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movement

35 articles in movement

The Wonders Of Exercise

The Wonders Of Exercise

Let’s talk exercise. It’s time we did. For there is no area of health more misunderstood than exercise—its benefits, its drawbacks—what it will and won’t do. The medical profession continues to feed us the party line: It begins with “every calorie is unique…it doesn’t matter where it comes from…if you want to lose weight, all you have to do is burn calories through exercise.” This is absolutely untrue—in fact, exercise can sometimes be seriously detrimental to those who are considerably overweight. Nevertheless doctors, and the media, keep telling us that it works. And, like sheep, we just keep trusting them. MEDICAL IGNORANCE What happens? Well, when people find that it doesn’t work, they get depressed. They feel like failures. They stop exercising and start eating more because they’re disheartened. They figure that exercising is no use. This makes metabolic syndrome—Syndrome X—worse than ever. For metabolic syndrome and chronic high blood sugar levels are what makes us fat, and keep us that way. That’s the bad news. The good news about exercise is this: Whether you’re overweight or not, exercise done regularly, for as little as 15 minutes a day, is absolutely the single most important thing that you can do to improve your overall health. TRUTH ABOUT CALORIES Because of the media, the medical profession, and purveyors of diet supplements, just about everybody still believes that energy expenditure—and therefore calorie burning—comes with exercise. However the truth is that during physical activity, only the smallest amount of energy expenditure takes place. Exercise accounts for no more than 5% of the calories you burn, unless you happen to be a top athlete. I think this will surprise you too: The greatest percent of calorie burning takes place, not while you’re moving, but while you are sleeping. This phenomenon is called “resting energy expenditure”. Depending on how heavy or light you are, resting energy can account for as much as 60% of your total daily energy expenditure. Another way your body expends energy by burning calories is thanks to the “thermic effect of food”. This refers to the energy it takes your body to digest, absorb and metabolize the foods you have eaten This thermic effect accounts for about 10% of the energy that you burn during the day. So you can see by contrast just how low, in fact virtually insignificant, is the amount of calories burnt during most physical activities. TOTALLY MISUNDERSTOOD The idea most people have—that if they exercise they can lose weight—is also nothing more than a pipe dream. So what does exercise actually do for you? The answer is: some pretty wonderful things. Exercise enhances sensitivity to insulin. This helps your body make use of the fat that has accumulated in the liver and around other organs improving insulin sensitivity and lower ing insulin levels. It also improves both leptin signaling and leptin sensitivity in the cells., calming food cravings, improving muscle tone, and making you feel more vital. Exercise builds muscle. Most people, including most medical doctors, still wrongly equate BMI (Body Mass Index) with body fat. The truth is BMI does not measure the difference between muscle and fat, or between subcutaneous fat (the inessential fat) and visceral fat. Many studies looking at body composition before and after periods of exercise show that the percentage of fat goes down. But this is only because muscle has increased. As this takes place, a person’s metabolic facilities are also improved. PREVENTING ILLNESS We are often told that we need to change our diet in order to prevent heart disease. Indeed this is quite true: However, the metabolic transformations that take place during regular moderate exercise are an even more powerful force than dieting for preventing disease—including heart disease. To take things further, exercise is actually a more effective force in preventing heart disease than losing weight! A study of almost 40,000 American men demonstrated quite clearly that physical activity was more important in preventing heart disease than being normal weight. These major gifts of exercise are more important than people realize, but they have nothing to do with controlling weight. Let’s look now at how exercise works, biochemically and physiologically. NEW ENERGY FACTORIES Regular exercise activates your sympathetic nervous system. This , in turn, tells your muscles to make new mitochondria. Mitochondria are the amazing little energy factories inside muscle cells that burn glucose or fatty acids, to produce vitality for your whole body. Regular exercise plays a big role not only in building new mitochondria, but in getting rid of the old, inefficient mitochondria. Old mitochondria do not function properly. As a result they produce free radicals to undermine your health and encourage rapid aging. Regular exercise clears away the old and helps your muscles make clean and efficient use of the energy stored within the new. This too improves insulin sensitivity, and enhances metabolic health all round. STRESS BUSTER Regular exercise lowers your stress levels. It’s true that blood cortisol levels go up temporarily when you start to exercise. This is a good thing, It keeps your blood sugar and blood pressure up while you are moving. They come back down quickly afterwards. In fact, one of the long term