February/March Newsletter 2005
Hope you had a great holiday and are keeping all of your New Year’s resolutions. Many of us have “getting in shape” or “losing weight” as one of our resolutions every year but we never seem to achieve it. This may be the year you finally get your resolution to come true.
Eat, Move and Be Healthy
This is the title of a new book by Paul Chek (pronounced “check”) that is as complete a book as I have seen to date. Paul Chek is the founder of the C.H.E.K. Institute in San Diego and is an internationally renowned athletic trainer and lifestyle coach for Olympic and professional athletes. He not only helps these athletes rehabilitate injuries but he addresses all areas of their life to enhance their performance without the use of illegal drugs. His new book is aimed at the rest of the world who are not elite athletes but who need to do something different to feel better. His book is a four-step guide to helping you get healthy and look great.
STEP ONE is to complete the questionnaires in the beginning of the book that ask about what you eat, life stresses, sleep, when you eat, digestion, fungus and parasites. Once you score these you get a clear idea of what areas of your life need the most attention and which areas you are doing pretty well in. It sets up the priority scale of what to address first and what to leave alone. Answer these questions truthfully and not how you think they should be answered. The results will give you an easy program to follow that is designed for you. We have a copy of this questionnaire at the office if you don’t buy the book.
STEP TWO is to determine a specific eating program for you. There is also a separate questionnaire to help you determine your metabolic type (protein, carb or mixed). The Metabolic Typing Diet by Wolcott is the reference book for this type of diet approach and I have written about it several times in the past. This is also the same approach for Dr. Mercola’s, No Grain Diet and Total Health books. We have a similar test at the office and the food lists that go with each type if you want to find out what your type is.
STEP THREE is to develop a personalized exercise program that fits your needs and not some favorite pet exercise of a trainer or therapist. His exercise sections are very good and he gives you a number of choices of exercises for people of all ability and fitness. He wants to improve your core strength similar to Pilates and yoga. If you are severely fatigued he starts you off on simple energizing exercises and proceeds from there. You don’t need a gym membership to do these exercises or a lot of extra time to devote to them. You can get a Swiss Ball at Gart’s or any sporting goods store for less that $20 and you will be set. His core strengthening exercise for the abdominal muscles helped me immensely in my quest for visible abdominal muscles. After 35 years in the gym of doing it wrong, he taught me how to correctly train my lower abs and my transverse abdominal (TVA) muscle which I never trained in the past. It is the key muscle for protecting your lower back from injury and stabilizing your trunk.
He is a stickler for proper form and execution of his exercises, which is vitally important. He has been using a Swiss ball or stability ball in his programs for nearly 20 years. No one has more experience with these types of exercise programs. I read other trainers’ books about using the ball and they never even mention the importance of activating your TVA muscles while doing the exercise. If they do mention it, they don’t explain how to strengthen it so that you can do the exercise properly.
He also won’t have you jumping around like you are a teenager trying to train a middle-aged body. This guy comes from a rehab background so he is always looking to strengthen an area to give stability. He is not trying to turn you into a New York Super Model in a few weeks like one book I recently read. It had you jumping and gyrating like you had 20-year-old joints but was supposed to be good for all ages.
STEP FOUR is to fine-tune a healthier lifestyle that fits your routine. He discusses many of the topics that I have written about in the past like getting adequate sleep, eating organic foods, drinking purified water, cleaning up your digestive system to rid your body of parasites and yeast, getting your sunlight everyday and handling your stress. He goes into great detail about a number of these subjects and it is worth your time to read the whole book.
After you have taken the tests and done the food and exercise programs specifically tailored for your situation, you need to retest every 4-6 weeks and handle the new priorities that now need to be addressed. This book can be your personal lifestyle coach for a very long time and at $25 for the book, that is a small price to pay! This book can be found at www.mercola.com or www.chekinstitute.com. They are running a special on buying both Dr. Mercola’s book Total Health and Chek’s new book for about $43. You can also find it at Amazon.com.
This book echoes the sentiment in the old saying, “Health is a journey, not a destination.” This is about slowly changing your habits that have made you sick or at least out of shape, into habits that makes you healthy everyday. If your results from taking the test point to digestive problems or parasites, we can help you get on the right supplements to fix that. If you think you might have an allergy or sensitivity to dairy, soy, eggs or gluten (barley, rye, oats, wheat and spelt) we can test it with an inexpensive saliva test. A hair analysis would show how fatigued your body really is and how your adrenals, thyroid, pancreas, hormones, etc. are functioning. If you are interested in really learning how to strengthen your core muscles so as to support your low back and vital organs, I have Chek’s 5-step process available at the office. You can also get his book, Awesome Abs, on Amazon.com that shows the program plus more advanced exercises to build your abs.
Paul Chek also teaches seminars on training, rehabilitation, nutrition and lifestyle coaching all around the world. That information and more can be found on his web site www.chekinstitute.com.
I missed my deadline for visible abdominal muscles but I have not forsaken my goal. The night before my 50th birthday I had my oblique muscles and the first row of the rectus abdominal muscles visible (a two pack instead of a six). Then I got on a plane to Mexico and ate and drank anything and everything I wanted. Surprisingly, my body fat didn’t change after the trip and I actually had gained several pounds of muscle just lying around for 5 days. That tells me just how exhausted my body was before the trip. But I did eat foods that I am allergic to so the layer of false fat returned to shroud my hard work. I have not given up and I’m back on the program and will succeed. I thought of posting my pictures showing my progress on my web site but I really don’t want those to be spread worldwide on the Internet (what a nightmare)! When I make my goal, I will have photographic evidence at the office well hidden from normal viewing but available if anyone cares to look. Making the goal public was just another way to motivate me to achieve this goal after 50 years of failing. It is certainly not to show off my bare tummy! You see I have to work at being healthy just as much as you do. It is our dead food and our mostly sedentary lifestyles that create these challenges. Can you imagine explaining the concept of exercise to the early settlers of Colorado while they were clearing land and building log cabins! Our technology has saved us labor around the house and at work but our bodies still need to bend, twist, stretch and sweat like they have for centuries. So now we have to exercise to replace the work we don’t do anymore.