Health and World Peace
This week, I’m off to Boulder, Colorado to spend some time at The Pilates Center of Boulder, through which I am completing my year-long comprehensive Pilates certification. TPC was one of the first Pilates training programs ever created. I chose the program because they offer rigorous programs (anywhere from 450-950 hours of training) that can also be accessed online. The program is very classical, meaning it is derived as closely as possible from the original Method created by Joseph Pilates, which he called Contrology.
However, the moment I realized this was the right program for me, was when I learned about the Pilates Center Mission. The mission of TPC is: to heal the world by empowering people to transform their health and “Return to Life.”
The idea of creating peace, and healing the world through Pilates was not just thought up out of nowhere by a bunch of hippies living in Boulder. In fact, the idea stems from Joseph Pilates himself. In his first book, “Return to life Through Contrology” he states: “self-confidence, poise, consciousness of possessing the power to accomplish our desires, with renewed lively interest in life are the natural results of the practice of Contrology. Thus we achieve happiness...” With that thought in mind, Mr. Pilates tried to get his Method into practice among world leaders like the United Nations, with little success.
Although the goal of healing the world through Pilates might seem bit lofty, I must say, I agree with it. As a health professional, I see unhealthy choices lead to unhealthy and destructive behavior all the time.
A healthy body can help you to fight off stress and anxiety, clear your mind, reduce negative emotions, improve sleep habits and unlock creativity. If more people spent the time focusing on their own personal health, and healing their bodies from inside out, I am sure there would be less fighting and unhappiness in the world.
Obviously, this is only one piece to a larger puzzle, but one that has the ability to impact everyone for the better. Here are a few tips to help get you on the path towards achieving holistic health and world peace:
- Move everyday.
Make it your mission to move your body every day for at least 30 minutes. Take a walk or a jog before work or after you return home for work. Better yet, if you can, walk to and home from work each day. Remember to stand up and stretch every few hours. If you feel like it, maybe add in a few calisthenics exercises during your stretch break, like pushups or body weight squats to get your blood flowing. Opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park your car farther away from the entrance to where your going and walk the extra steps, etc. Try to make movement fun! Eventually this will make a big improvement in your mental state.
- Nourish yourself from the inside out.
Eat foods that truly make you feel good. Choose whole foods that fill you up and provide your body with energy you can sustain throughout the day. Try to limit your intake of processed foods and refined sugar. Maybe even consider trying out a plant based diet (but ensure you are getting enough protein to maintain muscle mass) rich with healthy vegetables and fruits. The more you fill your body with healthy, life-giving foods, the less likely you are to make poor food choices. The way you eat can make a huge difference in the way that you feel and even the way that you present yourself to others. Good foods can make you feel happy, can relieve gastrointestinal discomfort and can improve your immune boosting power.
- Make sleep a priority.
Sleep plays a huge role in cognitive decision-making. Without sleep you can become irritable, and make poor choices. Proper sleep can improve your health, mental clarity, and the body’s ability to fight off diseases. Here’s an easy way to challenge yourself to get to be earlier: pick a start date and for 30 days, challenge yourself to go to bed two mins (just two!) earlier than the previous night. Do this for 30 days, continuing to go to bed two minutes earlier than the previous night. By the end of those 30 days, you will be going to be an hour earlier than you were the month before. You can repeat this for another month until you get to a point where you are getting a full 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
- Focus on your breathing.
Joseph Pilates also said that if there was one piece of advice he could give to people, it would be to focus on your breath. Breathing has an enormous impact on your health. It has the ability to help you clear your mind, improve blood circulation and remove toxins from the body. Our respiratory and circulatory systems work in tandem ensuring we have blood that has been pumped with Oxygen flowing through our veins. This helps to drain our lymphatic system flushing out the things we do not want in our system. Focusing on breathing also helps to calm you down when stress levels are high. The more you focus on your breath the more clearly you will be able to think and make smart decisions. Bonus breathing fun fact: fat actually leaves the body through the air we exhale, so that’s another reason to take your breathing seriously (just don’t go overboard and begin hyperventilating - unfortunately, increased breathing alone does not cause weight loss).
Do you agree that if everyone improved their health that it would lead us to world peace? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!