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The sense of enjoyment is a central consideration in whatever exercise program you choose. Any physical activity carried out with your teeth gritted virtuously thinking that you are, after all, doing your duty can only be counterproductive.

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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.

The Kronos Challenge

The Kronos Challenge

To ageless aging players, the most insidious foe you will ever have to pit your wits against is Kronos - the god of time. There appears to be no way to destroy what Milton called his `silent touches'. We can, however, go a long way towards softening them. As science probes the secrets of the cell and begins to decipher the genetic code, theories about slowing down the process of aging are rapidly turning into practical techniques for doing so. Researchers have already been able to do this for animals and in some cases even to reverse age-related changes. Now they can also double an animal's life span. The patterns of age-changes in humans appear to be very similar to those of the animals they are working with. the three faces of aging There are almost as many theories as to what aging is all about as there are scientists studying the process. Generally speaking, however, research falls into three main areas about which there is much agreement: `genetic clocks', random damage and the immune system. First, there seems to be some kind of internal genetic `clock' or `clocks', the control for which is probably centered in the cells themselves or an area of the brain, that appears to `switch off' specific vital functions at certain times. This could account for a number of `life events' that tend to occur around the same period in almost everyone, such as the way women go through menopause. Just where and what these age clocks in the body might be is still debatable. Once we learn what they are, and how to manipulate or to reset them, we should be able to reprogram predetermined occurrences so that our bodies age much more slowly. But there is, as yet, very little in the way of practical treatments or advice from age researchers on how to do this. The second major area of age research and practical methods designed to slow aging lies in the process of cumulative wear and tear your body goes through - the kind of random damage on a cellular level which is triggered by external agents such as ultraviolet light, air pollution, poisons in food or in the environment, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or simply the by-products of metabolism in the body. These influences result in the formation of free radicals - highly reactive molecules which do serious damage to the body. Alex Comfort once referred to these free radicals as `promiscuous' because, `like delegates at a conference, they seem to race around frantically combining with everything'. They are a major cause of `cross-linking' which makes your body's protein tissues age rapidly and results in wrinkled skin, stiff limbs and a degenerating cardiovascular system. About combating age-related changes in this area there is much information and even a number of practical suggestions of what you can do now. the all-important immune system Central to the whole question of aging is the third area of intensive research, which investigates the role that a gradually weakening immune system plays in aging. As you get older your immune system, which is responsible for protecting your body against invasion, illness and allergy, gradually loses these capacities. Its function declines and your body becomes more susceptible to illness, bacterial invasions and deterioration. A poorly functioning immune system is also much more likely to attack your body's own cells in error. This produces what are known as `auto-immune' disorders such as arthritis. When your body is not able to repair random damage done by wear and tear, you get into a kind of vicious circle of age decline where the immune system is further weakened. In turn, it is less able to protect your body from further random damage. A lot of people have come to believe that this downward spiral is an inevitable part of growing older. But is it? There are a number of very good treatments that appear to offer support to the immune system and prolong its potency. Some may even help prevent aging and repair random damage at the same time. They can play an important part in any well-informed bid to keep Kronos in his place. An editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association not long ago stated that, `Nature did not intend us to grow old and ill'. We are instead, it said, supposed to `die young in old age, but free from disease'. You can look and feel great at 60 or 70 and beyond; you need never lose brain power as the years pass. Time doesn't have to take its toll. how old are you? Not an easy question to answer. For, regardless of when you were born, you are at least three ages: your chronological age as measured by the calendar, your psychological age and your biological age - probably the most important of all. In fact, the latest research into aging indicates that the rate at which you age has but little to do with the simple passage of time. There are far too many other variables, like genetic inheritance, the food you eat, the way you live, your mental attitude and the number of pollutants in your environment - to name only a few. Interestingly, the things you do to achieve a state of high-level wellness and vitality just happen to be the things which many age researchers insist are important in slowing down body degeneration. But, some insist, there are a number of other things you can do as well. The most important of all is to eat less. Weight does add years! secrets of the long-lived Dr Alexander Leaf, from Harvard Medical School, spent several years studying three cultures where the people were exceptionally long-lived (some claimed to be as old as 140), but who at the same time showed few signs of degenerative changes traditionally associated with age. They were the Vilcabamba Indians in an Andes valley, the Hunzas in a mountainous part of Kashmir, and the Abkhazians in Soviet Georgia. They suffered neither tooth decay, heart disease, mental illness, obesity nor cancer. Leaf wanted to find out what these peoples had in common and to discover the secrets behind their youth. He discovered that they led extremely active lives, regardless of their age, and that they had vigorous sex lives well into their 80s and 90s. Men and women of ninety or more also spent many hours each day in physical labor - for physical fitness was an inevitable consequence of the active life of these peoples. They also ate a very low calorie diet. While the average Briton or American eats somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 calories a day, his Vilcabamban brother contents