Holy week is one of the best times of the year to re-evaluate yourself both spiritually and physically.
Holy week is one of the best times of the year to re-evaluate yourself both spiritually and physically. It’s a time of year when people around the world of different religions all walk in faith at the same time.
When it comes to ourselves, we can find many reasons to stunt the growth in ourselves, our health, and our happiness. Things like: too many things going on right now; I’ll get to it maybe next week; too many fires to put out this week; or let me finish taking care of everyone else first. Any of this sound familiar? The problem with procrastinating is that on the low end you’re simply putting off till tomorrow what could be a brighter day today; on the high end you could be hurting yourself and your health by putting off a check-up or not following up on signs your body has given you.
So, why do I say this time of year is perfect for re-evaluation? Well, if you’re a religious or spiritual person your discipline generally kicks in around this time. You make it to church, make time to pray and/or meditate, you do something nice for someone in need, you make a schedule and stick to it so you don’t miss anything. If you’re not religious or spiritual, you may generally treat this time of year as your spring-cleaning mode: out with the old and in with the new; you may even celebrate the earth on Earth Day, and add yourself to the celebration as a time of re-growth.
Exercising is at the heart of any ingredients for physical and spiritual health. If you’re new to exercising, start by taking a walk daily; take one around the block or around your neighborhood; and with nutrition, commit to keeping your meals clean for two weeks (lean meats, healthy grains, vegetables, and fats). Contact me directly if you need any assistance in this area.
Also do bodyweight strengthening. You can start with bodyweight squats, wall sits, bodyweight bicep curls, modified pushups, bodyweight kickbacks, and standing calf raises. All of these can be done in three sets, 12-15 repetitions, with 45-50 second rests in between sets.
In addition, you can also add in a few core exercises that will strengthen your abs, and lower back. Some of the best ones to start with are planks (do them for 30 to 60 seconds); bodyweight knee-ups, supermans, and russian twists. To do planks, lie face down in a push-up position and keep your palms on the floor in front of your shoulders, with your feet stretched out, and the bottoms of your toes on the floor. Take a deep breath and press up into a push-up position. Draw your navel to your spine and squeeze your buttocks. Draw your navel toward your spine and tighten your buttocks. Keep your back flat and look at the floor and hold for 30 seconds or more.
To do a knee-up, lie flat on your back with your hands under your buttocks; keep your knees together and pull them in towards you while moving your upper body towards them (lift up your head, neck, and shoulders); hold and then slowly return to starting position. Do three sets, 12-15 repetitions and 10 second rests.
Now to do a modified push-up, come to the ground on your knees; keep your stomach tight and keep your back flat; place your hands in front of you on the floor below your shoulders; try and cross your feet in the back; lower your chest, and bend your elbows until your chest is just above the ground. Hold it for one complete second, push yourself to starting position by strengthening your arms. Do three sets 10-15 repetitions with 10 second rests.
For more information on doing any of these exercises please contact me.
Use this time of year as a re-set. A time to start things over, much like New Year’s, but with a much greater purpose. Whether it’s about weight loss, lowering cholesterol numbers, lowering blood pressure, or just keeping your heart healthy, all these things are important for longevity and a long quality of life.
Speaking of this time of year, one of my favorite quotes about faith and trusting in yourself is about the sun and the earth. It goes “And still, after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights up the whole sky!”-- Hafiz
Re-set yourself today. We can’t do anything about yesterday, but we can certainly do something about today. Treat your body, mind, and spirit like a skilled gardener. You’ll be glad you did.
Michael Shaw is a certified master fitness trainer and sports performance nutrition specialist, owner of Shaw Fitness LLC, Club Manager and Head Trainer for Snap Fitness Middletown, a member of the Maryland Advisory Council on Physical Fitness, and a fitness and fashion model manager.
You can schedule to meet him at Snap Fitness in Middletown or reach him at www.michaelroyshaw.com.