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The enormous power for self-expression and physical transformation which can come through movement only takes place when muscles and exercise are also linked through mind-body awareness.

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Sacred Truth Ep. 50: Thyroid Truths

Sacred Truth Ep. 50: Thyroid Truths

Everybody knows that if you can’t lose weight and keep it off, you need thyroid meds, right? Wrong! Thyroid drugs are most certainly not the answer. Common thyroid drugs like levothyroxine, but known by many other names too have long been used with little success in the treatment of underactive thyroid, Hashimoto's disease, enlarged thyroid gland, thyroid cancer, and myxedema. They are also prescribed on the false belief that they help weight loss in hypothyroid people who can’t shed excess fat. But it doesn’t work. Only small amounts of fat, if any, can be lost. Once thyroid hormones are stopped, fat is regained. And this is true even when thyroid medication is continued for years. By the way, Synthroid is now the fourth most prescribed drug in the United States. There can also be all sorts of negative consequences in allowing your body to be treated with these synthetic chemicals that can seriously interfere with your quality of life. For one, they compete with natural hormones that your thyroid gland is still producing. You see, it’s not feasible for any human body filled with synthetic chemicals to be tricked into responding to them as though they were bio-equivalent, despite the claims of drug companies and the medical establishment, who tell you that drugs used to treat your body are an identical equivalent. The standard medical model for the treatment of thyroid disorders is badly flawed. There are huge misunderstandings about causes and effective treatments for thyroid deficiencies, which, by the way, may now affect as many as 90% of women in the Western world. A great place to begin getting an understanding of all of this is by reading the work of Dr. David Brownstein, author of Overcoming Thyroid Disorders and Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It (third edition). Brownstein is a leading expert in natural approaches to health and healing. He talks about something you need to know and probably have never been told: a major cause of thyroid malfunction, as well as many other conditions, is iodine deficiency. There will be more about this in a moment. In his books, his videos, and his DVDs, Brownstein shows how a natural holistic program can not only help transform hypothyroidism but also arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s disease, and many other conditions by using safe, natural therapies. His work can bring you reliable information on such things as: Natural thyroid hormone Bioidentical natural hormones Diet Vitamins and minerals essential for thyroid function Detoxification. Now, back to your thyroid. The thyroid has an enormous need for natural iodine. This was once readily available in our food supply, but it no longer is because of poor agriculture, GMO growing of foods, and common practices, including the spraying of dangerous substances such as mercury and aluminum on soils. An abundance of natural iodine is necessary for your thyroid’s biochemical structures. If you do not get enough of it, your thyroid can malfunction. And of course, one consequence of this malfunction is weight gain—which no amount of pharmaceutical thyroid drugs will ever be able to correct. Note that it is absolutely crucial to work with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner who knows how to test for and reverse iodine deficiency, not just a doctor who will thoughtlessly prescribe drugs. It’s estimated that more than half of the world’s population is already at risk from iodine deficiency, which relates to many other illnesses, including cancer. With the nuclear fallout that has come from Fukushima and other sources where an iodine deficiency exists, the thyroid gland is most vulnerable to taking up dangerous radioactive iodine. When we eat and drink foods such as baked goods and soft drinks in plastic containers, take drugs, and are subjected to pesticides in the foods we eat, we become exposed to the bromine they contain. This also creates iodine deficiencies as well as increasing our risk of cancer. Meanwhile, with the decline in iodine-rich foods like seaweeds, fish, Himalayan salt, and eggs—not to mention the introduction of fluoridated water—virtually none of us are getting the iodine we need. By far the most effective treatment for low thyroid are the use of natural thyroid hormones and cofactors in desiccated form. Sadly, most doctors still refuse to prescribe them, despite the fact that these natural treatments made from bovine or porcine sources are available by prescription. Good quality nutritional supplements are also important for a healthy thyroid, including vitamin A, vitamin B complex with high levels of B-12, vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q-10, and the minerals magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc as well as natural iodine. Every cell in your body uses iodine. However, the federally defined Daily Value (150 micrograms) is way too low to help your overall health except to barely prevent goiter. If adjusting your diet and exercising more hasn't helped you reach a healthy body fat composition, it may well be that your thyroid is underperforming due to iodine deficiency. However, there is one quite remarkable supplement that is excellent for restoring levels of natural iodine to the body and is especially helpful in restoring thyroid functions. It is known as Iodoral. Dr Brownstein, whose clinical experience with it is extensive, recommends it highly. I can also recommend Iodoral from my own thyroid issues. At the age of 12, I was diagnosed as hypothyroid and prescribed the usual pharmaceutical. I was told that this would deal with this issue. I took the pills for exactly seven days and hated them. So I stopped taking them. Since then, I have never taken anything whatsoever to “treat” my own thyroid gland. Instead, I’ve learned how to eat organic natural foods and avoid cereals, grains, and sugars. This has stood me in good stead. However, I decided to explore the effect of taking Iodoral on my body in increasing my intake of iodine. The results have been extraordinary. I have more energy now than I have ever had. I am eternally grateful for this. I recommend you examine Brownstein’s work. You will find it both enriching and fascinating. Also investigate Iodoral 50mg and check out this excellent video. It has changed my life and it could change yours. Click here to watch Brownstein on Thyroid Disorders video IODORAL IOD - 50 High Potency Iodine/Potassium Iodide Containing 50 mg Elemental Iodine Per Tablet Order iodoral from iherb

