• Ashley Craib

Ring, Ring! It's Your Wake Up Call!

A friend of mine wrote last night on Facebook about her struggles with a kickboxing class due to asthma and a heart condition. I was amazed to see friends of hers comment with the idea of accepting an aging body. She wasn't struggling because of age, she has complications that may make cardio harder for her, yes, but she's still young and spry. I don't believe in aging out of the ability to be active. That's a lie, and it's one Americans fall victim to easily. They tell themselves that after 30 their body will start deteriorating. This is insanity to me and something I feel very passionately about. I'm here to give some of you a real wake up call. Sorry if it's too blunt. But it's time to put your excuses away. You can be 50 and fit. You can be 80 and fit. But you have to change your lifestyle. No excuses.

Your body is deteriorating because you don't take care of it. You eat processed foods, sugar, dairy, a meat-heavy diet. How often do you actually eat vegetables? Because you should be eating more than one serving a day. You don't eat healthy carbs, you eat wheat bread and tell yourself that it's healthy. You drink too much alcohol. You sit at a desk 8 hours a day snacking on M&M's. A protein bar packed with sugar and things you can't pronounce by the way, isn't a meal. You're too tired after work to workout. You're too tired in the morning to wake up early before work to workout.

You're tired because you're not taking care of your body. It needs clean energy. It needs exercise. This idea that you can't workout after a certain age is baffling to me. I get it. I'm young, I don't understand. Actually I do though because I've seen 80 year olds running a marathon. A relative of mine who is 70 years old bikes 10 miles a day. Don't tell me you're too old to be healthy. I'm begging you to make some life changes because you are literally killing yourself faster by what you put in your body.

Educate yourself on what you need to be doing to age gracefully. No one wants disease, so fight it. Eat vegetables daily. They're packed with nutrients that your body needs to fully function. Eat protein. You need protein whether you eat meat or not, it's essential. Find a way to get a good amount of it daily. I'm not a huge fan of animal protein but if you must then try to stay away from red meat. Fish is the most beneficial for your health. Drink water. I personally will never understand why this is so hard for people. Besides coffee and the occasional herbal tea, water is all I drink. Your organs need water to function properly. Put down the soda, juice, or milk. You aren't hydrating with these things even though they're technically liquids.

"But water has no flavor!"

Try making your own fruit infused water! Along with adding some flavor, putting lemons or cucumbers in your water also has a detoxing effect.

Get some sleep. Your body needs 7-8.5 hours a night. Turn off all of the lights in your room, this includes artificial light from chargers or anything electronic. Set your alarm an hour before you go to bed and don't look at your phone for the rest of the night. Don't sleep with the TV on. Artificial light decreases melatonin in your body. Melatonin is what helps you sleep. Don't take sleeping pills, or drink alcohol to make yourself tired. These both wreak havoc on your deep sleep and REM cycles. I've dealt with insomnia my whole life. I'm telling you from experience, you can get to sleep without these things. If you don't believe me, really take a look at your habits and see if there's something you're doing that's hurting your sleep. Too much caffeine, too much alcohol, not enough exercise, and not enough vitamin D can all keep you up at night. If you're awake because of stress, try meditating before bed. A hot bath also helps your body produce melatonin. Make sure your room is 68 degrees or lower, you sleep better when it's cool in your room.

Lastly, what this whole post is about: Exercise. Try to aim for 30 minutes 5 days a week. If you're just starting out again after years of being inactive, start with brisk walking. Not sure how to get started or what else to do? Try planking! Planking works out more of your core than any other workout. Switch up your workout routines if you get bored easily, and find something you enjoy doing like maybe a dance or yoga class. I do 10 minutes of cardio before 40 minutes of weight lifting everyday. This works for me. My workout routine may bore some people though, so I'm not saying you have to do what I do. If you want to lift weights but don't know how to do it properly or even what it should look like, hire a personal trainer for a couple of sessions with the intention of learning how to do it yourself. You can spend $100 or less learning how to work out on your own in a way that fits your body type. You can also just hire a personal trainer if you have the financial ability to do so. I just know it's not an option for everyone. If you don't want to or can't afford to spend the money, google it! There are tons of workout tips and techniques for free online to help piece together a routine. Find out what time of day is easier for you to stick to an exercise schedule. I have to work out before work, or I won't do it. I'm too tired after work, and working out in the mornings gives me energy for the day. Maybe you're a night owl though. I'm not. I'm in bed by midnight. Gotta get myself that 8 hours of sleep!

You are not too old to be in shape. You may feel it's too late for you, it's not. Start making healthy

decisions today, and over time I promise you, you will see results. Don't you want to be able to play with your kids, and grandkids? Don't you want to be able to be a part of all the fun activities on a vacation, and not stuck in the hotel waiting for everyone to get back for dinner? I personally want to be able to jet ski or zip line when I'm 60+. You are not too old to enjoy life. If you have a healthy body today, you are not destined to be pushed around in a wheelchair. Do not insult those that are born with physical disabilities by taking your healthy body for granted. You are not destined for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. I am begging you to change your daily habits. Eat what your body needs, and build a stronger body with exercise. You can do this. I believe in you. If you are struggling with this or if you have questions, please reach out to me. I would love to help you live a healthy life. You owe it to yourself.

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