This pillar matches up with your HEART CHAKRA. Your heart chakra or anahata chakra in Sanskrit, is located at the center of the spine at the heart level. Anahata roughly translates to “unhurt” and is the center for compassion, empathy, love, and forgiveness. This is your transitional chakra. All your energy from your 1st 2nd and 3rd chakras meet here to move up your prana(energy) tube. Movement keeps this muscle and energy field strong.
We all want to look lean, healthy, and feeling our best, but few want to spend 4 grueling hours a day crushing it at the gym, turning our muscles into sweaty, quivering bags of Jell-O just to get that airbrushed chiseled body you see on Instagram these days. You want to look good yes, but it’s just as, or even more important, to feel amazing too, right? So, how can we have that toned fit body we have always wanted without being a professional athlete or making working out a full-time job? What is the secret? First let’s take a look at the fats we store in our body. There are two main types of fats that are found in the human body. The first type of fat is a good fat and is known as Brown Fat. It is used for quick fuel. It surrounds and protects our organs. It contains larger amounts of mitochondria for energy. Mitochondria produce a life force energy molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the energy currency of our whole body. Remember that term, as we will dive deeply into this throughout this book. The other type of fat is a bad fat. It is our subcutaneous fat, and it is referred to as White Fat. This bad subcutaneous fat is stored in your body for a rainy day and is really tuff to get rid of. This is the fat we are all most familiar with. We need some of this type of fat in very small amounts, but in large quantities it can lead to obesity.
All fat cells, good and bad, are stored in adipocytes which are specialized cells that store fat around your connective tissue. Each fat cell is like a holding tank for energy called LIPIDS. When we start to lose weight, these cells release that liquid lipid into our system for fuel. But the empty fat cell remains. Now here is an old myth that we are going to debunk right here and now. The flawed concept that while you can ADD more fat cells to your body, you can never get rid of them is wrong. This belief that you have your fat cells forever opened the door for the liposuction and the cool sculpting industry. A quick, invasive, and very expensive procedure. These procedures fix the symptom but not the root cause of the problem.
A while back, I tuned into a Ben Greenfield podcast, and he was having an interview with Dr. Cate Shanahan. She explained that if you eliminate from your diet just one particular type of fat, you will not only start to lose fat, but will also kill off existing fat cells and transform them into more metabolically active tissues. That fat she was talking about removing from your diet is a polyunsaturated fatty acid commonly referred to as a PUFA. Wait what? If I remove PUFA’s from my diet I will start to kill off bad white fat cells in my body? When I first heard about this, I thought it was a game changer. I just had to read all about this in her book Deep Nutrition. What I found out in a nutshell is that inflammation is the root cause for obesity. And guess what… PUFAs, are the number one dietary cause of inflammation!
Let’s break this down as simple as possible. In order stay to healthy, control your weight and keep your lean muscle, you must of course eat right and exercise. But more importantly the type of foods we eat have enormous consequences on our body’s ability to stay lean. Our bodies are not designed to have excessive fat packed on it, but when we saturate our diets with bad indigestible fats like PUFAs, we disrupt its ability to stay lean. Obesity is becoming a very serious problem in western society and the scary thing is, it’s beginning to become the norm! But there is good news, and this can easily be fixed!
What I am about to share with you, will not only show you how to shed those unwanted pounds without spending hours each day in the gym, but will show you how to keep those unwanted pounds off for a lifetime so you can live a longer, heathier, happier life looking good and more importantly feeling great!
Now don’t get me wrong. We DO need to exercise and there is nothing wrong with a good hard workout. In fact, I personally prefer that. But when I refer to exercise, I mean to simply move your body every day, even if it is just a walk or standing more at your workstation. Sometimes we way overthink it and put too much pressure on ourselves to try to keep up with our Instagram friends and their Flex Friday photos. Troy Casey, author of Rippedat50, swears that walking is the way our bodies are meant to move and for years that was his main form of exercise and got ripped at 50 years of age.
Let’s take a quick look at our ancestors, they rarely had any weight problems. They were outside hunting, playing, gathering, and building shelter for their families. Their food sources were minimal, yet incredibly nutrient dense. They did not have a golds gym, yoga studio or health food store around every corner, yet they were leaner, faster, and stronger back then. I’m not implying it was all rainbows and unicorns living back then. But we can always learn from our past right? And the fact of the matter is obesity was very rare back then.
