- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Six Components for a Healthy Whole Self
I think it is a good time to remind ourselves of the six components of getting to a "healthy whole self". Throughout this blog I have written over and over about these six components. If you are serious about being healthy in a whole sense, you should revisit my blogs beginning from January 1st up until today's date to find more on these topics.
The first, and I believe to be most important thing to begin your health journey, is to learn how to control your thinking. I refer to it as mindfulness, being conscious and deliberate about your thoughts. As I have stated many times, many of us are victims of our thoughts. Our mind chatter runs rampant with negative, fearful, thoughts that are never a help or benefit for us. It is key to understand that no one is in your head but you, and you are the one thinking those things. You are the one that can change how you think, and become in charge of any thoughts that you have.
Becoming mindful of our thoughts, actions, and emotions, will put you in the power seat, instead of being controlled by them. We can choose how we think, react, or emote to anything....in actuality we already do choose all of those things, but most of the time it is in an unconscious manner. So practice your mindfulness by choosing how you think, react, or feel, and most importantly, stay in the present time. Be mindful of this moment, it is all you really have you know, and that can set you free of past and future torment.
The second most important component for total health, is nutrition. It is very simple to understand how you should eat. I have said this over and over as well....Eat natures food for the bulk of your diet, and you will be healthier for it. Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and lean proteins, are what you want to eat. These are the foods that come from nature, not a factory where humans have disturbed natures balance.
Stay away from processed food, fast food, high sugar, high fat, foods. Stay away from foods laden with chemicals, artificial ingredients, and ingredients that you can not pronounce or know what they are. All of those things are found in processed foods. They have little to no nutrition in them, but are full of things that do not promote health. Stick to what nature has provided for you....that is how you stay healthy and lean.
Third on the list is exercise. You must move your body and involve yourself in cardiovascular exercise, as well as strength training to build muscle. A healthy body has a strong heart from doing something aerobic on a regular bases. Run, walk, bike ride, roller blade, swim, hike, or participate in any aerobic exercise at least five to seven days a week for optimal health.
A healthy body has muscle from doing strength training exercises for it to be strong, beautiful, and youthful. Building muscle is a must for health. Muscle increases your metabolism to help burn more fat even while you are at rest. Weight bearing exercise is crucial for a healthy body, and it will keep you looking great too.
Fourth on my healthy whole body to-do list, is making sure you are doing stretching exercises each day. You must stay flexible to reduce risk of injury and keep your body feeling good. Stretching or Yoga exercises open up your energy flow, reduces stress, and helps you to relax. This is a great thing to do when you are stressed or feeling anxious. Many people who practice yoga find it to be very meditative as well. Flexibility is a must for over all health.
The fifth component for a whole healthy self is meditation. I am not listing these in matters of importance, for I believe that meditation is of utmost importance for a healthy self. I have written several blogs about meditation which you can find in the archives. This is a tool that can change your life for the better on all levels, mental, physical, and spiritual. Meditation is a practice, it is not something you will master right away. It is something that will be of great benefit to you body, mind, and soul, for your entire life.
Last but not least, you must get your rest to be healthy. Without rest nothing will function properly for you. Sleep is where your body heals, restores, and rejuvenates itself. I have written blogs on rest and sleep that will help you to understand why it is so important. If you do not get at least eight hours of sleep a night, you will be sleep deprived. A healthy body gets its sleep!
So there you have the six most important components for a healthy whole self. Begin to incorporate these practices into your daily life if you are wanting to be at your best and feel your best. Your life will change for the better, I promise you that!