The No Pain No Gain Myth

no pain no gain

“No pain, no gain!”,  “Train insane or remain the same!”, ” Unless you puke, faint, or die, keep going”, “Pain is weakness leaving the body”, “If it’s not hurting it’s not working”, and one of my “favorites”, “Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.”

Sweet mother of heaven.  Stop. It.

I won’t go on with these anymore, but let’s just say these types of quotes abound. And it’s not just that they are quotes, but also ways that many in the health/fitness world live by.

If you aren’t in pain, then you aren’t working hard enough, doing enough. This thought translates to telling you that you aren’t really getting anywhere.

First though, I’m not talking about working hard because I know what that’s like and I know how to push myself. I love a good challenge and don’t mind waking up the next day and knowing I worked hard.  I know when to push and when to back off, especially if it’s pushing to hard that could potentially cause injury whether it’s on the road running or lifting weight that might be out of my zone.  I do myself no favors working in a place my body isn’t used to. I get no extra points and I’m certainly not going to do it for bragging rights and what does it prove to myself, or anyone for that matter, if I derail my workouts because it hurts to move my body?

We have limits. We all do.

And yes, I understand I need to constantly be moving out of my comfort zone and I think anyone should have that mentality if they want to continue to get stronger, faster, and improve their athletic performance.

You just won’t make progress if you can’t get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

However, It’s important to know where you are and how much you can press into that, and then back off when you need to allowing your body time to adapt and adjust to the new demands you put on it.

The danger of the mentality of working out till you’re fainting or in pain or having other physical issues is that you can cause more damage than “gains”.

Do you really want to push yourself to a point that you are injured and then get sidelined and can’t do anything? Do you really think being in real pain and continuing a work out is a smart move?  Do you want to do so much you can hardly walk the next day?

I think not.

Let me be clear here. There is great value in working hard, getting our heart rate up and letting the sweat roll and the general population should be doing it regularly.

Here’s the deal. You don’t have to do a killer workout every time you are out there.

Athletes don’t do it, so why are trainers preaching this gospel to the average person wanting to get fit ?

It can be a dangerous game to play . I mean, no pain means no improvement to us, right? Isn’t that what all those little fitspo quotes mean ?

Nonsense. Consistency and regular movement will yield results.

The important thing is to find balance that works for your body, mind, and lifestyle.

So if the idea of pain and suffering for gain is not where it’s at, what should you do?

Learn to turn it up

Know where you are, know your limits, and be willing to turn it up from there. Don’t be afraid of working hard and pushing outside your comfort zone.

Understand that working outside your comfort zone doesn’t mean suffering through pain that hurts you.

If you’re in real pain, for goodness sake, stop! If you’re in pain and hurting the only “gain” you risk is getting sidelined from an injury.

There’s no heroics in that.

Work hard, but know your goals

Obviously, we are all on different health and fitness paths. The most important thing is to know what you want.  Where are you going? Is it for health that you are working out? To walk a strong mile and not feel like you’re dying? To be able to run some? To improve your daily life? Keep up with your kids?

Do you want more?  Are you wanting to train for an event like a half marathon or a Crossfit competition?  Then your goals will look different.

Perhaps you are wanting to do something related to fitness competitions. Again, a new set of goals to get to your destination.

No matter what your reasons or goals, there should never be the mentality that it’s not a good workout if you aren’t fainting, in pain, and hurting all over.

There’s a fine line of a body that has worked hard, and one that has been pushed beyond what is it capable of at that point in time.

Work hard, but work smart.

So how should you train?

You know yourself better than anyone. If you’re just getting off the sofa and starting to move, you need to be sensitive to the fact your body is going to protest! Go easy and be moderate in what you do. Allow time to adapt to your new plan. It can take a couple weeks to ease into a new program.

If you’re already in some type of activity or training for something, don’t be afraid to keep pushing out of your comfort zone. Just listen to your body.

Pain, or any feelings of not feeling well, should be respected.

Rest days are when gains are really made

I will admit, I’m at the top of the charts at chomping over rest days. If you don’t know what that means, it’s usually a scheduled day/days off to allow the body to recover from it’s activities.