benefits of regular exercise is that it reduces blood pressure. This is thanks to exercise’s ability to lower stress levels all round. Regular exercise also encourages your body to release feel-good chemicals in the brain known as endorphins. This makes regularly moving the body one of the most effective treatments for depression, far better than drugs or psychotherapy. The way exercise increases endorphins always fascinated me. This was what made me become a regular runner. I was determined to experience what is known as the “runner’s high”. And I found it wonderful. WHAT EXERCISE IS BEST For a long time we’ve been told that the best kind of exercise is low-intensity, long interval, aerobic practices, now known as “cardio exercise”. We learned that cardio worked the heart in a beneficial way, and provided all sorts of cardiovascular benefits by pumping more blood to the heart, slowing heart rate, and increasing peripheral muscles. The one thing it was never able to do—although we were misled to believe that it did—was bring about weight loss. Recently, however, a number of studies have shown that high-intensity interval training, where you use an extreme activity for a very short period of time interspersed with a short recovery—as well as plain old weight training—brings equal improvements both in waist circumference and blood vessel flow. So the bottom line is this: It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you choose. Just do it. BE CAUTIOUS Whatever kind you decide to try, you need to do it regularly—at least five days a week. Why? Because the wonderful metabolic effects of exercise—which tell your mitochondria to divide and make new mitochondrial factories for vitality—slow and decline when you miss even a day of exercising. Miss two weeks, and your insulin sensitivity is likely to decline as well until it reaches the level it was before you started exercising. So whatever you decide to do, do it regularly. You need only do it for short periods, but do it every day. A FINAL WORD It is not only the overweight by the way who suffer from insulin resistance—metabolic syndrome. So do 40% of normal weight men and women, especially those who have fatty livers. Recent research shows that fitness not only helps mitigate the effects of overweight on visceral fat. In fact, it mitigates many other health complaints also provided you are consistent with doing it. This is also likely to increase your longevity. And...great news...if you are overweight, but not obese, exercising regularly can help you live significantly longer than that emaciated model on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Recent research shows that overweight people with BMIs between 25 and 30 tend to live longer than skinny people with BMIs of less than 19. DO WHAT YOU LOVE The most important thing for you to decide is what kind of exercise you want to do. It can be as simple as going for a walk each day for half an hour—not a power walk, just one where you feel the movements of, and a connection with, your body. It can be dance. It doesn’t have to be vigorous. It can be rebounding on a mini-trampoline. It can be moderate weight training, for 15-20 minutes a day. I personally like cycling on a wind-trainer. This is a device that your bicycle fits into. It allows you to regulate how hard you choose to pump while the wheels spin but the bicycle remains static. I use a wind trainer because I don’t like cycling on roads. The other exercise I do is on a Concept 2 rowing machine which I was given many years ago. I use it five days a week for 20 minutes at a time. I love doing it: It enables me to move my whole body, and brings me a rhythmic feeling of being completely connected to it. What exercise you do depends entirely on what you love. So begin to experiment. Let go of the idea that exercise is going to make you thin. It will not. What it will do for your health, your emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and to slow the aging process, is fantastic. It can also be a lot of fun. Discover the joys and great gifts that come with moving your body. The time is now. REFERENCES P. Wen et al., "Minimum Amount of Physical Activity for Reduced Mortality and Extended Life Expectancy: A Prospective Cohort Study," Lancet 378 (2011) S. Ludwig, "The Glycemic Index: Physiological Mechanisms Relating to Obesity, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease," JAMA 287 (2002) Stensvold et al., "Strength Training versus Aerobic Interval Training to Modify Risk Factors of Metabolic Syndrome," /. Appl. Physiol. 108 (2010) P. Little et al, "Skeletal Muscle and Beyond: The Role of Exercise as a Mediator of Systemic Mitochondrial Biogenesis," Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 36 (2011) K. J. Acheson et al., "Protein Choices Targeting Thermogenesis and Metabolism," Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 93 (2011) Shaw et al., "Exercise for Overweight or Obesity," Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. CD003817 (2006) M. J, Gibala et al, "Physiological Adaptations to Low-Volume, High-Intensity Interval Training in Health and Disease," /. Physiol. 590, no. 5 (2012) A. McAuley et al., "Obesity Paradox and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in 12,417 M a l e Veterans Aged 40 to 70 Years," Mayo Clin. Proc. 85 (2010) Bajpeyi et al., "Effect of Exercise Intensity and Volume on Persistence of Insulin Sensitivity During Training Cessation," /. Appl. Physiol. 106 (2009)

