Jul 01

4 Tips For a Healthy 4th of July

I couldn’t tell you where the traditions came from, but each year for the 4th of July I find myself watching fireworks and enjoying a BBQ.  A lot of our typical BBQ foods aren’t the healthiest choices, but I have some suggestions that will help you have a healthy 4th of July this year.

  1.  Make a smart meat selection.  The main entre of a BBQ is, of course, the meat.  Choose leaner cuts of meat for an all around healthier meal.  Fish, chicken or turkey breast, lean cuts of beef (less marbling), low fat burgers or hot dogs.
  2. Enjoy some fruit.  So many fruits are on sale and in season this time of year.  Enjoy some fresh watermelon, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries all at least half the price then they are the rest of the year.  Fruit is high in nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and low in calories.  Add more fruit to your BBQ by including a fruit platter with a low fat fruit dip or grilling up some pineapple while cooking your meat.
  3. Veggie time.  Vegetables are high in nutrients like fruit, but lower in calories and sugar.  You can’t go wrong with a great vegetable platter with dip.  Grill up kabobs with steak or chicken and throw on fruit and vegetables: mango, kiwi, pineapple, apple, zucchini, tomato, mushroom, bell pepper, shallots, or anything that sounds good to you.  Grill up some zucchini cut lengthwise and top with garlic powder and mozzarella cheese once cooked.
  4. Have fun enjoying the games, activities, or conversation at your BBQ and don’t fixate on the food.  A lot of social activities seems to revolve around food, but don’t let yourself fall into that pitfall.  Have fun and enjoy the company!

Follow the tips below for healthy grilling suggestions:

  • Adjust your grill so that food cooks evenly inside and out.  If the temperature is too hot the outside may get overcooked before the inside reaches proper temperature.
  • Make sure to use a clean plate for meat once it is cooked.  Don’t allow the juice from the raw meat to come in contact with any read-to-eat foods.
  • Clean your grill between uses to reduce exposure to bacteria and carcinogens.
  • Turn meat over at least once to allow more even cooking.
  • Avoid charring the outside of meats as it can produce carcinogens.  To reduce these substances marinate the meat, pre-cook it before grilling, or scrape off any blackened surfaces.
  • Cook poultry and fish until internal temperatures reaches target: 165F for poultry and ground meat, 145F for pork or fish.
  • Control coals to avoid flame flare-ups: trim obvious fat from meat first, drain high fat marinades, have a spray bottle of water.

However you celebrate the 4th of July make it a fun and healthy holiday.  Enjoy your favorite traditions and maybe start some new ones this year.  Happy grilling!


Jun 30

5 tips for Getting it All Done (how I train for an Ironman, raise 2 kids, work full-time, run a business)

Getting it all done is the great challenge in life.  When you set a goal to run a marathon, triathlon, 5k, or just to loose weight it can be that much more difficult to get things done. Currently, I am training for an Ironman, working full-time, running a business, and raising 2 kids.  Finding (making) time for everything can be an incredible difficulty.

Below are 5 tips that I use to get it all done:

  1. Make a schedule – then stick to it
  2. Stop wasting time on TV
  3. Be easy on yourself
  4. Surround yourself with good people
  5. Go to bed early

Make a Schedule – Then Just Stick to It

One of the most complicated aspects of getting things done is actually knowing and understanding everything that needs to be done.  Once you have a clear idea of everything that you need to do you will find it much easier to get yourself organized. One individual who is an amazing example of organization and seems to have an unnatural ability to get things done is Spencer Haws (yes, he is my cousin).

Spencer has a family and runs a large businesses that takes up a large portion of their time.  Spencer has 4 children and managed to build a business that generated enough money for him to quit his full time banking job in the evenings while his kids were sleeping.  Not only that but he also runs marathons with his wife and siblings in his “spare time”. In talking with Spencer he continually discusses the importance that making schedules played in his ability to grow his business and quit his job.

