Change What You Eat, Add a Few Minutes of Exercise, Get Healthy

I wrote this up for someone who wanted diet and exercise advice as they are feeling lost.

These next posts are a compilation of what I wrote and think I understand about eating and exercise. These posts were private correspondence with someone with a “Slow Thyroid”. I thought I would also share my thoughts with you. I’m not a doctor, or expert in this field. Nothing is original, and is only what I find works best for me, when nothing else has.

All rightly then! I think I have written down enough to get you going in the right direction. Besides doing some reading however, you will want to come to a few realizations, and you will want make some life style changes. Nothing really big, but very important.

First off, your weight. A sad but true fact about body fat, is the older you get, the harder it is to lose and keep weight off. If you think losing weight may be hard now, wait until you are fifty, it is almost impossible. Second, there is no magic pill or gym routine to make those pounds fall off. It can happen through a combination of eating correctly and getting some exercise. You will have to decide what you think about this part as you are in charge of you.

Next, because you have low thyroid action, your metabolism works slowly. I don’t know if your doctor explained anything other than a one minute explanation. I don’t really think it is slow thyroid, it’s just what it is called. When you think back through your Mom and Dad, their parents, and their parents, going back as far as you want, their life was way different than yours is in 2019.

Before the 1900’s, people didn’t always have access to a lot of food. They didn’t go to the fridge and get something to snack on, or open a cupboard door and pull out some chips to go with a bottle of beer. There wasn’t that much food around. When there was food, due to harvest time, slaughtering a barnyard animal, or hunting, there was no refrigerator to keep it in. Put simply, food was scarce.

All through the last thousand years, your ancestor’s (and mine) body’s learned to be more efficient with food. Their bodies with each hungry generation, learned how to get more energy with less food. Think of their bodies as car engines. The cars that guzzled gas and got ten miles to the gallon didn’t last. They were phased out because there wasn’t enough gas (food) for them to be successful.

Those cars that could get thirty or more miles to the gallon, well they had enough gas (food) to survive and thrive. When you came along, your body was so finely tuned, if you were a car you would be getting forty miles to the gallon! But you didn’t know that until the doctor told you, and your eating habits were already in place. Eating as a car getting twenty-five miles to the gallon instead of the forty miles per gallon is hurting you. Kind of like putting high octane gas in a subcompact. The subcompact doesn’t gain weight, but the extra money spent on gas is wasted. Because you are human, you put on weight eating extra food.

The good news is you don’t need to eat less or go hungry. You just need to modify how you eat and how much. All you need is cheap gas (lower calorie food). And one more little tweak… For the next six months or so, you want to walk at least twenty minutes after every meal. It’s not that hard. Lucky for you, most people with weight problems, do not have a clue how to eat right. You will after your done reading.

So feed your body lighter food, and your body will thank you for it, and it will lose weight. It wants to get back to a normal weight, as I’m sure you have noticed by how you feel, compared to how you remember feeling. Eat like you are a lightweight sports car, and not a semi-truck. Both you and your body will be happier!

Eating and exercise is always a hot topic.

So, besides walking at least twenty minutes after each meal, there are some simple and quick exercises that you can do to both help get you fit again, and improve how you feel throughout the day. They take about seven minutes a day, when you reach the correct amount of exercise.

1. Squats ~ Goal for one minute, plan on ten seconds starting out.

2. Mountain Climber (partial Burpee movement, no pushup) ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

3. Jumping Jacks – Goal for one minute, thirty seconds or less starting out.

4. Palm down Plank ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

5. Clenched Hands Plank ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

6. Left and Right Side Planks ~ Goal for thirty plus seconds each, plan on about ten seconds or less for each side starting out.

7. Lunges ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

I find simply standing with my arms at my sides for a few minutes after I am done with these exercises feels really good. I think it lets the muscles relax and form into the shape they should be in rather than the lazy way I have stretched and contorted them into with my bad habits.  Let me know how this works for you.

