THE FAD CONFUSION
We live in a "fad diet" nation where every week a new "weight loss" programme is introduced to sell you stuff you don't even need and to make the pedlars very rich in the process! Fads are fleeting and programmes that claim you could lose weight overnight, through eating everything; to calorie restrictions are just as fleeting. The reason they don't work is because they are not realistic in the long term.
WHY FAD DIETS DON'T WORK
The most obvious data we have is the continuous rise of obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. In addition, more than 2 in 3 adults are considered overweight or obese. MORE women are hospitalized for obesity related cases than men. Heart disease remains the number #1 killer among women.
Making steady and deliberate changes in lifestyle has a lasting impact and longer shelf life than "fadpisodes." Changes, however, should be the total package of a "healthy body, mindful existence and a wealthy spirit." Neglecting any one of these key aspects creates a diminishing return in one's overall optimal fitness. It takes work, but the end results will be VERY rewarding.
EVERYDAY LIVING and THRIVING
Training for an endurance event whether it is a marathon or multi-sport makes use of your bodily capacity (physical inertia), the mental stability (focus) and the spiritual connection (drive). In order to keep all three (3) "actively" engaged, consume "real foods," minimize the processed foods, get plenty of SLEEP, "destress," keep the body hydrated and consistently work the muscles and stretch the body.
**IRONICALLY, the same "process" of training for an athletic event is EXACTLY what is needed in maintaining a daily "thrive factor." It is the best weight maintenance programme around. There are no gimmicks, only SMART moves through eating right and working out.
Below are some ways athletes who train for running events maintain their "competitive edge." However, the same can be applied to anyone. regardless of their athletic prowess. Look for (**) for weight maintenance tips.
It is vitally important to be "consistent" in your training, thus runners should run the varied distances, track workouts, fartleks, and varied gradients including hills. This will ensure that your training is interesting and challenging for your body, whilst optimizing your performance when it matters.
**Building muscle is an optimal way to increase metabolism, especially when you are striving to lose weight. Actively engage in an activity, whether walking, jogging, running, biking or even yoga. The latter will also increase your flexibility which is critically important as you age.
We reserve long runs (14 to 18 miles) for SATURDAY, with alternating run/bike training days. SUNDAY is our rest day. During the TRI-season we will add swim/run with alternating bike days, and change it up between trail runs (hills and climbs), road biking or mountain biking. Training should be consistent and FUN!
A "diet" should not be confused with or synonymous with "losing weight." A diet just means the way we eat or as we like to say it, "Eat to thrive." It is that simple.
**There is absolutely NO secret to losing weight, eat right and MOVE! Simple, right?
Want to know the secret of an optimal diet plan? Eat foods close to the source; the less processed, the better. An average plate should be filled with fruits, veggies, lean protein and complex carbohydrates. When in doubt, eat like a Greek. A Mediterranean diet will provide all the nutrients you need to fuel your body AND maintain your ideal weight.
**If you are striving to lose weight, your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is just as important as your Body Mass Index (BMI).
Be PART of a PACK
We learned long ago, NEVER go it alone. We have always been part of a group, whether in business, running or biking. Our "mates" have really sustained us mentally, emotionally and physically, even when our body was aching and every step we took hurt worst than the last. You know what we mean. Even in the animal world, those that stay in a pack survive and thrive the longest.
**Make weight loss and weight maintenance a family affair. Join a local group, create a team and select cheer leaders in your area.
COACHING for SUCCESS
Having a coach is "priceless." Each USA Track and Field (USATF) sanctioned marathon course offers online coaching and training. A well crafted coaching programme will help you design your training runs, nutrition and tips to help you run longer, faster, stronger without over-fatiguing your muscles.
**If you want to start running, or considered doing a road race such as a 5K, these online programmes will help to optimize your training. They are free and designed for running and non-running levels.
SLEEP WELL, FEEL STRONG
Do you feel sluggish? Well, your brain might be telling you something. Perhaps you did not get enough sleep. A good delta sleep or REM is the stage where you actually dream and wake up "refreshed." 7-8 hours is recommended. Need a "cat nap?" Go for it! It is a sure way to restart your "gray matter" called the brain.
**Tips for optimal rest consider reducing caffeine; try chamomile or peppermint tea; turning off loud sounds or; even a warm bath. Slip into your PJs two hours before bedtime. Keep the room dark or try an eye mask to filter out light. Stressed out? Scream it out! Punch a bag or use a dart board as target practice. Then, get a good night's rest.
De-STRESS for OPTIMAL LIVING
"Good stress" is where you are pumped up and ready to get going, i.e. the start of a marathon. "Bad stress" is one that prevents you from getting going, starting or finishing. Let go; breathe it out or; meditate. You have to "let go" to keep moving forward towards your goal, as YOU are the only one who can make it happen. Everything else is just noise. Close it off and shut it down.
**Yoga and meditation are optimal ways to help reduce stress. They lower blood pressure and relax the mind. Time cannot be managed as it continuously moves forward, however, planning out the day will help reduce "time crunch situations." Don't worry about things that cannot be controlled such as traffic. Act on things within our control such as calling ahead to let your party know you will be late because of it. EVERY PROBLEM has a solution!
It is erroneous to think we were "taught" to engage in multi-tasking; doing (2) or more activities at the same time. It is still prevalent in workplaces today. We added this new training section in October 2010, following our summer programmes dedicated to this subject matter. To reiterate, multi-tasking does not increase performance, rather it causes "diminishing returns." Read more on what we wrote.
HYDRATION is kEY to HEALTH
What color is your flow? If you said "clear," you are hydrated. "Dark?" Well, maybe not so hydrated. Everyone's body is different, so we don't prescribe to the MYTH of eight (8) glasses of water a day. We drink when we are thirsty and more when the weather is hot and/or when we are training, especially due to the loss of fluids when you sweat, even in the cold!
**Whilst your flow is not a glamourous subject, it is a critical part of your optimal health. Your flow is as critical as the colour and size of your poop. A clear odorless flow means you are nicely hydrated. Good job! light yellow reflects vitamin B in your stream. Not bad. A darker yellow flow means you need more fluids. A murky cloudy or a chocolate colour flow means SEE A DOCTOR. This is NOT normal. See a doctor if your poop is also white.
MARATHON PACE TEAM
Bravo to ALL the women and men who lead their fellow runners to the FINISH LINE! If you are a first time marathoner, ensure yourself a "ready-made buddy system" by falling behind one of the Pace Teams. These Pace teams are designed to help you cross the finish line in your respective time categories. For instance, if your goal is to finish in 4 hours, there is a pace team for that. 5 hours? Yes. 3:30? YES!
IMPORTANT FYI, please check with your specific marathon to see what they offer. SunTrust in Washington D.C. has a 5 hour cut off and NYC marathon starts their Pace team at 3:30, not good for someone who is trying to qualify for Boston at 3:20.
**Just like a Marathon Pace Team helps runners cross the finish line, pacing yourself through life will also give you a competitive advantage, not to mention a healthy dividend! "Unplug" from your technology if you must - highly recommended! Take time out to check out the scenery. Appreciate the little things in life that makes all the difference including family, friends and your furry kids!
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