By Sharon Jane Akinyemi
The first encounter with most of my clients is usually an interesting one because the reason for wanting to exercise is because the doctor had advised them to do so. Isn’t it amazing that majority of people do not see the need until the doctor sees the need.
An elderly woman walked into my office some time ago; we got talking and she told me that during her routine check up the doctor encouraged her to begin an exercise class. We did the necessary fitness tests as usual and then placed her on an exercise programme that suits her age and health status.
She began her lifestyle journey about a year ago. She wanted to lose weight and get healthier so she would be around to watch her beautiful granddaughters grow up and get married some day.This is what she shared with me recently:
“I’d reached a point of my mid fifties where I was feeling decidedly ‘old’. I’d had a hysterectomy, and an old back injury was starting to talk to me a bit more loudly than it used to be. I didn’t like how old I was feeling but I tried to convince myself it was normal. But it just feels that way. One day I was playing with my granddaughters and realised that if someone yelled, ‘Gramma! Dance!’ I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even follow them around the mall for the afternoon any longer.
“A year later and 17kg lighter, am a new person. I discover that it does matter what you eat and how much you exercise. Little things do make a big difference. I began to exercise daily, eat less fat, drink more water, and eat more whole foods. Today I feel ten years younger than the last time we went to the mall. In fact my husband has trouble keeping up with me ! I realise that I do have control over things like ageing and that I can make myself much more productive and energized. It’s not about losing weight any longer it’s about maximising my energy, giving myself endurance and flexibility that I haven’t had for years. And using my body feels absolutely terrific!”
Do you get winded climbing a single flight of stairs or have difficulty keeping up with your spouse or friends on a brisk walk around the block? Have you ever felt like you are going to collapse from exhaustion after spending the day sightseeing or shopping? If your fitness level is so low that you have to go into training simply to go “power shopping” you need help!
On the other hand , perhaps you have been committed to a regular exercise regime for some time. But your body still isn’t changing. You are in the gym three times a week and you know you are healthier because of your commitment, but your body still looks the same. Read on…… You may find some answers to your dilemma.
God designed our bodies to respond to consistent stimuli in a purposeful way. When you participate in regular weight bearing exercises like walking, they stimulate your body to build stronger bones. Why? Because the regular brisk walk tells your body to get ready for more, and it prepares you by giving you more of what you need-stronger bones and better muscles.
No matter how little, move and move everyday. Pretty cool, huh? That’s why I have titled this article “Little things that make big difference”; gradually, use your muscles, bones, cardiovascular system, and lungs by developing an active vibrant lifestyle. This in turn will energise and mobilise your body to become all it was designed to be. Or otherwise sink into an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and watch your body transform into a living , breathing invalid.
In the journey to fine-tune your fitness to your desired level, you can apply some basic principle that will help you towards your goal. Our body was designed for consistent activity . Just as we need food and water everyday, we also need activity to stimulate muscle and bone growth to keep our metabolism running efficiently.
Lifestyle fitness is about getting in tune with your body and making some decisions about what you want and need it to do for you. Decide to make exercise a part of your life forever. You wouldn’t forget to eat or brush your teeth, would you? Think of your fitness in the same way!
As I have said before, your body is your vehicle for life. Do you want to live in a fine-tuned, high energy sports car or a broken down rickety car? I’m sure you want a body full of energy, one that burns lots of calories and feels strong and fit. The good news is that you don’t have to become an elite athlete or exercise fanatic to feel that way.
The way forward
Here are a few dietary guidelines that will help you reach a balance in your health, wellness and fitness
1. Feed your family a substantial breakfast every day. Serve your smallest meal at night, preferably three or four hours before going to bed.
2. Avoid foods made from refined grains, like White bread, pancakes, doughnuts and so on. Instead, serve whole grain products like wheat, millet and oats. Remember cooked cereals (pap) are more nutritious than dry breakfast cereals.
3. Serve more fruits and vegetables, especially raw or steamed, whenever possible , and avoid peeling away the outer skins.
4. Serve beef once a week. Instead, use more fish, chicken, beans and egg dishes in your weekly menus.
5. In cooking and serving, limit the use of spices that are hot to the tongue, such as pepper and chilli powder.
6. Limit the amount of desserts, cookies, and other sweets served to your children, instead give them nuts, seeds and fruits.
7. Do not serve beverages with meals because this delays digestion. Instead encourage your family to drink lots of water between meals.
8. Remind your family to eat slowly and chew food thoroughly in order to receive the maximum benefit from their food.
9. As much as possible, serve meals at regular hours and avoid snack between meals.
10. Experiment with more vegetarian dishes that include dry beans and legumes. Try to limit the amount of oil you use.
11. Gear up for fitness . Make exercise a part of your life. Engage your family in simple morning exercise. You can jog on the sport, jump rope and stair climbing.
12. Rest and sleep are very necessary at this season. Don’t put yourself under undue pressure. You don’t need to oppress or intimidate anyone to get full satisfaction and your worth. Be yourself, be happy and stay blessed.
Find the right solution to your health and fitness needs with personal training services from Body Confidence Fitness Centre. We specialise in providing you with a unique approach to help you reach your fitness goals. We recognise the problems and take action to decrease or eliminate potential impacts to your health with safe and effective trainings.
Each person is different and our customised approach, tailored to individual needs, allows us to create achievable goals that are based on your lifestyle and physical status. At Body Confidence Fitness Centre we use a state- of- the- art-in-home gym concept to deliver your workout easily and effectively. We are committed to help you make the changes in your life and health care.
Contact us today for more information about how we are dedicated to making you healthier. For questions and answers connect with me @ www.facebook.com/BodyConfidenceFitnessClub.