Tag Archives: health

5 Ways to Workout on Vacation

So you’re on vacation with lots of time for R & R and you’re thinking you want to workout – or what you’re really thinking is you don’t have to workout because you’re on vacation, right?

Wrong.

Because the only way to keep that Strong Body – Clear Mind is to do something physical fitness related EVERY single day. So keeping with your Daily Fitness Program, here’s 5 ways you and your entire family can workout together while on vacation that’s effective and affordable:

#1 – Walk, Jog or Run

There’s nothing better than lacing up your Chuck Taylors and Kicking the Bricks…literally. Whether it’s a brisk walk, steady jog, or a fast paced run, this is the simplest way to get your heart-rate up while taking in the natural beauty of your surroundings. I always prefer a long walk first thing in the morning, but no matter what time of day, lace’em up and get going!

#2 – Bike or Swim

Perhaps a bit more complicated than #1 since you’ll need a bike or a lap pool, but if you’re anywhere near the beach you’ll certainly find bike rentals, or check-out the local YMCA since they usually have a 25 yard pool. Two more great fitness activities the whole family can enjoy!

#3 – Push-ups and Sit-ups

How can you go wrong with good ole push-ups and sit-ups that you can do just about anywhere with no props required. Start with push-ups and do as many as you can – Chaturanga style for you yoginis – then lay on your back with your legs bent (or bicycle them) and do as many sit-ups as you can. Then do it again and again until you can’t do any more!

#4 – Take a Class: Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Cross-training or Whatever

Whatever suits your fancy – of course mine is Yoga – research the local health clubs and private Yoga and Pilates studios and treat yourself to an invigorating group fitness class. Albeit, the most expensive of your 5 workout options, but certainly a great way to meet people and experience the local teaching styles as well as learn from other popular teachers!

#5 – Rich Tola’s 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts

The most effective of your choices because my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts on the web are simple, easy-to-follow and effective. Plus there’s 100 Workouts to choose from, and you can combine them to equal as much time as you have to workout. And if you’re spending all your time at the beach or poolside, here’s Workout #84 – Lounge Chair Abs to get your started!

Enjoy – R

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Kick Him to the Curb

These five simple yet powerful words are meant to help ANY woman who’s being abused by a significant other and doesn’t believe she has the wherewith-all or courage to do something about it.

Case in point: A few months ago I had just returned to Hollywood when I met this really sweet thirty-something year-old gal who had been living with her lazy, no-good boyfriend for the past 5 years. And I say lazy, no-good because not only does this scumbag mentally and emotionally abuse my friend, but this disrespectful low-life doesn’t pay rent, doesn’t hold a steady job, doesn’t look for work, doesn’t cook or clean or help with chores around the apartment, doesn’t help pay for groceries, and doesn’t own a car but always uses hers. Now I would call that a blood-sucking disrespectful low-life, wouldn’t you? The good news is she doesn’t own anything with him nor do they have children together.

Yesterday I had coffee with her and specifically asked why she still supports this abusive scumbag considering she has ALL the power in the relationship, which by the way, has her looking like she’s suffering from Anorexia nervosa. She meekly said, “He’s not so bad, you know, and even if I wanted, I wouldn’t know how to get him out.” My advice was these five simple words – KICK HIM TO THE CURB. She just looked at me like I was crazy until I said, “It’s really simple if you have the courage to end it – and here are three ways you can do it: 1) tell your landlord you’re being abused by your live-in boyfriend and you need to move out, then pack up all your things when he’s not there and hire a few very large men to help you move everything into a storage unit and go live with your parents or your best friend; 2) on your way out the door tomorrow morning tell your boyfriend he’s got until 5pm to vacate the premises and never return again, at which point you’ll be returning with the police (or other suitable protection) and a restraining order against him; or 3) pack-up all his belongings when he’s not there and leave them on the porch with a note saying if he comes within 100 yards of you or your apartment ever again, you’ll have him arrested (and go directly to the authorities for that restraining order).

Anyone who’s familiar with my charity, The Boulevard Zen Foundation, knows that I’m passionate about changing the lives of women and children living in domestic violence shelters. And not just with a daily fitness program that’s based on Yoga, but with a self-respecting and open-hearted approach to life that starts with loving yourself and never letting anyone abuse you in any way, shape or form.

Know that ALL abusers are the weak ones, and know that ANYONE can find the courage to seek help from domestic violence organizations and shelters that are there for you.

