As seen in Beyond Fitness Magazine
As seen in Flex Magazine
Original post: January 2, 2011
It goes without saying that the human body is capable of formidable feats and incredible shape shifting. Our inbuilt ability to adapt to our environment is even beyond our own capacity to fathom. This ability is idling within you to be extracted with the right instructions. It doesn’t have to be difficult either. Fitness is not about struggle and hard work. It’s about smart work and strong mind. Fitness of body starts with fitness of mind. Too many of us set the fitness goal and embark on the task without the proper tools that allow this genetic potential to work with us toward the goal. You have the genetic make up to be lean and fit or fat and unhealthy.
Don’t let anyone, including your own self-esteem; lead you to the conclusion that you are stuck with fat genes, or skinny genes that are not alterable. Your genetic make-up may not be easily changed, but the way these genes work for you can be easily modified. EASY! Your metabolism is a direct reflection of your lifestyle choices. You are in charge, not some scapegoat genetic profile. Not a chance. Your familial habits have moulded the physical and mental outcome from your genetic codes. If most of your family members are vulnerable to the same diseases and lack of fitness the chances that this is caused by genetic anomaly is likely nil. You’ve all learned similar customs, traditions and lifestyles – all of which form similar biochemical influences on a similar genetic profile. The outcome is a function of these influences. Change the influence; change the outcome. Different choices produce completely different physical outcomes. The right choices make your goals easy to achieve. One of the obvious keys to fitness success is in knowing what those choices are. Research today has unveiled some incredible findings that have changed the way we view nutrition and nutraceutical jumpstarts. They can now be so powerful that fitness is just around the corner with the right instruction. Another fitness key, plain and simple, is state of mind or life perspective. Ok, you’ve heard many times that the mind plays a role in health and fitness. It plays more than a mere role. Your mind plays a monumental part in this initiative. However, the majority of fitness programs not only lack attention to mind health, they literally degrade it through the arduous physical work that creates uncontrolled oxidation. In addition, these restrictive diets not only consequently lack brain nutrition they usually unknowingly eliminate it, allowing mental focus and motivation to fade and with this so do fitness results. Keep the mind tuned and the physical outcome will occur spontaneously. Seriously, it will. The mind will guide the physical result.
The latest research on Nutrigenomics (the study if nutrients interacting with genes) has opened windows into genetic interactions with nutrients. This recent insight has allowed us to better understand and appreciate the value of basic nutrients and their interactions in the body and the brain. It has guided us to use them with greater precision than ever before. This unveiling has also allowed us to take common plant extracts that we knew to have anti-inflammatory activity, neurochemical and neurogenic activity, adrenergic potential or a thermogenic influence and hone them into gene modifiers with greater potency. Your efforts to rid yourself of fatness and find fitness and long term health will be made so much easier utilizing this newfound genomic knowledge. In addition, it will heighten cognitive and brain health to literally upgrade IQ and mental fortitude for life advancement; fitness improvement will simply be consequential. What a formidable gift to offer your children – mind building accompanied by fitness development for a bright and successful future. Exercise is also shown to have a monumental influence on this genetic potential. Applying the nutritional (or nutraceutical) component to accompany the right exercise program is powerfully synergistic to both mind and body building. We all know that exercise and calorie management can be used to alter shape, size and body mass proportions. That’s no secret. However, what’s formidably amazing is that exercise actually has an influence at the genetic level to change how the metabolism responds to genetic signals. This is ultimately the source of our inbuilt adaptation potential. And it’s this ability to adapt to your environment or the stimuli we impose on the mind and body that we will be taking advantage of in order achieve fitness goals with greater ease than ever. The first thing we must address, however, is perspective.
We need to find ways to make health and fitness important; reasons that make more sense than mere physical appearance. We all know that exercise is the elixir of life so why do the majority of us find it difficult to stay consistent and make it an essential part of life. There are a lot of things we can put in the way of staying with our programs like family, work, career, lack of physical energy or mental drive and even illness. However, when it boils down to it, all of these factors depend on fitness – every single one of them – your fitness! You need to make your family part of your fitness program at one level or another if it’s to stay consistent and survive long-term. Your children need to adopt these fitness models early in life in order to carry these habits life-long.
It starts with you and maybe if you’re reminded of how valuable regular exercise is, way beyond the shape and lean muscle, you’ll take it more seriously to make it part of the family plan. Exercise is not at all about the fashion model physique. Let it be about the internal changes that lead to better health. Let these underlying enhancements slowly create fitness on the outside spontaneously. Let health be the primary focus and the physical outcome be the secondary consequence. This immediately alleviates much the goal-oriented stress and anxiety. It also causes fitness to creep up on you before you consciously know it. The key is to stay consistent and persistent despite what you see happening or not happening on the outside. In other words, change your perspective or mindset. Your state of mind will be the factor that drives results or limits them. The mind is where you need to focus your attention in order to achieve and maintain results. The first step toward perspective change is to refresh your memory about the benefits of exercise. In addition, if I can help you over the next few articles find the nutritional tips, exercise guidance, and precise nutraceutical influences on metabolism through powerful nutrient-gene interactions, your mental and physical work will be so much easier. This cutting edge technology can help your results appear with less effort making more time for family, friends and other things you’d rather do. Physical exercise is crucial for health maintenance and youth preservation. Research shows with irrefutable evidence, that maintaining the muscle mass with regular resistance training and conditioning the cardiovascular system with a brisk walk or light run supports longevity and quality of life. The old cliché, ‘use it or lose it’ definitely fits when it comes to muscle strength and muscle tone. Challenging the body with physical work prompts healthy hormone activity as well. We know quite well that the sedentary lifestyle can contribute to fat mass accumulation but what is less known is that a lack of physical work will allow the muscle and other lean tissues of the body to degenerate with age. Degeneration of lean muscle simultaneous with the increment of body fat produces a compounding negative influence on metabolism and general wellness. It also results in mind atrophy and decline in mental health.
