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
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Fall Hiking Schedule

 

Can Virtual Rehearsal Enhance Athletic Performance August 18, 2010

Filed under: Health,Sport — Kazi @ 1:57 pm
Tags: , ,

Athletic performance can actually be improved using the interaction between the mind and the body. That mind-body connection has giving athletes positive, reproducible results for over 20 years. If we consider Asian martial artist, we can increase this number to some hundreds of years. The only barrier in the way of the athlete is learning the process that improves athletic performance by enabling the mind-body connection.

Studies have shown that learning new behaviors are more easily achieved when we practice them first in our minds. Learning the guitar is done more easily when we practice the cords in our minds. Using visualization to ‘see’ the placement of each finger on the guitar over and over again decreases the learning curve to play the guitar.

Our minds function as a studio in which we rehearse our lines, movements and emotional content before the actual scheduled performance. For instance, athletic performance increases when the athlete visualizes the specific event in their minds several times before the actual event. World-class runners have been doing this for years. They spend a couple of days visualizing each step they will take over the route. They see landmarks, hills and they feel their breathing patterns for each part of the course.

The entire experience is accounted for in the mental rehearsal. Athletic performance will improve when they also visualize how they’ll take each water stop, and if they’ll eat food during longer distance races. Nothing is left to chance and no detail is too small. Once the brain has been over the race and believes the body will feel great the athlete has a significant advantage over their opponents.

This works because as we visualize we are creating, arranging and rearranging neural interactions in the brain that later tell the body what to do since it has already happened. Executives use this technique to visualize their performance in major meetings; wealthy people mentally experience the execution of goal strategies and their outcomes. The key is to not just do positive thinking but actually experience the desired outcome in virtual reality, as if it was the here and now.

Leave a comment below with suggestions of ways virtual performance can assist us in our health and fitness pursuits.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen“(Heb.11:1)

 

Child Chi April 30, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 9:39 pm
Tags:

To be successful at making changes in our lives,

it can be helpful to observe the behavior and attitudes of young children.

Observe them change as they age.

“In order to fit in, there are parts of ourselves we have out fit”
ib’nallah

Our minds are very much like children

Always questioning. Initially the world. Later ourselves

Knows how to get your attention.

Restless the night before a big event.

Will wander away if not monitored.

Initially abhors clothing (ideological constraints).

Curious yet fearful.

Is a born swimmer but soon forgets (the subconscious).

Loves to tinker (experiment).

Has imaginary friends.

Sings for there own enjoyment.

Dances cause it feels good.

Born wild and is later domesticated.

Are easily satisfied until their desires are multiplied.

Are in touch with there senses.

Thrives in an environment that foster expression.

Enjoys a good joke.

Has trouble focusing for long stretches.

Approaches pleasure and Avoids pain.

Loves to move.

Takes things personal.

Loves it’s mother (earth).

In our quest for healing, change and integrity

what can the child-mind teach us?

What gems can we find, hidden

in forgotten but not dead recesses of our soul?

muchpece,
Kazi

—————————————————————————————————————————–

Tuesday May 4 is the Official Jump Off

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM

Warning:

Side effects of boot camp may include: weight loss, muscle tone,

increased energy, libido and cat calls.

In essence, a boot camp is the “I’m finally sick and tired of being sick and tired workout. It’s the “I’m serious about transforming my coach potato body into a sleek, tasty sweet potato fry workout.” The BodyFit Boot Camp pits you against your doubts, procrastination and denial in a no holds barred, knock down, drag out conflict for the title of:

“BOSS OF ME”

See you at boot camp.

PS. Tai Chi Kung beginning May 8 at Branch Brook Park.
Free Pre-Boot Camp continues Saturday. 1 sessions remaining.

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

kazi@mybodytemple.net

 

Not Just for Pampering April 25, 2010

Filed under: Fitness,Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 5:15 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I see plenty of advertisements for Spas, Spa services and Spa parities these days. The promote the purchase of massage, facials, saunas, body scrubs and more. The Spa business along with fitness (sometimes combined in the same space) has been one of the fastest growing businesses in major cities around the country for the past 20 years.

The marketing of spa services has been very successful. The emphasis in the marketing has concentrated on the pampering aspect of going to a spa. The need for pampering in a fast paced, competitive society such as ours is legitimate and deserves exposure. At the same time, this emphasis on pampering may go over the heads of certain segments of the population, who could benefit greatly from regular of even an occasional spa experience.

In particular, many men still have not experienced the benefits of visiting a spa.  The idea of pampering in some minds is still something for women and metrosexuals.  Real men don’t eat quiche and most certainly do not enter the fru-fru halls of a spa.  Stone age thinking, but still very prevalent.