Exercise is such a habit for me now, that taking a rest day can make me feel like I forgot to brush my teeth.

I have however, learned more about the importance of taking some and know that rest days don’t mean “lazy” ( do nothing and eat pizza days)  but more of an active recovery time.

I may do short walks, or focus on stretching and foam rolling my muscles.

During those rest/recovery times our muscles rebuild and that’s when they grow and get stronger. These days allow us to hopefully, head back to what we love, stronger and feeling more energized for what we do.

You get no extra points for skipping rest days. In fact you do your body a disservice by not allowing it that time.  Rest days allow your muscles, bones, nerves, and connective tissues time to heal and rebuild.

Rest days can also help prevent burn out, mentally and physically.

Schedule rest days as a part of your workout regime.

I know this doesn’t fit into the ” no pain no gain” ideal, but you’re not participating in that anyway, are you ?

Keeping it healthy

If you want to enjoy whatever your fitness path may be, then you will learn to:

~ work hard, but listen to your body. Pace yourself.

~ push out of your comfort zone but stop if you have pain that is hurtful. Discomfort is different from pain.

~ set realistic goals for yourself and know and understand the limits of where you currently are.

~ schedule planned rest days to allow your body ( and mind) some rest and recovery time.

By having a smart mentality you will be able to do what you love, hopefully without pain or injury, and get stronger in the process.

Tell me. Have you ever been a part of the no pain, no gain club? How did that work for you? Do you have any healthy training tips to offer ?

 

 

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Aging And The Fountain Of Youth

Botox. Creams. Anti-aging serums. Plastic surgery. Lotions and creams that promise to restore youth or keep you young looking are all over the market and you don’t have to look further than magazines or the tv to find numerous products being offered to help you look younger.

The question that begs to be asked is this…. “is there such a thing as the fountain of youth?”

Is there some secret, magical potion that will keep us looking young and vibrant ? Is it to be found in bottles or jars? Is that secret lurking in our medicine cabinet for us to discover?

The skin care industry is a booming business and lots of it comes from products promising a youthful appearance.

But… what if it isn’t found in a  jar? What if it’s something that’s free and you always have it available to you? Would you want to use it?

My childhood friend accuses me of voodoo or some kind of witchcraft telling me I’m not aging and in fact appear to have gotten younger. She proclaims to not love me for that but I think she’s lying 😉

Where that is a flattering compliment, the reality is, of course I’m aging like anyone else. However, it’s what I do and how I live that might be actually slowing that progression down.

So what is this secret formula? How do you get your hands on it ?

It’s already in you waiting to be used, every single day, and it’s exercise.

grow old

Now wait! Don’t check out on me here. Not yet since I’m fixing to share some scientific(y) stuff with you about exercise, our bodies, and the whole aging process. I’ll try to keep it basic and to the point but of course I’d encourage you to do your own research if you want to learn more.

Exercise cannot change our chronological age as that is set in stone. We were born on a certain day and year, our “age” hinges on that. It’s immovable.

Our biological age boys and girls, is a whole new game, and exercise fights against aging by protecting cells from the ticking clock.

Our biological age, can be changed.

Say what ?

Exercise can fight against a cellular level and staying healthy means you can keep your cells young.

Keeping cells young allows tissues to function properly.

Exercise boosts muscle levels of a compound  called NRF1 which impacts telomeres at the ends of each of our chromosomes.

Yikes! What is NRF1 and how does that work for me?

As simple as possible, it stimulates the production of proteins that are needed for cellular energy production and proteins involved in the making of new healthy mitochondria.  If you don’t remember from biology class ( cause I didn’t ) mitochondria are the powerhouse of our cells and are responsible for creating more that 90% of energy needed by the body to sustain life and support organ function.  Their function typically declines with age but with vigorous exercise mitochondria function improves ( and you can grow a lot more)

Exercise boosts muscle levels of the compound called NRF1 which impacts our telomeres at the ends of each of our chromosomes.

Hang on with me here ok?

