Being a doctor – especially one who deals in health – one might be tempted to think of me as a health fanatic. That is to say, one might think that I eat, drink, and breathe health. Well nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, I am no different than you or anybody else. I have moments when I really focus on my health and others when I just don't. And since I'd rather not live up to that kind of illusion or have anybody put me up on a pedestal, I'd like to share a very personal story with you and invite you to witness some health and lifestyle principles in action
Back in the spring of this year, I became very busy with work and a few other projects. Have I mentioned that I've written a book called The Six Keys to Optimal Health? Add a one-year-old daughter and a very healthy practice, and my time became more and more limited. As a result, my workout schedule took a hit. And since my gym membership ran out in July, I really did just the bare minimum with regard to my physical health. The bare minimum for me is daily stretching for approximately 10-15 minutes, some abdominal core work, and, of course, drinking lots of water.
Now we've all had moments like these in our lives, and it's OK. Life happens. So I'd like to present the first principle here:
- Health is not about being perfect.
There are moments in life when you just have to attend to other things. Don't sweat it. If healthy habits are a part of your lifestyle, then you won't have to worry because you'll pick them up again. The key is to make them habits and not just exercises.
In any case, I'll say I had not participated in a regular exercise regimen for about four months. I would maybe, once a week, hike Runyon Canyon (a popular hiking trail in the Hollywood Hills) with my daughter strapped to my back, or do dips and chin-ups at the neighborhood park, but nothing regularly. And I'll have to say, it started to show.
Now, I'm not one for evaluating my weight or body fat as a measure of health, as I'm much more into body tone, feeling, and function, but, all right, I'll admit it – I have gained a little bit of a paunch. Look, when my own brother points out that I've gained weight, I know I'm treading dangerous waters.
So here we are in September, and I've decided to step up the ol' health regimen a bit. And I've decided to make it public record for one simple reason: I wish to show everybody what's possible and how it can be done. When it comes to human health, there is something important to understand:
- We are self-healing, self-regulating organisms.
This means that we can regain our strength, fitness, and overall health just as easily as we can lose it – even easier if we have been practicing healthy habits for awhile.
As I've said, I'm not one for evaluating my weight or body fat, but I did just join a new gym yesterday and was gifted a free body fat evaluation for signing on the dotted line. My body fat was measured at 18%. I guess the meaning of this measurement varies with who is analyzing it, but the gentleman at the gym who performed this test said I was approaching slob-dome.
Looking it up online, though, I did come across two very different analyses – one said it was average for a man of my age (39)
and the other said it was merely “acceptable”. I'm sure there are many more interpretations if I
really wanted to investigate it but, whatever, I'll go with what the trainer at the gym said. Just call me – slob in the making. I also weighed myself and came in as a super middleweight at 167 lbs. Since Sugar Ray Leonard was the super middleweight champ in 1988, and he stands in at 5'10” (two inches taller than me), I guess I don't feel too badly, but ideally I should weigh about 160 lbs.
My plan, then, is to lower my weight by seven pounds and lower my body fat to within the range of 12-15%, which is what the trainers at the gym said was ideal for me. I'll give myself seven weeks to lose the weight (a pound a week) and three months to bring myself up to functional par. I'll explain what I mean in a second, but first:
- It's important to set goals with regard to your health and fitness.
With goals you have something to shoot for, and it helps with the motivation and implementation of the routine. In addition to the weight and body fat changes, though, I'll also make it a goal to do unassisted handstands by December 1st (check my blog site for the video) and to jog to the top of Runyon Canyon without stopping by the end of the year. Furthermore:
- It's important to strategize a routine with regard your health and fitness regimen.
So this will be my routine:
- Gym three times per week – two times full body workouts with weights, one time 30 minutes cardiovascular on the stationary bike
- Yoga class one time per week. Home stretching every day (10-15 minutes full body)
- 2-3 liters of water every day, 1 Gatorade per week (during cardio workout only)
- Multivitamins, alpha lipoic acid, vitamins B and C, and essential fatty acids (EFAs) every day
- 1 bottle of liquid chlorophyll per month to de-acidify or alkalinize my blood (about a quarter cup taken daily with water)
- Five days of apple cider vinegar plus sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to help with alkalinization of my blood
- Weekly chiropractic adjustments – to keep me mobile, aligned, and my nervous system working unimpeded
- Monthly massages to work out kinks, trigger points, and muscle fatigue
- In bed by 10 pm and awake at 6 am (OK, I'm gonna try my hardest here...swear)
- And finally, no caffeine past 12 noon
There you have it. I'll be presenting updates weekly and a full analysis every month on my blog site, Optimal Health. Please keep your eyes open for any accompanying video, as it should prove to be very humorous. However, I will provide no before and after shots, since I wouldn't want to embarrass anybody…namely myself. Before I go I'd like to leave you with one final principle:
With that – I, too, am out. Stay tuned for more.
- If you wish to accomplish anything in life, pronounce it to the world, and give yourself no way out.
- September 5, 2007
*COMING OCTOBER 2007
The Six Keys to Optimal Health by Dr. Nicolas Campos
For More Advice on Health and Optimal Living Read
The Six Keys to Optimal Health by Dr. Nicolas Campos
COMING SOON TO A BOOKSTORE NEAR YOU