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Maintain Your Body - You Can't Just Replace the Engine

02/26/2014 12:22 EST | Updated 04/28/2014 05:59 EDT

Do you feel yourself getting sick?

This is a serious question. The last time you got ill, did you feel it happening. I don't mean 24 hours before it happened, I mean the moment the virus entered your body and took hold. Chances are no, unless you are a super hero or some sort of magician.

We do not feel breakdown until it's too late. The human body is sort of like a car that way.

Embarrassingly I have run out of gas in my life. If I didn't know the gas gauge was on E, and had you said a block before I ran out of gas I'd be dead at the side of the road, I'd never believe it. Same goes for a complete engine failure if you run out of oil. One mile you're golden, the next mile there is a total failure.

Our bodies are just like that. We ignore the problems, or don't feel them starting. One day we are golden then next we call an ambulance.

With cars, we do regular maintenance, fill up the tank with proper fuel, and some people even put high performance parts on their vehicles to make sure they run smooth. Not sure if you have picked this up, but I am a bit of a country kid, I follow @FordCanada and my local dealer @rivercity_ford. They post a series of service tweets that say if your car sounds like this, smells like this, or is doing this, here is a potential cause.

Every time I read one of those tweets it makes me think about my health.

What signs does my body give me that I ignore?

  • Can't fall asleep?
  • Sick more than most people?
  • Dark circles under the eye?
  • Low or no energy?
  • Headaches?
  • Joint pain?

The list goes on and on. So does the list of excuses for why people don't see the warning signs and actually make a change in their life.

Notice the warning signs, and do regular maintenance.

I do a seminar series for workplaces I call "The 4 Pillars of Health." It's simple, take care of your hydration, nutrition, sleep, and exercise and your body will take care of itself.

Leave things unchecked, and you wind up like my out-of-gas car: out of the game on the side of the road waiting for emergency services. It's the number one shame about heart attacks and heart disease. So many times, the incident was preventable. That heart attack began years before the incident. Had you asked the victim if they were sick, sometimes even the day before, they would have said no. It is time for more people to become survivors, and I suggest reading The Heart and Stroke Foundations report on health for that reason.

The mistake people make, and it is highlighted in a big way on New Year's Eve, is to join a gym thinking it will make them healthy. The gym is where you take a healthy body to get pretty. Where we are in the fitness and health world as a nation, we need a bit more than just a tune up.

Fitness is just one part of your health.

If your car is cared for and running well, you go to the dealership for a quick oil change. If your engine blows, you don't go for an oil change.

You are the same way. Just going to the gym isn't going to do much for most people. If you need an overhaul, it's a little bit more than just heading to the gym.

Build your health on these four pillars:

Hydration - Try drinking your first litre of water before 10 a.m. Get the second one done before 1 p.m., the third by 5 p.m., and the fourth by 8 p.m.

Nutrition - Eat three solid meals for sure. Add one simple snack to that and you will be a lot closer to health. Make each meal 400-500 calories and the snack half of that. It means measuring and being sure your portion size is accurate! That's going to ensure you stay around 1400-1800 calories.

Eat local, eat fresh, and cook your own food and stay away from boxes. I highly recommend a multi-vitamin to be absolutely positive you have the vitamins and minerals in your body to function. Make sure you take in 25-30 grams of fibre (7-8 grams at each meal). Avoid white sugar, and processed foods. Message me, and I can point you towards sites to get an idea of how to supplement and what foods to eat. The Internet is amazing when it comes to education and quality experts giving out info.

Sleep - You need to take this seriously and make time for it. Look to lower your stress, and ensure all the vitamins and minerals that make up the sleep cycle are in your body. That's right folks, your food and supplement choices ensure a deep recovering sleep. Zinc, copper, iron, and magnesium along with the B vitamin complex have all been linked to deep restful sleep. The reason I suggest a quality multi-vitamin daily is to ensure your body is always ready to rest and recover fully. Not sleeping? what is missing? Solve the problem, and start to feel better. Remember that a natural remedy is not a quick fix, you broke it over time, you will heal over time. Start caring for your body, and trust the process. If you do the right things, you will return towards health.

Exercise - Walking, yoga, swimming, hiking, and simply being out and about is the best for of exercise. I'll say it again, the gym is where a healthy, well fed, and well rested body goes to get pretty. You can not begin to exercise properly without the other three pillars in place. The gym and intense exercise is not a good idea for anyone not caring for their body properly in the first place. Coming from a personal trainer, saying "don't go to the gym" seems bad for business. I want results, I want to create a healthy Nation, One Fit City at a time. That means telling people to get healthy, then come to the gym to create that better body.

You don't feel sickness coming on, and you don't feel breakdown until it's usually too late. That means you need to be sure you are caring for your body. Start to do the small, simple things daily. Take it one step at a time, and do what works for you.

If you are looking for some simple starting points, feel free to connect with me, it's why I have social media. Share this article around with your friends and start creating a health team. Getting and staying healthy is not difficult, it takes balance and a focus on little changes.

Enjoy your life, and stay healthy! Watch these videos from my YouTube library and get inspired!

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