Physical Health

“How do you feel, Mr. Bond?”

The blubbery arms of the soft life had Bond around the neck and they were slowly strangling him. He was a man of war and when for a long period there was no war, his spirit went into decline. In his particular line of business, peace had reined for nearly a year and the peace was killing him.

There was only one way to deal with the boredom: take oneself out of it. Bond went down on his hands and did 20 slow pushups, lingering over each one so that his muscles had no rest. When his arms could stand the pain no longer, he rolled over on his back and with his hands at his sides, did the straight leg lift until his stomach muscles screamed.

He got to his feet and after touching his toes 20 times, went over to arm and chest exercises combined with deep breathing until he was dizzy. Panting with the exertion, he went into the big, white, tiled-filled bathroom and stood in the glass showed cabinet under very hot and then very cold hissing water for five minutes.

At last after shaving and putting on a sleeveless, dark blue, Sea Island cotton shirt and navy blue, tropical worsted trousers, he slipped his bare feet into black, leather sandals and went through the bedroom into the long, big-windowed sitting room with the satisfaction of having sweated his boredom, for the time being at any rate, out of his body.

– Chapter 11, “From Russia with Love”

The literary James Bond may have had an odd way of keeping in shape, but he knew one thing for sure; if you’re feeling bored and lazy there’s only one thing to do – kick yourself out of it.

When you watch cinematic James Bond in action, it’s easy to feel envious. After all, Bond lives like a playboy, but still performs like a warrior. Bond may be able to stay in shape on champagne and caviar, but the rest of us are going to have to work at it.tired

When the ‘soft life’ gets you around the neck, it’s time to this the “reset” button. But before you rush down to the gym, you need to get back to the fundamental aspects of your overall health and well-being. Some of the things we explore here may seem a little ‘new age’, but this article will explore some concepts of health that you might not normally stop to consider; maybe you don’t know, maybe you sometimes forget, or maybe you just take for granted. We’ve all been there. So let’s take few minutes and get back to basics. And it all starts with one simple question…

How do you feel? Think about this question for a minute: How do you feel? How have you felt lately? Do you feel great? Good? Okay? Do you feel tired? Do you struggle to get through the day without a second cup of coffee? Maybe even a third? Do you ever feel sick even when you’re not really sick? Do you have congestion, maybe a headache, but for no real reason? Do your muscles feel tight? Do you ever feel a little bit achy for no good reason? Do you sometimes feel you’d rather take an elevator than go up one flight of stairs? Do you have any ailments that have started to creep up, especially for us older guys who might be approaching our 40s?

I’ve become a true believer that most everyday ailments can be prevented by simple diet and exercise. The way you live your life day to day; what you eat, what you drink, how much you sleep, and how much exercise, get can have dramatic effects on your body and can really be the cause or prevention of these day to day little ailments that usually send us to the doctors.

Fix problems from the inside out, not the outside in Fixing from the inside out is a concept that you should live by. Consider this truth: that way your body looks on the outside is a direct reflection of how healthy you are on the inside.

Any time you see someone trying to fix something from the outside in, the very idea is usually pretty preposterous. The ridiculous examples include those fat creams that women rub on their cellulite to ‘burn’ off the fat from the outside, or stupid gimmicks like those belts that you’d wear around your waist that will supposedly ‘shock’ your stomach into doing sit-ups without actually doing sit-ups. These are obvious examples, and anyone with an ounce of common sense would know not to try these products.

But consider an example that’s much more common: your complexion. (I’m talking to you younger guys who are still struggling with the pimples.) Whenever your face breaks out, you probably run down to the drugstore and get some Clearasil. You slather that stuff all over your face, and sometimes it works, but this is a great example of how the outside of your body is reflecting what’s going on inside your body.

To all you guys who are struggling to get rid of pimples, I’ll let you in on a little secret.

james-bond-groomingThink back to high school. Did you ever notice that the ‘metal heads’ always had bad skin, but the jocks always had really clear, good-looking skin. Maybe you assumed that the head-bangers were cursed with bad skin, and that’s why they’re head-bangers, and the jocks were blessed with good skin, and that’s why they’re jocks? Nope. The truth is, if you stay active, and more importantly, if you sweat, this will keep your skin clean. Sweating will keep your skin rejuvenated and the active sweating will cleanse your pores.

This isn’t to say that there are no outside causes for bad skin sometimes. If you’re struggling with your skin, be sure wash your pillowcases at least once a week. And did you ever notice that you always break out between the corner of your mouth and your chin? Blame that on your telephone. Take some alcohol and always wash the telephone once a while, especially by the mouthpiece.

But keeping active, sweating regularly, and getting a good night’s sleep is by far the best way to keep your skin clear.