Exercise And Transformation

Exercise And Transformation

Not only is wholeheartedness important if one is to realize the full potential for exercise, the enormous power for self-expression and physical transformation which can come through movement only takes place when muscles and exercise are also linked through mind-body awareness. We are not machines, no matter how much we are told otherwise. When we have treated ourselves as such, either by neglecting to care for our physical needs or by forcing our bodies through exercise routines like automatons, we both create distortions of posture and body shape and dissipate precious adaptive energy instead of renewing it. In fact most of us have quite literally grown up with postural distortions which over the years become so much a part of us they are almost like physical symbols for our personality. When you begin to approach exercise from a more unified perspective it's important to find ways of unlocking some of the residual tensions which underlie these distortions and to set the body free to move naturally so we can make the most of whatever form of exercise we choose to do. A good yoga teacher can help you do this gradually over a period of time. So can some very simple exercises which I learned from a quite extraordinary movement teacher called Lilla Bek. Herself a longtime teacher of yoga as well as an acclaimed healer and writer, Lilla Bek's approach to movement is an ancient one - based on the principles of sacred dance where the body is not only put through its physical paces to tighten muscles and firm contours but to balance the body's energies through what in mystic traditions are known as the chakra centers. There are believed to be seven of these, starting at the base of the spine and rising through the solar plexus to finish at the crown of the head. Each chakra is said to be connected with specific endocrine glands and to influence the functions of organs related to it as well as energy in the part of the body it governs. Each is also believed to have specific psychic qualities - the one in the belly, for instance, is said to be connected with the actions of the will, while the chakra at the throat is a center for creative energies, particularly artistic ones and for self expression. The purpose of sacred dance is to revitalize the energetic circuits of the body and mind and to unify the system so that one connects up both with the earth as well as one's own energies and is fed by them. Whether or not the chakra system is ever validated by scientific research, working with exercise and movement in this way can be a superb means of integrating mind and body as well as working out long-standing bodily tensions and postural distortions that make you look and feel older than you are. After a while your body really does become a vehicle for the expression of the inner being. Its movements become naturally graceful and authentic. Over a period of time even the most distorted frame seems to untwist itself as the muscles are freed from chronic postural habits and tensions which deplete energies and undermine natural beauty. But for me the most rewarding thing of all in beginning to work in an energetically aware way with movement is the extraordinary levels of energy it brings. It is as if you create for yourself a link with the earth which supports you at a high level of calm vitality long after other, more disconnected, exercisers have fallen by the wayside. postures for transformation To begin working energetically rather than mechanically with your body it is necessary to do two things. First you need to identify areas of chronic tension, which are distorting body shape and posture, and eliminate them by an active process of letting go. Second you need to begin drawing conscious awareness to the ways in which even the smallest movement, whether it takes place while running, dancing, speaking or whatever, affects muscle groups and energy-focus in other areas of the body not directly related to the muscles doing the work. Lilla Bek has worked out some gentle but useful postures which do both. 'Most people,' she says, `even very active people, have many areas of residual tension which restrict full movement and interfere with the free flow of energy so that they become unnecessarily fatigued. These areas are really the result of how we live and how we use our bodies. Our waking hours are largely spent using only a small amount of space right in front of us - for instance as when we are driving a car or eating, working at a desk or watching television. Every group of muscles in the body has another that works in opposition to it. When we restrict our movement to such a small space we tend to contract the muscles of one group without ever doing any kind of contrastretch to bring its opposing muscles into play. This is how chronically tense muscles lead to body distortions such as dowager's hump, slumped shoulders, excessively curved backs and the rest.' undoing the kinks The postures Lilla Bek uses to undo long-standing kinks in the body are designed specifically to create a contrastretch for each group of chronically tightened muscles. At the same time, because they are done slowly and deliberately in a deeply relaxed state they make it possible for the person practicing them to begin experiencing just how connected up his body is energetically. Take the movements implied in Leonardo's famous spread-eagled man for example. Hold yourself in this position and slowly move your arms from your sides to above your head - palms turned outwards. At each level of movement you will find that a different group of muscles come into action which are quite separate from those of the arms and shoulders involved in the movement. First the lower abdomen is tightened and the energy there is stimulated, then the solar plexus, the chest and the area of the heart chakra come into play. Then the jaw line, the lower face and ears, the roof of the mouth, the eyes, cheeks and forehead each in their turn are activated as you move your arms higher and higher. To someone who has never had any consciousness of the energetic phenomenon of exercise and the unification of body movement such an experience is like a revelation. Practice a few of the postures which heighten your body awareness and you will find very soon not only that your posture changes as your body becomes more fluid and more supple and a more articulate expression of your being, but when you turn to your aerobics or your yoga or your running or your sacred dance there is a lightness and a freedom which you have never experienced before. Here are five of Lilla Bek's simple postures. Spend two to five minutes on each once a day and you are likely to experience new energy levels as well as a sense of authentic natural grace which no amount of mechanical jogging around the park or sweating it out in they gym can match. the opening This position has a remarkable ability to open out the body, expanding the chest, releasing chronic tension from the neck and shoulders, gradually smoothing out hollow backs, and greatly expanding contracted hip joints. here's how Lying flat on the floor relax and close your eyes. Ask a friend to take a look at the position of your chin. It should be pointing straight up at the ceiling, forming a right angle with your neck.  If it is higher than this, place a book under your head to bring it back into alignment. As the natural alignment of your spine improves you will need a thinner and thinner book until you can do it without one altogether. Does your back lie flat against the floor or is there a hollow? An arched spine indicates that you normally hold your chin wrongly which stretches the skin of the neck and creates a double-chin look. How far are your shoulders off the floor? Do they differ in this? As chronic tension is released by doing the exercise regularly your shoulders will come closer and closer to the floor, your back will lengthen and your chin will naturally align. Draw your right foot up while placing your palms downwards on the floor and rest it near your buttocks. Do the same with the other foot placing your heels together, soles flat on the floor. Now, starting with your palms against the sides of your hips, begin to explore the space around you with your arms and notice the parts of your body which slowly moving your arms outwards and upwards activates. Moving your arms up and out you begin to activate energy first in the pelvic area, then the solar plexus, heart, thymus, forehead and top of the head. When you get to the level where you are lying with your arms in line with your shoulders, let your hands open slightly and you will have reached the level of the throat energies. Explore the feel of each level of the arms in turn by moving them slowly and then leaving them at each level to sink quietly to the floor. If while doing this you gradually open out or close your fingers you will produce many interesting changes in energy at different levels of your body. With your arms extended like this at the sides your shoulder blades will separate and then by letting your knees open outwards to the natural pull of gravity you will discover your breathing opens up. Explore this position for two or three minutes before going on to the next. expansion This position opens out a collapsed midriff, lengthens the body, energizes the solar plexus and even tightens the muscles of the face. here's how Moving from the first position, now place your feet about 18 inches apart with soles flat against the floor. Leave your arms at shoulder level and very slowly roll your hips to the right side simultaneously rolling your head to the left. Return to the center keeping your lower spine in contact with the floor and repeat the movement to the other side. Your knee should gradually fit into the arches of the opposite leg. Don't worry if they don't touch the floor. They will eventually. Most people have a shortened midriff and the solar-plexus chakra which provides the body with dynamic physical energy cannot function properly when this is the case. This position has a remarkable effect on the look of the face when it is practiced regularly and can make you look considerably younger. But for this to work you must `connect up' your face with your body - particularly in the spaces through which the knees move in your awareness as you carry out the movement. Take a full breath before you begin and exhale as your hips roll to the side then inhale again slowly as they return to center, exhale in starting position and repeat to the other side. the rainbow This is a position of natural grace. It brings a superb stretch to the waistline, lengthens the whole body, flattens and firms the abdomen, and integrates body energies. here's how Lying flat on your back take a full breath, exhale and roll to the left side, bringing your arms together in the same direction. Now bring your right knee across and exhale. Keep your knee down by holding it with your left hand to make sure it will not go back up. Now very gently try to take your right hand up and around your body. If it does not come in contact easily with the floor above your head then the energies from your heart and throat areas are not freed for use. Have a friend calculate in this position how much your arm is off the floor. If it is more than 6 inches then problems of distortion will be exaggerated in your body and it will take a bit of time to correct. If it is exaggerated it is a good idea not to exercise vigorously until the exaggeration disappears. bow to the earth Not only is this position profoundly relaxing - an excellent way to relieve stress after the end of a long day - it is also wonderful for alleviating lower-back problems and period aches and it encourages energy to rise up the spine flooding the whole body with new vitality and clearing a fuzzy mind. here's how From a kneeling position, bend your body forward, pushing your hands out in front, and stretch forward like a cat. On the in-breath, bring your hands to lie at the sides of your feet and lower your buttocks. If you have difficulty in doing this be gentle but persevere since chronic contraction here can lead to lower-back problems later. On the out-breath, bring the top of your head down in front of your knees. Rest a moment and then bring your hands forwards and place them one palm on top of the other. Rest your forehead on top. Close your eyes and relax for two minutes or more. The detensing effects of this position work slowly. It can be held for longer than most. It too is excellent for the solar plexus but it is also good for releasing energy that has been blocked at the base of the spine. the lengthener This position and the gentle movement which accompanies it activates the base of the spine, improves blood flow to the brain, takes pressure off of tired legs, alleviates lower-back tensions, improves circulation in the pelvis and is a superb antidote to stress. here's how Lying flat on your back relax as fully as you can. Now start to raise one leg slowly up as high as you can go. Be aware as your leg moves through the arc that with each 6 or 8 inches it passes through different parts of your body become energized, starting with the base chakra and moving up through the belly, heart and throat when it reaches a right angle. If you can go beyond this upright position you can also activate head energies. Now with your hand on one knee, don't pull by force but hold your knee with your hands and see how far you can bring it into your body. On the in-breath raise your forehead to the knee. Breathe out as you bring them together, relax and lie back. Repeat with the other leg, going through the whole sequence for two or three minutes. If you are unable to bring your knee all the way to your body do persist with the exercise. It will help protect you from lower-back troubles later. You will get a splendid feeling of lengthening over your whole body after working through this position. Combine these simple `untwisters' with a habit of regular aerobic activity - walking, swimming, rebounding on a mini-trampoline, cycling, running, jogging or rowing - and you will find a new sense of integration takes place and your energy levels will soar.

