Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Healthy Lifestyles

This is a post about fitness. I'll be taking a step backward into my previous career for the sake of artists who have no clue when it comes to fitness or where to start. Having a healthier lifestyle can reduce stress and improve your daily function, which also leads to a smoother workflow and maybe that improves your artwork. Healthier bodies, healthier minds, and healthier lives benefit everyone.

I know, I know. You probably haven't looked in the mirror for a while and felt entirely satisfied with what you saw. Believe me, I've been there. It's one of those things people know they should be doing, but taking that first step can be so difficult at times. Hell, I even know some artists who have such hectic work schedules that the idea of a 30-60 minute workout 3-5 times a week is pretty absurd. Now, I don't mean to toot my own dick boast, but I do have a number of years under my belt in the fitness industry, and with a background in Exercise Science and sport-specific training, I do feel more qualified than most others to talk about fitness and how you can make it a part of your lifestyle regardless of your schedule.

I'm not gonna pitch workout programs, DVD's, debate whether I think P90X or Insanity are worth your hard-earned dollar, or tell you what bullshit form of 'paleo' diet you should be on. Those are all questions you can ask me personally and I'd be more than happy to answer them without charge.* I'm just gonna give you some simple tips for you to start doing and hopefully you can make them a primer for your later research. Caveat: I am of the philosophy that doing anything is better than doing nothing. These tips aren't going to have you looking like a Golden Era bodybuilder, but they're good for your general health & wellness.

1. Do a little extra. Instead of walking around the house, try power walking around the house. Instead of finding that parking spot closer to the store entrance, park further away and walk the distance to the storefront (assuming you're not handicapped). Instead of sitting in a chair all day while you paint, stand and paint. Standing will help to correct postural deficiencies that are created by sitting for long periods of time. Basically, whatever shortcuts you're taking to make your day seem more efficient, quit taking them and do that little bit to keep your body more active.

2. Drink water. Are you drinking lots of water throughout the day? Why not!? It's fat-free!!! If you don't like the taste of tap water, add a few drops of lemon or lime juice (any fruit will do) to the water to conceal the mineral taste that typically turns people away. Citric acid also stimulates bile production in the stomach, which improves digestion. Also, try sparkling water. The minerals in sparkling water help to prevent the onset of osteoporosis, ladies, that one is for you. The colder seasons are the worst for people when it comes to remaining hydrated. I've encountered more dehydrated bodies during this time, because people don't feel the need to consume as much water. It's a important to maintain adequate levels of hydration all the time, not just when you're hot and sweaty.

3. Healthy snacks. If you know me, you know I love food. I maintain a health eating habit of three to four meals a day, but I also snack like no other. Eating small granola bars, a cup of almonds, some fruits and vegetables, maybe a hardboiled egg or two, is a good way to keep your metabolism active. Higher metabolisms result in leaner bodies. Plus, these little snacks are wonderful for keeping your body supplied with nutrients your body needs to function. Snacks generally don't take long to prepare and you can keep them by your table or canvas while you work.

There you have it. Three easy steps to start changing the way you go about your day. They seem pretty obvious, and really easy, right? So why isn't everyone already doing it? Starting small is essential to finishing big. Too often do I see people jump right in to new workout programs and diets without preparing themselves, and shortly after give up and go back to binge eating (or not eating regularly). Your body is an adaptive, survival machine and should be eased into changes you make. You'll thank me when you take the time to do it right.

In regards to workouts, research programs that fit your goals. In other words, what do you want to accomplish? Now find a program that gets you to that end--safely! I emphasize 'safely' because too many people want it NOW and unfortunately, that doesn't always mean well. If you're taking shortcuts to improve the appearance of your body at the expense of your health then you're wasting your time, literally. I look and feel damn good, but that took years of proper research, dieting, and training--in that order--to be able to say that. You'll feel much better about yourself and your accomplishment to know you put in the sweat equity for your goals. Hiring a personal trainer or consultant is also a good idea, but be sure to research them as well. There are too many 'gurus' running around the fitness industry that'll tell you whatever the fuck you wanna hear and run off with your money. Talk to their previous clients, affiliations, and check their credentials. Your money was earned and your body is your own. You don't want to be another sucker to some schmuck.

I avoided getting technical with my information for the sake of the general audience. Like I mentioned above, if you have any questions just feel free to ask me. I can do my best to help inform you or help point you in the right direction for your research.

In other news, my friend, Cynthia Sheppard, did a painting for the cover of the new issue for ImagineFX magazine. Yours truly even makes an appearance as a marble statue, hehe.

Check out the image here.

Also, in case you missed my sneak peek yesterday this is for you: click

* I believe in the free sharing of knowledge and I'll continue to promote that ideal for as long as I can.

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