Put Exercise and Health Into Perspective

Let’s get in the right frame of mind to help us make moving and eating healthier more a part of our everyday lives.

I met this woman who had adopted a 15-year-old girl who had been in the foster care system since she was 3 years old. This new mom told me that she and her partner had been learning so much about the human brain via this process (she also happens to be a chemist CSI-style for the sheriff’s department). She said that the brain will actually stop developing when it isn’t getting the right kind of stimulation (touch, love, learning, etc.), but it will pick up where it left off in the developmental process after more human contact.

Imagine how much of our lives is a true combination of something real (like a concrete wall that you don’t want to drive into) and our own perspective. One day, I wake up on the right side of the bed and everything is great and seems possible. All things the same, I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and I begin questioning life: Can I get it done? Will I stay married? What’s it all for? Blah, blah, blah. Is anything different in my life? No, the only difference is what I’m looking at and how I’m feeling.

The basic fact is that eating healthy and exercising leads to feeling better and gives us the opportunity to have a more positive outlook on life. Should we eat well and exercise to try and look sexy in our clothes? Sure, that is part of it. However, when we get right down to it, what is it really all about? Creating a real chance to live life to the fullest with the most joyful heart we can.

Oh, and by the way, this perspective requires a complete picture of mind, body and spirit. We need to continuously work on, and work out, all sides of ourselves as physical, emotional, and spiritual beings. Life is short, so use exercise and great food to help you live the highest quality life you can, and not waste so many days getting up on that wrong side of that bed.

After all what are the things on the list that make the difference between one day being good or bad? Often times, it’s all between our ears. Oh yes and one last thing, take responsibility. If you don’t waste a lot of time blaming others then you can put that energy into actually doing something about it since you are taking charge.

by Gabrielle Reece

Diet Versus Exercise for Weightloss

Everyone likes to attack weight loss differently. There are those who like to combine exercise and nutrition; others change their eating only; and some would rather hit the gym and run rather than give up their favorite foods.
Weight loss is possible by watching what you eat exclusively, but the research says that any successful long-term weight loss program includes a strong exercise component. In fact people who diet often regain all the weight they’ve lost and then some. Not to mention that constantly restricting food can be irritating, leaving us feeling grumpy, tired and hungry all of the time.

So why is exercise better?
1. Exercise changes your metabolism
Physical activity changes the energy equilibrium (your metabolism) of your body by increasing the amount of energy your body needs every day.
2. Cardio burns calories
One pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories. So to lose weight you need a calorie deficiency of 500 a day to lose a pound a week (500 x 7 days = 3500). It’s better to eliminate calories with exercise because restricting food can actually lower your metabolism.

3. Activity breeds more activity
Studies show that individuals who exercise are generally more active throughout the day.

4. Working out builds muscle
You can increase muscle mass and the size of your muscle fiber by exercising (especially weight bearing activity). In order to nourish these fibers the body uses calories from fat that are stored in the body. As your energy requirements go up, you burn more fat during exercise and all day long. So the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns, the faster you lose weight.
I’m not going to lie: It’s hard to burn tons of calories through exercise alone. That is a lot of mornings hoofing it on the treadmill. Obviously for the best success, combining caloric restriction with exercise will get you to your goals faster. I like to eat high water-content and fiberous foods like veggies and fruits that are low in calories but still fill me up.
Find a few activities that you really enjoy doing, and get in at least twenty to thirty minutes a session a few times a week. My knees are bad, so even though jogging/running is a great calorie burner, I have to take a spin class or do a rigorous walk in order to get my time in. Figure out what is best for you so that you’ll be able to maintain these activities on a regular basis and, ultimately, make a lasting life change.

By Gabby Reece

Taking Charge of Your Own Life

There is always the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg? I was just talking with someone who asked me, “what were some of the things I learned from interviewing athletes over the years.” It dawned on me: even though each individual had walked their own unique way on the path to physical success (some worked out like scientists, others just put their noses to the grindstone) they did have a few key things in common.

They all seemed to take RESPONSIBILITY for themselves. There is no blame game. These individuals didn’t give themselves any excuse to not get it done. If they were tired, or didn’t feel like it, they still just sucked it up and went to work.

So you’re saying, well Gabby, bully for them — it’s their job. Yes, but my point is did they get where they are because of their attitude or did their attitude create their environment?

I often wonder the same thing about our lives and our bodies. Thematically, you will see some similarities across the board with people who are happy and healthy. So which came first? They’re born happy and create this peachy life that adds momentum to their joy, or they attack everything with a certain positiveness that molds their surroundings?

