A 4 Step Plan to Get Back in Shape

It’s somewhat ironic that we live in an advanced civilization but still suffer distressing health issues that have increased our capacity to become hopelessly out-of-shape. Today, a healthy person who is in great shape is not the norm, but the exception. It’s time to ask ourselves the hard questions when being out-of-shape is the new normal.

Perhaps we’re out-of-shape because we’re working too long at a sedentary job where we’re overwhelmed and overworked and also feel underpaid and underappreciated. Perhaps it’s the potato chips we eat as we go comatose in front of the television as a way to comfort ourselves after another hard day at work. Or perhaps, it’s the existential angst we feel because we find ourselves marginalized by an indifferent world. Whatever the reason, no matter how justified it might be, we have become successful at undermining our own health and well-being.

Here are 4 key steps you can take to get healthy again — both physically and mentally– and stay that way:

Step # 1: Challenge your bad habits.

There isn’t much point in running on a treadmill if you’re wheezing from your addiction to tobacco or pumping iron if you follow up with an evening of heavy drinking. Often willpower isn’t enough to overcome an addiction because of the intense withdrawal symptoms you’ll experience when you quit. The best solution for any type of substance addiction is to seek help from a detox center in your city. If for example, you live in Southern California, a Hollywood detox center can help you quit with a medically-assisted detox treatment for coping with withdrawal.

Step # 2: Calm down and destress.

Einstein once said that you can’t solve a problem from the same level of thinking that created it. This bit of wisdom is apropos for someone who feels overwhelmed by life’s problems. You can’t solve your problems if you’re deeply upset by them. The only way you can solve them is after you experience a different state of mind and can look at them somewhat objectively. How do you attain this state? While there are many techniques for stress management, meditation has proven particularly effective in creating peace of mind. Interestingly enough, new research suggests that meditation affects your DNA, programming your body to stay younger. By reducing how much you worry (cognitive stress) and decreasing your fight-or-flight response (stress arousal), you decrease cortisol (the steroid stress hormone). As a result, you increase positive mood and this promotes the maintenance of your telomeres. Telomeres are at the tips of your chromosomes, the double-spiraled threads in your DNA. The healthier they are, the younger you’ll look and feel.

Step # 3: Create a comprehensive exercise program.

What exactly do you have to do to get back in shape?

In terms of exercise, you should follow four types of exercise:

First, do cardiovascular exercise for aerobic conditioning. For instance, you could jog on a rebounder.

Second, do strength training for muscular development. For instance, you could do calisthenics or lift weights.

Third, do stretching to benefit your tendons, ligaments, and muscles. For instance, you could do Hatha yoga.

Fourth, do core strengthening exercises to build the muscles along your spine that are part of your abdomen and pelvis. While it’s pretty obvious why you need to improve your heart and lungs, enhance your strength, and increase your flexibility, you might be a little puzzled what role core strengthening exercises have in improving your physical health. Since your core muscles support your abdomen, as well as your pelvic floor, they help you keep an upright posture, balance your movements, and make your aerobic and strength building movements more powerful and efficient.

Step # 4. Develop a new lifestyle. 

The best way to ensure your health and well-being is to improve your level of nutrition. Since many foods don’t have all the micronutrients you need, like vitamins and minerals and antioxidants, you may need to also have a supplement program. Think of supplements as an insurance plan to compensate for any nutrients that you might not be getting from your regular meals. Besides eating properly, it’s important to do things that promote rest and relaxation, as well as get sufficiently deep and restorative sleep every night.

Fortunately, regardless of what is going on around you, you always have free will; and this means you can always choose to be proactive about your health and well-being whenever we’re ready to improve the quality of your life.

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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