blog full of updates about zenshin health and fitness, and useful information on health and fitness for people over 50 years old, fitness tips for people with injuries, and training techniques for runners and running.

How To Overcome Lack of Motivation To Exercise

I just made a quick video to answer the question about….

“I am having a hard time getting motivated to exercise. I am over weight, have sleep apnea along with other sleep issues and a demanding job. Finding the time and the energy is a real chore. Any suggestions?”

Check out the video below to find out my answer if you are facing the similar problem!

 

Also after taking the video, I came up with some other ideas to get you motivated for your exercise.

As I said, if you don’t find your “REASON” it’s very tough to get motivation. But it you find very tough time to find your reason, then here are some other choices that worked for other people.

  • Choice 1: Get a dog (You need to take the dog for a walk so whether you want or not, you need to go for a walk with your dog…)

  • Choice 2: Hire a personal trainer (Because of financial commitment and hiring someone who holds you accountable, you will most likely stay your commitment. Once it becomes your habit then it’ll be much easier to continue. Remember, to start something new is the toughest moment.)

  • Choice 3: Find an exercise partner (Finding an exercise partner is very effective too! You can hold each other accountable. It’s very important!)

Thank you for checking my blog and let me know what you think. If you have any other solutions please leave a comment below!

Have a great day!

Interview #2 with Amy Curren – Find Out How She Lost Nearly 50 Pounds In 6 Months

Find Out How She Lost Nearly 50 Pounds In 6 Months!

In this interview, you will learn….

  • How she transformed her life from not being so active to lost nearly 50 pounds in 6 months and now running her own bootcamps while working as a full-time nurse
  • What was her first step to lose weight 
  • What kept her motivated throughout her journey 
  • Tips for weight loss and workout
  • Other inspiring stories

 

Key Notes:

  1. Need to have right foods to lose weight
  2. Circuit training is the way!
  3. Start seeing the result and building up a community.
  4. Drink water!

Resources Mentioned:

 

Thank you for listening!!

Kaz

[Strong Heart] First Step to Improve Your Cardio and Get More Energy! – Takes only 60 seconds

Many people have asked me similar questions something like ” How can I improve my cardio?” “How can I get my heart stronger?”

If you are wondering how you can improve your cardio and get more energy, then you came to the right page!

So my answer to that question is “Pay Attention to Your Heart Rate”. That gotta be your first step!

 

 

 

Why Paying Attention to your Heart Rate Is Important

Reason 1: Resting Heart Rate tells how good your cardio is.

If you are over 50 years old (healthy individual), the chart below shows how strong your cardio is based on your resting heart rate….

Excellent  – Lower than 60 bpm

Good         – 60 to around 68 bpm

Average    – Around 68 to 78 bpm

Poor          – Higher than 80 bpm

For example, if your heart rate was 73 and after a few weeks of cardio training, your heart rate went down to 65, which means that your cardio got improved!

Reason 2: Resting Heart Rate tells when to take a rest.

If you are constantly taking your resting heart rate, then you would know the average of your resting heart rate. If one day your heart rate is higher than normal, which means your body might be tired and you might want to take a break.

When the body is tired and needs some rest, your heart rate goes up, so you will know when to take a rest.

A big difference between exercise in your 20s or 30s and in your 50s is that you need to listen to your body.

If you get injury, it will take longer to get better, so you don’t want to have any injury because of pushing too much or just not paying enough attention to your body !

On the other hand, if you are doing the same exercise such as walking at the same speed or with the same intensity over and over, you can’t expect the improvements that you had when you were starting.

You need to push a bit to improve but not too much….

When and How to measure your resting heart rate…

The best time to measure your resting heart rate is in the morning after you wake up. The reason is because it’s easy to take and quite consistent.

But if you miss taking heart rate in the morning, then you can take after you have rested for at least 5 minutes.

  • You can take pulse at your wrist or neck.
  • You can use mobile app to measure your heart rate. there are lots of FREE apps. Mine is called “Heart Rate FREE”. You just need to download
  • You can use Fitbit or Apple Watch to measure your hear rate too if you have any heart rate monitor device  

 

If you do regular cardio exercise such as walking, stationary bike or swimming at least 3 times a week , then now it’s time to challenge yourself by doing “Interval Training” if you want to improve more!

Why Interval Training is great

Interval Training pushes you to get outside of your comfort zone in safer way.

