“How you do one thing is how you do anything.”
~Buddha
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The current medical paradigm is not designed for anyone interested in optimal health. It even fails miserably as a system to treat symptoms.

The current medical model is a cash cow for pharmaceutical companies and practitioners hell-bent on camouflaging disease from the outside in. This costly model is clearly a losing proposition for everyone else.

ATRA view

Most fitness enthusiasts and athletes have made the decision to give a damn and taken the requisite steps to maximize optimal health and human performance…or have you?

To eclipse your current fitness level and sport performance results you must understand the relationship among exercise intensity, exercise duration, nutrition periodization, and the principles of the art and science of rapid recovery.

Optimal health – like improved sport performance – is our responsibility.

Long's Peak Summit

Societal reliance on external sources to cure the consequences of our irresponsible choices is deplorable. Lifestyles are determined by habit. One of the most insidious aspects of habit is its ability to dull awareness; and consequently, discipline. Awareness and discipline [mindfulness] delineate living life via effort versus struggle.

Each of us determines our schedule. We must remain mindful of the consequences of our lifestyle choices. It has become fashionable to whine about time constraints, the difficulties and challenges in our lives, among countless other excuses. This is bullshit.

The Noble Truth of self-actualization commences only when one takes responsibility for every thought, feeling, action, and result in one’s life. Being accountable is often difficult to swallow.

Accountability is a daunting but necessary step on the path to optimal health and human performance. Fitness and sport performance training teach us awareness. It is a process of self-discovery and inner meaning. It is more than peering at yourself in the mirror between sets.

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Synergy is the key to your mansion of optimal health, fitness, sport performance, and realizing your potential. It is an inside out proposition attainable only through mindfulness.

Performance Medicine™ is an innovative medical specialty integrating the essence of preventive health care, sport performance, and self-actualization. It is a subspecialty of clinical and diagnostic medicine that aims to maximize longevity and human performance via the following precepts:

Endurance Capacity

Endurance represents the ability of an organism to exert itself for prolonged periods and recover from trauma and fatigue. Speed and strength are vital components. Swift recovery from exertion is paramount on the path to optimal health and human performance.

Consuming low glycemic index fruits and vegetables in a liquid, smoothie, or pudding form will burn endogenous fat longer after exertion and facilitate re-synthesis. Add alkaline-forming protein to further lower the glycemic index of fruit [simple carbohydrate] to mitigate insulin and blood sugar spikes during the critical recovery window.

A 3:1 or 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio has been touted for decades as the ideal catalyst to re-synthesis, glycogen replenishment, soft-tissue repair, immune function, inflammation reduction, and hydration. Consumption of even healthful fat at this stage will inhibit absorption.

Adaptation to this stress type will spare glycogen stores, mitigate lactate production, and enhance fat oxidation in the spirit of optimal health and sport performance.

Catra Corbett

Body Composition

The condition of being physically fit allows one the ability to perform activities absent undue fatigue. It is the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively in a variety of capacities and activities.

Though a clear connection among diet, exercise, disease, quality of life, and longevity exists most people take wellness for granted ~ until it is too late.

It is no secret regular physical exercise is vital to optimal health. This explains why fewer than 50 percent of Americans regularly exercise. Excuses are pervasive both for poor dietary decisions and sedentary behavior.

Nutritive decisions will propel or pollute the quality of fuel your body mandates. The key: enhanced health and performance because of your diet not in spite of it.

Our bodies are meant to expand and contract its 640 muscles as often as possible in the spirit of fitness. Exercise improves your metabolism. The basal metabolic rate [BMR] is the energy used to sustain the circulatory, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and renal bodily functions.

The thermic effect of food [TEF] is the energy expenditure associated with processes of food the digestion, absorption, and assimilation. Theses processes support weight management with optimal nutrition and exercise the catalysts.

Exercise stimulates your lymphatic system in which vessels and nodes combat infections, then flush microorganisms and toxins prior to filtering protein and fluid to your blood. Exercise suppresses stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.

The immediate effect of exercise on your body is stress, the trade-off is adaptation in which your body becomes stronger, functions more efficiently, and possesses greater levels of endurance. Your entire body benefits from exercise.

