To Your Health
April, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 04)
My coach, a former world-class Hungarian gymnast, led my physical training. Zoltan Miklos Hajdu, who I called "Uldi," put me through 25-minute interval workouts. We'd jump quickly from one exercise to the next.
The assignment went something like this: 10 pull-ups; 1-minute jog; 50 "V-snap" sit-ups; 1-minute jog; 25 push-ups; 1-minute jog, etc. These were explosive sets. It was imperative to execute the set quickly with clean form. Even my toes were pointed. Instead of just working one body part, I flexed my entire body.
This style of anaerobic exercise is the most efficient way to naturally release human growth hormone (HGH). Research shows HGH is considered the modern-day "fountain of youth." It combats aging by building muscle, burning fat and speeding metabolism. It keeps our skin elastic and our energy high. As we grow older, we produce less and less HGH. By choosing to exercise - whether we're training for a fitness contest or just looking to stay in shape - we can naturally release HGH. No matter how old we get, we can look and feel younger.
What do you recommend people do to get healthy and stay physically fit? There are seven things people can do to live a healthier life. Perhaps the easiest way to remember all seven is to think of what three verbs are at the heart of any healthy relationship: respect, communicate and love. If you can imagine you are going to have a healthy relationship with your body, you would do the following: Respect your body's needs, communicate a positive self-image and love your unique qualities.
I teach these three principles to my clients. Last year, I started Sarah Harding Fitness, Inc. (www.sarahhardingfitness.com) to encourage others to find their fitness. Our body is our temple. It houses our mind and spirit. If we nourish our body, we can feed our mind and nurture our soul. Many people are afraid to develop a healthy relationship with their body, for fear it could be considered vain or self-centered. But how vain is it to have more energy to spend time with your kids? Is it really self-centered to feel more affectionate toward your spouse? Our health affects our relationships. When we take care of ourselves, we can give more to our loved ones.
Which supplements and herbs would you recommend? When it comes to supplements, it's important to research what is right for your individual body. I personally take supplements. As much as I would like to get all my vitamins and minerals from food, I've found my body needs more than the food alone can provide.
Every morning, I take a multi-green powder that contains vitamins, minerals, high-fiber vegetables, probiotics and essential fatty acids. It starts my day off right! I like to mix it with diluted, unsweetened cranberry juice, which reduces water retention and promotes proper urinary tract function. Antioxidants, sublingual vitamin B (folic acid, B6 and B12), hyaluronic acid, chlorella, and bee pollen are also a part of my daily routine.
You won the Ms. Fitness USA contest twice - that's quite an accomplishment. What was different about the second time you won? The greatest difference was I got married. Getting married opened my eyes to what health really means: There's only one thing better than having good health and that's having someone with whom to share it!
At the end of the day, we may not remember what we did, but we know who we were with. Our relationships fill us with joy and fulfillment. It's important to nurture those relationships with others. That is why it is so crucial to prioritize our health. We need to feel good before we can help others feel good.