Movement, Exercise and Mindfulness - The Perfect Trifecta for 2022
Updated: Jan 7
Words I will eschew in 2022! Starting the year with a renewed sense of purpose. energy and commitment to listen, learn and teach my clients, followers, and most importantly myself, the importance of mindfulness. Gone from my lexicon are the words - diet, calories and fat - to be replaced with mindful movement, eating and living. Sounds simple enough, but as is the case every January, we are inundated by ads for gym memberships (e.g. Planet Fitness was the lead sponsor for ABC's NYE Countdown) that promise that 'magical cure,' diet/prepared food plans that promise to get you 'bikini ready' before summer; and crash diets that not only often don't work, they actually slow down your metabolism, and cause you to gain weight!
In a great article in the New York Times by Tara Parker - Pope, she presents an intelligent, very doable plan - The Eat Well Challenge - how to reshape your eating habits without dieting.
I have always believed that DIET is a four - letter word which is ultimately unsustainable. Surviving the last couple of years of the Covid - 19 pandemic - masking, isolation, and a heightened stressful existence, has tested our guile and resolve. To many, food became so much more than life sustenance. It became comfort, salvation, celebration, our 'security blanket.' Mindful eating - what, why, when, and how much we consume - is the key to optimal, 'fueling,'
Let's resolve to eat more mindfully; chew more slowly and deliberately, and savor every morsel more thoughtfully.
Give your body a chance to 'weigh in' on how foods make you feel. In particular, give your belly the chance to tell you when it's had enough. Stopping when your belly is already hurting, and/or you have indigestion, is too late.
Be mindful of how you feel before and after you eat certain foods. The 'cookies and ice cream' may taste delicious after those first few bites, but take a moment and ask yourself how's your energy after you indulge? How focused is your brain? Was it really worth it?
Food is meant to be life - sustaining. Consume it wisely and it will energize and serve your body and stimulate your brain for years to come. Sadly, the converse is also true. The choice is ultimately yours.
Another great read this week was from Gretchen Reynolds, in the Science Section of the NYT. She confirms what I have been advocating for my entire career. The article titled Brevity, But Clarity and Longevity, focuses on how mindful movement, regardless of the duration, will reward your body with a myriad of benefits, not the least of which is a heightened sense of self - awareness, positive sense of self, mental clarity and focus. Gone is the notion that we need to walk 10,000 steps, and exercise for hours on end.
The most poignant take. - away of Ms. Reynolds' article was that exercise, however you define it - walking, cycling, running or even stretching, is the "sense of purpose one gets from setting small goals and plans that give direction and meaning to life." "It's about being engaged with life in productive ways." The symbiotic relationship - the more people felt their lives had meaning, the more likely they were to. move their bodies, and the more they moved, the more meaningful they found their lives. this beautiful, yet yet simple concept is timeless and ageless.
Wishing you all.a Happy, Healthy and Mindful 2022