Feeling Divine in 2009
By Rebecca Rovay-Hazelton
Every time you eat, drink, sleep, brush your teeth or take a shower, you have the opportunity to make a choice that will improve your health. Most of these daily routines are unavoidable so it makes sense to get the most out of your effort.
Since you are going to eat anyway, pick the best foods for your body! How? Find out your Metabolic Type! Metabolic Typing is a nutritional roadmap catered to each individual. Each family member can find out what their unique body needs to look and feel their best! Metabolic Typing will help you understand which foods are healthy for you and which ones aren't--some perfectly good foods may make it hard for your child to concentrate in school, contribute to behavioral problems, or, for you, make you feel sluggish at work and unable to maintain a healthy body weight. Metabolic Typing not only helps you establish which foods are best for you, it also clues you in to the right ratios of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to eat at each meal.
Getting plenty of filtered water each day keeps both your inside and outside supple. Carrying around a water bottle with you is a great reminder to drink enough water (half of your body weight in ounces).
Are you getting exercise daily? Even small amounts of daily activity do wonders for your energy, mood, self-esteem, and body. For a well-rounded exercise routine, make sure you are getting aerobic/cardiovascular exercise, strength training/weight bearing exercise, and flexibility training. Our bodies need all three to be healthiest. For cardio, your workout can be as simple as walking at a brisk pace or riding your bike to work.
Other great forms of cardio are exercise classes at gyms, such as Kickboxing, Zumba (aerobic Latin dance blended with Hip Hop and martial arts), or Spinning (group cycling). If group classes aren't your thing, hop on a treadmill, bike, Stairmaster or elliptical trainer. Variety is key for preventing boredom. It is also a good idea to have several forms of exercise that you can do year round so that you don't fall off the wagon. A common mistake people make is to pick an outdoor exercise when the weather is nice without having a backup plan for cold or rainy weather. When you set your New Year's Resolution, be sure it includes activities that can be done rain or shine!
For strength training, try a Bodysculpting class that uses free weights along with cardio exercise. Again, if group classes aren't for you, then you can workout solo either at home or at a gym. Free weights are great because they train your deep, stabalizer muscles as well as your large muscle groups. Strength training machines can also be used. A great way to strengthen your body that you can do anywhere is exercises like squats, pushups, and tricep dips.
Set a reasonable goal for yourself of one to three strength-training sessions per week. If you find that you are falling behind on your workouts, take immediate action. Recruit a friend or family member to work out with you and/or hire a trainer to be your health liaison.
Do you have chronic pain? Do you have one leg that seems shorter than the other or a hip that is higher than the other? How your load bearing joints line up with one another is essential to the overall health of your body. People have unnecessary surgeries and joint replacements every day that will do them little else besides buying them some time between the next surgery. Uncovering the root of the problem will prevent the joints from wearing out unevenly over time. My favorite approach to body alignment is The Egoscue Method (www.egoscue.com). Through a series of gentle exercises and stretches, you can re-educate your body and prevent pain and dysfunction. Contact me for a postural assessment. Other great ways to help your body re-align itself is body work (deep tissue massage or Rolfing). Yoga is a wonderful addendum to any of these suggestions.
Your skin detoxifies about 30% of all the toxins eliminated by your body. Wear clothing that breathes, use high-quality natural ingredients for soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and deodorant. You may not think that these little things matter, but when applied daily or even multiple times every day, they matter a lot! We are very lucky in Santa Cruz to have no shortage of quality body-care products. Go to any local health food store and ask a knowledgeable staff member to help you make a healthy selection.
Get your beauty sleep!
If you do everything else "right" and still don't get 5-8 hours of sleep per night, you will not look or feel your best. Some tips for winding down in the evening are: deep breathing, meditation. Listening to calming music, or writing in your journal so you can shut your mind off when your head hits the pillow.
For a healthy, successful new year, use the suggestions in this article to come up with a foolproof plan for making 2009 the year you reach your health goals.
For more information about Metabolic Typing or a postural assessment visit www.rebecca4fitness.com. Rovay-Hazelton is a Licensed CN (Certified Nutritionist) and a Certified Personal Trainer and Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant. She works with a wide array of clients at Toadal Fitness.