Wealthy Health-Wise

keeping it small & simple

10 Reasons Why You Should be Practicing Tai Chi September 22, 2011

Filed under: Medicine — Kazi @ 11:54 pm
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Their doing it in the park
their doing it after dark
Tai Chi, Oh yeah

OK, so I got a little creative with the songs’ original lyrics. But you must admit, Tai Chi fits nicely into the Rock Creek Park chorus.

Tai Chi is a Chinese internal martial art. One of the many exercise forms that fall under the greater umbrella of what the Chinese call Chi Kung (or Qi Gong). These exercises are not reserved for the martial arts community. Tai Chi is practiced by people from all walks of life. Young and old, strong and frail, athletes and scholars. Everyone can benefit by adding a regular Tai Chi practice to their self-healing regimen.

Here are 10+ Reasons Why You Should be practicing Tai Chi.

1. Tai Chi is Safe, efficient and effective (SEE) – i have yet to hear of anyone being injured by participating in Tai Chi practice. The movements are slow and grounded. There is no dangerous equipment involved.

2. Efficient practicing Tai Chi for 20 minutes a day can have a tremendous positive effect upon your health, strength and flexibility. You get a substantial return on your energy/time investment.

3. Effective- unlike many of the new fad exercises and equipment popping up every other day on our televisions and internet, Tai Chi has been around for over a thousand years. First, only being handed down within Chinese family lineages. Tai Chi’s effectiveness as a health tonic has led to its spread throughout the known world. Many progressive health centers like the Mayo Clinic recommend Tai Chi to their patients and in many cases have an instructor on staff.

4. Tai Chi fosters stress resilience. In addition to the myo-facial workout, Tai Chi’s mental focus and breathing techniques teach you how to recognize and reduce stress within the mind-body continuum.

5. You can practice alone or in a group. Are you the solitary type? Do you like to really focus during your exercise? Or does a group atmosphere motivate you and allow you to meet new, like-minded friends? Well, either way you can find Tai Chi instruction that fits your preferences.

6. No additional equipment necessary. All you need it your able body, desire and an instructor. There are more advanced forms of Tai Chi that uses a sword as a practice weapon. But it will be some time before you are ready to tackle this level, if you choose.

7. Gets you outdoors. Tai Chi can be practiced anywhere, but you get the most benefit practicing in the outdoors. preferably in a natural setting. The fresh air (deep breathing is a crucial part of Tai Chi), the sunlight  (many Americans are significantly Vitamin D deficient) and the sounds of nature, add unparalleled healing elements to your Tai Chi practice.

8. Cost effective. Tai Chi is a choreographed movement. And so the key to learning it is practice, practice, practice. You can progress just fine attending 1 sessions per week. The rest of your practice is done on your own or with other classmates, in between sessions with your instructor.

9. Tai Chi practice creates body awareness. Practicing Tai Chi teaches you how to listen to your body. You will begin to notice how your body reacts to your movement and develop a greater awareness of your energy level through the day. The little changes in body function that would have previously gone unnoticed, will become more apparent. This is extremely helpful for western men, who have been raised to ignore pain and use our bodies to the edge of abuse, before seeking out the assistance of a healing professional.

10. No special fitness apparel required. As long as your regular clothing is not tight and allows you to move freely (you need to take some big steps, raise you arms high, pivot and twist at the hip), you will have no problem practicing on your lunch break and returning to you desk without a shower and change of cloths.

A more significant motivator should be how Tai Chi practice can benefit your health. Researchers have found that intensive Tai Chi practice shows some favorable effects on:

  • the promotion of balance control, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness
  • has shown to reduce the risk of falls in both healthy elderly patients, and those recovering from chronic stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia,.
  • Tai chi’s gentle, low impact movements burn more calories than surfing and nearly as many as downhill skiing.
  • reduced levels of LDL’s 20–26 milligrams when practiced for 12–14 weeks.
  • compared to regular stretching showed the ability to greatly reduce pain and improve overall physical and mental health in people over 60 with severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • A pilot study has found preliminary evidence that tai chi and related qigong may reduce the severity of diabetes.
  • In a randomized trial of 66 patients with fibromyalgia, the tai chi intervention group did significantly better in terms of pain, fatigue, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education.
  • A systematic review funded in part by the U.S. government, of the current (as of 2010) studies on the effects of practicing Tai Chi found that, 1 hour to 1 year of regular Tai Chi significantly increased psychological well-being including reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhanced mood in community-dwelling healthy participants and in patients with chronic conditions. Seven observational studies with relatively large sample sizes reinforced the beneficial association between Tai Chi practice and psychological health.”

