Begins one week from today!!! Get yourself in gear...mentally, physically, even emotionally, be prepared! Go through kitchen cabinets, the fridge, etc. Be sure the tires on your mountain bike are aired up and ready to roll, find that gym pass you put away, pull out the exercise clothes, obtain schedules for group fitness classes you're interested in. Start spreading the word, forming your own groups, and get a plan of action in writing. Only one person can make this a success, and that's YOU!!!!
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Look through the sidebar information and get set baby!
All right all you hard core fitness athletes, Military men and women, industrial athletes, and plain fitness fanatics, I want you to do something for yourself if you're not already doing it....
GET YOUR BLOOD WORK DONE REGULARLY!
That's right, blood work needs to be done roughly every six months. Why? Because you're output is tremendous, your intensity is high, and the duration of your workouts range from 20 minutes to several hours.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR / REQUEST IN YOUR BLOOD WORK
- Complete Blood Panel (or CBC)
- Liver function
- Kidney function
- Thyroid hormones
- Hormones in general
ALSO REQUEST A 24 HOUR CORTISOL TEST (Saliva Test)
This is a must for anyone involved in Extreme Fitness. Why? Because you're placing your body under a tremendous amount of physical stress everyday. Add in your other daily stressors, be it work, deployment, lack of sleep, not the ideal diet, relationships, finances, etc., and you could be looking at a case of adrenal fatigue.
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT ADRENAL FATIGUE?
Plenty. There are three stages to adrenal fatigue. In the first stage a person is exposed to some traumatic event which sets off the adrenal fatigue OR it's brought on through a Type A lifestyle: Go, go, go and go some more. I call it the See John run, Run John Run, syndrome. These people are always on the go, always over-planning, over-committing, multitasking, tackling everything that comes their way, type of people. This initial onset is either a blast of fight or flight, or repeated low level continual doses of fight or flight.
Stage Two: The adrenals are in the fight or flight mode, regularly. This stage can for 15 years or so. Talk about adrenal endurance. It all depends on the individual. Some can hold out for five years, others 34, it just depends. The main thing you need to know is this: At stage two, the adrenals can hit exhaustion at any given time. Exhaustion means just that, they can no longer put out.
Stage Three: Adrenal Exhaustion, something like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. You DO NOT want to hit this stage! You see, once the adrenals hit exhaustion some people never come back, they're fatigued the rest of their life. I don't mean feeling a little tired, I mean everything they do, even daily activities becomes an exhausting event, as the energy has been zapped. Generally, adrenal fatigue takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to recover from, it depends on how severe the case is. Save yourself from this stage by making the necessary changes NOW as PREVENTATIVE maintenance. What changes are those? The items listed further down under, "What If I Have Adrenal Fatigue".
WARNING SIGNS AND ITEMS THAT POINT TO ADRENAL FATIGUE
2. Insufficient recovery time
3. Lack of rest
4. Lack of sleep (Yes, rest and sleep are two different areas)
5. Poor nutrition
7. Hair loss
8. Dealing with stress poorly
11. Lack of focus / concentration
12. Sodium and potassium levels are off
13. Low blood pressure
15. Lack of energy
16. You wake up un-refreshed
17. Crave salt
18. No sex drive
19. More frequent illnesses
20. Dizzy / Light headed
21. Memory problems
22. Can't seem to keep up with things
23. Weight gain (Particularly, belly fat)
If several of these sounds like you, I suggest seeing an endocrinologist.
WHAT IF I HAVE ADRENAL FATIGUE?
If you have adrenal fatigue, I'd look into the following areas:
1. MAKE THE NECESSARY LIFESTYLE CHANGES
These changes range from quitting smoking, no alcohol, no refined sugars, no junk food, no coffee, no caffeine, no stimulants, to getting more rest, sleep, toning things down a bit, and learning how to manage stress.
2. CHANGE EATING HABITS
You'll want to eat as clean as can be. Period. Feed yourself wisely: Whole foods, nutrient dense. Be sure you're taking in enough calories to support your training and activities. Eat every 90 minutes to 3 hours maximum! Be sure all your nutritional basis are covered, and last but not least...chew your food thoroughly.
I suggest considering supplementation with the following:
- Fish Oil (Be sure it is of the highest quality, no pollutants)
- B Complex
- B3 (Niacin)
- B5 (Pantothentic Acid)
- Vitamin A (From food sources)
- Vitamin C (Food sources, as well as tablets)
- Vitamin E ( Both food and capsules)
- L-Glutamine (For post-workout)
FEED YOUR ADRENALS
- Swiss Chard
- Beet greens
4. REST SLEEP
Both rest and sleep are vital for :
- Muscle building
- Muscle recovery
- Recovery from illness
- ADRENAL FATIGUE!
5. NEGOTIATE YOUR WORKOUTS
Rather than pushing yourself through your training, consider the following:
- Your skill level
- Energy level
- How rested you are
- Time allotment
ADRENAL FATIGUE AND HYPOTHYROIDISM ARE TWO DIFFERENT CONDITIONS WITH SIMILAR SYMPTOMS
You see, many times a person will be told their thyroid is low, be put on medication, and still have symptoms that just don't make sense. Unfortunately, many doctors stop at the thyroid and miss adrenal fatigue, when adrenal fatigue is in fact, the main culprit. The adrenals have far more impact on the human body than most people realize. The nervous system requires a delicate balance to function at it's prime, and keep you outputting at the Extreme's you desire.
