Health Alert 83
Do you want to lose that spare tire? Would you like to overcome your high blood pressure? Regain the strength and stamina of your youth or reverse your diabetes? Wake up feeling like a million bucks? I have seen each of these happen many times. Your personal health transformation can become a reality too. It depends not on what you know but what you do.
Deep down, I know that I would be lazy if I allow it. My natural inclination is to procrastinate. Because I recognize this shortcoming, I’ve developed a system that makes health improving habits automatic. It will give you a specific plan of action… And ensure that you don’t put off your most important step – the actual doing.
Plan Your Exercise and Good Eating
Every important accomplishment I have ever made started with planning. I take five minutes the night before and plan my exercises and meals for the next day. I don’t always stick to it, but without a plan, I tend to miss workouts and eat whatever is available. I don’t bother with detail and I don’t feel guilty if it changes. I think of it as a self-coaching tool.
Keep a Log
As a life-long “health nut”, athlete, sports trainer, consultant, personal fitness trainer and integrative doctor, I have worked with thousands of people. I have found no better predictor of who will be successful at reaching there goals than whether or not they are willing to keep a log. If you want progress, write down what you do.
Quality beats quantity
I follow my P.A.C.E. program for cardio. P.A.C.E. stands for progressive, accelerating cardiopulmonary exertion. The principal is to build larger lung and heart capacity. To accomplish this, I provide my heart and lungs with short challenges just above my capacity to sustain. When I stop to catch my breath, I know I have provided that little excess challenge. By doing this a little bit every day, I gradually build reserve capacity.
I have 2 basic rules to guide my eating. One, I don’t eat food I don’t like. I don’t care who says it’s good for me. Two, I try to eat only food that occurs naturally. Eating food that occurs naturally can be a challenge. Most modern food is man-made or adulterated in one way or another.
The Most Complete Nutrition
Despite the constant droning over the dangers of red meat, I eat it just about every day. In our natural environment, approximately 85% of our total calories came from red meat. Red meat is the highest quality nutrition – bar none. In our modern world though, if you eat any animal you have to concern yourself with the environment of that animal. It makes a great deal of difference.
Keeping animals inactive and feeding them grains does the same thing to them that it does to us. It makes them obese with all the wrong kind of fat. I much prefer grass-fed livestock or wild game. I have found wild game from a local hunting group. I get grass-fed beef from www.grasslandbeef.com.
Quite Reflection … Exercise for the Soul
Freud claimed that we need three things to be happy; relationships, occupation and recreation. We need to love, work, and play. In the modern lifestyle, we tend to focus nearly all of our energy for change on our occupations. We then neglect relationships and recreation.
I think it is a mistake to treat your health and fitness goals as you do your occupation. I do not consider a health improving lifestyle to be work. It is part of my recreation. Plan it in the same spirit you would plan a mini-vacation. I also try to involve family and friends.
Your Daily Action Plan
• Make your plan for eating and exercise the day before.
• Focus your plan on exercise you enjoy and only eat food you like.
• Start the day right with brief cardio exercise before breakfast.
• Eat a high protein breakfast.
• Train for strength either before lunch or before dinner.
• Make a portion of your physical activity recreation every day.
• Plan dinner around high quality protein (Steak, roast, fish, chicken)
• Involve your family and your friends.
• Reflect on today’s progress and plan tomorrow’s.
I credit my good health to my daily habits. No one will ever convince me otherwise. But having said that, I don’t beat myself up if I slip. I am not perfect and I suspect you aren’t either. You won’t succeed everyday and you shouldn’t expect to.
Remember, excellent health is more of a perpetual journey than a destination. So … be sure to enjoy the trip.
Al Sears, M.D.