IS LIFE JUST AN EASY CHOICE?

I got into a heated debate a few weeks ago with a former family member who insisted that what we were exposed to as youth has no impact on us as adults. I agreed with him that everything is ultimately just a choice and that we could all make the “right” choice and live happily ever after but I disagreed with him in his opinion that we all have the same wiring to make that choice. I wish a choice were that easily explained but it is not.

Not That Simple

There are multiple things that go into a choice, especially in areas where we may struggle. Things like addictions, defensive reactions, overeating, and low self esteem may all be just a choice, but there are many factors that go into that choice. What you were exposed to ( trauma, injuries, dishonesty, stability/instability, honesty, etc), taught by those you believed in, how classmates treated you (being bullied can destroy confidence), your social circle, and how your parent/guardian approached education all have a role in the choices you make as an adult. Research proves over and over that our social conditioning as youth plays a huge role in our choices and beliefs as an adult. Studies also show that social conditioning, trauma, anxiety, and depression as youth can have an impact on the different parts of the brain that are responsible for reasoning, thought, and the ability to make a sound choice. Research also shows through multiple studies that if you began (as I did) to cope with life events in unhealthy ways during your teen years, your chances of battling them for life skyrocket. It is ultimately a choice but not so simple to make it.

What About The One Who Overcomes

There are always stories of people that have overcome great odds to become successful. What is the difference between them and I who struggled for years to overcome my demons? They were aware from early in life that there was a different way to conduct a life and learned to make the choice. Many of them had support somewhere that taught them how to make a choice and overcome choices that may hurt them. And even though we all come from families and bloodlines, our genetics all differ which plays a role in choices. It is proven through research that things like resilience, outlook, and depression are at least partly genetic. The way you are wired physically matters. Life is always just a choice but not a simple one.

If You Struggle

You can overcome both genetic and social wiring no matter where you are in life. Many of us are doing it and changing our lives. Overcoming our programming begins with self-awareness that we have something we want to change about ourselves and we are going to commit to doing the work necessary to overcome the challenge, no matter how many times we fall. We can redevelop the genetic and social wiring of resilience by realizing that it is the key to everything. Learning to get back up after falling requires rewiring the way you believe about yourself, the way you believe about your mistakes, and how you believe about events in your life that challenge you. To do this requires you knowing that you have every ability needed within yourself to live the life you want. You are just as smart or smarter than others who have overcome great challenges. The key is to learn that you do not have to keep struggling. Keep fighting for your recovery and eventually the choice will become easier if you do the work necessary. It is a process but so worth it! Begin as soon as possible to learn how to make the choice that will lead you to where you want to be. Do the work. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

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THE ONE THING THAT WILL AFFECT EVERY AREA OF LIFE

There is one thing that will affect every area of our life and that is our health. Whether it is finances, happiness, relationships, or the ability to function the way we want, health will have a major role in our lives.
1.Our health can cost us money or make us money. Being strong and healthy is vital to how well and long we can produce the income we need to live the way we want. Being in the health span is less expensive than being in the disease span of life.
2. Our health will affect our happiness and research clearly shows that the more disabilities we have as we age, the more depressed we will be. I have witnessed people who have worked so hard to generate a great retirement only to be miserable and not able to enjoy it because of lifestyle choices. Lessen your health problems and increase your happiness.
3. Relationships are also affected if we are healthy or unhealthy. While it is important to focus on how lifestyle choices will affect us personally, it is of at least equal importance (if not more) to remember that our lifestyle choices affect those who love us. This includes both humans and animals.
Please do your best to stay as strong as you can in your muscles, heart, brain, bones, and joints. If you struggle like many of us do, it is okay and we understand. The importance of exercise cannot be overstated, especially if you struggle. IT IS SO IMPORTANT! Begin as soon as possible. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

http://www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF

There is nothing more important to our lives than caring for our health. With each passing year we lose strength, muscle mass, brain neurons, and the ability to acquire knowledge. Medications do not always work to retain muscle mass and brain health. There is one treatment that is far more effective than meds and that is exercise. Resistance training (weights) is the most effective way to retain our strength and muscle mass no matter our age. Research has shown and I have personally witnessed people as old as 92 become stronger and retain the ability to function in a strong way. I regularly witness people in their 50’s. 60’s, and 70’s increase strength levels by triple digit percentages. There is nothing more important to our lives than keeping our strength.
We also lose our brain neurons and cognition as we age and again medications are not always effective. Brain research shows that we do not have to accept the fate of brain decline and there is a way to create neurogenesis, or the building of new neurons. Yes, you can re-build neurons and prevent brain decline! The treatment found to be most effective in rebuilding lost neurons and IMPROVING brain function is aerobic exercise. As little as three hours a week of brisk walking has been shown to halt, and even reverse, the brain atrophy (shrinkage) that starts in a person’s forties, especially in the regions responsible for memory and higher cognition. Exercise increases the brain’s volume of gray matter (actual neurons) and white matter (connections between neurons). Our overall quality of life and happiness is determined by our ability to retain brain function and neurons.
Many people are looking for the magic pill that will help them live healthy, happy, and strong for decades. The magic pill is exercise and the wonderful thing about it is that you do not have to do crazy workout routines or be sore for days to see the positive results. Less than 30 minutes a day can yield benefits that could last a lifetime. You do have to do both strength and aerobic exercise to see the results and the sooner you begin, the sooner the positive results begin. If you need help or safe instruction email is at miraclesfitness@gmail.com There is nothing more important. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