Ten Steps To Energy

Ten Steps To Energy

“I’ve got no energy.” It’s the complaint I hear most often from men and women...an experience which carries endless consequences: feeling sluggish, unmotivated, and devoid of the sparkle that makes life enjoyable. In truth, energy potential is still there within you. It just needs to be rediscovered and set free. Begin by listening to the whispers of your soul, and the rest will come naturally. I’d like to share with you my Ten Steps to Energy. They work. For some they have even been life-changing. So let’s get started… STEP ONE—GET INTO BODY Did you know that how you think and feel are inextricably linked to how well your body functions? Mind and body are integrated through our nerve pathways, hormones and chemical messengers. The first step, therefore, requires a real change of perspective. Start to see your body as not external to yourself: but as the physical expression of who you are. Decide you matter. Decide that you have a right to energy. You do. STEP TWO—RECORD IT As when embarking on any new journey, it helps to know where you’re starting from. So as you’re starting the energy journey, take note of where you are now. Start an energy diary. Try writing down a few sentences about how you think and feel, where you want to be, and record anything you think may be holding you back. Form a crystal clear vision of what you are seeking to achieve. The clearer your visualization, the easier it becomes to make high energy a reality. STEP THREE—FIND THE DRAINERS Unfortunately, our world is filled with external energy parasites. Environmental poisons—like pesticides, solvents, estrogens, heavy metals, junk foods. Then there are the inner energy thieves: Negative emotions. Addictions. Low self-esteem. With all these energy enemies pitted against us, it may seem like an uphill battle. But don’t be disheartened. Once you have identified the drainers at work in your life, you can take action to fight them. STEP FOUR—DO A HEALTH CHECK Not only are there environmental and emotional energy drainers to watch out for. Biochemical factors may also come into play. These include things like low blood sugar; allergies; anemia; yeast infections; leaky gut syndrome. How do we start addressing these drainers? Identify and eliminate foods from your diet which are causing or worsening these conditions. You might also want to supplement with the nutrients or digestive enzymes you’re low on. STEP FIVE—CLEAR THE JUNK So far you’ve started your energy journey and dealt with the baddies sapping your vitality. Now is the time for bold action. It’s time for a detox—spring cleaning your body from the inside out. Over the years, a less-than-optimum diet results in wastes building up in the tissues. The energy expended on dealing with these toxins is less energy for you to utilize. So it’s time to clear out the junk. Quite literally, throw away all your junk food. Drink plenty of water. Try a fruit-fast for a day or two. Then you’re ready for the next step—making alterations to the kind of foods you were eating before. STEP SIX—EAT REAL FOODS Too few people know that grains and grain-based products are terrible for energy levels—especially in the amounts that many of us eat them in. This is cutting edge science—still ignored by the media and much of the medical profession as a result of pressures from Big Pharma and the multinational convenience food industry, as well as the FDA. Grains, cereals, convenience foods—which most of the western world lives on—turn rapidly into glucose when we eat them. This creates serious health issues: Weight gain in those with a genetic propensity to it, rapid aging, and degenerative diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer. This is hot stuff, yet still largely unrecognized by most. A high-energy way of eating shuns them. It emphasizes lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, pulses, sprouted seeds and lean, high-quality proteins. STEP SEVEN—EAT MORE SUPERFOODS Next, it’s time to acquaint yourself with some of Nature’s superfoods. To name just a few: Spirulina—seaweeds— chlorella, white tea, immune-enhancing mushrooms like shiitaki and maitake. Tap into their amazing power. You won’t look back. STEP EIGHT—GET MOVING Pick a physical activity that you absolutely love, and get into it. It can be anything you like, so long as it’s regular (done maybe three times a week), consistent (lasting 20 to 30 minutes each time), rhythmic, and uses plenty of large muscle groups. If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few suggestions: Walking. Easily incorporated into daily life, and a great option if you’re unfit. Yoga. Incredibly adaptable and practical, especially for frequent travelers. Rebounding (bouncing up and down on a mini-trampoline). So much fun, and perfect to do at home, regardless of your fitness level. It may be a little hard to get started, but once you do, you’ll look forward to it. Exercise becomes a reward in itself. STEP NINE—LAUGH IT OFF You’ve learnt the serious stuff. Now it’s time to start living with energy and joy. Laughter is a great way to start. It’s good for your immune system and your entire body. Seek out and spend time with the people whose sense of humor you love. Watch wonderful comedy movies like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Bowfinger, Roxanne. They will cheer you up endlessly and help you energize your life. STEP TEN—LOOK AHEAD We’ve now come full circle. Go back to your energy diary and the questions you asked yourself in step two. Have your answers changed? Set some more goals, and be specific. Ask yourself positive questions, and record answers when they come. Make a long-term energy plan featuring aspects of the other steps you found most helpful. Remember, the energy process is an ongoing journey. And it’s an amazing one. Enjoy it!

