“Going Green” appears to be one of, if not the mantra of the new century. Companies worldwide are claiming to cut back on waste production, energy costs, and finding newer Earth friendly solutions for conducting business in today’s eco-conscious world. “Going Green” initiatives began in response to the growing concern for the health of the Earth and its environment as a result of the adverse changes occurring to the planet, whether caused by man, natural causes, or some combination of both. But what about a growing concern for the health of the population?
Does your head hurt as the bills pile up? Is your heart racing as your investments and job opportunities head south? In these tough economic times, financial stress can hurt not only your wallet but also your body and your mind. According to a poll from the Associated Press, the recession and consequential debt may be harming the health of up to 16 million Americans. Although a recession does not kill tens of thousands of people in a single catastrophic event, it harms health in the long run. The consequences of dealing with financial uncertainties can be devastating.
No excuses — quite possibly the favorite of expression of most physical trainers, and this one is no different. It is a common slogan in athletic environments, often seen on the back of t-shirts and sweatshirts or on the walls of weight rooms and locker rooms. These are two simple yet powerful words. The slogan urges athletes to maintain their focus and to put in the physical and mental work needed to perform at their best. Simply put, there is no excuse for doing something that could prove to be detrimental to performance or avoiding the work that needs to be put in.
Imagine for a moment that while heading out to work for another day of toil and labor, you stop at your favorite place to grab a coffee, breakfast, or whatever you do to start your day. Then while on your way to your confinement for the next eight to ten hours, you pull into a drive-thru; only this drive-thru is not a bank or another fast food joint. It is a body shop. Here you drop your body off and head off to work while your body is flexed, stretched, and exercised while you sit at work.
See if this sounds all too familiar. Wake up at 6 am; get a cup of coffee and perhaps eat breakfast; watch the morning news programs or read the paper; get in the car for a one hour commute to work; get to work and go through the motions for eight hours; get in the car again for another one hour commute back home; eat a dinner or something called a dinner; watch four hours of moronic TV; have another terrible night of sleep and start the entire process all over again. Does this sound like a typical day for you?
It's only Monday and you're already wishing it was Friday. Sound too familiar? Is work really that bad or is it that you just don’t enjoy what you’re doing? Or is it perhaps that the cause of your anguish really has nothing to do with your job, your career, or your colleagues? Chances are, the one thing that can make any work seem a lot worse than it actually is the one thing you take to work and even take it back home with you. I’m talking of course about your back.
Times are tough, financially speaking of course. Our greed has now become the very cause of the enemy we now face. But even in a troubled economy, there is a glimmer of hope; that things can only get better. While no one can accurately predict or guarantee when that will happen, one assurance we can all and should grasp is the one asset we have 100 percent control over — our health. Without our health, there is nothing but illness, decline, and darkness; much worse than any bad news that could ever come from Wall Street.
A while ago I received an interesting e-mail from a blog I subscribe. The author of the blog, Seth Godin, a bestselling author, entrepreneur and self-professed agent of change questioned whether effort was a myth. He pointed out that our society, as is reinforced through the media, believes that success is merely a product of luck – who you know and whether you get “picked.” Politicians and beauty queens who get by on a smile and a wink; lottery winners who turn a lifetime of lousy jobs into one big payday; sports stars who are born with skills we could never hope to ac
The number one resolution people make every year is to lose weight. As a result, weight loss is a billion-dollar a year industry. The reason: everyone is looking for the quick fix when it comes to losing weight and never appreciating the fact that losing weight takes time. It’s a surefire and costly path to failure. Everyone wants to burn body fat yet few people truly understand how our bodies do that. What better gift than by sharing with you just how that happens.
It has always been amazing to me to think that people need to be incentivized to be healthy. Despite all the studies on the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle; the number of preventable diseases prevalent in today’s society; the growing evidence that we are a civilization in physical peril, and people still don’t feel that the investment in themselves is not important or valuable enough. That is unless of course, there is an incentive for them to do so. Worse yet, they blame their poor health and poor choices on other circumstances, some of which they claim to be beyond their control.