Now that you know what you’re missing:

Join The Medicine Movement – Fall Tai Chi Schedule

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No Health. No Wealth. Getting Our Priorities Straight October 21, 2010

Filed under: Health,Lifestyle — Kazi @ 6:00 am
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A sharp mind and a healthy body are fundamental to success in life and career. If your are in a business that demands critical decision making, stamina and a positive attitude, being healthy is particularly important.

How many of us these days suffer the stresses of long hours, multitasking and back to back deadlines. In addition to business and career pressures, we have family and community responsibilities pulling from every direction.

The stress that such a lifestyle can produce is enough to challenge the strength of your body and mind.

When you are unable to attend a critical business meeting due to a health issue, your colleagues will surely understand, but make no doubt about it, there will also be a certain level of disappointment and dissatisfaction in the atmosphere. If this becomes a pattern for you, their tolerance will swiftly fade.

A common cold, headache or twisted ankle can reduce you performance and jeopardize an important project. Imagine what a major illness could have on your plans.

So in addition to the hard and soft skills needed for success in your career, your health should be considered as a major asset to success in whatever field or venture you pursue.

Start viewing your health as part of your resume or as a key resource in you business plan.

Take proactive steps to make sure you prepare yourself physically, psycho-emotionally and socially to handle the challenges of your busy life.

Preventive health practices that foster and support vitality, clear thinking, restful sleep and and good digestion, should be included in your arsenal of strategies for business success.

Here are some key practices to help you obtain and maintain a healthy, happy body and mind.

  • Be sure to get enough sleep each night. Condition your sleep cycle by getting in bed at the same time every night.
  • Pay attention to your diet. Don’t treat your diet as casually as you do a trip to the toilet. Eat fresh, whole foods that sustain, energize and heal you naturally. Be sure to supplement your diet with super food snacks & herbs that fill in the nutritional gaps in your main meals.
  • Make exercise a daily routine. It doesn’t have to be a 60 minute sweat fest. I0-20 min. of vigorous exercise, 3-5 days a week, will keep you in shape once you’ve attained a healthy level of fitness for your age.
  • Your body is your personal temple. Keep it as clean as a house of worship erected as a dwelling space for divine. Inside and Out.  Add a seasonal detox and a regular trip to the sauna to your health maintenance schedule.
  • Don’t dwell on negative thoughts and emotions. Address any situation that has become a distraction directly. Then let it go and move on. Present your case in a calm but direct face to face or written messages that expresses your concerns.
  • Make time to share, consult, support and be nurtured by your social network. Whether family or friends. Make sure you are not isolated and have a circle of people to connect with who are not involved in your career.

The old attitude of putting your health on the back burner because your business comes first, is passe.

The compartmentalized model of life is slowly fading into the sunset as the integrated model that connects all aspects of our lives into one whole re-emerges on the opposite horizon.

Allow it to become your path to wealth, wisdom and good health.

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7 Seasonal Adjustments to Balance Your Health-Fitness Routine October 8, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 9:43 pm
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I was sitting on my back porch today. Soaking up the last rays of warmth before the sun dips further south. Most of the trees here are still pretty green. There are some scattered red and orange beauties, making their transition. And the few golden-yellow giants in the distance confirm that the first chill is not far away.

Autumn, more commonly known as fall is a season in which “things fall apart.” The leaves fall from the trees and fruit from the vine. Signaling the time for harvest, in-gathering and grounding.

