It is important at any age to exercise and to be physically active. As we reach our forties and fifties however, it may dictate whether or not we live high functioning and happy or with chronic conditions and misery. A study published by The National Institute of Health (NIH) identifies eight chronic conditions that are greatly reduced by being fit in midlife. Those conditions are congestive heart failure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and colon and lung cancer. Remaining fit throughout middle age helps us postpone and shrink the amount of time we may have to spend living with chronic illness. Other studies have shown that living with long term chronic illness greatly increases depression and decreases our ability to enjoy the hard work we have put in to enjoy retirement the way we should. We do not have to overdo exercise or join some insane workout program to reap the benefits. Moderate exercise including strength and aerobic has great benefits in short spurts and for less than thirty minutes a day. It is SO IMPORTANT to find the 30 minutes a day, especially in midlife. Up to 85% of people do not exercise in populations over 50. There are many reasons for that so if you need help getting on an exercise program, get it. Find a program that is safe and supportive. It will save your finances. It will save your happiness. It will save your life. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
When referring to health, experts often talk about the importance of nutrition and exercise as key components to longevity and health. While this is 100% true, what is not talked about enough in health outcomes is the role of the mind and the way we see things in our lives. Research is showing that optimists live longer, healthier, and with greater overall well-being than pessimists. Pessimists will have a higher number of disabilities, more depression, and live a lower overall functioning life than optimists as they age. Check this out:
To see if optimism predicts longevity, scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, selected 839 consecutive patients who referred themselves for medical care forty years ago. (On admission, Mayo Clinic patients routinely take a battery of psychological as well as physical tests, and one of these is a test of the trait of optimism.) Of these patients, 200 had died by the year 2000, and optimists had 19 percent greater longevity, in terms of their expected life span, compared to that of the pessimists.
Seligman, Martin E. P.. Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment (Kindle Locations 250-252). Free Press. Kindle Edition.
If you struggle with seeing things through a negative lens, I understand because I did it for years. Maybe things have occurred in your life that has helped you to cultivate a pessimistic viewpoint. For your own health however, please try to see the good things in your life and know that you have the strength to overcome and/or deal with things when you are challenged. For years I thought that life was picking on me and that I was alone. But everyone has challenges, setbacks, and struggles. How you deal with it will matter to your health, happiness, and wellbeing as you age. Start with today. See the good. Help someone else. Focus on how you can be successful. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
Exercise After a Meal
Studies recently published in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that cardiovascular disease risk decreased among adults with obesity and type 2 diabetes when they exercised after a meal. Resistance exercise had the most significant effect on triglycerides (unhealthy fat that leads to heart disease) and glucose (sugar levels). Both were greatly reduced by participants in the study who conducted resistance training after dinner. Aspartame and Depression
There has been much published about the negative health impacts of aspartame. Recent studies are showing that the artificial sweetener may lead to symptoms of depression. Studies published by The National Institute of Health revealed that participants who consumed drinks that contain aspartame also increased depression symptoms by as much as 55% with participants. Know Your Impact
It is so important to know the impacts on yourself and others of your health choices. Whether it is your physical, mental, or emotional health, the nutritional and exercise choices that you make really matter. The health choices that you make also impact those who love you in an emotional, financial, and physical way. Caring for someone who prematurely is disabled or is not functioning at high levels creates worry, extra financial burdens, and poor health for loved ones because of the stress. Take care of yourself! BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
I absolutely hate feeling miserable today. And I emphasize the word today because for decades I was okay with it. I was fine with doing all of the things that helped me to feel terrible physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I overate and rarely exercised. I smoked, drank, and used narcotics. I let the outside stuff in the world control the way I thought about the world, the way I reacted to the world, and how I justified my continuous struggle. I surrounded myself with people who did not challenge me to improve and prayed for God to heal me without doing my own part. Everything was driven to make me miserable and to stay that way. But I hated it and still do today. The difference is now that I recognize that it is me and the daily decisions I make are the way to either misery or fulfillment. When I wake up and cultivate self-awareness, exercise, eat mindfully, serve others with love, live with gratitude, and seek honest feedback from another, life is bursting with fulfillment and peace. I like fulfillment and peace and I hope you do too. If you struggle with something you need to overcome, please take the action necessary to manage it in a healthy way one day at a time. Seek help if you need it. I did. It can start with today. No one understands struggle more than I and believe me it is better on the other side. Please, BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
