Home / News

Blog - News

Life Hack: How to exercise during your lunch break.

 

Remember when you were in elementary school, and lunch time was your favorite time of the day? It was the time when you ran with your friends and socialized the most.  

Now you may be more than happy to donate your whole lunch break to your employer. But Why? That may not be the healthiest thing for you. It's time to take back control of your lunch break and make it the most pleasant time of your day.  

Benefits:

Let me begin with the benefits you will gain by exercising during your lunch break.   You will gain time in your day, and you will lose weight (which can bring some of the childhood happiness back). You will learn invaluable time management skills and you will become a leader amongst your peers.  At the bare minimum, you will remove yourself from the stressful work environment.  

Lightbulb moment:

Horrible Boss.  Eating during lunch break.  Lunch Hack

When I started, working out during my lunch break, it was really to get away from a horrible boss that I had.  My boss wanted me to work during my lunch break, but even when I did so, my boss wasn't happy. Then I realized that I owned my lunch break, (my boss didn't) and I could do whatever I pleased with it (as long as I wasn't breaking the law or company policy).  

Common Fears

  • If I exercise, I will sweat, how can I feel clean again?
  • Will I be hungry the rest of the day since I'm trading eating for exercising?
  • Will I have enough time to exercise? What type of exercises can I do?
  • Will I be too tired to continue with my day?

Tips for beginners:

Time will be your only enemy, but luckily there are some tricks and hacks out there to make it all possible. The first challenge to tackle is; how to feel clean again? Specifically because most jobs will not have a shower available for you, or the only showers available may look like these pictures below:

Shower option at work.Job shower option 3

 

Your best shower solution: 

A portable disposable wet-wipe designed to clean your entire body such as Showerpouch is your best solution. This wet-wipe is much larger (2ft X 1ft) than a baby wipe, and is specifically designed to make you feel "shower" clean in 5 minutes or less.

Inside the pouch is a premium full-body wet wipe which contains a custom hypoallergenic, pH balanced, vegan formula formula that can remove up to 99% of body odor and sweat from your skin.  The wipe will cool you down immediately, so you can get dressed immediately after wiping off the sweat and odor from your skin. The formula leaves behind a pleasant gender neutral smell on your skin, which most people will compliment you on.  

You literally just do the following:

 

How to eat:

Eating is essential to a healthy lifestyle and I am not saying that you need to stop eating.  However, something light such as a salad or meal replacement shake is recommended (click here to see examples).  Eat after you have completed your workout and you have used Showerpouch to clean your body, and you have put your work clothes back on.

Eating at your desk after you have taken care of your body will feel rewarding and if someone sees you eating at your desk it will give the impression that you are working extra hard.   If you don't have a desk, and you have to eat prior to returning to your work station, then eating something light will allow you to get back in time.

A protein shake and some snacks for your break time will recommended to curve your hunger in the event you still feel hungry.  Note that your body will get used to this time of lunch and will prefer it to avoid "carb coma" in the afternoon.  You could experience an increase of energy as well.  

Preparing meals and snacks ahead of time at home is recommended. Remember that you will not have time to buy something, and you are trading shopping time to do something productive with yourself.   If you are worried that someone will steal your lunch?  Trust me, healthy lunches such as salads never get stolen. 

How to exercise:

If your job offers you a gym, this would be a good time to take advantage of it.  If they don't offer you can still do the following workouts (click here to see):  

  • Run up and down your parking lot/office stairs.
  • Walk or run around the company parking lot or around the block.
  • Run a mile around your job (a mile takes about 15 minutes to complete if you have not run for a long time).
  • Roller blade (be sure to know how already, lunch is not a good time to learn)
  • Drive to your local park to do pushups, pullups, etc.  
  • Shoot hoops or play tennis with someone. 

Will you have enough Energy:

One thing that I learned during my college kinesiology class is that your body will feel more energized when it does more exercise.  So don't be surprised if you have more jump in your step and you begin to look better than your co-workers.  

Finally, don't forget to share the benefits by inviting other co-workers or even organize the workouts for them and you will become a leader. Have a Showerpouch ready for them to relieve half of their concerns and remove their excuses.