STATS ON PREMATURE DEATH DUE TO LIFESTYLE CHOICES

“Each year, nearly 900,000 Americans die prematurely from the five leading                           causes of  death – yet 20 percent to 40 percent of the deaths from each cause                         could be prevented, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control                     and Prevention.

 The five leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease, cancer,                     chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, and unintentional injuries. Together                   they accounted for 63 percent of all U.S. deaths in 2010, with rates for each cause               varying greatly from state to state. The report, in this week’s issue of CDC’s                           weekly journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, analyzed premature                       deaths (before age 80) from each cause for each state from 2008 to 2010. The                       authors then calculated the number of deaths from each cause that would have                   been prevented if all states had same death rate as the states with the lowest                       rates.

             The study suggests that, if all states had the lowest death rate observed for each                   cause, it would be possible to prevent:

  • 34 percent of premature deaths from heart diseases, prolonging about 92,000 lives
  • 21 percent of premature cancer deaths, prolonging about 84,500 lives
  • 39 percent of premature deaths from chronic lower respiratory diseases, prolonging about 29,000 lives
  • 33 percent of premature stroke deaths, prolonging about 17,000 lives
  • 39 percent of premature deaths from unintentional injuries, prolonging about 37,000 lives”(Source CDC.gov)

Please know the impact you are having on yourself and those who care about you. Our health and lifestyle decisions will impact everything; finances, loved ones, happiness-everything. If you struggle to do so, please get help as soon as possible. Your change can begin as soon as today. You can BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

DID YOU KNOW THESE “OTHER” BENEFITS OF EXERCISE?

Most people know common exercise benefits such as improved strength, endurance, and weight management. Researchers now are discovering that exercise has far more benefits than just the traditional beliefs. In fact, I read somewhere that if exercise were a pill, it would eliminate many medications people use and would be worth more than any pill on the market. There is nothing more important that we could be doing for ourselves than staying strong through exercise. Here are some little known benefits of exercise.

    1. Exercise benefits the gastrointestinal system.  Exercise can relieve constipation and promote healthy digestion when you are at rest. In fact, exercise over time will even strengthen the digestive tract.
    2. Exercise helps slow brain decline. People who reported doing more physical activity showed higher scores on cognitive tests—consistent with previous studies linking more exercise to better brain health. But when the researchers adjusted for the effect that factors like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease can have on brain function, the link disappeared. Conditions like these could impair blood flow to the brain and therefore compromise cognitive functions, says Dr. Clinton Wright, associate professor of neurology and public health sciences at University of Miami and senior author of the study. “That suggests that people with low physical activity levels also had a greater burden of those risk factors,” he says. (Time)
    3. Exercise can decrease pain.  Exercise can help lessen chronic pain in several ways. Research is showing neuropathic pain is reduced with exercise because it helps to lower inflammation in the body. Exercise has also shown to reduce joint pain, lower back pain, and other pain associated with aging. But you must be careful and seek professional advice before beginning.
    4. Exercise can help finances. We know that exercise can reduce our chances of getting many forms of cancer, colds, heart problems, immune system issues, bone degeneration, brain decline, and depression. Disease and poor health can cost us a lot of money out of pocket in both lost income and dollars spent on co-pays and doctor bills. Our goal (I hope) is to reduce the amount of time we are in life’s disease span and increase the time we spend in a healthy life span. Exercise is the key to this.

