13 Mar

Don’t take the simple things for granted!

The body needs water everyday to function. Let me clarify this statement.  The body needs a required amount, according to its size, to function optimally.  We all know this, right? We know we can’t live without it. So why don’t we manage or monitor the amount of water we drink?

Because we have been taught that water is only an option and it can be replaced by other fluids? Unfortunately, this is absolutely wrong. Water is necessary for the body to functions at its best. How much do we need to drink? The intake of water is in direct relation to how much you weigh.  So everyone needs a different amount of water per day.  It’s not just a cup or two; it’s more like 60 to 100 ounces per day.  This is a known fact. But for some odd reason, it is difficult to accomplish this goal. This seems simple enough.  This seems simple enough, then why are most people chronically dehydrated?

If we all know this than why do most of us including myself wait until our body’s tell us, “Hey, I’m thirsty!” At this point it’s too late, there is already internal damage occurring. It might be small, but over time it becomes significant. Felling thirsty is a sign and symptom of mild to severe “Dehydration.” This is not just an individual problem; it’s national problem.

Being thirsty is a warning sign that the body is starting to malfunction. Medically speaking, when the body is craving thirst, it is already too late and has reached the point of  deficiency throughout the body. At this point the body is functioning below its physical and mental potential. Don’t quote me on this but I think it’s three to five percent below its potential.

Let me put this in perspective. This is like driving your car until the Oil warning light starts flashing and thinking, “it will be okay, I’ll check when I get home”. You may make it and you may not make it. Do you want to take that chance? Some people do this, I don’t recommend this.  But to keep your car running at top performance, we proactively change the oil every 1 to 3 thousand miles, or for newer cars we refer to the owners manual.

The owners manual for the body (all anatomy and physiology books) state the body is made up of around 60% of water. It is a necessity to keep it hydrated. Because it keeps the blood flowing smoothly and clean, transports oxygen,  hormones, and nutrients throughout the body.  This is also another name for maintaining “Homeostasis.” If the blood gets thick due to dehydration; it becomes sluggish; it becomes less efficient at transporting these items to their perspective destinations. Hence,  dehydration is one of the main causes in the development of a disease process.

The general Rule of Thumb for drinking water is: Drink half of your body weight in ounces. For example, a 200lb men should be drinking 100 ounces of water per day if he is sedentary. If he is active and doing physical labor he needs to be consuming 4 to 6 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during the activity. This is in addition to the 100 ounces needed to sustain a health life style. So drink water and stay healthy. Oh, by the way, most hunger cravings are the signs of dehydration and thirst not food. So drink water throughout the day and in between meals. Most of your minor aches and pain will vanish. Don’t take this flavorless, hydrogen and oxygen chemical compound, H2O, for granted!

10 Mar

Choose to be different. Choose to be you.

To be accepted, to fit into society is fairly easy, most of us do it everyday.  You just have to follow a few specific rules of etiquette and you blend right in. To be hired and paid an average living wage follows the same kind of rules. If you follow a set of instructions and put the right words into your resume you have a decent chance of getting hired. But this is the same criteria they use to downsize a company?  If you fit in and do the same thing as your co-workers, you can easily be replaced.   What can you do or offer better than anyone else?

Are you different or unique in some form or fashion?  Who knows this about you?  Are you passionate about anything? We all have something that inspires us, you just need to find it and embrace it, because this is who you are. This is what makes you a unique individual. So the big question you should be asking yourself is, am I living the life I was born to live?

I’ve asked many co-workers this same question. And the quick, most common response is, I don’t know. Mind you, these people are very smart when it comes to their job, and they do it very well. Unfortunately, being passionate about something doesn’t have rules to follow and is boundless and free.  And with freedom comes criticism and sometimes ridicule.  This scares most of us and makes us uncomfortable to say the least.

Why? Because we have only been taught how to be good rule followers and know that being perfect may get you a good grade, positive reinforcement by your peers and boss,  and even get you hired at a well-paying company. The most common American goal is to be perfect  at something and fit the mold of being an A, B, or C student;  this is how you blend into the status quo and where most people find comfort. The majority of people are okay with this or feel they don’t have any other choice, and that is okay too.