The wise woman & man recognize the change of season as a shift in the energy governing the earth’s life, health and strength. To take advantage of the spirit of the season, it’s necessary to adjust our schedules, activities and diets to our environment.


Here are 7 suggestions to help get the most out of the cool-drying nature of Autumn.

1.Earlier to bed, later to rise.

Like the Sun, we can benefit by shortening our day. Add an extra ½ hour to your down time. You can add thirty minutes at each end of your rise and retire cycle or use the time for internal work like reading scripture/spiritual literature, contemplating nature or the stars, writing in your day/dream journal.


2.Nutrients in, garbage out.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the lungs and colon energy correspond to the fall season. Extra attention should be given to balancing any deficiencies in their function. Clean your nostrils each morning with the aid of a Netty pot, using slight sea salted water. Reduce your intake of mucus forming foods. Use expectorant herbs as a cordial tea to keep the lungs clear. The skin is a direct extension of the colon. Brushing the skin with a loofah or other wet brush will exfoliate the dead skin and stimulate circulation. Eat locally grown, fresh, fibrous fruits and vegetables to help clean the colon. In some instances, a colonic may be in order.


3.Fall back.

Reduce the intensity, length or frequency of your fitness regime. Harvest and begin storing life force in your energy channels to sustain you in the cold season when the sun will be scarce. Try one of these suggestions- if your working out 6 days a week, give yourself an extra day of rest. Train for 40 min. instead of an hour. Don’t increase your max weight or cardio/duration until the spring.


4.Work your inside game.

Increase you meditative and energy exercise time. Move from the outside in. The internal martial arts are excellent for balancing and fortifying your inner bodies. Practice standing and moving meditation forms to ground your mind-body. Release excess toxins into the earth, so that they can be transformed into life-sustaining energy. Yoga and Chi Kung are among the most popular forms practiced in the U.S. today. Find a teacher now and use the fall/winter seasons to build the foundation of your practice.


5.Enjoy the harvest.

Eat foods that are locally in season. Apple picking opportunities are available on farms throughout the east coast of the U.S. right about now. Take the family, get all the apples you can eat and have a blast doing it. Eat as much fall harvest food as you can: artichoke, arugula, broccoli, endive, beets, broccoli raabe, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, celery, chard, chicories, cranberries,eggplant, fennel, garlic, horseradish, kale, scallion, green onion, leeks, okra, pears, peppers, grapes, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkin, radish, spinach, sweet potato, turnips, squash and zucchini.


6.Baton down the hatches.

Start fortifying your residence against the coming wind and cold. Seal the windows and doors. Stock up wood for the fireplace. Stock up on rock salt for melting ice. Have your furnace serviced. Flush the radiators. Flush all gas powered garden equipment. Prepare to bring in the potted plants. Put away your garden hoses. Cover the swimming pool. Rearrange furniture to take advantage of the warmth of light from southern windows. Change your wardrobe. Put away the spring/summer clothing in exchange for the cold weather gear. Winterize your car.


7.Give thanks.

When we harvest the benefits of our hard work, we have to keep in mind that very little is accomplished alone. There are forces helping us both seen and unseen. Be grateful for all of the people who support, encourage, guide and challenge us. Give thanks to whatever force you hold to be “greater than yourself”, for allowing you an opportunity to live another day and make your unique contribution to the world. There is someone in the world right now, that would give anything to be in your shoes . . . . . . literally.


Those who do not lose their base endure
Those who die but do not perish have longevity
Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching

Above quote by permission of Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths in 2006.


 

Home Fitness Gym – Convenient, Efficient, Effective September 3, 2010

Filed under: Fitness — Kazi @ 1:36 pm
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Home fitness gyms are becoming more and more popular and even more affordable as people recognize the need for fitness programs to improve their health and wellness. Each year there is increasing evidence of the benefits of exercise to improve your health, including decreased cholesterol and blood pressure, improved sense of well-being, improved energy levels, and a decreased risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Home fitness gyms are on the rise because they are convenient, time saving and private. Many people who are starting a new program feel self-conscious at the gym where everyone is watching everyone else. The added benefit of the personal trainers at a gym is often outweighed by the cost of lost privacy and decreased convenience. Personal trainers can also be hired to train you at home or consulted for a short term to develop a program that you execute at home.