himself with a mere 1,700. Also, in all three groups, their diet was low in fats and in proteins from animal sources and high in fresh foods, a great many of them eaten raw. All of their foods were grown organically, as these people had no access to artificial fertilizers. They had never heard of sugar but ate mostly rough grains, fresh vegetables and fruits. eat less and stay young More than 80 years ago a researcher at Cornell University, Clive McCay, noticed that brook trout which were growth-retarded as a result of being underfed lived far longer than normal-sized trout. He experimented with rats to see what effect feeding them on a very low calorie diet from birth would have on their life span. He found that these animals on a calorie-deprived diet - which was carefully supplemented with nutrients so the rats did not suffer deficiencies - had increased life-spans. This was by far and away the most exciting practical discovery anybody had made in the area of how to make an animal live longer. But it was relatively useless to human beings since nobody would attempt to restrict a baby's diet in the same way from birth, because of the possible risk of brain damage. Also restricted animals are smaller than fully-fed ones and a small percentage of the restricted group tends to die very young. So for many years McCay's findings were largely ignored by those looking for concrete anti-aging methods. In the 1980s, however, a number of studies in the United States and Australia were begun into the effect of calorie restriction on life span of `middle-aged' animals - studies not begun on the animals until, in human terms, they are in their forties. One of the scientists who did much in this area was Roy Walford, a professor at the University of California Medical School and one of the world's leading experts on aging. In projects which Walford described as `undernutrition without malnutrition' - administering a diet low in calories but high in basic nutrients such as vitamins and minerals - he was able to add 40 percent to the maximum life span of mice and keep fish alive 300 percent longer than usual. underfeeding improves immune responses The exact mechanisms by which dietary restriction extends life is still largely a mystery. But researchers do know that a low-calorie-but-nutritionally-potent diet substantially improves immune system functioning - in effect, by rejuvenating it - so that signs of auto-immune responses are markedly reduced. It seems also to protect the immune system from the usual age degeneration an animal is subjected to so that its ability to combat disease and eliminate toxic materials from the body, which ordinarily declines to a level of 10 or 20 percent of what it was in youth, occurs only very slowly. Instead, the immune response of these highly nourished but underfed animals remains excellent. Their bodies, unlike those of `normal' aging animals, are able to repair much of the age-related damage that occurs at a cellular level and are prevented from turning against themselves. Restricted animals also show increased intelligence and have a much lower incidence of degenerative illness such as cancer and heart disease. What disease does occur comes only much later in the animal's life. And how great a calorie restriction appears necessary to bring about these beneficial changes? The diet of Walford's mice had been restricted by about a third of the calories they were raised on. Walford's work and the work of other scientists using calorie restriction has generated a great deal of excitement about what human beings might do now to lengthen life span and to avoid age degeneration. Many age experts have begun to recommend that healthy people who have already attained their full growth and maturity could benefit from restricting their calories to somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 calories a day (depending on how active a life you lead). But cutting down on calories is only half the formula. It just won't do to go on some slimming regime you find in a magazine, you need high-potency nutrition with it. Processed foods play no part in any such diet. The foods that you do eat have to be superbly high in nutritional value: fresh fruits and vegetables (as many as possible eaten raw), whole grain cereals and breads, pulses and seeds with very little fat and only moderate protein. Your food intake has to be balanced and no salt should be added to foods - salt is something that in animal studies has been shown to shorten life span considerably. Such a diet is, by its very nature, also high in fiber. Most experts also insist that you supplement your diet with a full complement of essential vitamins and minerals. is ageing all in the mind? Perhaps more than you might think. Psychologists have found that many of the changes that take place in our bodies and minds associated with aging depend on our `programmed expectations'. In our society it is assumed for instance that, at thirty the first wrinkles appear, at forty `middle-aged spread' sets in, and at seventy the mind begins to lose its clarity. But according to studies only 12 percent of the population has even the slightest predisposition to the kind of changes that result in senility; yet as people get older they become increasingly worried about it until they may work themselves into a kind of vicious circle of depression and anxiety which results in decline. How you age may have a lot to do with what you expect to happen. Change your expectations and that can change too. regular fasts can help too Periodic fasting of animals is another way of restricting calories which has shown itself to be useful in increasing their life span. This is a fact which I find particularly interesting because European experts on fasting have for a hundred years been saying that, done sensibly and regularly for short periods and in combination with a nutritionally excellent diet, fasting will make you live longer and reduce the incidence of illnesses. Roy Walford tended to be slightly more liberal with his own calories than sticking to a rigid 1,500 a day. But he then fasted for two days a week in order to end the week with the recommended number of calories. He claimed that a healthy normal weight adult will lose weight on such a regime but only very slowly until you are, say, about one fourth to one fifth of the weight you were when you started. Such weight loss appears to have no disadvantages (unless you fancy yourself slightly plump for aesthetic reasons) and indeed may be an important factor in the way such a calorically restricted, but nutritionally superb, regime appears to improve immune functions. And because the weight loss is so slow - it occurs in normal weight people at a rate of, perhaps, six pounds a year until they reach their `plateau' at which they remain - there is no chance of becoming flabby or tired from it. Indeed, such a regime tends to create the