Maybe you forgot what telomeres are. They are basically like little biological clocks on the ends of our DNA.  When in good shape, our DNA (cells) stay young. When they get damaged the cells get old. Telomeres are protective caps at the end of our chromosomes that keep them stable- think like plastic at the end of shoe laces. Every time a cell divides telomeres get shorter. Eventually they become to small to protect chromosomes and cells get old and die resulting in aging .

Unfortunately, telomeres get eroded with time.

Pay attention now boys and girls…….

the speed of erosion is not fully fixed which explains why you can impact biological age! This is where producing NRF1 is helpful. when activated by exercise it can produce protective molecules for telomeres, like varnish on nails. This all works on an anti-aging level, biologically.

Not all exercise is created equal for these benefits…

where as all types of exercise is good for our bodies, relieves stress, keeps our health balanced and leads to overall fitness, the type of exercise to reap the biggest anti-aging results is HIIT or cardio exercises done for at least 30 minutes or more 5 times a week.

Strength training is good for building muscle and overall body strength but it won’t have the same benefits for cell renewal as cardio or high intensity exercises.

In a study done by Newsweek in May 2017, it found of 5,000 adults in a research study that those who exercise regularly are younger on a cellular level than their sedentary or moderately active counterparts.  The study also compared telomere length with levels of physical activity. The study showed significant differences between those who did vigorous exercise and those who did not. The adults who did strong, vigorous exercise were biologically 9-10 years younger. ( for the study a high physical level was considered to be 30-40 minutes of running at least 5 days a week)

Why exercise appears to preserve telomere length is not known but it could be linked with inflammation and oxidative stress over time.

To see a real difference in slowing your biological age it appears a little exercise won’t do the trick, you have to work out regularly and at high levels.

Of course other benefits that come with strong level of exercise is reduced inflammation in the body that comes with aging, which can also help decrease your risk of developing related diseases and conditions like heart disease, depression, muscle loss and decreased memory.

Skin deep…..

Why do some of the fittest 60-plus women look younger than their age? The answer lies in the question. A recent study from McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, found that women over 65 who worked out for a minimum of two hours a week for three months had the skin composition of women 20 to 30 years younger. It seems that sweating it out at the gym leads to pumping myokines, a group of proteins secreted by muscle cells and diffused throughout the body. (Best Health Magazine)

and it’s true…some of the fitness women I know don’t look their age.  ( I’m not leaving the guys out… vigorous exercise can yield similar health benefits).

The Game Plan….

Don’t worry about fancy creams, instead, get on a consistent, regimented exercise plan and stick to it.

Don’t look for instant results but keep in mind all of the great health benefits your body will reap by being active and sweating a lot.

Don’t forget other factors that can help keep your age a secret too. Make sure you’re nutrition is focused on whole, healthy foods, skip the smoking and drinking, watch your sugar/processed food intake, hydrate well with plenty of water, get adequate rest, protect your skin, laugh a lot  and get your exercise in at least 5-6 days a week.

And then… hey…go ahead and share your age… no one will believe you 😉

Has exercise helped you maintain more than just being fit? Have you noticed results in your health and appearance  from consistent exercise?

Hydration And Health

Water. Juice. Coffee. Milk. Sports Drinks.

Liquid… endless things that can offer hydration to our bodies but by far water is the best thing to keep them well hydrated.

Although, I’m pretty sure  black iced coffee is a good second 😉

Summer is heavy upon us here in the states and with that comes not only work to be done outside but also for many of us, the outdoors is our “gym” and with hard workouts come high sweat rates.

Of course we also lose fluids through elimination, natural sweating, and even certain foods or drinks can draw precious fluids from us.

Therefore you should make it a daily, intentional act to constantly hydrate and replenish fluid losses.

Water is of course, the best source for rehydrating, yet I’m shocked at how many people don’t drink it or have minimal consumption of it in their day.