Exercise has ENDLESS benefits and the importance of staying strong in every way possible cannot be overstated. If you are a beginner to exercise, find someone who can help you learn how to do strength, flexibility, and aerobic training. It could be the most important decision you ever make. Begin as soon as possible. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miracleofphoenixfitness.com

HEALTHY RESPONSES TO UNHEALTHY LIFE EVENTS

There are lots of reasons to care for your health as you age. Whether you are 19 or 60, what you do the next 10-20 years of your life with the health choices that you make will matter more than what you did the last 10. And I am not just speaking about your physical health. How you care for your emotional, mental, and spiritual health will also matter. There is more and more research listing the importance of self-care in today’s world of stress and unhealthy temptation around every corner. The pressures of career, family, and education can be overwhelming at times. I work with many clients that have high pressure 60 hour a week jobs, others who are working on their PhD’s., and many others who combine work, school, and family commitments into a weekly calendar. We all know of the consequence of stress on the body. High blood pressure, heart issues, and other unhealthy outcomes are the result of stress not handled in a healthy manner. Depression also causes us physical problems if not addressed in a healthy way. The outcome is similar to stress on the body and will eventually lead to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Stress, depression, and anxiety can even increase some people’s chances of developing dementia and other mental disorders prematurely. Thankfully there are healthy options to help those who are suffering from too much stress, depression, and anxiety.

Not Being Judgmental

With my background in mental health, I fully understand that people have different issues in life. I watch people with “great jobs” that are under a tremendous amount of stress who know the importance of self-care. I work with people who have experienced tremendous trauma or loss in life that are happy in all areas of life. Really? Yes really. I have also studied extensively self-care practices and have found that people who respond in the healthiest ways are similar in many of their daily practices. I have compiled a short list of what I have discovered.

  1. They all exercise. You do not have to work out with the latest insanity program to practice self-care with exercise. Moderate strength training, walking, hiking, yoga, bicycling, swimming or any other form of healthy exercise can have benefits for the brain, the body, and the physical impacts of stress, anxiety, and depression on the body. Try to get 20-50 minutes of exercise daily and see it as beneficial and you will have a healthier physical response and quality of life as you get older.
  2. They all do things unrelated to food, drink, or television that bring pleasure. Reading, playing with pets, gardening, helping others, creating something and spending quality time with friends and loved ones will lead to better health in response to life’s stress. Be proactive about doing things that bring you pleasure and you will be healthier in the long run of life.
  3. They all continue to move forward. Ruminating on past negative life events will serve only negative health consequences. I am not trying to downplay past traumas. There is research where as many as 85% of us have suffered from some sort of trauma. That is almost all of us. Whether you need professional help or are able to accept those portions of your life that have been difficult to go through, it is healthier to move past the things that have happened to you and “give energy” to the present and how you can be successful with good health and happiness for the future.
  4. They all are resilient. Everyone that I have witnessed respond to life in healthy ways all understand that things happen in life that we would not like to happen. People who are the best with self-care continue to “get back on” no matter how many times they have fallen off. And you can too.

If you continue to struggle in areas of your life that you wish to change for the sake of happiness and health then I beg you to do so beginning today. What you do today can affect you in a positive or negative manner when it comes to your health. Your health impacts those who love you and how happy you will be as you age. Treat yourself with care and your physical health will respond with the quality of life you deserve. And you do deserve to BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

Prayer For Your Health

 “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”         1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Prayer:                                                                                                                                                  My most wonderful and loving God,                                                                                              You are my strength as I begin this new journey of health. I will do my best every day to better care for the beautiful gift of this body that You have given me so lovingly. I thank You God for the second chance to care for my health and will not take it for granted. Thank You so much for bringing me to this point and for giving me the strength to work my way to better health. Thank You for every gift that I have to grow and learn. I will honor You by treating my health and life as a gift from You.                                                                                                                            In Jesus Name, Amen            

Since the beginning of time, believers have sought ways to please God.  We pray to make the right choice and we seek wisdom as we make those choices. As the centuries increase, the number of choices we have also increases. One of those many choices in life is the way that we treat our body. With so many emotional events surrounding food and the advertising dollars spent to touch those emotions in ways that will manipulate us, we continue to grow in our waistline but not in our relationship with God. Food has become both medication and celebration for many of us. The temple where God dwells in many of us is crumbling from our own demolition. Thankfully, God gives us the ability to change and use our will to honor Him.

The Greatest Commandments According To Jesus                                                              When asked what the greatest commandment in the law is Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:36-40). Jesus commands us to love and honor God with everything we have. This should include our body, the temple that God has given us. God creates many wonderful gifts for us. He gives us scenic views, our abilities, a child’s laugh, and the strength to work through struggles. One of the greatest of all of these gifts is the gift of our overall health. We could not do many of the things we often take for granted without our health. So why do we appreciate and thank God for the gift of a job, a nice home, and a beautiful car and treat the very gift we have been given to earn those things worse than “the things” themselves? Do you TRULY want to love and serve God with all of your mind, body, and soul? Is love just something you say or is it the way you live? Do you actually show your love for God through sincere actions? You can sincerely display your love for God by caring for your health. You can honor God by making choices that treat your body as a gift from God. You can say thank you to God by beginning some form of exercise and healthy nutrition program. Just as it has been since the beginning of time, it will be your choice to care for the beautiful body that you have been given. You can do so STARTING TODAY! BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com