How Deep Are Your Roots?

When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind. Think about this meme for a moment and reflect on what it means to you as an individual.

How deep are your roots? Do you have deep roots which keep you grounded?

Or are your roots short and shallow, allowing you to bend to every little breeze which comes your way, never getting a firm hold of the earth underneath. Always at risk of being blown over by the slightest winds, too weak to weather any of the storms which life throws our way.

Especially when we are most vulnerable.

Most everyone can create their own personal development habits in order to improve their lives. It is a matter of making the personal choice to do so. Take a stand and and never accept mediocracy out of yourself ever again, for any reason. You are better than that. Nurture your roots to grow as deeply as possible, give yourself the mental fortitude and physical strength to overcome any adversity you may ever face.

Not wanting to write an entire novel on this subject, as that would be possible, I am going to address two distinct areas where you can help yourself;

Exercise and tracking your daily nutrition.

First, if you are out of shape and new to exercise, do yourself a favor and get your physicians approval before beginning any exercise regimen. Unless you are entirely disabled, there is almost always something you can do to move your body. Exercise does not have to involve any special equipment, not does it need cost you a penny. You can begin walking three or four days per week, gradually building up your pace and distance. Walking is one of the best and most restorative exercises for our bodies we can do. Walking exercises our muscles and increases our cardiovascular endurance as we also burn off body fat.

If you want to include any kind of resistance exercise to your life, which I highly recommend, there are numerous body weight exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine no matter your strength level. For example, if you can not do a single standard push up, do them from your knees and build up until you can do standard push ups. If you can not complete a push up from the knees, you can stand and lean with your hands against a counter top or a wall, and begin working at beginning to build your strength from this level. Maybe you want to tone your arms, (more on toning in a bit) but are not ready to buy any kind of hand weights. You can use cans of vegetables for weight resistance, fill empty milk cartons with water to a desired weight for your needs and use them as the handles make for easy handling. There are many ways you can improvise to accomplish your goals if you make the choice to do so. If you are an adult and want to bring back fond childhood memories, get a jump rope. Get a long piece of rope and get your kids jumping rope with you. Use your imagination, be free. Be sure to make your body as a whole benefit from your exercise routine.

Make exercise a part of your life, make it fun, make it your own personal time where you re-center and re-focus upon yourself.

Now, back to a term I really almost cannot stand, “toning”. Everywhere you go, you can hear a person tell you they are working on toning. No offense is meant here at all, but the “toning” crowd almost always get a few light hand weights and do a few are exercises which truthfully do very little for you if this is about all in which you do for resistance exercise. The “toning” crowd will tell you they only want to tone and do not want to get bulky from heavy weights. Here are a few points to consider if you only want to tone:

  • Toning comes almost entirely by your diet and is a result of burning off body fat. If you do not clean up your diet, know that you can not out exercise a bad diet for very long. If you want to tone, besides resistance exercise, quit eating sugar and simple carbs. And also limit your intake of complex carbohydrates while you are at it. Complex carbohydrates are good for our body, we need a certain level of them. However, they also can cause you to retain water weight if you consume too many and are not getting in truthfully moderate amounts of exercise.
  • Using a few light weights and just a couple arm exericses are not going to do jack for you. Period. At best, you may get a little temporary muscle pump in the biceps and triceps. But, this alone is not going to make your body as a whole look good.
  • No matter if you are male or female, you are not going to accidentally get bulky from lifting weights. Getting bulky and ripped with weights is serious business, it takes very hard work and dedication. It does not come easy for anyone who is not on performance enhancing drugs. And the truth is, getting bulky still takes the steroid users a lot of work and effort. Ladies, another point about getting bulky is your body does not produce enough testosterone in order for it to gain a lot of size. It is not going to happen. You can make your body the picture of perfect health, strength and beauty, but you are not going to get huge from lifting weights. The only caveat is, if you eat everything in the house to fuel heavy lifting, you will find yourself putting on body fat and defeating the purpose behind what you are attempting to accomplish in the first place.
  • The best resistance exercise program for your body is not going to isolate a few single muscles, the best programs for you will exercise your entire body.
  • I really do not advocate just trying to strengthen single muscle groups, especially for novices. For every pushing exercise you do, you need to be doing a pulling exercise too. If you want to work on your chest, you better be working on your upper back and shoulders too. If you are working your upper body, then by all means, work your lower body. The reasons being are if you do develop a little muscle and lose body fat at the same time, you are going to have an off balanced look. If your biceps are little more noticable, it will not be as good a look as it would be if your triceps are also developed. Remember that your triceps are actually a larger muscle group and contribute a lot to making your arms look good. (too many only want to work their biceps through endless curls) Next, you do not want to create strength imbalnces within your muscle groups. For example, if you have two different muscles that work in tandem with each other and one becomes stronger than the other, your risk of injury to the weaker muscle is increased. If you become injured and have not made exercise a life style, then odds are you may not return to it once you have healed. There are basements all around us which are filled with exercise equipment that is now only used to hang clothes from. Do not be this person.