most extraordinary amounts of energy, according to people following it. raw power for youth A diet high in raw foods (where they make up 75 percent of the calories you eat) has quite remarkable rejuvenating abilities. It raises the micro-electric potentials of the cells, increases oxygenation and eliminates stored wastes and toxins which interfere with proper cell metabolism and cause cross-linking. It will also keep you mentally alert, make you lose excess weight and it tends to eliminate feelings of depression associated with aging. regular exercise keeps you fit Your body was made for use. When you regularly pursue an aerobic form of exercise, you help to protect your cardiovascular system from arteriosclerosis (which is otherwise inevitable) and you increase your metabolic rate, which helps protect against fat - a precursor to many degenerative diseases. Exercise also protects you from disturbances in blood sugar such as adult onset diabetes and from high blood pressure, and relieves many mental conditions often associated with age such as depression. Aerobic exercise improves circulation and optimal oxygenation of the tissues in your body - one of the most important measurements for health and vitality. exercise makes you look younger As far as good looks are concerned this increased circulation brings to your skin cells a better supply of the nutrients needed for their proper functioning. It also more efficiently carries away wastes, which can contribute to genetic damage in your cells, and to cross-linking of the collagen which produces wrinkles. Albert Kligman, one of America's leading dermatologists, believed that exercise may serve another purpose in retarding skin aging as well: if you keep yourself really fit you may lay down more fibrous proteins in the dermis, that deep layer of the skin where the structural network of collagen and elastin fibers gives strong young skin its firmness and cushiony feel. Then your face will preserve its youthful contours. Another way in which vigorous exercise helps to hold back skin aging is connected with the relationship between muscle and hormone production in the body. The amount of physical activity you get is a significant factor in maintaining optimal functioning of endocrine glands which provide hormones that are not only vital to youth and energy, but keep the skin smooth and soft in appearance. When you don't work out regularly, muscle mass declines. So does the amount of steroid hormones from the adrenals and sex glands - in direct proportion to the decrease in muscle mass, not (as was once believed) simply as a result of the aging process itself. Rebounding, swimming, dancing or running for 30 minutes or more several times a week can prevent these degenerative musculo-skeletal changes from happening and help you maintain optimal levels of hormones essential to skin softness and resiliency. When you are inactive, even for as little as 24 hours, your muscle mass starts to deteriorate. the exercise-age controversy Lounge lizards are forever congratulating themselves on the fact that they don't `waste their time' exercising. They cite well known studies which are purported to show that exercise will make you die younger. It's a great excuse. The trouble is that when you examine some of the research they refer to you find that it is all based on the popular method of examining death records of athletes - a method that is faulty in a number of ways. For instance, there was a study carried out at Michigan State University comparing 629 varsity athletes with 583 non-athletes, which showed that there was no difference in life length. Another at Harvard involving some 6,300 athletes showed that they died significantly earlier than the non-athletes. Their definition of the athlete was someone who was active athletically while at university. But the problem is that just because a man plays football or runs during his university career does not mean that he continues to exercise afterwards. Most athletes give up their training once they leave the atmosphere of the university. This was demonstrated by an interesting study carried out at University of Auckland in New Zealand. Looking at the training habits of 100 athletes out of season, Michael Colgan and his team of researchers found that only 34 of them continued training once the season finished. Studies examining the death records of former university athletes are of no use in determining what effect regular exercise has on life span. The only studies that are able to assess the effect of training on aging are those which attempt to measure how active a person is throughout his life, such as the one published in 1977 by Charles Rose and Michael Cohen from the Veterans Administration Hospital in Boston. With the help of relatives who were able to rate their level of physical activity from sedentary to very active, researchers - using the death records of 500 men - discovered that men who continued throughout their life to exercise in their leisure time lived 7.1 years longer than those whose level of activity had declined with the passing of the years. Other studies have shown that ordinary athletes who continue to exercise even as they grow old (up to 90 in some cases) show much less physical degeneration than non-athletes. They shrink in height only half as much, have a far better musculo-skeletal system, less body fat, and better heart and lung function. hydrochloric acid and aging A decline in hydrochloric acid in the stomach is a common event with the passing of the years. It results in an inability to break down proteins in your foods into their constituent amino-acids so that the body can make use of them for rebuilding tissue and making enzymes and hormones. This can be remedied by taking food supplements of HCL and digestive enzymes with meals containing protein foods. This is especially true with animal protein foods. diet, exercise and rejuvenation Not only can changing to a highly nutritious diet and getting yourself into a program of regular aerobic exercise help retard your own aging rate and make you feel great, it can also rejuvenate your whole body, quite apart from whether or not you choose to make use of any of the other anti-aging devices now available - from nutritional supplements to organic-specific antisera. Your body is not the fixed size and shape you may believe it to be. It changes slowly with use. And these changes can be for the better or for the worse. Most of your body's cells completely renew themselves so that the cells you have today are not the ones you will have five years from now. I have seen bodies and faces with flaccid muscles and loose skin be transformed in a few months by those two simple things, diet and exercise. They are far more powerful than any of the more sophisticated and more expensive rejuvenation treatments and really they will cost you nothing more than commitment and a little time.

