Five Ways to Livin’ Like Larry

Five Ways to Livin' Like Larry

Alina Truong and Raylene Factora

  Do you often find yourself looking in the mirror and wishing that you were as swole as Spongebob’s Larry the Lobster? No one is born with buns of steel, but it’s never too late to start training for them.

Step 1: Motivation Station

   If you’ve never had the determination to get up off of the couch and get moving, then the first stop would be motivation station.

 “I recommend to start by setting attainable goals.  Once a goal is reached set another goal, after reaching a few goals, a sense of accomplishment sets in and the drive to continue starts to overtake the mind.  At this point a person is well on their way to a happier and healthier lifestyle,” said Jeffrey Holen, West Ranch’s golf coach and one of the physical education teachers.

 Goals should be very specific, up to the exact date, time and reason you want to achieve them. Also include what actions you must carry out in order to achieve your aspirations. Broad and distant goals will deter you from your path because you won’t be able to gauge your progress and be inspired by the results of your hard work. Record your success to look back at how far you’ve come and how much more you can accomplish now. Other ways to motivate yourself are to find a buddy or reward yourself for staying on the right track.

  Examples of these specific health goals would be, instead of just “working out,” “I will go to the gym at least three times a week for the next month.  Each time, I will do at least 30 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill.” That way, your mind won’t try to skimp around on your goals and try to find a way around them. You’ll know exactly what you’re doing.

Step 2: Be Prepared

  Exercising, at first, can be daunting, but with your favorite songs, burning calories will just feel like a dance party. Listening to upbeat music drowns out muscle pain and exhaustion, increases athletic performance, and ups your effort and mood. On Spotify, there are workout playlists full of upbeat songs to pump you up. For running, there’s even a special section that plays songs at a beat that coincides with the pace you’re running at.

 Don’t be tempted to start working out without preparing yourself. Beware of pushing yourself too hard, because your muscles can be strained or pulled. Know your limits. Stretching is fundamental before and after working out.

 “Better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion and enabling your muscles to work most effectively. Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle,” said Mayo Clinic. Lunges, standing hamstring stretches, touching your toes, standing achilles stretches, and butterfly stretches can be beneficial to stretching out your legs. Tricep, bicep, and wrist stretches are essential to stretch out your arms. Cat stretch, tucking and rolling, and twisting can effectively stretch out your back and abs. Make sure to stretch the parts of the body you’ll be working on prior to your workout.

 Don’t ever leave the house without a full bottle of water. Severe dehydration can lead to fever, headaches, fainting, dizziness, and other serious side effects.


Step 3: Start with Cardio

 If working out at the gym isn’t your thing,  then there are several other alternatives to get your heart pumping. For a beginner venturing into the world of working out, walking or hiking outside in nature is a great exercise. You can walk up and down the sidewalks in residential areas, or walk trails at Richard Roux Park or Central Park. If you’re willing to drive further, Runyon Canyon, the Griffith Park trails, or Eaton Canyon have amazing scenery, complete with lush greenery, bubbling streams, caves, and even waterfalls. Once walking long distances is easy for you, you could start running, swimming laps, or doing other cardio, as well as starting strength training.

 “After eating healthy exercise is a must for staying fit.  I personally ride bicycle as my exercise, mountain bike or road bike.  I try to log and ride 100 miles a week,” said Holen.

 As well as keeping the muffin top away, cardio is important for improving heart health, increasing metabolism, lowering the risk of diabetes and other diseases, improved hormonal profile, and improved recovery rate. Doctors recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity in order to stay healthy. When you’re comfortable with doing cardio on a regular schedule, you can add in strength training at least two times a week. Some people prefer doing the bulk of their workout in the morning before they have to go to school or work; others enjoy the cool evening air accompanying them as they exercise later in the night, when everything on the to-do list has already been checked off.

Step 4: Add in Strength Training

 Strength training is not only vital for a toned body, but also increases the amount of calories you burn, fortifies bone health and muscle mass, wards off diseases, develops better body mechanics, boosts energy levels, and improves mood.

  To start off, you can just use the weight of your body for exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, dips, and situps. If you want to add on weight, invest in weights such as dumbbells or barbells, or consider getting a gym membership so you’ll have access to weights and machines.

 “Healthy to me is three fold: internally, externally mentally.  Internally [meaning] how are my internal organs functioning (heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas, etc.). To keep up to date on on my internal health I eat properly and have a yearly physical. If I am taking care of the internal and external, the mental follows and I am leading a healthy life,” said Holen.

Step 5: Enjoy your results

  Results won’t happen overnight, but through working out regularly and eating a healthy diet, you can achieve the goals you make. Exercise isn’t just for the slim and toned body — it’s key to living a long, healthy, and happy life. And one day, maybe, you’ll have buns of steel that even Larry the Lobster himself would envy.