In today’s modern times we all seem to have that gym, yoga, platies, or fitness club membership. There are Wholefoods, PCC, Trader Joes, and health food stores all within a short drive. We have access to online courses for diet, exercise, meditation. We have a health care provider for just about every ailment or health concern we have and still…we are facing an obesity epidemic like this country has never seen in history. What is really happening today is we spend most of our time inside, sitting all day at a workstation, on our phones, or watching TV. Our food sources are mostly processed foods or fast foods and are lacking in even the most basic of nutrients to survive. Here is a prime example; take a look at magnesium, at one time foods were rich in this metal and now because of depleted soils, you can barely get it into your diet without supplementation.
Let’s say that you don’t fall into the average category of a sedentary lifestyle. You feel you are doing everything right. You are getting plenty of exercise each day, sleeping correctly, keeping hydrated, getting outside daily for some vitamin D, meditating, doing yoga weekly, but still feel tired, have brain fog, and just can’t seem to get rid of those love handles no matter how many times you workout in a week. So, what gives? What is the secret to fat loss? Are you ready for it? It’s easy as 1,2,3.
- Cut out PUFA’s from your diet.
- Shorten your Feeding Window.
- Just Move!
- That’s it!
Cut out all PUFA’S from your diet-As the formula is as easy as 1,2,3, to implement these modalities into our busy lives can be, well let’s just say not so easy. It will take dedication; a plan of action and a lifestyle change on your part. Just by reading this book you are starting to make those changes, so be proud of yourself! let’s dive deep into this and give you some real tools you can use to help attain your weight loss goals. First you need to understand that cutting out any type of PUFA’s in your diet is job number one! You can meditate for hours, diet and exercise till the cows come home, but if you are still eating PUFA’s none of those things will matter. PUFA’s are easy to spot once you know what to look for. Make no mistake this will be tricky. PUFA’s are in just about every food in America. I can say with absolute certainty that every restaurant you go to uses industrial seed oils for cooking. With that said, finding these insidious poisons in your food can be done with just a little detective work. You first just must be smart about the foods you are consuming. Eating smart begins with reading labels. Any food product that has an industrial seed oil on the label stay away from. Fast foods, fried foods and packaged foods are the biggest culprits. Remember what you were taught earlier, if it comes in a bottle or a box, it will probably have some type of an industrial seed oil. Just about any packaged food item you see in your local grocery story will have them. Industrial oils belong in your car and NOT in your food!
How many of you accepted the LifeSpanners Removing Bad Fats challenge we put out for you earlier? How many boxes of food did you have to throw-out? We have done many PUFA interventions with clients where we go through their kitchen, pantry, and refrigerator. They were shocked and appalled on how many boxes of food we had to throw away. What they were eating was garbage and that is exactly where it went when we were finished!
Shorten your Feeding Window –When this whole fasting phenomenon of Intermittent fasting hit mainstream America and became the new darling of the fitness industry, I was one of those guys that said that Americans just found a new way to stop stuffing their mouths 24/7 so of course it works! I could not have been more wrong. Being a Ben Greenfield follower, he was a big proponent of eating 5 to 6 smaller meals throughout the day, So I followed suit. I just like Ben, was into bodybuilding, the unhealthiest sport in the world and it was not unusual for me to show up to work with a wagon full of food that I would consume gradually over the course of the day. Sure, if you are 21 years old have an active lifestyle and spend 3 hours a day at the gym smashing the weights, it’s a great way to pack on size and turn that food to muscle. But it is also a great way to pile on fat, especially if you are now a bit older or not working out daily like an Olympic champion. My thinking was by eating 6 sometimes 8 small meals a day, I would keep my metabolism elevated and burn fat while simultaneously gaining muscle. I believed that intermittent fasting would have my body start to cannibalize on itself and I would lose my hard-earned muscle. My whole perspective on this phenomenon changed when a dear friend of mine, @beckysu22, opened my mind and showed me how intermittent fasting has proven to not only help millions of people to lose weight and keep that weight off, but is also helping them boost their immunity systems and cognitive abilities as well. I want to stress that starting an intermittent fasting program without knowing what you are doing can be flat out dangerous! However, when introduced slowly and done correctly you will see astonishing results.
Why Train in the Morning while Fasted?
Studies have found that training in a fasted state increases your metabolic rate. The theory is that your body feeds on stored fat when you are working out fasted. All the energy that is used for digestion is now looking for alternative sources during your workout and this is a good thing. You will find that you even get a better gym pump because the blood that was being used for digestion is now available to go to your muscles where it is needed. You will now be burning fat for fuel and supplying your muscles with an alternative energy and powerful nutrients that they need.