Home fitness gyms are also convenient because you are not dependent upon the hours of a gym. You can get up early and work out before going to work while still showering at home.

When you are choosing the equipment for your home gym look for a device that is designed for multiple functions. The home gym should also be safe, reliable and within your price range. These gyms don’t need to be expensive to provide the you with an effective workout. As technology advances the gyms are becoming more affordable while providing more variability.

When you are in the market for a home gym also be sure to evaluate the space in which you plan to keep, use and store the equipment. Sometimes there is a trade off when you are evaluating a home gym that folds efficiently and one that is more bulky. Often the gyms that use your own body weight are stored easily in a closet or under the bed making working out in your home even more attractive.

There is a home gym on the market to fit just about anyone’s needs. Gyms can be adapted for those who have disabilities; others are better suited to those who want an intense workout consistently and still others may meet the price range, availability and customer service needs of the client. What ever your choice you should make an attempt to try the home gym at the store or do extensive research to read reviews of real people who have actually used the product.

Home gyms are a real benefit to people who have a desire to improve their health but at the same time want the convenience and privacy of working out in their own home. As sales increase and technology advances the possibilities for home fitness gyms expand each year. Home or at the gym? The choice is yours.

 

Don’t Turn Your Friends into Foes May 20, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 2:54 pm
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Something I encounter frequently, when inviting prospective clients to participate in a group training session or complimentary private session, is the old “I’m going to get my husband, girlfriend, cousin, boss, etc. to come do it with me. These people rarely seize the opportunity to get started on their health and fitness quest.

I am the first to advocate starting a health and fitness regimen with a partner or group of friends. Social support is an effective tool in ensuring adherence to you wellness program. But to delay the initiation of your goals, until you can get someone you know to join you, is nothing less than self-sabotage.

If you are serious about adopting a healthier lifestyle, joining a gym, starting a nutrition program, or taking steps to achieve any goal for that matter. Do not make getting a friend on board a pre-requisite to you getting started.  In fact, the exact opposite is the most effective.

When your friends and family see the progress you are making, physically, psycho-emotionally and spiritually via your quest, they will be begging you to share your secrets with them.  You will not have to sell the idea to them.  They will demand to be included.

Now you have an opportunity to share your blessings with those you love and hold dear. You can be the catalyst that transforms a friend, family or entire community by becoming the pudding, in which is found the proof.

We all have a leader inside of us, waiting to Rise and Shine.  Don’t bury your light under a bushel basket. Lead by example, then invite others to follow the trail you’ve blazed to a gold mine of healthy wisdom.

muchopaz

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM

www.mybodytemple.net
www.twitter.com/50andFit

kazi@mybodytemple.net

 

Buddha Belly Blues May 17, 2010

Filed under: Fitness,Health — Kazi @ 11:13 am
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I was at a barbeque yesterday (yeah, I get down like dat. What, what?)and a friend of the family asked me-

“What exercise can I do to get this fat off my belly”?

This is a question every fitness professional has been asked over a hundred times or more.  The six pack is the ultimate symbol of fitness and beauty in today’s youth oriented society.


I preceded to share the common knowledge in the fitness community (although sometimes hidden) that “there is none.”

There is no one magic exercise for eliminating belly fat or any other body fat for that matter.

Crunches, sit ups and the entire host of core training exercises will not eliminate belly fat, no matter how disciplined you are about doing them. What they will do is give you strong, well defined abdominal muscles that will remain hidden behind a burka of fat.


A burka is a over garment warn by women in many Muslim communities around the world. It hides the women’s body and face, protecting her from the gazes of the opposite sex and protects the men from having their lustful thoughts stirred up.


Belly fat can do the same thing for you.

Your tight, strong, intense workout defined abs will never be the focus of attention.

Only you will know just how strong,toned and beautiful they are.


