The most prominent issue I deal with as a personal trainer is stress. People are so stressed out in North America compared to other places I’ve seen. In other parts of the world they still have siesta; there is scaffolding everywhere because, “They will do it tomorrow.” The most common sayings I heard in Thailand were, “Ya, why not?” and "No worry, chicken curry."
I will never forget the day I showed up to Ton Sai beach in Thailand. Of course, it was a gorgeous day and an amazing beach. I got off the longboat with 4 other people. I don’t know where they dispersed to. I went straight to where a few people were playing ukulele and singing under a giant rock where all the climbers were displaying their incredible upside-down skills, (the picture above). I dropped my backpack and joined them. I learned how to play “No Woman, No Cry” on the ukulele in about 10 minutes.
After a couple hours, I decided I better find accommodations for the night and walked into the jungle to find my hut for what I didn’t know was going to be the next week. This place was the hardest place to leave. Not that there weren’t options but because it was so laid back. I got my key and when I put my pack in my room I asked if I could take the guitar on the wall in the front desk area down to the beach so I could join the other musicians again. What did he say? Of course, he said, “Ya, why not?” I couldn’t believe how laid back and easy-going people were!
On this side of the planet people must have a big house with a fancy car so they chase the dollar to pay for everything and raise a family. It’s a very high paced society with no siesta and second jobs. I mention meditation to people and they say they don’t have time for that. Lol. It makes me laugh because if you talk to people that over achieve; they meditate. They say they can accomplish all that they do because they meditate for a couple hours a day. I try to get people to meditate for 5 minutes as many times a day as they can and finishing the day with 15 minutes of meditation.
The high stress in our society causes a lack of sleep as well which compounds the issue. On top of that magnesium is the first mineral we lose due to stress. Would you believe magnesium is the most deficient mineral in North America and the forth biggest deficiency over all? A lack of magnesium makes it hard to sleep. I have a few remedies for this I would like to share.
Number one, banana tea. Get organic bananas, cut the ends off, and wash them. Yes, it feels weird to wash a banana for the first time, but don’t worry, it only feels weird the first time. Put a litre of water in a pot per banana and boil them. Leave it steep for 10 or 15 minutes. I put cinnamon and coconut milk in it and it’s delicious. I will make 2 litres at a time and put the rest in the fridge. Bananas are loaded with magnesium and the peel has 3 times as much as the fruit.
Number 2 is magnesium theonate that I get from mercola.com. The magnesium theonate is a form of magnesium that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Some people will say these are sleeping pills. I’m guessing those people are stressed out and lack magnesium.
Finally, take a bath with Epsom salts. Magnesium sulfate is a great source of magnesium and it’s so relaxing. The key to great meditation is to activate the relaxation response and to do it repeatedly. Magnesium will be absorbed through your skin.
On that note, remember when you are putting on bug spray or sunscreen; whatever you are putting on your skin you are absorbing 60% of it. If you won’t eat it don’t put it on your skin. Zinc oxide is an alternative for sunscreen and real olive oil is another. It’s hard to get real olive oil. I personally don’t use anything because the sun is a great detoxifier and we need as much vitamin D as we can get in Canada. I have tried a few different natural sources for bug spray and nothing works. Unfortunately, mosquitoes fly right past other people to get to me.
Don’t be a person that says I will be happy when I get there. I hate to break it to you but you never get there. It’s human nature to keep improving in life. When you are done one thing there will be another and another and you never actually get to the end until the big dirt nap. The race is long and in the end, it is only with yourself.
Take weekends off. We need 2 days in a row to recuperate and the odd vacation. You have to enjoy the journey or you are doing the wrong thing. Make sure you are incorporating things you love into your life and have something to look forward to at the end of every work day. Hopefully not a glass of wine everyday. On a side note, if you are craving a glass of wine everyday it may be due to a deficiency in GABA. Read my sleep article for more on that.
That brings me to sleep. Get enough sleep no matter what. Never sacrifice sleep for anything. It’s never good to be sleep deprived and be grumpy and irritable. No one wants to go through life like that. I’m going to take a nap. BRB... I take a nap if I’m tired and I have a bed in my van for a quick nap in-between activities if I need one. We can learn something from the other laid-back countries in the world that have siesta.
One of the main aspects of health and fitness is to reduce your allostatic load. Your allostatic load is all the stresses on the body including mental stress. Proper sleep is at the top of the list of activities that needs to be done. If you’re not getting enough sleep you are suffering and wearing out your body quickly. I have tons of suggestions for better sleep in my 3-part article on sleep. Check it out here.
People in our society today are wearing out their adrenal glands and thyroid more than ever before. These glands regulate hormones that depict what your body is going to look like and how it’s going to preform.
Chronic issues are everywhere I look these days. Most of the chronic issues I see can be helped and sometimes eliminated with a proper healthy lifestyle. It is unfortunate but our society doesn’t care about prevention and when shit hits the fan people want a pill to fix their problems. Take a dam siesta instead. Eat your broccoli. Stay away from toxins in food, water, cleaners, toothpaste, pit-stick, lotions, and plastics. Use essential oils and eat kimchee. Don't forget bone broth.
I have many suggestions and cool tricks to help improve health and fitness. I would like to give you an opportunity to spend an hour with me to make a plan for you to overachieve like you never thought possible. This is an offer that will not be available ever again very soon. I am giving you the opportunity to become someone you and others envy.
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