Exercise Reborn

Exercise Reborn

By now I’ve worked with thousands on Cura Romana. I have tried to help them come to terms with the fact that the program has little in common with conventional slimming diets. These demand that you grit your teeth, summon up every ounce of willpower, and exercise like a fanatic not only while you are losing weight but ever afterward. Such an attitude breeds fear. We have been taught by the media and all those slimming gurus that, just like denying yourself the pleasure of eating delicious food during weight loss, if you don’t force yourself to exercise vigorously you will never reach your weightloss goals. After all, we are told, the body needs discipline. Like a resistant child, the body must be forced to do what is good for it whether it likes it or not. DESTRUCTIVE NONSENSE Nothing could be further from the truth. You do not need to exercise on the CURA ROMANA JOURNEY. Because of the dynamic nature of this unique protocol—unless you are someone who is in the habit of exercising regularly just because you love it—while you are on the rapid weightloss part of the program, exercise can actually be counter-productive. Why? Because the biological, physiological and spiritual transformation that takes place in your body on the program need space and time to be able to take place in their own unique way. So do the “miracles” of enhanced self-awareness and capacity for joy which participants report . Extra pressure exerted from outside by trying to push your body hard or altering the exacting dietary protocol because you think this will make you lose more weight faster will not work on Cura Romana. Don’t even think about it. Now, after more than three years of doing my best to get this through to participants on the program, I think I am beginning to succeed. It is time for exercise to be reborn. Facing a run, swim or cycle as a chore is missing the point. Movement—whether dancing, yoga, weights, Pilates, swimming or what-have-you is never something you ‘should’ do because you are ‘supposed to’. Exercise has enormous value. It is an important key for reconnecting with your essential being: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So let’s throw out all the ‘shoulds’ we’ve had forced down our throat, and explore the real power of movement and discover how, when it is done for pleasure, excecise can literally transform your life. MOVE FOR JOY Joy is a powerful motivator. Once you discover this your whole experience of exercise changes forever. Far from being something you do quickly to get it over with—a chore you ‘virtuously’ suffer through—it becomes one of the most enjoyable parts of your life. American enthusiast the late George Sheehan, whose legacy still continues to inform people of the true nature of exercise, describes this experience well: “Exercise that is not play accentuates rather than closes the split between body and spirit. Exercise that is drudgery, labor, something done only for the final result is a waste of time.” Running easily down a country road at dawn, gliding through water, speeding down a mountain covered with fine snow, are meant to be done for their own sake—for the sheer pleasure of it. The fact that these activities are good for you becomes incidental to the sensuous, delicious, unexpected pleasure you can come to experience. As you discover this for yourself, you begin to know what moving your body is all about. In the next few weeks I want to explore exercise—movement—and its relationship to joy, authentic freedom, and wellbeing on every level of our lives in a whole new way. I’m excited about doing this and I hope you will enjoy what comes of it and that in the simplest ways it can help enhance your connections with your own body and your life as a whole.

Try Walking

Try Walking

One of the best things about taking a daily walk is that it is such a natural and easy thing to do. You need no special equipment - apart from a good pair of shoes - and because the easy flowing movement of putting one foot in front of another can be so wholehearted it often brings a sense of freedom to the body which so many more mechanical approaches to exercise miss out on. A number of studies show that for a variety of reasons walking is the best form of aerobic exercise available for most people - provided it is done regularly, briskly and with true enjoyment. There is another important proviso too: vigorous exercise in any form will serve you best, and you will only avoid strain and injury if you have worked out enough of your chronic residual tensions to enable you to give your body over to the rhythmic movements it involves. Outdoor sports such as tennis, golf, riding and sailing can be fun and helpful although, unlike walking and the other specifically aerobic activities, they do not create a steady demand on your body because of their stop-and-start nature, so it is best to include some aerobic exercise in your lifestyle even if you are an avid games player. If you like more challenging activities than walking, try jogging or running, rowing or swimming, cycling or cross-country skiing—all excellent aerobic activities. Like regular brisk walking they too get heart and lungs working well and help keep you young-looking and feeling. They are great if you want to achieve a high level of fitness and most important of all if you really like doing them. This sense of enjoyment is a central consideration in whatever exercise program you choose for ageless aging. Any physical activity which you carry out with your teeth gritted virtuously thinking that you are, after all, doing your duty though you hate every minute of it, can only be counterproductive. For mind and body are inextricably linked and for you to get all the benefits of exercise you need to make that link a positive one. mind and body flow That's why, for most people, walking is so good. There is something quite extraordinary about the way that walking briskly in low-heeled shoes - particularly if you can walk in the country or in a park amidst trees and flowers - seems to revitalize the body while it sets the mind free for thought. Thoreau used to say, `The moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.' And Dr George Sheehan, the highly respected cardiologist, sports-medicine expert and passionate marathon runner, wrote of walking, `You will read of this phenomenon again and again in the journals of the great thinkers, writers and artists. They were all great walkers. They found that not only can one train the body while one is using the mind, the mind actually works better when the body is in motion.' Some interesting scientific studies confirm the notion that walking helps clarify mental processes. At Purdue University, after giving subjects psychological tests to determine their decision-making abilities, researchers put people into a fitness program in which regular walking was a central feature. They found after six months on the program that they had improved their decision-making skills 60 per cent more than subjects in the control group who did not exercise. George Macaulay Trevelyan, Britain's highly respected historian, who had a real passion for long walks used to say, `I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.' Research into the effects of regular brisk walking more than bears out his belief that this kind of moderate exercise can play a central role in keeping the body healthy, young and fit. Besides, walking is the form of exercise least likely to cause injury, it is inexpensive to practice, natural, and efficacious. It will lift your spirits and keep down your weight, tone your muscles and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. walk your way to wellness So good is brisk walking as a means of strengthening heart and lungs and improving cardiac resistance that in some studies of different forms of exercise it comes out better than cycling or running. At the University of Wisconsin, for instance, when researchers examined the effects of brisk walking (at a rate of 4 miles an hour or more) on men they found that it pushed some heart rates up to 87 per cent of capacity, which was the same as the cyclists achieved and only 3 per cent lower than the runners. This measure of maximum heart rate is a useful one, whatever kind of exercise you choose to follow. It is determined by subtracting your age from 220 beats a minute. And it will tell you just what kind of workout you are giving yourself. In an interesting study by David Mymin and Dan Streja, researchers discovered that the rejuvenating effects of strenuous exercise such as running - including a significant increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and decreases in circulating insulin levels - also take place when people are put on exercise programs based on walking even at a pace lower than 4 miles an hour. HDL is a lipoprotein in your blood. Generally speaking when it is high the chances you will suffer a heart attack are low. Before the Mymin study it was assumed that only long-distance runners and other active exercisers would have high levels of HDL in their blood. But the study showed that such beneficial changes can take place just from walking. Walking's ability to lower circulating insulin levels is also important for high-level wellness and age retardation. Many people past the age of forty have disturbed insulin levels which can lead to adult-onset diabetes and heart disease. The walkers in Mymin's program experienced a definite decrease in circulating insulin. Other research confirms the Manitoba findings and shows as well that walking is an excellent way of increasing the amount of oxygen that reaches the cells all over the body. Like any form of rhythmic aerobic exercise it improves lymphatic drainage, stimulates arterial and venous circulation, and promotes the elimination of wastes and morbid materials that can cause free radical damage and cross-linking on a cellular level. It also brings increased blood supply to all the body's organs. Brisk walking is particularly good for people whose work tends to be mentally or physically passive because it counteracts the tendency of their circulation and their eliminative processes to become sluggish. Max Bircher-Benner always insisted his patients rise early. Then he sent them out into the hills and forests around Zurich for an hour's brisk walk before breakfast. Walking was an important part of his `order therapy' and still is in every naturopathic clinic in Europe. free and often To get the most out of walking do it every day. Choose some place you want to walk to, and wearing low-heeled shoes and loose comfortable clothes, set out with your arms swinging free from the shoulders. Breathe deeply and carry your body high. Every few minutes draw in a breath and then after a few seconds, without exhaling, draw in another and after a further interval of a few seconds still another. After the third inhalation vigorously expel all your air. This helps inflate your chest to its full capacity. Most of us don't breathe fully and deeply. We therefore miss out on the full benefits of oxygen for brain and body. After a walk of, say, 2 or 3 or 4 miles, if possible, take off your clothes and rub down your skin with a flannel which has been dipped in cold water or take a brief cool shower followed by a brisk rub with a Turkish towel. It will leave you refreshed and renewed with energy to spare in the hours ahead. And how intense should an aerobic activity - walking or other - be for best results? Most experts insist you should exercise somewhere between 40 and 60 per cent of maximum capacity. This you can figure out by following a few simple steps: 1. Find out what your resting heart rate is by taking your pulse for six seconds and multiplying by ten while you are seated comfortably. You do this by putting two fingers on the artery just inside your wrist. 2. Subtract your age from 220 to determine your maximum heart rate. For instance if you are fifty then your maximum heart rate would be 170. 3. Now find out your heart rate range by subtracting your resting heart rate from your maximum heart rate. Say for example you are fifty and your maximum heart rate is 170 with a resting rate of 70. Then your heart-rate would be 100. 4. With this information you can now calculate your best exercise level to achieve a good anti-stress, anti-aging effect. Calculate 40 per cent of your heart rate range (which is 100 in our example) which is 40. Now add this to the resting rate of 70 and you get the figure 110 beats per minute - your target heart rate for exercise. 5. For middle-aged and older people who are not athletes walking moderately or briskly will raise their heart rate to that target rate, which is 40 per cent of ultimate capacity. Younger people and highly trained people will need to run or exercise more vigorously to reach it.