Healthy strong muscle prevents premature aging. As we age lean-muscle mass tends to diminish. This decline is so reliably consistent that muscle mass or the lean body mass is, in fact, one of the markers utilized to help assess biological age. If regular exercise isn’t part of the family’s lifestyle today, it must start immediately, even if it’s just one brisk 20-minute walk each day. Exercise helps maintain lean muscle to keep the body youthful longer. Exercise and healthy muscle maintains strong healthy bones. There’s much more to skeletal muscle than meets the eye. Exercising the skeletal muscle mass directly works the bone mass, and this, too, helps maintain healthy bone density. The physical stimulation activates specialized cells (osteoblasts) which improve bone mass as an adaptation feature to the work. Muscle mass is a back-up system for immune system activity. Muscle mass is akin to a functional organ in the body, and although it shouldn’t be used as a reservoir for immune-system fuels like glutamine, it will be the tissue the body falls back on during a health emergency. Less of it results in a higher risk for recovery failure. Exercise helps cope with arthritis.
Contrary to conventional thinking, exercise is important even if you’re contending with disease, arthritis included. The endorphin secretions induced by regular and controlled exercise actually help alleviate pain, raising the threshold to help cope. The alternative is a sedentary lifestyle that contributes further to degeneration of tissues. On the other hand, the one tissue to develop robustly with the sedentary lifestyle is the adipose tissue and this actually increases the inflammatory potential of the body to worsen the condition, including arthritis. Physically working muscle literally helps pump this toxicity out of the body supporting health and vigor. This is one reason we feel invigorated and more mentally alert when we exercise with regularity. The feet and legs act like pumps to promote this lymphatic circulation and the
Body fat contributes to inflammatory hormone production. Research is now showing that the fat mass produces prostaglandin hormones that contribute to mind and body fog. This subclinical inflammation lowers resilience to illness and it advances oxidation in the body to age us prematurely, both physically and mentally. This inflammation also interferes with immune system accuracy and agility. Through this underlying activity, obesity increases the risk for diabetes, bone disease, cancer, depression, dementia, chronic inflammation and more. Stress and body fat mix badly like drinking and driving. Body fat, especially that visceral or mid-body fat, changes the chemistry of corticosteroid activity in the body. When coupled with environmental or social stress, this mid-body fat alters the corticosteroid activity causing it to become very harmful. In fact, this is a vicious cycle where an exponential progression of fatness is further advanced by the co-existence of body fat and stress. Mind health is also improved by exercise. This enhancement is a function of better neurochemistry induced by exercise such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin health. It’s also supported by the euphoria produced by endorphins that challenging physical exercise produces. Research is also showing that physical exercise, the type that improves blood flow, enhances brain oxygenation and nourishment. More recent studies are also showing that it can improve dendrite status to give the brain more plasticity. This means the brain is more resilient to and has a better chance of recovering from injury by physical or chemical force. Physical work improves insulin health, metabolism, and obesity. Studies show that physical activity helps jumpstart natural gene systems involved in regenerating and maintaining insulin health to reverse insulin resistance and diabetes. It’s another one of those natural adaptation mechanisms whereby the body attempts to adapt to the physical work by improving nutrient absorption by the cells. Consequently it improves sugar transport for energy required by the working cells helping restore insulin health and correcting the diabetic condition. Improvement of insulin resistance literally enhances biological age and general health; it enhances general energy, stamina and strength. It also improves metabolism to the point that fat management is easier. It`s one way exercise helps reverse obesity. Exercise pumps toxins out of the body to improve metabolism and mental health. The heart pumps blood and nutrients out to the periphery of the body, but there’s no automatic system that pumps toxins out of the body with the same effectiveness. The lymphatic system is designed to eliminate metabolic byproducts and toxins which the cells of the body are bathed in. The lymphatic system is pumped by the working muscles. Sedentary lifestyles allow this sludge to back up and choke the cells; it is one reason we get sluggish and weary if we fail to engage in regular physical activity.
Imagine that, bathing in your own cellular waste! Working muscles take over throughout the body to continue the flow. Maintaining the lean tissues of the body with regular physical activity reduces the risk for disease, improves biological age, prevents premature aging and enhances quality of life. Couple this new level of physical work with a healthy diet that includes live nutrition and a spontaneous quality of life can be enjoyed easily. Exercise truly is the elixir of life and if you think you can’t afford to put any time into this metabolic tuning, think again. You can’t afford not to make time because down time when you’re sick cost too much and disease that costs you your life take you away from your family permanently. In addition, you must make time to set the new lifestyle model by example for your children in order to give them a reasonable chance at optimal mental and physical health in their lives. Get with the program and workout, run or walk briskly at least three times per week, 40 -60 minutes at a time.
Turn it into the family program to walk three to four days per week in the initial stages after dinner. Then when you’re all fit enough, start running together before dinner a few times per week and visit the gym, community swimming pool, skating rink, soccer field on a few other occasions per week. Mix it up, but keep the weekly frequency and the session length consistent to four times per week and 40-60 minutes per session. Working and playing as a family, your program is more effective for each of you. Take responsibility for changing the family legacy right now; you owe it to your children; you owe it to yourself!
And don’t think you’ll be left alone to fend for yourself on the endeavour. Over the next several issues of the magazine, you’ll be exposed to new perspectives and cutting edge powerful nutritional tools and tips that will make this journey easy and enjoyable. In fact, not only will you be able to keep up to your vibrant children in no time at all, they’ll find it difficult to keep up with you. It all starts with a new mind-set, a new perspective.