Massage is the one aspect of the spa that is pretty acceptable across genders. But it too fails to attract some people because it is looked at as a luxury. “I’ve had a massage before. I felt like a new man afterward. But it’s just to expensive to do regularly’”. This is something I’ve heard from woman also. Not just in reference to getting a massage, but in response to any sort of spa treatment.

I think there is an opportunity here for those of us in the health and fitness professions to highlight the health benefits of going to a spa or soliciting the services of a spa professional and integrating spa therapies into our clients healthy lifestyle programs.  The treatments that I listed above are not only delightful to experience, they are healing to the body, mind and spirit.  Spa treatments are detoxifying, stress reducing and can also be bonding for couples, families and friends. These three aspects alone are some of the most powerful preventive and curative medicines at our disposal.

The two that I find indispensable to maintaining my health are massage and saunas or steam baths. The sauna takes a few minutes to get used to if you haven’t been. But the moment of initial discomfort is worth it. As the body temperature rises, perspiration and blood circulation increases. The muscles and organs are stimulated and toxic waste is removed from your body through perspiration.

The heat also relaxes the muscles, making them soft and pliable. Try stretching after spending a few minutes in a sauna or steam room.  You will find that your range of motion has increased significantly. Minor aches you may have been experiencing many times melt away.

To put the icing on the cake, have a massage done after spending at least a combined half hour in a sauna and hot tub.  You will arise from the table so relaxed, you would be wise to take a little nap before leaving the spa.

High powered business executives, pro athletes, politicians, royalty and entertainers have been taking advantages of spa treatments for hundreds of years. If you feel you can’t afford a massage, get a 30 minute chair massage. You will not regret it. Most chair practitioners charge somewhere in the region of $1/min.  Shop around for a spa or freelancer in your area that has reasonable rates. You can usually save on treatments by buying multiple sessions as part of a package.  This will also motivate you to get treated on a regular basis.

My favorite place here in New Jersey is King Sauna. I go mainly for the variety of heat treatments available. Women swear by the body scrubs they get there.

Make spa services an integral part of your Sacred Wellness Lifestyle Program.  See you at the spa.

muchpeace,
Kazi

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp continues Tuesday. 3 sessions remaining.

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

kazi@mybdoytemple.net

 

Sitting Bull April 20, 2010

Filed under: Health,Lifestyle — Kazi @ 9:22 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

A healthy lifestyle addresses all of the aspects of our lives that contribute to our ability to thrive physically,socially and psychologically. No stone should be left unturned. These three components of our lives are integrated.  They support each other, inform each other and work together as a unified whole that is the cornerstone of true health.

As you already know.  I am a stickler for efficiency when it comes to health and healing power tools (strategies, techniques). I am a believer in the acronym KISS: keep it small and simple.  So anytime I find a tool that is not only safe, effective and efficient, but addresses more than one of these crucial areas of our being at once. I incorporate it into my way of life. One essential power tool that I discovered over 30 years ago and have been committed to for over 20 years is the practice of meditation.

Meditation practice addresses the physical body through relieving stress and resetting the sub-conscious, life maintenance faculties of our being, in the way that you re-start your computer after a minor crash.

Meditation teaches us patience and to pause the constant ego chatter that prevents us from truly hearing and connecting beyond our own self interest, without becoming a slave to tribal, common senser standards of right and wrong.


Meditation also acquaints you with that part of your self that is quiet, non-judgmental and most important enduring.  The part that is always and forever in the here and now, which is all there is. Making this acquaintance is the key to mind health and to tapping the wealth of the psyche.

Here is another simple meditation practice you can begin today.

  1. Find a comfortable, quiet space.
  2. Sit erect, but not tense on the edge of your seat.
  3. Breathe deeply and slowly into your belly (your chest and shoulders should not rise and fall).
  4. Mentally scan your body from head to toe for areas of tension and release them.
  5. Now, begin counting backwards from 100. Counting one number for each inhalation and each exhalation.
  6. If at any point you lose count, return to 100. Do not become frustrated. Losing count is normal in the beginning. It too shall pass.
  7. When you arrive at 0, just sit quietly and listen. Just listen.
  8. After 5-10 minutes, very slowwwly open your eyes.
  9. When your focus fully returns to the outer world, slowly stand and end your practice.

