A word from the owner/CEO of Elite Fitness Plus, Mike Davis…The other 23
The Other 23
We have been told our whole life that we should all get a certain amount of “intentional” daily exercise, yet the majority of our days are spent not exercising, but what we should be doing during this time to stay active, fit and healthy is rarely discussed. “The other 23,” the remaining time left in a 24 hour day, assuming most people who “intentionally” exercise spend about an hour per day doing so. What are you doing during “The other 23” to achieve ultimate vitality?
Look at a 24 hour day broken down by averages:
- “Sleep 8“: are you getting 8 hours of sleep per night? If not, here are some reasons why you should: sleep deficit has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, poor work performance, driving accidents, relationship problems, anger and depression.
- “Work 8“: assume you are at the office 8 hours a day. What are you doing at your workplace to be proactive: park further away from your office, use the stairs instead of elevator, switch out your chair with a SB (Stability Ball), skip going out to lunch and bring a homemade healthier lunch, keep healthy snacks with you at work (i.e. skip the donuts, candy, chips and soda in the break room and eat the vegetables you brought with you instead), get up and walk about, stretch, and / or perform core exercise for 5-10 minutes during every hour of work.
- “Intentional Exercise 1“: Assuming you work out 1 hour per day. Your workouts should consist of cardiovascular, strength, flexibility and balance exercises. To be the most efficient with your time so you’re not wandering around your gym what you should do for 20 minutes out of your 1 hour dedicated to working out, hire a professional. Someone who can efficiently design a program specifically to meet your needs and goals. Most people only set aside 60 minutes daily, hiring a professional will be one of the best investments you can make when it comes to your health.
- “Misc. 7“: Assuming the aforementioned, we should have 7 hours for misc. activities: spending time with your family and friends, healthy nutritional intake, additional sports / activities, and relaxation / meditation.
I want to discuss the “Misc. 7“.
- Strong Relationships: “Your Health Depends on It” This is time that should be spent with those you love, i.e. Family and friends. For myself, I am the happiest and most fullfilled when I am surrounded by those closest to me – my wife and my two girls. The “Harvard Health Publication” states that strong relationships influence long-term health as much as adequate sleep, good diet and not smoking. Several studies have shown that people who have strong healthy relationships with family, friends and their community live happier lives, have less health issues, and on average live longer. Conversely, a lack of strong relationships may lead to depression, a later-life cognitive decline and increased mortality (i.e. mortality: roughly comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes per day and higher than obesity or living a sedentary lifestyle).
- Staying Properly Fueled: We have discussed proper nutritional intake time and time again. Why, because it is that important, hence why it has and always will come up when discussing living a healthy lifestyle. During the “Misc. 7”, make sure to spend time properly fueling your body with quality whole-food nutrition and proper calorie intake based on activity level and goals.
- Bonus Sports / Activities: Think of this as a healthy “BONUS”. Find time to add in some extra physical activity. Rachel and I constantly try to add in some “BONUS” activities we can do as a family: i.e. hike, walk, ride bikes, run around with kids at a park, swim, play a sport, etc.. If you are busy running around town, park further away from your destination and walk briskly, take the stairs, carry your bags instead of using a cart, always be prepared: if you have an extra 5-10 minutes to kill don’t spend that time on the cell phone texting or checking your Facebook; get out and walk about wherever you may be (i.e. at the mall walk the different levels to kill time…at Starbucks waiting for a friend take a stroll around the block before you indulge in your fancy high dollar, high calorie “Frappuccino”…point is move when you are able)
- Relaxation / Meditation: Take time to shut off, mentally and physically. Breathing “Breath Focus” techniques, mindful meditation and muscle relaxation can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression and pain, and increase cognitive clarity. For example, below is something you can learn and use virtually anywhere; just follow these basic steps to practice “Breath Focus”:
- Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down. First, take a normal breath. Then try a deep breath: Breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your chest and lower belly to rise as you fill your lungs. Let your abdomen expand fully. Now breathe out slowly through your mouth (or your nose, if that feels more natural).
- “Breath Focus” in practice. Once you’ve taken the steps above, you can move on to regular practice of breath focus. As you sit comfortably with your eyes closed, blend deep breathing with helpful imagery and perhaps a focus word or phrase that helps you relax
Some other practices to help you get into a relaxed state: progressive muscle relaxation, mindful meditation (To get a sense of mindfulness meditation, please try for free, from Harvard Medical School at www.mindfulness-solution.com.), yoga, tai-chi, qi-gong, guided imagery and prayer. The key to reach ultimate physical and mental relaxation is creating a routine. Here are a few tips in creating “YOUR” personal relaxation routine:
- Choose a special place where you can sit (or lie down) comfortably and quietly.
- Don’t try too hard. That may just cause you to tense up.
- Don’t be too passive, either. The key to eliciting the relaxation response lies in shifting your focus from stressors to deeper, calmer rhythms – and having a focal point is essential.
- Try to practice once or twice a day, always at the same time, in order to enhance the sense of ritual and establish a habit.
- Try to practice at least 10-20 minutes each day.
Remember it’s not the 1 hour of “intentional” exercise, but “The other 23” that is key in achieving the ultimate you. A good night sleep, a healthy productive workday, proper fuel / nutritional intake, strong relationships, “BONUS” activities, and relaxation / meditation which will assist in creating healthy life-style habits you can maintain over your lifetime.
Start today, your long-term health depends on it.
Michael Davis and
The “Elite Fitness Plus” Team
Elite Fitness Plus
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