Excuses are like jobs, everyone has one or they really want a good one. However, excuses are not in my book, The 4x4 Diet. It's time to drop the excuses and find the results. I have some go-to moves that you can do at your desk and in your car and are subtle enough to spare you strange looks from your coworkers, yet effective enough to make a real dent in your sedentary time. Happy deskercising to all you aspiring desk jockeys out there!
Smokers take smoke breaks and, so why can't health aficionados we also take wellness breaks throughout the day, to help take care of our bodies? Remember, small moves in the right direction add up, and taking some time for yourself and it will pay off in the long run. With just a little bit of planning you can really create a healthy atmosphere that just might inspire your co-workers or at least reveal your true friends.
Take the stairs
This may sound like old hat advice but every step matters. The more you move the better you feel. The better you feel the more you move, which is a great cycle to be a part of. Just be wary the opposite is true too, as it can really set you back. Get up off that elevator and use your body like it’s meant to be used.
Pack Your Lunch
All those things you would tell your kids to do so that they avoid the massively unhealthy school lunches just may be the same thing you need to do to stay healthy. Not only will you be able to control exactly what you pack so that you fuel your body with healthy food but you can use the extra time to get a tiny workout in! Not every workout needs to be an hour or the best, most intense session ever. Even getting a walk in will help your body digest your lunch and even help you avoid that 2:00 need for a nap.
Do a Tabata
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great way to pack in some serious moves in a short time period. My book is full of tabatas, which are a great form of HIIT and help increase your creativity, inspiring some great ideas throughout the day. Even better? A tabata is just four minutes total. Try one instead of having coffee, I guarantee it will wake you up.
Get as many steps as you can. This purely means that you will refuse to remain sedentary. Try to avoid having the best chair in the office because you don't plan to be in it too frequently. Take some of these examples to heart and others try to mix in weekly.
- Take an opportunity to drop in on a colleague instead of an email;
- Be generous to your fellow drivers and park far away. They will appreciate the open and close parking and you get closer to your 10,000 daily steps;
- If you’re on a call try taking it on the go. Not all are possible this way but let’s be honest. You’re a rock star and already know your business well enough to do this away from your desk (sometimes).
Use a Stand Up Desk
If you have the luxury of being given a standing desk, just make sure to maintain good posture while using it. Cocking your hip to one side all the time will create some soreness. Plus, it’s a bonus ab workout holding yourself properly all day.
Desk Butt Squeezes
No one will notice that you’re creating a nice strong backside while going over the TPS reports. Try squeezing for one minute then resting for one minute. Repeat as many times as possible (then start again the next hour to beat your time).
Waiting to get your exercise done at just the right moment is silly in my book. I never have the time to do this. If I have a late client, I do lunges and push ups until they get there. If my coffee is brewing I run in place (to my husband’s amusement). You don’t have to go to extremes but these little gems can turn your daily commute to and from work into small workout sessions.
Car Butt Squeezes
Yup, these perfect little flexes aren’t just for your seat at work. Try holding tight for one mile then resting for one mile. The regular traffic jams will really make those squeezes last.
The same thing as butt squeezes but holding your abs instead. This is a recommendation to all my clients because most people don’t exactly know how to hold their core correctly. Practice tightening from beneath your belly button and holding the position during your drive and you’ll be come a pro one mile at a time.
Dehydration is something that sneaks up on everyone. Once you’re thirsty, you’re way too late. Start your day off the healthiest by making sure you get your water in. If you drink coffee, you’ll need even more water. Staying hydrated will make your workouts easier I promise. I’ve cured quite a few dizzy clients by getting them to up their intake.
Working out does not need to be complicated. With just a few of these great recommendations you can really change your life for the better. Take pride in the fact that you want to make this 1 life a strong, healthy long one. Peer pressure is a two-way street too. Enlist help at work to get these done. You just may become the inspiration for someone (even yourself) to turn some bad habits around.
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.