Consider this:

the human body is made up of a high percentage of water.  Babies and children have the highest amounts, the average adult is 50-65%. Body composition varies according to gender and fitness level because fatty tissue contains less water than lean tissue. The average adult male is about 60% water. The average adult woman is about 55% water because women naturally have more fatty tissue than men. Overweight men and women have less water, as a percent than their leaner counterparts.

The percent of water depends on your hydration level. People feel thirsty when they have already lost around 2-3% of their body’s water! Mental performance and physical coordination start to become impaired before thirst kicks in, typically around 1% dehydration.

Since your brain is about 85% water, even mild dehydration can bring on changes in your mood and a decline in your concentration and alertness.

You know days you can feel tired or foggy? Have a headache? You could need a good dose of water and suffering from mild dehydration.

Want to know a really gross kind of way to know how hydrated you are? The color of your urine. If it’s light/clear or pale lemonade colored, you are well hydrated. Any darker, you need to get some fluids.

Again, waiting till you feel thirsty means you are already in some type of dehydrated mode. Avoid that by making fluid intake an intentional, purposeful part of your day.

How much water DO you need in a day?

New recommendations are the “8 by 8” rule.  Drink 8 ounces of fluid, 8 times a day.  Of course there are many variables to that. Where you live, how healthy you are, and how active you are all play into how much fluid you need so it comes down to a more personalized level.

I carry water with me all the time. It ensures I’m constantly drinking on it. Make it a part of your daily life and it will soon become routine for you and you’ll see it’s not so hard to get your water in 🙂

Let’s address hydration on an athletic level.

Loss of fluid volume can greatly affect your athletic performance. I’ve learned the hard way when I haven’t taken enough fluid in before, during, or after.

It’s key to understand your “sweat rate” so you can get adequate fluid back in you as soon as possible.

There are all sorts of formulas but the best one is fairly simple.

Weigh in before a workout, no clothes is best. Weigh in after you’re done in the same manner.

Know how much fluid you take in during your workout, let’s hypothetically say,  I took in 32 oz.  ( this would be 2 lbs.)

My sweat losses on heavy workouts can be anywhere from 2-3lbs.  I’ll just use 2 lbs for easy math.

My total fluid loss would be around 4 lbs.

The goal then is to begin to replace those losses as quickly as possible and no, I don’t count it as “weight loss”.  I would multiple 4 lbs. lost x 16oz (1 lb liquid) meaning I would need to work at replacing that fluid (64 oz) before I continued drinking for ongoing hydration.

This would also involve learning to drink if I might not necessarily “feel” like it to replace those losses. And thirst is not a reliable indicator of dehydration. If you wait to drink until you are thirsty and stop drinking when your thirst is satisfied, you’ll remain 25% to 50% dehydrated.

Using a balanced sports drink to replace electrolytes and other vital minerals lost is a good way to begin rehydrating properly.

I recently came across one that I like, and my tummy likes too. I’ve been using it on my long cycling session and after I finish my workouts. It’s called Body Armor. It comes in lots of crisp flavors and it’s not overly sweet. It also comes in at only 70 calories a bottle as well which is a big win.

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I’ve done Gatorade but it really reminds me of bottled sweat 😛

It’s important to find what works for you during training and train with it. Keeping your fluid level stable during your workout will make it easier to properly rehydrate after you finish.

No matter what you do in your day, from the time you wake up, until bed you should be intentional about your fluid intake. Again, if athletic activities are in your day, your fluid should even be more focused to maintain your performance and recovery. Being properly hydrated before hand is crucial and makes it easier to stay hydrated during those long sessions.

Tips on drinking water:

I get it, well, I don’t sometimes. It amazes me that people say they don’t “like” water. And if you’re used to consuming primarily liquids that have flavor it will be a challenge to you. You can learn though and in time, you will develop your “natural” thirst for it again.

Try adding fresh citrus ( lime or lemon) squeezed into your water. There are also several flavored waters on the market that have zero or low calorie to ease you into the process. Work then to gradually wean yourself to regular water.

Drink a glass first thing when you get up. As much as I love my morning coffee, a large glass of water is the first thing I take in.

Take it with you everywhere. I honestly run back in the house if I realize I left it when I head out.

