We are all looking for the “MAGIC GENIE,” the “quick fix” to get fit, healthy, energized, and happy. Sadly, there’s no rapid recovery for a lifetime of choices. BUT, I’ve come to realize there are four simple variables that allow you to stake your claim to a life of wellness, and with consistently engaging in these four practices EVERYDAY, you are on your way to a lifetime of health!…It’s all about Balance and making progress every single day!
- EXERCISE – Clearly, the amount and type of exercise is largely driven by your goal. A weight lifter or body builder will need more strength training than one aiming to lose weight. So, first determine your goal, and for most, it’s to lose weight. The simple math equates 3,500 calories to lose one pound, and most workouts burn approximately 300 calories, which is about 30 minutes of cardio or a total of nearly 12 -30 minute workouts. This meets with the recommendation from most reliable health sources, including the Mayo Clinic, the American Heart Association, and the CDC, in which they recommend at least 150-300 minutes of moderate weekly physical activity or 75 minutes of higher intensity. Over time, this effort adds up, particularly when coupled with strength training 2-3 times weekly and clean and healthy eating! Keep in mind that the higher the intensity, the less time is required! Just 10 minutes of high intensity training is perfect, and studies show it’s equally beneficial – if not moreso! – to a more moderate 45 minute workout! Bottom line is to practice physical activity daily, throughout the day both to boost your mood and to improve weight loss!
- HYDRATE – Drink 50-70% of your body weight in fluid ounces of lemon water. The addition of lemon in your water allows you to flush toxins, to lose weight, to boost immunity, to aid digestion, to make your skin beautiful, and to give you natural energy! Think of it this way, you are at least 60% water, so it just makes sense that your cells need hydration to work effectively…even for better cognitive processing!
- EAT CLEAN – I’ve written several blogs on this topic, and what I find most revealing and incredibly inspiring is that wellness is 80% what you eat, and only 20% exercise. If you’ve already read this far, then you realize the math matters…Exercise doesn’t actually burn that many calories, yet we know the discrepancy of QUALITY caloric intake versus calories burned supports weight loss. But the calorie deficit model leads to silly practices such as skipping meals and eating “sugar-free” foods. Never a good idea!!! Instead, eating nutrient dense foods in moderate portions allows your cells to function correctly, improves your metabolism, and triggers the right chemicals, specifically leptin, to suppress appetite and to trigger your “full” alarm! Eating clean gets your gut healthy, gives your energy, and allows your body to burn fat. With clean eating, your body begins to function properly!
- SLEEP – This is likely the most neglected area of health. I can lower the boom on this, because I’m also one who struggles with making myself get sufficient sleep. Despite my exercise and clean eating, when I’m sleep deprived, my running suffers and my weight begins to creep up on the scale. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends at least 7 hours minimum for adults! If you’re not reaching your health goals, it’s time to implement pre-bed practices for ideal sleep and to hit your pillow earlier in the evening. What’s more, I recommend 1-2 Tablespoons of concentrated Cherry juice nightly. This provides a natural source of melatonin to allow for a deep sleep, and it provides an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant for reducing oxidative stress and free radicals that lead to disease. Sleep matters!
I challenge you to look at all four domains and to look for holes in your routine…EXERCISE? HYDRATION? EATING CLEAN? SLEEP? We all have our weaknesses, and if your goals aren’t meeting with success, it’s time to work in one of these areas!