Do you have big dreams? Do you still require self-development to make them a reality? If so, you are in good company. We are covering a three-part blog series on self-development, covering the mind, body and spirit; and we just finished a brief overview on mental development. If you missed it, that’s OK! This series is not sequential, but you will want to go back and read it as we will refer to it. Starting with this blog, we will cover the importance of developing the body and how to go about it.
Before we go any further, I want to be candid. The amount of research required to adequately address the topics we’re covering can get overwhelming, and the runoff from that research that lands on these blogs consists of mere droplets from a torrent of available information. I encourage anyone interested in learning more to do your own research. Always feel free to reach out to me as well. I am happy to share more.
Joking…but not really
Let’s be honest. If you are a male, you might joke about keeping your “girlish figure.” If you are a female…well, you probably joke, but you are not really joking. Most of us are probably conscious of our bodies and dream of getting back in shape, but we have trouble departing from our current habits. Why? Well, it requires change. Mark Twain said, “The only person who likes change is a wet baby.”
As we have seen in recent blogs, change is a requirement for growth. We need it. Change for the better. A challenge. We have also spoken about motivation and how it develops as a result of action, which involves change. So, as we challenge ourselves to develop our body, let’s keep that in mind. We shouldn’t wait on motivation. First, we act. We start with one foot out of the bed a few minutes earlier than normal, and then we graduate to two feet planted firmly on the ground. Let’s be realistic, but relentless in our desire for improvement. And let’s get that girlish figure back! Welcome change. Welcome the challenge!
Let’s get started!
There are several ways to develop the body, but unless there is a strategy, certain areas risk being neglected which will lead to mediocre results. So, I will start by sharing my strategy for this blog series. I do not pretend my strategy will work for everyone, but I share it in case you want to follow it. If it does not work for you, I encourage you to develop your own strategy.
My strategy consists of four pillars to physical development that I want to cover in this blog: nutrition, sleep, stretching, and exercise. In this blog, I will quickly address each category before diving deeper in future blogs.
Anytime we mention “physical development,” we can use it interchangeably with the word “health.” So, if “health” resonates with you more than developing physical tone, focus on that word. The good news is that both will occur simultaneously. BOOM! You’re welcome.
Nutrition is incredibly important to developing a healthy body. Having quality eating habits can also reduce our risk of developing certain diseases that could severely impact our health. Among these maladies are hypertension, diabetes and heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
If you Google the word “nutrition,” you will find images and articles about Nutrition Facts labels required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In order to adequately understand these labels, I recommend visiting FDA’s How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label article for a detailed overview of the labels. This will be helpful as we cover the value of consuming various components found in these labels.
In this section, we will adequately define the calorie and how to use it to OUR benefit. We will also cover the three major macro-nutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrates. We will address various popular diets, the value of each, and more. Keep in mind, nutrition is important, but so is sleep.
You might be thinking, “Wait! I thought we were talking about fitness, nutrition, and developing the body.” I was also surprised to find the most important contributor to a fit body, second to exercise, was sleep. I’m not going to lie. I was happy to discover this little nugget! I really do enjoy sleep.
In this portion of our blog series, we will cover optimal sleep and how much our body needs to help us wake up early to enhance our development journey. We will also discover how sleep affects fitness, and how fitness affects sleep. Sleep is heavily influenced by fitness, but it is also influenced by flexibility. And, that’s where stretching comes in to play.
It isn’t enough to think about muscular fitness, aerobics, nutrition, and sleep. We also need to think about flexibility. Without it, we risk injury, and we limit our returns. Stretching will protect us with mobility and independence. It may even be the single best guarantor for quality of life as we age. Regular stretching keeps muscles long, lean, and flexible. And healthy muscles help us balance and mitigate falls.
In this portion we will cover the value of stretching and how will not only help us maintain muscular fitness and balance, but also help with our mindset. That’s right! Our mental flexibility is influenced by our physical flexibility.
Finally! Exercise, the part we have all been waiting for when we talk about developing the body. We will cover a variety of exercises, workouts, benefits, and pitfalls. We will briefly address different types of exercises that will work for us as we seek to develop our bodies. We will also cover exercise duration, sequencing, and recovery.
Understanding that each of our bodies are different and respond to exercise, nutrition, and sleep differently, we will maintain a certain assumption that this blog series is not prescriptive. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We have to listen to our bodies, and we may have to vary our development plan for optimal results. In fact, variation lies at the heart of muscle confusion which is necessary to keep the body guessing as we challenge it to achieve greater results. Sound good?
Let’s get started!
Today, we introduced the second portion of our three-part blog series on self-development—the body. We established a strategy for covering our plan to develop this crucial component of our person. In the next blog, we will dive into the value of nutrition and how it can change your life. You won’t want to miss it!
If this is relevant in your life, it will probably be relevant in someone else’s life. So, don’t prevent others from benefiting from this blog. LIKE it and SHARE it with your co-workers, family, and friends. Post it on your Facebook or LinkedIn. Help someone today!