So far in The Wheel of Life blog we have talked about Fitness and Nutrition. Today we are going to address Restoration. How do you restore your energy, vitality and health? The definition of restoration is “the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition.” Number one there is an action; it doesn’t happen without exerting effort. Secondly, something is being returned to a former condition.
Let’s begin by thinking about our physical health. What does it mean to return to your former physical health? What action would it take? Is that something you even want to do? Is it realistic? Think back to a time in your life that you enjoyed the way you felt or the way your clothes fit. What was your lifestyle? Were you exercising? What were you eating? How long ago was it? Our metabolism changes as we age. The more sedentary we become the more we increase our percent of body fat. Then, as our bodies have a higher percentage of fat, the fewer calories we burn. So, if we want to restore our body to a similar weight or fitness level of previous years, in most cases, we have to increase our activity level and decrease our food intake. However, our calorie level should rarely go below 1200 calories per day. If it does, it should only be for a very short period of time with intermittent fasting. This can be done with a twelve hour fast, say 7 p.m. – 7 a.m. Another thing to consider is, how long did it take you to get to this point? My point being that it will take a while to lose the weight that you have put on over the past 10 years. To keep losing weight and keep it off, you must change your lifestyle. The old saying of “Rome wasn’t built in a day” applies here. Be patient with yourself, don’t expect the weight to fall off in two months! You can safely lose 1- 2 pounds per week initially and then it will gradually taper off as your body adjusts to the new calorie and fitness level. Remember: steady wins the race. Stick with your plan. You will have to adjust your workouts and your food plan along the way. Continue to clean up your diet making small healthy changes as you progress. A personal trainer can be very helpful in both of these areas while holding you accountable for your actions or lack of action.
What about emotional restoration? We all need to be restored from time to time. Sleep is vital for restoration. It restores us both physically, emotionally and mentally. Sleep organizes long-term memory and the integration of new information. Deep REM sleep is mostly devoted to brain repair and restoration. It also renews and repairs nerve cells and tissue throughout the body. Sleep helps to neutralize neurotoxins and restores chemicals to normal levels. It boosts the immune system and helps healing of wounds. When you are rested, it’s easier to think clearly and logically and recognize when something is out of kilter. Plan for 8 hours of sleep each night for restoration.
Recreation is a great way to restore and refresh the mind, body and soul. Think about recreation or re-creation. Vacations are one way to recreate when you can relax, refresh and revitalize yourself. This can give you an important fresh perspective when you are away from the regular stress and strain of your routine. They may last a week or a few hours. We may not have a week or two for a vacation every time we “need” it. However, recreation includes short bouts of exercise like playing soccer, jogging, walking in nature, yoga, Tia Chi or riding a bike with the wind in your face. Short breaks are vital to our health. As you know, sitting is the new smoking. Our bodies are created to move. Consider what refreshes and revitalizes you and do it on a regular basis. We need it more than once or twice a year.
When you start exercising your heart starts pumping and your brain thinks you are in a fight or flight response. However, the body produces (BDNF) Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. This provides a protective and reparative element to your memory neurons and act like a reset switch. At the same time endorphins are released to fight stress. They minimize the pain and increase the feeling of euphoria. So exercise makes us more productive and happier and helps our brain think and process more clearly!
The New York Times best selling author Gretchen Reynolds, the author of The First Twenty Minutes discusses the fact that the first 20 minutes of exercise provide the most benefit in fighting disease, prolonging life and improving your mood. So, set your workout clothes on top of your alarm clock and have a plan to start your day with exercise. Not much interferes with a workout at 6 a.m.! You will feel better, be more productive and be in a better mood if you will resolve to include exercise in your day.
Restore your body, mind and spirit through recreation, re-set the mind, refresh the spirit to revitalize your well-being! Re-set your life on the path of health.
#CommitToFit! One life, One body, Care for it!