On top of burning fat and gaining lean muscle, the benefits of training in the morning fasted go way beyond just looking good in that bikini. By giving your digestive system a much-needed break, you will be letting it rest and repair. Your digestive system is intimately tied to your immune system. When your immune system is able to rest and restore, it will be stronger and at the ready when you need it the most. You will find that you get sick less and sleep better. You may also find that you sleep a bit less but are more rested giving you even more time in a day to do the things you love.
Training in a fasted state has autophagy and ketosis benefits as well. My suggestion is to try it out for yourself 3 to 4 days a week for 30 days. Start out with a 16:8 and just see how you feel. Are you sleeping better? Do you have more mental clarity? At the gym, is your energy good and are you seeing the weight starting to come off? By incorporating a fasted cardio burn in the morning, you will be activating the benefits of hormesis as well as giving yourself a metabolic boost. (For your complete guide on fasting, review Intermittent fasting in Chapter 3 Supp Up Macro and Micro Nutrition).
Just Move –About now you are probably asking yourself, hey I thought this pillar was about exercise? What gives! Let’s talk a little bit about exercise right now. What it is exactly? What is the best kind of exercise? Everyone has a different idea on what the ideal exercise for them should be. Most overthink it, join a gym, get an under qualified trainer, and then find after a few months or weeks, they begin to backslide. They first miss a day here, a day there. Then they miss a week or two. Then the next thing they know, a few months have passed without them going to the gym and they end up canceling the membership altogether. All the same old excuses start to bubble up in their heads. I am too old, I don’t have the time, I have kids, I’m not physically ready, I can’t get motivated, I’m too tired, it’s just too hard, I am not good enough, why even try. This is the classic New Year’s Resolution Syndrome. The gyms are packed for the first two weeks in January with all the resolutioners and by mid-February the rush is over, and the gyms settle back to normal. So why is it people have so much determination to get into shape but in the end fail miserably?
“Circumstantial commitment means staying committed to any worthwhile goal or endeavor and not letting circumstances in or out of your control stop you from continuing your journey. It is about knowing where you are going and not letting anyone, or anything stop you.”
Being committed to an exercise routine takes a bit more than just determination. Really ask yourself what is it you want? Almost everyone we have started working with initially say they want to lose weight and get in shape. But after a few more questions we find out that they are not sleeping well, have joint issues, low energy, low libido, and some are flat out depressed. What they are all really looking for is to feel good and nothing they are doing seems to be working. Everyone wants to create a healthy energetic lifestyle, but that takes a bit more than just joining a gym eating a kale salad and pushing around some weights. Wanting something and being determined will get you only so far. You must write your down your goals, decide and commit. It is all about creating good healthy habits in your lives and that takes time and energy. The biggest excuse I hear is “I just don’t have enough time”. This country just went through the biggest worldwide shut down in history! Time was the only thing we had and most chose to drink, sleep, and watch TV for hours on end. I learned through Covid that we don’t lack the time; we lack the motivation.
Movement is life. We are either doing something every day to better ourselves, or we are dying. There is no stagnation in life. When it comes to exercise and what is the best one out there, don’t over think it, just move! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just get off the couch and move! If you can’t get to the gym, then go for a walk, jump rope, do push-ups, sit-ups, or a YouTube a yoga session. Whatever it is just do something! No excuses! You will find that you will feel better. Be in a better mood and have more energy that day. The mind body connection is a real thing. Activating your body through movement is good not just for your physical state but your mental state as well. The mind and body are connected in ways we are just now beginning to explore.
The key to making this a lifetime habit, is to hold yourself accountable. And once you get moving, try not to break the string of workout days you have put together! You must do it every day! They say getting to the gym is half the battle. Well, I am here to tell you my friends, it is all the battle! By actually going each day, even if you did not have your best training day, is what it takes to develop a good habit and a lifestyle change. Habits, for good or bad, are created over time. After a while you won’t have to track your days because it will become a non-negotiable part of your life. You need to commit to this every day, even when you aren’t feeling 100%. Maybe you had a bad night’s sleep or have a heavy workload. There is always an excuse not to move, you must make it non-negotiable with yourself. You can’t always train only when you feel good. You had created a lifetime of bad habits with your fitness, it will take time to replace those with good habits. You will have to push through those days when you feel a bit off or simply don’t feel like going at all. Those are the most important days to get your body moving and exercise! I can’t tell you how many times after a hard day’s work, I felt like going home and skipping my yoga class but went to class anyway. On those off days when I did end up pushing through and getting my lazy ass to class, I would have the best class ever! Listen to me, the universe will always reward you with an amazing workout if you go on your off days. I hold on to those small victories in my mind so that the next time I feel a bit off, I can get myself motivated, cowboy up and get to my yoga class or the gym. When you push through adversity like that, is when you can be really be proud of yourself! You will never accomplish anything in life if you only commit to doing it when you are feeling 100%
Whatever you choose to do for your personal choice of exercise, make yourself accountable, make it fun, make it accessible and make it non-negotiable with yourself.