With time and a little practice you will be getting all your water in and it will seem perfectly natural to you.

Do you have any water drinking tips? Anything that helped you to get in the “habit”?

 

 

 

The Power Of Your Voice

inspiration

 

It’s no secret I’m a little passionate about health and fitness.

Ok, well maybe a lot.

I’m passionate about it ’cause I know how it can change lives.

I’m by no means what I consider an “expert” but through observation of the world around me and interacting with people I’ve learned that I know a lot.

I’ve learned from others who are knowledgeable ( and sane) I read and learn from reliable intelligent sources, and most of all, I’ve learned to put it all to practice on myself. I keep what works, toss what doesn’t.

I’ve learned to implement a lifestyle that’s sane, sensible, and sustainable in regards to food and exercise. ( I know.. some of you are reading this believing I am insane with some of my athletic shenanigans, but that’s ok 😉

If anyone asks, it’s what I preach to them. Why? because it’s what will stick as a lifestyle.

We are not made alike, nor are our activities alike, therefore our needs each day are going to be different. Finding the right balance is key to success for all of us to live energetic and healthy lives.

Of course if you follow me you know one of biggest pet peeves is the overwhelming amount of “health” companies vying for peoples money with grandiose promises when the buyer uses their product.

One that has shown up more frequently that I’m not familiar with promised an astounding 10lb weight loss in one week ( I want to know, the long term of that, did the weight stay gone? I seriously doubt it)

Anyway, it was sad to me to see so many people jumping at the product like a frog after flies.

“More info please!”, ” Interested!”, “Please send me info!” “How do I get it?”

On and on it went.

I was torn between feeling sorry for them that they were desperate enough to believe it and were willing to part with their money over the “two pills” a day that were supposed to work wonders, (no diet or exercise!) or feeling like they deserved what they got for buying into such utter nonsense.

A quick bit of homework on my end revealed this company had received a warning letter from the FDA regarding an ingredient in their product.

Yet people were blindly begging for it.

This always bothers me so much. People begging for help from crazy things yet unwilling to do what really needs to be done.

So I’ll keep promoting sanity. Balance. Moderation. Building new habits.

All these in turn lead to a lifestyle of health and wellness.

So I will continue to use my voice…..

I’ll keep posting  about food and good nutrition and sharing reasons why you don’t need to participate in the new modern day snake oil.

I’ll share tips and sane ideas for the normal person plugging along in a consistent manner to make permanent changes. I’ll keep posting about my crazy  athletic shenanigans and exercise ideas.

Why?

Because for every “Oh brother” and rolled eye behind the computer screen, there’s someone else getting motivated, getting up off the sofa, and heading  out the door.

There’s someone making better food choices and learning how to eat better for good health.

Someone else is making a choice to change their life. They’re getting fit and gaining energy and that is giving them a better quality of life. Their  health is improving and they are seeing results in a multitude of ways.

If one person is motivated by what I share, it’s totally worth it. If only one person decides that athletic stuff looks fun or they want a challenge and then the bug bites them, it’s worth it.

Motivation tends to breed motivation.

I still feed off of it from others. I am highly motivated but seeing how others are doing and what they are doing reminds me to keep pressing on, to stay the course, and focus on my goals.

Remember in your own life, you can be a source of motivation and encouragement to others with what you do. Your determination to get your workouts done. Your choices to eat better food. Your positive and energetic attitude. Verbally encouraging and supporting the efforts of others around you.

It makes an impact.

Use your voice. Use your life.  Make a difference.

 

 

Younger Next Year For Women Book Review

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Among other things I enjoy doing in life, reading is at the top of the list.

Weird, I know, someone who writes likes to read.

Sometimes I have a hard time just being still to do it. However, if I get into a good book, well then, the house could fall down around me and I’d be oblivious.

Anyone else out there like that?

Ok so I’ve just finished a book I’m excited over. It’s a fun, easy read, and packed full of humor and super good information. I’ve been eager to finish and write a book review on it ’cause I really think everyone should read it… it’s like…that good.