Tools that Help With Making Schedules

You don’t need to go out and spend a ton of money on a fancy planner.  Below are a couple of FREE tools that I have found are the most effective tools for me in planning and setting schedules:

  • WorksheetWorks.com: I prefer this weekly planner that allows you to plan in 15 minute increments over the course of the entire week.
  • SlimTimer: Slim Timer is an awesome tool if you find that you tend to waste time online.  This tool allows you to track all of your online activities.  By using this tool I was able to decrease the amount of time my mind spent wandering and distracted while working online.  You will find that you spend less time on Facebook, your email inbox, etc if you track your online activities.

Stop Wasting Time on TV

Television can become a productivity abyss! When you really sit back and look at your goals and desires (what you REALLY want out of life) does it involve knowing who the Bachelor picked or how well an NFL wide receiver can dance or do you want to spend time with your kids, run a marathon, learn to play guitar etc . . .Few people think that a complete life involves time spent on the couch watching TV.  If most people are honest with themselves they want much more.

A 30 minute television show is enough time to burn 300 calories.

Now days with Netflix and Hulu you can easily sit and watch entire season of a television show while the day slips away and you miss your chance to grab a quick workout.


Watching less TV can easily open up huge blocks of time to allow you to be able to workout quickly or practice a habit or go on a walk with the kids. Another thing you can do to increase productivity is a simple trick called batching. This involves doing like tasks at the same time rather then doing small tasks as they happen. For example, rather than checking your email each time a notification comes in you can set aside several times a day that you check your mail and deal with it all at that time.

  • Check email just 3 times a day
  • Take Facebook off your phone – only check twice a day
  • Set aside one time a day to check the news

Be Easy on Yourself

Live is a journey.  Fitness is a spectrum.  You do not need to be exactly who you want to be TODAY.  You don’t need to run the perfect marathon TODAY.  Setting goals and slowly moving toward them without getting discouraged can allow you to achieve great things. It can be easy to get discourage when you set a goal and realize all the difficult work it will take to actually reach it. Breaking the goal down into smaller tasks can give you a short term sense of accomplishment as you move toward your larger goal.  This works great with running.  If you set the goal to run a marathon you can sign up for a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and then accomplish running your marathon.  Even if you have never run a marathon it can be possible with smaller tasks and by being easy on yourself. If you do fail or have a temporary lapse in your goals . . just relax. . . it doesn’t mean that you are a failure or that your goal is no longer achievable.

Tools to Help

  • Lift.co: This is an Apple and Android app that leverages the power of community and positive reinforcement to help you reach goals.
  • Way of Life: This is another goal tracking app that allows you to create graphs and charts to view long term goal progress.

Surround Yourself With Good People

This is an obvious tip that is often overlooked. If you want to run marathons or train for a triathlon it is important that you surround yourself with other individuals that have similar goals. Jim Rohn has said:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn

When it comes to preparing for races or setting and achieving fitness goals this quote becomes even more true and important to you achieving success.  You should find people who eat healthy, workout, are positive thinkers, and will encourage you in your fitness goals.

How to Find People to Run With

  • Meetup.com: Meet Up is a different kind of social network.  With meetup you find clubs, groups, organizations, and meetings for people who have similar interests as you.  With a simple search for “RUN” I was able to find 16 running groups within 10 miles of my house.
  • Facebook:  With Facebook you can find groups both in your area and online of people that can help you set and reach goals.
  • Road Runners Club of America:  The RRCA is an online database of road runner groups.  Using this tool I was able to find 58 organized road running clubs in Texas.

Go to Bed Early – Wake Up Early

Sounds easy right?  However, the idea of waking up early is repeated over and over again by highly effective people. Zenhabits discusses 10 benefits to waking up early.  For parents I think one of the greatest habits to waking up early is the small amount of quiet time that it provides you prior to the kids waking up.

For me, it works best to wake up around 530am as Taz wakes up around 7:30.  This gives me about two hours of alone time where I am able to focus and work or workout uninterrupted.   I like to take the time to review my plans for the day, open the blinds and greet the sun while I work for a couple hours.

