Monday, 04 March 2013 12:42

Healthy Choices: Exercise and You

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This month I want to talk about exercise and you. Yes, I mean you – the professional aesthetician. Now, I do not want to preach, but I am going to and I have to tell you how critical exercise is to you and your life. Any time I broach this topic, the non-exercisers immediately come out with “I do not have time,” “It does not fit in my schedule,” or “I just cannot get myself motivated enough.” I have been there; we all have. Unfortunately exercise is critical to you, to everything you do and to everything about you.


The Facts
Exercise has been clinically proven to not only boost your energy level, but also your mood and brainpower; while at the exact same time knocking down stress levels. By increasing serotonin levels in the brain, exercise provides you with the ability to handle situations with a keen sense of clarity and calmness.
Let us start with your mood. There is no better feeling than opening your eyes in the morning and getting excited to start the day. An upbeat, positive and happy mood is freeing and exhilarating. Let us take a reality check for a moment… How much does the mood of the people around affect you? When your co-worker is negative or complains about their job and their clients, how does it make you feel? When your boss is miserable, how does it affect the entire staff? When your spouse is angry or sad, how does it affect your family? And when your best friend complains about their boyfriend, in-laws or job, how much do you care to listen? Every one of these situations has a negative impact on your mood; and in turn, your behaviors... So why would you ever be a contributing factor to such situations? Twenty minutes on the treadmill, a brisk walk around the neighborhood or a trip to the gym will not only boost your mood, but it will infect everyone around you!
I can see you now... your alarm goes off; you leap out of bed with vim, vigor and amazing energy and cannot wait to start your day! Right? Not! Perhaps it is a bit more like this: roll out of bed, drag yourself into the shower and fantasize over that first sip of coffee. Yep, I thought so. Your “energy level” sets the tone for your day; it affects your mood, it affects your drive and it affects your accomplishments. How often do you end your day wishing there were just a few more hours to get some things done? So, 20 minutes on the treadmill, a brisk walk around the neighborhood or a trip to the gym will not only boost your energy level and your mood, but it will infect everyone around you!
Next let us address “brainpower.” Maybe being more intelligent is not necessarily on your to do list; but increasing your “brainpower” should be. When your brain is powered up and well fueled, you will think better, make better decisions, react better to situations, be more creative and more level-headed. I know when I am not thinking straight I feel overwhelmed and stressed; I do not have an ounce of creativity… All leading to a pretty unaccomplished feeling at the end of the day. With that I say, 20 minutes on the treadmill, a brisk walk around the neighborhood or a trip to the gym will not only increase your brainpower, boost your energy level and your mood, but will infect everyone around you!
Do you see the pattern yet? Regular exercise has been proven to strengthen your heart and boost your immune system, keeping you healthy and youthful. It also boosts your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories even when sitting stationary – as well as allowing you to eat more calories without putting on excess weight! Did you know that every pound of muscle burns 75 to 100 calories every day just by their existence; whereas every pound of fat can store as much as 3,500 calories!

The Plan
There are a million different exercise regimens that you could possibly do; but I am going to give you my simple daily pick-me-up. But first, let us make a pact, you and me: 40 minutes, five times a week, for two weeks – okay? Here is my favorite pick-me-up, jump start regimen that can be done right in your bedroom or living room.
Twenty minutes of cardio. Use the treadmill or elliptical; jog in place; or get your behind outside and walk the neighborhood. Do not lally-gag. Move at a rate that pushes your limit without exceeding it. If you are cramping or having a hard time breathing, knock it down a notch – but do it! Its only
20 minutes!
Next, attempt three sets of 10 pushups; or as many as you can do. If you cannot do a standard pushup, do it from your knees. This is really okay and an ideal way to start building arm strength and maintaining proper push-up form, your form is more important than the number of push-ups you complete.
Finish with three sets of bicycle sit-ups, as many as you can do per set. Aim for at least 10 and then increase in increments of five at a time as you become stronger.
I promise you; promise, promise, the end of the first week you will have a whole new outlook on yourself and in-turn, everything around you!

The Result
The intent of this column is about you, not your clients or anyone else; about how important exercise is to your health and the necessity of at least 20 minutes per day. In reality it comes down to the fact that it is really not all about you, it is about your entire being; your future, your family and your career...You are just a very small part of it; but without you there would not be any other part of it – there would only be parts of someone else’s world. Do you see where I am coming from? If you are the center of your world, then you influence every aspect of it.
I know you do not want to hear it, but it is all about choices and it needs to be your CHOICE to be happier, healthier, more productive and more successful. Exercise. Start today!

Michelle D’Allaird is a New York State licensed aesthetician and International CIDESCO Diplomat. She is the owner of the Aesthetic Science Institute aesthetic schools in Syracuse and Latham, N.Y. She is a consultant and educator for international cosmetic companies around the world. D’Allaird is a contributing author to major industry trade magazines. She is also a co-author of Salon Fundamentals aesthetic textbook. Her expertise lies in education and curriculum development for aesthetic, medical, and laser courses.

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