Everyone today is hypervigilant about staying clean and healthy. As we already know, there are so many outside factors that contribute to our health. But have you ever considered that health could manifest from the inside out? Do you know if your internal body chemistry is toxic (dirty) or nutritive (clean)?
Eating serves a necessary purpose which boils down to the breakdown of energy for fuel as well as utilizing compounds and charges to maintain all biological functions. However, sometimes food can be used as a comfort when boredom overtakes or to fulfill a psychological need. Food can even be used to socialize. Regardless of the reason, the breakdown, use and storage are the same.
Most of us are focused on the distribution of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in our diets. Protein builds muscle or is stored as fat if too much is consumed. Fat, while a comlex energy source, contributes to hormones, pads the organs and can also be a very unpleasant store of extra weight as well as cause all kinds of problems in the bloodstream. Carbohydrates are the main fuel for immediate energy but can also become added storage.
Everyone talks about how to combine these three food groups for health and fitness. However, something even more essential to good nutrition that keeps the engine running properly is being overlooked.
Healthy human life relies greatly on a very tight pH balance. A pH is the measurement of base versus acid in a liquid or substance. In this case, we are talking about our blood. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 15. Zero is the most acid possible with battery acid being our example. Pure water is an example of a completely neutral pH at 7.0. Bleach has an alkaline pH of 13. For a healthy internal climate equipped to efficiently fight disease, a slightly alkaline pH level of 7.45 is recommended.
You undermine your efforts when you go to the gym, run for 20 to 30 minutes, weight train for 30 minutes then eat deep-fried fast foods, synthetic chemicals and simple carbohydrates. The meal will immediately convert your blood to an acid pH. This in turn puts more stress on your system. All the necessary nutrients will be depleted.
In terms of our anatomy, eating poorly, taking drugs, smoking, consuming caffeine, eating simple sugars or doing anything that will cause your metabolism to work in overdrive, takes a huge toll on the body. Digestion, respiration, cellular reproduction, waste processes, converting energy, nerve conduction, healing, are just a few examples of the metabolic systems being affected. While essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, potassium, sodium and chloride are necessary for bodily functions to take place, overtaxing the system will deplete each one.
The nutrients listed play a role similar to a key used to open the correct entryway within the body. Illness and stress will weaken the system and slow it down, thus burning up all the necessary keys. Consequently, in addition to consistent aerobic exercise, maintaining a slightly alkaline pH in the body will facilitate an internal environment that can effectively fight illnesses.
Certainly, exercise plays an essential role in fitness. Some of the many long-term side effects of exercise include: Enhanced stroke volume, increased lung capacity, more efficient energy transport, elevated nerve recruitment, lowered blood pressure, lowered resting pulse rates and faster aerobic recovery rate.
While weight training is great for muscular strength, increased circulation to specific muscle groups, nerve conduction, etc., cardiovascular exercise is essential to oxygen transport within the blood and organs. Cardio fitness even increases the number of mitochondria in your body. Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. Accumulating more mitochondria will expand cellular respiration thus accumulating oxygen in the blood.
This is of the utmost importance when we are talking about fighting off sickness. Oxygen saturation determines the inner environment of your physique. Oxygen also facilitates a higher pH. It’s up to you to decide how important your health is to you. Making healthy food choices is the symbiotic step in taking responsibility for your overall health.
If you decide to change your focus from the three main food groups (carbs, protein, fat) and instead create a clean internal climate capable of running without excess strain, true power over your fitness will result. Eating alkaline, natural foods will serve this purpose.
There are many places to find a list of foods or alkaline diets that fall in this category. They mainly list fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds. Avoid dairy products and meat which both produce more acid. When your blood is the right pH you will notice enhanced feelings of overall wellbeing, enriched physical, and mental performance, reduced pain, and less inflammation. The most important result will be empowered immunity and decreased comprehensive impairment. This means you can fight any disease, virus, illness, etc.
Understand that illness and disease flourish at a pH below 7 without sufficient oxygen. Cancer, for example, loves an acidic environment. The T cells multiply exponentially when there is no oxygen to suffocate them. Viruses and other bacterial infections function much the same.
Acidic pH produces an environment where electrolytes seek to bond to other incomplete charges and viola! You now have free radicals roaming around causing damage, producing pain, inflammation, aging, essentially wreaking havoc throughout your body. Not to mention the weakened immune system that is further compromised if a bacteria invades while all this is underway.
Keeping a more alkaline diet along with cardiovascular exercise as part of your lifestyle will contribute to health rather than illness. Don’t you think it’s time to reinforce inner fitness rather than repair damage from illness? Pay attention to your internal environment the next time you plan your meals and create fitness goals. Preventative medicine is more effective and more sustaining than treating symptoms of ailments. One is healing, the other is degenerative.
Your own health begins and ends with you!
About the Author
Leah Rachel Friedman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Health Education. She is also a Certified Medical Exercise Specialist/Personal Trainer/Group Fitness Instructor. Leah has traveled the globe training and teaching in every venue of fitness for decades. Some of her personal training includes proprioception designed to target the part of the brain responsible for balance. She works with all medical conditions including ADHD.