Tag Archive: exercise

Welcome to the One Week Responsive Universe Challenge – as seen on MindBodyGreen!

We are being mindful this week about wellness as we tackle the Responsive Universe One Week Challenge. Lets talk about exercise!

Exercise is something I truly crave. I can’t run because I have a bum ankle and I can’t surf because I live in the midwest now (I used to live near the beach in California). There was a lot of ” can’ts in that sentence!  Coupled with my ego that always seems to have an excuse, exercise can be a difficult regiment to adopt. especially with busy schedules and families – when is there time?

There is always time!

For me bike riding as the answer. I ride the local forest preserve trails near my home – instead of watching TV or sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I grab the bike and go for a ride. I find it meditative and good for me… I ride about 20-30 miles a week now and I just absolutely crave it. The key was finding the right fitness program to meet my needs and schedule.

Exercise relieves stress, helps regulate weight, and improves attitude and mental clarity. Regular exercise routines enhance healthy eating habits and encourage us to stay on healthier paths. Since we feel better and look better when we exercise, we also tend to want healthier food options. If you feel like you are in a lifestyle rut, devoid of wellness, there is hope for change. Gone are the days of wanting fast food and wishing for rain so you can slump on the couch and watch TV. Instead, with the right drive and focus, you find yourself wanting a salad and anxiously awaiting a jog with your dog after work. If you’re just starting to set a new routine, don’t go out and run five miles and eat a bag of raw carrots. Instead, start small and smart. Slowly work yourself into a new lifestyle change.

Here are some helpful tips for setting up a low-impact exercise regime:

Baby steps – Try a beginner yoga or pilates class, or even walk or take a jog. Work your way slowly into a more aggressive routine. Running 10 miles your first day of exercise ensures failure and also is not healthy. Repetition and building your routine over time is what will yield results.

Commit for one month – Make a commitment to work out three days a week for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit and give you an end-goal. Once you reach your one month benchmark, be mindful of how you feel and set a new goal that builds on what you have already achieved. Then, advance to a harder exercise class; increase your speed or length in your jog or run. Maybe even pick up the next heaviest weights in the set.

Don’t quit – Most good things in life are not easy and we have to work for them. Push yourself to exercise. Push yourself to get to the gym. Push yourself to do five more minutes on the treadmill. Good things will come from this hard work.

Use exercise as stress relief – Instead of popping another anti-anxiety pill or having a glass of wine to cope with a hard day, use exercise as your new outlet. A little bit of stress and rage in a kickboxing class goes a long way.

Habits first, not exercise equipment – Purchasing expensive exercise equipment does not establish a habit for exercise. Build a routine first and then decide months later whether it’s cost effective to purchase equipment.

Get creative – There are many ways to exercise besides going to the gym. Try riding a bike, going for a hike, or doing some gardening to break up a routine that is beginning to feel monotonous. If you can turn housecleaning into cardio, then both your home and heart will benefit greatly.

Find an Exercise Buddy – Grab a friend or neighbor to join you. Adding a social aspect to exercise can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.

Isolate Your Weakness – Is adhering to an exercise regiment a losing battle for you?  Do you not enjoy exercising? Is there no time? Maybe it is feeling self-conscious at the gym? Be mindful of what is holding you back. As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.

Drink Water – It is important to stay hydrated during any exercise session.

Make it Fun – There are countless ways to exercise and have fun doing it. Maybe it is swimming, walking at sunset, entering in a jog for charity. Even watching your favorite TV show while on the treadmill. Exercise does not have to be boring.

This week I am adding Yoga to my exercise schedule as I try to challenge myself to do more!

Now it is your turn!

John C. Bader


The questions have been pouring in, especially from Twitter. When a particular question grabs my attention, there is always a chance I will blog about it. Always feel free to forward a question or thought to me.  I can be reached through this blog, facebook and Twitter – thanks again!

A recent twitter nation follower asked how I find the energy and drive to meditate, eat well and exercise on a regular basis; basically, how do I stay diligent and steadfast?

