Archives for posts with tag: exercise

Work-Life-Balance

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance or postural control, is the ability to maintain the body in either static or dynamic equilibrium with the center of gravity over the base of support (Magee 2007). Sounds so simple doesn’t it – but the fact is that lack of balance in humans can be costly and deadly. It is estimated that by 2020 the national cost of falls related injuries will reach 43.8 billion dollars (Donatelli 2010).

For myself I recently discovered just how ‘un-balanced’ my own body actually is, esp. after a number of injuries which all occurred on the right side of my body – each injury by itself was not the cause – but rather the combination of 5 injuries took its toll. Further the risk of having balance problems increases as we get older. I even found myself beginning to have small changes in my thinking that my own imbalance was just a product of those injuries and age – and what I realized was what a ‘negative’ mind set this type of thinking could become in my life.

I also began to understand why so many older adults start to become terrified of falling and losing the ability to move and function. Keeping active and mobile is key to our functioning both physically and mentally – without balance we cannot function normally, just ask anyone who has ever had episodes of vertigo.

Balance also extends to other aspects of our lives – our mental outlook and quality of life, our nutrition, our spirit. Keeping balance in our life of work, recreation, relaxation and mental stimulation is essential. I recently heard a neurologists from Harvard speaking on a radio program about neurological issues of the aging process. He was asked ‘if there is any one activity that we as aging humans could do to keep our brain healthy, active and functioning – what would you recommend? His answer – ‘exercise and staying active’. So simple and so profound.

The good news is it’s never too late. Check your own balance; here are a couple of simple tests.

1) Stand with one foot placed directly in front of the other foot and stay in that position for 10 seconds, then change feet.

2) Stand on one foot for 10 seconds, then change feet.

One should be able to perform these simple test quite easily and at will – and perhaps many can. However if you notice that even during these simple test that you have a bit of a challenge maintaining balance and being still then perhaps its time to begin adding balance training components into your regular routine. Even if you had no issues with these simple tests I would still recommend adding balance training components into your daily activity. Easily performing Activities of Daily Living (ADL) are a key measuring tool in determining how independent we are as individuals as we age.

Even in Joseph H. Pilates description of ideal health that he wrote about in 1945 he stated.  ‘Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.’

motivation

Motivation – is key to realizing your health, fitness and life goals. To me – without motivation I would just end up being a blob of organic matter – being alive in basic definition, but not in a reality that is meaningful and fulfilling.
Websters defines Motivation as:
•the act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something • the act or process of motivating someone
•the condition of being eager to act or work : the condition of being motivated
•a force or influence that causes someone to do something

Interestingly enough for me my ‘motivation’ for things have changed as I have changed, grown and matured and I’m sure that’s the case for most of us. From the perspective of health and fitness – my motivation to get fit has evolved over the years. As a young boy I was not athletic, extremely overweight, uncoordinated and basically uninterested…

Right around the time of puberty I grew tired of the many taunts I had heard through the years – ‘Hey Fattie’, Fatso, the sound of Moo’s and so on. We all know how cruel kids can be to one another. Those seemingly endless jabs and insults pushed me or ‘motivated’ me to exercise, lose weight and basically change my life.

The up side of that change was 1) I felt better physically and mentally and 2) I looked better and began to receive more positive attention (again it made me feel better mentally). The down side was that I was motivated to make these changes for all the wrong reasons – and those reasons were based upon what other people thought about me and how I looked – not how I really felt inside or  what I wanted. I was the product of my environment.

It wasn’t until I began to move through life and mature that I realized that health and fitness was so much more than 6 pack Abs, 7 % body fat and big biceps. Don’t get me wrong – having those attributes is certainly nice, but it doesn’t and shouldn’t define who you are and how you live. Health and Fitness is something that comes from the inside out and truly should be motivated by a desire to be healthy, to have an improved sense of well being, to function well and to have an enhanced quality of life.

So I ask you – what is your ‘Motivation’ for a healthy life?

It’s been awhile sine The Prime Male has made a post – but that is all about to change, more on that later. Since we are currently in the midst of the summer, I couldn’t think of a better time to talk about ‘Sweat’. 

Sweating is vital to our health, if you could not sweat you would actually die! So think of it this way – men who are actually in the best shape will actually sweat the quickest and the most. Sweating is our bodies way of cooling itself. So when you exercise regularly your body is better able to deal with the ‘heat’ generated with exercise and jump into action to cool and cope. Therefore the more efficient you become at sweating, the better you are able to hold onto sodium which prevents muscle cramping. I can remember as a kid when my Dad was working out in the yard in the middle of the sweltering Florida summer sun and perspiring profusely, he would take a break, run in the house and pour about a teaspoon of salt into his glass of water. He explained to me that this was to counteract all of the loss of sodium from sweating. Hmmm – I guess what he didn’t realize was that he was already a ‘good sweater’ and he already got enough sodium from his diet.

Here are a few good rules of thumb for healthy sweating:

1) Be sure to drink plenty of liquids – water is the best. Keep in mind that after an hour or so of heavy sweating you would need to replace electrolytes and some sodium, so a sports drink would be appropriate – I personally like to dilute the sports drink with water. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that 2 – 3 hours before exercising drink 2 – 3 glasses  of water and then try to drink 8 – 10 ounces every 15 minutes during exercise.

2) Be sure to get plenty of sleep/rest. There are some studies that suggest that lack of sleep negatively effects sweat production.

3) Be sure to adapt to conditions. Sweating in a humid environment doesn’t allow for the evaporation of the perspiration which actually cools the body. Acclimating to heat and environment is very similar to acclimating to altitude. So if you workout in a gym or ‘air conditioned’ environment then suddenly step outside into a hot humid summer environment the effects on the body will be considerable.

4) Be sure to wear the ‘right’ workout clothes – think breathable clothing. So even if you don’t want to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe of ‘breathable’ fitness workout wear – your cotton clothing should be just fine, it gets wet – but it does breathe.

5) Do not try to force sweat by wearing something that is completely breathable – like a plastic bag. Let it happen naturally. Do not wear antiperspirants during exercises – deodorants are just fine. Let your sweat glands breathe!

Happy Healthy Sexy Sweating.

Gentlemen – diversify your workouts as you move through life. Boot Camps and hard core, balls to the wall workouts may seem challenging and make you want to prove that your male prowess is still in tact. Remember this – if you feel like you need two hours or more to recover after said workout – maybe you need to re-think your healthy living and exercises strategies.