 It's your lunch break, it's time to take control of it.  

Fun Way to Lose Weight: Dancing

Fun Way to Lose Weight:  Dancing

I know the stress the headline might have caused you. Where do I go? Will I need a partner? Will I make a fool of myself? What if I have two left feet? Luckily I have found the best way to tackle these anxieties, after spending plenty of money and time in beginner classes.

Benefits:

Let me begin with the benefits you will gain at the end of your dancing adventure (if you decide to take it). You will gain confidence, friends, and happiness. What you will lose is: pounds, bad dance habits, and stress. Most dancers have great bodies because dancing forces you to use muscles in your body that you normally don’t use.

Dancing works to lose weight because you are moving multiple parts of your body simultaneously as you are stepping multiple times. If you measure the number of steps walked (with a fitbit or apple watch), and heart rate while dancing you will find that they both grow exponentially while dancing. Body heat and partner work will make you sweat, and a little anxiety will make you lose weight.

What makes dancing fun is that there is no excruciating pain (unless you break a bone), soreness, or weights involved. People in the class are generally happy people and very helpful. And time flies when your dancing (compared to other exercises) which feels like time is slowing down.

Tips for beginners:

When I started, I was intimidated and didn’t want to make a fool of myself, so I took my first class while I was traveling. I figured, “If I make a fool of myself”, nobody will recognize me and I can go back to my normal life. I suggest, if you are scared, start by finding a location that is a healthy driving distance away from your home so that you feel less emotionally involved and have an easy way out.

Location:

Where to go for your first dance class is the first obstacle, but I recommend a dance studio that offers “beginner” classes that are structured like courses. Investigate when the next beginner course will begin and sign up for the “beginner “or “level 1” course (even if you believe you know your way around a dance floor).   This is the least stressful course and the instructors (usually a male and female couple) will guide you and make you feel welcome and the class is specifically aimed for anyone without dance experience.

Don’t try to be a hero and skip to a more advanced or intermediate class, as you might interrupt the dynamic of a class and you will get dirty looks. You will immediately feel out of place, and discouraged. However, keep in mind that these students have danced with each other (for weeks).

What to expect: 

What to expect if you choose a beginner class is; generally a group full of fun people of all shapes and sizes and (of all dance levels) learning a discipline. There will be other students, which is the first time they dance. Most new students are there because a wedding is coming up or on a date, but for the most part there will be more women than men.

Yes even advanced students are at beginner classes because they know that practicing and perfecting the basic steps makes it look easy. If you are new, I recommend to position yourself behind the instructors so that you can see what their feet are doing and ensure nobody is blocking you. However, make sure you give other new students the opportunity to be in your prime spot.

Class Ettiquette:

Class etiquette includes rotating position after every quick lesson to ensure everyone gets an opportunity to see. You will not need a partner as the instructor will partner whoever is there for practice purposes, and there is usually a male and female instructor that rotates with each student. Introduce yourself when practicing with a partner and thank them after the rotation.

Many couples attend classes together. The only watch-out is to respect the couple’s decision to rotate partner. In my experience, the couples that rotate partners learn faster. Remember, this is a class, not a place to hook up. Respect and humility are very important.

What to wear:

You don’t need to dress to impress, or wear a fancy outfit, all you need is comfortable clothes (but please don’t show up in pijamas). I often went to a class after work. Jeans and t-shirt are fine, and women generally show up in leggings and a comfortable shirt.

Shoes are important only because the dance studio doesn’t want you to damage the dance floor. As long as the shoes don’t scuff or damage the floor, and let’s your ankles be flexible any shoes will do (tennis shoes, or dress shoes are OK). Dance shoes come in all sorts of styles, the only difference from regular shoes is that they have suede on the bottom that helps you slide.

How to feel Clean: 

Once the class is over, you will be surprised at how much sweat you will produce, so make sure you plan accordingly on how to feel clean after class. You may want to take an extra shirt, as your back will be sweaty (remember you have been sweating). Showerpouch is a great product that you can easily carry in your back pocket, and you can use it to remove all the sweat that you produced.   It will have you smelling clean in no time. You can also use it after work (before your class starts as most classes are scheduled after regular work hours). 