Joyous Movement

Joyous Movement

Moving your body preserves youth and creates high-level vitality, as well as good feelings about who you are. Did you know, for example, that regular exercise is the best treatment yet devised for depression? Little wonder, since throughout evolution our bodies have been built to move. It is only in the last century that we have become sedentary ‘lounge-lizards', making ourselves vulnerable to the numerous ailments—from osteoporosis to coronary heart disease—in which lack of physical exercise is a major risk factor. Exercise can do as much good for your mind as it can your body. You might be surprised to find how simple and blissful the right kind of exercise can be. GET INTO BLISS We are told all the time, by everyone, that we should force ourselves to exercise whether we like it or not. Personally, I love exercise. But only because doing it brings me joy. I firmly believe you should never exercise out of a sense of duty, or for fear of putting on weight if you don’t. Find out what you love doing, and do it just for fun. You could swim or jog or dance for the pleasure of it Or rebound on a mini-trampoline—something that is particularly good for internal spring-cleaning. Swimming is great because it is so sensuous. But don’t make yourself swim laps. Instead, move sensuously through the water and notice the bliss your body can feel as you do. If you don’t know what exercise you enjoy, then start with a brisk walk. TAKE A WALK Brisk daily walks can be a lot of fun—but they can also be a major factor in disease-prevention, as they help keep your body clean from the inside out. They increase vitality and improve your mental state. How far? How fast? That depends on how fit you are already. Start slowly if you are not used to exercise, and then gradually—over several weeks—work up your pace to four miles an hour; that means you will be walking a mile in about 15 minutes. Walk with a sense that you are just going to allow your body to move and to experience the pleasure of being alive. Walking brings our awareness into our bodies, along with the magnificent spirit that is the essence of who you are, so you and your body feel like one. If you have young children, take them with you in a pushchair or pram. Older children can benefit as much from the exercise as you do. If the weather is bad, make sure you are all equipped with waterproofs or warm clothing. Or, if you prefer, get up early before anyone else is awake and go out by yourself (this is my favorite time for exercising). If you go out to work, carry your work-shoes with you and wear a comfortable pair of trainers. Take the bus or train to within a mile or so of your workplace and walk from there. AGE PREVENTION The latest research into age-retardation shows clearly that it is not a pill, magic potion or some glamorous and expensive youth treatment which best reverses the long and depressing list of changes that have come to be associated with aging, but simple exercise. How much regular aerobic activity you get determines the level of something called your ‘V02max’. This is the scientific term for 'maximum oxygen consumption’—the most critical measurement of your body's heart and lung performance. This measurement is something which declines steadily in most people after the age of 30—at a rate of about 1 per cent per year—simply because, unlike our primitive ancestors who remained physically active all through their lives, we lead a largely sedentary existence. As a result, we appear to age quite rapidly—we experience a decline in cardiovascular and lung fitness, we lose muscle and bone tissue, our skin wrinkles and thins, and we experience a progressive stiffening of the joints. These age-related changes appear to occur at just the rate at which our V02max declines. The good news is this: a decline in V02max is by no means inevitable. When a person of 35, 55, or even 75 moves their body regularly, this can restore V02max levels to that of someone many years younger. As this happens, energy increases and parameters such as cardiovascular fitness, heart-rate, cholesterol, and blood-lipids return to more youthful measures. Skin looks younger, high blood-pressure lowers, joints regain flexibility. Meanwhile, loss of minerals from the bones is halted, muscle-mass increases, and fat is lost; even your intelligence improves. LASTING VITALITY Physiologist J. L. Hodgson carried out a series of studies at Pennsylvania State University which showed that when an inactive 70-year-old starts a program of moderate activity he can expect, in effect, to improve his oxygen-transporting ability (V02max) by some 15 years. If then he goes on to achieve an athlete's level of conditioning, he can potentially regain 40 years of V02max and experience many of the physical and physiological effects of rejuvenation in the process. AGE REVERSAL So exceptional is the ability of regular exercise to reverse aging changes that Dr Walter Bortz, one of America’s leading scientific experts on aging, wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association that 'It seems extremely unlikely that any future drug or physician-oriented technique will approach such a benefit'. Bortz had begun studying the relationship between age-related changes and inactivity through having his own leg in a cast for six weeks. When the cast was removed the 'withered, stiff and painful leg' looked like it belonged on someone 40 years older. He found that, by almost every physiological parameter known, a lack of exercise produced bodily changes paralleling those associated with aging. Regular sustained physical activity can go a long way towards preventing and even reversing them. BLESSINGS OF MOVEMENT Herbert de Vries of the Andrus Gerontology Centre at the University of Southern California showed in a study involving more than 200 people that men and women of 60 or 70 can become as fit and energetic as people 30 years younger. 'Regular exercise quite literally turned back the clock for our volunteers,' said de Vries. And, when questioned about what they considered the greatest benefit of their regular exercise programs, his subjects most often answered “greater energy”. The fitter you are, the more energy you have. SKIN GLOWS Regular exercise—the kind you get if you do 30-45 minutes of walking, swimming, dancing, rebounding or what you love most, at least three times a week—suffuses your skin with blood, enhances lymphatic functioning, increases the ability of your body to carry oxygen and nutrients to the skin's cells, and removes waste products from them. Exercise physiologist James White at University of California, San Diego, carried out an interesting study to find out just how effective exercise might be at retarding—even maybe reversing—the effects of aging on skin. Working with older women, he compared two groups: One group on a program of rebounding using mini-trampolines, and one group of sedentary women. He discovered that the exercisers looked younger, had better skin, coloring, and fewer wrinkles than non-exercisers. White was surprised to discover that exercise even reduces bags under the eyes. With all these amazing benefits, why wouldn’t you want to get into the joy of movement today…?