How to Wake up Early

The simplest way to wake up early for me is just to set my iPhone alarm with a gentle alarm that isn’t too annoying.  I can also motivate myself to wake up early if I have a project or goal that I am excited about.  Generally, I will write down 2 or 3 tasks the night before related to that goal and this motivates me to go to sleep and gives me the excitement to get out of bed when the alarm goes off.


It can be hard to stay on top everything as a parent.  Especially if you have a goal to run a marathon or triathlon etc. . . but I have found that by applying these five principles and using the tools listed I can find much greater success in reaching my life and fitness goals.

Do you have any thoughts or ideas on how to reach your goals and get it all done?  Share them below in the comments.


Jun 30

6 30 2014



NUUN energy drink


Finally, my first day back to working out . . . let me just say that I really DIDN’T want to get outside and workout today after taking so much time off I was out of the habit.  So I went for a 40 minute bike ride.



Breakfast: ! cup cheerios with 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup milk

Lunch: 3 oz Chicken picatta, 1/2 cup wild rice, 1/2 cup green beans, corn muffin

Dinner: 4 slices of toast

Snack: 24 oz smoothie 2 slices toast


I took the kids out tonight on a 4 mile jog around 6 pm tonight.  It was incredibly hot and difficult to push the stroller.  It has been very windy lately.  When I got home I put the kids to bed and then hopped on the mag trainer for a 40 minute ride.


Jun 30

6 29 2014



Breakfast:  2 waffles with butter and syrup

Snack: 2 cups popcorn 1 brownie

Dinner: 3 pork tacos (lettuce cheese, avocado, sour cream), 12 cherries, 1/2 cup corn

Snack: Brownie with ice cream and caramel sauce


Rest day


Jun 26

READER SUBMISSION: Fit Mama (mother of 2, date night workouts & family runs)

reader-submission-Jennifer-300x187Before I give the floor to Jennifer let me just say that her story is truly inspiring!  We met Jennifer and her husband a few years ago while living in Houston.  They had just had their first baby (we were still baby-less) but they were always inviting us out to do fun and active dates.  They are an awesome and active couple and continue that now with two kids.

Jennifer just ran a half marathon in 1:45 and get this . . . she had never run more than a mile just 1 year ago!

Would you like to share your story to inspire other?  Just contact us here: contact @ simplefamilyfitness.com

Okay take it away Jennifer:

Briefly introduce yourself? Name, age, athletic or workout history (have you always enjoyed working out)

I’m Jennifer. I am 27 today! (Happy BDay Jen!) I have typically been active my whole life. I never played any serious sports, but I did participate in Dance Company, Ballroom, and Cheer in High School. In college I focused on Cheer for a while and then mainly on competitive ballroom with my now husband, Christopher. I have always enjoyed working out or at least feeling semi- in shape but I’ve never been a crazy fanatic or motivated enough to wake up at 5 am. I also never ran more than 1 mile before April of 2013.

How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

I have 2 kids, a girl (age 3) and a boy (age 2)


What is your latest athletic achievement or latest race etc .  .  . ?  What is your next goal or race that you would like to complete?

My latest race was the American Fork Canyon Half Marathon in Utah. I ran it in 1:45 which beat my goal of making it in under 2 hours. My next goal/race is the Spudman Triathlon in Burley ID in July.


Do you run or workout with your kids? If so, how do you keep them entertained while you workout? If not, what do you do with them during your workouts?


I definitely work out with my kids! In the winter, they are climbing on top of me while I do pushups and crawling under ‘the bridge’ while I’m in downward dog.  In the winter I work- out indoors a lot. I bike on my stationary bike during naps and pass the time with some guilty pleasure Netflix shows. I also love P90X and Insanity.

Once summer hits though, I move outside. I pull my kids in a bike trailer, or push them for a run. If I need to do a workout without them I get up early and do it before my Husband has to leave, or we get a babysitter and do a workout together and call it a date.