Great question and you know what, it did not happen overnight. Living in a Responsive Universe is not about instant gratification. You can’t take a pill or meditate for twenty minutes and your life is going to change. This is not an infomercial where we advertise instant results.

For me it was the small subtle changes in my life that fueled my drive to continue on. The proof of wellness and positive energy is in the experience. The more I meditated the more comfortable I got at it. Meditation was difficult for me early on but after years of practice, I now yearn for any type of meditative respite.  Plus, meditation can come in many forms (my next blog will address that notion).

Eating healthy was another challenge – I love fried foods and I am not a big fan of veggies. The solution for me was juicing. I juice vegetables that used to simply repulse me: Kale, beets and tomatoes. I still can’t eat those things but I sure as hell can slam it down in the liquid form. I juice almost daily and it does two things for me: It gives me the anti-oxidant punch my body needs and juicing also takes the guilt away when I do want to indulge in something unhealthy – everything in moderation right?

Exercising is another obstacle I had to outsmart.  I grew up at the beach and surfing or bodyboarding out in the waves was great exercise. Well, now I live in Chicagoland and the surf is not great on Lake Michigan – actually it really sucks. But, I found bike riding to be a fun, meditative way to exercise and relax the mind at the same time. I ride about 20-30 miles a week and I love it!

So, it is about out smarting the ego which is always trying to find excuses to not meditate, eat well or exercise.  Again for me, the proof was in the experience. I just feel better mentally and physically when I include meditation with a healthier lifestyle.  As you manifest wellness in your life, new perspectives, opportunities, clarity and energy arise and then you know you are on the right path. When you see small successes and victories in areas where there were only defeats and guilt  it empowers you to continue on. It is not always easy, sometimes you do have to push yourself but the results are always worth it.

John C. Bader


Cancer – a disease that can sap the energy and soul from family and friends. I can’t think of a more devastating disease – a malignancy that can attack any part of the human body at any age. Even the treatments for cancer are painful and excruciating.

Not all health problems are avoidable and depending on your genes and family history, certain hereditary diseases may be more prevalent.  Still, we have more control over our health than you may think. Research shows that a large percentage of cancer-related deaths—maybe even the majority—are directly linked to lifestyle choices such as heavy drinking, smoking, lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet. As I stated in an earlier blog, much of our human suffering is avoidable.  Avoiding cigarettes, limiting alcohol, and getting regular exercise are a great start to an anti-cancer lifestyle. Still, the best way to fight cancer is awareness.

…and the best acute inner awareness should be focused on your diet.

According to Maya W. Paul and Melinda Smith, M.A. the best diet for preventing or fighting cancer is a predominantly plant-based diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. A plant-based diet means eating mostly foods that come from plants: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, and beans. Sure it is okay to eat protein based foods like chicken and fish, but you should limit your portions and it should be a side dish and not the main course.

Further, it seems the best defense against cancer is staying away from processed foods. The less processed these foods are—the less they’ve been cooked, peeled, mixed with other ingredients, added chemicals, stripped of their nutrients, or otherwise altered from the way they came out of the ground—the better. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient on a label, your body will not know what to do with it.

My best step forward has been limiting processed foods like lunch meat or frozen dinners. Yet the biggest move toward wellness in my home has been juicing. I have never been a big fan of veggies but now I juice, kale, spinach, beets and all that nasty stuff I used to turn my head away from. Now, I crave them and look forward to juicing daily.

Find awareness for your diet. What are you putting into your body? Are you in control of your happiness? Do you create your own suffering? Once you realize the key to happiness sits in the palm of your hand, all you need to do is make small subtle changes in your life. A good place to begin is with diet.

I think cancer is one of the most horrible diseases out there and for that reason; I am going to donate a portion of the profits of my upcoming book, The Responsive Universe to help fight and cure this debilitating disease. Every book that is bought will contribute to wellness on many peripheral levels.

For more info on diet and cancer please visit http://www.helpguide.org

John C. Bader


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