REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
The more I learn about the functionality of my body, both anatomically and physically, the less I fear food and dread workouts. Instead, in the way a typical man nurtures and cares for his favorite car with proper fuel, oil changes, and other regular maintenance, I try to care for and nurture my body. I take care of it so that I can keep it in the best condition possible, for as long as possible. In the same way that I feel most comfortable in a dependable car, I also feel best in a dependable, healthy body.
I follow many health and fitness pages on Facebook. Many! Seeing my Facebook feed filled with tips, tricks, ideas, suggestions, and information to help me care for my body, also helps keep it’s importance on my mind. It’s good to have those daily reminders. One page that Facebook actually suggested for me was, Eat To Perform. I liked it, immediately. The very name of the page resonated with me. Eat to perform. It was just the message I needed, at the time. I wasn’t thinking of my food as a method of fueling my performance at the time. After seeing that page, I started to. I started thinking of my food as fuel, and my body as a vehicle that required top quality food, for top quality performance. It’s been a few years since I started following that page, and it’s name is still so meaningful to me. It changed my relationship with food.
I know on Saturday’s I do my study recaps, but with the boys in school, now, I have more time to study and my mind is overflowing with thoughts on the information I’m learning. One of the things in this past weeks studies was about the different metabolic processes of converting food into fuel. There’s a few different ways your body can do this. Some of which require oxygen, and some of which don’t. Without oxygen, your body is able to produce quick bursts of intense energy, but it only lasts a few short minutes. With oxygen, your body can burn either fat (can’t burn fat without oxygen) or glucose for longer lasting energy. It’s not just about your lungs and your heart. Your heart pumps the oxygen you breathe in to the cells where it can help with the metabolic process of creating energy. I also learned that when you don’t exhale your bodies built up carbon dioxide efficiently, it builds up, creating lactate, which gives that intense muscular burn.
After learning why and how important proper breathing is for my body, I’ve started paying more attention to my breathing. Oh, sure, I’ve heard my breathing was important before. I had a friend tell me once that if I didn’t breathe I would get a hernia. I had a trainer tell me I’d pass out if I didn’t breathe. I had no understanding of how proper intake of oxygen was needed to fuel my workouts and give me the energy to endure them. I had no idea that I needed oxygen if I wanted to burn fat. I did not know that my muscular burns could be brought on by built up carbon dioxide. I’ve since made it a point to focus on my breathing through my workouts. I consciously breathe in and out and try to find an efficient pattern that I can maintain. I try to consciously blow out the carbon dioxide. I’ve really noticed an improvement in my workouts since I started doing this more mindfully. I don’t strain nearly as much, and my energy is better.
In my studies, my lessons have also talked about how the skeletal and muscular systems are comparable to a complex system of levers. Muscles attach to different bones, one on each side of a joint. As you contract your muscles, the lever is activated and pulled. If you are holding a weight, depending on the placement of the weight, the amount of torque required to lift it can change. For example, when doing side arm raises to work your shoulders. If you hold 10 lb dumbbells in your hand to do the raises, it requires more torque (effort) than if you attached the weights further up on your arms.
It was interesting learning about how in some movements, when a muscle contracts, it’s opposite muscle is stretched. It makes so much sense, but we don’t always stop and think about it. While walking to pick up my boys from school today, I was paying attention to my body with each step. I was noticing how as I lifted my leg to take a step, my quad would contract, my hamstrings would stretch and my core muscles would activate to keep me balanced.
When you think about all of the systems, processes, and functions going on in your body at all times, you can’t help but realize what a magnificent and complex vehicle/machine/body it is. For such a fine vehicle, it only makes sense to give it the best fuel and the best care. Give your body what it needs to be not only dependable, but premium. Give it the very best.