I was sitting here thinking of all the changes that my gym building has been through the past five years. Built in the 1940’s, the over 6000 square foot all block space began its’ life as a US Military armory and has been numerous things since. When I first moved into the space with an MMA instructor I was subletting from, the building had no paint on the walls, would flood gallons through the big sliding door, half gallons through the roof, and had NO air conditioning. In Phoenix, Arizona! 115 degrees and no AC not one, but two summers in The Valley of the Sun. As we began our third year, my MMA buddy decided to leave us high and dry (except when it would flood). Since he was the one leasing the building, the building and I were left with a dilemma. Stay in the building with all of its’ issues, move to another subletting space, or go get our own new space. After looking at other options, I decided to stay where I was and take over the lease at the old armory. Within a few days the building flooded like never before. It took hours and several helpers to get it dry. When my MMA buddy left it was early fall so temperatures were not so hot. I began to sublet to others but I knew that I would need to fix the air to retain my partnerships and to grow that side of the business. The flood situation was challenging because the big sliding door always seemed to create a new opening for the water no matter what we tried to fix it. The walls needed paint and the floors needed something. We started with the AC and were lucky enough to have a client who had a family member who was licensed to install AC. We also found a guy right here in Phoenix who rebuilds used military portable AC units and soon we went from 0 working AC units to 2 AC units. My nephew is brilliant and installed the second cost efficiently. Great air now! My brother-in-law paints for a living and he painted the building for us and it looks much better. The floods were stopped at zero cost when my brilliant friend Jeremy found some material in the back of our old building that would create a mud flap effect and run the water off in a different direction. I had friends who installed doors and flooring and others who helped me move the extra junk MMA guy left me. I am obviously blessed by the people in my life. God is good to me! I am also blessed to know how energy works to improve ourselves. We have to move toward fixing the flood and cooling the building. Whether it is an old armory or our own lives, it is important to focus on how we can be successful and fix the issues that need repair. While there are numerous changes that have occurred with this old building during the last five years, there are even more that have occurred with me. I know have the ability with the help of God to solve big problems and be a better me. I have learned that if I give up on goals it hurts not helps me. I have learned that life can be humbling and to be humble too. It has been a miraculous ride. Time to move forward for more learning. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
When I was at my highest point of struggle with weight, addictions, depression, low self- esteem, and under achievement, I was SUPER defensive and not open to feedback of any kind. I took everything people said way too personally even when it was not meant to be critical. I felt like the whole world was against me and I was not equipped with the skills necessary to deal with daily life events that challenged me. I was miserable.
When I am performing my highest in life: managing food, exercising, regulating mood, feeling happy, fulfilled, confident, and excelling in all areas of life I am open to other’s feedback. I am NEVER defensive about things people say. Nothing people say or do bothers me because I know who I am and I am confident in my abilities to solve the daily challenges of life. It begins with knowing that sometimes we need help from others when we struggle with things we cannot seem to overcome. Being open to the feedback of others is a trait all successful people know is vital to being successful. From Henry Ford to the NBA superstar, advisers are an important part of the successful individual’s daily resources and self-management. Advisers are generally not utilized enough by people who struggle to grow, change, and live at a more fulfilled level. Please, if you struggle with things that you cannot seem to overcome, consider seeking out someone who has been through your struggle and has overcome it. The lessons and confidence you can gain are priceless. You may even begin to enjoy life. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
I have learned so much in the last year about how our environments and thinking play a role in our health choices. While I still believe in 100% personal responsibility, I am learning to believe more about the importance of surrounding ourselves with people who challenge us and want us to be a better version of ourselves. I see so many people struggle to maintain healthy emotional and physical habits because of work and home environments that continue to sabotage and pressure the individual to engage in unhealthy behaviors. Before you run off and get rid of your family or job though, please understand that it is not their fault because they are just doing what they know. After all change is hard and not everyone is in the same place as you. So what do we do when we have environments that do not support us and even sabotage us? We seek support somewhere else and change the way we respond to the environments that challenge us (if we do not want to change the environment itself). It is important to have coaches, counselors, teachers, mentors, and others in our lives that support us. Please seek out others who have had similar struggles and overcome them. In today’s world you can even do that online.
Most of us have struggled with something and feared the loss of the pleasure we derived from what we struggled with. We fear giving up the food or drink that we struggle with because it gives us comfort. So we should be able to understand how another human may struggle with similar things. It is not our job to change others, just ourselves. Most of them did not sign up for the change, you did. So calmly allow them to be in the place they are and keep moving forward to being a healthier version of yourself. Love them and encourage them to join you and they may eventually. Keep the support outside of the home and job and continue to keep your goals a priority. Believe in yourself and know that you deserve all the things that come from great physical, mental, and emotional health. Know who you are and the strength you have to overcome! BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!