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

Sacred Truth Ep. 48: Kneipp's Water Power

One of the oldest systems of natural healing in the world uses hot and cold baths and showers to increase your vitality, balance hormones, beautify skin, tone muscles, clear your mind, and vitalize your nervous system, lymphatic system, and circulation. It quickly brings you a sense of wonderful aliveness, and all the while it is dissolving, transporting, and clearing rubbish from your body and psyche. Father Sebastian Kneipp The father of all water therapies was Father Sebastian Kneipp, the Bavarian priest who first made us aware of water’s healing power. “When used appropriately,” he said, “water and herbs can cure almost every disease.” He established Bad Worishofen in Germany in 1897, a center where people all over the world came to be healed by special ice cold baths, walking barefoot in the snow, and other simple but powerful methodologies that are celebrated to this day. I first learned the secrets of water healing in my early twenties after spending many years in a state of ill health thanks to my being raised on a terrible diet. It had been based on huge bowels of breakfast cereals piled high with white sugar, horrid fast foods eaten at 5 am in truck drivers’ cafes throughout America, and a lot of other junk. No wonder I was unhealthy. However, what I learned from the generosity of some brilliant British and European doctors who practiced natural medicine turned my entire life around. This was how I came to work in, write about, and teach natural methods of healing. It is also how I came to visit Kneipp’s centers for hydrotherapy, which still continue to thrive, especially in Germany. In many ways the most important of all I learned was how powerful healing with simple water techniques can be for improving your life at any time. Let me share with you one of these techniques. Do try it and let me know how you get on. There are many more, but let’s begin with this one. Thanks to water's chemical and bioelectrical properties, and to your body's physiological and energetic responses to them, water therapy is a superb method for cleansing, energizing, and restoring great functioning to any tired or aging body. The technique of using alternating applications of hot and cold water is called “Contrast Hydros.” If you have not yet experienced the turn-on it offers, you have a real treat ahead. After a workout, athletes use hydroelectrics in the form of contrast baths and showers to strengthen the body, prevent muscular damage, and eliminate aches. Contrast hydros not only help clear wastes and vitalize but also bring nutrients and oxygen to areas of your body that need them and balance your energies, helping to protect you from stress-induced damage. Here is how Apply hot water to your whole body for three or four minutes in the form of a hot bath or shower. Follow with 30 to 60 seconds of cold water. Repeat the procedure three times. The application of cold water needs to be just long enough to make blood vessels constrict. This can take place in as little as 20 seconds. Cold water triggers your sympathetic nervous system to energize while hot water intensifies parasympathetic activity for relaxation. The combination of the two makes you feel great. It’s important that you start slowly, increasing the length of your exposure to hot and cold water gradually. If you have a separate bath and shower you can use the bath for one temperature application, the shower for the other, moving back and forth. During the summer, make your bath cold and your showers hot. During the winter, reverse this. Like any natural treatment, contrast hydros need to be followed carefully and wisely to get all the benefits they offer and to make sure no harm is done. You will probably find at first that a plunge into cold water or a cold shower is a shock to your body. Soon this will turn into an experience of total pleasure. It is always the first cold application that is the hardest. The biggest barrier to getting into cold water is a psychological one. Once you leap this hurdle you’ll find yourself eagerly looking forward to your daily treatment. Here are a few cautions: Always check with your doctor before beginning any natural treatment to make sure that it is appropriate for you. He or she may advise you not to use contrast hydros if you have any kind of heart condition, nervous disorder, high blood pressure, if you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, or suffer from hardening of the arteries. Make sure your body is warm before beginning. The room should be well heated. Don’t let your body become chilled during the treatment. If you feel yourself becoming too cold, immediately stop and get into a hot bath or shower until you warm up fully. Always begin with a hot application and end with cold. Start slowly with 2-3 minutes of hot application followed by 20 seconds of cold. As your body gets used to contrast hydros, increase the time of the cold applications up to 1 minute (even up to 2-3 minutes if you are extremely fit or an athlete). When you finish, dry your body well and dress warmly. I’d love to hear how you get on so I can share with you other hydroelectric treatments that cost virtually nothing but can be wonderfully life enhancing.

