I was driving on the highway the other day and noticed a billboard that read, "VETERANS NEED JOBS!". It appears there is a rumor going around that veterans can't find jobs. I find that hard to believe.
We don't need jobs - employers are getting big $ grants $ to hire veterans these days. Ask someone who knows, they'll tell you. I’ve seen 6 local job postings wanting to hire specifically vets within the last week. How many vets have applied? Goose Egg - 0!
I'll tell you what veterans need … a swift kick in the ass!
You're not a dysfunctional vet! Stop labeling yourself that!
No one is going to write your resume for you. You are not entitled to that job just because you put boot to ass for your country overseas. People who didn’t serve don’t owe you anything more than you owe them.
Less than 1% of the country serves today. That means is there is a big divide between those that have been in the military and those that have no clue what it’s like. And that’s ok. Just be patient with people who don’t understand.
Get out and get Connected with other vets, and then branch out to civilian employers, community groups, or wherever you feel like you belong. The worst thing you could do is sit around and complain about your situation, that won't change anything.
However, action will create change.
The jobs are out there, you just have to netWORK to get them!
Get Connected with other local veterans here... www.facebook.com/groups/vetnetrva
This is what I regularly put in my "Green Drink" first thing in the morning. Keep in mind sometimes the ingredients will change, I may only have 2 different fruits, or I might add something like honey or oranges. Basically, it's not an exact recipe, however, these are my staple ingredients:
Handful of Kale - curly, dinosaur, purple - loaded with minerals, vitamins, fiber, and amino acids, as well as important anti-oxidants.
Handful of Baby Spinach - high in anti-oxidants, protein, and fiber.
4-6 strawberries - heart healthy and high in Vitamin C.
7-10 blackberries - powerful anti-oxidant, can help prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and are anti-aging.
7-10 raspberries - neutralize free radicals.
Handful of blueberries - among the highest ranking anti-oxidants; also anti-aging and improve cognitive function.
Tsp chia seeds - maintain hydration, boost endurance, and are high in Omega-3.
Tbsp flax seed - also high in Omega-3.
1 or 2 scoops of protein powder.
If you want to sweeten it you could add half of an apple, orange, or banana.
If you're like me then every day is a struggle to find time to workout. If it's not something at home that pulls you away, it's a project at work that you really need to finish that causes you to miss your workout. So you think...
In my experience it's when I make it as easy as possible for myself to get a workout that I am more likely to do it.
There are a few things that I do throughout the day so that I get my workout in. Here are 7 best strategies that I have found that help me stay on track:
Some days you simply do not have time for your usual workout. Perhaps you are traveling or you have meetings from dawn ‘til dusk. Or maybe something totally unexpected comes up and your workout time disappears.
When life steals your exercise time, however, you do not have to forgo your workout. If you have just a few minutes, you can burn off 100 calories, get your heart pumping fast and redeem at least a little of your workout.
Here are 10 ways to torch 100 calories
Use them on busy days or even to supercharge your normal workout days. Most estimates are for a person weighing approximately 130-150 pounds. If you weigh more, you can probably shorten the duration, but if you are lighter, add a few minutes to ensure that you burn at least 100 calories.
1. Take the stairs. Stair climbing for 15 minutes will burn 137 calories. Have a 15 minute break at work? Find a stair case and set your phone alarm to alert you when 15 minutes have passed.
2. Run a 5-minute mile. By the time you are 4 and ½ minutes in, you will have already burned 100 calories. If you can’t get outside, just run in place.
3. Ride a stationary bike at 20 mph for 4 minutes 54 seconds.
4. Work on the lawn. Pull weeds for 17 minutes, rake leaves for 20 minutes, or dig dirt for 16 minutes.
5. Calisthenics. Spending 15 minutes doing some light body weight squats, lunges, jumping jacks, get-ups and knee-ins will burn about 137 calories.
6. Go for a walk. A 150 pound person will burn approximately 117 calories by walking at a 4 mph speed for 20 minutes. Walk in place if you do not have a good area to walk in outdoors. Try walking in place while you watch your favorite television show!
7. Grab the vacuum. Vacuuming your home or office for 28 minutes will burn 100 calories. This is a great way to sneak in some exercise at work and get on the good list of your coworkers!
8. Chop fire wood. It is hot now, but winter is coming! Spend 5 minutes chopping fire wood and you will burn 100 calories.
9. Swim laps. It only takes 12 minutes to burn off 100 calories while swimming.
10. Mow the lawn with a push mower. 14 minutes is all it takes to zap 100 calories.
Today, we’re taking a hard look at winter weight gain. It’s a common problem—people tend to pack on a few pounds during the winter months.