Regular exercise, proper nutritive decisions, hygiene, and rest are pivotal to optimal fitness levels.

Metabolic Efficiency

Life begins and ends at the cellular level.

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Metabolic efficiency is the body’s ability to utilize endogenous carbohydrate and fat stores at varying levels of intensity and duration to enhance sport performance and mitigate chronic and degenerative disease risks.

Metabolic efficiency is a concept grounded in blood sugar management. Dietary intake has a profound impact on this concept, sport performance, and optimal health. It is an exercise physiology and nutrition-based intervention.

Metabolic efficiency manipulates cellular processes through aerobic training by increasing the size and number of mitochondria in your cells. Mitochondria represent one of the most important organelles within a cell. It is the energy powerhouse of the cell. It is found in significant numbers in which the biochemical processes of respiration and energy production [adenosine triphosphate | ATP] occur.

The path to metabolic efficiency includes both macronutrient partitioning and aerobic exercise adaptation in order to facilitate fat oxidation. It then becomes possible for fat oxidation at a higher intensity thereby maximizing output. The key is balancing dietary and training protocols.

Screenshot 2014-06-20 at 5.14.18 AMNutrition periodization is vital to synergistic energy expenditure during workouts or competitions. High carbohydrate consumption yields high carbohydrate oxidation. Elevated blood glucose spikes insulin which inhibits lipolysis.

Lipolysis is the breakdown of fats and other lipids to release amino acids. Your body wastes substantial energy converting complex carbohydrates to simple carbohydrates, fat to fatty acids, and protein to amino acids. Primary source foods provide the greatest amount of usable energy absent laborious conversion.

Fat oxidation is the desired outcome both at low level exertion and intensities close to your lactate threshold [LT]. Fat oxidation mitigates chronic and degenerative disease markers by keeping inflammation in check.

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Disease Prevention

Preventive health care is a choice. The state of health is too often taken for granted. Fitness buffs to elite endurance athletes are not exempt from this habit.

Nutrition represents the cornerstone of optimal health and human performance. Our fuel choices should nourish our bodies not zap energy. The fitness enthusiast or endurance athlete who ingests acidic whey or soy protein is sabotaging his/her effort to maximize recovery, pH balance, and amino acid profile. Hemp protein is an alkaline-forming alternative.

Nearly half of adults suffer from one or more chronic and degenerative diseases such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. The common thread among non-athletes, recreational athletes, and elite athletes is metabolic health.

The United States wastes more than $2 trillion dollars per annum on health care. This sucks more than 17 percent of the gross national product – at twice the rate of inflation!

Measuring physiological and biochemical performance on a continuum where the law of diminishing returns is ever-present is a delicate balance. Implementing the requisite modifications to optimize both sport performance and longevity is paramount.

When you honor the sanctity of your whole body ~ it will honor you. It is at this stage one begins to experience and understand the unique path of mastering the difference between effort and struggle.

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This changes everything….

Discover the synergistic keys to master the difference between effort and struggle both in life and sport from the inside out ~ your life may depend on it.

May your Sadhana thrive.

Namaste!
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Melissa Schurger

Jeff Kildahl

View posts by Jeff Kildahl

Jeff Kildahl is an author, consultant, endurance athlete, and philanthropist advancing preventive health care by synthesizing primary source nutrition and fitness as the principal components of the practice of medicine.

Kildahl is a sponsored vegan ultra-endurance athlete credentialed in bioenergetics, biomechanics, metabolic efficiency™ testing, sport nutrition, and natural medicine. He is a dynamic member of CUBE™ ~ a professional speakers group ~ empowering others to harmonize the "Keys to Living in the Song of Life."

He is the wellness editor at Snowshoe Magazine, United States Snowshoe Association columnist, and contributor to health, fitness and wellness sites, blogs and publications.

Kildahl is the creator and president of The Wholistic Edge® ~ a visionary firm providing synergistic solutions to transcend health, performance, and potential in life and sport from the inside out via the principles of Performance Medicine™ ~ http://thewholisticedge.com.