It’s hard to go high intensity for a long period of time. Maybe you could do before when you were in  your 20s but not now yet especially when you are in the process of building up your cardio again. Once you get at a certain level, then you can push yourself as much as you want, without worrying about getting injured. I know you will get there but not at the beginning!

So by doing interval training, you can go higher intensity for a certain period of time (depending on what you do but 2-3 minutes as an example) and then take a rest for a bit by going slower pace or lower intensity.

 

For example: Power Walk for 3 minutes followed by Slow Walk (Comfortable Pace) for 2 minutes. Repeat 5-6 times (Total 25 – 30 minutes walking)

 

In order to improve your cardio and get more energy, you want to push yourself a bit (not too much) just a right amount, so that you can decrease the risk of getting injury and you can improve your cardio to feel great, get more energy and do more what you love to do!

Just exercise smartly 🙂

This is a quick post, but hope it helps. If you have any questions, please send me a message or leave a comment!

Thanks and have a great day!

Kaz

 

Patty Brockman – Over 50 triathlete who works as a realtor and owner of running shoe store while being a mother of 3 children!

She shared great tips and valuable information. Here is a list of things that you will learn from her interview.

  • How she transformed her life from not being able to move much after injury to trying for her 1st triathlon. 
  • How to find time to do exercise even though you are having a busy lifestyle. 
  • What is her #1 daily habit that contributes to her success.
  • How she stay motivated.
  • #1 tips & advice to men & women over 50 years old, “How to start living more active.”

Key Notes:

  1. Start with what you can do now and step outside to get fresh air everyday!
  2. Start a day with “Laugh & Gratitude”
  3. Make time for what you want to achieve and put it in your calendar!
  4. Pay attention to your heart rate so that you’ll know the condition of your body. When to train and when to rest!
  5. Stretching!

Resources Mentioned:

 

 

Quick Full Body Workout For Super Busy People – Any Location! No Exercise Tools!

Working long hours, Travelling a lot and/or looking after your family. I understand you’re busy and don’t have time to go the gym!

Don’t worry, you can have a good workout without going to the gym and you will only need about 15 minutes, so you can actually save your time!

Here are some full body workout routines that you can try!

Level 1: Learn to do circuit workout

Level 2: Intermediate circuit workout

Level 3: A bit advanced routine, which includes explosive movement like jumping.

Lack of time is not a reason!!!

I recently talked with a over-50s triathlete and I interviewed her to get secrets of getting things done and staying healthy and active after age of 50. (Her interview is coming out soon!) She is a realtor & a running store owner who has 3 children and 3 dogs and she is about to become a grandmother….. Yes, she sounds already very busy, isn’t she? But she also trains for a triathlon race. Just amazing how she does…..  She still put exercise into her lifestyle!

 

Tips for exercise when you don’t have much time!!!

Now you want to know how you can exercise when you have only 10 – 15 minutes.

Of course, if you have only 10-15 minutes, you don’t have time to go to the gym. That’s okay!

Gym is not only a place to do exercise. You can do exercise at home, outside, or holiday destination etc..

Tip1: Think where is convenient location to exercise – Your accessibility!

If you need to drive 30 minutes to get to the gym, that’s not great use of time. Think what things around you and where you can workout. You just need a space that you can lie down. Rather spending 30 minutes of your time just to go to the gym, you spend those time to finish your workout and you can spend extra time with your family or friends.

You just need to make the best of what you already have around you!

Tip2: Way of exercise – Don’t need to spend 1 hour for exercise.

If you don’t have time to spend 1 hour for your exercise, that okay! 80% of my workout is less than 30 minutes. So here is the key, your body will improve when you get a little bit outside of your comfort zone! So you can’t expect to get the same results that you got when you were at the beginning if you have been doing the same exercise routines over and over.

One of the key workouts to same your time is to do circuit training. Circuit training is great way to improve your cardiovascular strength as well as muscular strength and core. You just follow a number of exercises without or just taking a minimal breaks in between exercises.

Circuit trainings are the ones that you saw on the top of this page!

Quick Full Body Workout For Super Busy People – Any Location! No Exercise Tools!

You can make your own circuit training to meet your goals and requirements.

Tip3: Put it in your schedule and then follow it!

First think of your day…..

Some people say morning is the best time to workout because there is less distraction. Once you start your day, many things will come up and even though you have planned your exercise later in a day, you couldn’t do it because you had other things needed to be done. That’s why I think that morning is quite consistent, just depending on if you can wake up 1 hour earlier or not!!!

