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Healthier Together Series: 7B. Physical Activity – Stimulus to Change

robert-collins-tvc5imO5pXk-unsplashWe are always changing. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on many factors, some of which are in our control and some of which are not in our control. The best part — We Are Designed to Thrive! Provide your body the right environment, and your body can heal, regenerate, and thrive. This is reassuring.

Throughout the Healthier Together Series, we continue to share the ways in which we can help create the right environment for your body to thrive.

Nutrition provides your body with the “supplies” to create new cells and to do what it needs to do. Depending on the nutrition you provide, you will have healthier or less healthy cells and you will have better or worse function of those cells in your body. So we can make choices about our nutrition.

Physical activity, is the way we signal to the body that we need to be alive and that we need to “change” or adapt to be able to thrive. It is actually the stimulus for change. In fact, if you decrease your physical activity enough, your body starts to decay. This leads to rapid aging and decline in function. The good news – it doesn’t have to be that way and you can turn it around. Even if your body is not in its best state right now, or you feel unwell, or you have chronic health concerns, or if you are in good shape and want to continue to be well and maintain your independence and freedom as long as possible, over the long term, by moving your body, you stimulate your body to continue to “change” to stay functionally “young.”

When you make choices to power your body with the essential nutrients – like water, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins (vegetables), you provide it with everything it needs to repair itself the best it can. Then, when you make the choice to move your body, regularly, in health-promoting ways, you stimulate your body to heal, regenerate and thrive. Your body can and does the work to “get better.” Physical activity is one of the areas that is in your control and can be a powerful stimulus for your body to heal, regenerate and thrive. The choice is yours. For me, I’m heading out with family for the evening walk around the neighborhood to connect and provide that stimulus for change. =)

5 Exercises to Maintain Fitness While Traveling

Side View Photo of Woman Doing Lunges Against Black BackgroundIf you travel frequently and your workout schedule gets thrown off, let me share with you 5 moves you can focus on to help you stay fit while traveling. Of course, there are great apps that you can use, and the famous 7 minute workout, but if you like another option to keep it simple, here’s the 5 main moves.

To increase resistance, if there is no gym, pack some resistance bands or use your body weight. Do these movements slowly to really engage the maximum muscle fibers.

  1. Sun Salutations: 90 seconds for each sequence. You can download a sequence online.
  2. 2 x PUSH: Push up, Push forward (90 seconds each, learn the proper position of your hands and wrists first. A personal trainer can show you how.)
  3. 2 x PULL: Pull down, Pull in (90 seconds each, learn the proper position of your hands and wrists first. A personal trainer can show you how.)
  4. LEGS: Squats and/or Lunges (90 seconds each, learn the proper form first. A personal trainer can show you how.)
  5. Photo of Woman Doing YogaCORE: crunches and/or plank pose (90 seconds each)

To really keep your body in a good place, avoid sitting as much as possible. If you have to sit for long periods of time, plan to get up at least every hour to help circulate your blood and stimulate your muscles. If possible, stand instead of sitting, and make sure you walk as much as possible. Every time you move your body, you signal to your body that you have to heal and recover. This is much better than the alternative, signalling that it is ok to decay. Keep moving as much as possible.

How Can I just “DO IT”? (Part 2)

Earlier, we reviewed BRAIN ENERGY. Today, we move onto the next concept.

Concept #2. Resilience.

Brain energy is directly linked to resilience. Resilience is your defense against things that derail you. It protects your supply of brain energy, it’s your reserve. It can be more specific to events and can include behavioral patterns you develop in response to negative influences. Resilience protects you from giving up your plans, your goals. It helps keep you moving forward.

If brain energy is the gas in your car, resilience is the size of the gas tank. The larger the tank, the more gas it holds, or the more driving possible between fill ups. Even if you end up getting lost, you will have enough gas until you reach your destination. The more resilience you have, the more you can accomplish in a period of time even when you have detours.

Good news! You can learn to increase your resilience so that you are more resilient to change and transitions…which will be topic of the next blog.

Welcome!

This blog brings together the most ancient medical concepts with the most recent research and knowledge. I am excited to share ways in which we can be healthy. While I am trained and practice in Western Medicine, I believe that health is more than the absence of illness. In fact,  your body is designed to thrive. We can add the perspectives of traditional Chinese Medicine and more recent research in fitness and nutrition to help our patients pursue their healthiest lifestyles.

While there is a place for standard Western protocols in medical treatment, we can also incorporate more organic, natural healing techniques to address physical, mental and emotional dysfunction. As a physician, when I evaluate a person as an integrated whole human being, I have at hand a broad variety of interventions to address that individual person’s imbalance. In Western Medicine, we re-actively respond mostly to symptoms and focus on decreasing or eliminating the immediate complaint(s); in traditional Chinese Medicine, we focus mostly on the causes, facilitating balance and harmony within the body to allow healing to happen. We can benefit from integrating both modern knowledge and traditional wisdom.

Currently, in my practice, I am finding that my more than 25 years of experience studying weight management, fitness and nutrition gives me an additional perspective that has proven to be very helpful to my patients. A significant portion of my practice is made up of people who have been referred to me specifically for fitness and weight management. I am seeing that as I educate people and help them manage their health, many other areas of their lives improve. Sharing this journey together, my patients continue to teach me. I am hoping that with this blog, I can share some of what I am learning in my ongoing studies and in my practice.