I often run to a park/splash pad, let the kids play for a while and then run home after. It makes it easier to do a longer run pushing 2 heavy kids in a stroller, and they enjoy it more too.


Does your spouse workout with you as well?  If so how do you plan workouts that you can do together?

He does. Maybe not as much as I do right now but he’s getting there. We try to work out together. We aren’t so much at the same pace in most physical activities but we make it work. We like to have date night workout sessions! Or morning family runs.

 Do you generally workout alone or do you have a group of other families or parents that workout with you?

I try to find friends to work out with. I’ve found a few to run with and different friends to bike with.. still trying to find a swimming buddy.  Working out is always better with friends! If not though, I just turn on some good tunes or my favorite is listening to podcasts.

Do you have a cute or inspiring story of your children noticing you working out or trying to emulate you working out?


Yes! My oldest, will periodically put on her work out clothes and insist she needs to ‘go for a run’ She loves to do yoga poses with me, or as displayed below, ‘turn on the work out video mom, I’m ready to work out.’

Both of them love to copy whatever I’m doing. Namely pushups. They try really hard to figure those out!

What has been the biggest challenge to getting or staying in shape with kids and a family?

I suffer from Hyperemisis Gravidarum (HG) during pregnancy. Its a pregnancy condition in which. if not for medical help and interventions ( home IV”s, Zofran Pumps, PICC lines etc) I would die. It sounds dramatic, but I’m serious. It’s horrible and I am basically on deaths door for 9 months. Then after a very long recovery and all while trying to nurse (which I typically do for at least a year), I don’t typically get back into the swing of things until about 10 months post partum. But after a year and a half of being basically inactive, it is like starting all over again. Its hard and takes time and a lot of motivation.


What tips do you have for other parents just starting out trying to workout with a family?


Keep at it! Like I said, I never ran more than 1 mile before I had both of my kids. It was SO hard to start running, especially when pushing them. They aren’t light! Every time it gets a little easier, and even a short 2 mile run with your kids is GREAT! Invest in a gym if you don’t want to have your kids around, and drop them off at the daycare! Or invest in good equipment, a jogging stoller/bike trailer etc and go exploring together!

Either way, just keep active. You might feel tired at first, but eventually you will feel energized and your body will crave it!


Lastly, do you have a favorite recipe, nutrition, or workout tip that you would like to share with others?


Most recently I read ‘It Starts With Food’ and I liked a lot of the points in it. My main efforts have been to increase my vegetable intake. I have always had a hard time with veggies and I really want to instill a love for them in my kids! Eat veggies for breakfast! It might feel weird at first but you will feel more energy and it will help in pointing your day toward better dietary choices.

Wanna give Jennifer some kudos?  Share your thoughts below!


Jun 26

Women are Out Running Men (let’s go boys!)

Competitive running was historically a heavily male dominated sport.  Think back to the first Olympics back in Greece.  Women were not allowed to participate at all in the games and married women were not even allowed to attend the games.

The first woman to run the Boston Marathon was Roberta Gibb and that wasn’t until 1966 and she wasn’t even supposed to be there.  Women were not officially allowed to run the race until as late as 1972! Roberta had to register for the event as Bobbi.  Keep in mind the race has been around since 1897.

For the majority of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s men outnumbered women in official running events.  However something changed between 2005 and 2012 and the number of women running events began to grow exponentially, with women now outnumbering men by nearly 2,000,000 in organized running events.

Women Taking Over Running

Below is an infographic depicting how women are taking over the sport of running!  Feel free to use this graphic on your site (the code to embed on your site is at the bottom of the post).


So what do you think?  Do you think women will continue to outnumber men in races?


  • http://www.runningusa.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.details&ArticleId=333
  • http://www.runningusa.org/state-of-sport-2013-part-III?returnTo=annual-reports
  • http://www.mizunousa.com/running/blog/the-planet-wave-why-women-are-better-marathoners-than-men/


Download this infographic.