Sacred Truth Ep. 55: Vitamin B12 For Great Energy

Sacred Truth Ep. 55: Vitamin B12 For Great Energy

The least understood of all nutrients, Vitamin B 12 is a huge molecule. It has long been known as “the energy vitamin.” And rightly so. You need to have lots of it in your body in order to thrive and protect yourself from fatigue and degenerative conditions. Vitamin B12 plays a major role in DNA synthesis, the formation of healthy blood cells, and the production of energy in your mitochondria. Yet Vitamin B12 deficiency is now rampant. At least one in four people in the Western world are seriously deficient in this essential nutrient. Meanwhile 50% of the population in the world now has blood levels of Vitamin B12 in the sub optimal range. Why should you care about making sure that you have enough Vitamin B12? First of all, this remarkable vitamin is essential for building myelin in your body. Myelin is a fatty material that encloses the axons of neurons. It provides a sheath of electrical energy around your cells so your nervous system functions as it is meant to do. This helps nerve impulses move speedily and makes it possible for the cells all over your body to communicate with each other. When the myelin sheath is damaged the body becomes prone to all sorts of degenerative conditions, including spinal cord injury, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. Your body needs an abundance of Vitamin B12 for many other purposes as well. It’s essential for adrenal hormone production, maintaining a healthy immune system, having balanced moods, and experiencing good memory function and mental clarity as well as physical and emotional vitality. If you don't have adequate levels of Vitamin B12 in your blood you are more likely to experience tingling in your hands, legs, and feet, weak muscles, problems with your memory, apathy, and even depression. The scientific term for Vitamin B12—this water-soluble nutrient—is cobalamin. But, unlike other water-soluble vitamins, B12 is not rapidly removed from your body when you urinate. Instead, it is taken into your kidneys, your liver, and other important organs, where it may remain for long periods. So you can be deficient in Vitamin B12 yet not know it for several years because your body has simply not been absorbing Vitamin B12 from your foods. Perhaps the most important cause of Vitamin B12 deficiency is what is known as food-cobalamin-malabsorption syndrome because your body is not making what is known as intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is a protein made by your stomach that binds to Vitamin B12. It’s meant to grab the B12 molecule as it passes through the small intestine, carrying it on to the large intestine where it can be absorbed into the body, eventually end up in your bloodstream. But if you are depleted of stomach acid, as many people are—especially if they have been using anti-acid medications or eating a lot of cereal and grain-based carbohydrates—which create gastric reflux and indigestion—you are likely to be low in stomach acid. When stomach acid is decreased in this way, intrinsic factor can’t absorb B12 properly and your health suffers. As we get older, levels of Vitamin B12 in our bodies tend to decrease. A study of over hundred older men and women showed that we become more susceptible to atrophy or shrinkage in the brain—a well-known characteristic of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Here are a few habits you will want to avoid to help prevent this: Don’t drink more than three or four cups of coffee each day. Even better, limit your organic fair trade coffee to only one or two a day. Stop taking prescriptions drugs that diminish Vitamin B12 in the body. Do not use antacids and other drugs to treat ulcers. Change the way you are eating then you will find that most of these problems clear up naturally within a few weeks. Finally, never take antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary. If you do, make sure you counter their effects by using a top quality probiotic for many weeks as soon as the antibiotics have finished. How do you make sure you get enough Vitamin B12? It’s difficult to manage if you are vegetarian. It is virtually impossible if you are vegan. Eggs are a good source of Vitamin B12 provided they come from a free-range pastured farm. If they are genuinely free range, a great way to eat eggs is to put them raw into some sort of smoothie. Good sources of Vitamin B12 are also found in organic chicken, grass-fed beef, grass-fed lamb, and seafood that did not come from fish farms. Unfortunately—and this is something few people are aware of—more than half of the seafood in the world is now either contaminated with heavy metals and harmful materials from fish farms where these fish are raised on quite hideous foods. Certified grade A raw milk also contains good quantities of Vitamin B12. There are medical tests that you can take if you suspect you may be B12 deficient. Your health practitioner can organize this as well as help determine the underlining cause of deficiency and how it should be treated. The problem with these tests is that they are not very accurate and, as yet, few doctors are aware of the seriousness with which Vitamin B12 deficiencies must be treated. You can, of course, look for one of the under-the-tongue sprays, although the human body often does not absorb these efficiently. Personally, I prefer occasional Vitamin B12 injections. It is still legal in many countries for you to do these yourself. If you live in a country where they are not legal, your health practitioner can inject them for you. What is important is that when you have an adequate supply of this vitamin in your body, especially as you get older, to help prevent many potentially life-destroying conditions that result in a B12 deficiency.

