Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fit Quickies Explanation and Giveaway!

I don't know Lani Muelrath personally, but I can tell you one thing about her for sure. This woman is passionate about fitness, and of course, plant based eating. When she asked me if I would do a review and giveaway of her popular book, Fit Quickies, I was thinking, "I have no business writing about fitness" and I never got up the gumption to do it. It's just not my area of interest or expertise.

So when Lani asked me if she could submit a guest post, I was like, this I can do! I'm happy to present to you Lani's explanation of her bestselling book, Fit Quickies.

Is there a 5 minute food, fitness, and frame of mind fix?

by Lani Muelrath, M.A.

A five - minute fix that hits the food, the fitness, and your frame of mind? Does it really exist?

Yes. And there's even a handbook for it.

You can achieve more in five minutes than you ever thought possible. And yes, that means not only in terms of your fitness. The research also tells us that five minutes are all we need to turn our frame of mind around. And that means better moods, and more willpower - as well as 'won't' power. Interested?

The 5 minute fitness solution to the rescue: body, mind, and heart

Let's be honest. If you can get control of your food, you can get control of more than you ever thought possible. And if you can get control of - or gain some degree of mastery over - your habits of thinking, then it is sooo much easier to get control of the food. Plus, we all want the benefits of being more fit, don't we? We want the energy and vitality that allows us to do all the things we want to do in our life. But five minutes? Can it really make a difference? And what's the connection between the fitness, the food, and the frame of mind?

When researching for my book Fit Quickies: 5 Minute Targeted Body Shaping Workouts, I uncovered more good news on all three fronts - the food, the fitness, and the frame of mind - than I ever imagined. And what I discovered rang so true to my experience, and it all made so much sense, that the book got meatier and meatier - from my long-time plant-based devotioned perspective - the more I found out. No wonder this book is called a Trojan Horse book. It connects all three with a simple five minutes of movement.

Let's take a look at these one at a time. Then, be sure to enter below for a chance to win your copy of this book.

The Fitness

Let's start with the body. Research tells us that the first line of defense - when it comes to exercise and your health - is simply not sitting so much by punctuating periods of sedentary time with movement. That means in less than one second – the time it takes to go from sitting to standing – you positively impact biomarkers that, along with a whole foods, plant-based diet, can stride you away from disease. That is how you initiate a 5 minute fitness break – it’s that easy.

From there, it’s a short leap to sneaking in a muscle challenge. The trick to effective muscle strength and shape in a short amount of time is to get into the muscles fast, overload them, and move on. And the beauty of it is it doesn't matter if you do muscle challenges - otherwise known as resistance training - in small five minute bursts throughout a busy day - you don't need to do the old model of hour-long bouts at the gym, unless of course that's what you love. This is liberating information for the busy person.

This also layers in another benefit for you. Working your muscles encourages lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity in your skeletal muscle; sitting suppresses it. Remember, LPL is an enzyme with the job of extracting particles of fat in your blood and transporting them to one of two places: to your fat cells for storage or to your muscle cells to be used for energy. Where do you want yours to go? By sitting less and challenging muscle – even in short, 5 minute bouts, you are inviting your body to be a better fat burner. Simple as that.

This phenomenon is one of the important inspirations behind my collection of portable 5 minute fitness moves - the Fit Quickies. Just to show you how easy it is to slip activity in, one of my favorites – because I can do this anywhere, anytime, including in the waiting lounge in the airport terminal – is Fit Quickie #9. I call this exercise ‘Higher Assets’ (pictured) because of its ability to also raise your bottom line due to the specific challenge it presents to the gluteal and hamstring muscles. These are also among the largest muscle groups of your body, which means you are getting a big return on your time spent in exercise when it comes to building that precious LPL activity in the muscles.

You can select any favorite exercise for your 5 minute fitness breaks. Combined with breaking up periods of sitting with getting up on your feet, you have a winning ticket to health and weight management.

That's just a glimpse of what you can do for your body's shape in five minutes. What about frame of mind?

The Frame of Mind - Willpower and Won't Power

I'm betting there's not a single person reading this who wouldn't agree with me that when you move your body - whether it's a short walk or a full-blown workout - that you feel better. You have more energy, physical confidence, and optimism, don't you?

As it turns out, there is a simple thing you can do that research shows us can:
  • restore willpower and won't power 
  • relieve stress 
  • improve mood
That simple thing? 5 minutes of physical activity.

In a 2010 report by J. Barton and J. Pretty in Environmental Science and Technology analyzing ten different studies, it was demonstrated that the greatest mood-boosting and stress-reducing effects of exercise come from just 5 minute chunks of exercise. Lani Muelrath, M.A., Fit Quickies: 5 Minute Targeted Body Shaping Workouts, 2013, pg. 188.

There is a physiological reason you feel better after you exercise in even short segments. As a matter of fact, the evidence for this is so great that an entire chapter of the Fit Quickies book - "Winding Up Your Willpower", starting on page 185 - is devoted to it. You rebuild brain power, restore oxygenation of the blood - and brain. You move the lymph - your detox agent. Is it any wonder we start to get 'brain fog' when we sit for too long!

You also restore the command center of the brain. Which brings us, quite frankly, to door #3 - the food. Where command center power is definitely a positive quality.

The Food

All we need is 3 - 5 minutes of movement, and - as we know now, among other things - you restore the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. Let me tell you why that matters.

The pre-frontal cortex is that part of your brain that discriminates choices - and allows you to make the better choice. It is your social filter, your right from wrong, the nudge to behave in compliance with your higher aspirations - which includes good food choices.

After a night of restorative sleep, our willpower reserves are refilled and ready for a new day. However, willpower comes in limited supply. It is gobbled up by stress. So all day long, stress - from dropping your favorite tea cup to the traffic on the way to work - hammers away at it. Is it any wonder that your best laid plans to stick to your healthy diet and get your exercise in, to which you were so committed early in the day, starts to fall apart as the day goes on? It's not your fault - accumulated stress has made the wheels so wobbly that is it any wonder that by 2:00 that afternoon they've fallen all the way off the wagon and it's all you can do to keep from falling face first into the free samples at the market or the whatever on the break room table?

The good news is that you can restore the prefrontal cortex with - get this - just five minutes of physical exercise. Do you see how making sure that you get some activity in - even in short bouts - during the day leads to brilliant success with your food plan? Exercise is about a whole lot more than just building muscle - perhaps it's even more important role is what it does for your brain.

Fit Quickies to the rescue

Can you see why I am so excited about the 5 minute fitness concept? Honestly, the collection of 14 exercises in this book came about because I discovered through personal experience how these particular moves - lined up and executed just right to get into the muscle and get them to stand up at attention fast - allowed me to keep my shape on a busy schedule with short segments throughout the day. Yet as I researched the specific physiology of the moves, I uncovered a boatload of information about the power of 5 minute fitness - the tip of the iceberg which I've shared with you today. Lots more in the Fit Quickies book.

Who wants to win a copy of Fit Quickies?

To enter your name in the drawing for a copy of Fit Quickies: 5 Minute Targeted Body Shaping Workouts - which as we now know is about body shaping and mind shaping and mood shaping and all kinds of goodies - please respond to the question in comments below:

Q: Which aspect of the '5 minute fix' described above resonates most with what YOU need most? Fitting in workouts? Energy and physical confidence? Will - and won't - power for your food plan? Restored mood?

Are you kidding, it all resonates with me! Share your thoughts below before Thursday, August 29th at 6 p.m. EST. One winner will be chosen at random. To leave a comment/view the comments, please click on the title of this post.

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