with author Friends of Ricki
slow down for the new year
You may be starting 2013 doing everything you’ve been told to do by friends and the fitness magazines. You’re on the elliptical every day and squeezing in that new class where you lift those cute little hand weights.
You’ve cut way back on your calories and eliminated most of the fat from your diet. The herbal cleanse is finished but that 7 pounds in 7 days that was promised is back and you feel bloated.
It doesn’t help that you’re not able to sleep through the night and you end up dragging through the day.
What if you don’t have to be who they’re telling you to be? What if all you really need to do is…
The fast paced lives we lead cause us to have an adversarial relationship with our bodies. We’re not going to win that fight.
When it comes to exercise, we need to make sure that we are able to move fluidly in the ways that make us truly human. We need to be able to push, pull, squat, rotate, hinge at the hips, and locomote.
Sure, if you’re in reasonable health you can pick up the latest exercise fad and run yourself into the ground but that’s not sustainable. A brisk walk four times per week and doing some crawling –yes, crawling like a baby, a lizard, whatever – will get you farther down the path no matter what your fitness goals are.
Find a program you can adhere to. This means finding something you enjoy doing and leaves you energized. You should look for the “minimum effective dose.” This is a term from medicine that means you need to find the minimum amount of exercise that will help you get stronger and move better.
Working out with joint-busting, soul-diminishing programs will increase the stress chemicals in your body. These chemicals will lead to a cascade of effects that will leave you sicker and fatter than when you started.
You’ll have to stop “dieting.” The best thing that popular diets do is make money for the people that put them in the book you bought. Your body has a wisdom about the kind of food that’s good for it and you need to pay attention to that. Eat based on principles, not quick-fix tactics:
• Drink 32 ounces of ice cold water first thing in the morning
• Time your average meal and add fifteen minutes to the time it takes you to finish it
• Do not eat in front of a television
• “Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly vegetables.” (thank you, Michael Pollan)
• Add healthy fats into your diet like, nuts, avocados, coconut and olive oils
• You don’t need snacks
• There is no such thing as a “heart healthy grains”
If you work hard you need to give equal time to recovery. Sleep is the place to start. Quality sleep is probably the most overlooked factor. Make sure your room is as dark as possible. Make sure it is a little cool. Make sure that the only thing you do in the room is sleep and perhaps one other thing (that I can’t talk about here). It’s not for working or watching television.
You can add to your health and fitness by “subtracting.” Slow things down, find your minimum effective dose of exercise, and stop depriving yourself. You’ll be surprised at the results.
About The Authors
Hans & Bernadette Hageman of Brownstone Fitness recently spoke in New York City at a Friends of Ricki Meetup event for WPIX’s Health and Wellness Expo 2012. The husband and wife team run Brownstone Fitness, a personal training studio in New York City.
Connect with them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BrownstoneFitness