A Simple Realistic Guide To Physical, Mental & Spiritual Fitness


The benefits of exercise are positive. It reduces stress and makes you feel better about yourself. In addition, you will have better cardiovascular efficiency. This means you can climb a flight of stairs and not be winded. It contributes to reducing the heart rate, decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease, reducing the amount of bone loss that is associated with age and osteoporosis. When you exercise regularly, you live longer, experience improved sleep, have less tension overall, and your endurance improves. Meditation and mindful exercise has been credited with the following benefits:

  • Being effective adjuncts to existing stress and anger management programs

  • Reducing the medical and economic costs of psychological distress

  • Reducing falls in the elderly

  • Improving glucose (sugar) intolerance

  • Increasing heart rate variability and cardiac parasympathetic tone

  • Improving cardiac (how fast/slow the heart beats) reactivity related to work strain

  • Reducing responsiveness to stress hormones

  • Increasing self-awareness, self-efficacy, and personal empowerment

  • Decreasing anxiety and neuroticism

  • Decreasing pain and pain sensitization

  • Reducing blood pressure

Flexibility needs to be incorporated into any exercise program in order to develop and maintain range of motion, function, and enhance muscular performance. It may also be a preventative with regard to injury. Other benefits include: increased physical efficiency, increased blood supply and nutrients to joints, reduced muscular soreness, improved muscular balance and postural awareness, decreased risk of low back pain, and reduced stress. The benefits of cardiovascular fitness and weight training are well known.

Flexibility is now well accepted due to its positive effects. Center Point Balance creates a solid body foundation ensuring your movement is directed towards the desired muscle group. Center point balance is the same as checking your posture and being aware of your body alignment. To gain a sense of a being grounded and centered, feel your body standing tall.

Breathing is very important. If done correctly, it oxygenates the blood, assists in balance, and works the abdominal muscles, which in turn supports the lower back. So breathe!

When I eat the lower fat or non-fat variety of foods, I tend to consume more of it. I'm in search of that same satiety we get from the regular versions of food. Remember, just because it's non-fat or low fat does not mean you can eat more of it.

Research has proven that people who keep a record of what they eat lose more weight and keep it off longer than those who don't.

Did you know that at any given time 40% of women and 25% of men are trying to lose weight and, on average, one will relapse six to eight times before adhering to their plan of action? These percentages are growing yearly. These increases are not just with adults aged 20-74. Surveys show that adult obesity increased from 15% in 1976-1989 to 32.9% in 2003-2004. Recently, obesity in children ages 2-5 increased from 5.0% to 13.9%; ages 6-11 years increased from 6.5% to 18.8%; and ages 12-19 years increased from 5.0% to 17.4%. These statistics are staggering.

Repetitive dieting also carries risks including:
  • Inadequate nutrition

  • Fatigue, weakness

  • Cardiac problems

  • Gallstones

  • Hypertension

  • Alterations in metabolism

  • Alterations in body fat deposition

  • Increased cardiovascular risk

  • Depression
The excess pounds are wreaking havoc with America's health. These increases are a cause of concern for their implications on Americans' health. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of so many unhealthy conditions and may accelerate the onset of life-threatening conditions and/or diseases, including these:
  • Hypertension

  • Dyslipidemia (high or low total triglycerides levels)

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Coronary heart disease

  • Stroke

  • Gallbladder disease

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems

  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
Although one of the nation's health objectives for 2010 is to reduce the prevalence of obesity, data suggests the situation is worsening rather than improving. As reported in "Idea Health and Fitness Source," April 1999, another study suggests that even if one does lose weight using a commercial weight loss program, usually the weight is gained back.

Yet another study of 200 participants in programs using pre-portioned foods or special formula found that while the subjects did lose an average of 48 pounds, just one in eight participants maintained 75 % of that loss over three years. Inactivity and frequent television viewing proved to be the strongest weight gain predictor. Not surprisingly, exercise was the best predictor of weight loss maintenance.

Have you thought about how the media affects you? One time while on vacation I talked with a very interesting person who works in the computer graphics department of a large company. I learned that a well-known starlet (whose name I will not mention) had just finished posing for a calendar and that her image in the photographs had been enhanced and trimmed in just the right places. She was even made to look taller than she is. Unbelievable! This is a known fact, yet we think this is real?

Did you know that according to ABC's "20/20" television newsmagazine, only 10% of Caucasian women are happy with their bodies? On the other hand, African-American women are 70% satisfied with their bodies. What has happened to our culture, especially the Caucasian culture? Why are Caucasians so unhappy with their physical form? Why are African-Americans happier? I have spent countless hours speaking with others about these issues and it is clear there is a strong value system in place that has not been lost.

You are either optimistic or pessimistic. Of these two traits, you are one or the other. Optimism is defined as "a tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell upon the most helpful aspects of a situation." Pessimism is defined as "a tendency to take the gloomiest possible view of a situation." Which one are you-optimist or pessimist?

Before starting any exercise program consult with your physician. Zoe Roxanne Ztarr, MINDMUSCLE and or anyone affiliated with the contents of this website assumes no liability for the contents herein. Please use your own discretion and with physicians approval.

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