Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Renewal--10 Tips to Shape Up Your Mind and Body

Spring is a great time to renew yourself. The weather is warmer, the sun is shining more, the grass is greener, trees and flowers are blooming and there’s more hours of daylight. Everything seems to be renewing itself so why not you too!

Any change, positive or negative, must take place in your mind first.

Here are 10 tips to shape up your mind and body this spring:

1. Freshen up your attitude. Everything goes better for you when you have a positive attitude. The way you choose to react to the day’s events is a choice you make every day. A positive attitude does wonders for your health. Make your best days even better and make your bad days better by adjusting your attitude.

2. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep affects memory, concentration and health. In a Medical News Today article, “Getting A Good Night's Sleep,” the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM), reports that sleep problems add up to a global epidemic that affects 45% of the world's population.

"Insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), restless legs syndrome (RLS), and sleep deprivation significantly impact physical, mental and emotional health, in addition to affecting work performance and personal relationships," WASM said.

3. Limit prolonged stress in your life. A certain amount of stress is good for us to live efficiently. Too much stress…well, you know the answer. In a Mayo Clinic article, “Stress Basics,” it states:
“When your brain perceives a threat, it signals your body to release a burst of hormones to fuel your capacity for a response. This has been labeled the "fight-or-flight" response.

Once the threat is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal relaxed state. Unfortunately, the nonstop stress of modern life means that your alarm system rarely shuts off. Without stress management, all too often your body is always on high alert. Over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems.”

My recommendations for helping control stress:

--regular exercise
--laugh often and don’t take yourself too seriously
--learn to relax by using tools such as music, deep breathing, walking, massage, meditation, etc.
--have a grateful attitude
--focus on positives and not negatives
--disassociate yourself from negative energy vampires in your life

4. Drink mainly water and unsweetened drinks. Drinking too many sugary drinks will contribute to dangerous belly fat. Your body is about 70% water so it functions better when you are properly hydrated. I recommend drinking about half your weight in water every day.

So, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink about 75 ounces of water. High water content found in foods such as fruits and vegetables does count towards your intake.

5. Get a healthy, managed meal plan and comply with it at least 90% of the time. If you are trying to burn fat and lose weight, nutrition is critical. Eat main whole, natural foods that have one ingredient. For example, fruits and vegetables have one ingredient.

I don’t ever encourage any diet that significantly omits one of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins). Your body’s metabolism needs all 3 macronutrients to operate properly. So, diets that are very low in carbohydrates or fats will not help your body in the long-term.

Also, what you eat plays an important role in brain function.

6. Regular exercise is critical. If you made a New Year’s resolution, how’s that going? Need to get started exercising again? Physical exercise helps you burn fat, manage body weight, regulate stress and is necessary for maintaining good blood circulation to the body and brain. It also can significantly reduce the risk diseases such as heart attack, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Enough said.

I recommend weight training 3 days a week and short, interval cardio sessions 2-3 days a week.

7. Staying active as much as possible is very under-rated. It helps relieve stress, improves bloodflow and improves breathing. Sedentary lifestyles are a huge problem in society. We’ve gone from being physically active laborers (such as farmers) to sit-down jobs. So, if you have a "sit-down" job, I would recommend that you move more. When you sit, your fat-burning enzymes basically shut down.

Try to stand as much as you can during the day and take walking breaks to activate your fat-burning enzymes. Any activity is good to go along with your regular workouts. All movement burns calories.

8. Learn something every day to help you live life. I love fitness. But, there are experts in health, business, medicine, and other life disciplines who help me in other parts of my life. Read books, start a new hobby, go to a seminar, listen in on webinars/teleconferences, follow experts on Twitter and Facebook, etc. There is really no excuse for not helping yourself improve.

9. Unless your daily nutrition is perfect, you need to take dietary supplements. Multivitamins, fish oil and vitamin D3 are examples of common supplements that people take. Consult with your doctor before taking dietary supplements.

For sure, you don’t need fat burner supplements and weight loss pills. They don’t work long-term. Spend your hard-earned money to buy whole, natural foods for your meal plan.

10. Get professional advice if needed. When’s the last time you had a full physical exam? If you can’t remember, its been too long! Are your fat loss and weight loss efforts failing again and again? You may need a personal trainer to help you visualize success and individualize your fat loss and nutrition program.

Its hard to change your body all by your yourself. Research proves that you have a better chance to succeed if you have social support. That could be a trainer, spouse or friend.

Are you depressed? Although regular exercise will help you feel better, that won’t be enough to deal with serious depression. Get professional help.

Hey, its spring! Start taking positive steps today to improve your health and wellness.

Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts and start shaping your body faster!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Your Fitness University
My Fitness Hut
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  1. How inspirational! Thank you for posting your story.

    1. Thanks for the visit Faizy! How are your workouts going?