Hey whats good everybody? Im sorry for the long delay since the last
edition of Shape Up, but my computer had a pretty devastating virus that put me
out of commission for a while. But have no fear; your AllHipHop Fitness
Specialist is back to help you all keep pushing toward your goals!
Ironically, the advice that the
computer tech gave as she performed cyber-CPR on my hard drive served as the
inspiration for this first article back since my return from the matrix.
Despite being composed of flesh
and bones instead of circuits and motherboards, the four tips that she shared
can also help prevent our bodies from crashing for months at a time as
Rest and reboot your system
Rest is extremely important for
maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If
youre a workaholic like I am, its not always easy to find time to squeeze in
the recommended eight hours of sleep per night. Eventually however, those weeks of going to bed late and waking up early
will begin to take its toll on your body.
Youll begin to feel sluggish and
run down. Your memory and motor skills will not respond as efficiently. How then will you be able to get the most out
of your workouts at the gym? How well will that report turn out that youre
trying to write through droopy eyelids? What type of quality time can you truly
spend with your family if you keep nodding off during your nieces softball
Aside from feeling mentally and
physically drained, sleep deprivation can cause emotional distress as well. Despite
the analogy, were not robots who can function for 24 hours straight. Our bodies need downtime to grow and
recharge. This is why babies cry and adults get grumpy when theyre tired. This
is also why we begin to develop raccoon eyes when we arent getting enough
rest; its a basic requirement of being human.
Rest doesnt only refer to the
time spent on your bed and pillow either. If youve been constantly grinding
for months, it may be time to cash in some of those vacation days. Escaping
from your daily routine and hustle will allow you to return with a fresh
perspective and restored energy.
Of course, with gas prices and
money being tight, heading off to St. Thomas might not be in your budget right
now, however there are probably places nearby that you havent taken the time
to check out yet. You can also partake in the growing trend of the backyard
vacation. Take out the grill, throw on
some music and chill at home.
You dont necessarily have to go
somewhere physically; you just need to avoid the temptation of working. Even if its just for a weekend, just try to
find a time and place where you can let your mind go and completely relax for a
2. Be careful not to
download corrupted data onto your Hard Drive
Sodium, cholesterol, sugars and
non-essential fats these are just a few of the potential threats that can
corrupt your system. In moderation, the effects of these elements will remain
minimal, however when consumed in large quantities, the effects of these items
can literally be deadly.
For this reason alone, its
important that you begin to start reading the nutritional content listed on the
packaging of most foods that you purchase.
Be careful to pay extra attention to the serving portion size however,
because many slick companies will list the nutritional content for a portion
much smaller than youre likely to consume. While at first glance that can of
soup may seem harmless, upon further inspection you may notice that the entire
can really contains 2.5 times the amount of sodium listed in bold print!
Also beware of creative packaging
and marketing boasts. Just because a label says that the product is healthy
doesnt mean that it actually is. Typically its just healthier than the
original version of the product, but still lacks nutritional value and often
contains nearly the same amount of harmful additives and chemicals. This is
especially true with light cigarettes and light beer. At the end of the
day, its still nicotine and alcohol so youre not much better off in the long
Fortunately, many restaurants are
beginning to list their ingredients so that you can know what youre eating on
the go as well. If not, there are various websites and books that contain the
nutritional value of popular meals at various restaurant chains.
If you dont want to take the time
to research all of that however, than simply try to limit the amount of fried
foods that you consume. Just try not to get in the habit of turning a healthy
choice into junk food. For example, if you ad 40 slabs of bacon and 20 cold
cuts to your salad then drown it in a gallon of heavy dressing, you might as
well have just ordered a double cheeseburger since the effects will be just as
Also remember that you cant
necessarily erase the effects of a junk food item by chasing it with a healthy
item. So for all of you washing down those Twinkies and Doritos with a Diet
Coke or a protein shake, while I applaud your effort its not going to help
In general, try to stick to foods
that are naturally found on the Earth since theyre the easiest for your body
to process. If you know that you love certain types of junk foods, seek out
healthy alternatives. Try using other spices instead of immediately reaching
for the saltshaker before youve even tasted your food.
column, you can do almost anything in moderation so you can allow for the
occasional cheat day, however for a healthier lifestyle you have to make informed
choices to prevent potential complications to your system.
3. Always use a
quality virus protection program
While Norton, CA and McAfee may
rule the world of cyber-protection, vitamins, minerals, fibers, grains and
water should rule your Earthly existence. These elements will help keep your
body functioning properly and will help ward off potential diseases.
Aside from reading the nutritional
content found on labels for negatives, be sure to also check out how many
vitamins or minerals may be found in the foods that you eat. In general, by
primarily sticking to foods that are naturally found on the Earth and not
man-made, youll typically find an abundance of life sustaining nutrients. Once
again however, just be careful how you doctor up these items. If you insist on
deep-frying your broccoli and then smothering it in half a stick of butter, you
may be missing the point.
While its always best to get most
of your nutrients from the foods that you eat, multivitamins are another great
way to ensure that youre getting the proper amount each day. This may be
especially important to women who often have calcium or iron deficiencies. Multivitamins
can help keep your system functioning smoothly on a day-to-day basis.
By protection however, Im not
just talking about multivitamins. We all sat through that awkward day in gym
class sliding condoms on bananas and looking at charts of diseases that
resembled the creatures in Predator,
so if youre sexually active, you should already know better than to be doing
Dont worry, Im not getting
preachy here, however with all of the children in foster homes and HIV patients
in hospitals, I think we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to make
informed and responsible decisions.
4. Scan your system
for errors and seek professional help if you cant resolve the issue on your
Start taking the time to mentally
ask yourself How am I doing? If
something has been bothering you for months, maybe its about time that you get
that checked out. I know that many men in particular avoid the doctor like the
black plague, however ignorance isnt always bliss. Just because you dont know
whats wrong with you doesnt mean that it wont get worse.
The sooner you can get diagnosed,
the sooner you can do something about it. The longer that you wait to get
checked out, the harder it will to recover. With that said, try your best to
check your ego then go and get a check-up.
Sure weve all run into some bad
doctors along lifes journey so ask a friend for a recommendation or do your
research to find someone who you believe in. Self-medication and home remedies
may not always be enough so theres no shame in seeking out professional help
mentally or physically.
your computer crash can be a traumatic and extremely frustrating experience,
however theres no reset button on the human body. Hopefully these four tips
will help you to prolong your own lifespan and avoid a failure to your system
my computer, I too have learned my lesson.
Momma told me not to go on those
In the next edition of Shape Up
were heading back to the gym with some workout tips and training routine
ideas. As always, your feedback and comments are always welcome. Questions will be answered in future editions
of this column.
Until next time be good or be good at it.
Here is the MP3 soundtrack to go along with this editions
Doowutchyalike" Digital Underground
Ayo Technology 50 Cent f/ Justin Timberlake
Computer Games George Clinton
Darrell W. Butler is a
certified personal trainer and strength coach with the American Council on Exercise (ACE). He is the founder of Industrial Strength & Performance (I.S.P Fitness) and has trained at
facilities throughout the nation. You can find out more about his work at www.isperformance.com