By Olympian Jeff Galloway
It’s natural to become focused on the big things in life, and worry about outside forces, building stress. A few simple lifestyle adjustments can result in greater control over attitude and energy, while reducing stress and fatigue. Yes, you can exert more control over your life, produce positive attitude hormones, and blend together body, mind and spirit by planning and taking action.
• Walk or run, one day and a walk (or cross train) the next. While the exertion will wake up the muscles, you’re away from the phone, allowing the mind a little freedom. Most who start with a blank mental state, finish their exercise session with the day planned, and a few new ways to deal with problems. Others like to walk/run during lunch hour, while munching on an energy bar. This can clear out morning stress and prepare mind-body for the challenges of the afternoon. Many evening exercisers believe that the weight of the day’s stress is erased or contained with the after-work workout. Scheduling these outings gives you control over your existence.
• Don’t sit–walk!. The addition of a few extra short walks, throughout the day, will energize the body and activate the mind. Park farther away from work, the food store, the transit station, etc. Many of my clients use a step counter for motivation and calorie counting. It helps to find one that is consistent and reliable (usually @ $30). Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. You are rewarded for getting out of your chair (or the couch) more often. These short walks burn fat, which adds up (up to 30 pounds a year!). The best reward is the head clearing effect, which can power you through the mid morning or mid afternoon energy crises. Even a 3-4 minute “recess” walk at work, can result in clearer thinking, more energy, and greater self-confidence.
• Eat more frequently. Each time you eat, even a small snack, you’ll boost your energy level. The longer you wait to eat, the more likely your metabolism will slump into drowsiness and laziness. This also means that you’re not burning many calories. If you divide up your daily calorie budget into 6-9 snacks a day you’ll burn more fat (up to 10 pounds a year). Eat a snack every 2-3 hours, and you can feel better all day. It helps to choose foods that have (percentage of calories vs total calories) about 20% protein, about 15% fat and the rest in complex carbohydrate. This combination will leave you satisfied longer with fewer calories consumed. To experience a fat loss, consumption can be managed through websites or journals. For more information, see A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO FAT BURNING by Jeff and Barbara Galloway.
• Help someone exercise. The psychological benefits are significant when you help someone improve the quality of their life. Offer to walk (run, hike) with your spouse, parent, friend co-worker, child—or all of the above. My books WALKING & GETTING STARTED have proven programs with motivation which can lead you and your “coach-ee” through the training.
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I hope everyone is having a great week! :-)