live Balance Fit
Follow our hierarchy of needs to make bold steps toward the health and performance you want in your life and to grow your capacity to have an impact on others in your life:
Breathing is essential to life while you can go more than three minutes without breathing. Without oxygen, your brain will die in about 10 minutes. Your breathing, your brain, and your heart are all directly and autonomically connected. Make time daily to connect to your breath by taking pause, exhaling deeply, and tuning into the sensation. You’ll exhale stress, blood pressure, and trigger the natural inhalation that delivers our most precious resource. Oxygen. Set an alert in your phone right now to take some me time to breathe. 3 times per day for 1-3 minutes is a good start. Do it now!
Drink it up
At balance fitness we strongly encourage you to start your day with a big glass of room temperature water. Add a shot of apple cider vinegar for additional benefits and a little zing. You've likely spend the last 7-8 or even more hours sleeping, perspiring, and respiring eliminating vital water and leaving your cells depleted. We don’t store water, instead it is continually being used and processed out through your kidneys. It is the great elixir of life that serves both as a transport system for your water soluble vitamins, aids in thermo regulation, and to make sure your blood is not too viscous to move through your blood vessels. The consumption of water is considered a cornerstone habit. Drinking water will improve energy and decrease hunger and cravings making it easier to engage in more healthful habits. We recommend consuming half of your body-weight in fluid ounces of water. For example...If you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 fluid ounces per day. More if you are in a hot and humid environment.
Exercise will also increase your need for water. So please add an additional half cup of water for every 15 minutes of exercise. Try not to consume any of the artificial flavors or sweeteners to make it more palatable. Rather, use fruits or vegetables to add flavor. To build this habit, keep a bottle near you with a measurement on it. Or treat it like a college drinking game and drink every time someone says the word “......”.
Eat more plants
Michael Pollan, author of omnivores dilemma gave the most eloquent and concise nutrition recommendation I've ever heard. He said "eat food, mostly plants, not too much". While there is much disagreement on what proper nutrition is and what is the right diet for everyone, there is little disagreement that real food not "food like products" are the way to go. Moreover, the real food that should be at the base of our nutritional pyramid is plants. Specifically fruits, vegetables, and legumes. I do also include grains in that list but in lesser amounts. Try to include 1 to 2 servings of fruit and vegetable as the basis of every meal. Another favorite author Dr. Joel Furman refers to a health equation of calories divided by nutrients. The more nutrient dense the food… The better it is for us. Look to the attached link for foods in their respective nutrient densities. For more specific suggestions on how to make this happen in your diet, see your Balance Fitness health and performance coach. Consider doing our Shred10 elimination program, one simple change nutrition challenge or schedule a consultation with our dietitian Karen Tait to start you on the road to better health and performance through better nutrition. You cannot outrun a lousy diet. Ask your coach for details.
The human body was designed to move. It has been argued that movement contributed to the development of our big brains and is certainly evidenced in the function of many of our organs systems. Our endocrine, circulatory, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal systems are all dependent on movement for optimal function. For example our recent research on the dangers of sitting for prolonged periods have shown that it very short periods of time, tension and pressure in the circulatory system decreases leading to vessel damage. Frequent movement increases the tension that protects the vessels. In fact your circulatory system struggles to get oxygen back to your heart without the assistance of muscular contractions in your lower legs. These are two of countless examples begging you to move to maintain good health.
Make sure that you have completed all necessary paperwork and conducted your metabolic test to get your personalized exercise prescription. Your Balance Fitness health and performance coach will help you create a custom exercise program that will build the most direct bridge between where you are today and the goals you set for yourself. In addition we can include NEAT strategies to help you get it in during the workday rather than saving it up for home when you are already out of gas.
Development is the result of stress followed by recovery. Stress alone will break us down. Too much recovery leads to de-conditioning and decay. Either extreme leads to DISS-ease. So we must find a balance between the two. Today's world is full of stress and while exercise is also a stressor. It is an acute stressor that triggers the repair response in your body when done appropriately. Chronic stress on the other hand quietly erodes your health and without the triggered repair process leads to inflammation and disease ranging from cancer, diabetes, heart disease to frailty and death.
To live balance fit, we must seek the opportunities for rest and recovery as thoughtfully as we seek the activity. Sleeping 7 to 8 hours is essential for adults, more is needed for children, adolescents, and seniors. If you are not currently getting your minimum recommended dose of rest, budget more into your routine. As important is to ensure good sleep hygiene in the evenings and good recovery habits post workout and to find a rhythm of sleep and wake that works best for you to optimize the quality of the time you rest. Consider using your Fitbit or heart rate monitor to give you some feedback. Or ask us for a HRV (heart rate variability test) to determine if you are resting well enough. Talk with your balance fitness health and performance coach to help you implement good strategies for rest and recovery to optimize your health and performance.
Garrett Stangel, MA, ACSM EP-C/EIM2, ACE CPT/HC/CMES
Health and Performance Coach
Owner of Balance Fitness