Second Coming

Second Coming

What a woman can accomplish through exercise is impressive not only in terms of protecting her body from the ravages of female troubles, and even from time itself, but also in preventing illness and rejuvenating her body in medically measurable ways. But exactly what kind of exercise is the right kind? It is an important question to answer because so much of what has become fashionable - fancy clothing and tossing weights around in a gym - is mostly the wrong kind. Walking or running along roads filled with air pollution and subjecting your body to the stress this brings can also do more harm than good. Aware of the benefits of exercise, most people who exercise regularly do aerobic movement - swimming, cycling, running or walking. There is a great deal that is wonderful about this kind of exercise. It improves the functioning of the heart, lowers cholesterol, and shifts brain chemistry so that you produce natural opiates which make you feel good. It also increases noradrenaline - a brain chemical which improves your self image and confidence so you feel even better about yourself and your life all round. Aerobic exercise can also enhance your body's ability to burn fat not only while you are working out but for many hours afterwards as well. This makes aerobic exercise an important part of any good exercise program. So get out and walk briskly as often as you can. But aerobic exercise doesn't go far enough. It does not offer the body enough weight resistance to maintain muscle mass. One interesting study compared the Lean Body Mass to fat ratio in three groups of women - non-exercisers, aerobic exercisers, and weight trainers. Researchers found significant differences. In sedentary women, 21.8 percent of their body weight was fat. Among the aerobic exercisers 16.2 percent was fat while among resistance trainers only 14.7 percent of their body weight was fat. This is revolutionizing fitness advice as exercise physiologists have come to realize that, although aerobic exercise has a place as part of an exercise program, it does not maintain bones and muscle the way resistance exercise does. The bottom line is we need both, although resistance exercise is the more important of the two. In an official statement of advice issued by a member of the advisory board of The American College For Sports Medicine - who in the past promoted aerobic exercise as the best form for over all health and fitness - the word is in: "Done correctly, weight training is the most efficient, effective, and safest form of exercise there is, and it won't be long before people realize it." let's get started What does a confirmed lounge-lizard do once she decides she wants to explore how exercise can change her life? First you get an OK from your doctor to make sure that there is no reason you should not start on a simple graded program. Then go easy. If you start small and work up you will win. If you start big you can not only wear out your body but also lose your taste for movement, then the whole effort will have become counter productive since you will end up hating exercise and getting nowhere. For exercise to work it has to become an ordinary part of your daily life. It needs to done regularly at least three times a week. Begin with only 15 minutes in the morning when you get up or at any other time of the day that is convenient. The great news is that right from that very first session your body will begin to rejuvenate itself. Exercise routines progress well when you work out at the same time each day. Try to do this if you can. Your body will get used to the routine and love it. When it comes to resistance training you don't need to own a lot of fancy equipment either. Nor do you need to join a gym. A couple of dumbbells will do. Later on if you catch the exercise bug big you might like to have a barbell as well. Dumb bells and barbells are what are known as free weights as opposed to the kind of gym equipment you find in a multitude of sizes and shapes and glitzy finishes these days. Beginners are often dazzled by the high tech stuff in gyms, but as any serious weight trainer will tell you, for most exercises free weights are far better. They are also far simpler since you can tuck them under the bed out of sight when they are not in use and you can make use of them any time you want without having to dress in special clothes and go to the gym. Choose the kind of dumbbells - each of which fits into one hand - that have six removable weights on each so you can add and then take off weights as needed for each exercise. When you are not using the dumbbells stash them away out of sight. Your body and their weight against gravity offer all the resistance you need to work muscles deeply. The machines you find in gyms are designed to mimic the effects of free weight exercises but - with a couple of minor exceptions - no matter how flash they look, they are not as good as simple free weights because the range of movement which you go through in each exercise is restricted by the machine. Once you get into weight training and gain a bit of confidence with it then you might find it fun to work out in the gym using these machines occasionally. But free weights should form the basis of any good weight training routine, whether you are a complete beginner, as I was, or a professional weightlifter. There are three things you want to accomplish on your exercise program. First you want to maintain and to improve your heart and lung fitness. For this you will use weights plus some form of aerobic activity for warming up and cooling down. Second you want to maintain and increase your muscle mass. Finally you want to improve and maintain your flexibility, and for this you need some kind of slow stretching afterwards. warm up It is important at the beginning of any exercise session that you spend a few minutes doing an aerobic activity. (You must never pick up a weight when your muscles are cold). This can be running in place, slow steady jumping jacks, using a rowing machine (my favorite) or bouncing on a rebounder. In the beginning, your total exercise session may only last 15 to 20 minutes, in which case you will want to devote five minutes at the beginning to the aerobic warm up. Later on it can be longer. I generally row on a Concept II rowing machine for about 10 minutes at a slow steady pace to get my heart and lungs moving and warm up before beginning my weights. As the length of your exercise session grows week by week, until it is ideally 45 minutes to an hour at a time, so will the time you spend on your aerobic activities at the beginning and end of the session, and perhaps in the middle too. stretch out After this initial warm-up period which should last long enough that you feel fully warmed up, you should then spend 5 to 10 minutes stretching. Stretch slowly and smoothly towards the ceiling, towards your toes, to the side. Never jerk when stretching and breathe deeply. Stretching before a workout but after a warm up is done to allow major muscle groups along with associated tendons and ligaments to be gently stretched, ensuring possible injuries are greatly reduced. Now you are ready for your muscle work. weights workout To work with weights properly, you need to split your sessions into different body parts and work one or two body parts per session, leaving at least 48 hours between that session and the next time you work that body part. The muscle and bone strengthening that comes with resistance training does not take place while you are using the weights. In fact, working out stresses the muscles and bones, causing tiny breakdowns in the cells to occur. It is during the rest that comes after a workout that new muscle and bone is built in direct response to the piezoelectric stimulation at a molecular level. If you come to the point of using quite heavy weights and training five times a week then it is important to work out each body part only once a week for it can take about 48 hours for the breakdown process to take place and between 48 and 72 hours to build new strong tissue to replace it. Ignorant of these facts, many gung ho body builders and weight trainers over-train their muscles and end up undermining their immune system as a result ,while getting nowhere near the benefits in terms of strengthening LBM (Lean Body Mass) that they should. Exercising a particular muscle group every 5 to 8 days is ideal for optimum progress. Stand in any gym and watch weight trainers do their stuff. It can be highly instructive, at least so far as showing you how not to work with weights. 