Be strong and KICK HIM TO THE CURB – you can do it!

As for that scumbag boyfriend of yours – or anyone else abusing any man, woman or child – really look at yourself in the mirror and commit to changing your evil ways – you can do it! And you can start by reading my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, where a portion of all sales goes to support my charity and our Yoga teachers.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING Everyone! – R

PS – Don’t forget to get your workout in!

You Can Do It

This was the last thing I said to the twenty-something year old subway rider I met on the Red Line in North Hollywood last night. I was returning home from a day at the beach with my friend Sara (a rather impromptu visit, thus my jeans and Calvin’s) when this really large dude started speaking to me.

As soon as this guy sat down he looked over at me and said, “So what’a ya bench 350 pounds or something?” I smiled and said no, and then I asked if he ever tried yoga. I already knew the answer, but it was a way of breaking the ice about his size. He was at least 50 pounds overweight, and after a few facts about yoga I asked if he was trying to lose weight. “Yeah”, at least 50 pounds”, he said, “and I think I know what to eat and all that, like fruits and vegetables and no cakes and fried foods.” Cool, I thought, he’s on the right track. Then I asked if he had 20 minutes every morning to go for a brisk walk. “Walk right out your front door and keep going for exactly 10 minutes, then stop, turn around and walk back”, I said, “and there’s your mile of cardio to start every day.”

“But that’s not the problem”, he said. “I think I can’t lose weight because I drink a lot of beer every day.” Then I asked, “Like what…two six-packs a day?” He answered, “Yeah, that sounds about right”.

Now if you’ve read my sexy new memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, you know I also liked my beverages until I quit 5 years ago. Because 12 drinks a day is a lot of alcohol for any one of any size. And I told this guy so, then I gave him a suggestion. I recommended the following: Take ½ of everything you are going to eat or drink – every single time you eat or drink – for the next 30 days and give it to a homeless person. That’s right – wrap up half your food and half your booze, every day for the next 30 days, and give it to a homeless person. “You’ll be helping them and helping yourself”, I said, “and I bet soon into the 30 days you’ll be eating and drinking a lot less; and I guarantee you’ll lose weight.” Somewhere between 5-10 pounds I surmised, and for the New Year that’s only 3 months away, I told my large friend he should set his sights on 3 beers a day for all of 2013. He just looked at me in disbelief and said, “Wow, wouldn’t that be cool.” Yes it would, which I sincerely reinforced with my final four words of encouragement, “You Can Do It”.

Anyone can, if you STOP feeling sorry for yourself and BELIEVE you can! Get started today with a new attitude and a new look on whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. Especially the impossible.

And my special thanks go out to NY and NJ’s “Entertainment Bible since 1988” Steppin’ Out Magazine for featuring my poem on page 32 of their September 26th edition. A little something I wrote to help the ladies differentiate the good guys from the players called, “10 Ways to Avoid a Gigolo”.

Enjoy – Rich

5 Years Goes By Quick!

Exactly 5 years ago today I purchased a one-way ticket and boarded a plane to Hollywood. Of course, I had a “Five Year Plan”, which you’ll read all about in Chapter 3 of my soon-to-be-released memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood. But when does anything go according to plan, right? Nevertheless, it’s been an amazing 5 years and I’m really looking forward to the next leg of my journey! Because, no matter if you’re “on-track” to meet your pre-determined plan, life always throws you a curve ball. And just like a batter expecting the fastball but gets the curve – relax, stay focused, keep you eye on the ball, and go with the pitch. And always remember, wherever you go, go with all your heart.

Here’s my Top Ten highlights of the past 5 years:

1) Produced, directed and starred in my first feature film, Boulevard Zen
2) Created and produced a video encyclopedia of 100 yoga poses, Yoga Survival Guide
3) Created and produced a yoga/fitness video for 7 days a week, 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts
4) Created and produced 100 consecutive days of free yoga/fitness videos, 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts: 100 Workouts in 100 Days
5) Founded a charity teaching yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters, The Boulevard Zen Foundation
6) Launched the Fat Burn America Tour: 100 Cities in 100 Days (albeit, I didn’t procure the necessary funding)
7) Quit drinking and my “player” ways (OK, that’s 2 but they go together)
8) Lived in paradise (Hawaii) for 3 months
9) Wrote my first book, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood
10) Moved to the most lovable and unique city in the country: San Francisco

Oh, did I mention I worked out every day for the past 5 years. I guess that goes without saying, because anyone can commit to a daily fitness program, if you set your sights and try. So for those of you not currently trying to fight Father Time on a daily basis, here’s another 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout to get you started. Enjoy – R

Set your sights…and weigh in!