If you are not a morning person, then that’s not realistic. So you want to think an alternative way to get your exercise done. Everybody is different, so finding your own way to get your exercise done is the key!

Then put it in your calendar (in your schedule). Not just make a To-Do-List and carry your gym shoes in your bag in hopes that you’ll go to the gym later on a day. Once you know when you do exercise, it’s easier to get it done!

 

I make more exercise videos that you can do at home or even holiday destinations (Location Independent Exercise), so you can check them out on my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ZenshinTV

 

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions about home workout or your own exercise program, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me via email.

Have a great day and always keep moving forward!

Kaz

How to Exercise Effectively at Home (No Equipments & Anytime You Want! – 3 Different Levels of Exercise Routines)

So you want to start exercise or level up your fitness to get in shape, but you have no gym membership.

That’s fine, gym is not only the place you can workout! Actually I don’t go to the gym for my workout…

Body weight workout is a great way of exercise and you can also burn fat, build muscles, and get in a great shape using just your body weight.

You can’t expect to lose your weight or build muscles by just doing cardio exercises such as walking, jogging, stationary bike.

So, a question is….

What is more effective way to build strength and be functional while getting a cardiovascular workout???

The answer is a circuit workout. Circuit training is a way of workout you do a number of exercises one after another without taking breaks in between. Therefore, you can work on your cardio while you are doing resistance training!!!

This is why it is very effective and it helps you reach your goals faster, especially if you are new to resistance training!

Why Body Weight Circuits great…

Body weight circuit training challenges you to utilize multiple muscle groups and gets your heart rate pumping, which means that you’re burning more calories while working on balance, flexibility and core strength. Also, body weight exercises are very functional and can help with injury prevention. And importantly, it’s FREE and you can do anywhere you want (at home, gym, holiday destination, outside etc…)

Yes, I understand once you build up your body to a certain level, then you want to stimulate your body by lifting heavier weight or performing more difficult exercises by using a barbell or kettle bell. However, body weight workout lots of benefits, especially for people who are new to resistance training!

You’re going to see 3 levels of body weight circuit routines (Beginners, Knee Friendly Workout, Advanced). You can try 3-5 times a week for 3-4 weeks.

“As always, make sure you are cleared by your personal physician for physical activity before attempting these exercises. Proceed at your own risk!”

Beginner Body Weight Workout

You’ll try to do these 5 exercises one after another so try not to take breaks as much as you can. Once you have finished all exercises in the circuit, you do it again. But here is the key, it’s always better to stop and take a break than to do an exercise incorrectly.  If you can’t do all three circuits without stopping, that gives you something to build towards.

Please don’t start yet, because you need to do, WARM UP – warm up is very important. You can do stationary knee highs (stepping). half squats or punching like boxing for 45 seconds to 60 seconds each. It’s very important to get your heart rate up and get your muscles and joints ready for the workout without any injury.

When you finish your warm-up for about 5 minutes, then you’re ready to start:

3 sets of these exercises below:

  • 12 Squats 
  • 6  Hands Walk 
  • 12 Birddog (per side)
  • 12 Bridges 
  • 12 Twists (90/90) 

You can try 3-5 times a week for 3-4 weeks.

If you have a knee issue and you can put your weight on your knees or tough to do the kneeling position, then you can check out this workout routine!

Knee Friendly Exercise Routine!

3 sets of these exercises below:

  • 10 Sit & Stands 
  • 20 Twist & Clap 
  • 10 Bridges
  • 10 Twists (90/90) 
  • 10 Lying Side or Face-up Knee In & Out (per side)

You can try 3-5 times a week for 3-4 weeks.

 

If you think you can do more, then try an advanced exercise routine.

Exercises are only 4, and those are…..

  1. Single Leg Power Jumps
  2. Skating
  3. Core Hands Walk
  4. Core Twists

You can try 3 sets of 12-16 repetitions.

If that is easy for you, then you can try 3-5 sets of 20 reps as fast as you can finish (without taking any breaks).

OR

5 sets of 20, 16, 12, 8, 4 each exercise as fast as you can finish (without taking any breaks)

You can try 3-5 times a week for 3-4 weeks.

 

After complete your workout, make sure to do stretches! You can check out some of my stretches that I made a blog of.