It doesn’t hurt at all to do some walking. You should aim for about fifteen miles a week. You might even do HIT Walking. HIT Walking means you walk for say two hundred yards, and then run as fast as you can for up to thirty seconds – no more. Then you go back to walking until you get your breath back, then sprint for thirty seconds. Repeat the run and walk with no more than three to four flat out runs. This is one of those things where doing more doesn’t help, and may hurt. Finish with walking the rest of your walk.

Next post will be a quick list. Eat all the vegetables you want, and don’t be scared of the fruits on the list.

The third post will be a more in depth explanation of what and how to eat, and why. You can be successful with this, feel better and eat as much as you want, just differently. It’s all up to you from here on. If you want to feel better, lose weight and look better, give this a month. Everyone can do something for thirty days can’t they?

You can do it!

Simple, Fast, Anywhere, Whole Body Exercise

Walking is not enough. Walking and jogging or running are great for our cardiovascular system. Walking, jogging or running does not quite do it for Total Body Health. Total Body Health is being able to do what you want to need to do without fear of injury or pain the next day.

Exercise that uses as many of the muscles as possible leads to better overall health and fitness. If you are older like me, total body health makes the difference between getting through each day and looking forward to doing something that needs to be done each day. Tasks that used to be painful, become simple. Waking up sore because you pulled a few weeds yesterday ceases to becomes a painful reminder.

Only thing is, I, like many people do not like to exercise. Exercise is boring, and in itself brings no satisfaction. I want to get my exercise over quickly and get the most benefit in the least amount of time. I think most people prefer less time spent exercising and more time doing what they want to do.

Same as my previous post about my experience with High Intensity Interval Training, there are ways to exercise that maximize gain with minimal time spent doing them. And you do not need a gym. I again researched the internet and books to find what exercises are most common for giving the most return for the least amount of time.

I listed these out and picked out a few that were the most common and proven to be the most effective exercises to use as many muscles as possible while doing each exercise. I think these few exercises do just that. Of course they can be broken down into two or more individual exercises but this would take more time. These exercises take less than five minutes, and if you are just starting out, I suggest you spend less than two minutes on all of them to find out what your muscles think of them.

Exercise is like cooking, you can always add more. One main reason people stop exercising is because it becomes painful. You should think past this and realize it was not painful to get to the point where exercise is painful, so you should start out slow and increase your exercise time as your body is ready for it. There is no need to be sore and have your muscles hurt. We are all looking for a level of fitness, not joining an elite fighting organization.

I found this Ab Wheel in the pic in a thrift store for a few dollars. It is like new condition. When I bought it, I thought how hard can it be? I saw the infomercials, and it looked easy enough. One movement to the right, one to the center and one stretch to the left. I went through the movements when I brought home for about two minutes. The Ab Wheel afterward didn’t feel like I had done anything. The next day when I went to do a plank, I felt every strained and pained muscle in my abdomen tell me what I did yesterday. Starting slow is starting smarter.

Two minutes using this tells you your core fitness level

Here are the exercises I condensed down that most of the material I read agrees are the best whole body movements. You can look on web if you are not familiar with them as they are explained much better than I would explain them

1. Jumping Jacks – regular and side to side ~ Goal for one minute, thirty seconds or less starting out.

2. Squats ~ Goal for one minute, plan on ten seconds starting out.

3. Plank with palms down ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

4. Plank with hands clenched ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

5. Left and Right Side Planks ~ Goal for thirty plus seconds each, plan on about ten seconds or less for each side starting out.

5. Mountain Climber (partial Burpee movement) ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

6. Lunge ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

If you do these in succession, not only do they go fast, but you will be breathing harder than when when you started. If it is two hard, relax for a bit between exercises until you get used to them. You will be waking up any number of weak dormant muscles, so start slowly. I think doing these exercises every other or every third day is a good starting point. They only take a few minutes, but work a lot of muscles.

Of course check with your doctor to ensure these are exercises you can do. If you have not exercised in a while, perform these exercises ten seconds each. You will wake the next day and your body will let you know you did something different the day before. A little sore isn’t bad, really sore makes you want to not do it again.

I find simply standing with my arms at my sides for a few minutes after I am done with these exercises feels really good. I think it lets the muscles relax and form into the shape they should be in rather than the lazy way I have stretched and contorted them with my bad habits. Let me know how this works for you.