We want to speak about sowing or investing in your future seeing that we are moving into spring – Seasons. Changing and all.
The concept of sowing and reaping seems to be lost in our country today. What seeds are you sowing right now? What are you investing in? Fear, procrastination, busyness, or family, friends, health. There’s this delusion in society that when we sow into years and years of bad habits and neglect our physical health, we can fix it in a few weeks – An “insta-fix” (instant gratification culture…???). There are too many businesses in the health & fitness industry who tell you “this is the magic pill”, “this is the never before seen solution”. At Least more and more people are realizing the hard, even if it is an unfortunate truth: That the body you have is the body you have earned.
The term stewardship comes to mind. A steward is someone who takes care of something. I find it funny how people will meticulously care for their house, yard and cars, and even other people but completely neglect their physical health and then wonder what happened?
Do you think your car would hold up if you never got an oil change? What if you never replaced your furnace filters? How about never mowing your lawn? It’s kind of obvious, isn’t it? So why would we expect different if we eat processed foods, don’t get any exercise and get 4 hours of sleep?
The good news is, it doesn’t matter your age, genetics, or what issues you may have now. You can improve them. I’ve seen someone who was told she would be wheelchair-bound walk a 5K. What about a 77-year-old woman better shape at 77 then she was at 50.
I know there’s the “I’m too busy” or “It’s too hard” or “I have a bad back” excuse. But where do you think you will be a year from now if you do nothing? Without regular maintenance and care, your body will fail you and probably your mind along with it. I encourage you to take action rather than waiting until that happens.
Healthy habits are the foundation for lasting results! So enough preaching. Here are some practical steps to take better care of yourself:
1. Strength training 2x/week– This is the fountain of youth! Muscle is metabolic, fat is not. So the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. Without proper nutrition and strength training, we will lose 5 pounds every 5 years. This kills metabolism. Plus, muscle is like armor for the joints and it keeps our nervous system efficient. This means it coordinates muscles and joints for more efficient movement, which helps us stay strong and prevents injuries for things we may do outside of the gym like yard work or carrying kids.
2. Clean up your nutrition – Everyone pretty much has a good idea of what foods are nutritious and which ones are not. The more ingredients something has the more processed it is. So
“Abs are made in the kitchen” – Nutrition is 80% of your results so put some time into shopping, cooking and prepping meals and you will see results.
1 – If the ingredient list looks like a novel, skip it.
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables and quality protein from eggs, meat, and fish to prevent muscle loss and stabilize blood sugar.
3. Drink a lot of water – at least 8 glasses per day to help flush out toxic substances and promote healthy digestion. Yes, this takes a little more work but it is worth it. I see people who are disciplined about getting to the gym but totally neglect their food and that is the #1 reason why they never look any different even though they hit the gym all the time.
3. Work on your flexibility/mobility at least 5x/week – Most jobs require a lot of sitting and this shortens muscles and compresses joints which create tightness and weakness throughout the entire body. Before you, any physical activity, perform an active dynamic warm-up to loosen muscles and mobilize joints so your body performs well to the tasks at hand and you are firing on all cylinders.
4. Cardiovascular training 2-3x/week – Shorter, high-intensity work will drive up fat-burning hormones and crank metabolism, not just during, but after the workout. Start with some high-intensity work for 5-15 minutes followed by 15-30 minutes of moderate cardio activity which helps burn off fatty acids in the bloodstream.
5. Utilize core supplementation – I’m not talking about the latest koo-koo berry root from Dr. Oz, but I am talking about a good multivitamin, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium magnesium/vitamin D and probiotics for digestive health. These all help fill in gaps we leave from incomplete nutrition.
Make sure your body is getting the optimal dosage of micronutrients which help get energy from food, protect cells, boost immunity and allow the body’s processes to work more efficiently. Unless you have an organic vegetable garden you eat from 7-11 times per day, you probably aren’t getting all you need from your food.
6. Manage sleep and stress – When we neglect sleep and are chronically stressed we mess up our hormones. This can kill our health in many different ways. So make sure you work on getting at least 7-9 hours of quality sleep. Stress won’t go away so we have to have things in place to manage it. Find healthy outlets other than booze and junk food, to calm your mind and body. Think of yourself as a battery. If you do these things it’s like hooking up to the charger. If you don’t you will switch off or burn out.
There you go – some practical steps to start sowing better seeds for your health so you reap a higher quality of life. If you need help putting this all together please reach out to us! We have nutrition coaches on staff as well as CrossFit coaches that train to YOUR capacity and goals. Sometimes it can be daunting and you need someone to help you put some objective perspective and structure to your plan.
Remember if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So have a plan and get after it!