Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

The Simplest Yet Most Empowering Habit To Transform Your Life

Written by Les Dahl on May 11th, 2016. Posted in Health, Sage's Scroll



document.write(" geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">Happened upon an interesting question this week.

If you could give one piece of advice to a very smart but lazy guy, what would it be?”

Graeme Austin's answer piqued my curiosity.

If you truly want to go from lazy to motivated in all aspects of your life, you should do one thing, and one thing only: Exercise.”

So, I did some research to see if Graeme's answer has merit.

After wading through substantial evidence, I came up with 4 convincing reasons to support the claim that


Exercise is the simplest and most empowering habit

that transforms anyone's life.


1. The Health Benefits


Of the many studies done to determine health benefits of exercise, I found these three intriguing.

  • It reduces your risk of the common cold.

    • A brisk, 40-minute walk 4 days a week, can reduce the number of colds you experience by 25 to 50 percent and can shorten the colds you catch by half.

  • It helps prevent and treat Osteoporosis.

    • The impact of your feet hitting the ground as you walk stimulates cells in the bones of your legs, hips, and spine to strengthen and build new bones. Activities such as dancing, hiking, jogging, jumping rope, climbing stairs, or playing tennis stimulate bone growth even more and maintain bone density.

  • It battles chronic fatigue syndrome.

    • A group of chronic fatigue syndrome patients in Britain engaged in 30 minutes of walking or aerobic exercise 5 days a week. After 3 months, these patients found their symptoms improved, but within a year, three-quarters resumed normal daily activities, and some returned to work.

2. The Emotional Benefits


Studies show exercise has significant benefit to emotional well-being also.

  • It battles depression without drugs.
    • In a study of patients suffering from depression, one group walked briskly or jogged, a second group took the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft), and the third group took the drug plus exercised. After 4 months, all three groups showed similar improvement. At 6 months, however, those who kept up the exercise, had the lowest rates of remission.
  • It reduces stress
    • Working up a sweat with a brisk walk or a workout in the gym increases the release of norepinephrine, a chemical that helps the brain respond positively to stress.
  • It creates feelings of happiness.
    • Exercise releases endorphins, the 'happy chemicals' that make us feel euphoria. As little as 10 minutes 3 times per day or 30 minutes 3 days per week will give you a 'happy buzz' and help keep you in a positive mood.


3. The Convenience Factor


The term exercise is sufficiently broad so that anyone can do it. Exercise for some may be a rigid program of strenuous physical training under the guidance of a personal trainer, but for others it may be a recreational sport like tennis or just a brisk 20-minute walk 3 times a week.

I call this the convenience factor. It can easily be incorporated in daily routine by anyone. What other “prescription” costs so little, yet promises so much?


Not only is exercise of notable physical and emotional value,

it is convenient.


Look for opportunities to walk. Instead of parking as close to the mall entrance as possible, find a space that allows you to walk—it doesn't have to be the farthest corner, just enough to give you a nice 'feel good' walk. It's a healthy mindset and a healthy habit you are creating.

So you like dancing? Enroll in a dance class.

Gardening? Swimming? Yoga? Rock climbing? The options are endless.

Even at work you can reap the benefits of exercise. A study at Florida State University found that elite performers sustained peak performance by working no more than 90 minutes per session.

Exercise is any physical activity that gets you up and moving (breaking a sweat, if possible and appropriate), gets your heart pumping a little faster and your lungs breathing a little deeper.


When you commit to exercising with regularity,

you're on your way to creating a healthy habit

that will transform your life.


4. The Ripple Effect


The health benefits, the emotional value and the convenience factor are convincing arguments to the question. The clincher, however, is the ripple effect.

Exercise is a keystone habit. In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg identifies certain habits that initiate a chain effect of other good habits. The end result is positive transformation.

Of exercise Duhigg writes,

"When people start habitually exercising, even as infrequently as once a week, they start changing other, unrelated patterns in their lives, often unknowingly. Typically people who exercise start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. It's not completely clear why ...'Exercise spills over,' said James Prochaska, a University of Rhode Island researcher. 'There's something about it that makes other good habits easier.'"


Are you convinced yet?

I am, and I'm renewing my commitment to exercise. I can think of several enjoyable ways to get up and get moving toward a healthy, well-balanced life.

