Live Long – Live Strong: Keys to anti-aging and feeling great at every age

Kickboxing with LuAn

Photo taken by Amy Caramihalis

I have been asked by a few people to occasionally blog about fitness.  I think I have shied away from this topic because I have no formal education in physical fitness and there are SO many blogs and articles on health and fitness that I assumed people would rather read those.  But the requests keep coming, so I guess some of my readers will benefit from the minute amount of knowledge I have on the subject of eating for anti-aging and working out for health and vitality.

Why is a healthy lifestyle, nutrition for anti-aging and exercise so important to me? I have found that my physical stamina, emotional well-being and appearance are all drastically impacted by the habits that I have formed over the years.  My schedule on most days is the following:

  • 4:30AM: Wake up, get coffee, spend time in the Word of God, journaling, praying, etc.
  • 5:40AM: Change into workout clothes, get ready for the gym
  • 6:00AM: Workout classes start, or I workout at home
  • 7:00AM: Make breakfast
  • 7:15AM: Get ready for work

The gym that my husband and I go to is small and the classes are relatively intimate compared to other gyms in our area.  We love this because we have become part of a community that has the same goals that we do.  Most of us are working professionals ranging in age from early 20’s to late 60’s!  We encourage each other, we notice when someone has gone “missing”, we grieve with each other and celebrate each other’s accomplishments – even those outside of the gym.  This community makes working out fun and keeps us coming back.  It provides accountability and friendship.

Most gyms offer a variety of classes and I recommend that you try them all! I mix up my workouts for two reasons: #1) I don’t want to get bored and quit and #2) it keeps my body guessing. If we do the same thing every day, i.e. walk around the block, our body figures it out and the workout stops being effective.  Changing up how you workout and even what time of day you workout can jump start fat burning like crazy!

Here is the list of activities I do and classes I have taken or am taking currently:

  • Kickboxing
  • Running
  • Elliptical
  • Free weights
  • Tabata (Circuit Training)
  • Spin
  • Barre
  • Bootcamp
Spin birthday

On my birthday, one of our trainers brought in a birthday cupcake and a breakfast yogurt bar!

If you are new to working out, I highly recommend that you start with some classes.  You will find trainers who can show you the right way to perform each exercise to keep you from injuring yourself, and you may just find some new friends as well! The KEY is to be faithful! I have been in my spin class for over ten years.  I got my husband to start coming to the class a number of years ago and now he is a regular as well.  I have seen many people come and go.  They get on a fitness or weight loss “kick” and will be faithful for a season and then all of a sudden, you realize that they aren’t coming anymore.  Faithfulness to fitness is the anti-aging, healthy lifestyle essential element.  I have been exercising most of the my adult life. And now as I enter middle age, I find it’s even more critical that I stay vigilant in my eating and workout routine as they both dramatically impact my internal systems, my sleep cycles, and my overall feeling of well-being and strength.

I once heard a man who was retired military say that if you can take control of your day by making your feet hit the floor when your alarm goes off, making your mind and body engage in reading and working out, then you have conquered your day.  You took control of your day before your day took control of you. I completely concur with this statement.  Not only does God ask me to give him the first part of all of me – but He tells me that my body is His temple.  So how I care for that temple will impact how well I can execute his purpose for me.

I know so many people who are in bondage to food and to feeling overweight and unattractive because they don’t have the simple habit of healthy nutrition and regular exercise.  I get it.  I have struggled at times with getting it all done.  I have struggled with falling off the wagon of healthy eating choices.  But when we really, truly have the revelation that every healthy ‘No’ leads to a healthy ‘Yes’, then we will set up systems, accountability, and habits that assist us in our choices. When we go “off the Reservation” in our eating or in being lazy, we get back up and leave our failures behind us.

In later blogs, I hope to get more specific regarding the things I eat, where I find recipes that support our low-carb, low -sugar, high-protein diet, and what exercises you can do at home that can get you moving!

Here’s one little preview nugget:

Scrambled Egg Breakfast:

  • 3 eggs: one whole egg plus two egg whites (the protein is in the egg white while the cholesterol and calories are in the yellow part)
  • 1/2 chicken sausage, diced – flavor of your choice
  • 1/4 C. low fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 C. red pepper, diced (I also sub in yellow squash and/or green pepper depending on what I feel like eating.)
  • 1/4 C. diced mushrooms (not required if you don’t like them! Just put in at least two vegetables not counting the baby spinach)
  • 2 green onions, white part only – not required if you don’t like onions!
  • Handful of baby spinach, torn (this part is important as it adds healthy fiber which keeps you full longer and iron for blood building)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened, 30 calorie almond milk (you can use skim cow’s milk if you choose)
  • 1/8 tsp. Turmeric (Turmeric reduces inflammation in the body.  Unfortunately, many of the foods we eat combined with aging cause inflammation which leads to a variety of physical ailments.)
  • 1/2 avocado (healthy fat that keeps you full longer and makes hair and skin more supple)
  • (1 scoop Collagen purchased on the Trim Healthy Mama website – Additional ingredient I use, but not necessary: see below for link)

Scramble all in a bowl, adding the integral collagen carefully and last.  Microwave for 2 minutes and stir.  Microwave again for about 1 minute or until done. Place on top of sliced avocado on a plate and enjoy! You will be satiated for quite a while with this breakfast.

Trim Healthy Mama: Integral Collagen – Collagen is the support for all of our cells, the ones that make us LOOK young and the ones that make us FUNCTION youthfully. It is also a dairy free protein source. 1 scoop of this collagen powder contains 11 grams of protein!

I look forward to posting more tips and recipes.  Please leave a comment regarding the things that I can either share or research that would be helpful to you on your fitness and nutrition journey!

 

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