90 percent of the men and women who use weights let their bodies swing all over the place and when they are doing an exercise such as a dumbbell curl they let the weight just fall back after each movement instead of being in control. When you do your movements be sure to keep your body absolutely centered with each movement, only using the particular muscle group that is supposed to be working, and emphasize the eccentric contraction or return movement where you are returning the weight to its original position. Resist the movement all of the way back. It is the stress placed on your muscles of lengthening again when they are under resistance load that brings about most of the gains in strength and LBM you are after. Be sure while you are working out that you drink lots of water - between each set - and eat plenty of alkaline forming foods since any kind of exercise tends to make your system more acid. the cool down It is also important to spend a few minutes at the end of a weights session again doing some kind of aerobic activity to cool down. How long depends on the length of your weights session. You can go through the same kind of activity you have used in the beginning of your session, or even take a brisk walk, but make sure you stay warm by adding an extra sweater, for after a session your body cools down fast and you don't want to become chilled. the stretch out Then do some more stretching for a couple of minutes. You will find that your body stretches more easily now since your muscles are full of blood and energized. Go slow and enjoy the feeling. It can be wonderful. beginners program All of the exercises here are classic weight training movements. They are simple and straightforward. They require nothing more than a couple of dumbbells - the kind that have six weights on each which can be unscrewed and changed will give you the particular weight you need for an exercise. Start with the lightest weights. You will be able to tell for yourself if something feels right. Never strain. As your body becomes accustomed to the lighter weight you can add a bit more. The object of the exercise is not to use heavy weights but simply to provide your body with enough weight to create resistance against which your muscles do their work. You will find pictures of the movements below in any standard book of weight training, or you can find pictures and videos showing you how to do them on the internet.  Or ask a fitness instructor to show them to you. Each exercise is done smoothly and with complete control, both on the contraction of the muscle group and on the relaxation. While one muscle group is working, the rest of the body remains still and centered. Start off by doing only three training sessions a week with one set (a set is the same exercise repeated a certain number of times: so 2x10 would mean ten repetitions of the movement, rest for two to three minutes, then ten more repetitions of the movement: 3x10 means the ten repetitions is done three times with two minutes rest between each set) per exercise, then work up to longer by adding more exercises for each muscle group you are working with, and doing one warm up set of easy repetitions (10-15) followed by a heavier set using a little more weight (5-10 repetitions). Begin with very light weights - just enough for you to feel that your muscles are being worked as you near the end of your repetitions. Then by the time you are ready to add your second set, put on a little more weight until at the end of your repetitions your muscles feel tired. Session One: Shoulders and Arms Dumbbell press 2x10 Side lateral raise 2x10 Single arm tricep extension 2x10 Tricep kickback 2x10 Dumbbell curl 2x10 Concentration curl 2x10 Session Two: Chest and Back Dumbbell bench press 2x10 Dumbbell flies 2x10 Single arm rowing 2x10 Dumbbell shrug 2x10 Floor hyperextensions 2x10 Session Three: Legs and Abdominal Muscles Dumbbell squat 2x10 Dumbbell lunge 2x10 Calf raise 2x10 Abdominal crunch 2x10-15 Reverse crunch 2x10-15 advanced workout Once you have got a taste for weights and have trained three times a week you can begin doing longer sessions - up to 45 minutes to 1 hour. You might also like to do more sessions per week moving up from three to five. Then you would divide your body part work in this way: Session One: Shoulders Dumbbell press 1x12, 2x8 Side lateral raise 1x12, 2x8 Bent lateral raise 1x12, 2x8 Front lateral raise 2x10 Session Two: Back Dumbbell dead lift 1x12, 3x8-10 Single arm rowing 3x10 Floor hypers 3x10-12 Dumbbell shrugs 3x10 Session Three: Chest Dumbbell bench press 1x12, 3x8-10 Dumbbell pullover 1x12, 2x8-10 Dumbbell flies 3x10 Session Four: Arms Single arm tricep extension 1x12, 3x8 Tricep extension 3x8-10 Dumbbell curl 1x12, 3x8 Concentration curl 3x8-10 Session Five: Legs and Abdominals Dumbbell squat 1x12, 3x8 Dumbbell lunge 3x10 Dumbbell step up 3x12 Stiff leg dead lift 3x10 Calf raise 3x12 Abdominal crunch 3x15-20 Side crunch 3x15-20 Reverse crunch 3x15-20 the result Each woman is in reality two women, an outer woman which can come in many forms - conventionally attractive, plain, sexy, dynamic, withdrawn, aggressive, apparently assured or terribly uncertain about herself - and an inner counterpart, that is an individual self that is utterly unique. Each woman has a stable center of strength and growth. Each inner woman sees the world in her own way, has her own brand of creativity, her own needs and desires, and is a law unto herself. The inner self holds the power to create, change, build, nurture and transform. The outer woman is the vehicle for what the self creates. When her self is allowed free expression, then a woman is truly beautiful for she is fully alive. Her body is strong, her skin is clear and healthy, and her movements, speech and actions radiate a kind of vitality that is unmistakably charismatic because it is real, an outward expression of who she truly is. Many of the secrets to calling forth this kind of aliveness are to be found within the body itself - secrets which are best learned by working with muscle. Once you get the hang of it, working with weights is like meditation - one of the most mind-stilling activities in the world. Meanwhile, as your LBM begins to develop, you will find your muscles and whole body have come alive. Then, as you work out, your muscles will begin to glow, until after a few months your body begins often to feel the way it did when you were a child - radiant with life and spirit.