How about you?



ps. Here's Ida Keeling, one more very convincing study.

Her story adds depth and credibility.


Image courtesy by Madrolli /


Graeme Austin

Readers' Digest

Sophia Breene

A Healthier Michigan






7 Morning Rituals That Set Us on Track for a Great Day

Written by Les Dahl on December 29th, 2015. Posted in Health, Peace, Prosperity, Sage's Scroll



document.write(" arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">Rituals. We think we can do without them but quite the opposite is true. Athletes create rituals to prepare physically and mentally for top performance. The right morning rituals set us on track for a great day, empowered to handle pressure and stress.

Why are rituals important?

We are creatures of habit. What renders our best endeavor ineffective is poor habits or lack of habits all together.

Steven Covey observed, “There are three constants in life; change, choice and principles.” His clarion call is for all who desire true success and meaning in life, “We must be principle-centered in all areas of life.”  This is theme of his best-known book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. (*)

Habits require discipline, a quality that runs contrary to human nature. Habits are cultivated with grit—diligent resolve and sustained effort. Rituals can be effective in creating habits.

A ritual is “a series of action or type of behavior followed regularly and invariably.”  Although rituals are usually thought of as religious ceremony, the idea aptly describes the kind of application required to set us on track for consistently great days.


7 Morning Rituals That Set Us on Track for a Great Day

Morning rituals are similar to pre-race warm ups. Their purpose is to ready our body, soul and spirit for a great day—at work and at home.


1. a glass of lime water

As soon after arising, drink a glass of lime water. This somewhat unusual ritual is first because its greatest benefits are derived on an empty stomach. 


2. prayer and meditation

Prayer is my personal conversation with my Father. Some mornings I have a topic in mind selected from a 'menu' of print-outs—personalized Psalms and Scriptures that express my thoughts and feelings. Other mornings I intuitively sense a topic that Father has selected for consideration.

Meditation is mindful reflection. Moments of silence while praying allow my mind to be infused with the Father's thoughts contained in the Psalm or Scripture selected. Attentive listening allows His 'still, small voice' to instruct me.

This ritual is an expression of personal relationship not religious duty. It's objective is to nurture a sense of connection with the Creator of the Universe. Thus empowered, I am ready for a great day.


3. physical exercise

For a working person, time is a premium, especially at the start of a day. The objective of physical exercise as a morning ritual is to awaken the muscles and blood flow. It is not intended to be a workout in the gym!

An effective, time-efficient exercise program is 10BX (10 Basic Exercises for Women) and 5BX (5 Basic Exercises for Men). These daily routines can be completed in 12 minutes with amazing results. Neither require any equipment. 


4. breakfast with the family

This may well be the hardest to execute of our morning rituals. To get everyone together in a happy frame of mind around the breakfast table is no easy feat. In fact, for some it is a miracle. Nevertheless, today more than ever we need to war for the unity and well-being of our family.


5. high-energy nutrition

Food is the fuel in our tank. Some foods, like whole foods and fruit, are high-octane energy fuel that prime us for a great day. Others, like refined carbohydrates, processed foods and added sugars, are energy-sucking sludge-producing fuels to be avoided. Choosing good food, especially at the start of our day is a vital ritual. Dr. Georgia Ede's well-balanced approach to health and nutrition issues provides helpful guidelines. 


6. coffee or tea

Caffeine is a controversial issue with 'research' cited for and against. Moderation and common sense are the key. My morning preference is tea, but I can enjoy a good brew of coffee, too.

Organo Gold is a new coffee that my family has come to enjoy because of the added boost called ganoderma. It's like adding 'STP' to the gasoline in your car. A cup of Organo Gold coffee is especially good at mid-afternoon when you need a pick-me-up. 


7. one for the road

Commuting to work can be 'dead time' or it can be a final 'warm up' ahead of a great day. One of my life coaching clients uses the one-hour drive to work for her private conversation with the Father.

It's like having Him riding in the passenger seat!” she says.

She also uses the time to establish inner calm using the 5-minute Meditation”, a free app.

This young professional, whose job can be very stressful, has a lot more great days since her morning routine has become her daily ritual.


Question: Does your morning routine set you on track for a great day?


(*) Disclosure: As an affiliate of Amazon, I receive a commission from purchases made through this website.