Get Energy

Get Energy

Nothing gives a woman power so much as energy. It brings a light to your eye, a glow to your skin, an edge to your personality. When you are riding a wave of energy, it seems to carry you wherever you want to go. When it crashes, it can leave you feeling lost and lumpy. Energy is elusive stuff. High energy means, more than anything else, an ability to live fully, to give of your very best and to be open to all the good things life has to offer. In many ways it is a little like being a child again, where the colors are so vivid and the world is so full of wonder. Now is the time to take a look at your own energy habits and see if maybe some of them need changing. Then, gradually, you will be able to create for yourself a high-energy lifestyle which in time will become second nature. Once you learn how to tap into the energy within yourself, once you experience how good a high-energy life style can make you feel, energy will never again be something you have to worry about. All of us have a lot more potential energy than we ever access. For most of us our natural energy lies buried deep in a sluggish body burdened with excessive toxicity, or a psyche wrestling with frustration or disappointment. Break through the barriers by making changes in how you think, eat and live to help you turn potential energy into lasting vitality. Certain underlying conditions such as food allergies, yeast overgrowths and environmental pollutants can undermine our natural energy rights. Identify the presence of any of the big energy drainers in your life, and take steps to clear them. There are tricks and treatments to help you build steady energy week after week and year after year, and to get that extra energy temporarily when you most need it. Discover for yourself the greatest energy secret of all, that living a high energy life is ultimately about learning to listen to the whispers of our own souls and to live out the truth of who we really are and what we really value. power when you need it Everyone has experienced the ability to summon up energy almost magically,  when we need it most, to cope with particularly demanding situations - the appearance of a ‘second wind'. It happens when you have been up all night nursing a sick child and thought you couldn't possibly drag up another ounce of strength. It happens when all-encompassing fatigue somehow disappears into thin air with the unexpected arrival of a much-loved friend you haven't seen for years; and when an athlete discovers he can call forth extra strength on the last lap of a long race. All of these things summon energy because, in our psyche, we ask for it right then to do what we want passionately to do. Feeling passionate about anything releases potential energy, both in immediate circumstances such as these where it is needed, and also long-term where we need energy to carry out some task we are deeply committed to, or do something we love. And living with energy has a lot to do with living with passion. The more passionately you live your life, the more energy you will generate. Do what you love, love what you do and be honest about it. Much of our energy comes from within. lifestyle energy factors But this is only half of the energy picture. The amount of vitality available to you day by day to live your life also comes from external forces - from the way you eat, exercise, deal with stress, look after your body, as well as how skillful you can become at listening to its needs and its promptings. For most of us, this doesn't happen automatically, nor does a high energy way of life. We have to learn what creates more energy in our lives and also learn to be wary of all the things which can impede it. Take toxicity in your body for instance. The build up of waste products in the cells restricts metabolic processes and depletes us of energy both biochemically - so we become more prone to illness and premature aging - and in terms of over-all stamina and vitality, or how energetic we feel subjectively. Internal pollution can also result in a great variety of unwanted conditions, from cellulite to poor skin, anxiety and degenerative conditions such as arthritis, obesity and cancer. In the highly polluted environment in which most of us live these days, our bodies tend to build up more waste than they are able to eliminate efficiently. Such a build-up suppresses our energy. It needs to be eliminated and prevented in the future. We will look closely at how to do this in chapters to come. To maximize vitality you also need to learn to manage your energies when they need managing - how to get down when you become strung up, how to stimulate vitality when it is low, and how to create stamina and sustained power that acts as a foundation of energy which you can always call on when you need it. We will take a good look at how to do this too. living high It may surprise you, but the first step towards a high energy life is not a physical one, but is a change in how you think: Begin to visualize what living with sustained energy feels like. This can be hard to do when you feel chronically fatigued, depressed and discouraged. "Will my life ever get better?" We ask ourselves. I know. I lived for many years with chronic fatigue and depression - for which doctors could find no apparent cause. I have experienced the struggle and sense of hopelessness one can feel. In fact,in a very real way, those years helped shape the values of my life and set me on the road to learning, writing, and broadcasting on health - because nobody seemed able to help me, I began to look for my own answers. What I learned did help me and I went on to share it with others through books, television, videos and workshops. shift your perspective Our culture teaches us that all phenomena in the Universe, even life itself, are no more than a complex, yet explicable, series of chemical and physical reactions devoid of any unseen organizing principle. Such a worldview has its limitations. We tend to favor the notion that man's task is to ‘harness nature' for his own ends - and then are appalled at the results. Such a materialistic worldview has contributed to a sense of human alienation expressed in our art, literature, and in destructive social behavior. It is also responsible in no small part for our flagging energy. For we often tend to dissipate ourselves trying to fulfill all sorts of roles and follow all sorts of rules imposed on ourselves from outside. We are told that we need to go to the gym to give us more energy, and also that we need to eat the latest ‘healthy' margarine promoted by the food industry. We are urged to do our jobs well, no matter what distractions or restrictions we may have, and we feel we need to keep going to meet all our deadlines however much our bodies may be telling us we need to stop and rest. We have also been conditioned by a culture that affirms the value of altruism and insists that one should forget oneself in constant service and self-sacrifice to others. If you are serious about wanting more energy, you need to make a shift in how you think about yourself and your life. Gaining more energy is not simply a case of changing a few seemingly unrelated things in your life, it is a change in attitude and lifestyle that follows a simple yet powerful personal choice: The choice to support your body and mind in the best possible ways. Once you make such a choice, then you can begin to make positive changes towards creating more energy. As you do you will also find other positive changes taking place, and still more, as the greater access to energy in one area of your life allows you to deal more clearly with fatigue in another.

