Thursday, April 7, 2011


- n
1. The unique activity requirements each of our bodies need for optimal health.

Physio-individuality acknowledges, while all of our bodies are made of muscle, bone, skin and tissue, the optimal exercise for each of us is different. Physio-individuality gives each person permission to exercise for their own bodies, needs and lifestyle. The types, amounts and duration of exercise our bodies will thrive on is unique and is related to a host of variables not often considered including the seasons, our daily mood, the weather, other demands on our time and our sleep patterns. Simply put the kinds of exercise each person needs is different.
Part of the challenge (and opportunity) to help Americans get more exercise is helping them understand what is best for their own body and life. A balanced exercise regime includes a combination of cardio, strength training, flexibility and core over a week's time.  How much of each, how intense or strenous, and the durations will change. There is no one-size fits all exercise program that will work for everyone.
An exercise program that embraces the concept of physio-individuality must include four things:
  • Education
  • Access
  • Goal Setting
  • Evaluation
In short, we need to teach each person about their bodies and how to exercise. We need to give them affordable and easy access to experiment with different types, intensity and durations of exercise. We need to help them set proactive and realistic goals (that go beyond their physical shape). And we need to help them learn from their experience, gather feedback, adapt their approach and evaluate their success.
Helping people get more exercise is a critical component of their improved health and longevity. And, it has the added benefit of improving our economy and saving our healthcare system.
Many thanks to Joshua Rosenthal of the Institute for Integration Nutrition who coined the term "bio-indiviudality" and was my inspiration to expand the concept to exercise and create the term "physio-individuality." Joshua - I am ever grateful for being your student.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Calories in Neon Lights

Yes, it is good news for the nation's waist line to have calorie counts listed on menus. Granted the rules will apply to less than 50% of the eating establishments across the U.S. and exempt movie theaters, hotels, airplanes and amusements parks. None the less, progress is progress. Right? Maybe....

For the record, I support the idea of listing calories on menus. Last August, I opined Every Little Bit Helps and those calorie counts have impacted my choices when in New York City. If they don't impact your choices you are either in full denial or are making a choice to indulge (the latter is good for you, in moderation... the former, please seek some help).

Here is the problem: Food manufacturers can reduce the number of calories in nearly all processed foods by manipuating the ingredients. Trust me, the manipulating is far worse for your body than the calories. The manipulating takes the form of fake, chemical additives created in a lab or taking what was a natural food and destroying its natural properties until the calories are reduced (along with all manner of nutrients and benefits).

So this new regulation while great in theory (as are many things), in practice we'll see two things:
  1. More highly processed, fake foods lower in calories and devoid of any nutritional benefit (which will make our body crave more food because we aren't being fed, only stuffed, and people will actually gain more weight)
  2. Smaller portion sizes
Do not think, when the burger you habitually order is suddenly 300 less calories, that the food Gods are shining down on you to make your life easier. Either the burger is even less real than it used to be, or it is several ounces smaller than it used to be. Option  #2 and some normalization of serving sizes is a good thing. Option #1 not so good.

The only way to combat such shenanigans is to stop eating processed foods. We support Real Food. Is it really too much to ask?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Holistic Wellness

What is "holistic wellness?" Let's start by looking at some definitions. From

Holistic <ho•lis•tic (hō-ˈlis-tik)>
1 : of or relating to holism
2 : relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts < holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body>

Wellness <well•ness (wěl'nĭs)>
The condition of good physical and mental health, esp. when maintained by proper diet, exercise, and habits.
Therefore, we'll create a working definition of "Holistic Wellness" as: your whole system being in good physical and mental condition.

To keep your whole system in good physical and mental condition, a few things are important:

 1. Exercise
Getting, at least, 30 minutes of exercise is the minimum. Optimally, you will get 60 minutes of exercise each and every day. Your best approach is a combination of cardio, flexibility, strength training and core work.
2. Heathly Eating
As Michael Pollan says, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Following this advice is the best thing you could do for your diet. Beyond that, learning what kinds and how much food works best for your body is important. We are all different and our food choices should compliment our differences. Aim to have, at least, 80% of your meals prepared at home using whole natural ingredients (which excludes 99% of things that come in boxes). And, drink water. On average you should be drinking 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water each and every day.
3. Rest
You've heard it before. Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. It helps regulate your metabolism, allows your body to recharge and regenerate and you'll just feel better. Sleep is cheap. Lack of sleep is very expensive.
4. Purpose
Are you living your life's purpose? Are you pursing your dreams? Working on something you love and toward something you believe in is part of wellness. When we are spending our time doing something we love, we benefit greatly. Most of us spend the vast majority of our time working. If you're not working on something you really love, you're missing an opportunity. Sure, you might not be able to quit your job today, but you can make a step, no matter how small, toward your dream and purpose each and every day.
5. Community
Build a community around you. Friends, family and colleagues. Studies show having a community is very important for our wellness and longevity. It (almost) goes without saying your community should be a positive force in your life. If you're currently in a community with too much negativity, build another one.

Holistic Wellness. Whole You.