Diversify your portfolio…it works for finances, why not your body?

B. Lee  We’ve all heard when it comes to 401K’s, DIVERSIFY.  How about applying this principle to your workout?  Sounds simple enough, but I’ve found not many do it.   Why?  Well, there are lots of reasons.  I’ll share a personal sense of this.


Running was the only “go to” for me, for many moons–and suns.  I passed this trait onto my son, who now runs cross-country and track.  He seems to have taken his vows at the monastery of running.  He’s true to it, and will do little else, unless it is a cross training day at school.  The only other exceptions are INSANITY dvds, or the SPARTACUS workout.  Otherwise, he’s running celibate.   I get it.  I was there myself.  However, when I couldn’t put in the mileage I once did, my weight started to escalate.  Enter INSANITY.

At first, I was hooked.  And to an extent still am.  But I soon found I was having the same problem with this workout, as I was with running.  Only now, working out six days a week, my weight which once plummeted, now started to pick up.  Why?  What was I doing wrong?  As I look back, a couple of things; really more than a couple.


This workout was so intense, it made me extremely hungry.  I was probably consuming 3000-4500 calories/day.  All of the weight I lost in the beginning, now came back.  Again, I had to ask “what am I doing wrong?”


We’re all familiar with the “less is more” mantra.  This may hold true for more than just clutter, make-up, and accessories.  I emphasize the “sometimes,” because I still believe revving up the old metabolism takes heat–and for weight loss, a lot of it.  BUT heat means energy expenditure, and requires fuel.  Sure you get the weight loss initially, but then what?  Again fuel is now in demand.  So how do you strike a balance?  Enter in your combo platter–and no, that doesn’t mean the enchilada, tostada, and taco plate.  It means getting enough exercise to burn off what you don’t want, without increasing your appetite.  What I do want, and I believe you do too, is permanent sustained weight loss.  How to do it?  For me, it means diversifying your exercise portfolio.


We’ve all heard change is good, or even for the better.  Have you ever thought of changing your workout, during your workout?  Let me explain.  I may start off with an INSANITY dvd.  Twenty minutes into it, I switch it out for ESSENTRICS, perhaps BALLET BOOTCAMP.  Ten minutes of this, and I switch again.  Finish off with a PILATES dvd.  You get the idea.  I may perform an hour to 90 minutes of exercise, but rarely is it the same exercise.

Newer thought believes in the benefit of dividing up your workout, throughout the day.  This may mean you start your day with 20 minutes of exercise, get in a walk at lunch, then squeeze in 20-30 minutes after work.  I realize for many, this appears unrealistic.  Commute, mingled with daycare pick-ups, dinner to prepare, make this more of a pipe dream.  However, dividing up your fitness routine throughout the day, keeps your metabolism in peak burning mode.  Think about it.  If you’re a morning person, you could do 20-30 minutes of cardio.  Weather permitting and job as well, go for a walk at lunch.  Now, if you can possibly squeeze in a 15 minute total body routine after work, you would witness a definite shift.  This wouldn’t just be in your appearance, I can assure you.  It would spill over into how you eat, what you eat, and the dreaded how much.

As with anything, I don’t expect you to take my word for it.  How mindful are you now of your eating habits?  Do you eat out of boredom?  Snack on food better off left on the shelves?  If the answer to any of these is yes (and for most, myself included, it is) dividing up your exercise routine can help.  You see now, you have to watch what you eat, as well as when.  If this is just totally out of reach, then consider changing up your workout the way I do.  The benefit here is, muscles which are overused in one particular setting, get a break. Those underused, must now step up to the plate.  And if have a favorite as with my son, you will find new subtleties in your performance.  Perhaps it’ll be a longer stride, maybe an extra 2 minutes on the trail or treadmill, you couldn’t possibly do a few weeks earlier.  It’s hard to say.

Yes, it’s true not every exercise is for everybody.  Not every food is for everybody either.  But if you’re struggling, and can’t understand why you can’t tip the scale in your favor, literally–it’s time for a change.  And it shouldn’t equate to the spare you throw in your glass jar or cup either.  You don’t build a financial portfolio with leftovers.  It takes planning and decisive action, to get where you want to be.  If you want a strong, working body to accompany you on that journey, then carve out the time, and make the commitment.  Unlike lottery or stocks, it’s not a gamble or risk.  It’s a sound investment.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions?  Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com


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