Why You Should Climb Rocks

Why You Should Climb Rocks

The first time I climbed a rock was 35 years ago. I was terrified. I was the only woman on an all men Outward Bound course for top executives, which purported to teach them to work better as a team in the corporate world. The course was run by a ruthless retired Major from the SAS. He was also a Scottish Rugby International with an ego to match. TESTS AND MORE On the first day, each participant had to choose from one of three activities that he would follow for the week—canoeing, underwater diving or climbing. I rejected diving and canoeing, since neither posed a challenge to me. I carelessly opted for rock climbing. Whatever activity one chose, the course demanded that we accomplished a series of personal tests. These became more and more severe as the week went on, culminating in an all-day challenge which was a bit like a grail quest. All challenges were team challenges. On the final day, the grand quest involved doing something over the water (which the canoeists did), under the water (which the divers did) and, for us climbers, scaling a pinnacle of rock high above the trees, towering above the river—a place, we were told, where “only men and gods dared go.” DAY ONE Having opted for rock-climbing on the afternoon of that first day, I stood at the foot of a spiky rock surrounded by 10 men who had made the same choice as I had. Most of them were none too happy to have a woman as part of their team—something that did not inspire self-confidence in me at the challenge that lay ahead. Our climbing tutor turned out to be a muscular creature with a voice as gorgeous as Richard Burton and a caustic sense of humor. I later found out that, in addition to being accomplished at rock climbing, he was also the director of an adventure center in the wilds of Wales, as well as an expert at mountaineering and orienteering. His name was Graham Jones. Graham stood in shorts with legs spread and hands on his hips at the top of the rock and shouted to us below, “Which one of you is going to go first?” My male colleagues shuffled around, looking down at their feet. They failed to respond to Graham’s demand. Meanwhile, I was trying to deal with contempt from other members of my team at being forced to work with a woman. Far more important, I was frozen with fear. This made me blurt out, “I’ll go first.” “OK,” shouted Graham, “get moving.” MY CHALLENGE I started up the rock. I had no idea if I’d ever get to the top. I had to grab onto any little crevice I encountered with the tips of my fingers. Then, instinctually, I began to move the way a spider does, reaching out with hand or foot, pulling up, sliding over, reaching out again. I completely stopped thinking; it felt far too dangerous to think. At that point, I discovered something amazing: When you are crawling over a rock face, stresses concerning anything else in your life vanish. Mental chatter goes silent. There is only your body and the rock face. It is one of the most exciting relationships I have ever formed with anything or anyone… A simple, authentic freedom develops that cannot be described. It can only be lived. When I got to the top, Graham was waiting. The scowl he’d worn looking down at us from the top of the rock was now gone. He was grinning like a wicked child. Without warning, he handed me a rope woven through a stitch plate. The other end of the rope was tied to the belt of one of the men standing below. This guy was big—maybe 90 kg—rotund and awkward. “Wrap the rope around your waist,” Graham told me. “Put it over your shoulder then hold while he climbs.” “There’s no way I can hold this guy.” I said, and began to tremble. “Climb,” shouted Graham to the man below. “We don’t have all day.” I did the best I could to tighten the rope through the stitch plate in my hand as the man got closer. Halfway up, the guy did come off the rock. I held on for dear life. To my amazement, I found I could hold him without difficulty. Of course, what I did not know is that Graham had also tied me to a tree so even if I had failed in my belaying duties, neither he nor I were in any real danger. Like a lot of outdoor activities, provided it is done right, the danger of climbing is an illusion. For a beginner, this illusion is essential to make it a worthwhile activity. Complete trust in your instructor is as essential as the illusion of fear. You cannot leap into the process until you are confident that your instructor knows what he is doing. THE VALUE OF FALSE DANGER Rock climbing can feel like the most frightening thing you can do. Such beginner’s fear is of great value. Enduring it can ultimately breed confidence. In reality, skilful rock climbing puts much more emphasis on mental and emotional strength than on physical prowess. Because of this, I think it may well be the most valuable of all outdoor sports activities. Most of us could make a list a mile long of things we are unable to do. Rock climbing has a remarkable way of shortening that list tremendously. Anybody who has scaled 100 feet of sheer rock straight up rapidly comes to know there is little one can’t accomplish, if one sets one’s mind to it. Most climbers will agree that rock climbing is far more than a mere sport. It is a perpetual challenge to climb better, faster, and with more agility than before. Soon, you develop more skills than you ever imagined you’d have. This special relationship develops between you and the rock: A sense of closeness and friendship. Once established, you begin to experience the most extraordinary sense of “flowing over” the rock—almost like a dance. This relationship demands all of your attention. This is how, while you are on the rock face, there can be nothing on your mind except how you are going to make the next move, find your way, keep going. It’s an experience which somehow sets your spirit free. I had never dreamed that I could get to the top of the rock. Graham taught me how to do it. You put one hand or one foot in front of the other. You care only about one step at a time. A journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step. By the way, all the men in our team who had treated me scornfully that first day had elected me leader of the team three days later. When the final day’s holy grail task took place, our team not only won the much sought-after grail prize. We achieved the highest number of points ever given to any team in the history of the organization. Miracles can happen! TRANSFORMING LIVES My experiences rock climbing, and later climbing mountains, are by no means unique. Deprived children who have never set foot out of the city have similar experiences and are rewarded with similar self-transcendence. The main difference between you and them is that you will be aware of what is going on, while they just blindly follow. Yet they, too, transcend themselves as we do. Rock climbing seems a dangerous sport, and because of its inherent dangers, safety rules and equipment are excellent. Provided you use them, you are safer on the rock face than you would be on the motorway. Yet there is something about the feeling of danger when you are climbing a rock or abseiling down from the edge of a cliff that is very valuable in terms of breaking through self-perceived limitations. You are safe, and yet you are presented in an immediate way with the idea of death. TAKE A COURSE You do not have to be fit to begin climbing. Take it slowly, climb regularly and you will rapidly gain skills and become fit. Sheer face climbing requires skill more than brute force. To learn, you can either join a club or go on a course where a guide teaches you. The best climbing gear is a pair of riding breeches with long socks, although a pair of straight-legged jeans or trousers will do just as well in the beginning. The equipment itself—ropes, belts, helmets and shoes—is usually supplied by the course. You’ll never know how much rock climbing or mountaineering can do for you until you try it. The exercise you’ll get is invaluable for toning muscles, improving skin and bringing you a new sense of vitality, whatever your age. Equally important, it can take you away from your everyday problems. You find yourself faced with totally different, unknown and unforeseen tasks to accomplish. I also love the way there is no competition involved in rock climbing. The only thing you are working against is yourself—bettering previous attempts, becoming more skilled, gaining more confidence in your judgment and yourself. This alone is what matters. There are very few areas in anybody’s life where you can say that. Try it. You may well come to love it as much as I have, no matter what your age.

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!