But we want to fight back, and we hope you will join us. Let’s get after this now, while winter is still in full force. We’ll have less to deal with when the warm breezes start blowing!
The good, the bad…and the solution
Although winter weight gain varies from person to person, research shows the average gain to be five to seven pounds! Some people gain this extra weight because they have Seasonal Affective Disorder—a type of winter depression. But most of us can’t blame winter depression for our tendency to pick up extra weight during the winter months.
So, why does winter weight gain happen? According to Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD, founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, it happens because we eat more and move less during the winter months1.
This is bad news and good news. It is bad news because it would be kind of nice if we could blame our cold-weather corpulence on something exotic like the jet stream cycle and waddle off for another espresso.
But it is good news because we can do something about it. We don’t have to greet spring with softer middles and tighter clothes. So let’s celebrate by tackling winter weight gain with our weapon of choice here at VETFIT: Discipline.
Hour of decision According to Merriam-Webster, discipline is a “rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity2.” This is perfect. Just like in the military, in order to fight winter weight gain, we have to discipline ourselves to follow some rules.
Here we go…
1. Banned language: For the next several weeks, do not allow yourself to say, “Just this once.” If you pay close attention, a ‘just this once’ situation comes up practically every day. You go to a retirement party. You take spouse out for a birthday dinner. Someone brings a meal by your house because you’ve been sick. Your co-worker brings in the leftover pizza from last night’s party. Your child has leftover Valentine’s Day candy. You have to say no every single time. Otherwise, you will never get ahead.
Just grit your teeth, resist what others are having and make good food choices. I’m not saying it is easy. I am saying it is necessary.
2. Plan your occasional splurge, and do not deviate from the plan. Unending deprivation is never a good idea, but you have to be intentional about the time, place and food that you let yourself splurge on.
Love the hot wings at your favorite restaurant? Then let’s make a deal! Eat clean for ten days. No cheating. And then at the end of those ten days, go have the wings. Guilt free. Just enjoy them. Then set the next goal. But you are not allowed to deviate from your plan in the meantime.
If you do, you lose the wings.
Don’t waste your fun calories on something that doesn’t compare to those wings!
3. Keep moving. Exercise is not an optional activity. Now more than ever you have to get your body in motion. Exercise is very effective at preventing weight gain—and that is what VETFIT is after right now. Don’t even worry so much about losing pounds; just work to keep the winter scale-creep from happening to you. Try to get some cardio in at least 4-6 days a week.
Remember: spring is coming. Let’s be ready for it, and leave winter weight gain behind.
From weekend warriors to Ironman finishers, performance is directly tied to diet. If you want to train at the peak of your ability and recover quickly, you must be intentional about what you eat, taking care to feed your body what it needs. Trying to work out with a body that is starving for essential nutrients will end only in frustration; and frustration eats your momentum and resolve with a voracious appetite.
Make the most of every minute you work out by fueling your body sensibly. Eat whole foods and leave all that processed junk alone. Now let’s look at the basics.
Nutrition 101: the foundation
The big three nutrients that you need to be concerned with are carbohydrates, protein and fat. An eating strategy that balances these three macro-nutrients will skyrocket your fitness results.
Note: Be careful when eating fat if your goal is weight loss. It is 9 calories per gram and it can be easy to eat too much.
Finding the balance
If you are like many people, you are often confused about how to balance out the different kinds of foods you eat. It seems as though there is a new diet promotion every day, promising all sorts of miracles.
The key, however, to fueling your body for peak performance is balance and moderation. In The New Rules of Lifting for Women, Cassandra Forsythe insists that eating a ratio of 40/30/30 (carbohydrate/protein/fat) will bring the best results. Start here and then adjust the ratios to see what best suits your body.
Remember: you must give your body what it needs to perform. If you don’t, you will end up tired, weak, and prone to frustration because you won’t have the energy or strength to work out. The better you fuel your body, the better it will serve you in your pursuit of fitness and health.
The human body was designed to be highly adaptive.
This is proven when a person loses their stomach to say...cancer, and then the intestine develops a pouch over time where food is then digested.
The human life is also highly adaptive.
That is why we must go through times of hardship. If there is no struggle there is no perseverence.
Then that person grows up knowing nothing of the way life truly is: HARD AS HELL.
When you grow up there is no one to hold your hand when you cross the street; you either look both ways, or take your chances with fate.
I hope that I have been out through enough hardship so that when times are tough I can look back, shrug my shoulders, and say, "eh, it could be worse."
A major problem I had in the beginning of my health and fitness journey was that it took so damn long to cut up all those veggies everyday.
The one question I get asked the most by soldiers is, "how do I plan my workout?"
