Tag Archive | FITNESS

No more wasting valuable time! – or audio-reading..

Ever find yourself thinking – “if only I could make this train/bus/tram/…-ride a time that is spent a bit more beneficially for me…” or “I’m OK with cleaning up the kitchen and organising my stuff, but I feel it’s such a waste of my time, for it never stays clean and organised for more than several hours and has to be done again and again, and again…”

My solution to this problem is listening to books, news and interesting radio shows, while I’m on my way somewhere, cleaning up/organising at home or doing something that doesn’t require much thinking. Then the time is not wasted. 😉

Here are some audio resources I recommend:

Audible UK – my library includes the following titles:

  • The Real Purpose of Parenting
  • Bringing Up Bebe
  • Steve Jobs
  • The Law of Success
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • The Social Animal
  • Start with Why
  • Zen Habits
  • Zen to Done
  • Focus
  • The Power of Less
  • Blue Ocean Strategy
  • How to Stay Sane

The Economist

Freakonomics / on iTunes

Wired UK


Books I Recommend

Do It Tomorrow by Mark Forster: so far (after reading 1/3 of the book), I think this is the best book I’ve read about ‘time-management’… Read a review by The Simple Dollar. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com | Ozon.ru | Market.Yandex.ru

* Getting Things Done by David Allen: the book helps people create an effective system for managing their tasks and todos. I’m working with it now. Read a review by The Simple Dollar. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com | Market.Yandex: En / Ru

Focus by Leo Babauta: Leo helps us understand what distracts us and how we can overcome those distractions in order to focus on what’s important for us. Get it on Focusmanifesto.com (2 versions are available: free and premium – check it out!) 😉 – check out more books by Leo: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Read a review by The Simple Dollar. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

Drive by Daniel Pink. See the promo video. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

The Caucasus by Thomas de Waal: the book about the history of Caucasus. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman & Rod A. Beckstrom. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferris: there are lots of tips on how to lose, maintain or not to gain weight and how to be a ‘super human’. Tim’s approach to fitness is based on tons of experiments and makes a lot of sense. Some ‘common sense’ things are questioned and argued: for example, jogging for one hour is less effective for weight loss than other types of short exercises combined with a particular diet or just foods or cold showers… Generally there are a lot of approaches to fitness in the book – it might take several months to fully explore them as well as to meet one’s fitness needs. Get it on Amazon.co.uk: Book / eBook / Audiobook | Amazon.de | Amazon.com | Market.Yandex.ru

The Art of Systems Thinking by Joseph O’Connor & Ian McDermott: a good book that explains why sometimes something doesn’t go as planned or expected, although logically it should: more hard work should bring more positive results, for instance. But usually it’s not so, for the systems are everywhere, and their logic is  different. When we understand the logic of systems, we can correctly adjust our actions to get desired outcomes or better understand what to expect from our actions. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

* 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen R. Covey: this is a very good book. I think it is actually the only book that one has to read about family and parenting. It makes so much sense. 🙂 I think I’ll keep it as a reference forever. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson: backed by extensive research of how people get new ideas, the author spells out the following principles to encourage idea-generating environment: go for a walk, cultivate hunches, write everything down, keep folders messy, embrace serendipity, make generative mistakes, take on multiple hobbies, network, follow the links, let others build on your ideas, borrow, recycle, reinvent, build a tangled bank. Once you read this book, you won’t have any problems of coming up with ideas… You’ll need to work on execution though.. See the promo video. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* What’s Your Bright Idea by Paul Humphries & Tim Campbell: this is a guide for a first-time entrepreneur. The steps for starting a new business are all laid out. All one needs to do to succeed is to do all the stuff ‘prescribed’ here. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com: Kindle

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner: the authors explain very well how economic laws can be applied in real life. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

Superfreakonomics: Freakonomics 2. Get in on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* How to Eat, Move and be Healthy by Paul Chek: all you need to know about healthy lifestyle. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* Clutterfree by Leo Babauta & Courtney Carver: very helpful when you’d like to get rid of clutter not only physical but also electronic and mental – there are a lot of tips and ideas. Get it on Clutterfreecourse.com

* The New Book Of Yoga by Sivananda Yoga Centre: basics of yoga poses, recommended diet and breathing exercises. A good book for yoga beginners. Get it on Amazon.co.uk| Amazon.de | Amazon.com

Beyond Chocolate by Sophie & Aubrey Boss: a new approach to ‘dieting’. Get it on Amazon.co.uk |  Amazon.com

* Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray: read it together with your partner if you’d like to better understand the differences and the reasons behind the behaviour of men or women. There are some things that women and men do fundamentally different just because they are of different gender, so it’s good to be aware of them.. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* Make Every Man Want You by Marie Forleo: this is a great guide for a woman, it’s packed with tips and ideas on how to remain feminine and real at all times. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers: if you ever had some fear to do something or made excuses not to do something, reading this book might help you go for anything that you set out to go for. I wasn’t too fearful in the first place, but now I’m totally relaxed and not afraid to mess up cause I know that it’s better to try to do something and mess it up than to back off and miss an opportunity. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson: if you only want to read one book on self-improvement, read this one. The concepts presented here are easy to grasp, and it gives a lot of ideas about how to improve oneself. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: Kindle En | Amazon.com