Below is a list of my top 5 personal favorites and at the end of this chapter will be an additional quick fat loss system that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Pick one or two, or all five of the exercises I have listed for you here and commit to doing them at least 5 days a week for a minimum of 20 to 45 minutes. If the ones I list here simply don’t resonate with you, that’s okay. At the end of the day, the best exercise is the one you love and will keep you going back again, and again, and again. Maybe it’s a Zumba class, roller-skating, paddle boarding, jumping on a trampoline, hiking, taking a barre class, martial arts, playing tennis, basketball or maybe its pole dancing! The point is, get your body a movin and a shakin every day!
MY TOP 5 PERSONAL FAVORITES
When it comes to exercise there are many studies about resistance training. This could be the best type of exercise you need to incorporate into your fitness routine. Lifting weights builds muscle, increases bone density and loss of muscle especially as we age. This is known as sarcopenia. It is a natural part of aging but that does not mean you are helpless to stop it. There is a saying that there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. But the loss of muscle mass should be added to that list. Less muscle means greater weakness and less mobility. Both of which may increase your risk of falls, fractures and believe it or not your overall health. Muscle loss occurs because of an imbalance between two neurological signals involved in muscle growth. A catabolic response (the breakdown of muscle proteins) sends a signal to reduce the size of muscle, while an anabolic response (the gain of muscle proteins) sends a signal to build up muscle. The loss of muscle mass as we age is inevitable if we do nothing, however there is a solution. You can actually build muscle as we age with a consistent resistance weight training regimen. Even into our 60’s and beyond. You may have to work a little harder and smarter, but the rewards are life changing and lifesaving. Here is what can happen if you are not staying on top of your muscle health through consistent resistance training.
- Decrease in the body’s ability to convert protein into energy
- Reduction in physical activity due to weakness or loss of stamina
- Lowered hormone levels and sex drive
- Depression/mood swings
- Difficulty climbing stairs and keeping balance
- Muscle atrophy and hypoplasia (decrease in muscle size and number of muscle fibers)
Weight training will not only slow down and even reverse the process of losing muscle, but it will also increase your body’s ability to drive glucose into muscle tissue and thereby lowering the glucose in your blood. This will increase your insulin sensitivity which means you can control your blood sugar and reduce the storage of sugar as fat. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does. Any extra movement that you do with your everyday routine will now help to burn more calories with that extra muscle you now have. In addition to that, just the fact that you are going to the gym and routinely exercising will burn more calories and at the end of the day help you to lose fat and stay slim. Resistance training also causes a sharp increase in testosterone and a 200-700 percent increase in human growth hormone to help you grow new neurons.
Ladies don’t be afraid to grab a weight and workout that upper body of yours. No, you won’t start to look like a man I promise! And men workout those legs of yours by hitting those squats and deadlifts hard! Your testosterone levels and sex drive will go way up, and your partner will be thanking you!
If you don’t have the time nor the funds to join a gym, this can be all be achieved with even just some simple pushups, pullups, air squats and lunges 3 to 5 times a week. Invest in a couple kettlebells, a set of dumbbells, a few resistance bands and VALA, you have a home gym! Where there is a will there is a way, no excuses.
The benefits of cycling are as endless as the biking trails in your area. I believe that cycling is one of the best options for exercise when you start to add up all the benefits.
- Getting outside alone is the best reason to jump on a bike. It improves your mental wellbeing and state of mind. Cycling is quick and easy. You can jump on your bike and go for a 20-minute ride or make it an all-day adventure. During the Pandemic, cycling became the number one activity around the world and turned the biking industry on its ear!
- Cycling has Hugh benefits on the health of the upper respiratory system reducing the cases of covid-19 and the common cold amongst cyclists. People can knock down sick days by about 40 percent just by cycling most days of the week.
- Cycling promotes weight loss! It burns between 400 and 1000 calories an hour. Cycling Builds Muscle! The resistance element of cycling means that it doesn’t just burn fat, but it builds muscle as well. Especially in the legs.
- Cycling is a low impact exercise so your chance of short-term or long-term injuries are greatly reduced. Unlike running which overtime can destroy knees, hips and back.
- The downside of cycling besides the costs, is that it is a non-weight bearing exercise and this means that it won’t help with your bone density. So, pairing up cycling with resistance training is a powerful combination.