Set your sights on new goals and opportunities, and weigh in. That’s right, it’s New Year’s Day so get on the scale and check your body weight. Because your weight matters, and having a known starting point for the new year is important. And the next thing you should do is workout. That’s right: weigh in and workout. Because preserving your body starts with a daily fitness program. So set your sights for 2012, and know that exercising every single day helps push back the hands of time – and unnecessary pounds of time.

Today I weighed in at 151, then did 30 minutes of abs and yoga stretches, then 30 minutes of weight lifting (mostly machines). Afterward I drove the amazing 5 mile stretch from Hawaii Kai to the Makapuu Lighthouse, hugging the shoreline around the southeast corner of the Island as the waves crash into the rocks below. The certainly challenging but very do-able uphill run starting from the Kalanianaole Highway up to the Lighthouse, well, it ranks second only to my favorite – Runyon Canyon in Hollywood. Not that the 1.5 mile loop around the Reservoir in NY’s Central Park, or the beautiful West River Drive and the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps aren’t great runs too! But the breathtaking ocean views along the narrow blacktop road leading to the Lighthouse are incredible. Not to mention the energy you feel as you pass the lookout for the Humpback whale sanctuary. Totally awesome. And worth running or walking – at least once in a lifetime!

I never imagined I would be traveling this lovely Hawaiian path when I first set my sights on publishing my memoirs less than six months ago. So believe in yourself and believe that you can. Then get on the scale and get started with your daily fitness program. Wherever you are! And if you don’t know where to start, how about strengthening your core with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #81 – Plank Crunches. Happy New Year – R

The Perfect Climb – KoKo Head

KoKo Head Crater

You remember the 2000 dramatic diaster film, The Perfect Storm, about the crew of the Andrea Gail starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. Well, this may have nothing to do with the most challenging of seas, but for sure the 1,208 foot climb up KoKo Head Crater on the southeastern shore of Oahu is ‘The Perfect Climb’.

KoKo Head Looking Up

And for someone who once ran up and down Runyon Canyon in Hollywood (counter clockwise) in less than 15 minutes, the trek up KoKo Head trumps all. This was my first time and I must say, it’s quite a bear! On the way up I was following this twenty-something gal who said she does it four times a week. The wonder why she made it to the top without stopping.

KoKo Head Looking Down

Something I can honestly say I did not – I rested once about 100 yards from the peak. Of course I was pushing hard from the beginning, and with giant railroad ties as steps about three feet apart and three feet vertical, it’s quite the challenge just to keep moving forward. So if you come to Oahu and want to experience The Perfect Climb, check out KoKo Head and don’t forget to wear climbing shoes and bring your water bottle.

KoKo Head at the Peak

And if the climb up isn’t enough of a challenge, coming down is even harder. The good news is once you reach the crater’s peak, the view is incredible! Much like the view from the top of Diamond Head, there’s 360 degrees of beauty. So get inspired with a bird’s eye view from the top, and don’t forget to get your workout in! Enjoy – R

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

You know this old adage about beauty being subjective to each one of us, right? Well, that may be true for the rest of the world, but in Hawaii, beauty is everywhere to everyone! Today is my 10th day on the island of Oahu, and just like they say, it’s quite a paradise. Of course it takes time getting settled in a new place that I never visited and didn’t know a single soul who even lived here. But I’ve since met some really nice people and found a very pleasant place to live in the quaint neighborhood of Kaimuki – and a baseball’s throw away from Hawaii’s most recognized landmark, Diamond Head.

To add to my good fortune, I’m overlooking the Pacific Ocean as I write this blog. Two days ago I climbed Diamond Head State Monument and snapped this picture from the top of the 300,000 year-old saucer shaped crater overlooking Waikiki Beach and downtown Honolulu – and just after a rainfall, thus the beautiful rainbow. I came here to be inspired by this spiritual land as I prepare to publish my memoirs and to pursue life as an actor-filmmaker and yoga professional. So if you’re in need of a little inspiration today as you weather whatever climate you’re in, take notice of the Hawaiian beauty and don’t forget to get your daily workout in with some Lounge Chair Abs!

Enjoy – R