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!

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.

Get A Radiant Body

Get A Radiant Body

How do you feel about your body? Is it a source of pleasure and pride? A burden to be borne? A matter of indifference? Does it feel like a ‘good runner' which always seems to do what you ask of it? Or is your body something on which you don’t think you can depend? I find that most men and women in the Western world feel uneasy about their bodies. The cultural models which our culture has inherited from the ancient Greeks separates ‘body’—our physical presence—from ‘soul', the so-called ‘real' person, creating a schizoid attitude towards ourselves. Often we treat the body as an object. Then we alternate between narcissistically indulging it and continually neglecting it. Sometimes, we seem to dissociate from it altogether. QUANTUM RADIANCE NOW The body is the medium through which we experience reality. This is a truth most people forget. Your sense of aliveness and vitality, peace and relaxation, joy, sexuality, power—even intellectual enjoyment—are all experienced through your physical body. The more vital it is, the more intense are your sensibilities, and the richer your experience of being alive. The right treatments carried out on the surface of the body using simple substances such as water, oils, clays—even doing dry skin brushing—profoundly influence your state of wellbeing, both mentally and physically. Some techniques improve lymphatic drainage, clearing away wastes stored in the system. Others pep you up when you're tired, or relax you when you're stressed. They contribute to an experience of quantum wellbeing. The body is a finely-tuned instrument. It becomes more sensitive and stronger as you use it. The radiant body feels comfortably in tune with the earth on which it stands, yet free to move, to dance, to feel, and to experience joy and pain fully. This is what being fully alive is all about, no matter what your age. Ideally, the body should always have been this way. A child born naturally, without trauma or drugs, who enters a safe and welcoming world and has a good bond with its mother already has such a body. It moves fluidly, experiences emotions and physical sensations deeply. This makes it fully expressive both in shape and movements of the innate essence of the unique being. Sadly, for most of us, our natural aliveness and bodily freedom have become distorted or truncated. Traumas which we experience tighten muscles, damping down our sensory input. Some people find themselves oppressed and overwhelmed by living in a world which is anything but life-nurturing. This is a not-uncommon feeling for children and young adults. All of these experiences which are felt through the body leave their ‘scars' since they are held in the tissues. Then, instead of maintaining the sensitivity and responsiveness which is our birthright, the body gradually becomes ‘deadened’. This deadness can express itself in many ways—from rigidity or strange postural attitudes and gaits to flaccidity, muscles which seem lifeless and lackluster skin, even low self-esteem, depression, and a sense of impossibility about one’s life. BODY MAGIC The most remarkable gift of the human body is its natural plasticity. It is more than capable of transforming itself. Unlike a machine, your body is continually in flux. It changes its shape and ways of functioning from day to day and moment to moment. It can collect poisons in the tissues which decrease vitality and promote illness, and it can easily be encouraged to eliminate these poisons, becoming more alive, strong and beautiful. This in turn improves your whole way of experiencing life. You can work with a twisted, strained body, or one without a great capacity for feeling physical pleasure. Gradually, over a period of months, you can help it reclaim its ‘aliveness' and its natural good looks. There are a number of simple but powerful techniques for bringing this about. Regular exercise is one. So is the Alexander Technique. Yoga too can be useful—if it is practised well. And there are other professional disciplines which can help, like the bio-energetic therapies, touch for health, and Rolfing or structural integration. There are also many wonderfully effective practices which you can do for yourself day-to-day to help reawaken vitality, improving the way you look and feel. They can alter the way you move, as well as the way you feel about yourself and your life. For, when your body feels more alive, more responsive and stronger, so do you. DO IT YOURSELF The healing of our culturally inherited mind-body split is a slow but totally necessary process, in order to achieve the kind of integration which makes quantum wellness possible. Many of the techniques useful for bringing it about—such as the clay and sea-plant treatments, massage, water