Friday, August 27, 2010
For those who can be outside, let's say, “Enough !” to being cooped up. Training inside all winter is a blessing, well and good, and kudos to you that you stayed focused enough to maintain your program during the "cave time” months. If, however, you found yourself falling off or completely abandoning your fitness needs, there is no time like right now to ignite a new flame. First, it is good to know that there are several components to a well-balanced fitness program. There is the cardiovascular piece, the muscular strength and endurance pieces, the flexibility part(an often neglected step child of fitness) and the coordination component that usually happens gradually over time, simply by doing exercise. Most people seem to focus on either their aerobic exercise, which complements the cardiovascular system of the body, or they focus on resistance training. This, depending on the techniques used, either trains the skeletal muscles for strength OR endurance, but rarely both. In any case, there are very few people who are working a truly balanced program. You can probably guess where I'm going with this by now. If not, I am going to suggest that you shift your focus to bring more balance to your body and to round out your overall health a bit more.
For instance, if you are a runner I would challenge you to weight train one day a week and to add 10 minutes of stretching after every run. Or possibly run a ropes course a day or two a week where you run from station to station stopping every 1/8-1/4 mile to do calisthenics. If your are into building large muscles I would ask you to add an aerobic activity at least 3 days per week, as well as 10 minutes of stretching at the end of each workout. If swimming is your thing, supplement a couple days of swimming with weight training workouts or cut a swim day and do an aerobic activity outside one day each week. There are endless ways to create fresh and innovative fitness programs and the body is so wise and so capable of adapting, we must change things up regularly, to keep it progressing and to keep our mental interest.
If you are thinking about starting a fitness program for the first time or wishing to begin again after an extended layoff, please do progress slowly and, by all means, get some professional advice. Injuries are always on the rise this time of year for several reasons, but the most common one is going out too hard, too fast. Our bodies are amazing, but as we age it does take us a bit more time to get it back into shape. The tendons and ligaments do not thicken nearly as quickly as the muscles gain strength. For this reason pulls, strains and sprains occur almost exclusively near the head of the muscles and/or, at the joint. This is easily avoided when you have professional guidance and the knowledge necessary for proper progression. Sit down with a Trainer and you will glean many sound guidelines by which to proceed, particularly if you are just getting started and are 50 years old or older...I highly recommend this for your own safety. Regardless of your age or fitness level, it is a bright, new season and a wonderful opportunity to give your program a shot in the arm, not to mention providing your body with some new and exciting challenges. Enjoy yourself and have as much fun as you can. Happy mind, body and spirit fitness to all.
Friday, August 20, 2010
We came forth with clarity and security and were completely fearless knowing that we are powerful, genius creators. We knew at birth that we were completely held, loved and supported beyond measure. Over the next 0-5 years 75-99% of that awareness was overridden by the beliefs, fears and judgments of those wonderful people who did their very best to raise, protect and prepare us for the world. As clean slates eager to please, we learned their ways and absorbed their beliefs and in the process we transformed ourselves into whatever version they would lovingly accept. Life unfolded and we suffered many bangs and bruises along our path and finally somewhere into our adulthood we found ourselves asking some difficult questions. “When will I find happiness?” “Why is it always so hard and such a struggle for me?” “Is there something wrong with me that I constantly attract pain and suffering into my life?” “Is this really all life is about?” “Why am I driven by fear all the time?” These and many other questions began to arise in us and having those questions is perfect and right.
Most of us manage to lose our way on our path. Some of us lose our way briefly, and some of us simply stay lost--and that is perfect too. However, many of us are experiencing a re-awakening at this time, either consciously or unconsciously, to our true nature. That nature is one who loves always, trusts in the energy that has created worlds and continuously moves into acceptance on all subjects. This awareness knows that ‘what is’ already ‘is’ so there is no point in screaming NO at it or railing against it. All that does is position us into a resistant stance against ‘what is’ thereby blocking our emotions and senses. Those gifts are designed to guide us into solutions as opposed to wallowing around in the problem. As we choose to view the world, our fellow humans, and all creatures with the eyes of love and appreciation, we bring into every situation compassion and understanding. These are the elements that heal, rebuild broken lives and transform pain into peace. We are the saviors we have been seeking. We are the peacemakers we have been hoping to find. It must be, and is, our individual work that will, one person at a time, one community at a time, one nation at a time, heal that which is sick. I believe we are remembering that there is no separation...we are all one. Literally, we are all one in the tremendous body of Creator.
As we each return back to our true selves and gently choose to BE that true self in all our speech, thoughts and actions, our days become filled with small and large miracles. Moments of joy abound and the urge to reach out and serve others suddenly IS the natural thing to do. When you remember that you are everyone you see and they are you, it is love and kindness that will prevail. After all, we all desire to be treated that way, so give it away and watch it return to you tenfold...it surely will. Happy mind, body and spirit fitness to all.
Friday, August 13, 2010
The answer is to simply stop buying ANYTHING that is processed, boxed, wrapped in a plastic sealed container and especially avoid anything that contains ingredients that you don’t recognize. Vow to eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you possibly can. Choose protein sources that are certified organic, or as close to organic as possible. Eat simply, and steam, saute, broil, or bake to prepare. The slow cooker is a God-send. Also, do your very best to avoid fast foods because they, too, tout healthy, wholesome ingredients. But who do they think they are fooling? They must buy the lowest grade of everything in order to provide it to you at such an incredibly low price. It is just barely food by many standards, it really is the brags. Please honor your body and the bodies of your family enough to decide once and for all that what you ingest matters!
We are well-educated, intelligent people and it is high time that we take responsibility for our well-being including the foods we choose to eat. If we are to increase our health levels and reduce our obesity levels in this country, we must be willing to do our small but significant part. We are all free will beings blessed to live in a country that offers us choice. Americans are among some of the most fortunate people on the planet and yet we allow excuses like, “I don’t have time to cook a healthy meal and my kids won’t eat anything but junk foods” as bogus reasons to allow our own and our children's health to diminish. Change does not happen overnight. But by taking small steps consistently, we can, over time, change. We can break old habits and shed the conditioning of the past. Start by buying two fresh vegetables, some brown rice and sweet potatoes, and some all natural or if possible, organic chicken and beef. By adding two freshly cooked meals a week to your family's diet, you have already improved your own and their chances for better health by almost 25%. That is an excellent start, and before long you will have managed to work out making 4 fresh meals a week, which will improve all of your percentages by over 50%. This nationwide health crisis is solvable and we can regain our well-being as a family first, then as a community, and finally as a nation...one family at a time. Begin slow and gradually to buy more fresh and less and less processed food, implement a few more healthy meals each month and before you know it you and your family will be slimming down, feeling great, growing stronger and staying healthy. Happy mind, body and spirit fitness to all.