What is Fitness Feng Shui?

What is Fitness Feng Shui? 

“Fung shui, is a Chinese system of geomancy believed to use the laws of both Heaven (Chinese astronomy) and Earth to help one improve life by receiving positive qi.”- Wikipedia

Without going into geomancy or qi, suffice it to say Feng Shui generally includes (among many other things)  the notion of harmony with nature and the natural patterns of nature and energy.

From that context  I like to use the phrase “Fitness Feng Shui” to define just what fitness should mean within the context of a holistic approach to a vibrant, active life and overall well-being.

To start with, Fitness Feng Shui is as much an art as it is a science. While intimately rooted in physical elements like how you look, and how you feel, or how strong you are, Fitness Feng Shui is as much a state of mind as anything else.  While you can measure muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition, cardiovascular condition, and flexibility, Fitness Feng Shui is less measurable and more spiritual.

As such, Fitness Feng Shui is a lifestyle …   a way of living an enriched and enhanced life found only through regular exercise, sound nutrition, and healthy living choices.

The journey to Fitness Feng Shui is a very powerful tool! Improving how you look can improve your self-esteem, increase your confidence, and, in many cases, open doors that might not otherwise exist. Maintaining a healthy bodyweight with reduced levels of body fat dramatically reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and many forms of cancer. You can reduce your blood pressure, reduce stress, sleep better, and have better sex with Fitness Feng Shui. Your mind will be sharper, your blood pressure will be lower, and your appreciation of life itself will be more positive with Fitness Feng Shui.

Indeed Fitness Feng Shui is a fundamental element of health and happiness.

Feng Shui Fitness Hazards

Most often missed in the search for Fitness Feng Shui is the long slow cardio event.  While technically part of your cardio program, it is one of the most critical parts of recovery, especially for competitive individuals who sometimes find it hard to train easy.   It is also one of the most effective ways to engage your mind in new ways.  It’s some of the best thinking time you will ever find!

Next often missed upon the path to Fitness Feng Shui is poor food choices.  Understanding sound nutrition is one thing; having the day to day and year to year discipline to put quality nutrients into your body is another.    What you put into your body affects how you look and feel.  How you look and feel affects your attitude, your cognitive ability and stress levels.  Making good food choices is a habit and habits take months and years to make and break.

Lifestyle Elements for the Feng Shui Fit:

Fitness Feng Shui is all about how you think about exercise and fitness: how you plan your week; activity choices you make at home; and how you spend your vacations.

Exercise needs to be scheduled into all of our busy lives, and that exercise appointment with yourself needs to be the most permanent, immovable appointment of your day!

Feng Shui Fitness Exercise Elements

While the exercise element of Fitness Feng Shui can be elusive to adopt, it is straightforward enough to understand. It simply includes a healthy balance of strength training and cardiovascular exercise.  The other ingredients in the sauce include daily stretching, consistently sound nutrition, and sufficient recovery … All of things covered in my new eBook How To Be Healthy! 

Unfortunately, few individuals find Fitness Feng Shui.  A casual observation of the exercise community reveals that most of us tend to lean more heavily on one element or another in this regard.   Runners mostly just run run run, and have enhanced cardiovascular systems, but very little muscular strength. Cyclists normally do a bit better with enhanced lower body muscular strength development in addition to great cardiovascular systems,  but tend to have disproportionately smaller and weaker upper bodies.

On the flip side, bodybuilders and other ‘gym rats’ often neglect cardiovascular training, and frequently have very low cardiovascular fitness levels. Yoga students develop terrific flexibility, but frequently lack muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness.

Healthy Nutrition varies widely within these groups.  Supplementation abuse is not rare, especially for the more competitive individuals.  You do not need to look far for over-the-top protein and energy boosting products.

Stretching is something that should be a daily activity. It assists in keeping good skeletal alignment, improved posture  and reduces exercise induced muscular recovery time. It could include a yoga or tai chi session, but doesn’t need to. A highly focused 15 minutes of stretching each morning or evening can be sufficient for most individuals.   Time sliced stretching can also be effective on an occasional basis.

Strength training is something that should be performed 2 to 4 times per week. Strength training increases bone density, stabilizes the joints with stronger tendons and  ligaments, and enables a more active lifestyle. Focus on large muscle group, and compound exercises that incorporate multiple muscle groups for a highly efficient strength training workout. Always spend a minimum of 10 minutes warming up with some low to moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise, as well as a minimum of 10 minutes warming down after your workout to help flush lactic acid (a byproduct of exercise) from the muscle tissues. A proper warm down also helps begin the recovery phase so that you’re refreshed for your next exercise day.

You should complete some form of cardiovascular exercise 3 to 5 days per week. Total cardiovascular exercise volume and intensity will be varied on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to safely, effectively and permanently improve your Fitness Feng Shui.

There is no one size fits all model for Feng Shui Fitness Nutrition.   Age, gender, fitness level,  body composition, and exercise habits all influence how many and how your caloric needs are balanced.  Getting this right is entirely on you.  You must become an expert on what you put into your mouth and how it affects your body.  A good place to start, however, is the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Remove yourself from fad, trendy, or extreme diets that deviate appreciably from the USDA recommendations.   They are largely unhealthy, not sustainable and not part of Fitness Feng Shui.

Understanding proper nutrition is a never ending and life long endeavor.  

You can never be too intelligent about nutrients, and just when you think you have it all figured out you get a bit older and things change!

Need a hand with getting onto the Feng Shui Fitness Path?  Ask me about my Health Coaching Sercices. 

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