Exercise and Good Nutrition Should Never Be Complicated
Ever since I was 13 years old, I have been interested in fitness and nutrition. I began weight-lifting at that age because my physique was very thin, and I got tired of “sand being kicked in my face”. Not long after the interest in a muscle-building routine, I learned that proper nutrition helped to build bigger, stronger muscles. So I studied health and nutrition via magazines and newsletters. I drank weight gain shakes to help with bulking-up. I took wheat grass tablets and Spirulina before most anyone I knew had ever heard of it. “Wheat what ... spear who?” was the reaction from nearly everyone. Other health supplements followed; some were good, some were garbage — a fair amount of money spent, but I was passionate about weight training and the results it ultimately produced. And the early education about nutrition is valuable knowledge I still have with me today.
At age 48, I still read about exercise and nutrition nearly every day. A lot of what the media has told us has been wrong; what they said was bad for our health 20 years ago turns out that they were presenting misleading information. Intentionally or unintentionally, I don’t know. Always question whatever people tell you (even me). My motto is very simple: question everything. And this is what I have done. Even a lot of the fitness information that has been “fed” to us is not totally accurate, in my view. You may have heard that you must do a cardio work out for a minimum of 20 minutes for your workout to be worthwhile. I believe that working out for 10 minutes every single day is more beneficial than working out for an hour three days per week. It’s amazing how powerful a daily half-mile or one-mile walk is for your body and mind.
For your body to perform that way it is designed to perform, it is important to get raw fruits and vegetables into your system every day. I have found juicing to be a good shortcut in achieving this goal. Every day I drink a mix of beet, ginger, spinach, turmeric and wheat grass. Sometimes I’ll add carrot, pineapple or passion fruit to the mix to neutralize the pungent taste. If you simply don’t have the time or desire to juice, at the very least take a whole foods supplement that is based on raw fruits and vegetables. If it has added minerals, that’s an even bigger bonus. Where there’s a will there’s a way, so there are always alternatives to getting good nutrition.
Keep in mind that if your body isn’t nourished properly, it will begin to breakdown prematurely. It is interesting to note that a “dog year” is considered seven years. This adage was formed many decades ago, and it came about because humans lived to be about 70 years of age, and dogs lived to be about 10, on average. A 7:1 ratio. These days there are a lot of dog foods on the market that have added vitamins and minerals, and many of them are much better than the commercial dog foods from ages ago. Because of this, dogs (depending on the breed) are living to be 15 and sometimes 20 years of age, while humans still live to be about 70, maybe 80 years if we're lucky. People have been taking better care of their dogs than of themselves.
If you’re into intense and longer workouts such as training for a half-marathon, marathon or the Ironman triathlon; proper nutrition is even more important. Supplementing with broad-spectrum minerals is crucial for athletes who workout and sweat a lot. Sweating is great for healthy skin, but minerals are lost this way, so it’s important to replenish them through supplementation. If you’re into racing competitions, drinking beet juice 30-minutes before the event has been shown to increase speed and performance. And this goes for weight training: drinking beet juice (aka beetroot) can increase muscle size and strength if taken regularly.
I don’t know if you’re a seasoned athlete or if you’re just getting into the fitness and nutrition world, but the bottom line is— making even small workout and health changes can lead to big, positive changes not far down the road.