High Intensity Interval Training is the new darling on the fitness scene. Your workouts with HIIT will alternate between intense bursts of strenuous exercise and brief periods of active rest. You could jump rope for 60 seconds and then walk for 30, hit a heavy bag hard for 60 seconds and walk for 30 seconds then do pushups or burpees for 60 seconds and keep repeating the process for at least 20 minutes and you will get a highly efficient workout. HIIT will push your muscles and cardiovascular system to extreme stress and then allows for an active rest period. HIIT could be more efficient than your resistance training and your aerobic exercise combined. Studies have shown that HIIT is 10 times more effective at increasing growth hormone then endurance training and even resistance training.
A regular Yoga practice offers physical and mental health benefits for all ages. Yoga improves strength, balance, and flexibility. Yoga is the only known cure for lower back problem such as bulging disks and sciatica. That’s right I said cure. I know this from personal experience. Back surgeries have only a 30% success rate. Yoga has a 100% success rate. You do the math. With a regular yoga practice your levels of stress will be reduced substantially and subsequentially your levels of body-wide inflammation that contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure and excess weight will also be reduced. You will find that you are sleeping better, have more energy and be in brighter moods all day! Our complete wellness comes not just from physical heath, but from mental health and spiritual health as well. Yoga addresses all three of your major health categories, Mind, Body and Spirit. To be metabolically healthy we must pay attention to all three. I have seen over and over again dramatic changes in body composition from yogis cutting out PUFA’s and doing a 30-, 60- or 90-day Hot Yoga Challenge. The fat will literally be melting off your body when you take on a challenge like this. Yoga does so much more than simply increasing your flexibility. Your brainpower will also increase significantly. When you are performing an asana all parts of your body are being engaged at the same time. Your brain is forced to use both the right and left hemispheres of the brain simultaneously increasing the blood flow to your brain. This is especially true when there is any kind of cross lateral movements in yoga. That is when your limbs cross over the centerline of your body. Out of all the exercise listed in this chapter, if you had to pick just one to incorporate into your life, Hot Yoga would be my number one pick for you.
Just 10 minutes of jumping rope has been proven to be just as effective, if not more so, than 30 minutes of running. It is a quick easy and an inexpensive way to get your cardio in. Jumping rope activates your leg muscles, shoulders, back, chest, arms, and abs. You are engaging your core muscles and getting those abs in 6 pack shape without having to do one plank or sit up. The benefits of jumping rope are immense. Athletes use this to improve hand eye coordination. Your reflexes, balance and posture will benefit from this exercise. It is a high intensity, but low impact sport. Jumping rope is not only is easier on the joints then running, but it also actually strengthens ligaments surrounding the joints. It is fun and easy to do, plus it will increase the activity in your brain. The simple act of jumping up and down has been proven to improve memory, alertness, concentration and reading skills. There is a current study being conducted that is looking into the benefits of jumping rope in starving off dementia. David Asprey indicates in his book Head Strong that when you perform a jumping or shaking movement, it has a profound impact on the water in your cells. This shaken up water is converted into exclusion zone water, aka (EZ water). EZ water is a special type of water that forms in your cells. It is like a charged battery that can deliver energy to cells that need it, especially your brain. EZ water makes your mitochondria stronger so you can produce more ATP energy which in turn gives your brain a supercharge! So go pick yourself up a 20-dollar rope off amazon and jump your way onto that classic game show “Jeopardy”. Maybe you could be the next Alex Trebek!
My personal workout routine:
- I start my week off on Monday with a lung blowing workout.
- Resistance training 3 times a week Tuesday – Thursday. Usually in the mornings.
- Hot Yoga 4 times a week on Wednesday & Thursday evening, Friday afternoon and Sunday mornings.
- Saturday is my wildcard. You will find me in either a Power Yoga Class, on a Road Bike pretending I am in the tour de France or hiking somewhere in the PNW.
- I train abs and core every day except for my leg days, for no other reason than it being a leg day and I am usually crawling out of the gym. An awesome app you can get to take you through a nice after workout core session is called: 6 Pack Promise- Ultimate Abs by Jeff Cavaliere. It is a free app and has a daily smash your core workout!
- I stretch before and after every workout. I target stretch the area I am focusing on that day. You will find that DOMS is not as intense when you stretch the muscle that you just trained.
OTHER FAT LOSS TIPS:
This simple addition to your LifeSpanners health hacks, can help boost your body’s own ability to burn fat. Thousands of people from all over the world are already incorporating cold showers into their daily routines and seeing tremendous results. The main reasons are it reduces stress levels, increases your mental alertness, boosts your immune system, and of course accelerates weight loss. Did you know that 10 minutes of shivering burns as many calories as one hour of exercise? Your brown fat cells will generate heat in your body by beginning to burn your tuff to get rid of white fat cells. Brown adipose tissue, which is primarily located around the upper back, neck, and collar bones, is a metabolically active fat that will burn and oxidize your white fat. This occurs when your body is exposed to cold conditions like in a cold shower.
