How Much Exercise Do We Really Need?

Way back in the late 80’s and early 90’s I was an Ironman competitor. That is the insane event that some of you may have seen on the Wide World of Sports where an individual swims 2.4 miles in the ocean, hops on a bike to ride 112 miles, then completes a 26.2 mile marathon. I was in my 20’s. had no children and had a lot of time on my hands to train 2-4 hours a day.
Now in my late 40’s, I have 3 teeneagers and 3 part time jobs. I am thrilled if I get a 20 minute treadmill run or a 30 minute stationary bike ride in, 4-5 times per week.
So how healthy am I after going from 2-4 hours a day to 20-30 minutes, 4-5 times per week? Many sources will tell you that you need 20 minutes to 1 hour per day for cardiovascular health, but many of us just cannot afford that amount of time each day. The point is, that you must make time for at least SOME little bit that will energize you and keep you on the right path to healthy living.
Shockingly I take no prescription medication, have a resting heartrate of around 55, and a blood pressure of 116/72. I have not been sick in years and wear a size 10 jeans. An “average” American woman wears a 14.
So why am I telling you this? Again,I tell you this to let you know that it is still important to do something…..ANYTHING, to keep your precious body moving regularly.
I have had stressful times in my life where I have stopped exercising for several months at a time, and it is frightening to see how quickly my sleep habits, food choices and temperament change. I sleep less as I am more irritable and aggitated. My food choices become more salt and sugar based as my mentality flips over to “Oh Well, Who cares?”, and my whole state of mind is that of hatred and self loathing. Add a little guilt to that as I watch my three children return from a great swim practice, and my husband walk in from a long bike ride, (while I secretly downed a dark chocolate bar before dinner) and you have the recipe for a real mess.
Winters in Cleveland are a real drag. Short days, gray skies, lake effect snow and wind make exercising outdoors rather difficult from mid November through mid March. Working out indoors can be a bore, so make sure that no matter what you do, that you are mixing it up from day to day and week to week. My favorites are treadmills runs listening to Superchick songs, stationary bike rides to a favorite sit-com (I spin fast/sprint through the commercials), and playing around with free weights. I also on occasion use a wobble board or balance board to work my core, or I do some good, old fashioned, calisthenics and stretching. There are also yoga, pilates and step workouts that can easily be done while listening to some good music or catching up on your favorite show.
Do SOMETHING as often as you can, and remember that spring will indeed come.
Stay healthy my friends,
Leslie

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Forks Over Knives

Last night I was fortunate enough to see a fantastic documentary called “Forks Over Knives”. It was all about SAD. What is SAD? SAD stands for the Standard American Diet.
If anyone has read Dr. Cadlwell Esseltsyn’s book about reversiing heart disease, or T. Collin Campbell’s book “The China Study” then you are already aware of the compelling research about our real needs for protein, how much, and where to get it from.
If you are not able to find the time to read these books and enjoy seeing a movie, then I highly reccomend seeing this movie when it comes out on March 11th. The movie is filled with accurate information that the general public does not often see or understand about how much protein we really need, and what diseases are reversible.
Remember that most of our advertising for food products is all about that particular product turning a profit. We must also rememeber that there are huge political ties with the meat, dairy and corn industries, and those are going to be the products most likely to appear in your commercials, and advertisements.
For more information about nutririon, I personally invite you to do your own research. Read these 2 books as well as Rip Esselstyn’s book, “The Engine 2 Diet” and put March 11th on your calendar for the most up to date information about better sources of protein.
Stay PLANT STRONG my friends!!
Leslie

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Why New Years Resolutions Don’t Always Work

Are you one of the thousands of people who set losing weight as a New Years Resolution? If so I bet you might also be one of the thousands who fall short.
Weight loss goals seldom work in the winter months for one simple reason……….we are in hibernation mode. I know, I know, we are not bears, but we, like all living things, have seasons. If the plants and animals have periods of rest then why shouldn’t we? Our bodies were not meant to go full tilt, all day long, every day, every week, every month, all year long. This does not mean that we should eat like pigs from Halloween through Easter, but it does mean that a couple of pounds brought on by the shorter, colder days is nothing to beat yourself up about.
Use this time to rest and organize the things you will do when warmer weather hits. My favorite things to do in January and February are to catch up on documentaries, read books and magazines I have wanted to read, set new financial goals, and plan out what I am going to plant in this years garden.
Rememeber, spring WILL come, and your enthusiasm and energy will return in March and April. Perhaps you can set those weight loss goals then, and have total success.

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