Forget Diet- Go Lifestyle! Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions!Dieting is an insufficient portion of the “Big Picture” in living a healthy lifestyle. Dieting is an ineffective modality toward a healthy lifestyle. The healthy lifestyle requires your attention to multiple factors:
- Exercise Management
- Nutrition Management
- Sleep Management
- Stress Management
- Environment Management
- Relationship Management
- Financial Management
- Spiritual Management
- Professional Management
- Attitude Management
- Becoming a “Whole Human”
First and foremost, if you believe you have to start with all 12 of the listed lifestyle factors, you are wrong. Let’s look back at your lifestyle as a math problem. If you are currently doing NONE of these factors, your math score is a ZERO! If you decide to do just ONE of the 12 Factors you have made an Infinite improvement in your lifestyle.
If you are doing just ONE of the factors and decide to do just ONE more, you have made a 100% improvement in your lifestyle. Little changes can mean a lot!
There are many people that “Go All-In” with their New Year’s Resolutions and attempt comprehensive and drastic lifestyle changes, unfortunately, the very first time they stumble or “Fall-off the Wagon” of their commitment to a healthy lifestyle, they immediately revert to their previous unhealthy lifestyle.
Please! Cut yourself some slack! It is really irrelevant how many times you get off the healthy lifestyle path. The only thing that truly matters is that you get back on that path. I suggest your News Year’s Resolution be a commitment to live healthier in 2015 than you did in 2014. One more workout, healthy meal, more sleep or less stress is an improvement over your health than what you previously achieved. I recommend you seek improvement, not perfection. Flexibility is the key to a healthier lifestyle.
You will be given details below on what some “Experts” consider to be the “IDEAL” Frequency, Intensity, Time (Duration) and/or Type (Mode) for each of the 12 Lifestyle Factors. In reality, “IDEAL” is very individualized concept.
Since ONE is infinitely GREATER than ZERO, even baby steps can dramatically affect your goals of leading a healthier lifestyle. The recommendations you will read below are based on the latest evidence-based medical research that has been proven to reduce inflammation and improve health.
Inflammation is the primary cause of all chronic disease, disability and dysfunction. Reducing Toxicity and creating a favorable growth of new brain cells, has a great impact on reducing your risk of developing all chronic disorders.
New research has proven that science was very wrong about DNA and Brain Health. DNA is NOT hardwired, but IS amazingly flexible and profoundly influenced by food, exercise, sleep, stress and other factors of healthy lifestyle. We also learned that we CAN grow new brain cells, even into what used to be considered Old Age of your 80’s and 90’s.
Since you are facing a 50-50 chance of developing Alzheimer’s, you should seriously consider a change to a healthy lifestyle simply to prevent your brain’s destruction.
The 12 IFPA Healthy Lifestyle Factors:
- Exercise Management: The current recommendation is that you should get a minimum of 60 minutes/day of moderately intense exercise/day 6 or 7 days/week. Great! If you don’t have a job, family, spouse/significant other, friends or LIFE, you will probably have little difficulty with that recommendation. If you have a life, that recommendation will prove to be a challenge.
If you look at the math, it doesn’t seem too bad. After all, 60 minutes of a 24 hour day is only about 5% of your day. Sounds good, except that common sense tells you that approximately 20 hours of your day are committed to sleeping, working, eating, commuting, and socializing. Include within your exercise time commitment, that typically you will drive to the gym, change into street clothes and drive to work, school or back home and realize that a one-hour workout may require a significant portion of your discretionary time.
This is the number one reason many people give for not exercising: “I know I should exercise, but I don’t have the time!”
You can give your potential client a flippant response: “Well, if you’re not taking the time to exercise, are you making the time to have a heart attack?” Or you can help them discover a solution.
One possible solution: Eliminate one T.V. program every night so you can go to bed on hour early. Now you can get up one hour early, dress in your workout clothes, go to the gym-workout-and then prep for work. This is a very efficient way to gain a useful hour and highly effective time to work out when cortisol levels are naturally high.
The most effective Exercise Prescription for overall health and fitness is:
- Aerobic: 10-15 minutes as a warm up
- Strength Training: 40 minutes
- Flexibility Training: 10 minutes as a cool down.
Exercise Management for Strength Training can be something like:
Day 1: Chest and Back
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Arms and Shoulders
Day 4: Cardio (No Strength Training)
On Day 4, Recommend: High Intensity Internal Training (H.I.T.T.) replaces the Strength Training portion so you can increase the Flexibility Training portion.
Both Strength and Aerobic Exercise have been shown to be Epigenetic Factors. Factors that increase brain cells. Though, you can feel fairly secure that future research may very well prove that ANY exercise will prove to be an Epigenetic Factor.