 

 

 To get your result faster, you want to eat properly along with this workout routine!

A good workout and crappy diet will not get you anywhere.  Lots of real foods (fruits, vegetables, lean meat, nuts, etc.). Eat natural, whole foods whenever possible, and stay away from the soda, candy, and junk food out of your system.  Your diet is at least 80% of your success or failure.

Help Me Help You

Leave a comment and let me know how it was for you, and your experience (before and after results). And if you have any request for workout, please let me know. My goal is to help “YOU”, so I’d like to hear from “YOU” what you want.

If you have a YouTube account, you can subscribe my channel, which will alert you any time I put out a new video.

Thanks for reading and have a great day 🙂

Kaz

PS: If you’re looking for more direction & guidance, personalized exercise routines, motivation, keeping you accountable, support and resource anytime you want, check out Online Fitness Coaching!  Find out more details by taking FREE Strategy Session with me to see if you like it or not. If you don’t like it, that’s okay. Nothing to lose, It’s FREE and you will anyway get to know a clear plan of how you can reach your ideal fitness as shortest time as possible!  Click here to check FREE Strategy Session!

 

4 Steps to Start Resistance Training Effectively & Safely After 50

 

If you have been thinking to start resistance training or weight training but you are not being able to start yet, this blog is made for you, so that you can simply just follow the steps!

OR

If you have been doing cardiovascular exercise or endurance training such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, that’s great! But resistance training will help you improve your performance in your endurance activity and by working on your muscles, you will be able to build a body that burns calories 24/7 even while sitting on a couch watching TV or sleeping, and more importantly, having sufficient muscles helps for your bones and joints, so that you can continue to enjoy what you love to do! For example, traveling, your favourite sports, playing after your grandchildren, skiing, cycling, hiking, even daily hobbies like gardening or DYI, just to name a few.

 

You will now find 4 important steps that you can implement immediately to start resistance training more effectively so that you can get the result you want much faster, and more safely, therefore you won’t get another injuries, aches or pain.

Let’s find the steps now!

BJc4g64CMAA52OP.jpg-large

 

Step 1: Know your goals and start measuring it!

To know your goals is very important! If you know where you want to go in 6 months or a year from now, it’s much easier to train for that or find out what you need to do. It’s like a driving a car. If you know where to go, then you can get to your destination way faster, but if you don’t know where to go, then you can’t get your destination or even you get somewhere but maybe that’s not what you want to be.

The key to find your goals is that your goals connect with your emotion, not just to “tone up your body” or “lose weight”. Ask yourself further  questions “Why do I want to ….(your goal)….? and ask again why. Keep asking 5 times.

 

For example, one of my clients started personal training with me because she wanted to start going to skiing with her family again. Her pain was not being able to do skiing because of her excess weight and knee issues. She enjoyed doing things with her family and ski was something that her whole family enjoyed and she didn’t want to miss. Although she wanted to lose weight, her goal was to build a body that she could go to ski with her family again. (BTW, she was in her 50s at that time.)

 

 

Then fun time begins! Time to measure it! The easiest way to improve something is to measure it and pay attention to it!

If you want to tone up your body, you can measure your body or if that’s too discouraging, then you can check the size of your clothes. Then, you also want to pay attention exercise you do, for example heart rate during endurance training and weights & repetitions during resistance training, because those are the ones that make your body toned. (And of course, healthy eating habits will speed up your progress!)

 

Step 2: Create a habit of doing exercise regularly. Ideally everyday but shorter time. (Integrate exercise into your daily lifestyle)

Did you know that it’s easier to do everyday 20-30 minutes of exercises, than more than 1 hour of exercises 2-3 days? There is a study shows that doing a same thing at the same time is more like to last longer.

Also for people over 50 years old or beyond, 20-30 minutes of exercise regularly is much easier for your body than hours of training 2-3 times a week.

This doesn’t mean that you need to do resistance training everyday. You can combine your cardio exercise and resistance training (or if you have any other types of exercise; yoga, golf, tennis, etc), so that all together you will do exercise everyday!

And if you are not used to doing exercise everyday, just start with small steps like 10 squats or 10 minutes walking, so that you are building up your success experience and you will do more things later on (You also need to be patient too. Your body takes time to adjust to a new habit you are creating! But believe me you can improve your fitness any age!)

 

Step 3: Align your exercises with your goal!

Now, you know your goals, it’s time to take action! The most important thing is to do exercises that improve your health and fitness so that you can reach your goal.