It’s called “Younger Next Year For Women” . Of course, anyone can read it, but it’s really driven at the middle aged crowd. The “over 40 and pushing the Senior citizen discount crowd.”

Don’t let the title distract you.

It’s not coming from a point so prevalent in society today… trying to physically look younger with often extreme measures involved in a pursuit to look like we did in high school.

The title of the book does imply, being older but still being young at heart, strong, active, full of life and vitality. Being able to physically do things you did 10 years previously. Sometimes, doing them better.

Why wouldn’t you want to be able to do that?  Sign me up.

My doctor recommended the book to me when I was in for my yearly checkup telling me I “embodied the women” they wrote about.  She thought I’d be encouraged by the information since I was already doing many of the things the authors encouraged their readers to do.

Well, of course I was intriqued.  I had found it on Amazon before I ever pulled out of the parking lot.

It cost me a whole $4.00.

I realized seeing the authors names that I had read excerpts of their writings in magazines and found them entertaining, highly informative, and spot on with the truths they were preaching.  I guess because they were truths I had already been living out.

I was excited to get my hands on the entire work and not just pieces of it. Two men wrote the book, one  a Doctor, the other interestingly enough came into his life as his patient. Together they make a great team.

Meaning you have lots coming at you from a medical perspective and you have the other perspective from someone who’s walked the walk and is 70ish living a strong, healthy and energetic lifestyle.

So I’m going to just give you my personal take on it, my thoughts and observations.  If anything I hope you’ll spend a few dollars on the book and glean truths out of it that will help and motivate you to live a healthy, positive life, for the rest of your life.

Their first book, “Younger Next Year”,  was written with an eye towards middle aged men.  It was evidently such a huge success they had women asking them to write  a woman’s version of it with a focus on issues women deal with.  They did and it is appropriately titled, “Younger Next Year For Women”.

This is what my book review is on ’cause well… I’m a woman 😛

On a side note, I was reading on the patio at my favorite coffee hang out one afternoon. I was intent on finishing the book. I noticed a couple sitting there when I walked out. They were “older” but looked healthy and fit. After about 5 minutes the man asks of me… “are you enjoying the book?”

I think he’s just being polite and has no idea what I’m reading. The wife is smiling and she finally says… “we’ve read those books! we thought the men/women’s were so good we gave them as Christmas gifts to all our friends!”

I had to admit it was pretty weird timing to have them sitting there while I was polishing off the book, giving me their glowing review of it.

The overall idea of the book and the truths, thoughts and suggestions contained within are on living a strong, healthy, fit, (and gasp), even still being sexy, in what they refer to as the third stage of life.

Meaning, life after menopause.

You don’t have to “get old”, turn frumpy, get fat, tired, develop diseases and then die. ( seriously, they put this all in such a humorous way…don’t depend on me to spill it all here.)

Sadly, there is a pervasive thought that this is just “what happens”…like we’re helpless victims of aging… and so much of it doesn’t have to happen and is preventable.

I know, you might be looking at the title and  seeing that sexy part and think “hey, I’m old. Sexy went away a long time ago.”  Define that how you will,  but I still want to feel good about myself and I certainly have no intention of giving up my edge ’cause I’m not 20 or 30ish anymore. I’m not quitting and turning in my woman card just ’cause I’m older.

Ok.. besides that…. what my doctor already knew about me when she recommended the book, and what I’ve figured out since reading it, is that I’ve been doing all the things they are encouraging women to do to live a strong, and healthy life.

But when I read the lines “A book of hope, that shows you how to  become functionally younger for the next five to ten years, and continue to live thereafter with newfound vitality. How to avoid 70 percent of the normal problems of aging, and eliminate 50 percent of illness or injury. And how to live brilliantly for the three decades or more after menopause.” 

Now I’m not sure what “how to live brilliantly” exactly means but I’m down for it.

Who doesn’t wanna live, brilliantly ??

From the first few pages, I was hooked on it.  I already feel like I live an extremely active life compared to the majority of people my age.  My doctor teasingly calls me her poster child for middle aged fitness. I’ve been practicing an active, healthy lifestyle for quite a few years now and I know how I feel and the difference it’s made in me physically, well it’s made a difference in all areas actually.

