October 24, 2012

Getting It Together

Do you feel icky, overwork, exhausted? Do you want to feel better but don't know where to start. Here are some tips. I know sometimes it's hard to actually get started when you feel like a mess so go get your hair cut and buy yourself a new pair of sweats to work out in.

It's time to get it together or back together whichever the case may be. Remember this is not medical advice by any means just helpful hints. You'll need to start a journal if you don't all ready have one.

Week 1

Time Management. Are you continually out of time? Are you exhausted because of all the running around you do? Well then-
  • Start a Time Log:
    List the time and what you did. List everything you did from the time you got up until the time you go to sleep and the duration. I know this takes time too but its a good way to really see what you did. Keep records for at least two days, a week is even better. Then review your list and see what things you could have combined or eliminated.
  • Time Savers:
    Be firm with yourself as well as others. No means no. Be decisive at work and at home.
  • Time Wasters:
    Watching the TV just because it is on, gossip in any form, telemarketers (be polite but quickly say No thank you and hang up don't let them waste your time. WAITING we wait for everything, don't we? While the water boils empty the dishwasher, while waiting for friend read that book, etc.
  • Sleep Management:
    How are you sleeping? Do you feel rested in the morning?
    A lot of research has shown that a catnap during the day can do wonders for your health, just 10-20 minutes. Don't sleep longer than that even if you want to it will throw off your nighttime sleep schedule and you will actually feel worse. Use an alarm if you need too. This is easy to say, but when you have kids that is usually out so take some downtime. Do some relaxation exercises, stretching, neck rolls, or meditation.
  • Nighttime sleep:
    If you are restless with lots of stuff on your mind, write it down on a piece of paper to get it off your mind. This includes making a list of what you need to do the next day. Try not to sleep late this is another wrecker of how you will feel through the day. Crack the window for fresh air. Don't linger in bed; get up once you wake up.
Week 2
Step one: Self-assessment, physical a appearance
Okay this can be a big project (inner self, outer self, and values) so well just look at the outer self here. Open your journal. Your first entry will be your measurements, yes measurements. At the end of each week record your progress.
  • weight
  • bust
  • waist, just above your belly button
  • gut (that part between your waist and hips)
  • hips, the widest part
  • thighs, the thickest part
  • BMI (wt/ht2),*
  • WHR**
  • energy levels, your personal assessment
*BMI=Body Mass Index
The BMI is associated with body fat by calculating your height to weight ratio. This is your weight divided by your height squared. Yikes math! Here is an online converted for you. (This site also has more information on BMIs.)

This is an international classification for BMIs
  • under 20 = underweight, you should consider putting on some weight
  • 20-25 acceptable weight range, you don't need to diet if you think you do exercise might be what you really need to tone and shape
  • 25-30 overweight
  • 30-40 obese (extremely overweight)
  • over 40 very obese (life threatening)
~~~It is important to note that a BMI greater than 25 is not necessary be due to weight rather it may be due to muscle tone, as in athlete. Children's BMI are different and do not apply here.

**WHR= Waist to Hip Ratio
The goal of this ratio is to determine your body type. People tend to store fat in one of two ways in what we called pear and apple shapes. A pear person stores fat around their hips and buttocks while and apple person stores their fat around the middle. Carrying excess body fat around your middle has more health risks associated with it. Body types are inherited and cannot be changed. What can be changed is your work out regime and diet.

Divide your waist by your hip measurement.
Women with a WHR greater than 0.85 (men greater than 1.0) are apples.
Women with a WHR less than 0.85 (men less than 1.0) are pears.

Now you have the facts.

Step two: Self-assessment, nutrition
Remember those meals when we are as kids? There was always a slab of meat, potatoes, creamed corn and boiled (to-death) green peas. Okay, possible balanced but not too tasty, (unless you where one of the lucky ones). I think this lead to the downfall of most of our eating habits coupled with less time to cook. Nowadays, there are tons of great balanced, quick and tasty meals out there now just waiting for you.

Now it's time to assess your eating habits. Are you getting enough fiber? Calcium? Iron? Fruits? Veggies? If you are unsure it is journal time again. Log your eating habits for one week then review it. Should you or should you not take a vitamin supplement? That is totally up to you. If you do look around, ask the pharmacist to help recommend one.

What should you be eating? Here is the food pyramid (inverted here):
6-11 servings breads, cereals, rice, pasta group
3-5 vegetable group
2-4 fruit group
2-3 milk, yogurt, cheese group
2-3 meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, nuts group
fats oils sweets, use sparingly

The Right Number of Servings for You
The Pyramid gives a range for the number of servings for each group. What you need will vary depending upon your age, gender and activity level. You should check with your doctor to be sure which guidelines are right for you.

  • For older adults, and many inactive women, choosing the minimum suggested number of servings within each food group will provide approximately 1600 calories per day.
  • For children, teenage girls, active women and many inactive men, choosing the mid-range suggested number of servings will provide approximately 2200 calories per day.
  • For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, active men, teenage boys and athletes, choosing the high-end suggested number of servings will provide the approximately 2800 calories per day. (from ebody.com)
Things to make special note of:
  • You should have citrus every day.
  • Try to have a serving of green veggies and serving orange/yellow veggies as they have different vitamins and minerals.
  • Drink water everyday. Remember our bodies are 66% water!
Step three: Self-assessment, health check
Do you need to see a doctor? Do you have chronic pain or other problems? Are you extremely overweight, suffer from headaches, nausea, chest pain SEE YOUR DOCTOR. Its time to take care of you! This includes the dentist and eye doctor.

Step four: Self-assessment, exercise
If you haven't exercised in a while be sure to see your doctor before starting up again!

Exercise. Time to start a routine. Try to workout at least 20 minutes three times a week with a day of rest in between each workout (ex: workout Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Don't know where to start, can't make it to a gym? Just walk or do isometrics (the ones we did in high school).

I hope you have been encouraged to start.