Jump For Joy

Jump For Joy

Skipping, jumping, running on the spot and arm flinging on a firm mini-trampoline is an amazingly beneficial and fun form of exercise. Rebounding will do all that other forms of aerobic exercise can—strengthening your heart and lungs, firming your muscles and more—because of the unique way in which your body is subjected to the changing force of gravity when it bounces. Rebounding crosses the generation gap too. It can be done as easily and as effectively by a six-year-old as it can by an ailing seventy-year-old whose muscles and joints have long before lost some of their capacity for smooth movement. Believe it or not, there are top athletes who use rebounders as part of their training program. Yet the infirm are given rehabilitation on the same kind of rebound exercise devices. It all depends on how you use the equipment. The units, which look like low coffee-tables, consist of a steel or aluminium frame on six or eight legs, over which is sprung a drum of firm but elastic material on which you bounce. They sit somewhere between six and ten inches off the floor, and come in many different sizes and shapes—oval, round, polygonal, square. They don't seem out of place in the corner of a kitchen, or tucked away in the bedroom. In fact, you can use a bouncer anywhere. If you’re someone who dislikes the rigmarole of changing, running and showering, or you find exercise ‘too boring for words', you can do your bouncing at home—even with small children running around. You can dress any way you like, watch movies, listen to music or carry on a conversation while you are exercising. MANIPULATING GRAVITY From a physiological point of view, what gives rebounding its power for building fitness, improving health and retarding aging is the way it makes use of the force of gravity. Apart from a Power Plate, this is the only form of overall vertical, rather than horizontal, exercise anywhere. The up and downward movement on a bouncer, coupled with acceleration-deceleration, brings about continual changes in the force that gravity exerts on your body. All your organs, the circulatory and lymphatic systems, even individual cells are energized in a way no other form of exercise can accomplish. When running or skipping on a bouncer, the G-force at the top of the bounce is non-existent. For a moment, your body experiences the weightlessness of an astronaut in space. Then when you come down again onto the elastic mat, the pull of gravity is suddenly increased to two or three times the usual G-force on earth. This puts all parts of your body, from the tiniest cell to the longest bone, under rhythmic pressure. GREAT STUFF The cellular stimulation the body receives from continual gravity/non-gravity exposure has remarkable and unique benefits. Waste materials in cells are gently eased out into the interstitial fluid so they can be carried through the lymph system and eliminated from the body. Increased oxygen is brought to the cells enhancing cell metabolism. Cell walls get stronger and healthier. Cells function more efficiently with repeated use of a rebounder. This leads to a gentle but effective detoxification of your whole system. The texture of your skin improves. Energy levels rise. Often even within only a few days, your body begins to look younger and feel better, freer, more alive. And because rebounding is amusing, it is a form of exercise which even resistant lounge-lizards take to. Taking it up one week doesn't usually mean giving it up the next. BOUNCE YOURSELF LEAN James R. White, a researcher in rehabilitation at the University of California at San Diego, designed an interesting study in the long-term effectiveness of weight-loss programs using exercise. He put some people on rebounders. Others rode bicycles; some ran on a treadmill. The control group did nothing except diet. All who exercised lost a significant amount of weight and showed a definite increase in the level of their fitness. But in the follow-up study designed to test long-term effectiveness of regular exercise, only 5 percent of the cyclists and 31 percent of the runners were still exercising, while a sound 58 percent of the bouncers were still bouncing. It helped keep off the pounds they’d shed. The explanation bouncers gave for continuing to exercise was simple. First, it was easy. Second, it was great fun. REBOUNDING FOR REHAB A number of sports medicine specialists report that using a bouncer regularly is a great way of exercising when your body has sustained some kind of injury, such as a twisted knee or Achilles tendonitis. It provides any sports enthusiast a chance to maintain his fitness while helping his injury heal. It also helps you avoid the familiar depression that sets in when you cannot exercise. Indeed, many exercise physiologists insist that, because of all the benefits rebounding brings the body—right down to a cellular level—it is a significant and powerful tool in encouraging healing, both of minor injuries and of degenerative conditions including arthritis. At Elks Hospital, Idaho, Dr Kenneth Smith, former head of the Department of Rehabilitation, reports success in using rebounders when rehabilitating patients with orthopaedic or neuromuscular conditions. In a large study involving 2,300 patients in California, where rebounding was used as the major form of physiotherapy, researchers reported excellent results. Bouncing strengthened muscles, eliminated and prevented pain in the lower back and elsewhere, and was helpful in treating both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Bottom line: Manipulating gravity is not just fun. It’s great for healing and ideal for helping you feel wonderfully alive.