It should come as no surprise by now that sitting for prolonged periods of time is poor for our health. One of the many negative effects of sitting is a compromised posture. Poor posture can cause several obvious pains but has also been linked to feelings of depression, energy loss, and poor circulation. For many in today’s workforce, sitting for hours of the day is not only necessary, but a requirement of their profession, so getting up to move away and straighten up is not always easy. However, there are a few tricks you can use while sitting at your desk to help improve your posture.
A common misconception of the self-employed is that they have the flexibility in their schedules to do what they want when they want. While that is only partially true, it’s an unfortunate assumption the self-employed make for themselves as well. Sure, there are potentially greater freedoms and more flexibility in the schedule, but those who work for themselves are dependent on one and usually only one person to get the job done. Personal time is often sacrificed for last minute projects, client meetings and tight deadlines and all at the expense of their physical and mental well-being.
Times have recently been tough and there has been little to be confident about, but things do have a way of turning around for the better. While there are many things that are simply out of our control, there are few things in life that we have complete control over and those are usually the most important. Take your health for example. Even in a time of economic despair, one guarantee is that there is the opportunity to live a healthy life so long as you take control over the things that you can control.
It has been said that variety is the spice of life. Life is short; therefore, enjoy everything that you can, in moderation of course. Enter the world of mass confusion. “If I am to enjoy life, then what I am supposed to eat if I want to remain healthy?” How much exercise do I really need? How can I afford to take another day off from work? When and how am I supposed to get more sleep?” These questions and many others would be a welcomed addition to any trivia game show for their answers would be so outlandish that even the most seasoned trivia buff would not be able to answer them clearly.
At the time I began to write this article, it was hard to believe that all of the snow would ever go away; that spring would never come, and according to the groundhog, we were in store for another few more weeks of winter. But it then became more noticeable that the daylight hours had been getting longer and the birds had resumed their chirping in the morning. Even with all of the snow on the ground, a lot of melting occurred during the daylight hours. Spring is indeed coming and before long, outdoor activity will resume.
Why would anyone go into business if they thought they were going to fail? Despite the statistics of new start-ups that plunder in the first three to five years (two-thirds in two years, 44 percent in four years) not one of them would say they took the leap of faith because they knew they would fail. Failure is not a goal, at least not for anyone who sets out to do something they dream about. So why then do people try every new diet fad year after year when they know, or may be it is because they don’t, that they are doomed to failure?
Eating well is a daunting task enough. Eating well on the road is an even greater challenge. Even if you are one of the fortunate who has no to minimal travel required for work, the abundance of fast food and busy schedules that interfere with planning meals makes good nutrition seem almost impossible. Wrong! As in most things in life, it comes down to choice and personal responsibility. It has been my experience that has taught me that most are just the victims of poor information.
Injuries at work are common (3.7 million cases in 2008), particularly in occupations that require physical labor. But what about the white-collar folks? The desk jockeys sitting in front of their computer; the salesman driving in the car from client to client; the endless work traveler. Do these workers miss days due to occupational hazards? After all, does anyone really get hurt while sitting at a desk? Shouldn’t you have to lift something or be performing back-breaking exercises all day long to even have a chance at getting injured while on the job?
Affordability. In today’s economic state, it is a term that has become more commonplace in business than growth and prosperity. Businesses today are asking themselves: “Can we afford advertising? Can we afford to hire more staff? Can we afford to keep operating at the same costs and still turn a profit?” In a time when things may be grim for a lot of businesses, the only ones that are going to survive are the ones who make an effort now to turn things around. And to turn things around they need to focus on what’s most important instead of focusing on the negative.
No pain, no gain. For decades, this was the accepted mantra of those who competed in bodybuilding or power lifting events, which was then passed on to and assumed by the general population as the only way to exercise to improve health, lose weight, or change the shape of their body. As years of research and a better understanding of the effects of exercise on the body have shown, the “no pain, no gain” theme is not really fair or accurate. Or is it?