The Problem with Acids What does getting sleep have to do with good skin? Acids are one of the big causes of bad skin. In fact, that’s basically what acne is. When we don’t get enough sleep, and when we have poor diets, our bodies become havens for acids, as well as toxins.

You can actually feel when your body gets too acidic. For example, sleep is where you burn off a lot of your natural acids. You might notice when you go a few nights without good sleep, your skin doesn’t look good and doesn’t feel good. Ever pull an all-nighter in college, and the next day your skin feels tingly and itchy? That’s because your body hasn’t processed and expelled the acids that it normally would during sleep time. So aside from the obvious reasons, this is another reason to get a good nights sleep.

Keeping your Body Alkaline If your body is too acidic it becomes a harvest ground for illnesses, this is why you need to keep your body in an alkaline state. What is an ‘alkaline state?’ It was Tony Robbins who first introduced me to the concept of acids versus alkalines. In the same way that somebody might put chlorine in pool and then measure it make sure that the pH levels correct, the same can be said about your body. You can actually measure the pH levels in your body by purchasing test strips from your local health food store.

alkaline_dietWhen it comes to keeping your body alkaline, you should stay away from acidic things like coffee, nicotine, alcohol and white sugar. I know it’s difficult to do a James Bond podcast and start preaching to people about not drinking alcohol or having the occasional cigarette or black coffee, but if we treat these like luxury items and not everyday necessities, then we’ll still be ahead of the pack.

Where should you look for high-alkaline versus acidic foods? Great high-alkaline foods include vegetables, beans, and legumes. Alkaline vegetables include spinach, broccoli, celery, garlic, carrots, green beans, lima beans, beets, lettuce, and even vegetable juices. You really won’t get into any trouble with acids when it comes to vegetables, unless of course you get into things that are pickled. Fruits are also fantastic, such as oranges, grapefruits, peaches, grapes, lemons and limes. This also includes dried fruits like figs, raisins, and dates. You don’t have to worry about acids in fruits unless you venture into canned fruits which probably have added sweeteners.

When it comes to beverages, water is king! If prefer more flavor in your drinks but want to keep it alkaline, think about herbal teas, green teas or lemon water. Incidentally, don’t like the lemon fool you. The citric acid in the lemon is not the same kind of acids that we want to avoid. Squeezing half a lemon into your water actually has very purifying and detoxifying effects. Soft drinks, coffee, beer all have a very high acidity level, even black tea. Black tea is right up there with coffee when it comes to acids. If you’re a tea drinker, think about switching over to green tea. Wine also shows up as acidic, so treat this one as a luxury item.

Avoiding the Acids Meats are great, but also a perpetrator when it comes to acids, even healthy items like fish, turkey, chicken. Keep in mind, you don’t need a whole lot of meat in your diet, so if you’re going to have a meat, be sure to offset it with alkaline, like a vegetable, to keep yourself balanced. Beef, pork, shellfish are high in acids, and especially canned tuna and canned sardines. You can just imagine how much acids are in a can of sardines. (Check out “The Paleo Diet” for another viewpoint the benefits of meat.)

alkaline-foodsEggs and dairy are also acidic, and quite possibly, highly overrated. I know some people who’ve completely sworn off all dairy, and are much happier for it, so keep your dairy to a minimum. The least acidic options when it comes to dairy include soy milk, soy cheese, goat milk, goat cheese. The most acidic choices are whole milk, butter, and yogurt.. Harder cheeses are high in acids, with the worst offender of course being processed cheeses.

Nuts and seeds are very healthy, but some can be very acidic. Hazelnuts and almonds are very healthy, have a lot of health benefits, and are still alkaline. Once you cross over to pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, you’re getting a little more acidic but, again, still healthy. Pecans, cashews, pistachios, peanuts and walnuts, are acidic foods. Naturally, salted cocktail peanuts out of a can are highly acidic.

When it comes to sweeteners, don’t worry, not all sweeteners are the same. The ones that are most alkaline would be natural choices like maple syrup, raw honey and raw sugar. So if you like a little sweetness in your tea or coffee, stick with raw sugar, which tastes exactly the same anyway. Leave it to the processing to make it acidic. White sugar, processed honey, milk chocolate, jams and jellies, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, and of course vinegar, are obviously very acidic.

Then, of course, we have the artificial sweeteners. Stay away from those little pink and blue packets. Not only do they make your body more acidic, but they make you more fat! Those artificial sweeteners are loaded with chemicals that inhibit fat burning.  I feel sorry for the women I see who are constantly using Splenda and drinking Diet Coke so try and shed pounds. Little do they know that they’re really doing more harm than good.

Lastly, you can just imagine how acidic foods become when you deep-fry them. One plate of buffalo wings at Hooters, and suddenly your acids are off the charts. So treat these things like luxury items, and if your basic diet is healthy, alkaline food, then you shouldn’t have any problems. On the other hand, if you’re realizing that your daily intake might be coffee, cigarettes and buffalo wings, it’s time to make some hard changes.

