I've finished my first book, and it is going to be published soon. That combined with my work doing wellness seminars I get to meet a lot of people who are a little confused about health, weight loss, and where to start.
I get it. In order to sell products we have to create demand. The fitness world creates demand with before and after photos. They attach miracle transformations with medical professional support(Dr. Oz I'm looking at you). We tell you that there is "no easy way" to do this, then show you someone who has lost 30lbs in 4 weeks, doing some cleanse, strange workout, or using some product. So the confusion that's out there gets caused by the experts.
I was born and raised in the country. You put seed in the ground, you water it, care for it, love it and in about 100 days you have a crop. You then work to harvest the crop, and you do it all again. No short cuts, no easy way around it. Seed, time, harvest.
When you see a cover model and you want that body. You have to know what they planted. It's not a 30 minute 3 times a week program. For at least 100 days they worked HARD. Covered all their bases to perfection. A diet that's healthy, but not fun. Workout routines that leave sweat on the treadmill, and failure in the muscles being worked.
Health is simple and can be broken down in to 4 pillars.
1) Hydration -- Make sure you are constantly drinking water. We live in a country that has clean water readily available. Don't put in flavourings with chemicals. You want pure things in your body so your body can function at it's absolute best. If your body can't process it, if it's not natural, stay away from it. Drink real water, from the tap. Don't worry about how much, just enjoy the fact that you can get it when ever you want. It boosts metabolism, stores nutrients, and lubricates joints. Trust me, you want a lot of it in your system. Just keep drinking and using the washroom. It's all good.
2) Nutrition -- Find ways to cook with herbs and spices, not sauces. Herbs and spices carry no calories and often times a ton of benefit. Check out the benefits of Cumin or cayenne pepper , and ginger root just to name a few. Last time I checked, most cream sauces don't reduce inflammation.
**** Every Doctor takes the Hippocratic Oath when they become a Doctor. Hippocrates was also famous for saying "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food". Proper usage of food will fuel you, and keep you healthy. Take a little extra time to eat real, local food. Learn to cook with herbs and spices. It will blow your mind, and your palate.
3) Sleep -- This is a key to your well being that so many forget. It's your time to recharge. Your sleep time needs to be cherished and prepared for. Finding time to wind down, relax and think before going to the bed room is critical. When you enter your bedroom be ready to sleep, unless... well... you know. If you are not a good sleeper, remove TV's, make sure the room is quiet, and above all don't go to bed stressed. If you are not going to sleep, get up, leave the room and try exercise to relieve stress. If that's not going to work, try meditation or learning to control your thoughts. Sleep requires a proper diet. Your body enters a recovery mode while it sleeps. That means it's in need of certain vitamins and minerals to ensure it goes through all the stages and cycles of sleep and resets the body for the next day. Focus on eating healthy, and see if it helps deepen your sleep. Remember, food is medicine.
4) Exercise -- this is simply moving instead of sitting when it comes to health and wellness. Walking for an hour will burn 200-300 calories depending on speed, hills etc. It will get the blood flowing, stress reducing, and the joints moving. Yoga, swimming, circuit training, you name it, you can try it and mix it in. When it comes to being healthy and more productive and full of energy, it's not going to the gym as much as it is just simply going out and being a person in motion. My favorite thing to tell people to do is play. Then it's not exercise, and it's not a problem to get it done. Keep in mind, we are working to be healthy and fit enough to make memories, avoid the hospital with preventable diseases and just enjoy a little bit lower stress levels.
Those 4 pillars will build the base for you to find health and well being. No miracle pills, and no short time frames. This is how you start a life of health. You just begin to make small changes with the big picture in mind.
Start to add healthy things to your life, get moving, and start removing slowly some of those bad habits. I like "No Pop Mondays". Once it gets easier, carry it over to Tuesday. Next thing you know, you only drink Dr. Pepper at BBQ's in the summer or at LAN parties(local area network... it's a video game thing...I love video games). I also love Dr. Pepper.
Once you start moving, and the small changes stick, review your goals. Take a few moments to after about 90 days and start to realize the energy increases, less joint pain, more freedom in ranges of motion, less headaches, whatever you notice. Then decide if you want to move to the next level. The positive benefits are greater every time you commit to being a little more active, and a little more aware of what and how much you eat.
Work with professionals, talk with friends, and just slowly start to move towards health. No rush, just get moving. Once you see it's not as confusing, or daunting as you thought, start to enjoy that new healthy body. Go out and start hiking and enjoying this amazing country we live in. That's the method to my One Fit City project, it's the back bone to my work place wellness initiatives, and it really is easy to do.
If you want a six pack, and to be a magazine model, we can do that to... but it's a lot of hard hard work, and a lot of deprivation when it comes to fun foods. You can't eat cake! who wants that life? You will see me diet down and do it from time to time, it's because my industry(and most folks who read these blogs) expect. They expect me not to eat pizza, or enjoy desert, or drink pop when I'm clearly trying to have a fun afternoon gaming. I believe in moderation, and I love to train hard. However, and I'm doing it now, sometimes I cut out everything and I eat what's known as "clean". The fat comes off, and I get to look like a cover model for a few days. My markers of health don't change, but I meet industry standards and people like my instragram photos. That makes me money so that I can preach the health gospel.
Trust me when I say, follow the list from above. Being healthy and going out and enjoying life is for more fun, then dieting and training just to look good. No one really cares about your six pack. Never once have I been asked to tell a story about my abs. I have been asked about my trip to Thailand with Contiki tours a million times. I had to hike mountains to see temples, and got to snorkel for hours in the most beautiful oceans. Those memories don't leave. Work for that, not for anything else. Get up, and get moving folks. The results are worth it.
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