Sometimes I find that people are doing exercises but those exercises don’t help to reach their goals or just take more longer time to reach their goals.

To find out what you need to do is very simple.

  1. Find role models and study them – If you know anyone who have already achieved your goal, then find out what he or she did that and do the same things that he or she did to get his or her goal. Because you already have a proven strategy to get your goal, so most likely you will get the same result.
  2. Research – You can research on Internet or ask your friends. There are many exercise routines videos or instructions on Youtube or you can google them as well. This may take a bit long, because sometime videos or information you find aren’t necessary to work for you as well. You may try them and adjust a bit to find your own way to reach your goal.
  3. Work with an expert whom you trust – This will be the most efficient and safest way to reach your goal even though you need to invent your money. But you will know exactly what you need to do for your exercise and your trainer can tailor or adjust your exercises based on your physical or health condition if you have any issues. At the end, you can save your time and by working with someone else, he or she will keep you accountable to stick to your program.

(One of my clients could continue training with me 3 times a week without missing any days for almost one year. That’s because she told me that she paid a lot for training with me and she didn’t want to waste her investment in training. At the end, she reached her goal and she was very happy with her decision to hire a trainer. We are friend now. she was in her 50s when she started training with me)

 

So now you wan to choose how you want to reach your goals! What works best for you is great! This is for you not for someone else, so listen to what you want to do!

shutterstock_120776167

Step 4: Get out of your comfort zone

This is the challenge. I know especially people over 50s don’t want to challenge your body because they don’t want to get injuries, aches or pain. It doesn’t mean you need to start jumping and lifting very heavy barbells over head. It simply means that you can’t expect to improve your health and fitness with doing the same thing.

The key is constantly pushing your level of fitness. For example, if your exercise is 30 minutes walking, then you can try different type of exercises such as resistance training, flexibility training or balance training. And/Or you can start measuring how far you can walk in 30 minutes, so that you goal is to go further distance in 30 minutes than your previous distance.

I totally understand that this can be scary thing and you don’t know how to push, but your goal is just outside of your comfort zone, so if you pain of not being able to do what you like to do is much bigger than pain of getting outside of your comfort zone, it’s time to do it!

 

I appreciate you reading this blog until the end and that’s why I’d like to give you a special offer for you. As I said, if you are struggling with your exercises or just want to verify what you are doing is good or not, here is your chance to talk with me for FREE! My time is limited so if  You are just offered a FREE Clarity & Strategy Session with me! This offer is for anyone in the world (doesn’t matter location) because we can use Skype or Phone to talk. So if you are interested in having a Fitness Clarity & Strategy Session with me, please click the button below! Just let you know, if my schedule is filled up, you may be need to wait for a bit or I can’t arrange a talk with you, so if you are interested NOW, please send your application form NOW! You’re not gonna lose anything!

Let me get FREE Clarity & Strategy Session NOW!

Move Better, Feel Better, Live Better!

Have a great day!

Kaz

Simple Neck & Shoulder Stretches For Your Break At Work – Standing Position

I shared some stretches got your neck, back and shoulders before. If you haven’t checked it yet, please check it now by click here! Then, you can come back to read more…

In order to do those stretches, you need to go down on the floor, which makes you uncomfortable to do in your office if you are working with other people. Imagine, every two hours, you lie down on the floor and start doing stretches in your office….. I know it’s good for your body but it’s tough to do! However, stretches are very important for your posture and functionality of your body, so this is why I’ve created a video to share other stretches that you can do while you are standing!!!

 

If you are sitting for long hours, then just standing up is a great stretch. But you can add some more stretch when you stand up, which will make you feel better and be more productive after your stretch break. Check out the stretches now.

How do you think? Do you think you can try them?

As I said, these simple movements will help you a lot on the long run even though you don’t feel much now. Let’s start moving and do what you can do now.

What are you waiting for? I don’t want to be harsh but……

“Move It or Lose It “

It’s up to you now!

Feel Great, Play Longer & Do What You Love To Do!

Thank you for reading!

Kaz

5 Trips Not To Miss While You Still Enjoy Travel

I love travelling and I’m always fascinated by people who have travelled many places around the world!

If you have checked my “About Page” before, you would know that I’ve been to England for one year during my university time, which was my first trip outside Japan. Since then, I went to Spain, Germany, France, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, and a few places in Canada and The States.

