February 26, 2021
by Uche Odiatu, DMD; Mahsa Bakhshandeh, RDH
We wanted a fresh start – but it began with a fizzle. Does 2021 appear to be a 2020 on repeat? Starting with good physical health can influence good mental health. If you want to make 2020 be forgettable – make 2021 be unstoppable.
1. Visualize good things. Without a vision the people perish – with a vision, you can flourish. Humans have evolved with our visual field commanding the most attention. Eighty percent of us are visual learners. To make changes in your life, put things in your line of sight. Keep a pair of sneakers at the front door to jar your brain to go for a walk. Get a picture of yourself looking active from past vacations and stick it to your fridge. Calling attention to what we want more of raises awareness from unconscious to conscious and New Age thought leader Deepak Chopra says, “Where our attention goes – energy flows.”
2. Forget “all or nothing”. Inch by inch, getting fit is a cinch. Yard by yard it is hard. People who don’t enjoy a regular exercise habit look at athletes as if they never miss a workout. Attempting perfection is a dream that never comes to fruition. Doing something active “most” days means we can enjoy activity without feeling it has to happen “every” day.” Like compound interest over time, you will build a toned physique that is sustainable.
3. Make it fun. Few people actually love working out and exercising, but what can be loved is the way it makes you look and feel. By pairing a boring walk with something you love – like listening to your favourite playlist – you will associate the joy of music with stepping out for some easy, effortless activity. And overtime you will have the physiology of a physically active person.
4. Join a pack. Humans are tribal. We have a deep desire to belong, to fit in. Once you are on a fit path, associating with other fit people, even online. You will feel connected with like-minded people. This builds oxytocin and serotonin. Tend and befriend feel good hormones that reinforce the connection with your new healthy cohort.
5. Stand and deliver. With the different curves of our spine and its 33 vertebrae, we were never designed to sit all day. Extended periods of muscular unloading aka sitting, our physiology shuts down, metabolism slows, the lungs labour to breathe. Finding opportunities to stand more takes advantage of a little-known biological fact; standing inspires an enzyme called LPL to become 10 times more active in its ability to take sugar out of the bloodstream into the working muscles. Stand whenever you can! It will boost metabolism 200 or more calories a day. You’ll find yourself getting leaner easily, effortlessly and sustainably.
6. Sleep more. You snooze, you lose – body fat that is! Sound, quality sleep has been shown in a number of well-done university studies to support excellent blood sugar management. Manage blood sugar better and you’ll become a better fat burner.
7. Fear not – this works. Repetition builds habit into your nervous system. You do not have to understand neuroscience. Frequency paired with emotion makes the body take over and you no longer have to think about it. Joe Dispenza, author of the Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself says your body then becomes the mind and voilá: new year, new you.
About the Authors
Uche Odiatu, DMD is a Toronto area dentist and a professional member of the American College of Sports Medicine and lectures throughout North America on total patient health. Follow him on Instagram @Fitspeakers
Mahsa Bakhshandeh, RDH graduated from Durham College and has been in private practice for ten years. She enjoys travelling and exploring the world, its many cultures & their variety of wonderful cuisines. Mahsa is a licenced Zumba Instructor and a certified meditation workshop facilitator. Follow her on Instagram @tooth_boss