There are very few things in life as stressful as a break-up. Stress, has been linked to disease, our mental state, physical appearance and overall well-being. Therefore, there is no more important time to make yourself your top priority than now.
Everyone has heard the saying Without your health, nothing else matters and yet, for some reason, taking care of ourselves tends to always be at the bottom of our lists. Some say life gets in the way. Some say it’s due to a lack of time or money. Some may believe the doctor can fix whatever ails them. Whatever the reason, make no mistake, to live a long and happy life, there is NOTHING more important than your health and you have the ultimate control.
The instructions given prior to taking off in an airplane regarding emergencies provides the perfect analogy. In the event the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling, you first put the mask on yourself, and then help those around you. Taking care of your health in non-emergency situations is no different.
Parents tend to put their children first. Couples tend to put their significant others first. They say they do it out of love. I tell my loved ones if you love me, you’ll take care of yourself the way I would take care of you.
Fortunately, compared to getting someone to put themselves first, reducing stress is easy; losing weight is easy; building muscle is easy; and getting healthy is easy. Once you place yourself first, the rest will follow.
So, as your surrogate personal trainer, I’m telling you to make your health your number one priority in life from this day forward. No matter what you have to do, ask yourself how can I do this in a healthier way and what is best for me.
When you wake up in the morning, start with a glass of water. Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. Eat locally grown, organic, foods that are in season and right for your type. Park a little further away and walk a few extra steps. Take the stairs. Get up from your desk, at least, every two hours. I can go on and on but you get the idea.
By placing your health first, you will have more energy, be more relaxed, be happier, look better, be more productive, have fewer sick days, live longer, and enjoy life more.
While I was the fitness director at a popular health club, I learned that looking good is, quite often, more important to people than preventing illness. Well, guess what? One of the biggest benefits of being healthy is looking better. To use myself as an example again, I have lost 60 pounds of fat, gained 15 pounds of muscle, and, at 55, I’m in better shape now than when I played football in high school.
Fernando (a Billy Crystal character from Saturday Night Live) satirized our obsession with looking good but just exactly why are we so preoccupied with beauty? Is it that we are just shallow or is there a deeper reason we are drawn to looking young and athletic? What makes a person attractive? I believe it’s all about the “survival of the fittest”. Certain people are considered attractive because they possess characteristics that we instinctively know are good for the perpetuation of the species. It’s not just in our jeans – it’s in our genes.
Beauty is also more than skin-deep. Well-known dermatologist Dr. Perricone says he’s never seen beautiful, healthy skin on an unhealthy patient. Human skin growth starts in the basal layer, where stem cells (those that can become almost anything in our bodies) transform and migrate outward to make up the four different layers of skin. Cells are constantly being replenished. Millions of skin cells are lost every day. The epidermal layer is completely replaced every 25 – 45 days. A good way to see if you are healthy is to look at your skin. If your skin is dry, pale or pasty, your body is probably unhealthy. And, if, proper nutrition can revitalize skin (the largest organ in the body) so radically and so quickly, imagine how other organs (the ones on the inside) will benefit.
Muscle tone can also be a good indicator of a person’s health. When someone is unhealthy, muscle can be used by the body as a source of nutrients in the fight against dis-ease. To keep your body in the best health possible, you must eat right and exercise right. A strong body has a strong immune system. The stronger your immune system, the more illness it can fight off and the quicker your body can repair and recover.
Instinctively, we may use physical traits as clues to determine whether a person is in good health or not. A person may appear unattractive because they are out of shape. For instance, we know that belly fat has been linked to all sorts of illnesses. Obesity has been linked to diabetes and high blood pressure. The burden of additional weight stresses joints and can lead to arthritis. Fat itself produces hormones that throw a body into a chemical imbalance, which can lead to other health problems. So, the better shape a person is in, the more attractive that person will appear to others (physically anyway).
Have you ever said you look stressed to someone? Stress also causes many health problems? It all began with our natural instincts to fight or flee. Back in the day, when we were prey, our very survival depended on our reflexes. When threatened, our bodies sprang into action, causing our muscles to tense and adrenaline production, metabolism, heart rate and breathing to increase. This instinct, while probably not vital to our survival today, is still fully functional.
Do you recall how your body reacted to the last unexpected sonic boom, thunderclap, or earthquake? To a lesser degree, we also react to everyday things like bumper-to-bumper traffic, uncooperative computers, car alarms and leaf-blowers that wake us from a sound sleep. In today’s world, we are constantly assaulted by one thing or another making it almost impossible to disengage our survival mechanisms. The natural reactions that were once so crucial for short-term survival, may be killing us today.
Relaxation is imperative for optimal health. So, leave 15 minutes earlier for your destination, stretch, have a glass of wine with dinner, sit by the pool, get a massage, listen to soft music in a dimly lit room, take a vacation and always treat yourself right. The more relaxed you are, the healthier you will be.
Unfortunately, the value we place, instinctively, on looking good has also given rise to the popularity of unnecessary and elective cosmetic surgery. No topical treatment or cosmetic procedure is going to improve your health. Don’t get me wrong, reconstructive surgery has its place. However, getting all of the fat scraped and sucked out of your stomach doesn’t make you healthier. As a matter of fact, it can be a life-threatening procedure.
Bottom line, there are no short-cuts to good health. Proper nutrition and exercise, avoiding man-made chemicals and stresses, and listening to your body are the best ways for you to be healthy and look marvelous.
So, if you are ready to make yourself a priority, please contact me. Let me help you achieve your health and fitness goals. I will use my fifteen plus years of experience to customize a nutrition and exercise program specifically for you, based on your needs (time, money, goals, etc.). This is not a one-size-fits-all program . The first appointment is free, the assessment is free, the first workout is free and there is no obligation. When we speak, simply mention that you found out about me through The Reape-Rickett Law Firm.
It is time to put yourself first.
To health and happiness.
Jeff (JC) Cordeiro
805-341-0924 (Yes, I have lived in Santa Clarita for a very long time)