Let’s be honest: men like to talk a big game. They’re constantly competing with each other and it’s always a never-ending game of, “anything you can do, I can do better.” The men in my life are no exception. There are a couple things that they swear by…so I decided to test out their fav phrases and activities to see if what they preach is actually good for me.
Obviously the heavy hitter, how can I not start with my dear, old dad: We argue a lot and pretty much never agree on anything. Regardless, I look up to him for strength and direction. Anything that he’s ever done, or told me, has been with my best interest in mind. It’s been almost 23 years and he has yet to fail me. The guy is a smart dude.
- Run your sprints. I’d like to record to show that my dad is a much better athlete than I am. He always was and I’m sure he always will be. With that being said, I’ve heard him yell “run your sprints,” more times than I’ve drank PSLs. AKA: The number is substantial. I thought this would be a relevant statement to start with since HIIT workouts are the latest gym trend. HIIT workouts, literally, “high intensity interval training,” focus on getting your heart rate up quickly and efficiently. These workouts are designed to be shorter, but much more difficult. Popular exercises include burpees, mountain climbers, battle ropes, etc. Personally, I used to love being at the gym for an hour or two a night but recently, since my schedule has changed, I don’t have that kind of time anymore. I typically have about 45 minutes to dedicate to a workout but since I go to the gym before work now, I also have to keep in mind that I need to include showering and looking like presentable human to the general public. Add in the fact that sometimes you have to wait for a shower? Well then you’re just done for. So realistically, I sort of only have 15-30 minutes to make those workouts count. When I go to the gym, I want to sweat…so I’ve been giving these shorter, harder workouts a chance. And what do I hate more than slow walkers on the NYC streets? Cardio on treadmills. So over the course of a week, I tested out running on a treadmill for 15-30 minutes a day at a high speed. Here’s usually how my workouts went down:
- Starting out: I walk on the treadmill and I’m all like, “I got this.” 15 minutes? No problem. It takes me 15 minutes to drive to Starbucks at home. That’s half an episode of friends. This’ll be cake, man. Jack the speed up to 9 mph.
- A couple minutes in: I was such a cocky little shit. How foolish of me to think I could do this! I check the treadmill clock as if my life depends on it. 15 SECONDS?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S ONLY BEEN 15 SECONDS?! I’VE BEEN RUNNING FOR DAYS.
- Halfway: Oh. This isn’t so bad. I’ve caught my stride and I don’t sound like I’m gasping for air anymore. I wonder if the guy behind me can see how fast I’m running?
- 3/4 done: Ugh, okay…are we done yet? Like how bad will it actually be if I just end like a minute early? NO. YOU’RE NOT A QUITTER. YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT. MENTAL TOUGHNESS!
- Finishing: Crushed it. I can do that in my sleep.
So after all of that torture, I typically burned between 200-400 calories, depending on the day. I liked the fact that I could get my workout finished quickly and efficiently but there were times where I’d leave the gym feeling as if I hadn’t done enough. Regardless of the duration and intensity of the workout, that week taught me that as long as I burned enough calories to eat ice cream, I don’t really care how long a workout took me.
- “Path of travel.” Ohhhh man, does he love this one. In my household, I’m a big proponent of leaving your shit wherever is most convenient for you. Not because I’m an asshole but because I’m the first one out the door every morning and I don’t need to be fumbling to find my keys at 4 am. Typically, my jacket hangs on the back on the kitchen chair, my running sneakers will be by the garage door, my work/gym bag will be by the phone, yada, yada, yada. Usually during the week, it’s totally fine. I’m the last one in the door every night and the first one out the door every morning. It’s not in his way: out of sight, out of mind. But on the weekends? Oh, god forbid. All hell breaks loose. For his job, my father focuses a lot of his time and energy on safety. I can’t expect the guy to be structuring proper safety techniques in the work place for at least nine hours of his day and then not implement them in his own home. To an extent, I get it. I’ve definitely tripped over lacrosse sticks and cleats and I’ve definitely shouted profanities in their wake. But I think that as long as you’re making a conscious effort to not be a douchebag, then it’s not too much of an issue. Just be courteous.