Embed Our Infographic On Your Site!


Jun 26

6 25 2014



Breakfast: 2 mini donuts

Lunch: two Taco Bell beefy 5 layer burritos

Dinner: salmon, salad, lemonade, wild rice

Snack . .. not sure yet probably something like cinnamon toast


still working through the jock itch as I am finally on day two of using the prescription medication.



Breakfast: 2 slices toast with jam, 16 oz tomato juice

Lunch: 1 cup pecan cobbler,  2 steak tacos

Dinner: 3 oz Salmon, 2 cups spring salad with Italian dressing, 1/4 cup wild rice, 1/2 cup watermelon, 1/4 cup sweet peppers with mango.

Snack: 4 slices cinnamon toast


20 mi bike ride with my sister in law.  The route we took had some good hills, and the trip went well.


Jun 25

6 24 2014


FOOD: Breakfast: 2 slices toast with jam Lunch: 1 Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, 1/2 cup apple sauce Snack: 1/2 cup apple sauce, 8 oz tomato juice Dinner: 1 cup Salad, 4 slices pizza with pepperoni and olives, EXERCISE: 5 mile run at 9:20 min/mi.  I am mostly focusing on increasing my pace running.  I did a marathon in January so I know I can handle this distance, but I would like to be a little faster.  I pushed myself on pace and did 20 sec strides every 5 minutes.


Jun 25

How to choose the perfect DRINK for your children? (Healthy Drinks for Kids)

There are so many drinks on the market today.  Even sitting down to write this article it is overwhelming all the different options there are for hydrating your children and a parent can start to really worry and wonder if there are any healthy drink options for kids.

Below we have included a comprehensive chart that compares popular drinks for kids

But what we drink and what we feed our kids can make a big difference.  So, I hope this helps you make an informed decision regarding all the different drink options out there for young kids (and adults too).

I don’t really go into the impact of high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.  You can chose to use or avoid those ingredients, but I will more be focusing on the amount and type of calories, vitamins, and electrolytes (sodium, potassium).

First answer the following questions to help you know where to start:

  1. Age?  Infants (children under 1) should only be drinking breast milk or formula.  At this age water is unnecessary and even bad.  Children older than 1 year old should be limited to 4 to 6 oz ofjuice per day.  Children should get about 16 oz of milk per day.  Too much milk or juice may cause your child to eat less of other foods that are needed for a balanced diet.  One of my favorite resources for childhood nutrition is Texas WIC: http://texaswic.dshs.state.tx.us/wiclessons/english/nutrition/.  Water should be offered regularly throughout the day.  Avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks.  I do not recommend caffeine for children as it may impact sleep, cause anxiety or headaches.  I think it is best to limit or restrict caffeine in young children until they are old enough to understand the side effects and weigh that against the advantages.


    What NOT to do!

  2. Activity?  Are you playing at the park or beach?  The interesting thing with adults is it seems we are either exercising or relaxing.  There isn’t always a lot of in between, but with kids play can be exercise or relaxing.  It is easy enough to tell the difference.  Is your child flushed, panting, sweating… then they are exercising.  If they are mostly sitting or standing in one spot it is more like relaxing.  Sweat contains fluid, sodium, and to a lesser extent potassium.  This is a good place to start when trying to decide what you might want to drink after high sweat losses.
  3. Weather?  Extended amount of time in the heat even just sitting around can lead to sweating and possibly dehydration.  Staying hydrated in this scenario is important.  Cold weather does not mean no sweating or fluid losses, but it does mean less.  If you are outside in heat all day long it is important to replace losses from sweat, even if you are not active.
  4. Nutritional needs?  I wanted to throw this in there because every person is unique and has different needs.  If your child is diabetic, lactose intolerant, allergic to gluten, vegetarian these will all impact the types of food and drinks consumed.  For people with kidney disease potassium and sodium sometimes needs to be restricted.  A sports drink may work well for one person but may be too high in electrolytes for someone with kidney disease.  Fruit juice is great in moderation, but a person with diabetes needs to pay close attention to the amount of sugar they eat/drink.  Make sure to always put nutrition needs as a priority and talk to your doctor or dietitian if you have specific questions about individual needs.