Run this experiment for 28 days (four weeks) and keep a journal of your experience during the practice and of new things you notice in your physical, social and psychological life since beginning the practice.  Come back and share with us your findings.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating!
bro. jamal

muchpeace,
Kazi

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp continues Thursday. 5 sessions remaining.
www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

kazi@mybdoytemple.net

 

Believe You Me April 14, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Health,Lifestyle,Mind,Movement,Wellness — Kazi @ 9:29 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Because I am a fitness professional, people often assume that my philosophy on health revolves around physical exercise.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Physical exercise is a important and integral part of any health and wellness program, but it’s not the be all and end all.

In working with private clients, I try to drive home to them that attaining and maintaining a healthy lifestyle revolves around six key components. They are: diet, exercise, hygiene, sleep, mindset and social support.  These are the bedrock of an effective and holistic healthy lifestyle program.  But if I had to choose one, as the most significant in the effect it has upon a persons success in their attempt to get and stay healthy; I would have to go with mindset.

Your mindset is the mental model that informs your value system, your goals, ethics, self-esteem, social interactions and in fact your reality.  Your belief system is the filter through which everything you experience and perceive is screened to be accepted, rejected or modified.  Some of these beliefs you are very much aware of and others have long ago receded into the unconscious.

When you decide to make some changes in your lifestyle in order to improve your own and your families health, it’s because of the value you have placed on health in your head.  Just as important as your value for health, is your belief in your ability to make the changes necessary and degree of confidence you have in the method or professional you choose to aid you in reaching your goal.

If you approach the task of transforming your lifestyle with a head full of doubts and negative thinking, you are almost sure to fail. Likewise a lack of confidence in the person you have chosen to help you, may very well render you un-coachable.   Both of these attitudes lead to self sabotage.  Fortunately, like behavior, your beliefs and attitudes although deep rooted can be modified.

In essence, when choosing a program that involves any kind of behavior change.  Make sure it addresses the powerful influence played by the unseen, intangible and elusive committee of beliefs.  Once you are successful in getting your head centered in the game, you are guaranteed to be a winner.

“With confidence, you have won before you have started”
Marcus Garvey

muchpeaceluv,
Kazi CPT, CMT

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp (six sessions) begins this coming Tuesday.
www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

 

Compassionate Confrontation with Comfort April 10, 2010

In the past couple of weeks I have stepped up my own fitness routine to take advantage of the exuberant energy of the season and to prepare for the Spring/Summer season of BodyFit Boot Camp at Branch Brook Park in Newark. Over the years, when exercising at a challenging intensity I’ve become well acquainted with my minds borderline panic reaction to physical stress.

When we exercise our bodies at a level it has not been accustomed to, when we push or get pushed beyond our comfort zone, our mind sounds a crisis scale alarm before we even enter our personal Red Zone. The alarm takes on various tones. Rationalizations- logical, reasonable arguments that support the idea of letting up – “Take it down now and go hard on the next set.” Suddenly remembering something Important and slowing down to “….gather your thoughts.” Or, after the sensation of your lungs and muscles burning, get outright ignorant with some “what da fuk am I doin, this sht is crazy.” (Pardon my french)

On the flip side, exercising at athletic intensity requires a very monitored field of attention. You don’t have the luxury of allowing your thoughts to drift in whichever direction the wind is blowing. The successful (safe, efficient and effective) application of strength, balance, agility, speed, energy transformation and will; to complete a movement or series of movements is tied directly to ones’ ability to stay in the moment.

So a polarity is set up in the psyche, with the thoughts running in one direction and the attention affixed to another. Some may see this as a less than ideal situation. It is most ideal. It is the ideal opportunity for the sedentary man and women to practice an ancient and simple method of gaining physical and psychological strength, simultaneously. Here is a technique I have found useful. Put it to good use.

  1. In safe surroundings. While performing a movement/exercise you have mastered and can execute with proper form.
  2. Allow your attention to remain fixed on the observation of :
  • your movement in space and in your body
  • the breath entering and leaving your body (don’t try to control it)
    3. When your mind begins to make SUGGESTIONS to let up or stop:
  • scan your body for pain
  • if you find pain, observe it, along with your motion and breath
  • do not comment on the suggestions from the mind keep returning your attention to your movement, breath and body

This is the practice of compassionate confrontation with comfort. It yields strength, body awareness and stress resilience. So don’t just read this post and go back to the couch. These holistic benefits will carry over into every aspect of your life. I dear you to take these 5 simple points and see what a difference they will make in your daily wealth, health and wisdom.

Leave me a comment about your experiences with entering your physical discomfort zone.  I would love to hear it.

Kazi

Rise and Shine Your Light Divine

http://mybodytemple.net
http://mybodyfitbootcamp.com
http://twitter.com/50andFIT