Breath Of Youth

Breath Of Youth

Every one of our cells needs a continual supply of oxygen. It is this oxygen that feeds our brain, sparks metabolism and calms nerves. One of the reasons why regular aerobic exercise is so beneficial in slowing down the rate at which you age and warding off degenerative diseases is because it improves your use of oxygen. So can learning to breathe fully. It can also improve your mood, increase your resistance to colds and illness, and improve sleep as well. Full breathing is also an important tool for encouraging waste elimination. It is a kind of spring-cleaning process that can go on all year round every day of your life. Chinese medicine (which I spent three years studying and working with) has a long tradition of natural-law ageless aging. And a great deal of it centers around the use of the breath. This is something to which we give little attention in the West and it is strange to think that specific breathing techniques are so ignored when the body's use of oxygen is the central determinant of the rate at which we age. Few people breathe fully. Most of us, particularly if we have sedentary jobs, breathe high - that is we breathe quickly and shallowly concentrating the inhalations in the upper chest area which is the part of the lungs which holds the smallest quantity of air. Not only does this kind of breathing inhibit oxygen intake, it can also encourage the lungs to atrophy and to lose much of their natural elasticity - something which is a common occurrence as people get older. Other people, who allow the air to flow deeper into their lungs are mid-breathers - an improvement over breathing high because it encourages the ribcage to move and brings more oxygen into the lungs for body use. But to make the best use of oxygen for ageless aging it's important to develop the habit of taking total breaths so they become your normal way of breathing. The Total Breath This is not something that you can learn overnight for there is nothing more unconscious and habitual than the way we breathe and that takes time and a little persistent effort to change. In breathing totally all of your breathing apparatus comes into play - the chest and ribs are lifted but not by themselves. The intercostal muscles also expand the ribs outward to create a large space in which your lungs can inflate to their maximum. Finally the diaphragm moves down, pulling the lower ribs outward which lets even the very bottom of your lungs fill up completely with air. With total breathing a much higher proportion of your lung power is used, as are most of your chest, rib and stomach muscles. Practice it lying down for five minutes a couple of times a day - perhaps just on awakening or just before going to sleep - and gradually it will become an automatic way of breathing which will not only help in ageless aging but will also improve your resistance to fatigue, improve the glow of your skin and help protect you from minor illness. Here's How Lying flat on your back with a small pillow beneath your neck, place one hand on your abdomen and rest the other on one side of your ribcage. Now inhale slowly through your nose while imagining that you are sending your breath to a place about 2 inches below your navel. Your tummy will start to well outward rather like a balloon. This has the effect of filling the lower part of your lungs with fresh air. As the in-breath continues, let it fill the rest of your stomach and then expand your ribcage outwards to the side as well as the midsection of your chest. You can feel this side expansion by keeping your hand against one side of your ribcage and making sure it moves outward. Now let the fresh breath fill the upper part of your chest area as well, watching it as it expands outward and to the side. (The whole process of inhalation should take about 5 seconds altogether.) Hold your breath for another 5 seconds. (In time you will find you can hold it much longer which gives your lungs a good opportunity to absorb all the oxygen available to them.) Now exhale following the same process you did in inhaling: first contract your lower abdomen gently to move the air upwards then as the lower lungs deflate you should feel the ribcage contracting again followed by the upper chest. This process too should take about 5 seconds. Rest for a second or two before beginning the whole cycle again.

Dance - Vitality Reborn

Dance - Vitality Reborn

The next time you have a chance, watch an animal move. The rhythmic lope of a wolf whose body almost becomes the motion. The horse in a field, tossing its mane, pounding its hooves and charging about for sheer pleasure. The dolphin who leaps high in the air twisting its powerful body before disappearing into the waves to emerge a minute later with yet another joyous leap. For many years I wondered why most of us after childhood no longer experience this kind of explosive, rhythmical freedom and energy, grounded in the physical body. Why do we often feel only half alive? And why do those of us who are women tend to look upon our body as something separate from ourselves, something to be criticized, judged, or pushed and shoved into shape, instead of celebrating its power and the joy of movement the way animals do? For too many human beings the primary experience of life is one of deadness. And since none of us is able to live with deadness for long we are forced to seek artificial stimulus through drugs or alcohol, compulsive work or sex - just to make us feel alive again. The trouble is, none of the artificial things that we turn to in an attempt to recover our aliveness ever seems to work for very long. Where does the real key lie? MUSCLE MIRACLE The answer to this question may surprise you. It stunned me when I first came upon it because it is so simple. The key to aliveness is found in the body itself. It lies in the same place as the key to burning excess fat is - in muscle. Your muscle is the engine that turns food calories into energy, burns fat and creates an experience of ongoing simple joy whatever you may be doing. Muscle creates the life-energy for you to think, to move and to feel. The power of the horse, the rhythmical gait of the wolf able to run on and on with ease, the wild playfulness of the dolphin - all depend on good strong muscle. To create a firm, beautiful, lean body for yourself, begin to listen to, nurture and develop your muscle. Your body is a potential powerhouse of vitality. If you want to access it, you need to move. People sometimes talk about the body as if it were a machine. In reality your body is nothing like a machine. A machine, when you use it, wears out. Your body was designed to be active. The more you use it wisely the stronger and more beautiful it will become - regardless of your age. I learned all this the hard way—the best way too I guess—but it wasn’t fun. ENDLESS PAIN Several years ago I injured my left leg badly from a nasty fall while walking down a steep incline to board a plane in Munich. The thing was running with water. Amidst a lot of blood and mess I had no idea just how bad the injury was until I found I was in constant pain and could hardly walk for weeks. This injury was followed by another nasty one to my right ankle, then another a few months later when I cracked my sacrum at 5am in the middle of winter getting out of a spa when I tumbled back onto a hardwood deck. Anyway all of this meant that I stopped using my body. In fact my body became for me a source of pain and fear, not pleasure and joy. Where I had once done exercise regularly for the sheer joy of it, I stopped completely—not just for months at a time—for years. I forgot what it was like to experience the joy and feel the sense of radiance I had long been used to from movement I had for thirty years adored doing. I lost a lot of muscle tone and ease of movement and I no longer felt the kind of vitality I had been used to for many many years. LIFE REBORN Then one day, for no apparent reason, I woke from my ignorant stupor and began to move a little just to find out if my body was still alive: to dance to music, to stretch, to cycle on a wind trainer in the garden, allowing my body to feel the sensuous pleasure of swimming gently in our pool or spending 10 or 15 minutes in passive relaxation on our PowerPlate. Slowly, steadily I began to come alive again. I kept asking myself, “How could I have forgotten how simple and joyous moving my body could be, and all of the rewards it brings when one begins to exercise, not because it’s supposed to be good for you - out of some kind of duty - but because you owe it to your body to let it live?” Anyway, I wanted to share my own experience with you and here is the bottom line: No matter what your age or how much you have neglected moving your body, no matter how much tone your muscles may have lost, your body has the most amazing capacity to regenerate and restore its muscles, its vitality and its capacity to provide you with the joyous experience of freedom which is everyone’s birthright. You need only to remember what is possible and begin with kindness and love to let yourself move again.

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 19,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 14 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

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