13 Feb Better Than Before ~ Let’s Get Physical
Let’s Get Physical
The headline in one of the New York newspapers the other day announced that America is going wide. And, no, they weren’t referring to Eli Manning’s passes down the sidelines. Apparently, despite all of the baby Boomers’ emphasis on fitness, according to the Gallup Poll’s most recent Health and Healthcare survey, on average, men’s ideal weight is up 14 pounds since it was first measured in 1990 and their actual weight has risen 16 pounds. We women have fared even worse over the same time span; our ideal weight is up 11 pounds, but our actual weight sup 14. So the bottom line (literally!) is that Americans appear to be slowly shifting to a higher weight. And mirroring this increase, they have adjusted their expectations. That makes it the highest figure (literally!) on record. That said, I am not one to advocate going on a ‘diet.’ A sound food plan is essential, of course. But eating right should be a way of life, not the dreaded D Word that starts on a Monday and dies a quick death at the first taste of Moon Pie. However, even if you live on lettuce leaves, if you don’t add exercise to your everyday agenda, you are not going to lose long-term. Period! And per my Better Than Before philosophy, I want our readers to think ‘healthy’ not ‘thin.’
We all know that the beginning of the New Year is always the time we make fitness resolutions. But how often does the one that starts, “and I promise to join a gym…” seem to be forgotten faster than old acquaintances? That means about one minute past midnight on January 1st. I’m not referring to those who whoosh down the slopes of Verbier or summit the North Face of Himalayan peak, such as myself. (Ha!) It’s actually the well-meaning ones who may want to work out, but can’t even manage to fit a short walk into their daily schedules. For advice on how to best begin, I turned to renowned Fitness Expert and Medical Exercise Specialist Christine King, also known as ‘South Florida’s First Lady of Fitness.’ (Christine was a terrific guest recently on my radio program, the Jane Wilkens Michael Show on CBS Radio, The Sky.) “Many go into their exercise program doing too much too fast,” she says. “This is a mistake as it leads to injury, over-soreness and fatigue. Keep in mind that your body didn’t end up this way overnight and the cure doesn’t happen overnight, either!” So Christine suggests that we take our time and enjoy the changes we will inevitably see and feel in just a short while after we first make a commitment. “If you stick to a moderate program,” she contends, “the positive results will motivate you to stay with it.” Christine has also found that it takes more than just a vision to achieve your goals. “You must have a concrete plan, preferably written, and then it must be implemented into your daily schedule. Please remember that you’re making promises to yourself, no one else. You are the one who needs to look in the mirror each morning and either feel great about your accomplishments or disappointed for not following through.”
To show you how easy it is to incorporate this plan into our everyday lives, just as she did on my radio show, Christine took the twelve rungs-or lifestyle disciples-of our Better Than Before quality of life ladder and applied each of them to fitness.
1. Doctor’s orders: Always speak to your doctor prior to beginning any exercise program. He or she may have specific guidelines depending on your existing health conditions.
2. Emotional Health: Beginning an exercise program or enhancing an existing one will markedly improve your emotional health. Physical activity increases your level of endorphins, which resemble opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and feeling of well-being. Plus it gives your self-confidence a boost because you’ve kept the promise to maintain your exercise program.
3. Nutrition: In order for you to feel good and have the energy to make it through your day and exercise program, your body needs fuel. That means proper nutrition. Nutrition is a very simple process that too many people make extremely complicated. Here it is in a nutshell: Eat small meals each day which include a lean protein and healthy carb. Done!
4. Fitness: Slow and steady wins the race. If you’re not currently active begin by walking out your front door-and then five minutes later, walk home. That’s it for one week. Then slowly add minutes week by week. Before long you’ll be walking a mile and then another. Please though, its important to begin so slowly that you feel you’re not doing well enough to make a difference. But I’m here to tell you that if you follow this formula, you’re increasing the quality of your life by miles and miles!
5. Beauty: Being healthy and fit naturally shrouds you with a beautiful glow. It increases blood flow which improves your color and also gives you the undeniable internal beauty that is immeasurable. You’ll feel vibrant, beautiful and sexy.
6. Natural Remedies: Exercise is the only true fountain of youth. It is the natural cure and prevention of most diseases and ailments. People who exercise are healthier, happier, have elevated immune systems, and recover from ailments faster.
7. Support: There is no better success in fitness than support from a buddy. Grab a friend and be accountable to each other to hit the gym on your scheduled days. Your success will improve tenfold!
8. Spirituality: Many modalities of fitness include the element of spirituality. Yoga, Pilates, Martial Arts, and infusing the art of mediation and breathing complete the circle in any element of movement.
9. Creativity: Mix it up! Don’t do the same routine every day. Try different fitness modalities to encourage muscle confusion. Creativity is also helpful if you don’t have time for the gym. Stand and sit from your chair as many times as you can in 30 seconds. Use your head set and pace the office while on the phone. Make a game out of it and walk up and down a set of stairs as many times as you can on your lunch break. The key is to not get bored and make do with the resources available.
10. Healthy Home: A healthy home benefits your entire family. Your efforts to be healthy and fit will influence their choices, as well. They will follow suit when they not only see you are committed, but are benefiting from all you hard work!
11. Reward: the rewards of being fit are limitless. You look and feel better, you’re happier, have more energy, fit into your clothes, have better sex, and more! Reward can also be viewed as a present to give yourself for staying the course. This is anything from the handbag you’ve wanted to a relaxing massage, quiet meditation, or any other gift you have truly earned.
12. Giving Back: Taking care of yourself allows you to give back to your family in more ways than one. If a family member really needs you, how can you expect to help if you’re not well yourself? You give back by taking care of you so you can be there for others. You also become a role model as everyone notices the transformation while you journey through the rungs and it will inspire them to join you and your climb.
Don’t worry; you won’t fall off this ladder. Its just a great visualization tool to enable you to see yourself climbing out of your fitness rut to a life that’s Better Than Before.