- Nutrition Management: Every nutrition promoter or marketer has a protocol on diet and weight loss, whether it is High Fat, High Carbs, High Protein, a super secret pill, potion, or Magic Elixirs, or cookies made by Elves! Let’s get back to basics. What we do know from 3 million years of human experience is that a diet consisting of animal proteins from Wild, Grass fed, Hormone and drug free beef, fish, poultry, and eggs provides great benefits with little or no risk to health. Complex Carbohydrates: Vegetables, legumes, whole-grain, low processed, Gluten Free grains and fruit are healthy. Simple Carbohydrates: because of processing produce, high glycemic index, high gluten, high sugar carbs that should be avoided. Processed carbs usually contain various toxins and you should consider gluten, preservations, food dyes, high fructose corn syrup and other chemical additives as toxins that should be avoided.
Wild caught salmon and other small cold-water fish are infinitely healthier than anything farm raised. YES! This includes farm-raised in ocean pens; their diet is still processed and unhealthy compared to fish grow in the wild.
Gluten is a toxin that is an unhealthy result of commercial grain processing that result in inflammation inside the body. This inflammation results in chronic disorders, depression, insomnia, Alzheimer’s, and more.
Focus on natural foods and include “Healthy Fats” such as extra Virgin Olive Oil, Nuts, and Pumpkin seeds and Coconut Oils.
The New England Journal of Medicine has produced solid research that high fat diets (25%-40% of caloric intake) results in more weight loss, increases HDL, reduces cholesterol and C-Reactive Protein, a major marker of inflammation, and 44% reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
DO NOT rely on anti-cholesterol drugs as there is strong evidence they increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Plus, there is growing evidence that Cholesterol is an Anti-oxidant that protects the brain. You should know that the brain is largely made of fat and cholesterol.
The 100 Billion Brain cells and protective sheathes and cell membranes of your body need healthy fats and cholesterol for repair and replacement.
You should consider the following supplements along with your healthy eating: DHA, Resveratrol, Tumeric, Probiotics, Coconut Oils, ALA, and Vitamin D.
- Sleep Management: 7-8 hours a night in a completely darkened room.
- Stress Management: Problems create Stress. Make a concerted effort to become a Problem Solver, not a Problem Avoider. Before you go to bed each night, write down your problems on a pad/journal before you go to sleep. It will help you sleep and you will be surprised how many solutions you will have in your head when you awake. Write down your solutions each morning.
It also helps to recite the Serenity Prayer:“God grant me the Courage to change the things I can change. The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change. And the Wisdom to know the difference.”
- Environment Management: Make a sincere effort to remove Toxins from your environment. Clean water, air, food, home, office, and where you go for work/recreation. Water and air filters have gotten much better and cheaper. Get the best value you can afford.
- Relationship Management: Spend as much time on your relationship as you did in your Courtship. You cannot expect your significant other to perform like a Thoroughbred if you treat them like an Old-Nag!
- Financial Management: Get Debt Free! Stay Debt Free! Learn the difference between what you NEED and what you WANT! Living without your WANTS is far less stressful than living under a mountain of debt.
- Spiritual Management: Some people are Spiritual only when they are in their “House of Worship”, praying according to the precepts of a religion that was instilled in them by their parents. The Spiritual commonality between all legitimate religions is: “Do unto others as you would have them do onto you”.
- Self-Development: If you want a better life than you ever had before, you have to become a better person than you ever were before. If you want a better girl-friend, you have to become a better man. If you want a better job, you have to become a better worker. One definition of insanity is: “Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.”
- Professional Development: You can stand around the rest of your life waiting for the Government to raise the minimum wage to $20, $30, $40, or $50 per hour or you can increase your own VALUE by increasing your own knowledge, skills and abilities to increase your own WORTH to far, FAR more than $50/hour. It’s up to you. The IFPA has developed over 70 Certification Courses to help you achieve your goals.
- Attitude Development: “Your Altitude is determined by your Attitude.” – Zig Ziglar
Make goal setting and accomplishing a daily habit.
12. Becoming a “Whole Human!”: The Ancient Greeks developed a “Whole Man Concept” from a belief that a man was not complete unless he developed himself fully: Mentally, Emotionally, Physically, Spiritually, and Artistically.
Develop a habit of asking yourself: “Did I do my best today?”
Did you perform your best as a worker, boss, spouse, parent, child, friend, professional, athlete, student, teacher, follower, leader, etc.
To become the best you can be: Raise your expectations. Work Toward your goals. Forgive yourself when you fall short. Evaluate why you fell short. Develop a plan for improvement. Work your plan. Aim for improvement, not perfection. Do what you can…when you can! Everyday!
Dr. Jim Bell