I never have done any New Years resolutions, but after eating so much this holiday season and beginning to get sluggish, I started doing one little exercise for just a few minutes every other day. I’ve done it for 3 days now and am feeling better, so I’m taking this chance to pass along this little tip along with a little explanation to go with it.
Ask any fitness trainer and they will tell you that when trying to burn fat or lose a little or a lot of weight, weight training is the way to go. Cardio training will get you into shape and improve your heart and lung health, but will not burn fat with anywhere near the effectiveness of weight training. So, without a weight set or a gym membership, you can still do plenty of weight training with the one thing we all have on us every day and all the time, our bodies. This tip uses some of the biggest muscles and the weight of your body.
So here’s the tip: Take your body, stand with your feet hip-width apart, keeping your back straight, and bend your legs so you go down as far as you can into a squat position. Now repeat that 20 times, slowly. Remember to take it slowly and to try to notice what places you feel week or stiff. Slow down around those places, you will need to warm up. Now repeat the whole process 2 more times, so you have 3 repetitions of 20 squats. And do that every other day to give your legs time to recover. There, you’re done! Now, you will be very sore the next day, but it should only take a couple times before you feel much stronger. Remember, you will be burning fat for many hours after this exercise, so use that for motivation.
Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to comment. There’s my quick, post-holiday tip to help burn extra fat and get back into shape. Enjoy and Happy 2013!
Last week I posted 3 shortcuts to better health and greater happiness in 2013, the first one was “Think Big”. Being connected to our greatest ambitions and highest perspective is not easy and not always recommended if we are trying to stay grounded. When we are looking for answers we often look up, the heavens have often been a source of inspiration. Historically, over the course of our evolution, the stars have been guides for travel and for marking the progress of time with the creation of the calendar. In fact, some historians speculate that this orientation is what allowed for the development of agriculture in the ancient world.
In this day and age thinking bigger often includes contemplating something right under our noses, the ground. Many symptoms exhibit qualities of the ground or the earth, and function to draw our attention down and deeper. Looking deeper into things is not always a well-trained approach in our usual, Western, extroverted, heavenly-oriented attitude. However, looking deeper can yield unusual results quickly, if you know how to do it.
Thankfully, we have great teachers who have blazed the trail for us. We have to thank the field of psychology and Sigmund Freud for the idea of the unconscious, Carl Jung for developing dream analysis, and Arnold Mindell for his post-Jungian, process-oriented insight. Asian medicine is a veteran of inward contemplation, using it to produce the acupuncture map of the body and draw the inner landscape for effective interventions along invisible lines of force, or acupuncture meridians, charting the course of our instinctual, emotional, mental, and spiritual impulses.
So, in thinking bigger, let’s not forget to think deeper! Approaching your health in this way requires some education, which is why I have been working hard to re-imagine the way health care can be delivered. I have come up with a coaching style which provides regular support over the phone. That’s thinking big! Check it out here.
Top 3 Shortcuts to Better Health and Happiness in 2013 (Save Time and Money too!), and One Bonus Tip
How much time and money does poor health waste? A lot, right?! And trying to improve your health is not necessarily as simple as you might think, there are so many contradictory suggestions and so many details and points of view that it can be discouraging, to say the least. So, here are my Top 3 shortcuts to better health in 2013:
- Think Big: Studies show that your perspective can change how you experience pain, for example. People who feel that their pain is pointless report higher levels of pain, on a pain scale, than those who don’t. Thinking bigger about your life often reveals ways in which your pain is meaningful and you are on a heroic path. Your life has purpose, find it and it will improve your health!
- Express Yourself: One of the biggest obstacles to self-expression that I find amongst my clients is the attitude that since self-expression will probably not change the person’s mind with whom there is conflict, then there is no point in doing it. Wrong. Self-expression is relieving in-and-of-itself, regardless how anyone else responds. One study shows how people who shouted swear-words when they held their hand in ice-water experienced significantly less pain than the control group that remained silent. Go ahead, express yourself! It feels good, and can help improve your health.