therapy, breathing exercises—can be a lot of fun and leave you feeling great when you use them, as well as the long lasting benefits each promises. Also, making time in your life to practice them can be an excellent method of de-stressing, allowing you to get away from any leaning towards becoming an `automaton'—a tendency we all have to some degree— and become more conscious of who in essence you really are, and where you are going. This is an important part of a quantum way of life. TAKE THE PLUNGE A simple thing like water, which you come in contact with every day, is ideal for beginning transformation and heightening vitality. Applications of hot and cold water used to be a standard therapy for aches and pains and for revitalizing. We know this thanks to the pioneering work of Father Sebastian Kneipp, the Bavarian parish priest who strengthened his own less-than-hearty health with the healing powers of water, and then went on to develop a whole system of treatment using it to dissolve toxic wastes while strengthening the entire organism. Many of Kneipp's techniques—which I wrote at length about a few weeks ago—are great for bringing you more vitality and a growing experience of aliveness. He insisted that the easiest way of ‘hardening and bracing the system' is to walk barefoot—on wet grass or stones, on freshly fallen snow, or in cold water up to your knees. This may sound strange to someone who has never tried it, but it can be enormously invigorating—even on winter mornings. I do it at some time every day, come rain or shine. I learned of its power from doctor friends who use it to increase a patient's resistance to illness with excellent results. The secret is to spend only a few minutes (from 3-5) walking barefoot in this way, making sure that you keep shoes and socks dry, so you can put them on immediately afterwards. If they too are allowed to get damp you miss out on the stimulating effect of the contact with the cold dampness. This can deplete your body of energy instead of revitalizing and strengthening it. This, by the way, is the secret for using any cold water applications on the body. You must be warm to begin with and you must keep warm and dry afterwards. Contact with cold water under these circumstances first causes constriction of the blood vessels, momentarily driving the blood inwards. Then, the moment it is stopped, the blood rushes to the surface of the skin, warming it. BRUSH FOR BLISS The same principles apply to hot and cold showers or cold sitz baths. One of the best possible ways of waking up each morning and getting yourself going for the day ahead is to brush your dry skin down well with a dry hemp glove or a natural vegetable bristle bath brush. Then step into a warm shower. As soon as the warmth of the water has suffused your body so you are warm and comfortable, switch from `warm' to `cold'. Remain under cold water for only half a minute (no more), making sure that your body all over gets covered with the cold spray. Emerge from the shower, dry yourself briskly and dress warmly. It is important that the bathroom is always warm and that you begin very slowly with only, say, 10 seconds of cold water at first, gradually increasing it to half a minute as you become used to it. I think you will be surprised at how quickly this adaptation takes place. It will make your body feel alive and tingling, increase your stamina and, according to the European doctors who still use it regularly with their patients, heighten your resistance to colds and flu. SITZ BATHS FOR SLEEP Here’s a variation on the cold water theme that will surprise you. A cold sitz bath is one of the best ways of relaxing quickly and preparing your body and mind for sleep. It is another technique the effectiveness of which you won't believe until you have tried it several times yourself. It is a great blessing for people who suffer from insomnia because their minds race and they can't turn off mental energy when they go to bed. Here's how: Fill a bath with 3"-4" of cold water from the tap. Make sure the bathroom is warm and that you have done all of the things you need to do before retiring. Wrap the top half of your body in a sweater or dressing gown which you can tuck up so that when you sit in the water it won't get wet but it will keep the upper part of your body warm. Now immerse your hips and bottom in the tub for 30 seconds. You can do this either by letting your legs hang over the side of the tub or by sitting in the bath and allowing your heels to go into the water to steady your body. Get out, dry yourself well, then climb into bed. The technique draws the body energy away from the head and brings a marvellous sense of peace and relaxation. Next week we’ll look at more simple do-it-yourself techniques for quantum radiance, such as the health-enbhancing magnesium chloride flakes and gifts from the sea. See you then...