Scenarios: What to Give Your Kids to Drink at Specific Times

Now apply the previous information into the following scenarios.  In each case our body has different needs and a different drink may be appropriate.  It is important to note that the one thing that we can’t get from the foods we eat is adequate water.  Everything else can also be found in food: sugars, sodium, potassium, protein, etc.  However, in the middle of physical activity food can weigh you down or upset your stomach.

    1. Scenario 1: Quiet day at school, cool weather, limited physical activity.  Water would be the best option here.  Sodium and Potassium needs are met through food and water will not add any unnecessary calories.  There is no need for electrolyte replacement (sodium, potassium), extra sugar, or protein.  Milk would also be a good option if they haven’t already met their dairy needs for the day.  *Just a reminder here when children drink sugary drinks it often causes them to eat less of the foods they need for a balanced diet.http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/drink_healthy.html BEST OPTION:Water, milk
    2.  Scenario 2: Out in the heat, sweating a lot, not active.   If you are not active you don’t need to replace calories burned, so your hydration here does not need to have any carbohydrate/sugar.  Since you are sweating, your body will need extra electrolytes to replace those lost from sweating.  Water is a great option here if you have a snack to go a long with it.  Since you’re not out running around you shouldn’t have any problems tolerating a snack.  Another great option here is a flavored drink with electrolytes that doesn’t have sugar (a zero calorie sports drink or flavored water).  When the option is given between a flavored drink and water people tend to drink of the flavored drink.  If your child never seems to remember to drink enough this may be the best way to make sure they are staying hydrated.  BEST OPTION:Water, artificially flavored zero calorie sports drink (G2, Propel, etc).  If you are opposed to High Fructose Corn Syrup watch out for Powerade as it contains HFCS.3605287518_ca8e3b8619_z
    3. Scenario 3: Working out, not much sweat.  Even when it is cold and we don’t seem to sweat much we still lose fluid.  Usually if exercise lasts less than one hour water is perfect for hydration.  If exercise continues longer than an hour carbohydrate, fluid, and sodium need to be repleted.  The perfect drink in this case is a sports drink.  Soda will replace sugar, but not much sodium.  For more great information about soda and kids visithttp://www.parenting.com/article/healthy-drinks-kids  Milk is high in protein which is best after workouts not during.  Juice will replace sugar and potassium but not sodium.  Vegetable juice will replace sodium and potassium, but not much sugar.  BEST OPTION: Water for short workouts, Sports drink for longer workouts (Gatorade, V8 100%).
    4. Scenario 4: Working out with a lot of sweat.  During exercise in the heat we burn calories and lose electrolytes when we sweat.  This is the perfect setting for a sports drink.  Carbohydrate will help replace fuel lost, and the electrolytes will replace those lost in sweat. BEST OPTION: Sport drink, 100% Fruit and vegetable juice.
    5. Scenario 5: After a Workout.  The best time to replete glycogen stores in your muscles after a workout is within the first 30 to 60 minutes.  Click Endurance Sports Nutrition, 2nd Edition for a great book about sports nutrition.  High carbohydrate drink will help achieve this goal.  It is also important to consume protein within 2 hours of working out.  Low fat milk provides electrolytes, carbohydrate and protein.  Milk also provides vitamins and minerals that are good for our body.  Juice would be a great option right after workout.  It is high in sugar and will also provide several vitamins that we have an increased need for when we workout (antioxidants like Vitamin C and Vitamin A).  BEST OPTION: 100% Fruit and vegetable juice, Sports drink, Juice, Milk
    6. Scenario 6: Vomiting Diarrhea I wanted touch on this topic as well because Pedialyte is specially formulated for the needs of someone vomiting or having diarrhea.  The electrolyte losses here are more than with physical activity.  There is also less need for carbohydrate.   In the chart below you can see how sports drinks tend to be higher in sugar and lower in electrolytes (sodium, potassium) then Pedialyte.  This drink is designed with a specific purpose in mind and is very effective for this type of dehydration.  BEST OPTION: Pedialyte

