SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Recently I wrote about the many problems I've encountered while trying to become a runner -- from asthma to shin splints to plantar fasciitis.
Some of you supported the idea that overcoming obstacles is the right choice, while others suggested I listen to my body and give up the idea of running altogether.
As I've started to lead a healthier, more active life, I've tried to find as much information as possible related to health and fitness.
If you've ever tried to research any particular topic related to health, you've probably found what I did -- information overload! To add to the confusion, much of the information provides conflicting advice.
This seems to be true whether you're looking for nutritional recommendations, training programs, or even deciding what type of exercise equipment is best. The varied opinions, even from professional trainers and athletes, can leave your head spinning.
Given all this conflicting advice, people may fail to even start an exercise program because they're afraid of doing something wrong. "How can I become healthy if I don't really know what 'healthy' means?" I know I've asked myself this very question many times over the years
For example, a simple task such as finding the right running shoes can seem overwhelming. We encounter terms like pronation, stability and foot-strike. Do we want more support or is a minimalist shoe best?
Training programs pose their own particular brand of "in your face" information overload. Are you training for strength or endurance? Are you best working out at a gym or at home, with free weights or weight machines? How do you tell the difference between boot camp, CrossFit or Zumba? Does it make a difference if you are training for a 5K or a marathon? The questions you can ask yourself and the answers are endless.
Nutrition provides another source of even more conflicting advice. We're all familiar with the celebrity trainers, each taking unique approaches to help you properly fuel your body. Should you eat a meal every four hours or just make sure to eat several small meals throughout the day? Are all carbohydrates bad and all proteins good?
How do you fuel your training? Do you exercise best on minimal calories first thing in the morning? Do you prefer a later workout and a small meal a couple of hours before you hit the trails?
To say these different nutritional ideas are confusing is an understatement.
Get fit and others will follow
I never really considered before I joined the Fit Nation team that my needs might be unique. Each of us responds differently, so each of us has to find the right combination of nutrients and meal times to make our workouts count. I've found that I need a small meal with as little processed sugar as possible about one to two hours before I work out. Too long before and I run out of energy; too close and I'm too full to work at my full potential.
In many cases, the best plan is to minimize the information overload and focus on the simplest pathway to your goals. For example, the simplest nutritional advice I received was to concentrate on unprocessed, whole foods at the edge of the grocery store and keep my meals colorful with a variety of fruits and vegetables. It's straightforward, easy to remember, and most importantly, easy to understand.
We also need the right equipment to make that training count. Most of us have a local running store (or cycling shop or gym) where the experts can offer their guidance. With their help, you can try a few options and find out what works best for you.
How to make your workout seem shorter
If you do have a particular health-related concern, your first stop should be your physician's office. Your doctor can help you cut through the conflicting advice and decide what plan may work best for you. My physician knows about my training program and has helped advise me how to prevent certain problems that could derail my progress.
The jungle of information should not stop you from pursuing a healthier life. I've found that there is no one-size-fits-all prescription for success and health. Variation and experimentation are the keys to discovering what options work best for you.
I decided it's my responsibility to learn as much as possible so that I can give myself every opportunity to succeed, but I won't let conflicting information slow me down. Are the choices I make and the program I follow right for everyone? Maybe not, but they are right for me right now.
As long as I keep learning, listening to my body and making informed decisions, I hope to keep training and continue on my journey to lead a healthier life.-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — Well-being: Aside from the spiritual value of fasting, there are Physical rewards that come to you by your not eating for a short time. These rewards are reaped not only by the over plump person, but by anyone who fasts.
The general well-being of a person on a fast has been noted by physicians. Many a doctor advises fasting for a patient tussling with gout, heart disease, skin disorder, general intemperance to food and drink, or excessive smoking.
Brain Benefit: Fasting is good for mental discipline, and it effects spiritual uplift. The brain benefits greatly. If you are doing heavy study, preparing for a speech, or otherwise engaging in deep concentration, you do well to fast, Fasting sharpens your mind and makes you alert and sensitive to mental effort. You concentrate more readily if your stomach is empty and not drawing blood from the brain to digest food.
Many a public speaker knows well that eating before speaking reduces mental acuity and cuts down on the force of speech. They fast before an important speech and eat later. They know the brain benefits by a fast.
Digestive Distress Relieved: Other organs that are relieved by a fast are the digestive organs. The stomach, liver pancreas, and intestines often are overworked. When the digestion is given a vacation, eating becomes a greater joy.
Rejuvenator and Skin Freshener: Fasting has been called a great restorer of youth and prolonger of like. This idea stems from the fact that people who fast acquire a clearer skin, a rosier tint to their cheeks, and a more youthful complexion than they had before.
People troubled with skin disorders such as psoriasis, acne, or recurrent skin infection are often advised by their physicians to eliminate sweets and fats from their diet. How much better to eliminate all foods for a time periodically, and let the skin pores have a chance to cleans themselves and be free from the effects of too many sweets and fats.
Boon to Smokers: For anyone trying to stop smoking or drinking, a fast can be a boon to the body. By stopping tobacco, alcohol, and food intake for a time, a person helps the body return to normal.
Once the body is "Scrubbed clean" inside, the smoker and drinker feels so alive and alert that he does not have any desire to return to his unwise habits.
A more nearly normal appetite follows a fast, and simple foods are enjoyed with greater relish. Heavy use of candiments-pepper, spices mustard, and catsup, is no longer needed to make. Food appetizing.
Rests Hearts: If you are a heart patient you will find that a fast takes a load off your heart and your circulation. If you have been short of breath, a fast improves your breathing and, by elimination of salt and water from the body, reduces tissue edema. This condition may make it Possible for you to sleep easier and with fewer pillows.
Side Effects: Some minor discomforts are noted at time during fasting. The person who fast may be subject to headaches; if so, he needs the fast. Other side effects of fasting, such as a feeling of weakness, palpitation of the heart, and drowsiness late in the afternoon, usually minor, disappear with a little rest.
If the person who wants to improve his diet by cutting out meat, highly seasoned gravy, rich cake, and sugary preserves goes on a fast, he hurries the process of changing. After eating heavily of these foods for some time he cannot immediately enjoy a plain, wholesome diet. His taste is so perverted that he cannot enjoy good fruit, whole-grain bread, and vegetables.
Such a fast proves of more benefit than medicine, for the abused stomach finds the rest it has long needed. Genuine hunger can be satisfied with a plain, nutritious diet.
For spiritual uplift, try a fast. You will find that it draws you closer to Allah in prayer. It makes you character stronger by the self discipline and humble experience of denying yourself food. The double benefit is your feeling of well-being, with a clearer eye. sharper brain, springier step. and greater efficiency for your work. It has often been said.
"The man eager for success has the lean, hungry look". A bit of starvation can give you that eagerness in a hurry.
Try a fast for spiritual and physical fitness
Adopted from the book : "Ramadhan Special"— www.shafaqna.com/english