Nature's Finest Treatment

Nature's Finest Treatment

What is Nature’s most powerful healer? The answer will surprise you: WATER applied to your skin’s surface. Would you consider pouring a stream of cold water over your face to banish fatigue and prevent skin from wrinkling and sagging? Would you walk in ice-cold water up to your knees every morning to increase your vitality and ward off aging? Have jets of cold water directed against your back and legs to help you shed fat? Extraordinary as these practices sound, they are natural methods of treatment with over a century and a half of clinical validation behind them. They are part of one of the most elaborate, effective and well-researched European methods of healing, health enhancement and age-retardation in the world: Kneipp therapy. KNEIPP’S GENIUS Applications of hot and cold water have long been standard treatment for regenerating energy, curing headaches, improving lymphatic function, and even eliminating hangovers after a night of partying. In no small part is this thanks to the pioneering work of Father Sebastian Kneipp, a Bavarian parish priest who strengthened his own less-than-hearty health with water treatments. In 1855, Kneipp was sent to the tiny Bavarian village of Worishofen to supervise a Dominican nunnery. Many of his friends insisted that the church had only sent him there to get him away from his fascination with water-healing, in the belief that it was interfering with his clerical life. There he acted as father-confessor to the nuns, revived the village's stagnant economy, and advised farmers on how to improve their agriculture. But Kneipp’s fascination with health and healing prevailed when later he was made parson of the village. Despite the fact that his days were filled with ecclesiastical duties, he found his time increasingly taken up by a growing number of ailing people who had heard of his ‘miracle cures’, and either didn’t have enough money to pay for medical care, or had been given up as ‘hopeless’ by their physicians. Kneipp treated them with his water techniques. He then taught them to treat themselves, gradually developing a complete system for prevention, cure and rehabilitation based on the theory that a human being is a unity of body and soul, and that whenever this unity is threatened, or whenever the harmony of nature is disturbed, illness ensues. As far back as 1900, Kneipp's water therapy was being practiced all over Europe. Since then, his methods have been researched, applied, refined and adapted to contemporary needs by medical scientists—most of them German—who have established the basis of Kneipp’s water techniques worldwide. AMAZING BENEFITS Still little known in English-speaking countries, Kneipp therapy is practiced in some seventy spas and thousands of hospitals in Europe. Treatments are supervised by physicians highly trained in the various methods it involves, the most important of which is a complex set of water applications which have profound regenerative and protective effects on the body. Far from being some kind of far-out alternative therapy used only by nature freaks and old women, Kneipp hydrotherapy is supported by government health-insurance schemes in Europe, and even subsidized by the state both as a preventative treatment against aging as well as a means of curing and rehabilitating the seriously ill. Kneipp therapy is used in many applications—from affusions, where water in a steady stream is poured over specific parts of your body, to hot and cold compresses—as a treatment for conditions from arthritis, abscesses and heart disease to asthma, diabetes and allergic eczema. All of Kneipp’s methods greatly increase your vitality, can enhance athletic prowess, help you handle stress better, banish insomnia, and counteract a myriad of negative effects connected with the aging process. SECRETS OF HYDROTHERAPY This is the secret of using cold water applications on your body. You need to be warm to begin with, and you must keep warm and dry afterwards. Contact with cold water in these circumstances first causes constriction of the blood vessels, momentarily driving the blood inwards. Then, the moment it is stopped, blood rushes to the surface of the skin, warming it. THE PRINCIPLES Not every water treatment has to be administered by a professional in a clinic or a spa. One of Kneipp's most important principles was that hydrotherapy should be simple