Dr. Cerami is pleased to introduce our guest blogger this month, Lisa Menninger. Lisa has been his running coach and friend since she moved here from Chicago four years ago. She is an extremely gifted person with talents that go far beyond run coaching. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her heart-felt article this month talking about care for yourself.
Being healthy isn’t just about what you eat or just about exercise.
Being healthy is a mindset and a way of life. It informs your choices and predicates the framework of your life.
It stops being about your waistline or the size of your butt and instead becomes an issue of respect; by you, for you. How do I want to treat myself each day?
Healthy means treating yourself with care, kindness and respect. When you do this, you feel good. That feeling supports the desire to continue to make choices that keep you feeling well. You feel balanced. Even-keeled. Peaceful. And when life throws tough things your way, you can manage them with thought and care.
When you feel good you don’t often engage in disrespectful behaviors that can pull you away from this kind of self-care. It’s not worth it and you make choices not to do that to yourself. You instead choose to do things that are in-line with the goals, feelings and actions of your healthy life and body. Therefore, treating yourself with care and respect self-perpetuates.
The human body is an incredible and intelligent machine. It’s complex and sophisticated and when we treat it with care and respect, it runs remarkably well.
Preventable illness makes up 90% of healthcare costs. Most of what our hospitals see is cancer, heart disease and diabetes. These illnesses and the resulting complications are, statistically, a result of poor health choices. If we disrespect the body, over time it will break down and develop “dis – ease”.
Treating the body with respect does not require yeoman’s work or a letter-perfect diet to keep it well and strong. It just requires we give it what it needs FIRST.
So what do we need to do? Simple steps.
- Long-burning fuels of fiber (fruit, vegetables and whole grains) and lean proteins, eating 3 meals and 2 snacks each day. A fist is a portion. 3-4 fists (one of each of the above) is a meal.
- Eat regularly – every 3-4 hours, so the body doesn’t get overly hungry and you lose the ability to make good choices.
- Exercise to keep the heart – the foundation of all wellness in the body – strong and optimally functioning. Include intervals once or twice a week to strengthen the heart further. Lift weights a few times a week to maximize and promote strength in the muscles and bones.
- Allow for proper recovery and maintain the body with massage, chiropractic adjustment and wellness check-ups with your doctor.
- Sleep to keep the immune system strong, the brain sharp and the body rested.
- Hydrate so the body can work effectively, from digestion to muscle movement.
Choosing to consciously do the things listed is the key to respectful, balanced, healthy living and it is achieved through practice. We can pay attention to our thoughts and decide how we would like to behave, rather than just reacting. This allows us to stay in charge of the body and mind, promoting self-respecting choices and kind and compassionate treatment of ourselves.
Be respectful to yourself and your body. Be grateful for it’s incredible sophistication. Treat it with care. You will feel good and the odds are greater it will be here for you, well and healthy, for years and years to come.
Lisa Menninger (www.lisamenninger.com) coaches running, cycling and triathlon in Salt Lake City both privately and in a group setting . Her SLC training group just started another session! For details, email Coach Lisa at email@example.com.