Get Going

Get Going

Nothing produces a holiday high like the right kind of exercise. Exercise is a major detoxifier. It sheds waste and lifts your spirits. And the best kind is the kind you like best. The days of donning pink leg-warmers and busting a gut at the gym because it is supposed to be good for you are over. Exercise is an important key in the detoxification process, as it gets your lungs working and your lymphatic system moving. During atwo-day apple fast you need to take some exercise, but only gentle exercise. Long walks are perfect. You do not want to put extra stress on your body by wearing it out with a stiff workout or long run. If you exercise regularly and are pretty fit, then go for a long brisk walk. If exercise is something you would rather not think about, let alone do, indulge yourself in a couple of long lazy strolls in the park or in the country to get your lungs and lymph working efficiently. Once your apple fast is over, to help your body to remain as free of toxins as possible, you need to take some regular exercise. walk it out Regular aerobic exercise (where your heart is beating firmly and you breathe deeply over a period of 30-45 minutes) is essential. It increases your body’s ability to process oxygen – and a high consumption of oxygen keeps your energy high, and keeps you looking and feeling good. Moreover, exercise can do as much good for your mind as it can your body. And, just in case you think you have to become a marathon runner, you may be surprised to find our how simple real fitness can be. Brisk daily walks can not only be a lot of fun, they can help keep your body clean from inside out. Start slowly if you are not used to exercise and then gradually – over several weeks if necessary – work up your pace to four miles an hour. This means you will be walking a mile in about 15 minutes. Once you can do that easily you will be able to walk, say, three miles a day in 45 minutes and you’ll be getting a very pleasant but effective workout, which will bring you lots of energy and have you feeling great. Of course, there are other alternatives as well – you could swim or jog or skip or row. But each of these requires special equipment and special places or times to do, whereas walking can be done almost anywhere by anyone without any special training and without spending extra money. rebound madness Rebounding – bouncing up and down on a mini-trampoline – is tremendous, childish fun. This is probably reason enough to do it, but it is also excellent exercise to help with detoxification. The unique up-and-down movement of your body on a mini-trampoline subjects it to changes in gravitational force. For a split second at the top of the bounce, gravity or G-force is nonexistent. But at the bottom of each bounce, as you come down upon the elastic platform, the pull of gravity on your cells, muscles and tissues is suddenly increased by two or even three times the usual G-force on the earth. On the way up, gravity closes up the millions of one-way valves which control the flow of lymph. Then when you come down again onto the trampoline the internal pressure changes quickly and dramatically, causing them to open and bringing about a surge of lymph, so you set up an internal massaging motion which shunts lymph along. Rebounding is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to exercise at home, no matter what their fitness level. It’s particularly good for anyone who is embarrassed by the idea of going out in running gear or going to the gym. Unlike many in-the-home exercise options, rebounding has a particularly high continued use success rate, probably because it is so much fun. It gets your mind and body working and seems to raise spirits like nothing else I have ever come across. I often use it for 10 minutes or so when I’m feeling fatigued or stressed. Begin bouncing gently so that your heels barely leave the ground. If you feel unsteady, use the back of a chair to support yourself with one arm as you bounce. You might like to bounce to music or even while watching television. As an alternative to bouncing with both feet together, try jogging from one foot to the other. Begin with 10-15 minutes a day and work up to 30 minutes or so as your strength increases. how much? how long? Regular physical exercise – the kind you get if you do 45 minutes of brisk walking, swimming, running, rebounding or rowing at least four or five times a week – suffuses the skin with blood, enhances lymphatic functioning, and increases the ability of your body to carry oxygen and nutrients to the skin’s cells and to remove waste products from them. Always leave no more than 48 hours between sessions, so that you will continue to benefit from the enhanced metabolic rate. Just in case you think you don’t have time, I can promise you once you start you will create more time for yourself because everything in your life will flow more easily. When you notice the benefits that a sustained exercise routine brings, you will find your body craving for more. But more is not necessarily better. Exercise to help elimination needs to be rhythmical and continuous, to use large muscle groups and to be performed at an intensity and frequency that increases your heart input only to 60 percent of maximum heart rate (MHR) – never more. How do you work out what that means for you? Simple. First take your own pulse. Place three fingers along the artery at the wrist until you feel the steady beat of your heart. Then, using a watch with a second hand, count how many times your heart beats while the second hand records six seconds passing. Multiply the number of times your heart beat in this period and multiply by 10. This gives you how many times per minute your heart is beating. Once you know how to do this it is easy to calculate the rest. To discover your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. Then multiply this figure by 0.6. This will give you your target heart rate. For instance, if you are 40 years old: Maximum heart rate = 220 – 40 = 180 beats per minute. 180 beats per minute X 0.6 = 108 beats per minute. get going Any form of sustained aerobic exercise which gets your heart beating at your target heart rate is ideal for minimizing the build up of wastes in your system, for releasing wastes that are already stored in your tissues, and for burning any excess fat. Begin slowly with only 15-20 minutes of exercise at a time. Remember to check on your heart rate at least twice during every exercise session and adjust your activity accordingly when it goes more than 10 beats above or below your target heart rate. You need to judge how long is right for you by checking on how fatigued you feel one hour after exercising. That is the best indication of whether or not you are working with your body’s own rhythms and needs. If you find yourself fatigued an hour after exercising, then you are overdoing it. So pull back until your body is ready for a higher dose of activity. Exercising too hard or too long can actually produce more waste for your body to get rid of. Choose between dancing freely to any music you like, swimming, rebounding, running, cycling or walking briskly. Walking is the easiest of all since you can do it anywhere. Walk to and from work, climb stairs instead of using the lift – it’s all good exercise and half the time you won’t even notice you are doing it.

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.

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 16th of January 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

-1.31 lb
for women
-1.13 lb
for men
-1.31 lb
for women
-1.13 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 16th of January 2020 (updated every 12 hours)

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