Eliminating Toxins In addition to trying to minimize your acids, should also consider toxins. Even if your eating habits are relatively good, it can be difficult to keep out toxins. Our liver is what’s tasked to filter out toxins from our bodies. But these days, it’s very easy for your liver to become overwhelmed.

Most people’s livers today are generally overworked. Consider the fact that when we were cave people, our diets consisted mostly of fruits and vegetables, the occasional bit of meat, and of course lots of water. Today, even if we’re trying to eat healthy, most of the food we eat goes through some sort of processing. The food we eat can pick up toxins in the factories. We also ingest many toxins willingly, including alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars, saturated fats, are the substances with the most toxins. Toxins seem to reside in many of the same places where you generally find acids; they seem to travel in the same circles. If that weren’t enough, stress can also create a toxic environment in your body.

Belly-FatThere is also an interesting correlation between toxins and a flabby belly called ‘liver gut.’ We already discussed how the liver does the job of filtering out toxins from your body, but what happens when the liver gets over worked? If your liver can’t keep up with the toxins coming in, then you will end up with a buildup of toxins around your midsection, specifically around your stomach and digestive areas. Why does this happen? In order for your body to protect itself against toxins, it will enclose the toxins in fat. In other words, your body is going to generate fat cells to in order to enclose the toxins, in order to protect itself from the toxins’ harmful effects. So here’s another way that healthy living will give you a flat stomach.

Long story short, it’s healthy to get rid of toxins from time to time. Detoxifying refers to cleaning out the impurities from your blood system. As we said before, with toxins being so present in our food, in our drinks, and even the products we use, it’s more critical than ever to detox periodically.

So what’s the best way to keep our bodies toxin free? For starters, keep the toxins from getting in to begin with, so ease up on your alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars and saturated fats.

What are the best ways that you can help your body to detoxify itself? First, drink lots of water. Drinking water is critical for good health for many reasons. We’ll discuss all the benefits of water, but for now, just understand that to keep your body toxin free, you should drink at least two quarts of water every day.

Make sure you have a good supply of fiber in your diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables like beets, radishes, and broccoli are all great foods for detoxifying. Brown rice is another good source of fiber,. You can also pick up a good fiber supplement your grocery store. Many herbs like dandelion root and milk thistle have a lot of detoxifying qualities. Also drinking green tea is a great way to detox.

The most important way you can detoxify is exercise. When you exercise, you’re turning on all the switches in your body, and when you run that machine, all your detoxifying systems are active and moving. So along with eliminating acids, exercising and sweating is a great way to eliminating toxins.

Cleanses and Fasting Along with these methods for detoxifying daily, there are also more aggressive ways to detoxify your body, including cleanses and fasting. The concept of fasting has really been around almost since the beginning of recorded time. Many major religions use fasting in some form or another, and you’ll find that in many of these cases, along with many religious practices, the idea of fasting had a practical and healthy application.

juicing1What is fasting, and why is it good for you? Fasting refers to denying your body of any solid food for some period of time. Why would that be good for you? As one book described it, aging begins when the normal process of cell regeneration and rebuilding slows down. When you accumulate waste in your body, that accumulation will interfere with the nourishment of your cells, and when cells are deprived, they begin to breakdown. When your body stops getting nourishment from outside, it will begin to look inward. So during a fast, your body beings to live off its own substance. While this may not sound like a good thing, your body is very smart, and therein lies the secret of fasting. Your body will feed off the dead, diseased and damaged cells. When the old cells are burned away, new, healthy cells are generated in its place. It’s during a fast that the process of eliminating dead and dying cells is accelerated, and the process of building new cells is then stimulated.

There are many different forms of fasting, which can be done for various lengths of time and with varying intensities. Some people will fast for a weekend. Some will go for a week to 10 days and some people can go several weeks, and even months. With regards to intensity, some people will do a pure fast which is no food, only water, or some people will do a juice fast, or another form of a liquid diet and so on.

juicerThe Magic of Juice Fasting By far, my favorite type of fast is the juice fast. I’ve done juice fasts several times, and am always very happy with the results. How does a juice fast work? Get a juice machine, and for an extended period of time, you will only drink the juice from the juicer. You can also drink homemade vegetable broth if you choose.

The first time I did a juice fast, I went 10 days without any solid food, drinking only homemade juice and vegetable broth, and by the end, I lost a lot of weight and I felt great.