>>>Check out the Pedialyte Popsicles here!<<<<

The following chart is the nutrition content for many popular drinks all in an 8 oz portion size.  You can scan through to determine what drink is highest in carbohydrate, sodium, etc.  Once you know what you need out of your drink compare what is out there to make the best decision for you.  You will find one example of almost every type of drink so if your favorite beverage isn’t listed on there just look for something similar.  As always children are more likely to do what you do not what you say.  Show them what the best choices are out there and they will probably start to follow suit.  Happy Hydrating

K (MG)
Gatorade 53 0 14 14 0 100 30
PowerAde 74 0 18 14 0 67 34
Propel 0 0 0 0 0 76 Vit C, Vit E, Niacin, B6, Pantothenic acid
Vitamin Water 48 0 12 13 0 0 352 Vit C, B6, Pantothenic acid, Niacin, B12,Mg
Milk Varies Varies 12 12 8 107 366 Vit A, Ca, B12, B6, Mg
Choc Milk Varies Varies 26 24 8 150 418 Vit A, Ca, B12, B6, Mg
Pedialyte 17 0 4 4 0 245 185 Chloride, Zn,
7-Up 96 0 25 25 0 28 0
Coke 93 0 26 26 0 30 0 caffeine
Tea, sweet 75 0 18 18 0 5 0 caffeine
Sunny D 60 0 16 14 0 180 0 Vit C, Thiamin
Capri Sun 80 0 23 21 0 20 0 Vit C, Calcium
V8 Fusion 110 0 27 24 0 90 200 Vit A, Vit C, Vit E, Calcium
Kool-Aid 93 0 25 25 0 20 0 Vit C
Smoothie 144 0 36 34 0 38 0 Vit C, Vit A
Showing 1 to 15 of 15 entries

Image Credits: Håkan Dahlström (title text added), Kate GardinerPaul Hocksenar

Jun 24

The Law of Averages (how to run faster, eat better, and be happier)

One of my all time favorite quotes is:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

-Jim Rohn

Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker said this, you can view the speech where he said this below:

Do you agree with this?  

Another way of saying this is PEER PRESSURE.   People like to be part of a crowd, they like to be with those with whom they have commonalities.  Even supposed “outsiders” are always together.  Remember junior high with all the kids sitting at the lunch table wearing the same “Misfits” shirt.

Even if you are not susceptible to peer pressure you will BE like those you are around the most.

The law of averages which basically says that the outcomes of any series event will eventually “even out” applies to human behavior as well. When this is applied to humans it assumes that human behavior will even out among those who spend time together.

“Law of averages typically assumes that unnatural short-term “balance” must occur” –Wikipedia

So what Jim Rohn is basically hypothesizing is that the law of averages applies to who we spend our time with and how we act and interact.  We will BECOME those with whom we spend time.

Take a moment and think of every person that you spent your free time with (NOT those who you were forced to spend time with like at work).

Who were you with:

  • Family
  • Friends

Now, how fit are those people, what are their paychecks, what kind of clothes do they wear, how to they respond to stress?  How similar are your responses to those items.

Are Your Friends Holding You Back?

Are Your Friends Holding You Back?

Two Ways We Become Those We Spend Time With

I believe that there are two ways in which we “become” those we spend the most time with.

  1. We actually adopt habits
  2. We find a new friend

If you spend all your time with someone you will begin to adopt their mannerisms and behaviors.  I feel like it is about the 7th grade (about 12 years old) that kids start to really think for themselves and strive to create an identity separate from their parents.   As they do this they start forming groups and cliques with other children who respond to the “call for individualism” the same way.  They start listening to the same music, getting the same hair cuts, play the same sports, watch the same movies.  All of these outward expressions of self begin to create inward values and belief systems that drive our reactions to the world around us.  This is turn continues the cycle of becoming LIKE those with whom we spend our time.