But your not married you say. Oh, well that’s different. You should have said something earlier. To get rid of the belly fat that not only hides your sexy abs from the world, but is also a major risk factor for heart disease, you will have to make some dietary changes.

Bottom line, six pack abs are the result of a combination of proper diet, core strength training and aerobic exercise.

You need all three to get the abs you want.  To save time you can do intense interval training that delivers both strength and aerobic training benefits.


You can still get the beach body you desire in time for you summer vacay or weekends at the beach. Contact me at 973-658-6055.

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM

www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

kazi@mybodytemple.net

 

Turn Your House Into a Home May 11, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 5:00 pm
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There are six key components to my KISS (keep it small and simple) healthy living philosophy. I have come up with this KISS analogy to make it easy to remember (that is if you care to remember).

Imagine your wellness lifestyle as a house. An average house, single family, one maybe two bedrooms, there are some common things you will find in the layout.

We enter on the first floor to find three main rooms- living room, dining room and kitchen. Beginning with the kitchen and dining rooms. This is where the family prepares and consumes nutriment.  The kitchen is a central area to any home.

Anciently, many cultures designed there living spaces around the meal prep. and cooking area called the hearth.

The hearth was the floor of the fireplace, usually made of stone or brick. The word hearth eventually became synonymous with house, home family.

The hearth was the first multi-purpose space. It was dining area, family room and guest/living room. This demonstrates the importance of diet and social support in the lives of human beings.

On the second floor, in a small house you will find the bedroom(s) and toilet/bathroom. The bedroom is where for the most part we sleep.

Sleep is one of the most overlooked healing elixirs at out disposal. Sleep is the repairer and restorer.

It is my belief that you should not have a TV in your bedroom and most certainly not go to sleep with the TV left on.

This is an invasion of your psychic privacy of the worst kind.

When you are asleep, you can still hear, you just can’t listen.  The conscious mind is the one that sleeps. It is the conscious mind (when functional) that screens, categorizes and files cultural data (words, stories,etc.).

When you sleep with the TV running in the background, you open yourself up to psychic intrusion. Your dreams are an open door to any and all messages; positive and negative.

The toilet is the central space for physical hygiene.  Many in the medical profession contend that medical technology is the root cause of life extension and public health in the 20the century.

But any medical anthropologist worth her salt, knows that the health and improved life expectancy of the western population improved exponentially with the advent of universal indoor plumbing, the toothbrush, public sanitation and the embrace of the idea that “cleanliness is next to godliness.”

The attic’ the highest space in the house, is where we store the things we don’t necessarily use daily, but would like to have access to them when the need arises. Much of it’s contents has been accumulated over a long period of time. And many things being held onto their, have long outlived there usefulness. I like to connect the idea of the attic to our mindset.

Our headset or belief system holds a high position in our hierarchy of values. This is the crossroads of the healing journey. When we are unable to get rid of the head trash that keeps us stuck in a non productive, de-evolutionary, diseased death-style holding pattern. We will be at the mercy of home invasion by the local riff raff: virus, germs, toxic foods, pollution, stress and the like.

If you truly want to attain and maintain a life of health, wealth and wisdom. Clean out your attic.

Lastly, the basement of the house, in addition to housing the laundry room and  core infrastructure, is where many home owners have their recreational space.  In a small house, the home gym is usually found in the basement.  Cool in the summer and not too warm in the winter. The concrete walls of an unfinished basement has the gritty, non-frills feel of a grunt gym.  This is the the space where we get our workout – in.

So, the six elixirs of Therapeutic  Lifestyle Alchemy are: Sleep, Hygiene, Exercise, Diet, Social Support and Mindset.  These are all aspects of our lives that are under our control. No rocket science required.

Get sufficient sleep. Pay attention to your hygiene (the rest of us will appreciate that also). Get moving. Eat whole foods. Share your life with, support and solicit help from family, friends and community. Periodically reassess your beliefs, values and idea of self.

These are the keys to transforming base metals (house) into gold (a home).


Dingman’s Falls HikeSaturday May 15

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM

www.mybodytemple.net
www.twitter.com/50andFit

kazi@mybodytemple.net