By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer
Have you ever gotten a vibe just by entering a room? The lighting, decore, furniture placement, color scheme, air flow and foliage, geometric shapes or patterns etc., can all give you a specific thought or feeling, right? Think of scrolling through decore ideas on Pinterest and different feelings you get when you look at photo after photo. Maybe good, maybe bad, familiar, peculiar, warm and fuzzy, even disturbing.
The thoughts and feelings that arise in you based on your surroundings, or the environment you create or choose to surround yourself with, is known as “feng shui.” Feng shui, is considered an ancient art and science developed over 3,000 years ago in China and has become a popular concept in the United States over the last 15 years.
HARMONY ON THE INSIDE = SUCCESS ON THE OUTSIDE
While feng shui refers to using energy forces to create harmony between individuals and their external environment, we can apply a similar concept to the internal environment within our own bodies which, I believe, can also affect the state of your mind and emotions, and your behavior and actions.
Think about what a chaotic room might look like. Piles of papers all over the place, books on the floor, unfolded clothes on the bed, things scattered and disorganized everywhere. Maybe your car or work environment can look like chaos at times. Or maybe you’ve worked out in a chaotic gym before: weights all over the place, floor tiles missing, dirty carpets, broken or missing mirrors, etc. How does this make you feel? Anxious, nervous, angry, agitated, on-edge?
It’s easy to see with your own eyes when something in the external world is creating certain feelings inside you, but what about your internal environment? You can’t really “see” what’s going on aside from blood tests, seeing the color of your urine, the health of your stools, and other measuring tools to gauge what’s going on in there.
Do you think you have a peaceful, harmonious internal environment or do you think there is discontent and chaos going on in there? And do you think if you have an angry, unhappy, unhealthy internal environment that you are going to experience success with your fitness goals? Or do you think your body will respond better to a fitness program if there is an internal environment of health, harmony and happiness?
HOW TO CREATE A POSITIVE INTERNAL ENVIRONEMNT
1. Pre-Biotics/Pro-Biotics Health starts in the gut. I’ve heard this time and time again, and can’t help but agree that if you don’t have a healthy gut environment, nothing else in your body will be able to function properly or optimally. The gut is where all of our nutrients are absorbed and distributed throughout our body to all the places they need to go for hormonal and metabolic function, tissue repair, organ health and function, and bone, joint, and ligament, health, etc. The health of our gut bacteria is crucial, and pre- and pro-biotics can help to ensure a healthy gut microbiome environment.
2. Nutrient Rich Foods To further aid in the health of your gut microbiome environment and the rest of your body, consume minimally processed, nourishing foods. I feel like this goes without saying, but a calorie is not just a calorie and all macronutrients are not created equal. You can have two plates the exact same size with the same calories and macros but one can be chalk-full of nutrients while the other can be completely devoid of nutrients. Consuming food-like products that contain tons of fillers and no nutrients can even be harmful to your internal environment and elicit a “chaotic feng shui” in your body. In other words, make you feel like crap.
3. Exercise One of the benefits of exercising (both strength-training and cardio) in addition to the really cool muscles and physique of a fit person, is the incredible internal environment you are creating with healthy, lean muscle tissue, an optimally functioning cardiorespiratory system, thriving hormones and metabolism, and strong bones, ligaments, joints and tendons.
4. Rest/Sleep I truly think (or at least I really hope) the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is finally going away, as the incredible benefits of rest and sleep have become a huge topic recently. When we sleep, we allow our body to repair itself from whatever activities we did that day, and it is also when our hormones re-balance themselves from any stressors of the day. A good night’s sleep is like a critical reset button that encourages a harmonious internal re-balance so we can conquer the next day.
So often we get caught up in the “world out there” and don’t give thought to what kind of environment we are creating internally by the foods we eat, beverages we drink, or what our activity is like. If you think about what you are inviting into your body, make sure you are inviting things that will foster a positive, healthy, happy internal environment that will gladly respond to whatever fitness program is thrown your way.
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.