Exercise is of paramount importance to our health. We all know this. The improvement in cardiovascular health (via improved lung capacity, lower blood pressure and a healthier heart) heralds many benefits which ripple into all aspects of our daily lives. Yet so often, we see exercise as the only pathway to achieving improved health. In fact, many of you may well have embarked on weight loss programs which have had a strong focus on ‘reduced intake’ and ‘vigorous exercise’.
One of the key tenants of my program with patients, is that nutrition comes FIRST.
I always ensure that my patients unravel this way of thinking and see nutrition as the primary driver towards sustainable weight loss and improved wellbeing.
The reasoning is simple. Your body is just like a car. It is composed of many joints and parts that are designed to function to a certain limit before fatigue and injury set in. One cannot drive around a Formula One race track a full speed in a 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer (my car) and not expect the car to quickly conk out! The tyres will quickly wear out, the engine may overheat and the strain on the car frame may cause major damage.
However… if we were to draw up new blueprints for a better car and install a new engine; add better tyres; improve the design and add supporting structures then the car would be in a much better state to endure the track.
Whilst our cars come as they are, our bodies are fortunately very amenable to change and repair. In fact, within each and every cell in our body, we have ‘blue prints’ for repair. You know this already. You will recall when you were a child and you would graze your knee when you fell whilst running around a park. The skin may have bled a little and there would be a few bruises. However, you would wake a few days later to find that the skin was almost completely healed and you were back to normal. This ‘repair process’ has never been lost. NEVER. Unfortunately, the repair process has been hampered by internal ‘dirt’ within each cell (i.e. animal products, long term poor dietary choices etc). Our cells become clogged with oxidative stress particles (think of this as pollution and rubbish in the engine) and are no longer able to repair as they once did.
Yet if we start to fuel our body (cells) with the RIGHT fuel, then our cells will automatically start to repair and damage that has occurred. We have this choice, 3 times per day. 3 times per day (starting with your next meal), you can begin to enhance that repair process by simply choosing the RIGHT foods. Those foods revolve around Wholefood Plant Based items. The fresh fruits and vegetables that have all the nutrition (macro and micro nutrients) to not only fuel our bodies but also aid in the removal of waste from the cells, and importantly, repair any damage that has occurred.
So I extend to you a simple offer: Dismiss the immediate importance of exercise and instead, start ‘fixing the car’. You will be surprised how quickly your energy levels increase, your muscle aches disappear and your motivation to start simply walking or jogging improves. We are not out to harm our bodies nor stress them to the point of exhaustion. Our muscles and organs want the very best for us; 24 hours a day 7 days a week they work tirelessly to keep us as healthy as possible. All they ask is that they are fuelled appropriately and taken care of. They will do the rest. So 3 times a day, when you are choosing to fuel your body, do so the right way. Fuel your body with Premium – Plants! As the internal repair processes start to work, you will be rewarded with improved muscle efficiency, less pain and, far more energy.
Working WITH your body allows your exercise to be fun. Simply starting off with a small walk around the block may be all that you can do. However, I guarantee that in a short amount of time, your body will reward you and allow you to take the walk to the next level in terms of endurance/distance/capacity.
By all means, if you wish to run a marathon every day, then do so. Simply work with your body and as it repairs (remembering that it CAN do so, as long as we fuel it correctly) it will revitalise and allow you to achieve pole position in any Grand Prix!