You will be making friends, and classes generally last 45 minutes. Sometimes (if there is not another class right after) some students stay for additional practice. The friends you meet may want to hang out after class and it will be important for you to feel clean.

How to socialize:

The instructors usually arrange “socials” after class. This is a time set aside for you to practice (in a safe environment) all of the dance moves you have been learning with other students, and even the instructors. Generally a room with a music playlist of the discipline you have been learning is set aside to mimic how a party and or club environment might be. This is a perfect time to practice how to ask people to dance with you. For, the most part nobody says “no”.

What to dance?:

Choosing a dance discipline could be tricky and each one has their pros and cons. If you are interested in burning the most calories and getting a good workout while having fun, I recommend AfroCuban (however these classes are hard to find). If you would like to learn good partner work and individual dance moves, I recommend Salsa. If you want to get a little more sensual, I recommend Bachata. Country and swing are also lots of fun and make you burn calories (they are not as easy as they might look).  

Instructors: 

You might expect the professor to be Latin, but that is not necessarily the case. If you decide that Salsa is the discipline that you choose, you will learn that this is the most popular discipline in the world (yes the world). Therefore, you will find instructors from all cultures.

Cost:

Finally we have come to the cost of the class. That will depend on how many classes you take, but expect to pay between $20 -$35 for each group class. There are usually discounts when you signup for more than one class. One on one classes (where is just you and one instructor) is another option, and these may range from $80-$120 for one hour of instruction.

If you have the courage to finish an entire series you will feel proud of overcoming fears. You will definitely increase your confidence in the dance floor and at that time, I recommend to find a class closer to home.   The only warning I have after attending a dance class is that you might become addicted.  I did.  

Please leave comments and feedback below.  If you enjoyed the article, please follow us in twitter and facebook.  Please check out our video and subscribe to youtube.  

The general do’s and don’t for your first offroading trip

The general do’s and don’t for your first offroading trip

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I bought my first four door Jeep Rubicon 6 years ago.  At the time I thought offroading was like a Jeep commercial.  Jump in your rig and find some random trail.  How wrong I was!  My very first weekend I took the stock jeep out with my wife and randomly searched online for an “off road” trail.  At the first glance of a “dirt trail”, I took it.  

What I drove on wasn’t an OHV trail, it was a fire trail road. It wasn’t just any fire trail, it was a fire trail that followed along a cliff.  Similar to this old school photo below.  After our near death experience, I decided that I would seek professional counseling when trying to learn more about this hobby.  In particular, how to be safe.

cliff off road jeep

Today I’m an active member of an offroad club called Southern California Off Road Explorers.  The members are extremely knowledgeable and willing to teach newbies how to successfully prepare for all the elements and situations that may occur on the trail.   I’ve not only learned how to properly off road, but I’m continuously trying to sharpen my skills.  You’ll learn, the more you learn the more you don’t know. It’s not required to be in an off road club, but I highly recommend joining one.  It’s a lot more fun going into this hobby with other like minded people who are just as passionate and possibly more knowledgeable than yourself.  Below, I’m going to capture the most basic offroad principles so you are safe and have a plan to make it back home safely.

At all cost, do not go on a trail by yourself

If something happens to you on the trail, what is your backup plan to get back home safely? Going alone is not wise.  At a minimum, it is recommended to have at least two rigs go out together.

Plan your route in advanced

Whether you are doing a day trip or plan to be out for multiple days, plan your trip out.  It’s not uncommon to use an off road GPS app that’s specific for being on unpaved roads. I am currently using Gaia GPS on my apple iPad. Gaia GPS integrates the best topo maps, offline navigation tools and planning features.  Since my apple iPad does not have a built in GPS beacon, I’m using a Bad Elf beacon. Between the Gaia app and the GPS beacon, I can plan out my adventure and share my route with my friends as a kmz file via email.  It’s always wise to have a paper copy. There are plenty of books that takes the guess work out of planning a trip.  One of my favorite books for off roading is a book called, Guide to California Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails.  There are plenty of other books out there that is specific to your geographical needs. Familiarize yourself with a compass if you plan to use a paper map. Lastly, SHARE and OVER COMMUNICATE with your friends and family where you are going and when you plan to be back.  

