Fitness for Optimizing your Performance

January 24, 2014

 

C³-Cardio, Core and Cortical

Basic Principles

Just as I eliminated the word, diet from my vocabulary because of its common association with self deprivation, I similarly have banished the word, exercise for its masochistic association. Rather, I use the words, fitness or physical activity, which I liken to an essential nutrient which, for achieving and maintaining our optimal health and performance, we need to meet our minimal daily requirement. Just as we must eat to perform optimally and not to lose weight, we must get physical activity for the same purpose. The first step to take to meet our physical activity requirement is to overcome our own inertia. I recommend the following:

  • Drop the all or nothing approach to fitness. Not having the time to get to the health club for ninety minutes is not an excuse  for being sedentary.
  • Not having time to do physical activity is not a valid excuse; when we get our required physical activity we are more efficient in everything we do, so we actually gain time by doing it.
  • We must make every effort, and I assure you this will take effort, to get at least 10 minutes of moderate physical activity such as calisthenics or brisk walking within the first 60 minutes of waking up in the morning. The way I trick my brain into doing this is I get on my treadmill at a pace that is about half as fast as I walk normally, or at 1.8 mph. After about one minute of this, I am so annoyed at how slowly I am walking, I forget how tired I am and I crank the speed up to 4 mph and voilà, inertia gone!
  • Incorporate physical activity into you activities of daily living. In other words, embed physical activity into your daily activities. Make shower time fitness timeFor every hour throughout the day that you are sedentary, such as being at work or school, get 3 to 5 minutes of physical activity. Call it a bio-break.
  • If  you can get to the health club for a fitness class or a work out, consider it a luxury, but do not rely on this as the only means of getting our daily dosage of physical activity!

 

My fitness formula based upon the principles of cellular metabolism and its mission is for you to reach and keep up your optimal performance.

Cardio
From a rest, start your physical activity at a low intensity level and gradually increase it so you are at your target heart rate after 5 minutes; keep up your target heart rate for 10 to 30 minutes and then cool down so that you return back at your resting heart rate after 5 minutes. Try to do this 3 to 5 times per week. There are many ways to get your cardio fitness with equipment or without it.

Core
The core is our body’s center of gravity and is the area from the bottom of our rib cages to the top of our hips. The benefits of strengthening  the core is to improve our balance and prevent common injuries such as low back pain. As little as 5 minutes per day of core strengthening has significant health benefits. To begin strengthening your core, you simply need to get on the ball.

Cortical
This is the most important yet most neglected part of fitness especially in the western world. After all, it is the cerebral cortex that distinguishes humans from all other animals on the planet. It is our seat of reason and creativity and it is the part of our brain that most influences what we actually do in the course of our lives. Without cortical fitness, the lower centers of our Central Nervous Systems, such as the emotional limbic cortex, will have undue influence on our behaviors and place limitations on our reaching our personal potential and leading fulfilling lives.  It is my medical opinion, the lack of cortical fitness is the missing link to  why most people do not achieve and keep up their optimal health well-being and performance.

Now that you have the formula, apply it to your life for just 30 minutes per day and I am certain that you will see that this small investment of time will pay you significant dividends.

Good luck and keep your eye on the real prize; your optimal performance. I promise you that you will like the effects it will have on the scale and your body image.

End Post

Mitchell R. Weisberg, MD, MP

Internist-Psychopharmacologist-Corporate Wellness Consultant

Founder-CEO and Personal Physician at:

Optimal Performance MD

 

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