Lets jump right in and talk about the fiber of our lives. By now most of us know we need ample amounts to keep our digestive system working well. In response to several questions I have gotten about the specifics of fiber, I will try to sum up. Fiber comes from plants. Seeds, beans, peas, oats, rye, chia, barley, flax, hemp, fruits, vegetables, nuts, all contain either soluble or insoluble fiber…or both and we need both. Fiber is not only good for our digestive system and the diseases that ail it, like Crohns, ulcerative colitis diverticulitis, and hemorrhoids ,but also reduces the risk of cancers, including colon cancer, improves glucose tolerance and insulin response, helps reduce hypertension and heart disease, decreases high blood cholesterol and increases satiety and hence, helps with weight management! Sadly, on average, North Americans consume less than 50% of the recommended levels for “good health.” In youths, the number is probably closer to 20%, a contributing factor in childhood obesity. In the USA the recommendation for adults is to consume 20-35 grams of fiber every day. To figure the right amount for children, take their age and add 5, so for example, a four-year-old would require 9 grams a day. When adding fiber to your diet, do it slowly…adding a few more grams each week, otherwise your tummy will definitely not be happy! Also remember you must drink adequate amounts of water. This is paramount, and too many of us aren’t doing that, either, but today is as good a day as any, to start!
I am disturbed watching the news this morning. Of course, the tragedy in Ohio is disturbing to all of us and my heart goes out to the families of the victims as well as the shooter. Ever since I helped Kyle with his paper on Columbine, I have been even more sensitive to the senseless tragedies of random shooting on school campuses. Everything about it saddens me, including how desperate one has to feel to commit this type of act of violence. My wish is that the families and the community find some sort of peace in the midst of this heartbreak.
On the health watch, this mornings news also reported that people that take sleeping pills increase their chances of death by 4 times. Not necessarily as a result of the pills, but 4 times, nonetheless. I think a good night’s sleep is really important to our health, but I am not sure taking a pill to get their is worth the trade off. Whatever happened to the old adage that we didn’t need as much sleep as we got older? I only had 5 hours last night, but I am pretty sure I will function better through the day that I would with a sleeping pill “hangover.” Just saying.
On the subject of fitness, I have found myself having lots of interesting conversations about what types of exercise work best for us. Some are committed to their Pilates routines and some cardio and no longer want any part of weight machines or free weights, loving the grace and kindness to our bodies that Pilates provides. Others a devout yogis…can’t blame them! Some are way over on the other end, doing MMA,(mixed martial arts) Crossfit and bootcamp programs. Many are in between and some mix it all up! As I am continued to ask which is best, my answer remains the same….whichever one you enjoy and will do is best for YOU. Some have noticed that my classes may be ramped up some days, and much less so, others. They may be more high intensity cardio at one class, and slower cardio with more weights another. There may be more muscle isolation one day, and more “functional,” work another. One student recently commented on the mix, while another thought I had ramped things up, lately. No ramping, just mixing! What may be easier for one, may be more challenging for another. Realistically, sometimes my classes are a direct result of how much energy I have that day or influenced by the kind of music I am in the mood to listen to. I am all about mixing things up as much as possible because that helps prevent overuse injuries, stagnation and boredom but not everyone gets bored with their workouts and not everyone likes all disciplines. Though I strongly encourage everyone to get in their cardio, some form of strength training and do promote yoga and Pilates because I think they are so good for our overall health I, realize we don’t all love every form of fitness. I, for one, am not Bonni Kickboxer, or Spinning girl Bonni. I believe I have enough variety and we all can find the right balance if we keep trying different things. If you “do what you like and like what you do,” life is good!
In fact, that quote is exactly what my license plate frame reads. Thanks to Mitch for getting that for me some years back. I love it because it truly says what I believe makes for a happy life. Do what you love…love what you do. Don’t be looking for that frame on my little white car anymore, though. After a nine year love affair, the time has come to make a change. Thanks again, Mitch, for all you did to help make that cute little red mini my new ride. Your follow through under pressure is always impressive and appreciated! And on that note, I am off to start a long day of fitness, by first walking the naturalredhead and then giving my new car a bath, before heading off to class #1. Biggest Loser tonight. It’s bound to have a good week, soon!