Also referred to as cryotherapy, this technique speeds up muscle recovery, reduces inflammation and helps with weight loss. Once your brown fat is activated during cryotherapy, it releases two hormones: Irisin and FGF21. These two hormones when released, are what burn white fat tissues helping you to lose weight according to Dr. Paul Lee. His findings have now been supported by scientists at Harvard University and is now an undisputable fact. Cryotherapy burns white adipose tissue. So, what are you waiting for? Go Jump in a Lake and freeze off those unwanted Pounds!
Are you thinking to yourself there is no way you are starting your day off with an Ice-cold shower! Brrrrrrrrr! Okay how about these added benefits. Did you know that cold showers or Ice baths have been proven to improve glucose tolerance of the body helping to prevent diabetes? Also, cryotherapy is an important part of the now famous WIM HOF Method. The WIM HOF Method is built on three powerful pillars: A breathing technique, controlled exposure to cold, and commitment. Many people from all over the world, including celebrities and professional sports athletes, are already benefiting from his method. Furthermore, cold exposure is beneficial for both your mind and your body. This is a form of Hormesis, a little bit of bad is good for you. This will take a bit of will power on your part, but you are stronger than you think! It takes a strong mind to endure the cold exposure for extended periods of time. But by incorporating cold showers into your daily routine, you will be strengthening your mind and your will power! WIM HOF has a free App you can download onto your phone. It has fun challenges, detailed instructions, and videos on how to have fun with this.
Stand More, Sit Less
Nearly everyone knows that you gain weight by consuming more calories than you can burn. Just by standing more, instead of sitting at work, you will reduce the risk of weight gain and obesity by burning extra calories each hour you work. This is so simple to do, but it does take a bit of focus. If you were to start to track just how much you are actually standing a day, you will find that you are in a seated position way more times than you would like to admit. This is also more challenging than I like to admit. I recently purchased a desk riser. You know the one that can raise and lower your computer monitor. My goal at first was very ambitious to not sit all day. I used to work for Safeway as a checker when I was a very young man and standing for 8 hours was nothing unusual for me. Well things have changed the past 30 years and standing all day I find quite challenging. It’s more of a mental game. The chair seems to pull me down like gravity. So, I have changed my standing goals. I have a timer on my iPhone that I have set to chirp at me every 30 minutes. I stand for 30 and sit for 30. After my lunch, I do my best to stand for around 1 hour. I found that standing can be very effective immediately after a meal. I don’t get that after meal crash or feel the need for coffee. Standing for 180 minutes or 2 hours after a meal will reduce your blood sugar spikes by 43 percent. If standing that long seem a bit daunting, do what I do and that is by alternating between sitting and standing every 30 minutes back and forth throughout the workday. This will reduce your blood sugar spikes by 11 percent. By standing more, the calories you burn will start to add up over time! If you want to enhance the benefit of standing at your workstation, you can add some STANDING DESK EXERCISES while you work. If you march in place you can burn up to 225 calories per hours while stimulating your brain activity making you more productive and energetic.
After Meal Walks
In recent years, a growing trend in the health and fitness community has been to take a short walk after each meal to yield various health benefits. One of those benefits they found out is that low volume, easy walking for thirty minutes after a meal, kept the concentration of fat in the blood 18 percent lower than sitting or standing after a meal. This is particularly important for people with type 1 or 2 diabetes. Exercising after eating may prevent excessive spikes in blood sugar and reduce insulin or oral medication treatments.
In addition to fat loss, walking is the most natural way for our body to move and will add years to your life and life to your years by:
- Lowering your mortality rate -walking can lower your mortality rate by 51 percent for walkers over the age of 40.
- Bolstering your Brain-Research has found that regular walking appears to increase the size of the hippocampus, the region of the brain that is responsible for memory. And get this, the benefits are almost immediate! Walking regularly may even help people over 55 that are already experiencing memory problems.
- Saving your vision-A Swedish study published in the journal of Ophthalmology, showed that walking daily for 60 minutes or more showed a decreased risk of cloudy lenses and lowered your risk of glaucoma.
- Helping you to sleep– If you have chronic sleep problems, walking could be your new sleep aid. If you can walk first thing in the morning fasted, the exposure to early morning sun appears to help you reset your natural circadian rhythms. Research also showed that postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 75 who walked briskly for 30 minutes a day in the morning were 70 percent less likely to have trouble falling asleep.