enough that any healthy person can benefit from it—as a prophylactic treatment against aging, to improve the condition of the skin, to eliminate stress and to treat minor ailments from a headache to a cold without professional help. Simple at-home water treatments fortify your body against sickness in general, improve circulation and calm frayed nerves. FOR GREAT SKIN An affusion is literally a pouring of running water over a particular area of the body. Affusions stimulate blood supply to the skin, restoring lost tautness and freshness to sagging or faded skin. It is a popular natural treatment in Europe amongst men and women who want to retain (or reform) their youthful good looks. It helps prevent premature aging of the skin, eliminate feelings of fatigue and can even cure a migraine. Here's How Make sure your body is in a well-warmed state to begin with. Then, using a hose with an opening of about ½ inch (it can be a bathroom hand shower with the head removed) turn on the cold water so that a sheet of water is delivered to the skin when the hose is held 2-4 inches from it. (There should be no great pressure of water.) When an affusion is done right, the water flows smoothly and evenly and with no `splashback'. Now, resting your neck on a towel and bending over a sink or the bath, begin by circling your face with the water from just below the temple. Then go back and forth from one side of the face to the other. Guide the stream several times from up to down starting at the left side and working towards the right. End by circling the whole face again. The entire process is done with cold water and should take only a couple of minutes. Pat your face gently to remove excess water and then let it dry completely in the air. TO BOOST VITALITY AND STRENGTHEN IMMUNITY There are several techniques designed to increase vitality and bring protection against illness and age-degeneration. Which you choose depends on your current state of stamina and health. They range from the body wash, which is gentle enough for almost anyone, to the cold Blitzguss, which top athletes and other very fit people favor. The Body Wash This is quite different from the usual cleansing wash you carry out in the bath or shower using a flannel. It involves the uniform spreading of water over your skin with a rough linen cloth. Afterwards you do not dry yourself. Instead get into a warm bed for a few minutes. It helps relax the body while bracing and strengthening it. It also activates natural warmth, eliminating and protecting you from the build-up of toxic substances in the blood and tissues which can cause cellular damage and age-related problems. Here's How Having dipped the linen cloth into cold water, begin on the back of the right hand and sweep upwards over the shoulder then down again on the inside to the thumb. Now turn the cloth over and wash the inside of the hand and arm to the armpit, and finally the back of the palm. Dip the cloth in water again quickly and carry out the same movements on the other arm. Then, quickly dipping the cloth in water again, with half a dozen vertical movements wash over the chest, abdomen and the fronts of legs. Another dip and do the back (or have a friend help here since it is easier). Finish your body wash by quickly rubbing the soles of the feet. The whole procedure (which must be carried out in a warm room) needs to be very quick (only thirty to forty seconds). Then remove excess water from your body's surface, dress warmly and move about, or get into a warm bed for a few minutes. This is a superb way of refreshing yourself after a long day before going out for the evening. WATER TREADING This takes a couple of minutes. In Bad Worishofen there are beautiful pools at the clinics and hotels and even in the woods, where you can take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot in water every morning, summer and winter, even when there is snow on the ground. If you are lucky enough to live near the sea or by a brook, both are ideal. But you can get the same results at home using a bath filled with cold water. Here's How Dressed warmly, but with your legs and feet naked from the knee down, step into the water and `walk on the spot', lifting first one foot and then another up out of the water. The reaction will be either a pleasant warm feeling flooding the feet or a sharp cold ache, followed by warmth. Begin by treading water for only