DOES ADRENAL FATIGUE AFFECT ATHLETES ONLY?
Certainly not. Adrenal fatigue can take hold of anyone suffering from extreme stress, be it mental, physical, or emotional stress. I know of athletes who have hit adrenal fatigue strictly due to their Extreme workouts. Others poor nutrition played a key role, as they were not supporting their body with proper nutrition which is a stress to the body in and of itself. Moms with children can experience fatigue, as well, running all day with kids, multi-tasking rides, errands, meals, work, and other commitments all weigh heavily on a persons ability to cope day in and day out. Individuals with long, unpredictable hours such as military, fireman, police, doctors, (parents too for that matter!) etc., all are in a position where both rest and sleep are continually compromised, and much of the time, healthy, regular meals, as well, add to this the emotional stress that comes from the job and bingo....adrenal fatigue. This is a point where people who never used caffeine or other stimulants will consider taking some in, to try to manage their energy.
STAY AWAY FROM STIMULANTS LIKE THE PLAGUE!
Stimulants are unnatural. If your body is running on low, it's
COMMUNICATING SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT TO YOU, LISTEN!
Going to stimulants to 'fix' it, might appear the solution for short-term results, but in the long run you'll pay at least triple in ill effects to your health. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about the occasional cup of coffee to stay awake, I'm talking about the daily use of such substances, this includes:
SPORTS DRINKS 'NATURAL' STIMULANTS (Such as herbs) ENERGY DRINKS PRE-WORKOUT DRINKS POST-WORKOUT DRINKS
and several other products athletes are lured into buying through deceptive advertising. Don't buy into it. Energy comes from eating a healthy diet, managing stress in a healthy way, hydrating properly, exercising, getting the proper amount of rest and sleep, and enjoying life...meaning being happy, whether that comes from adventures with your loved ones, to a quiet hike in the mountains, or watching a funny movie. Just as there are no shortcuts to a dynamite physique, we must realize there are no 'products' that are healthy for us if they're forcing the body to run in unnatural ways.
Here we are again, at the beginning of another new month, only this time we're over the hump of the 'New Year', yes, hard as it is to believe half the year is already over! How are you doing on your road to reaching your goals? Do not be deceived, even the old saying, "Two steps forward, one step back", is indeed progress. Just keep plugging along.
Perhaps, you're one of those who are sailing along, and have not only reached your "New Year's" goals, but are now planning and moving through the necessary steps to reach even more goals. Remember,
THERE IS NO LIMIT BUT THE ONE(s) YOU PLACE UPON YOURSELF
On the other hand, if you find you're not getting closer to your goal(s), please, sit down and consider what is holding you back. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Have I done all that I can? 2. Have I set realistic goals? 3. Have I brainstormed? 4. Have I found/discussed this with my mentor? 5. Do I have any type of support system? 6. Am I taking the initiative? 7. Are my goals, plans, and methods of execution written down? 8. Is my self-talk positive? 9. Am I doing at least one thing each day to get to my goal? 10. Is it time to seek professional help?
If your goal(s) mean so much to you, do what you need to do to get the job done. It's your life, your goal(s), and your responsibility. Please, do not let this year be another year you look back with regret. Hold your head high. Be strong. Never quit.
I know what it's like to be forever 'chasing' a goal. In some ways I've been after some of my goals for decades. Does this mean I'm a failure? By no means. As I've learned so much along the way. I've grown from the inside-out. I've failed so many times in the process of succeeding, I no longer fear to fail.
It is true, when an individual is ready to 'give-up', success looms just right around the corner. I know what I desire. Whether or not my body cooperates or not, is another story. The human body is a delicate balance, disrupt it, and it will set YOU straight. This is why I feel I'm successful at what I do, because I've used my body as a science experiment for decades, what works, what doesn't. Many times, when I feel I have things down, my body will change yet again, challenging me to a new detective case. I hate it. I love it. Each time I must go further and further from my comfort zone, and into the 'abyss'. It makes me a better person, a stronger person, a more knowledgeable person.
What I'm saying is
YOU MAY HAVE TO COME OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
to reach the goals you've been desiring for many years, but have felt unable to attain.
THIS MEANS YOU MUST BE STRONG ON THE INSIDE
to bring about the changes you desire on the outside.
I'm sure you've heard of the story where a house is all torn down, and the neighbors ask what in the world happened to the house. The owners respond, "We're building a mansion". Things can really look like a train wreck on the outside, what matters is what's going on on the inside.
Sometimes, we must tear down old beliefs, old self-talk, old fears, and be willing to live with the 'mess', while we are busy constructing something greater. I challenge you to take a good hard look at what's happening in your life, and make an evaluation.
Seriously, I know of women who have had everything from breast augmentation, to tummy tucks, who within six months will confess they are no happier with themselves.
IT'S WHAT'S ON THE INSIDE THAT MATTERS
WHAT'S GOING ON WITH YOU?
Life is too short to live unhappily. You are meant to succeed. You are meant to progress. Yes, you were even meant to have struggles along the way. So, chin up, stand tall, be proud of who you are, where you're at, and be determined to make this year different from the rest. Look within.