- Zenning you out– In chapter one we talked about the benefits of meditation to relax you and how you will be less likely to sweat the little things in life. Well, if you are the restless type and have a hard time with meditation, an afternoon of mindful walking may offer you many of the same stress-busting benefits. Mindful walking helps you to clear your mind and helps you to reconnect with your body. Mindful walking is an easier paced walk taking in all the sounds, sights and smells connecting with all your senses. Your breath is relaxed and natural as you take in your surroundings. Focus on your breath and being present.
Get off the treadmill and stop running now!
Yes, you read me correctly. I have been training for over 4 decades now. You get to know who the Powerlifters, Bodybuilders, Cross Fitters, Yogis, and who the Treadmill Junkies are. I always wondered why the treadmill junkie’s bodies would not only stay the same overtime, but sometimes they would start getting bigger! It was a head scratcher. There they were every day at the gym running for hours on end and putting on weight?
Ben Greenfield put out a book called Beyond Training. In it he goes into detail on how and why long grueling bouts of cardio may significantly improve your endurance but is not necessarily the best for your heath or your waistline. How is this possible? Everything we have been told is that running will make you slim and toned right?
To explain this, let’s think about what this incredible machine we call our body does to adapt to stress. There is a principle called the SAID principle. It stands for “specific adaption to imposed demands”. Our body’s will adapt to its environment. If you take your training seriously you need to understand that the SAID principle means that how much you train has a direct impact on your results. When you run for prolong periods of time over weeks, months even years your body becomes extremely efficient and adapts to that particular exercise. In order to be most efficient, it needs to shed unwanted weight, stockpile and store the weight or cells that it can use for the most energy. The part of your body that is the least efficient for this activity and takes more energy to move and cool is, yes you guessed it…your muscle! Your fat cells are not only kept but encouraged to grow so they can be used for your next marathon or treadmill run. Now here is where it really starts to go downhill. We all know that muscle burns more calories than fat. The less muscle you have, the less calories you are burning. Burning calories = burning fat. When it is laid out like that it is easy to see how running for prolonged periods of time is counterproductive to losing weight. In the end your body is a responsive, adaptive machine that evolved for survival. If you are running excessively, your body will adjust to compensate. As complex as this incredible machine we call the human body is, it is simple in design.
It is basically designed for two things, A. Survival and B. Reproduction. If you waste energy running, your body will react by slowing down your metabolism to conserve its energy.
With that said if you are new to fitness, overweight, training for endurance, or a marathon, running is a terrific option! So please don’t get me wrong, stepping on that treadmill or going for that morning jog is not only recommended, but also a great way to compliment your exercise regimen. I am talking mostly about the Treadmill junkies who spend hours upon hours each week, month, year running to get into better shape and do nothing else.
Here is your third LifeSpanners challenge!
Get Your Body Moving
The Get Your Body Moving Challenge:
Being accountable for your health starts with choosing a DAY-1! It all starts with taking that first step and what better way to do that than to make a fun challenge for yourself?
I invite you to partake in a 30-Day get your body moving challenge! Are you up for it? Start by choosing your start date and marking it on your calendar. Starting on a Sunday, or the 1st of the Month makes it easier to track. Commit to a minimum of 20 to 45 minute of exercise a day for 30 days. Make yourself accountable by telling your friends and/or family on the challenge you are about to embark on. Invite them as well! It makes it more fun when you have partner(s) and you are also 10 times more likely to succeed! You can motivate and encourage each other and then celebrate your victories together! You don’t even have to workout together to make this happen. Start a group chat and check-in with each other every day. Track your progress with a calendar, a journal or Instagram post. When you have completed your 30 days, reward yourself! Buy those new workout shoes you have been looking at, or perhaps treat yourself to a nice a dinner in a fancy dancy restaurant. If you made this a group challenge, you can all dress up and make it a big deal! Then repeat the process. Next time around go for a 40-day challenge! If you miss a day along the way, no big deal, just double up the next day and don’t beat yourself up or lose faith. Bottom line is you are trying to create a good habit and healthy lifestyle that will last a lifetime, so have fun with this! Make taking care of yourself a top priority in your life!
Here is what your 30-day challenge should look like:
- Day 1 thru 5 – commit to 20 to 45 minutes of moving your body with your choice of resistance training, yoga, pilates, cycling or a long walk.
- Day 6 – Some type of lung blowing exercise for 20 to 45 minutes. This can include running stairs, jump rope, a power yoga class, Zumba, hitting a heavy bag, a spin class or doing some type of HIIT class. Just make sure whatever it is you choose to do for your lung destroying workout, you finish in a drop to your knees sweaty heap!