thirty seconds or so, then work up to a couple of minutes as your system gets stronger and more resilient. Immediately afterwards put on dry warm socks and shoes and move about. (By the way, this is also an excellent treatment for insomniacs when done just before going to bed.) BLITZGUSS A real Blitzguss has to be done by a professional in a special shower using a powerful water-force. But you can get many of its beneficial effects in the shower, particularly if you happen to have a hand-held shower which you can direct on to different parts of your body. This is something I do every morning after exercising. Here's How Take a warm shower until your skin is glowing with the warmth. Turn off the hot water and use only cold, directing it over your face, down your arms and legs, over your trunk and abdomen and down your back. This process should take no more than thirty seconds. Get out of the shower, pat off the excess water and dress warmly. This will leave your skin glowing with warmth, thanks to the reaction against the cold water. Practiced every day or so, it will also strengthen your immune system, not only against age-degeneration but also against colds, flu and other illnesses. Blitzguss greatly increases vitality. This is a favorite of top athletes in Germany. It is also my favorite of all the prophylactic treatments with water—and I am a long way from being a top athlete. But I had to work up to it in the beginning by starting with the body wash and with water treading (which I still do when I feel tired but unable to sleep). It’s best not to use Blitzguss until you are already quite strong. DE-STRESS FOR BETTER SLEEP The next two techniques are particularly good if you feel stressed or you tend to wrestle with insomnia at the end of the day. Wet Socks A favourite of Kneipp himself, this is an easy way to apply a foot compress. It is extraordinarily relaxing. Here's How Wet a pair of cotton socks in cold water and wring them out so that they are no longer dripping. Put them on and then cover them with a pair of dry woolen socks, then get into bed. Leave the socks on for at least half an hour, although it doesn't matter if they stay on all night should you fall asleep. Once you begin to experience some of the extraordinary benefits from these simple treatments, you may find you want to explore some of the other natural therapies which are also carriers of vital information for health and ageless aging. They include air baths, saunas and Turkish baths, herbal treatments using the adaptogens and dry skin-brushing. Not only can each one of them leave you feeling vibrantly well and looking good, together with good nutrition, exercise and relaxation, they are some of the means by which your body/mind/spirit can restore balance and help keep you well, youthful and vital, long after those around you have succumbed to the ravages of time.

Kneipp Techniques

Kneipp Techniques

The following are particularly useful for stress or if you find you are unable to get to sleep easily. wet socks A favorite of Kneipp himself, this is an easy way to apply a foot compress. It is quite extraordinarily relaxing. Here's How Wet a pair of cotton socks in cold water and wring them out so that they are no longer dripping. Put them on and then cover them with a pair of dry woollen socks, then pop into bed. Leave the socks on for at least half an hour, although it doesn't matter if they stay on all night should you fall asleep. cold sitz baths These last only ten to thirty seconds, according to how quickly and how well you react. They are carried out with the upper part of your body well clothed, always in a warm room. This is also an excellent way of boosting immunity and protecting against minor illnesses - particularly throat and chest conditions - eliminating flatulence, constipation and stress. Here's How Fill the bath with enough cold water to reach to your waist. Climb into the bath and stay there for a few seconds, then get out, gently pat the excess water from your skin and immediately climb into a warm bed.

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.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 11 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 10th of December 2019 (updated every 12 hours)

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 10th of December 2019 (updated every 12 hours)

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