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Sustainable Health & Fitness
Anyone can start a health or weight loss program, but it only works if you can maintain it. Sustainability is the name of the game. Too many health and fitness programs have one magic "ingredient;" too many diets leave out the exercise; and too many programs' primary focus is on weight (Weight Watchers!) If you try the Body For Life program, you'll probably look better than you ever have before, but you'll put on weight because muscle weighs more than fat. But Body For Life is a system, including diet, exercise and theory; it's very effective. The life expectancy of the average person is 77. Ask yourself this question: what will I look like when I'm over 70? How will I feel when I'm over 60? If you want to be healthy with lots of energy, flexibility, strength and vigor in your golden years, you need to start investing in your body now. We know Tai Chi masters and yoga instructors in their 60's and 70's who look like they're in their 30's or 30's. Without getting too "Dr. Phil," I can tell you that there is no "hovering." You're either getting better or getting worse. As you get older, it's harder to get healthier. The longer you wait, the more effort it will take. You must start with the mind-you must make the decision to change. This must involve changing your exercise habits and changing your diet. The exercise I am advocating is low stress, low impact. I recommend Tai Chi (of course), yoga, pilates, swimming, bicycling (without too much stress), gentle skiing, walking, etc (I'd say golf, but in Utah it's politically incorrect based on water consumption…). You should choose exercise that works your muscles without leaving you panting like a buffalo and drenched in sweat. As far as diet, don't freak out just to hear the word. Diet just means regulating what you're putting into your body. The off-diet items in the list below are a great guideline; these things are just not very good for you. Alcohol is also dietary. If you feel like you really need alcohol, grain alcohol such as vodka is better for you than beer. A glass of wine is also better for you than beer. The list below is a great a la cart buffet for changing your health and body. If there is something you just can't live with (or without), skip it. You'll need to focus on the other items to make the system work. If you can stick closely to 10 or 11 of these points, you will be well on your way to a healthy body. 1. Kick your body into overdrive; overtrain for two or three days by exercising hard for at least an hour. You don't need to maintain this pace-only shock your body into a temporary stress mode. 2. If you don't eat breakfast, start! One bowl of cereal is good. Stay away from most of the stuff listed below in number six. 3. Start taking good vitamins; packs of vitamins are my best recommendation. I take the GNC "DHEA Vitapack" for men over 40. I'm not 40 yet, but these seem to work really well. 4. Drink lots of water, all day long (add lemon or lime wedge for flavor); if you drink fruit juice, water it down. 5. Increase your metabolism by exercising in the morning (low stress, low impact) 6. Cut the following items out of your diet: · Alcohol · Bread · Sugar · Salt/sodium · Red meats (including PORK & LAMB, people!) · Pasta · Sauces · Anything fried · Cheese · Soda 7. Cut quantities of food. The human body doesn't need piles of food to operate well. 8. Drink protein shakes for lunch (see recipe below) 9. Eat only one kind of food at each meal. The digestive system works best if you can eat just one kind of food. Again, this is just a guideline. 10. Do not snack; eat only at meal time, even if you need one or two extra meals each day (small meals, of course). 11. After two weeks, allow yourself just one night each week to eat one of the things you've cut out (or drink alcohol) 12. After one month or two, allow yourself to drink one or two nights each week (if you feel like you need to), but not more than two drinks per day Once you really get into the swing of a health program, watch for signs of improvement. These can be: 1. Clothes are getting more loose 2. Hunger is a good sign; but try to drink water when you're hungry 3. Vascularity: more veins in your arms and hands (sign of lower body fat) 4. Skin is looking more clear 5. Feeling better, sleeping better, more energy 6. People commenting about your appearance Once you change your body into the lean machine you've always wanted, the pleasure of looking and feeling great will outweigh your desire to binge on sweets and alcohol, or even to eat those donuts that look so tasty. Go on! Get after it!