Eating well and vigorous exercise make big impacts on our bodies and our minds.

And of course I’m interested in learning how I can keep doing the things I’m doing now…. for the rest of my life.

Who wouldn’t want to ?!

When I look ahead, I see myself doing the things I do today. I have no desire to be less active or not be able to do the things I do now.

What happens for so many is that they stop moving.  They stop using their bodies.  They gain weight and become more and more sedentary. This causes weakness and frailty as we get older. This can also contribute to the development of diseases.

The aging process.

I loved this line in the book “you do have to age, but you don’t have to rot”

That line just landed hard on me. That word…. rot….. just the mental visions it stirred up.. yuck.

I don’t want to be a part of the rotting group.

From birth, we begin an aging process. The authors point is that we all go through the aging process. We rot when we stop using our bodies. It gives creed to the jokes of “getting older and falling apart”.

Their point… it doesn’t have to happen. You will age, but rotting, can largely be prevented.  Illnesses and age related issues that people think “happen ’cause you’re old” can be avoided.

The book is laid out in an easy conversational tone with the “patient”  Chris, and the Doctor, Henry. Each one takes a chapter and addresses different thoughts or ideas. Chris, from  living a lifestyle as the patient who needed to make changes and the impact that’s had on him and Henry, the doctor who basically called him out on his lifestyle and how it was affecting him. He of course brings all the hard hitting physical and medical truths to us in the book.

Their writing is humorous and easy to read. It’s smart and intelligent.

It’s also hard hitting and blunt… just a heads up. They call things as they see them and pull no punches.

Straight truth. It might make you squirm. Or convict you. It might even make you mad if it hits close to home.

Why? Because they are passionate about what they do, what they believe, and the HUGE impact they see on people who do the things they recommend.

As I’ve contemplated what to write you about this book, I’ve realized I just want to share entire chapters with you and that won’t do ’cause then you won’t have to get the book and read it!

And you should read it… remember… it’s pretty cheap information on being strong, fit, and healthy for the rest of your life.

Below are their cardinal rules for living this life I’m talking about. This will have to do for now.  They greatly expand on all these areas in the chapters of the book, which you’ll have to get it if you want to learn more about what they say on these points  😉

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Not just that…if you like to laugh… you’ll want to read it. Delivering anything with a stroke of humor always works for me.

But more than anything, read it if you want to make an impact on your future life.

Have you read anything lately that’s made an impact on you ?

 

 

 

Thankfulness And The Gift Of Exercise

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I’m writing late tonight. Actually, I wasn’t going to write at all today and give my mind a rest.

But I got to thinking… always… thinking….

Thinking about how blessed and fortunate I am on so many levels in so many ways. A family who loves me warts and all, an amazing, supportive, encouraging husband who loves me and my free spirit, beautiful kids, grandkids, and friends. I have all of my needs more than adequately met, and I’m healthy.

It’s hard to not feel thankful with so many blessings.

I thought about this out on the road this morning…  thankfulness.

Today was my run/cycle/run day. It was a warm humid morning … my reminder that I will be training in it daily pretty soon…

I’ve mentioned in previous posts I have my eyes set on tackling a duathlon so acclimating my body to the change of movement from running to cycling will take some training. It’s been about a month now and its getting easier on the second run.

Anyway, back to being thankful…

it was on my last, final leg of my workout those thoughts crossed my mind. I had about a mile left on my  5k, sweating was running into my eyes so I had to pull my glasses off to clear them to see and I was battling some nausea which came out of nowhere ( maybe it was the lone banana bouncing around in my stomach 😛 )

I was hungry. I was beyond sweaty. The sun was beating down on me.  My legs were letting me know they had been moving for close to 2 hours….

And I realized (again) how thankful I am that I can do what I do. What a glorious, beautiful privilege.

I have a strong healthy body that can exercise.

What an amazing gift.

