Tuesday 27 May 2008

Does your lifestyle make you thrive?

Does your lifestyle make you thrive? has been re-produced at my new blog Cell Your Sole.

Similar to the previous post. Here I want to talk about the whole of your lifestyle defining how you look, feel and are.

I want to explain that you can't explain everything just by diet or exercise. There are many more things to consider.

I've got research showing there are many ways to train well and eat well. They all work and they're all good for you as long as they are followed correctly and you understand what strengths and weaknesses they have.

For diet there are high carb, low carb, high protein, low protein and lots more. Societies have lived well on all of these. They key is always that they have found out how to make sure they get what they need from their diet given the challenges it presents. High grain > phytate problems either the body adjusts and gets better at absorbing vitamins or they ferment the grains to make them easier to digest.

Each diet has become well adapted over centuries as each culture learnt what does or doesn't work.

So it's often not the diet itself it's more about understanding what you need to do to make that diet work for you. With this view in mind you may see that the western diet is just a new form of diet that's possible in the 20/21st century that wasn't possible before. Therefore to live well on it you just need to understand it's strengths and weaknesses and adjust it to make sure you get what you need.

The same can be said for the western lifestyle.

The Health Equation
Find out what the lifestyle does/doesn't do. Find out what your mind, body and soul need. Find out what you can do to adjust your lifestyle to match your needs.

Is diet and exercise king?
Some say diet or exercise is the most important thing and that it's easy to be healthy, just follow the right diet and exercise routine. Really!! let's see.

For the project manager who's near the end of a big project that's been running for say 4 months that may not be the case. He's been eating and exercising really well for the last few weeks but it's not been so easy lately. He's spending more time at work as the deadline approaches. More time at the office means he gets less time to relax and so he's thinking about work more and more. This is making it hard to sleep at night because he finds it hard to switch off. His nervous system is taking a pound as he's always stressed. The constant surge of adrenalin is making it hard to sleep. The lack of sleep and high adrenalin levels are making it hard for his body to recover from each day. Over time weeks of essential maintenance is outstanding and the body is just getting by as best it can.

Feeling so tired, he finds the healthy food just doesn't have the flavour it used to. There's nothing wrong with it it's just his taste buds don't like it. He's drawn to comfort foods and quick fixes as that's the only thing that tastes good.

OK I'll stop there. Any one recognise this scenario. I've been through it many times when I'm in a busy and stressful period. I've even found times I've followed the diet and exercise regime but still felt crap. That's because the lack of sleep and the drain made on the body by the nervous system being 'always on' is such a drain on the body good diet and exercise just isn't enough.

The lifestyle is out of balance. The only way I have found to get round this is to deal with the stress and lack of sleep. It's often simple. sort the sleep, sort the stress, all becomes well. Change the diet no joy.

This is just one example and I'm using it to point out that diet and exercise is not the answer in all situations. Just because a lot is known about these areas doesn't mean they're always the solution.

Just like if some one is stressed because they're about to be repossessed or someone they love is in hospital. Eating well and exercising will help but it won't restore the balance they need in the life. Other things are needed. So we need help in dealing with more things than just diet and exercise.

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