Thursday, July 18, 2013

Staying Healthy - Mind, Body, & Soul Part-2

Part-2 The Body

Here is Part 2 of 3 on Staying Healthy.

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” - John F. Kennedy

If you want to be a great artist or just great at everything and anything you do in life, you need to be healthy. By keeping your Mind clear, your Body in shape/well nourished, and your Soul free of bad vibes/negativity, you will allow yourself to succeed in life.

Think of yourself like the engine of a car (every once in a while you need to have repairs done), by taking care of these three things, you will allow yourself to perform at a high level and your body will be able to fire on all cylinders.

I have found that living a healthy lifestyle (eating well, working out, taking breaks away from art and enjoying life) makes me a better artist. Life is all about balance.

There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year's course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.
~ Carl Jung

Working On The Body

About two years ago I started making small changes in my day-to-day life. Small changes eventually work their way up to being big changes. It all starts with baby steps. We all live busy lives and changing or doing something out of the norm., can seem like such a giant task.

Let me back track a bit. As long as I can remember, I've never been one for working out (still to this day, I don't like going to the gym). I always thought it was a waste of time and that I could be doing or working on something of higher importance.

I use to play high school hockey and we had to hit the gym, to make ourselves stronger than our competition. I hated this then and as you know from above, I still do. In the off-season, I joined the cross country track team and quit after the first practice. Why you ask? Yup, you guessed it, because they wanted us to "hit the weights"! Seriously?? Lift weights for track? I knew right then and there that track was not for me!

I carried this mentality with me after high school and essentially the rest of my life till about a couple of years ago. My mind set was, the gym = meat head and I personally didn't care about being "jacked". I've always been athletic, playing hockey, basketball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, wiffel ball, bocce ball... Bocce ball is athletic right??

Fast forward to a few years ago. I was listening to a podcast and later on speaking with a few friends and they were both saying the same thing.

Working out doesn't mean getting "huge" "ripped" "jacked" or having muscles upon muscles??? Boy was I wrong! It's about being healthy and keeping your body performing at maximum capacity. If you're body running well, your mind will run well, and you will be able to produce more quality art!

* Remember, you don't have to work out to have a six pack, working out = staying heart healthy!


Believe me I know them all- it's too hot, I can't afford the gym, I am sore, I am tired, it's a holiday, etc. Have you seen the video about the couple talking about working out?? It's hilarious because it's true.

Here it is:

The point this is making is nobody really wants to do it, but if you can make it a routine and think about creating art after you are finished as your reward, it won't seem too bad.  Start slow and make small goals and each day or every other day, add on a few more reps each time.
I am currently up 50 sit-ups a day. I started at 0 because the only way I could do them was with the couch holding my feet down (using it as leverage). I know I remember a friend doing this in elementary school gym class too! * Now I can do them all by myself- like a big kid! :)
Here are some items I recommend buying if you are thinking of working out at home. I bought some kettlebells and a kettlebell video to help with some exercises. I personal love under armour gear and it helps reduce the sweat when working out while keeping me cool.

Eating Right

It's easy to eat every meal of the day via fast food places and restaurants. Who doesn't love getting a donut or cheeseburger every now and again? I am sure there are many people. (There is always an exception.) Either way, it's worth taking the time every day or every week to make meals at home instead of eating out- plus you will save lots of money doing this too! I'm sure your thinking oh yah right, I'm not going all vegan or vegetarian, I need my meat, I need my beer! I hear you loud and clear and I am the same way... All I am saying is think about the choices you make and cut back on some of the drinking (if you are drinking everyday, you know it's too much). Remember it's all about balance in life.

I try to eat really good during the week and some times 6 days a week and have one or two cheat days, because like I said, I like my beers, meat, chocolate, and ice cream too! This is the kind of diet where you can have your cake and eat it! I am on the whatever I want diet. I eat whatever I want once or twice a week. Nothing in excess is ever good.

Why Should I Care About My Health?

I am going to keep this short. You only have one body and one life. If you aren't working out and not eating healthy, I doubt you will be creating any art. Besides, does anyone really want to be sick or feeling so bad you don't want to create art? I sure as hell don't!

Now, get off that couch, step away from the computer! Clean out your fridge, buy some weights (gym memberships can be costly) and get to work on helping your body (your minds engine) fire on all cylinders. Once you do that, go create some art!

Best of luck to everyone on your path to a better you! I can't wait to hear from you and see how this helps you become a better artist. To quote What About Bob, "It's all about Baby Steps".

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