Ironically enough, this is the email that I just received from my father. No, he has no idea about this blog post:
“Below is a training announcement. We are teaching our people how to be more efficient through improved organisation (that is the French spelling). What the training will tell us is that each individual has to account for some time to maintain this after the initial effort. So, I am telling you to plan for it. An extra minute or more here or there to put things away where they belong or discard them or, to straighten during the course of the day.
5S is not just about housekeeping, but concentrating on maintaining the standards and discipline to manage an organization – all achieved by upholding & showing respect for the workplace every day.
The 5 Steps are as follows:
Sort: Sort out & separate that which is needed and not needed in the area.
Straighten: Arrange items that are needed so that they are ready and easy to use. Clearly identify locations for all items so that anyone can find them and return them once the task is completed.
Shine: Clean the workplace and equipment on a regular basis in order to maintain standards and identify defects.
Standardize: Revisit the first three of the 5S on a frequent basis and confirm the condition of the workplace using standard procedures.
Sustain: Keep to the rules to maintain the standard and continue to improve every day.
See, I am NOT “Type A”, just efficient, because it make my life simpler.
The guy slays me.
- “STOP USING OUR DATA.” This is actually one of my favorites because I think about 97% of the millennial population can relate. I don’t remember the last time I didn’t get a “stop using our data,” text. It’s been months, if not years. Most of us probably don’t take this seriously. I know I definitely don’t. I even tweet (@MarisaTomsky) about how ridiculous it is pretty frequently. But even though my father is saying this statement from a place of frustration, he’s got an underlying point: let’s get our noses out of our phones. The other day as I was walking to my office, I noticed a freshly painted sign embedded into the concrete streets of Manhattan. It simply said: LOOK. How sad is it that we have to start painting streets in order to get people’s attention? You’re in Manhattan for Christ’s sake! Look around you! Part of the allure of the city is that it never sleeps! You will see so many different kinds of people doing so many different kinds of things at so many different kinds of places. All you have to do is LOOK.
- Homemade EVERYTHING. One of the greatest joys in my life is food. I love food so much. People who say they don’t think food is important are dumb AF and they personally offend me. Fortunately for me, in my family, we cook everything ourselves. Tbh, I would probably be a solid 40 lbs lighter if I lived with another family. And honestly, it’s not because we cook poorly or unhealthy. We’re extremely healthy. We’re all athletes and we know the importance of fueling our bodies. It’s literally because I can’t stop eating (everything is just too good). Portion control is key. But who actually wants that? No one in their right mind, that’s who. Anyway, there have been a lot of studies surfacing lately about the importance of cooking at home vs. going out to eat. That in itself is a whole another blog post just waiting to happen. With that being said, and because this post is already longer than I originally intended, I’ll just briefly touch upon why you should eat at home:
- You’ll be saving money. Especially if you work in NYC like I do, you can easily drop $20 on breakfast alone. Add seamless into the equation for lunch and/or dinner and you’re f***ed.
- You know what’s in what you’re eating: Pretty much all the time, unless you order something like grilled chicken (how can someone mess up grilled chicken…), you don’t exactly know what’s going into your meal. This could be dangerous for a number of reasons. The first is if you’re allergic to something. Typically you’ll know what you can and can’t eat but you just never know. It’s also dangerous from a nutritional standpoint. How much salt is actually going into that soy sauce concoction? Sure, it tastes amazing. But you just probably hit your sodium intake for the week.
- It’s easier to track: This goes hand-in-hand with knowing what’s actually in your meal. Fitness and meal trackers are quickly gaining popularity and for accurate calories and nutrition, it’s much easier when you’re doing it yourself.
