Saturday, August 28, 2010

It Matters: 3E Fitness

Today I was the featured guest on the Walk Right, Do Right blogtalk radio show. We discussed my fitness philosophy which is: eat right, exercise and encourage others.

1) Eat right for the rest of your life
This is not about making a temporary change just to lose weight, it is about smart choices daily and for the rest of your life. Be sure to start the day with breakfast. Good choices include: a bowl of oatmeal or a bananna with peanut butter or skim milk and a piece of raisin toast. If you choose a heavier breakfast, always watch your portion size and try to avoid a lot of processed food. Look to have more fruit, grains and foods in their natural state. In our busy lives it's easy to blame the lack of time on why we do not eat well. While there may be some truth that many of us don't have time to prepare fabulous home cooked meals, it's more important to remember that you can make wise food choices no matter where you are. Practically every fast food restaurant in America now has something on its menu that is considered healthy or low calorie. Try to eat 6 meals a day to keep your metablolism humming. Enjoy healthy snacks and avoid the super size mentality. You cannot simply eat what someone else eats and expect the same results. This is even more important for women. Ladies sorry, we just can eat like a man and they will typically lose weight faster! Just remember, fewer calories in and more movement out equals weight loss. Drink lots of water, it's good for the skin and helps provide the energy to accomplish #2.

2) Exercise consistently
Move intentionally and consistently at least 4-5 times per week. There are so may ways to incorporate exercise in your life. The truth is, to make a difference in your health and appearance, you must exercise regularly and with some intensity. Be sure to get both cardio and strength training workouts. Cardio simply means that you elevate your heart rate by doing things like walking briskly (unable to talk on the cell phone), running, riding a bicycle outdoors or taking a spinning class. Strength training involves using free weights, weight machines or resistance bands to build muscle. Muscle really does help burn fat but it's just one part of the equation. There so many exercise half truths and it's easy to fall into a quick fix trap. Everyone reacts to exercise differently. Find what is right and enjoyable for you by trying different activities. Then make it a lifestyle not just an occasional event.

3) Encourage others.
I have found that this principle works for many areas of life. When you do something for another person it may bring great joy to them but it has the same if not, greater effect on you too. A caring attitude creates energy and encourages good mental health too. Read Proverbs 17:22 and 1 Timothy 4:7-9. We all have so many gifts and talents that remain unused because we do not recognize or choose to give of ourselves to others without expecting anything in return. Consider what you can do for someone else. It may be as simple as making a phone call to a family member,turning in a work or school assignment early or as elaborate as becoming a community volunteer.

There are so many resources on the internet to help you along your fit lifestyle journey. Be sure to avoid quick fixes. You don't need to pay for elaborate equipment, you don't need to cut out all carbs. Ask questions of people who have credentials and know the principles of living a healthy lifestyle, then apply what you can. If you stay consistent with regular exercise and good eating habits you will see results. We are wonderfully and uniquely made. Before taking any fitness advice, be sure to check with your physician.

Now stop reading this, and get busy on your 3E plan: Eat right, exercise and encourage someone today! Share your comments below...