- Keep Growing: It was Carl Jung who reminded us that, “The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.” So, to save time and money and improve your health, never assume you are the same person today that you will be tomorrow. Tomorrow’s you may not have the same use for today’s problems, so it’s a good idea to keep growing.
Ok, so there are my top 3 shortcuts to improving your health (and therefore saving time and money by avoiding poor health) in 2013. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions or post comments to add to this list, it’s for you to use. Here is one bonus tip, just because I’m feeling like I’m on a roll:
- Follow Your Dreams: Ever wonder why the most successful people are always going on about how it was so important that they never gave up on their dream, even when everyone around them told them it was impossible? Maybe it’s because it is, important, that is. Through the study of dreams and the role they play in sleep, health, and everyday life, today we know how true this suggestion really is. Just think of what life would be like without dreaming, without fantasy, whimsy, or imagination. Not really worth living, right?! So, place more importance on all kinds of dreaming in 2013 to find more health and happiness.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my top 3 shortcuts and one bonus tip to better health and happiness in 2013. If you need any help with any of this (and more), please feel free to reach out. I’m building my practice on providing these kind of insightful shortcuts to my clients. I’m here to help you think bigger, express yourself, keep growing, and follow your dreams. Here’s to you! …and to your health and happiness! And here’s to the new world you will help to create by doing what only you can!
A guiding principle in good design is the “just-enough” principle. What is aimed at here is to create something to perform a function that is just good enough to effect its purpose and nothing more. The product of overkill is conversely crude and inefficient, lacking the elegance. This zen-like approach provokes awe when it achieves this particular balance.
Medicine that relies on this can be imagined with the same streamlined ecological qualities of nature’s own design. Natural medicine developed in ancient China was inspired by nature and a practice of imitating nature. No where more can we see this than in the Taoist classics like the timeless I-Ching, or Book of Changes, or the Tao Te Ching.
“Yi” (the “I” in “I-Ching” is pronounced “Yee” in Chinese) and “Te” in the titles of these two classic texts both refer to the most awesome aspect of nature observed by ancient people, the effects of power. Power can not be perceived directly, but is inferred through the transformations occurring constantly everywhere.
Power is experienced in connection with nature but is difficult to see. When in can be seen, like in lightening, it became part of the mythology of the ancestors and the gods. Thus it seems natural that the weather, and thus the wind, would become a primary symbol of power in ancient medicine and in the first theories of disease.
So power and its path are the crucial subjects of study. Power becomes divided into its polar opposites, and thus the electrical charge that we know today had its ancient precursor in the theory of Yin-Yang, which is rendered as the familiar picture of the circle enclosing a fluid, undulating line separating its two halves, one white and one black.
This curve is the “Yi”, and this field of polarized energy is the “Te”. They are both occurring simultaneously, and together the are the very power and the path it carves for itself across our reality as it manifests. In other words, a wave.
This wave-like aspect of reality, usually hidden inside the appearance of a general solidity, evokes so clearly the dual nature of reality described in quantum physics with its particle and wave, or better yet, its “wavicle”. We have all heard tell of this uncanny similarity in these two sciences so far separated in human history. In between is the story of humankind’s promethian harnessing of nature’s powers, from agriculture and animal domestication, to fuels like oil and gas, and then to the very atom itself.
As the fuel resources of the planet dwindle and global warming confronts us with our very inefficient, unsustainable, and crude use of these powers, the best designers are working hard to imitate nature once again. Lower levels of waste become a crucial touchpoint for future technologies. This is the just-enough principle in its economic essence.
The antithesis of this in today’s medicine is the terrifying monstrosity of the list of side-effects associated with most medications. If nothing else, we are unconsciously astounded by the power of those medications when we read the entire pages of endless tiny legalese print connected with the alluring spreads of slick advertising. This is a kind of Dirty Harry approach to celebrating health that grits its teeth and provokes disease to “Make my day!”
Just-enough medicine is health solutions that are less wasteful, economically efficient and elegant in its execution. It is green medicine.