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Summer Guide to a Better Body and Mind

Improve your body and mind by following these guidelines:

 

TRAINING Strengthen your tendons and bones and develop lean muscles with resistance training. Resistance training, which includes exercising with free weights, machines, bodyweight movements and calisthenics, should be performed a minimum of two times per week at moderate to high intensities. We recommend three to five sessions lasting from 30 to 60 minutes for beginner and intermediate fitness practitioners. Advanced practitioners spend upwards of ten hours per week fine-tuning their physiques for maximum performance and aesthetic gains. Lengthen, move and recover like an athlete. Flexibility and mobility training keep our bodies supple and reduces risk of injury from daily activities and sports. To maintain our muscles, tendons and ligaments ready for action we should take advantage of all the techniques at our disposal including foam rolling, stretching, massage, vibration therapy, percussion therapy, cold-water plunges or showers, sauna, cryotherapy, trigger point and systems that develop length and strength simultaneously such as yoga and Pilates. Increase energy and stamina with aerobic and anaerobic training. Cardio workouts divide into steady pace sessions (aerobic) and interval training (anaerobic). We should do be doing both. For beginners we recommend starting with steady pace sessions lasting anywhere between 15 to 45 minutes. Intermediate fitness trainees should begin to experiment with intervals and eventually make this format their primary source of cardio. Good examples of classes that follow this format are Cycle, HITT and Fit Camps. For advanced trainees, aerobic sessions will most likely be considered recovery workouts. The exception would be when training for endurance. Another way to think about anaerobic or interval training are bursts. To play with burst training, simple add faster periods of activity to your steady pace session. For instance, ten minute steady pace, one minute fast, five minutes steady, one fast, repeat.

 

NUTRITION Fuel your body and mind with nutrient rich foods from reliable sources. The foods we eat shape every part of our bodies, including our brains. To maintain physical leanness and mental brightness we should base our diets on high quality plant and animal foods prepared in the healthiest way possible to take advantage of every nutrient. A high performance diet is high in vegetables, lean sources of plant and animal proteins and consumes a discretionary amount of fruits and healthy fats. Buying local and organic foods is a growing trend led by the health conscious consumer. Take advantage of the AIMS Food Sensitivity Test that we offer at our office to determine which foods your body is sensitive to! Hydrate like a King/Queen. Drink water as soon as you wake up. The body wakes up in a dehydrated state, including your brain. Staying hydrated is important at all times during the day. We recommend keeping a water bottle near you at all times and take sips regularly during the day. This habit helps the body flush toxins, energizes the body and brain and helps reduce food cravings. As a bonus, add electrolyte solutions to water. Dehydration produces physical fatigue, muscle cramping and a reduction in functions of all systems and organs of the body. Say No to Added Sugar. The easiest way to lose weight and increase mental clarity is to reduce sugar consumption. This compound is pernicious and ubiquitous. We have to read labels and educate ourselves to reduce our sugar intake. Here a list of “healthy” foods that can contain high amounts of sugar: low fat yogurt, sports drinks, protein bars, bottled smoothies, breakfast cereals and bars, iced tea, fruit juice, flavored coffee and granola. Eat foods with added sugars to indulge only as they damage our hearts and brains. Supplements add a star (or two) to your diet. Supplements are your diet’s insurance policy. In a perfect world, we will consume all the nutrients we need from foods every day of the week. While this is an attainable goal, it is a very challenging one as well. We need a complete profile of macronutrients and micronutrients, including minerals, vitamins, enzymes, probiotics, and prebiotics to maximize our physical and mental potential. Just like with foods, when choosing a supplement brand it is important to ensure that they are using natural, high quality ingredients. Consulting your doctor or a nutritionist is always a good idea. The most common supplements are protein powders, which helps assist muscle recovery, multivitamins, probiotics, and prebiotics, which assist with gut health. Other supplements raising in popularity for those who specifically look to maintain brain health are ones containing ginkgo biloba or huperzine A.

 

MINDSET If success was a boxing match, habits KO motivation on the third round. The most important factor determining fitness success is regular workout continuity. To build this essential habit we recommend the following:

A. Schedule your workouts at consistent dates and times.

B. Do not skip sessions. Not a 100%? Do a 30% workout. It is exactly 30% better than no workout.

C. Establish mini goals. Workouts are full of numbers, which give opportunities to keep score and play games. Lifting more weight, doing more reps, doing more sets, progressing to a more difficult exercise, performing more difficult intervals or adding more distance to a steady pace session are a few examples. Keep things interesting, only the imagination is the limit when it comes to establish goals in fitness. This game is as long as life.

D. Seek accountability. A coach, a partner, a friend, a community or all of the above.

Stay on target by surrounding yourself with people that will keep you going. Meditate to increase awareness and improve well-being. Meditation is practiced not only by yogis and monks but also by top performers in sports and business. Among the scientifically proven benefits are: increased immune function, brain gray matter and cortical thickness, decreased intracellular inflammation which fuels chronic disease, reduced anxiety, depression and pain and improved focus, attention, memory and our ability to multitask. No time to meditate? Wake up five minutes earlier. Understand the importance of wellness in your life. The smartphone is one of the most amazing advances in technology of all time. A computer in the palm of our hands that allow us to connect with the world using a multitude of platforms. However, it is useless when it runs out of battery. Your physical training, adequate rest, recovery, and smart nutrition are the battery needed to power you. As a rule, invest ten times more effort taking care of your body than your house, car, and boat combined. Be the healthiest, fittest version of yourself that you can be now. The ROI is in every cell that makes you.

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