as habitual as brushing your teeth. That's why again, that's why I love having it as part of the morning routine when you're getting ready in the morning. Then it's not something that you're trying to fit in. The absolute worst approach, which I highly, highly recommend anybody listening, do not do this. Do not say, "I'm going to work out three times a week." Don't even say, "I'm going to work out Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday." Say, if you're serious about it and you really want to get it in, treat your workouts like you would a meeting with your absolute most important client. Put it on your schedule so that nothing else can be scheduled then and don't just delete that when you have something else come up. You've got to really put it on your schedule and treat it the same way you would an important business meeting. That's the only way to really get it in. What get measured, gets managed.
Jonathan One kind of wrap it up question I have here is, one of the big trends on the internet right now is standing desks. So, sit, stand, adjustable desks, what are your thoughts on those between being seated all day and switching back and forth?
Dani I have a couple thoughts. Personally, I think that it would just not work for me. I would not be able to focus at all on my work while I'm standing up. Have either of you tried it?
Jonathan I have. I'm actually standing as we record this podcast.
Dani Wow, so it works for you?
Jonathan It does, but I've tried it a couple different ways, but the desk that I have right now adjusts. I hit a button and it goes from sit to stand. The strategy I've been doing is just when I get antsy and fidgety sitting, I'll switch to standing. When I get tired of standing, I go back to sitting. So, I probably switch four or five times a day. For me, I've had some lower back problems and such like that and I'm a fairly tall guy at 6 foot 5. Being able to stand has relieved my back pain.
Dani Yeah, I've had a lot of clients who have had the same thing. When I first heard of them, I thought of it like I thought of those, there's a similar thing with exercise balls. People try to work on exercise balls and it's not really going to have that much of a benefit. Standing up, you will burn more calories throughout the day standing up. I think that's the wrong approach if you're doing it just to lose fat. It's not going to have enough of an effect that you'll really make a difference. All of my clients that have had back pain and tried it for that have seen results. I definitely recommend giving it a shot if you have back pain when you're sitting.
Ari It definitely works for me as well. My current location where I am, we also have sit-stand desks. It's been a huge benefit to me, standing a lot of the day. Better work results over all.
Dani Really? That's interesting.
Jonathan One interesting benefit too is the fact that you can put it in standing mode and easily vacuum under your desk then. Yes, all those potato chip crumbs.
Jonathan You've got to get rid of the evidence.
Ari So Dani, as we wrap things up here, I want to thank you again for coming on. I know you had a giveaway that you wanted to offer to our listeners, but before that, also if you want to just take a minute and just talk again about yourself and your company and how people can reach out to you either through any kind of social media, website, whatever it is for yourself personally or for the company.
Dani Yeah, and this has been awesome. Again, this is really cool for me because I have sort of two sides. I'm a remote worker and I'm focused on fitness. I'd love to connect with people. The best way to connect with me directly would be on Facebook. I use my personal Facebook for everything. I don't separate myself. You can search me. I'm Dani Singer, D-A-N-I Singer. You can connect with us on our company page also, Fit2Go at Fit2Go Personal Training. In terms of just who I am, just wrapping up again, right now Fit2Go Personal Training is located in Baltimore, Maryland. We focus on busy working professionals in Baltimore. I have a long term mission with this. My long term mission is really just to change the mainstream approach to fitness in the industry, which is giving people terrible systems so that they'll feel terrible about themselves when they don't work. Then kind of blame themselves and be a perpetual cycle of starting and stopping for their whole lives and continually spending money. Right now, we're mainly focused on Baltimore, but I am starting to open up the remote coaching through our app and through Skype and stuff like that. That's my mission, to eventually keep expanding around the country. I'd love to connect with people and chat more. I'm always happy to help whether or not you're a client. In terms of the giveaway, what I wanted to do for people, because I mentioned this already a couple of times with the PAUL workouts. I wanted to give people, I can give you the video from the Fox 45 interview when I really went through and explained the PAUL method and demonstrated the exercise. Then, I want to give also, I have three workouts I think, that I want to give out. Three PAUL workouts which will basically, these three PAUL workouts, if you have these three, it will hit every muscle you need to in your body. If you were to just do these three workouts and nothing else and getting ten minutes a day, you'll be good to go. I want to give those out for people.
Ari Very cool. You said specifically that you have an app. Did you want to mention, is that app available IOS, Android or how do get that?
Dani We're just sort of transitioning to this. We just started the app this year, so we're mainly using it for clients. We're kind of testing out with the online training right now with a select few. The app right now is only for existing clients, but I'm glad you brought it up. What I want to do is for people when they get that link, when they download the PAUL method, I can set people up with a free week on the app for them to try it out. If they find it's really helpful, then we can talk about setting something up for them for a longer term thing.
Jonathan Excellent. Very cool. We'll have that link in the show now. Wonderful. Thanks so much for coming on and I really enjoyed the conversation. This next portion of the show is called What's The Buzz? Ari, why don't you kick us off?
Ari Sure, so recently I came across a new website called huntr with no e, so h-u-n-t-r.co. It's follows the system of a, honestly I don't remember how to pronounce this correctly, a Kanban board, similar to Trello or other places like that, but specifically for job hunting. I played around with setting some stuff up on there. It was a little lacking in a couple areas, honestly, but I immediately contacted the developers and they got right back to me. They were very prompt in telling me that they're working on the exact issues which I addressed, which was right now it's very uniform. It walks you through the step from finding the job, applying for the job, the different type parts of traditional interview process, to finally potentially getting hired. Very clean, once you have the item in there you just add notes and move the card over just like in any other thing like a Trello or something, but it's built for that. They're working on getting the columns more customized, which is the big thing that I was concerned about as especially with remote work often the interview process is very different. You don't have these in-person interviews necessarily and things like that. I also addressed that they actually don't have a location for remote work in the location field for their searching. They're looking to add those features, so it's looking like it's going to be a really great product. That's about it.
Jonathan Cool. So, mine is jell, J-E-L-L.com. It's basically a way to do daily stand-ups. There's a number of approaches that people take, but this one's a little bit different in that it can be asynchronous. If you have a team spread across multiple time zones, each person when they get on it in the beginning of the day can fill out their stand-up and it integrates with Slack so you can do that right through Slack. At the end of the day, you can show your progress on it and it kind of tracks it going forward. Once again, that's jell.com and something worth checking out.
Ari Definitely sounds awesome.
Jonathan I've used it previously. I'm not currently using it, but when we did use it on a previous project it worked really great. I recommend it.
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