Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.
Last month we talked about making change. Many of you emailed to let me know you enjoyed the newsletter and that it helped you think about how better to approach change in your own life. I always enjoy hearing from readers!
Many of us are making a physical commitment to adopting healthier habits. If you can manage to stay healthy, physically, mentally, and emotionally, your journey throughout your lifetime will be all the more enjoyable.
Staying healthy should be a priority in your life. To accomplish your other goals, no matter what they are, you need a working body and an energetic mind.
You must be able to go through each day with abundant energy and good focus, so you feel creative and intelligent throughout your day. You have to be able to enjoy yourself, have fun, and build a wonderful life in ways that matter most to you.
You need a very well-running machine of a body to do all that. If you have any doubts about the importance of health, you’ll likely change your mind the first time you get seriously ill. I’ve seen that happen to folks over and over again.
Since it first occurred to me health is a “sine qua non” (something that’s absolutely necessary) in life, I’ve made it one of my top priorities. And I’m hoping you’ll all do the same.
I’m often asked about my health goals, so I often ask people their goals before I share mine. I’ve noticed that one big health goal many people have is to become younger!
In other words, they want younger or more youthful capabilities that we associate with health, and usually in these four categories:
I know for sure if you set specific objectives in each of these areas, for example, to lift weights five times per week, to do some cardio at least three times per week, or to stretch every day, by the end of the year you’d be stronger and more flexible too. And your endurance would increase, as well.
However, in talking with people about their health I also want them to realize a few very important points:
• You don’t need nearly as much strength as most health magazines would have you believe. You need only enough to do what you do efficiently. Most people can achieve all their strength goals with an hour of training per week.
• Flexibility, and especially joint mobility, become more important as you age. It makes it easier for you to do “young” things and less likely for you to be injured. Anyone over 30 should make stretching an important part of their health regimen. And if you’re not aware of why joint mobility is crucial, please contact me so we can start you on the Z-Health road to wellness. http://www.joyinmovement.com/experience-health/
• You don’t need to run a six-minute mile to be healthy. As with weight training, there’s little to no scientific evidence supporting the idea you have to train like a competitive athlete. To build stamina, walking is as good as running.
• There’s more to health than strength, flexibility, stamina, and appearance. Mental and emotional energy are critical. And the most important thing is immunity and freedom from illness.
So maybe, if you’ve tried to go gung-ho with health goals before and fell way short of the mark, this year you can incorporate some of these pointers I just mentioned.
Here are some more examples and ideas about how to get healthy efficiently:
• Try reducing your weight training to an hour per week. You can train only once per week (covering the full body) or every day (one body part per day). For maximum efficiency, do only ONE SET per muscle group (back, chest, thighs, calves, biceps, triceps, and shoulders). The trick to making one set work is to work until exhaustion, and then do a few more reps. It’s hard to do, but it takes less time and gets good results.
• Stretch twice per day for five minutes each time. Stretch gently. But make sure you make progress as the days go by. It’s not always easy to measure your progress, but if you keep at it, you’ll notice changes.
• If you’re running like crazy, slow down. If you aren’t running at all, start. (When I say “running,” I’m speaking of doing any sort of cardiovascular workout)
Also, when it comes to running, if you don’t like to run, then don’t. There are many other cardio choices. The idea behind cardio is you should train yourself only to the point of being able to accomplish your normal life’s needs, such as climbing a flight of stairs without getting winded. You don’t have to get yourself ready for competition, unless of course you are competing!
• Do a little sprinting. Unlike running, this is to get those fast-twitch muscles, nerves, and fibers working again. Five minutes twice per week is plenty.
• If you’re over 40 and haven’t done so in a while, get a good checkup. Get your blood work done. Have your healthcare provider check your insulin levels, your hormone levels, your cholesterol levels, and so on.
• Eat well. Need I say more? EAT WELL.
Spend a half-hour per day, at least, playing.
For me, I like to keep play simple. I’ve been walking to the library every day for an afternoon break. For you, it may be taking a walk, meditating, or maybe playing golf or tennis.
Identify the key areas of health you want to focus on. That always comes first. It’s essential to treat your health as the blessing that it is.
And of course I hope these Joyinmovement newsletters that come your way each month provide you with some fresh ideas and insights that you can use along your journey.
Until next month, keep finding JOYinmovement,