I think the same goes for our lives and our bodies. If we are placing blame and making excuses, how are we ever going to possess the reality we dream of?

So what am I saying?

Today take inventory of who you really are and how you approach things. Do you own it? Or do you have a million reasons as to why you can’t get it done?

Next, what do you really want from yourself, and how do you dream of your body being? Is it fair or realistic? Part of people being successful is knowing how to create realistic goals that reflect who you are.

In other words, I don’t want to set myself up to dream of being a petite size 4 when my natural frame at its lightest is a size 8. Why? Because I’m 6’3” and that’s who I am. So have things match who you are. If you have bigger hips and butt, well, then your goal is to have the hardest, strongest, hottest hips and butt YOU can.

So we know that we have to take RESPONSIBILITY.

We need to KNOW WHO WE ARE when creating our goals.

STAY POSITIVE. This takes a little stamina and a positive attitude can help you have the endurance to keep going.

All the athletes I spoke with were COMMITTED. Don’t wimp out. If you want to make a change, then commit to it rain or shine, summer or winter.

If your life and body have been on a course you would like to improve, then do it. You are not a permanent victim to your reality as you have known it and helped create it. The good news is we are not chickens or eggs. We are spirited and powerful people who can change the direction of our lives. So stop saying “I want to lose weight,” and “I want to meet someone.” Let’s go!

Once you deal with the fact that it’s the way it is because of YOU then YOU can take back the control and start making changes.

If you are depressed and can’t see your way out of it, then get some help. There are times we all need help. It’s OK, and nothing at all to feel weird about. Things get overwhelming at times, and a little help is all you need to get them in check.

By Gabby Reece

Train Smart: Know When & When Not to Go All Out

My friend and fitness expert Paul Chek, who loves to kick people’s butt, used to always say, “No pain when you train.” What does that mean? How can you tell people as you’re trying to kill them that we are not going to have pain while we’re suffering?

I have since learned from Paul one of my most valuable lessons in exercise. Yes, you must be consistent and work hard to get results, but it’s all about each individual’s own reality. I’ll give you an example. Paul told me about this brilliant girl who was one of his certified trainers (it takes four years to become certified by the Chek institute) who came to him regarding her own exercise life. You know what Paul told her? Get good sleep, stretch, eat well for your type of system, drink a lot of water, and take long walks on the beach. Take long walks on the beach? This young lady was an accomplished athlete and a qualified trainer.

Aaaah… but Paul recognized something in her that happens to a lot of people when they are working out all the time or beginning to first work out. They are actually “overstressed,” and the exercise will eventually end up injuring them. Rather than alleviating stress, it will create more stress on the body and nervous system.

I’m not giving you an excuse to not get it done, but there is a correct sequence in which we arrive at success, which is not only to use exercise and food to look good, but TO FEEL GOOD.

If you’re fried and over-stressed, you are just heading for a brick wall if you add grinding physical routines on top of it.

So, before you get started or if you are already training and feel crappy, bummed, or lethargic a lot of the time, stop and take a personal inventory of how you are feeling. Examine all that’s going in your life at that particular moment.

Maybe it is more productive for the first month to just stretch, meditate, eat well, and drink enough water. Start there and then when you feel ready, you can begin to gradually increase the physical workload into your week. Even then, you shouldn’t come out like gangbusters, but with a progressive increase in time doing cardio and loading up on resistance-type exercises.

The other thing to be mindful of is if you are already training, you could be over-training and actually not getting the most of out of your workout. I know even from my own life that there is a time to really train hard and other times — if I’m tired, traveling, or have anything stressful going on in my personal or work life — that I just do recovery type workouts. Ones where I go in and get the blood flowing and the muscles firing and that’s it. I don’t try to load up, jack up my heart rate, or break down my muscles.

Paul’s idea is that you create a good base that is strong enough to eventually load a bunch of work safely onto. If you are putting the time into training, you want it to work in your favor. Plus, you don’t want your training to create an injury or make you feel so bad that you dread working out. So, with his female trainer friend, he thought let’s get her system calmed down and not so revved up and then add on the stress of training.

This may be one of the only times I talk about doing less to actually be able to do more and get better results. Remember, it is most important to train SMART.

Be Well, Gabby Reece

paul check and gabby reecePhoto taken at the IDEA show July 2015, Los Angeles CA
Gabby Reece and Paul Check