Now for nutrition. Do you know how many calories per day you consume?

Do you know how many of each macronutrient you consume each day?

Can you tell yourself with certainty that you are eating a balanced enough diet in order to keep your body healthy?

If you want to maintain your weight, lose weight, or even gain a few pounds in a healthy manner, then you must know how many calories per day your body requires to achieve your goals. If you do not know your caloric needs based on your basal metabolic rate, then you are going to be fighting a losing battle because of a lack of very easy to obtain information. You can find your daily caloric needs by going to our Calorie Calculator and entering basic personal and confidential information to receive your daily caloric requirements. The report is visible only to you and you can either download it in a pdf format to your device or it can be emailed to you automatically. You simply enter your age, height and weight, gender, activity level and the amount of body fat per week you desire to lose or gain. Being as you do not enter your name, or any other personal information, your privacy is guarenteed.

Once you know your daily caloric needs, then it is imperative that you track your food intake and do not exceed that daily amount. Please note, that it is also important for healthy weight loss that you do also consume those daily calories. Tracking calories is quite simple. Nutritional information is on all food packaging except for meats and fresh produce. You can pick and choose how you track your calories, whether it is on an electronc device or in a notebook etc. Just ensure that you take the time to track them every day for all that you consume. After a brief amount of time, you will discover that you will remember the calories for your most commonly eaten foods.

Weigh or measure your foods as often as you can in order to truthfully know how much you are eating. There can be quite the caloric differnce between 3 ounces of beef and 5 ounces of beef, or between 1 and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Know how much you put into your stomach. If you are in a restaurant, then request their nutritional information for the meal you ordered. This can almost always be supplied for you.

Track your macro-nutrients in order to assure you are getting enough for your particular needs. For instance, I weight train very heavy 4 days per week and try to hike on rugged terrain once or twice per week for 10 to 15 miles. Because of this, my needs for protein are going to be higher than those for one who lives a sedentary life. Because glucose is our body’s main source of fuel which comes from carbohydrates, I also ensure that I consume enough without over doing them. My next point on tracking macro’s is that while our body stores glucose, it does not store amino acids which are the building blocks of protein which maintains and builds our lean muscle tissue. No matter whether you are a carnivore or vegan, you must consume a enough protein each day to ensure you receive all of the nine essential amino acids that your body cannot synthesize. The nine essential amino acids must be consumed daily for good health.

In closing, I often hear people say they do not have time for exercise or all of this foods tracking. I have to ask, is it that you do not have the time, or you just do not want to be hassled with it? I track everything I eat each day. I make it a priority as important as my main job to exercise regular. I work a 60 to 80 hour work week on top of being a nutrition and fitness fanatic and author. These things become easy if you make the choice to do them, and incorporate them into your lifestyle as just something you always do. After a period, you can find yourself tracking food with very little thought at all. You just do it.

If you do not have time for exercise and something as simple as tracking your nutritional intake, ask yourself;

Do I have the time to take off work because I do not feel well?

Do I have the time to sit in a doctors office because my poor nutrition has caused me health problems that could be avoided?

Do I have time to sit in a pharmacy while waiting on my prescriptions to be filled.

Do I have time for diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer and many other maladies that can be brought on as a result of poor nutrition?

Do I have time to correct mistakes made which lead to my malnutrition and poor health?

Do I have time to check my blood sugar multiple times each day because of diabetes , and on and on and on…

How deep are your roots? Are you willing to make them grow in order to give yourself a strong foundation? Or are you going to choose to be weak and wither away on the vine, and all by personal choices?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Brenda Sue says:

    I love this post because it asks the hard questions. Are we going to make time to be well, or to be sick? We will spend our investment of time on one or the other. This article pushes us to decide which it will be, good word!

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