I can run.. and move fairly fast for a middle aged grandmother 😉

I can ride a bike like a demon and I can lift heavy things.

Moving our bodies in exercise is such a gift and blessing.  Perhaps it’s why my heart hurts for people who make jokes about exercising and have not ever let themselves fully embrace the joy of it. Who choose to remain sedentary and not do the very thing they are made to do.

Yeah I get it. In the beginning, it’s hard.  You sweat. You realize how out of shape you are as you gasp for air. You may hurt and ache for a few days. You’ve got to be intentional about making it happen.  You have to find an activity you want to do. Then you do it… no excuses.

It takes effort.

I know. I’ve been there. Done that. Felt that way.

But when you do get moving….. and it starts getting in your blood.. and you look forward to it..

that’s when you feel so alive, so grateful, so appreciative.

That my friend, is when you realize how thankful you are for the pure gift of being able to do what you do and you never take that beautiful gift for granted again.

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Holidays, Food And Guilty Feelings

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So I’m writing this post pre Easter weekend. I am assuming that the majority of you reading will have just celebrated it in a variety of ways.

I can’t speak to the rest of the world. but in the U.S. it will involve family and faith and  all kinds of tasty foods as well as a plethora of candy.

It is however,  now Monday and you may be feeling guilty over your “self indulgence” of the weekend. You maybe feel like you enjoyed those stolen treats out of your kids basket a bit to much.

Heck, I usually have plenty of left over stuff I don’t need to raid their stuff ( and yeah, I still make my adult kids Easter baskets 😉

Seriously, though. I have a deep appreciation for chocolate although now days, it just takes a little for me, to much makes me feel yucky.

Of course I see things circulating on the internet that always make my skin crawl… meme’s that talk about doing certain exercises to “negate what you ate”

For the love of chocolate bunnies, you can’t undo something that’s already done!

Of course, there are things you can do after the fact…..like… move on and get back to your regular routine. Move forward…life as usual… you know, normal stuff.

Did you enjoy your time with your family? Was the food good? Did you have fun watching the kids experience the day? Whatever your day looked like, was it good?

Life is good. It’s meant to be enjoyed. That means there will be times we have celebrations and food and its food we really love ’cause it’s special to that event.  Life isn’t about constant restrictions and feeling guilty over what we put in our mouth.

A “diet” shouldn’t ruin our holiday celebrations.  On the other hand you shouldn’t use it as open season to just eat like an out of control person because it is a  holiday.

Balance. Moderation. Be sensible. It works.

One thing I’ve learned on my health journey that’s been freeing is that the food is always there. The chocolate is there. I don’t have to just drop into the deep end and gorge like I’ll never have it again.

I know I can. I know I will. I just let myself live in those boundaries.

Will I maybe have more than “usual” of food or treats over the weekend?

Most likely, yes.

Will my body let me know it’s not used to it and get back on track ? Absolutely.

That, my friend is how you need to train yourself too.

After a celebratory weekend you should be focused on getting back to what you do ( which is hopefully eating well) .

You don’t have to throw in the towel.

You don’t have to wait till another day to “start”.

You don’t have to feel guilt or beat yourself up.

You don’t have to go to the gym and workout longer or extra hard to burn off calories you’ve consumed days before.  ( PLEASE! don’t)

What can you do? What should you do ?

Don’t weight yourself! It’s not “fat” you’ve gained but a healthy dose of water weight. If you need to weigh yourself, wait at least one day before you do. You don’t get “fat” from eating some extra calories for a day or two.

Be thankful for the day you had with friends and family.

Be thankful you were able to enjoy good foods and treats.

Pick right up with your balanced and sensible eating.

Do your exercise ( whatever you do) do it how you usually do. Don’t attempt to push yourself harder ( you may get hurt)

Refocus on your goals and remember living a healthy lifestyle also enjoys room to breathe and enjoy life and get back on track again.

Love yourself.  You’re doing a great job.

The key to success is to keep moving forward and staying positive.

I understand this may be a foreign concept to you, but with a little practice and patience, you will learn to implement it into a part of your healthy lifestyle 🙂