Recently I talked with my friend, Carol, and we talked about how exciting to see the world where we have never seen before (feel like we found hidden beauty of the world). She has travelled many places (more than I have), and therefore I asked her to recommend us five places  where she enjoyed staying, so check out her top 5 trips!

1. Granada, Spain

A Long Sunny Walk on Light Feet

An evening panorama of the Alhambra from Granada's Mirador San Nicolas. Photo: Slaunger. Creative Commons BY-SA.

An evening panorama of the Alhambra from Granada’s Mirador San Nicolas. Photo: Slaunger. Creative Commons BY-SA.

Ever thought of Southern Spain? Travelers are drawn to Andalucia thanks to its remarkable package of sunshine, flamenco passion and unique culture. Among the region’s multiple gem cities (including its capital, Seville), Granada is a stand-out. A vibrant and welcoming city, it has a gorgeous old quarter, a city centre filled with outdoor tables that beckon you to join in the leisurely tapas dining culture, and a notable Renaissance cathedral. But its top draw will have you lacing up your most comfortable shoes and stepping back in time! To walk through the extraordinary Alhambra is to step into Andalusian history and experience the architectural legacies of Moorish rule. This complex of palaces, fortresses, patios, reflecting pools and gardens perches on a verdant hill above the city, with the Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop. It’s easy to see why it is a World Heritage Site and why it belongs on this Top 5 List!

From the original 9th century citadel, through the 14th century Islamic palaces of the Nasrid dynasty (Spain’s last Muslim dynasty) to the 16th century palace of Charles V, construction at Alhambra followed no master plan. This is not your standard, straightforward tourist route but a once-in-a-lifetime ramble! As you stroll through the huge site (an area of about 142,000 square metres, or 1,530,000 sq. ft) you’ll have countless viewpoints as you wander between pavilions and patios, not to mention the vista of Granada from there.

Inside the courtyards and palaces, you’ll be stretching your neck to drink in the non-stop fascinating details: interlocking glazed tiles in vital reds, greens and black; Arabic script; creamy plaster reliefs and stunning arabesque; the inlaid cedar ceiling of the Ambassadors’ Salon; and the intriguing stalactite dome of the Abencerrages Hall.

Take a virtual tour and you will soon be planning your visit!

2. Koh Tao, Thailand

Swimming with Sharks Brings Sound Sleep

The view from Ao Leuk Bay, where snorkling is great right off the beach. Photo: Carol Smith. Creative Commons BY-SA.

The view from Ao Leuk Bay, where snorkling is great right off the beach. Photo: Carol Smith. Creative Commons BY-SA.

If you’ve dreamt of getting some real excitement in your life, has swimming with sharks ever crossed your mind? Well, if they’re small (1–1.5 metres) harmless black-tipped reef sharks, you’d be surprised to hear how calming it is to cruise around with a snorkel on and just observe them and a wide variety of fishes. The ideal place to do that is Koh Tao, located off the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand, in the Chumphon Archipelago of Surat Thani province.

Snorkeling in Koh Tao is so refreshing and novel because you’re on a small island away from the big tourist crowds and everything can be at whatever pace you want. In some areas of the island, like Ao Leuk, you don’t even need to book a boat, just swim off the beach and your marine scenery is right there!

If you’ve never snorkeled before, don’t let that stop you. You can practice belly breathing (which is an awesome healthy habit anyway!) prior to your trip and be using your tube like a pro in no time. And, if you’re not a strong swimmer, that’s not a worry either because you can wear a life jacket to make it easier to focus on the colorful schools surrounding you. Either way, you’ll be happily tired out after your leisurely dinner and sleeping deeply in no time with the sound of the surf as your lullaby! (Just remember to apply waterproof sunblock to not just your back but your rear-end and the back of your upper legs because you might lose track of time in the water and end up regretting it, as I did!)

Travel tip: getting there can also make a memorable adventure if you book a sleeper car on the overnight train from Bangkok.

3. Tokyo, Japan

Cherry Blossoms, Markets and Metro Adventures

Nighttime cherry blossom picnic in Tokyo's Ueno Park. Photo: Luca Mascaro. Creative Commons BY-SA (cropped).

Nighttime cherry blossom picnic in Tokyo’s Ueno Park. Photo: Luca Mascaro. Creative Commons BY-SA (cropped).