Shower

If a mounted water tank or toting gallons of water inside your rig isn’t an option, I recommend using a product called SHOWER POUCH.  It’s a full body wet wipe.  When unfolded, the wipe material is two feet by one feet in size - freakin’ large.  Between the three scents of Bamboo, Unscented and Bamboo you’ll feel cool and shower fresh after each use. The formula is pH balanced and is derived from vegan ingredients. For a limited time Shower Pouch is providing a special discount for the offroad community.  Use discount code “OFF ROAD” and receive a 30% discount from your first purchase.   

theshowerpouch shower pouch bamboo cucumber unscented body wipe wet wipe

Back in the day, the only option for a wet wipe product were Baby Wipes.  We are all adults, it’s time we buy a product that is designed for us and our unique physiological needs.     

If you have the setup to bring water on the trail, I recommend checking out this 5 or 8 gallon water tank from Road Shower. Pictured below, I’ve mounted my Road Shower on top of my Gobi Rack. A solar water bag like the Coleman Camp Shower is another option. From my experience, you have to be very delicate because these bags are susceptible to leaking.  

jeep jk showerpouch shower pouch gobi rack road shower roadshower

Airing Down & Airing Up

Airing down your tires before getting on a trail allows for greater traction and a smoother ride. I typically drop my air pressure to 12 psi.  This psi value could be different for you. It depends on the weight of the vehicle, the type of rim (e.g bed locks), tire and how you plan to ride. There is a point of diminishing return once you go too low on the psi to increase traction and the tires propensity to slip off the rim. I use an ARB tire deflator. This deflator pulls the stem from the tire, resulting in a quicker deflate time.  

After you finish the trail and it's time to get back to civilization, you'll need to air up. If you can't access a near by gas station, you should have an air compressor in your rig. Having an onboard air compressor like the ARB CKMTA12 is super convenient but they can be costly. Having a portable one isn't bad either. Smitty Bilt makes a good quality cost effective compressor.  

tire deflator arb arb air compressor air compressor smitty bilt

Your vehicle (rig) should be safe and be set up for the trails you plan to tackle

Common sense stuff, make sure all your fluids are up to par.  This should include your oil, differential oil, coolant, brake, power steering and etc.  Visually inspect your rig to make sure it is safe for the trail. There is no harm in taking your rig into the shop before you leave for the trail.  

A good practice is to bring an extra bottle of motor oil and some basic tools.  You never know when you may have to wrench under your rig if something goes “boom” on the trail. It will be a fine balance between bringing your entire tool set from the garage and gathering enough tools to handle the essential needs.  

It’s not required to have a 4x4 vehicle to go off roading, but it is highly advised.  A 4x4 can help you better maneuver gnarly transitions and obstacles. You must know the capabilities of your rig and make sure it matches the challenges that you will face while on the trail.  

Safety Equipment

Safety is fundamentally the corner stone for off roading.  Having the basic safety equipment can get you out of many challenging situations. You should have the following equipment stored away in your rig: a tow rope (with a tow weight capacity that can pull your entire rig and some), snatch block, Hi Lift Jack, D rings, tree assist tow rope, a winch that is rated for your vehicle weight, a weighted mat to suppress the winch line in the event it breaks and gloves.  In this blog I will not go into teaching you how to use all this equipment.  Research how to use each tool before using them.    

winch tow rope snatch block shower pouch tow rope jeep jk trail recovery

Communication

When you are on the trail, there is a high likelihood that you will not have cell phone service. The most popular piece of off roading equipment when it comes to communication are CB radios.  These are awesome tools for communicating when the rigs you are speaking with are in line of site.  However, when you need to transmit very far distances, I highly recommend purchasing a mobile HAM radio.  My favorite brand is Yaesu. Not only can you communicate further away than a CB radio, you can also transmit to a repeater that can broadcast your communication hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles away.  The better your communication range, the better chances you’ll have to get help if you really need it.  Personally, I have both CB and HAM radios in my rig.  If you want to use a HAM Radio you’ll need to get your license through the FCC.  Pictured below is my setup for comms (bottom center) and navigation.  