- Day 7 – Rest and Recovery. Yes, it is okay to have a lazy day every now and then but make this day more a restorative day. Go for a nice long easy walk, find a hiking trail, take a leisurely bike ride, go rollerblading, get a red-light sauna session, take a restorative yoga class, or treat yourself to a relaxing massage. On this day do something that is good for your body and puts a smile on your face. Whatever you choose to do, don’t just lay around on the couch all day! Get your body moving!
- Extra credit for working out in the morning in a fasted state.
- Extra, extra credit if you take a 2 to 3-minute cold shower after your workout!
Is this going to be day 1, or will it still be one day?
YOU GOT THIS! No excuses!
LifeSpanners Aging Forward – “FAST LOSS” Quick Tips
Quick Tip #1– Cut out all PUFA’S! I know this is easier said than done but if you are looking to live a long healthy life, you must become aware of what these insidious poisons are doing to all of us. Just look around next time you are at a fair, a concert, or a sporting event. Obesity and inflammation are running rampant in western society, even our children are getting double chins.
Quick Tip #2– Have a plan for exercise each morning. No excuses. Spend 20 to 45 minutes a day moving your body. Commit to this and make it a nonnegotiable habit.
Quick Tip #3– Cold showers. Finish your morning shower with a minimum of 30 seconds of ice-cold water. Work your way up to 2 to 3 minutes a day for 5 days a week. If you are truly committed to optimum health and longevity of life, commit to this easy and free health hack. It is that important. It takes a strong mind to do this but overtime you will build a stronger mind and body. You got this!
Quick Tip #4– Start Intermittent fasting today. It is easy to do. Stop eating by 7 pm and don’t have your first meal until the next day at 11 am. This is free, simple, and effective! Just do it, don’t be a cry baby! If you feel hungry in the morning drink a Dave Asprey Bullet Proof black coffee (black coffee, MCT oil and grass-fed butter; well blended) as this will accelerate your ketosis and is a hunger inhibitor.
Quick Tip #5– Drink lots of water! I highly recommend adding Redmond’s Salt, a splash of lemon and a dash of stevia! It tastes just like fresh squeezed lemon aid. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Quick Tip #6– Take sleep seriously! Get plenty of rest. Stay off your phone and get the T.V. out of the bedroom.
Quick Tip #7– Weigh yourself each morning. Most do not because they want to bury their heads in the sand like an Ostridge and pretend everything is all right. Hold yourself accountable! Your weight may fluctuate from day to day but if you are doing all the right things, you won’t be gaining weight.
Quick Tip#8– Meal prep. It is way too easy to grab a subway sandwich or hit up Chick-fil-A when you forget to pack your lunch.
Quick Tip #9– Reward yourself with a cheat meal or cheat treat on the weekends. Here at LifeSpanners we are big proponents of living your life! Once you hit your target weight you can start to enjoy more foods. Just be smart. Going to McDonalds never did anybody any good.
Quick Tip #10– Be patient. Know that for the last 30, 40 or 50 years you have been clogging up your system with inflammatory foods. It will take a bit of time for your body to right itself. With that said, when you begin to cut out PUFA’s, shorten your feeding window, get your body moving and finish with a cold shower, you will notice a difference quickly on how light you feel and experience an increase in your mental clarity!
Everything is in motion. Movement is life. There is no stagnation in life. As we begin to age and once you start to get comfortable on the couch or in that chair, it will become harder and harder go get up and get moving. Stay active, keep moving and don’t ever let gravity take over. I am asked all the time what the best exercise to do is. My answer is always the same, find what you love and just do it! Whether, that is running, biking, Zumba, yoga, martial arts, hiking, lifting weights, sex, or a combination of all of the above, just do it! We all choose our own adventures in life. Whatever gets you off the couch and out the door, do it for a minimum of 20 to 45 minutes a day, each & every day. Add in one 20-minute lung blaster each week and you will find that you are now living a LifeSpanners life. Because movement is life and stagnation is death, this makes exercise your LifeSpanners Top 10 Health Hack!
Reads and Sees:
#RIPPEDAY50 – Troy Casey
Boundless –Ben Greenfield
Beyond Training– Ben Greenfield
The Cure to Laziness- Stephen Martin
Awaken the Giant Within– Tony Robbins
Ancient Secret of the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH– Peter Kelder
How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! –Paul Chek
Deep Nutrition- Dr. Cate Shanahan
Throw that Punch-Preston Ducati 6th degree blackbelt