Tokyo is the biggest metropolis in the world but perhaps that isn’t enough to have put it on your personal Must See List. Prior to my spouse’s job posting there, my knowledge of Japan’s sumptuous history and its intricate culture was limited. And, not being one who is comfortable in crowds, I was nervous about the density of the city’s population. Flash forward and I quickly became enamored, spending four years absorbed in exploring the winding sidestreets, sparkling shopping and entertainment centres, monuments, parks, arts and architecture, and fully relishing the mind-blowing food offerings. And all the while feeling no stress, charmed by the consideration, helpfulness and calm exuded by Tokyoites, even amongst the throngs of residents going about their busy lives.

Another big plus about Tokyo is how astoundingly easy it is to get around to any corner of its metropolitan area, and even fit in trips beyond (history-steeped Kyoto and Nara, for example). The Metro and train system is vast but tourist friendly, with English and colour coding for ease — the map you’ll clutch will at first look like a bowl of rainbow spaghetti! Be prepared to emulate even the impressively energetic senior population in climbing stairs, as metro lines are layered in an impressive subterranean engineering feat and not all have elevators or escalators.

No matter your interest, Tokyo is a fascinating mix of ultramodern and traditional. And with the world’s most Michelin Guide stars and Safe Cities Index top rating, a gourmet and worry-free experience is guaranteed. Go in cherry blossom season and enjoy not just the floral splendor, but the wonderful festive tradition that sees the Japanese picnicking en masse under the trees.

4. Bali, Indonesia

Bicycle Tour of Rice Paddies

A rice terrace panorama. Photo: Chrisinno. Creative Commons BY (cropped).

A rice terrace panorama. Photo: Chrisinno. Creative Commons BY (cropped).

Ah, Bali — blessed with a rich history and stunning arts, and inhabited by a warm and genuine people, this island province of Indonesia offers the traveler a veritable buffet of traditions on top of its natural beauty. Inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people coming from Southeast Asia and Oceania, Balinese culture is a magical blend of influences, including Chinese, Javanese and Indian. Daily life here is steeped in joyful Balinese Hinduism, with its fascinating ritual and aesthetic offerings constantly visible. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a friendly guide or taxi driver telling you colourful stories from their religion with the same enthusiasm as an action movie fan!

Even if you choose a beach stay or a dive resort, fitting in a visit to the cultural capital of Ubud is a must. This small city, with a population under 50,000, is renowned for its highly developed arts scene offering traditional and modern dance and music, sculpture, painting, leather and metalworking.

Surrounding the town is a picturesque landscape of small farms, rice paddies, and dense forest. And from Ubud, an unparalleled way to get a glimpse of Bali’s soul is to take a bike tour. No matter your fitness level, there are many guide services and packages to fit all tastes. You can spend several days of intensive technical mountain biking, if that’s your desire. Or it can be more of a cultural meander where you are picked up at your hotel and driven to a breakfast overlooking the active volcano, Mt. Batur and its crater lake, before hopping on a bike to cruise downhill on quiet back roads where your eyes will feast on typical Balinese daily life and lush rice paddy panoramas. It’s a leisurely ride and full of surprises! You’re likely to come across Balinese children calling out ‘hellos’, and even chance upon a Hindu ceremony (we saw a funeral, replete with a huge dragon puppet, music and chanting). Some tours offer stops on the way, including visiting a Balinese home/family compound and a Balinese coffee or spice plantation.

Ah, the sights, sounds and smells of a special country. And all experienced by energizing pedal power!

5. British Columbia and Alberta, Canada

Dog-powered Fun in Pristine Snowy Winter

Dog sled ready to go! Photo: Bearmann. Creative Commons BY (cropped).

Dog sled ready to go! Photo: Bearmann. Creative Commons BY (cropped).

If relaxing, feeling physically exhausted, with your cheeks glowing and your toes toasting by a roaring fire sounds invigorating, a wintery adventure might be in order. While skiing or snowboarding is fine for those who do it regularly, it is likely a bit too physically challenging to qualify as a vacation for those who aren’t. How about something really different? Like maybe Canada’s oldest form of winter transport — dog sledding! What better way to see the pristine snow-filled sparkling landscapes of the Canadian Rockies than behind a team of energetic and friendly Alaskan Huskies?

And there is a whole community of sled dog enthusiasts out there to make such a dream come true! Tours range from two hours to two-week adventures, even sledding by moonlight! Most tour guides offer you the option to drive (“mush”) your very own team, drive with your instructor or just sit back and let someone else drive.

