Alturnative Blog entry
By Shane Rosario
Summer is over; fall is here, as the leaves are turning, dropping to the ground I encourage you to make some changes with the season as well. Fall is a great time to get back on track, pick up the pace, or just dig in a little deeper to focus on your health. Holidays are quickly approaching, we all know that extra calories and missed training time accompany this time of year as we visit family and friends. Knowing this, I recommend making a plan of action to ensure you maintain your ideal physique/health to counter this interval. Health is commonly associated with being disease free but I use it as a much broader term which encompasses six categories. The six categories are Physical, Social, Intellectual, Emotional, Environmental, and Spiritual health. I will suggest a few tips to help achieve, maintain and thrive toward an ideal state of physical health, otherwise known as physical wellness.
Body size and shape, strength, flexibility, endurance, the ability to recuperate after illness or tough training routines are just a few aspects of physical wellness. Why does wellness matter? Incorporating good wellness practices into your lifestyle may benefit you, and your loved ones on various levels. Aside from the almost instantaneous benefits seen in clients starting a fitness routine, physical fitness may also provide long term rewards as well. Regular physical activity can increase blood sugar regulation, mental functioning, a stronger immune system and a stronger heart. To begin, I recommend being completely honest with yourself before planning a course of action. Clearly identify what it is you want to accomplish, clearly state what your obstacles are. Make realistic, obtainable and measurable short term goals which are aligned with your long term goals.
For example if you have fifteen pounds you would like to shed make a short term goal to lose two pounds in a week. Once this is achieved move forward toward your long term plan by continuing to shed two pounds a week until you have established your goal of fifteen. Yes, it will take some time approximately two months however, by shedding the weight gradually, not drastically research indicates that you will likely not gain the weight back. I know people who’ve had gastric bypass surgery, have lost a great deal of weight rapidly but within a few months are wondering why they are gaining the weight back. Simply put, a behavior change must occur. There must be a change from unhealthy behaviors to behaviors which cultivate a level of fitness that makes you happy and healthy. I recommend starting a food and exercise journal now. Hold yourself accountable to your actions. Make your goals clear in your mind, jot them in your log, and plan step by step how you will succeed. Be detailed/very honest when writing down your meals and workouts. Schedule your day around your workouts and meals not the other way around.
It’s not as challenging as it sounds once you have implemented your well thought out strategy. If you continue to document your progress you will easily be able to establish behavior patterns. Schedule your workout times in your planner as if it were a doctor’s appointment, it actually is just as important. Also, know the types of exercise and length of time you will spend training. Be sure to account for your rest days as well. Prepare meals in advance so you’re not forced to eat on the go, pack a lunch to bring to work, or have fruits and vegetables readily available so you’re not forced to eat the Oreos/chips. I cannot stress the importance of solid nutrition enough in today’s highly sedentary culture, so plan accordingly. Recruit a coworker, spouse, friend, or family member to set similar goals, share the success together. These are a few tips that I have used on my journey toward physical wellness, my hopes are that you may apply them to thrive on yours.
By Linda Howard
This past Wednesday the world lost a creative genius, co-founder, former CEO and the visionary of Apple.
Steve Jobs died on October 5th from pancreatic cancer. When I listened to his Stanford University 2005 commencement speech that CNN aired in totality yesterday, I heard many lifestyle lessons in his words and received lifestyle lessons from the little that I know about his life and his death.Excerpts From the Speech
You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
When I resigned from my job to start Alturnative Fitness, many people thought that I was crazy to quit a job in “this economy”, but I was following my heart and as Jobs said, as with all matters of the heart, you know when it is right. His words resonated with me and reminded me of one of my earlier affirmations “find your joy in life”. If you have not found your joy in life, keep looking; if you do it right, the journey can be as sweet as the destination.
I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
This made me think about Stephen Covey’s second habit of highly effective people “begin with the end in mind”. (From the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) For me this meant, live your life today in a way that you will want to remember it on your last day. If you are living a life today that you will regret tomorrow take at least one step towards changing it.
Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
I just finished reading The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz’s, which was re-enforcement on my belief that you should not live your life based on principles of fear. His words inspired me even more to follow my heart without fear of failure or rejections. If you can master this, most of life’s stresses will disappear.My Lesson in His Life and Death
Jobs’ life and death were a reminder to me to be steadfast on achieving the right work life balance. Here was a man who was a creative genius, and probably made more money than most of us could even conceive of, that died at the age of 56. I don’t know how he lived his life, managed his stress or took care of his physical health, and I am not going to speculate. But what I do know is that career success and worldly possessions did not insulate him from a chronic disease and premature death. It is my reminder to put my health first, understanding that money won’t secure my place here on earth.
I acknowledge Jobs for his wonderful contributions to the world and am grateful that I had the opportunity to hear his powerful speech on life and death. My condolences to his family and Apple. Jobs was indeed great at what he loved, his devices positively impacted my life and now his words and his death have done the same. To read the full speech and watch the video on Stanford’s website click here.
By Linda Howard
Seven out of ten deaths in the United States are from chronic diseases and eighty percent of all chronic diseases are preventable. One might say that “you have to die from something”, but the reality is that often times chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis equals years of suffering and sometimes disability.
For many of us who suffer from or will suffer from a chronic disease lifestyle choices -such as poor food selections, inactivity, smoking and excessive alcohol use – are the blamed. Learn how to prevent the onset of chronic diseases.
Although I frequently talk about lifestyle choices, I must point out that in order for it truly to be a choice the individual must have equitable access to a healthy life. Some, however, have little or no access to a healthy lifestyle, which in many cases is not a choice. This is especially true with children who do not choose their environment, their food and are frequently exposed to second hand smoke. Many adults in the poorer neighborhoods have very little access to quality food; for those that live in crime ridden areas, taking a walk through the neighbor presents more immediate health risk related to violence. In these cases social and government intervention may be required and their lifestyle is arguably not a “choice”.
For the rest of us, it about choices! It is about you being accountable for your own wellbeing. Are you making healthy choices? If not, what’s stopping you from making decisions that will greatly increase the likelihood of you enjoying a healthy life?
Where do you start?
• Understand the long-term consequences and benefits of your behaviors
• Recognize those behaviors that put you at risk of chronic diseases and other illnesses
• Learn those behaviors that support wellbeing
• Decide to replace unhealthy habits and behaviors with healthy ones
• Put together your support team to help make it happen
For more information on behaviors that lead to chronic diseases and the astonishing statistic related to chronic diseases and risk behaviors visit Industry News on the Alturnative website and click on Wellness Stats About Chronic Diseases.
If you are looking forward to changing unhealthy behaviors and developing new healthy habits a wellness coach is a great option for sustainable change. A good coach can be a valuable member of your support team. A coach can help you to prioritize change, help you be accountable to yourself and guide you in developing a plan for change that will replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones.
Many employers now offer wellness programs, if available take advantage of it. You can also look for a certified wellness coach who coaches individuals privately. There are plenty of coaches out there, look for the right one for you. To view the Alturnative wellness coaching packages click here.
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