Super Fit and Healthy with Yoga

 

Many people today don’t ever try to improve their health and wellbeing because they are intimidated by yoga and health in general. As an international yoga and wellness instructor there are three major misconceptions that prevent people from ever starting this incredible and easy endeavor. Let me point these three out.

1. People say: “If I can’t put my foot behind my head it’s not for me”. I am here to say first and    for most that yoga is not about this and never has been. Yoga is about relaxing the mind, body and breath in a very simple and easy way. If it is stressful and too difficult then you are not doing it properly. The daily and lifelong goal is balance, harmony, health, and joyful practice.

2. Guy’s usually say:  ” I don’t do yoga my wife or girlfriend does yoga”. The general male sector of the population is under this misconception because again they think you have to be flexible or have a certain body shape or image to be successful. This is totally incorrect.  By taking the time and courage to try something new, success and progress is guaranteed every day that you participate. Men need health and fitness benefits just as much as women.  If you start your journey into yoga without preconceived  judgment, your health and wellbeing will speak to you in every way possible and you will learn to love yourself and the new better, stronger and more flexible YOU.

3. People say: “I’m too old to start, or my body is to broken down and sore to begin this kind of thing” Again this is completely untrue. I have a saying when I speak about yoga and health. “It doesn’t matter how old you are whether you are eight or eighty years old. The day you start everything gets better.” I have seen this with my very own eyes. I get 50, 60, 70 and 80 year old individuals into my classes, workshops or retreats and within a very short time you can’t even recognize the person who started a few months before. I myself didn’t start yoga until I was almost fifty years old and my body and mind where completely broken and worn out. I had given up on life and all possibility of ever getting better. Then, I was so fortunate and lucky to find an answer. It doesn’t matter when you find the answer. Only that you listen and act. Just give it a go and let’s start life again anew. You’re not getting older you’re getting better and next time when someone asks you how old you are. Say to them, if you asked me how young I am, I might answer you. Then they will ask, OK, how young are YOU?  Then you can answer: “Why I’m ageless my dear.” Being ageless is about health, wellness, positivity and the ability to move on and grow in beauty over time with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

Sincerely Yours:

Sheldon Grant Leon (Joyous Journey- Designing Excellence in Holistic Wellness )

www.joyous-journey.com

sheldon@joyous-journey.com

Exercise, Fat Burning, and Aging

 

One of the best things you can do for yourself is exercise. We have all heard this over and over however it is even more important to understand how age and exercise work together.

Often people begin an exercise program and approach it from the more is better direction. They begin by heading off to a gym and attempting to lift the heaviest weights possible and or begin a cardio jogging program where they associate a faster pace with being better.  Unfortunately this can lead to injury and failure as we age.

Most important is that before you begin any exercise program you should consult with your physician or health care provider.  Everyone’s health is different and is dependent on health related factors that may place some individuals at increased risk.

For many of us that are age 50 and over the amount of exercise needed to improve health might not be as drastic as you think.  Exercise level to reduce fat or induce weight loss is linked to increasing heart rate. The great news is that to control weight or induce fat loss an individual’s goal is to increase heart rate to 60 to 70 percent of maximum heart rate for your age.  If you increase the heart rate beyond 70 percent you may be improving your endurance however your body is no longer getting rid of excess weight or fat burning as efficiently as it would at the correct target heart rate.  In addition exceeding the correct heart rate for your age can make you burn up lean muscle and not fat. This is why this is so important.

Typically most people that are over 50 are surprised to learn that merely walking at a faster pace can easily put them in the correct target heart rate zone of 60% to 70%.  Most of us do not know that if we actually jog or run we actually exceed this heart rate zone and put ourselves at increased risk for injury.  Exercise level should always take into consideration both age and an individual’s current health status. Hence this is why this should be discussed with your medical doctor.

I attended a lecture given by Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC. She is board-certified in cardiology, internal medicine, nuclear medicine, and holistic medicine, and is the founder and medical director of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.  She is also the author of a great book that I have had the pleasure of reading:  The Heart Speaks.  Dr. Guarneri mentioned that the best way to get your exercise is to walk. Yes walk, not run.  The goal is to walk 10,000 actual steps per day as measured by a simple pedometer.  Where do you get a pedometer? Well most of us already have a simple device, a smart phone that can download a simple app (application) to measure the number of steps you take each day. Start slow and work yourself up to 10,000 steps per day.  Pedometers do not have to be expensive a simple one should cost no more than $5.95.

Now it’s time to figure out the correct heart rate related to age.  As a rule of thumb, the predicted maximum heart rate, 100%, for a man it is 220 minus his age, and 225 minus her age for a woman. The number you get is 100% and you will recall from above we are looking for 60% to 70% of that to burn fat. So find a calculator and figure out what 60 to 70% would be.  This information can also be found online by doing a simple search.

Once you have the correct heart rate you need to know how to take your pulse.  Many diagrams are available on the internet but two of the easiest ways are to place your finger on the big artery (carotid) on the side of your neck.  The other way is on the inside of your wrist.  Typically I find that it is easier to find a pulse using the carotid artery on the neck.  In addition to the old fashioned way there is always one of the new electronic devices sold on the internet as a heart rate monitor.

The golden rule to remember is that you should always consult your health care professional before beginning any exercise regimen or program.

Jerry D. Cady -B.S. Biomedical Sciences, A.S. Business Management

www.imsnaturally.com

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