- Portion control: When you order from seamless or any other sort of take out, you’re likely to get a huge container of food. I mean don’t get me wrong, that’s awesome. I’m a firm believer in the more food the better. But it’s too easy to keep the container in front of you at work and mindlessly eat for a pretty long time. My suggestion would be to save some for lunch the next day. And drink a lot of water as you’re eating.
- “Stop spending my money.” Now that I’m a functioning adult (HA! I got jokes today), this statement doesn’t typically apply to me. I’ll still hear this being shouted every so often at my brother or sister, though. I like this statement because it reminds me that I should be saving money (for the big picture). I added in the last part about the big picture because I don’t think you should be taking saving money too seriously. I think you should be going out with your friends and having a good time. But with that being said, I do think that saving a couple hundos from your paycheck every other week will seriously benefit you in the long run. I like to keep this in mind when it comes to paying rent vs. living at home. I would rather have the long ass commute that I have now verse throw it away on a shitty apartment that I really don’t want or need. I’d rather have the money down the road when I’m looking to buy a house and start a family. Down the road, I know that I won’t want to compromise on things like location, or the safety of my family, because I decided to move into a rando apartment when I was 22. It’s all about the big picture, people. And honestly, my commute isn’t awful because I can sleep. I mean maybe I’ll change my mind in a month (I know I will) but still. Keep your future in mind when making those sorts of decisions. Experiences are priceless, so I typically don’t give those a second thought. If I can do something fun with people I love and we can make a memory out of it, I don’t really mind how much it costs. When it comes to buying something materialistic, though, my typical rule of thumb is that if I really want something, I’ll give myself five days. If I’m still thinking about it after five days, I can reassess and start thinking about purchasing it a little more seriously.
- Bacon, Egg and Cheeses: I don’t remember the last time I didn’t see my brother eat one of these things. He loves them. And yes, I already know these are terrible for you but I wanted to break it down from a nutritional standpoint. I hope you’re paying attention, Eric.
I looked at a couple articles to compare sandwiches that are homemade vs. Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds. As mentioned, we cook a lot so typically my brother will make one of these sandwiches himself. On average, a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich will be between 400 and 600 calories. The eggs (72 calories), bacon (2 slices, 84 calories) and cheese (112 calories) aren’t really the problem. Honestly, it’s not even the bread (if you use whole wheat, it’s 138 calories). It’s the butter. The fat in these sandwiches is outrageous. If you’re consuming 1,600 calories a day, you’re only supposed to intake 36-60 grams of fat. A bacon, egg and cheese typically has 27g alone. And don’t even get me started on the sodium. I mean I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to have fat, I’d rather eat a cheeseburger thankUveryMuch.
So what does it take to burn one of these things off?
Still not satisfied? Here are a couple more options:
If you like cardio, you won’t after this workout regimen.
Because what would this post be without some ridiculousness? 7.25 Hours of lying still and quite? That doesn’t sound so bad.
- Music. You may not always be able to see my brother, but you can certainly always hear him (playing his guitar, that is). My brother’s guitar comes with us everywhere. It’s a real inconvenience when we’re flying tbh (he already knows; he doesn’t care). But he actually might be onto something. Let’s take a look at how music effects the brain.
- It can change your mood.
- It can improve overall performance.
- It reduces stress.
- It can help you get in touch with your emotions.
- It boosts dopamine (aka the pleasure-reward system).
- It helps you learn: i.e. improved language development, (small) increase in IQ, increased spatial intelligence, etc.
- Music therapy is a real thing and it can be used to help Alzheimer’s patients.
- It can help with pain relief.
- It reduces blood pressure.
- It can aid in relieving chronic headaches and migraines.
- It helps improve athletic performance (pump up playlists exist for a reason).
Check out this cool little video from CNN that can help explain it a little further.
Okay, so overall, some of the things they do aren’t all that bad. Realistically, it seems that they might actually have my best interest in mind. Regardless, I’m stuck with them.
Here’s to you, boys.