For a bit more of a fitness challenge some sledding tour outfits offer a hybrid sport called Skijoring (from Norwegian Skikjøring, meaning ski driving) where the skier wears a special harness attached to rope that is hooked up to a sled dog harness. There are no reins or other devices to control the dog (or dogs, usually 1–3), so the trip depends on the dog’s/dogs’ own desire to run. Not to worry, though, as they are trained to respond to vocal direction. Either way, this is not your run-of-the-mill type of getaway but some brisk excitement!

 

These are the five trips! Have you got itchy feet now???

 

Hold on….! This is not a travel website, do you remember? You are visiting a website created by someone who cares about your health and fitness and is dedicated to enrich your lifestyle (who is that person??? ME!) So, I won’t stop just giving you places to go. I would like to give you some tips that you can use to prepare for your trip, so that you can not only enjoy your trip by trying new things, but also you can feel great about yourself and happy during your trip! Enjoy your trip more than ever before!!! Sounds good?

 

Yes, I know you like a trip that you can sit on the beach with your favourite refreshment 🙂 That’s one way to enjoy your trip, but also there is another way to enjoy your trip by travelling where you can experience new things such as the things mentioned by Carol.

 

In order to enrich your new experience during your activity trip, you can prepare your fitness prior to the trip.

Here are a few simple exercises that you can do before your trip!

#1: Squats and Bridges – If you need to walk around and/or climb up stairs a lot.

 

Also, you can use a chair to do “sit and stand” instead of squat if you have discomfort in your knee or hip joints. The key is to start doing the movement that you can do now and building up your body that you can do proper squat without using a chair.

 

 

If marching is tough to do, then you can just lift up your hips up and down with your feet on the floor.

#2: Inverted Single Rows & Push-ups – If you are to improve your arm strength for example for swimming.

There is no Push-up video, but as for the push ups, you can do them from your knees if you can’t do push-ups from your toes. Make sure your hips and shoulders come up simultaneously.

#3 Any CORE exercises for any activity

Have you read my blog post explaining about “why core is important?”. If not, you can check it by clicking here.

Core is very important to exercise regularly. Check out the video below to find out what kind of core exercises you can do at home.

 

And if you want to challenge more harder exercises, then you can try exercises introduced in the video below.

If you are interested in more core exercises, then click here.

 

If you find hard time to keep yourself motivated to do exercises, maybe you can book your trip first, then you can start exercises for that trip!

As I said, there are so many things to see and experience in the world, so please don’t miss out any opportunities that you desire to do.

Remember, 50 is the new 30! Let’s explore things you couldn’t do before. Don’t let your health or body condition control your life, you are the one who makes a decision how you want to live!

Feel Better, Play Longer & Do What You Love To Do!

Have a wonderful day!

Kaz

PS. Please leave a comment below if you know any holiday destination that you recommend. Thanks!

 

3 Simple Stretches to Relieve Tight Back and Shoulders

I come across many people who have tightness in their lower back and shoulders, but they don’t know notice it until I go through assessments with them.

Most of the time, I found that those people are either standing or sitting long time. Keeping a same position for more than 2 hours is not good for your body regardless of sitting or standing. So the key is to take breaks and move around if you need to stay in the same position long time. If you know you are sitting or standing long time, here is what you can do. Set a timer every 1 or 1.5 hour (you can use your phone if you don’t have a timer), so that when the alarm goes off,  know you need to move!

 

Also, you can do these 3  stretches to relieve tightness in your lower back and shoulders.

 

 #1 Rotation – Hands & Knees Position

 

#2 Leg Rotation – Lying Down

 

#3 Wall Sit Reach

 

You can do 5 times per side each stretch with slow, controlled movement. Also make sure you are breathing throughout the stretch.

If you can do these stretches 2-3 times a day, it will make a big difference in not only your physical movements but also your energy level and posture too. In addition, by breaking up your work, you may be able to focus more and be more productive at work!

 

Once you tried these three stretches, please leave a comment below to let me know how you feel after the stretches and also if you are looking for any stretches or exercises for your specific needs, you can let me know.

Who else do you think can get benefits from reading this blog post??? If you know anyone, please share these stretches with them, that means the world to me!

Thanks and have a wonderful day!

Kaz

PS. Don’t forget to connect with me on Zenshin Facebook group! Click Here