* Treasure Yourself by Miranda Kerr: beauty and gratitude guide for girls and women. Miranda is very much influenced by Louise L. Hay and advocates the lifestyle of appreciation and self-healing. The book is very inspiring and encouraging. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

* The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. Ever dreamed of being a mobile entrepreneur? Then this book is for you. Lots of ideas of how to start and manage a mobile business, especially useful when you already know what you’d do when you have more time to relax and don’t have to spend that much time on earning money. Review by The Simple Dollar. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com | Market.Yandex: EnRu

* The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau: this is a very inspiring book. It makes one think of what one really wants from their life. And it encourages to go for it whatever others may think. Also it led me to rethink my personal values. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* Heal Your Body by Louise L. Hay: Louise believes that one can heal their body or some illness symptoms with the help of affirmations. This book is a list of symptoms and affirmations. Good to have one as an alternative to medicine, sometimes it helps. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

BOOK SHOPS – Simply Sophisticated

MY WISH LISTS (not only books) 🙂

Travel Fitness

How do you travel? Do you take a taxi to or from the airport? Or do you use public transport?

Are you positive or negative when you have to take a train (or any other public transport) and somehow manage your heavy suitcases on the way?

Well, isn’t it actually good news that it’s not allowed in airports anymore to check in the suitcases that weigh more than 23 kilos (otherwise one has to pay extra…)? It also means carrying them yourself on the way to the airport isn’t THAT hard (of course only if you yourself weigh at least 2.5 times more than your suitcases I figure). 🙂

I recently experienced what I’m talking about here on my trip to and from London. I had 2 suitcases with me: one big, one small…

Because public transport links are pretty good in both Zurich and London, I’d decided not to take a cab, and took a tram and then train to/from the airport in Zurich and a train in London. In fact on my last trip to Moscow I realised how bad the traffic is there – so from now on I’m gonna be taking the Aeroexpress to get to and from the city centre.

Anyway, the most positive thing that I’d like to share with you now is that my approach to travelling has changed recently (in the last several years that is). I used to go everywhere by car, and if we ever had to use public transport, especially when we had huge suitcases with us, it was so annoying, I couldn’t stand it, and the whole thing made me feel quite negative. However, now I’m actually very happy to carry all my suitcases myself (when their weight is reasonable of course – well that’s what it should be I guess) because I can use this ‘time on the road’ as a ‘fitness opportunity’ besides using it for catching up on to do’s or for reading.

I MOVE on my ‘travel day’: walk and stand a lot and train my arms – move quite a lot generally.

Because I started to look at travelling from this ‘fitness perspective’, I’ve become more positive about going through the ‘suitcase challenge’. 🙂

Now I even consider any work that requires physical strength a ‘fitness opportunity’ – even carrying some shopping home (like today’s IKEA shopping – required some strength I’d say…).

What’s more you won’t need to go to the gym that often – just reorganise the furniture (or books and boxes) in your home! 😉

Move your body!

Fitness First!

I wanted to write earlier, but as soon as I arrived to The Camp last Saturday (12th Sep), my writing, reading and thinking abilities abandoned me…

3 days ago I came back home, and just now I am coming back to a normal state of mind… =)))

So, what is The Camp?

This is a place especially for women who want to lose weight or tone up their bodies and start to lead healthy lifestyles in general. It is located in the south of Scotland.


My goal there was to challenge myself physically; it turned out to be very mental, and I was not ready for that at all. Thus the week turned into a week of misery and suffering for me: it was super hard.

We did all sorts of activities (some I had never thought of doing before). We did general physical training, jogging around and exercising, hiking, cycling, boxing, exercises with fit balls and kettle bells, learnt about survival and fighting techniques as well as about nutrition and balanced diet. Maybe even something else… I can’t remember everything now: we were kept busy all the time.

In addition to lots of physical activities we ate very little (to have less energy put in than we put out). The portions were tiny, 3 times as tiny as most of us normally eat… =)

But between meals we had small snacks to keep the sugar levels in our bodies even and not to feel super hungry.

I never felt hungry. But in the last 3 days I had no more energy in my body to be active, so I moaned and complained to everyone about how bad I found everything that was happening to me there.

Plus I was foolish enough not to go through the kit list before going to The Camp and did not have special boots for walking in the hills. I wore just normal training shoes and got my feet absolutely wet on Sunday and Friday, what made me very sad… And it felt disgusting!

I was so glad to get away from there on Saturday, 19th September!

The first thing I did when I came home was eating myself full until I just could not fit anymore food in… It was so stupid… and painful. ))

In general, I’m glad I went there. I learnt lots of exercises that I can do at home to keep fit as well as started cycling in the park with Paul.

Now I jog 3 times a week (+do exercises), do yoga almost every day and cycle at least once a week.

I am planning to change this routine in the middle/end of October on something else (dancing for example), for I want to do other things too and give my body variety of challenges.

How do YOU keep fit?

Which activities do you do and what do you really enjoy? =)

Be Healthy, Fit and Happy! =)