Fitness and health goes well beyond exercise. In fact, exercise alone can only mildly affect an individual’s fitness and health if other pillars of health such as like sleep, stress management and nutrition aren’t prioritized. I talk to clients in terms of pillars of health, sleep being most important:
1. Sleep. If you aren’t sleeping seven to eight hours per night, good luck getting them to lose weight and keep it off. One study found those who slept five hours had higher levels of ghrelin (“the hunger hormone”) than those who slept eight hours (1).
2. Stress Management. If you have high stress and no management, good luck getting rid of the “pooch” on the your belly even though you eat “clean”, and work out five times a week. Some studies have shown an association between uncontrollable stress and abdominal fat distribution.
3. Nutrition. You can’t out train a bad diet.
4. Exercise. Now the body is prepared for exercise once all of the above is in check.
Stress Management Techniques / 30 Day Challenge
Print off this calendar and try 30 day challenge. Below the calendar are explanations of how to do each technique listed on the calendar. The main goal is to be doing something everyday to manage stress. They say, “If it is important, you do it everyday.”
1. Diaphragmatic Breathing during Commute.
Deep breathing can slow heartbeat, lower or stabilize blood pressure and aid in disengaging from distracting thoughts (3).
Today during all commutes, focus on inhaling through the nose, deep into the abdomen for at least four seconds then exhaling through the mouth for at least 4 seconds. The whole way. No cheating. Take a note of how you feel when you get to your destination.
“The medical establishment has been proving that the mind can heal the body for over 50 years” says Dr. Lisa Rankin, an integrative medicine physician (4).
Read an affirmation / mantra out loud at some point today. Read it to some friends who are struggling with life. See how they feel afterwards. Each week focus on a different affirmation. Below is some affirmations for the Root Chakra. For the other weeks, search for affirmations for the listed Chakra on the calendar.
“I feel deeply rooted.
I am connected to my body.
I feel safe and secure.
Just like a tree or a star, I have a right to be here.
I stand for my values, for truth and for justice.
I have what I need.
I am grounded, stable and standing on my own two feet.
I nurture my body with healthy food, clean water, exercise, relaxation, and connection with nature.
I am open to possibilities.
I am grateful for all the challenges that helped me grow and transform.
I trust in the goodness of life.
I make choices that are healthy and good for me.
I trust myself.
I love life.
3. Envisioning Color.
Color is simply different wavelengths of energy received by roughly 100 million photoreceptors in the retina such as rods and cones (6).
Close your eyes. Imagine a ray of red light energy coming from your abdomen, out into the world. Imagine the red light energy projecting out your back, out of your feet and out of the crown of your head. Imagine your arms out beside you and red light energy pouring out of your finger tips into the world, into the ground, spread over the entire land. Imagine yourself as a ball of bursting red light energy, exploding with projecting energy into the world.
Repeat with colors listed on the calendar on the corresponding days.
4. Essential Oils.
Research has confirmed the calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its lavender is inhaled (7).
Have your clients buy lavender and eucalyptus essential oils or give them to them for gifts, especially if they’ve spend hundreds of dollars on your services. They can use it by putting 1-3 drops in the palm of their hand, rubbing them together, putting their hands to their face and taking a six second inhale, removing hands, exhaling for six seconds and repeating twice for a total of three times.
5. Ground Yourself.
Today when anyone comes to you with negative energy, imagine that energy coming out of them, into the trees of around you, down the branch of the tree, into the shaft of the tree, into the roots of the tree, into the soil of the ground and eventually to the crust of the Earth where it meets positive energy again and creates life. Imagine that energy not even coming any where near you like you can’t absorb it even if you tried.
These are all little tools you now have to challenge your clients with and enhance your value as a fitness and health provider. This is all a little rock in a stream that hopefully creates a ripple affect we call global health and fitness.
CALL TO ACTION:
Post the calendar on your Facebook page by sharing it on our Facebook page. Call out your friends who always complain about stress but don’t seem to be doing something about it. Have your friends participate in the challenge along with you.