I could also feel my body going through the process of detoxing. For example, when you do a juice fast, you need to sweat. (Remember the benefits of sweating?) Regular sweating is very important during fasting, because your body will eliminate toxins through the pores in your skin. This is was not the same sort of sweating that you do when you’re exercising. Simply trying to run and sweat while you’re detoxing doesn’t cut it. You need to sweat from heat, the way you would by sitting in the sauna.

fat-sick-and-nearly-deadHow do I know that this is true? A few days into the fast, my skin began to feel sticky and greasy, I would get a funny taste in my mouth, and my tongue felt like it had a film over it. Once I finally sat in the sauna and had a good sweat, I immediately felt better. The sweating served to clean out all the pores on my skin, and before I knew it I felt great. My skin was smoother, cleaner and just looked better. It was a big difference.

A short fast will do wonders for clearing out your body of a lot of junk that it doesn’t need to be carrying around.

Check out the film “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” for an in-depth look at the world of juice fasting. It illustrates the benefits, and makes juice fasting seem a lot less intimidating.

Enemas and Colonics It’s hard to keep a flat belly if you’re carrying lot of accumulated waste in your intestines. Along with detoxing, you should also keep her insides, mainly your intestines, cleared out of any built up junk. Drinking lots of water and adding fiber to your diet are great ways to do that.

If you’re looking for a more aggressive way to clean out your intestines, you should explore enemas and colonics. (You’re not really going to make me explain this one, are you?) Colonics are a great way to clean out your insides of old, dried up waste that may be accumulating. Colonics are also good way to get rid of bacteria and yeast overgrowth that can build up in your intestines.

I’ll leave out the personal experiences with this one, but feel free to explore the idea of fasting and colonics to see if this is something that might be beneficial to you.

The Benefits of Good Sleep When it comes to keeping your body free of acids, toxins, and overall stress, there’s one sure-fire way to reward your body after a long, hard day, and to keep your body feeling good all the time, and that is sleep.

James-Bond-SleepRemember that old adage: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Sleep is when your body naturally rejuvenates itself. Much of the healing and rejuvenation that we discussed, happens during sleep. When you sleep, your body can focus on cleaning, restoring, detoxifying, eliminating waste and repairing damage cells, among other things.

Your brain is also much more focused when you get a good night’s sleep and your alertness and your concentration is sharper. It’s been said that if you’re studying a new subject, the best time to study is at night, and if you get a good nights sleep afterwards, the material you study is better absorbed.

In addition, growth happens when you sleep. Your natural HGH, human growth hormone, is released during sleep. Tissue repair happens during sleep, so if you’re currently in an exercise program with the goal of building muscle, good sleep is critical.

How can we improve our sleep habits? The first thing you can focus on is going to bed earlier. If you’re anything like me, you’re a bit of a night person, so this can be a little tricky. But they say that the earlier you go to sleep, the better. Your body has a natural tendency to want to sleep when it’s dark outside, so if you’re staying up late and fighting your body’s natural instinct to want to go to sleep, you’re interfering with the natural processes that happen when you go to sleep.

So what can we do to help us fall asleep earlier? Well, one obvious way is to avoid caffeine. Many health specialists will try to convince you to avoid caffeine altogether. If you feel you can’t start the day with your morning coffee, then at least try to keep your caffeine intake to the early hours of the day. Stay away from the afternoon coffee, and definitely stay away from sodas and soft drinks. Definitely no caffeine around dinner time.

Avoid eating at least two hours before you go to bed. If your body is active in the digestion process, it will be difficult to sleep. Let your body focus on healing and rejuvenating while you sleep, not digesting.

A good 30-minute walk after dinner is a great way to ensure that you fall asleep easier. If the weather is good, get outside after dinner, take a long walk, get some fresh air. That will definitely help you to fall asleep and stay asleep.Healthy-Man

Do some calming activities before you’re going to go to bed. Watching TV or playing video games right before bed is definitely not the way to fall asleep easy. If you’re playing a ‘shoot ‘em up’ video game right up until the time you get into bed, you’ll probably find your brain is still ‘shootin’ just as you’re trying to fall asleep.

Shut the TV off and do something calming for about an hour before bed. Read a book. Make a to-do list for the next day, and mentally close out the things you needed to do today. This way you’ll get a feeling that you took care of all the things for the day and you’ve earned a good night sleep.

Finally, make your bedroom comfortable. Keep the windows a little to let fresh air in while you sleep. Wear loose clothing when you go to bed, if any. Try to go to sleep at the same time every night. If you keep a steady sleep routine, you’ll be training your body to go to sleep at a certain time, which will make falling asleep easier, and in turn, waking up in the morning will also be easier. If you’re trying to get yourself into a good morning exercise routine, then good sleep habits will be the first step.

Conclusion In future articles, we’ll delve much deeper into diet and exercise, but follow these simple, daily habits of diet, light exercise, and good, regular sleep, and you’re on your way to living like a playboy, but performing like a warrior.

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