In order to “find themselves” and discover who they were they became MORE like those they spent the most time with.

If we find that we just don’t fit in with those around us we seek a NEW group of friends. I remember in college about my sophomore year I started to realize that I just didn’t resonate with the vast majority of the student population at my small private college.  I attempted to express myself in my own way but was unable to really grasp the actions of others so what did I do . . . I had two choices:

  1. Adopt the actions of others to fit in
  2. Find a new crowd whose beliefs more closely fit mine

I chose the latter and withdrew from the college and moved back home to Texas where just months later I met and married Sandi . . . who very closely met my way of thinking and responding to the world.

The name for this is Social Comparison Theory as proposed by Leon Festinger in 1954 which basically states:

We determine our own social and personal worth based on how we stack up against others.  – Psychology Today

You can also learn more about Social Comparison Theory HERE on Wikipedia.  Thus we spend time with and associate with those who we believe have approximately the same “social worth” or we improve or worsen ourselves to BECOME LIKE those with whom are are around.

How Does This Apply to Fitness

In this groundbreaking study published by the Department of Social Psychology at Santa Clara University about workout partners it was discovered that by simply working out with someone more fit than yourself  . . . you begin to mirror the actions of the partner and actually increase the intensity of your own workout.

Exercising with someone more fit than oneself could promote a higher intensity workout,  participants gravitate towards the exercise behaviors of those around them. Even when all participants, regardless of experimental conditions, were instructed to exercise at a moderate level and keep their pulse rates within a particular range, they mimic the exercise behavior of their exercise partner.  -Journal of Social Sciences

Basically they found that individuals mirror the activity of those around them.  And on the opposite spectrum they discovered that when highly fit individuals worked-out with unmotivated individuals they began to decrease the intensity of their workouts to match the level of the less fit individual.  If you hang around individuals that always eat out or eat unhealthy food you will begin to eat poorly or spend your money on junk food.

So here are a few quick tips to improve your own fitness level:

  1. Believe in yourself – Learn to place little weight on how your mind sizes up others.  Fitness and health are both on a progressively changing continuum.  With each hour of each day you are either becoming more or less healthy.  If you aren’t where you want to be at this moment then make a small change and move forward a tiny bit.  There is no need to compare yourself to others that are more fit AT THIS MOMENT than you are.  If you continually make small choices you will continually get healthier BIT by BIT.  Social comparison theory CAN be a positive thing IF you do not use it to beat yourself up for where you see yourself TODAY.
  2. Who are you spending time with – It is important that you find other individuals and families that are interested in health and fitness as well.  You don’t need to find fanatics, just other who will support you, challenge you, and be there with you as you set and achieve your fitness goals. When you tell your current friends you are going for a jog or taking your kids to the park . . . What Do They Say?
  3. Workout partners – Do you need a workout partner?  This really depends.  Some people really benefit from working out with others while others may not need the company.  In the study from Santa Clara University they found that those who were at a higher fitness level than their workout partner actually saw worse results when they worked out with a partner of lower fitness level.  So, if you do decide to workout with a partner it will help YOU to find someone of a higher level and intensity.

Who Are You Spending Your Time With


Let me tell you why I love this quote so much. I have always been a firm believe in the power of positive influence in our lives. Great leaders have the ability to lead by influence rather than by other (less effective) tactics like fear, coercion, incentives and others.

Few people are capable of leading a crowd in a positive direction and it is human nature to follow the crowd and the path of least resistance.  You can be that leader that others need.  You can reach your fitness goals.

There are so many people that want to be healthy and fit and raise a healthy family.  That is the purpose of this website . . . to build a community of individuals with a common goal of health and fitness.   If you do not feel like you have that support from those you are currently spending your time with . . . lean on the community here. 

Do you have tips for motivating yourself and friends to obtain fitness?  Share them below \/\/\/\/\/