For someone like myself who has been a Strength and Conditioning Coach for a decade the answer is simple. However, these are Soldiers we're talking about here, and they need the basics. So I put together a plan to set any Weekend Warrior on the right path.
Go into a gym, any gym really, and you will see the same thing; a bunch of sweaty dudes with different goals trying to achieve them using different types of equipment and methods. Have you ever actually LOOKED at the order people are doing things, though?
Often times the best of intentions in training can be mired by improper programming. Correct exercise order seems like a basic idea, but it is often done incorrectly. Here is a brief introduction on how a proper training session should go.
Every training session should begin with a dynamic warm up. Whether you choose to use the preparation drill from the Army’s Field Manual 7-22 or you have formulated your own at home in your living room.
The purpose of a warm up is to both raise the body’s core temperature at least 1 degree Celsius and take the joints through a significant range of motion to get them ready to exercise.
YOU SHOULD BE SWEATING BY NOW!
After a proper Dynamic Warmup, here is how a training session should go:
Ideally you would do cardio and conditioning work on a separate day, but if you don't have the time to workout everyday then you must decide what your goal is.
ALWAYS WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS!
Most athletes will emphasize the cardio after they train as lifting will only slightly take away from cardio. Whereas, cardio before lifting can be more detrimental to the progress of strength and power.
Planning a workout using proper exercise selection can help to maximize progress while reducing the risk of injuries over time. Placing exercises in the right order means that your body will become properly trained to do what you ask of it without getting injured.
This is important for every Weekend Warrior, but especially for soldiers who are trying to stay healthy for deployment, Field Training Exercises, promotion, etc.
Train safe, Train smart, and Train hard!
We really like to talk to people about working out. So, if you have a question about your workout or anything else write it in the comment block below.
Corporate box gyms are setting new members up for failure!
I think everyone should have a little more insight when dealing with these people.
So, I've written a semi-rant to educate those who are being taken advantage of by these big box gym full of stuff no one needs.
When you walk into a big box gym; you’re greeted by a pretty girl with a smile, who hands you a form to fill out. Then one of the gym membership sales “gentlemen” comes over and takes you on a tour.
He then explains that you'll never have to wait on a piece of cardio, because they have so many, and that they will be able to accommodate all of your needs without any hassles.
In truth, what you need is a lifestyle change, and not another gym membership, but he doesn't care about that; he simply wants your money.
Then he sits you down at the desk and goes into his pitch: “Ok so here's the deal, if you sign today you'll get this much, if you walk out now you'll pay way more.”
While your thinking about whether or not you can actually even afford the monthly cost, he then informs you that in order to get that rate you will be locked into a contract for 2 years…
Or conveniently forgets to provide you with that detail.
That's a long time. Who knows what could happen in 2 years.
The thing that he definitely won't tell you is that if for whatever reason you go through some financial hardship, THEY'RE STILL GOING TO CHARGE YOU.
Big box gyms are notorious for this; they lock people into long contracts by giving them a super low price, and when you need some help… they're no where to be found. Don't fall prey to these shady cutthroat salesmen.
Stay educated and know what you're getting into.
Once you've signed up the next thing you will have to deal with is figuring out what equipment you will need to use to get results.
Just try some walking lunges in a weight room around 6 pm; it's nearly impossible.
It's usually swarming with regulars. Most of the time these regular members aren't even working out…
They're chattin' it up like it's a nightclub, but it's not…
It's a gym.
It’s a place where people are supposed to come and improve their physical capabilities, health and wellness, and thus their entire lives.
Good luck expecting members to clean up after themselves and re-rack their weights.
This was my biggest pet peeve when I worked for a corporate facility.
I would watch countless "swole" dudes get on a bench, load the bar with six 45 lb. plates, do a couple reps, then move on to the next piece of equipment, load that one up too and leave it all the same.
This cycle would continue for hours, and it always left the next person with a full workout just getting all that weight off the bar.
I don't know about you, but I hate having to do more work than I need to (especially while working out).
Wherever you decide to improve your body, make sure you do it in a place that you feel comfortable.
You don't have to join GLOBO GYM(Dodgeball reference - love that movie) to change your life. You can workout in your home, at the park, or join a summer sports league.
Whatever you choose to do, and wherever you go, just be sure you're happy with the changes you earn, and that you’re taking you’re health, fitness, and life in the direction YOU desire.
What do you think about box gyms? Are they Good or Bad? Let me know in the comments below.
Feel free to share this article with everyone you know!
Brian is annoyingly optimistic, madly in love with his wife, Valerie, unapologetically opinionated about veterans, religion and politics, tenaciously entrepreneurial, and interested in everything.