Yet, some of us are trying to break free from the status quo and don’t know how. This is like wanting to learn a foreign language without an instructor. It is possible, unfortunately most people have not learned how to do this. Why? Because we’ve been taught that making mistakes and failure is associated with bad grades along with not being able to follow directions. Ultimately, not a good employee.

Unfortunately, what we are not taught in school is, most remarkable people make multiple mistakes throughout their lives, yet they seem to find how to grow and improve from these mistakes.  Somehow they have realized it is okay to stumble and fall or simply just fail at something; because the rules about  great successes, always, always comes great and multiple failures.

Embracing the rules of success starts with finding what you are passionate about.  Passion knows no bounds. It is an abyss of opportunity. It is going to be full of UPS and DOWNS, because you are creating the rules. We need to prepare and accept occasional setbacks as part of this emotional experience toward fulfilling your dream. But learn from those mistakes and never give up.

Einstein supposedly failed nearly a thousand times before he created the light bulb. And crazy as it sounds, he was motivated by trying to stop the light from burning, as oppose to trying to keep the filament burning longer. Image that. We can learn more from our mistakes than our successes. Rule followers may get decent paying jobs, however, passionate opportunity seekers, creative artists and entrepreneurs live by their own rules and create their own realities. How do you want to live and be remembered?

09 Mar

Health and Fitness: The Nuts & Bolts

Health and Fitness may seem overwhelming and a high percentage of people simply don’t know where to start. My goal is to share with you a little insight on how to take that first step towards change.

First we have to acknowledge that  we are all genetically different and have different fitness goals.  This being said, we can conclude everyone’s strategic plan or goals are going to be unique and specific to that individual. Working out and being healthy can be a very simple task or can become very complex depending on how you approach this topic.

I have been exercising, lifting weights, and taking care of myself for over 35 years.  I have come to the conclusion that finding your 35-55% workout intensity is a happy medium that will not only give you significant gains in fitness, overall health, but will allow your body to remain strong, healthy, flexible, and functional for a long time. A body is most effective and useful when it is aerobically, lean, tone, flexible, and functional as opposed to anaerobically, large, stiff and muscle-bound.

The message I want to convey is that going to the gym can be enjoyable and doesn’t have to be serious and boring.  But first you need to understand a little about your body, namely know what muscle groups are weak and how to stay balanced.  Remember that balance is key. When muscle groups get out of balance, your body starts to get misaligned and injuries start to happen.  Keeping your muscle groups balanced will prevent this from happening.

For example, guys like to have a well-defined chest, however, most young men neglect their back muscles to balance out the chest and shoulder muscles, which causes a pulling forward of the shoulders, which also pulls on the vertebrae. However, if you strengthened your back muscles along with your chest muscles the body has a tendency to stay aligned and balanced, and your posture will remain in proper alignment.

Rule of thumb for chest and back routines. I learned this from one of my instructors.  “For every chest exercise, you need to do three back exercises.”  This is a little extreme but makes a good point. You can modify this to two back exercises per chest exercise. However this should limit your chest routine to 2 or 3 at most, depending on how long you want to spend at the gym and how knowledgeable you are about back exercises.

This leads me to the simple fact, you need to have a specific plan, written out, before you walk into the gym. Or you will be wasting your time and money. Your personal trainer should know your expectations and created a unique workout plan just for you. He/She be able to tell you why you should be doing the specific exercises.  If not, you need to look for a more experienced personal trainer.

Have fun and if you need some help, find a passionate and motivated personal trainer. Don’t just accept any personal trainer the gym throws at you.  Interview them,  ask them questions.  What certification/s do you have? Why did you pick that certification?  Why are you a personal trainer?  Get a feel for who they are and make sure they can explain where your imbalances are, and how he/she is going to correct them?  Your workout routine should be unique to your body and your goals.