ham radio cb radio navigation gaia bad elf

 

Tent Camping

On the ground tents are most common.  I recommend choosing a tent that is right sized for the number of people sleeping in it.  Excessive size tents can be a disadvantage since it will take up more space inside your rig and in extremely cold conditions, the heat gathered inside the tent will collect towards the top of the tent - furthest away from your body.  I’ve learned after many nights of camping, the one piece of material that will extend the life of a tent is a tarp that you can purchase at your local Home Depot store.  Place the tarp on the ground before setting up your tent. The tarp will protect you from rocks and sharp debris that could cut into the base of your tent.  

Having a reliable sleeping bag is essential.  Make sure it is rated for the temperatures you will experience on the trail. I personally own a spring/summer sleeping bag and a fall/winter sleeping bag.  

Food/Beverages

Before we talk about food.  You need to have a reliable cooler that will keep your perishables and non perishables cool. I don’t own this cooler but I plan to buy it soon.  It’s called Yeti.  They are built like a tank!  For many day trips on the trail, I’ve learned a little trick. Buy one small block of dry ice from your local grocery store and place it to the bottom of your cooler.  On top of the dry ice and depending on the size of the cooler, add bags of ice on top. Add the food contents where you see pleased.  If this too complicated you can always buy a plug in refrigerator like the ARB Fridge for ~$700.00. Running it to a secondary battery would be wise since you don't want to kill your primary battery.  

arb refrigerator fridge cooler offroading off roading

Take the Right Line & Be Safe

When approaching a large rock or a dug out rut from the past rainstorm, you MUST think about how your vehicle will respond when it approaches the obstacle.  The rule of thumb is this:

  1. Go around the obstacle if possible
  2. Go over the obstacle with your tires. Don’t allow the obstacle to potentially damage the undercarriage of your rig (e.g. oil pan, drive shaft, control arms, gas tank and etc.)
  3. Straddle ruts vs. putting your tire in it. This can result in your rig high centering or possibly flipping.

Pictured below is what will happen when you don’t take the right line and the second photo is the proper way to take the line when a rut is in your path.

tipping offroading off roading jeep jk rutjeep jk offroading off roading overlanding froader

 

Taking the right line is very important, but approaching your trail at the safe speed is just as important. Off roading isn’t about who finishes the trail first. Take your time and enjoy being on 4 wheels. You’ll have plenty of time to speed on a paved road later.  

Be Courteous

Off Road Lights - It blows my mind how affordable off road lights have become. Because of this there are more and more rigs with +50” light bars. It’s super fun to drive with your light bar on when you think no one is around.  However, you must be mindful that these lights can BLIND a rig closely approaching your “light tower” of terror.  The best rule of thumb is to only use the amount of light needed so you can judge the trail ahead of you.  Think about off road lights like your high beam when you are on a paved road.  Only turn them on when you really need to see further out.   

offroad lights offroading off road light bar rigid industries

Going up hill - When a rig is going down hill and a rig is going up hill on the same trail, give the rig going uphill the right of way.  

Passing a group of off road rigs / ATVs / dirt bikes - It’s customary that one group will pull to the side.  The group that is passing will use hand gestures to signal how many rigs are behind them.  For example, if there are 5 people in my group and I’m the first rig to pass. I’ll show 4 fingers to everyone I’m passing.  The person behind me would show 3 fingers … so on and so forth.  The last person passing would show Zero by creating a circle with one hand.  

zero offroading

Have Fun

Off Roading aka  Froader aka Overlanding aka Desert rat aka Mudder are all terms that describe those who love to explore the majestic lands we call home.  The most important rule to this hobby is to just have fun! Become one with nature and your rig and you’ll discover why thousands of people become off roaders for life. Don't forget to bring the wood for a camp fire, a harmonica and a bottle of whisky to pass around :)

camping offroading off roading camp fire rigs

Note - I have not went into specifics for any of the general topics I shared above. In future blogs, I'll write a deeper detail for each activity.