Five Minute Zen

From pissed to blissed in no time flat

Welcome to Five Minute Zen. The mission is simple – to assist busy beings who may be preoccupied or overwhelmed while on their journey to balance, bliss and a healthy meal now and again. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress, alleviate sorrow, find balance or improve the quality of your life through self care, we’re here to assist. Come on in, relax and find tips, tricks, recipes and so much more.

Go from Couch Potato to Feeling Healthy and Centered!

By: Darlene Victoria Gonzalez

Over the past 6 months I have felt the happiest, healthiest and most centered I’ve felt in years. The secret to finding my inner health conscious Zen is really no secret at all. In fact, doctors and health advocates have been recommending it for centuries.  My secret:  exercise.  Stop groaning! I know, when exercise is not a habit, it tends to bring out the worst in people. It makes us humans act like excuse-stricken lemmings. We repeat the same age-old excuses: “I don’t have time.” “I have an injured knee.” or; “I just don’t like exercise.”

Well, I decided to approach exercise differently and to look at it as a way to complete a very specific goal. My exercise of choice was running. My goal: training to run a 5K race.

As soon as I started training, I signed up for my first 5K. It kept me on track, centered, and motivated me to keep pushing forward. I completed my first 5K in June. Then a funny thing happened, I wanted to do another one. Not satisfied with my time, I set out to conquer a new goal. This time I wanted to complete a 5K, faster. And, so began my healthy obsession with running.

Any time you set out to create a new habit, something that isn’t part of your usual routine, it’s a natural and normal reaction to resist the change. I did, at first. In fact, I was somewhat of a couch potato before I started running.

Here are some tips that helped me get off of my behind and move!

Make it fun!  Choose something that will keep you interested. In fact, you can even mix-up workouts. There aren’t any rules when it comes to choosing your routine.

Start slow. When I began, I trained using an app called Couch to 5K. I started running just 10 minutes, three times a week. There is no reason to go full throttle when you first start out. In fact, you run the risk of burning out or worse, getting injured.

3.     Set a goal. Train to complete a race or set a “pamper me” type goal. Like, “After I complete 1 month of cardio kickboxing, twice a week; I get to treat myself to a day at the spa.”

Buddy up! Some days you may need an extra push to get going. My buddy is my husband. We began running together. When I don’t feel like running and I see him on the treadmill, it motivates me to want to do the same.

If you follow these tips and stick with it, you will soon be leading a happier, healthier and more centered life too.

I’d like to leave you with this final piece of motivation. It’s a phrase I spotted on a runner’s t-shirt during a morning run. Repeating this mantra has pulled me through some tough running workouts:

 “The first rule to success is the determination to succeed.”


Rock Star Zen Master Darlene Victoria Gonzalez:  


Darlene Victoria Gonzalez is fascinated by all things Internet. Her stamp can be found in many places across the web; as a podcaster, entrepreneur, writer, and even eCommerce support specialist.  When it's time to unplug, she loves to get outdoors to walk, run or garden. That exercise comes in handy since she's also an ultimate foodie! Learn more about Darlene at