Category Archives: exercise mental health

Creating a better version of yourself

I had a really inspiring meeting last week in Hamburg and Vienna with the best-selling author and founder of Nerium International, Jeff Olson. He embodies all the philosophies on health and self-development that inspired me to establish my own consultancy business PowerBodyMind some eight years ago.

Jeff’s book “The Slight Edge” , on turning simple daily disciplines into massive success and happiness, is a philosophy on which he built a very successful health product company, that has now just entered the European markets. It is not about only selling products, he says, but at the same time helping people becoming a better version of themselves.

Olson

With Jeff Olson (left) in Hamburg

I’m convinced that in coming years we are going to see a lot more companies like Nerium coming to the fore, led by charismatic and holistic-thinking leaders who want to improve people’s lives and make the world a better place.

Most people want to do good and feel good when they have the feeling that they are doing something right, even if it is just supporting a product they know has high ethical standards.

At the forefront are companies in the health and beauty industry after we have seen generations of companies putting products on the market that were having terrible effects on consumers, the environment and other living beings. (tests on animals).

Most importantly, we need not become victims of circumstance. We do have the power and awareness to choose what products we want to buy and support. How healthy and happy we are and how long we live is determined largely by lifestyle and not by genes. Scientists have pinpointed several so-called “blue zones” located in places like Okinawa, Japan, and Sardinia in Italy where people continue to live active, healthy lives well into their 90s.

One of the key ingredients of a long life the scientists found is a diet rich in fresh vegetable, Omega 3 fatty acids and fruit with a low consumption of meat. At the same time these old people are all highly respected and honored in their communities. Attitude, sense of purpose and mindset seem just as much an important aspect as diet and exercise.

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Interestingly many of these old folk have survived their children and grandchildren who became ill and died from typical modern diseases such as heart problems and diabetes II after adopting a sedentary lifestyle rich in processed foods and sugar.

It is indeed all a matter of choice, as Jeff Olson, writes in his book. Turning your life around and making a better version of yourself is simply a matter of choice, adjusting your current lifestyle with simple steps that make that slight edge of a difference from living a life of the mundane to living a life of abundance and happiness.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

 “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Are you being brainwashed?

I’m sure you’ve  had the experience recently. You are talking to someone when you  notice they have switched off with their “cemented opinion”.  But you continue talking, still hoping to convince that person with your “rational argument.”

Donna parla con lettere su sfondo biancoI fall into the trap every time, knowing full well that no matter what information I provide, it will not convince the other person to adapt or change his or her mind.

A medical doctor friend of mine recently vented frustration at the growing number of patients questioning his diagnosis with information they had found on the Internet. It is mind boggling that the expertise of scientists, who have spent a good part of their lives becoming experts in their fields, is ridiculed by persons with only scant knowledge at best of the topic they are talking about.

We surround ourselves with friends and associates who share our opinions and mannerisms. We subscribe to media that feed us with information we want to hear. Its human nature. A questioning of our belief system is perceived as so “dangerous” that it might alienate us from our tribe and leave us cold and alone. The unfortunate part of this human trait is that it makes us prone to manipulation, especially if the perceived threat to group identity is threatened.

What happens to the individual manifests itself into what I call the mass brainwashing and fogging of minds. Political strategists and the master manipulators understand this part of the working of the human mind very well.

Take for example my home country South Africa. The media is churning out almost daily evidence of the looting of the country’s state-owned enterprises and national treasury by the ruling president and his cronies. In any normal situation President Jacob Zuma would have been booted out of office and sentenced to a long prison term for crimes ranging from massive tax evasion to personal enrichment and treason.  He is only getting away with it because he has convinced his electorate that they are poor because the wealth of the country is controlled by “white monopoly capitalism.” Worse still, the media controlled by this “monopoly” is spreading lies in a bid to re-install apartheid.  That is all you need to communicate in a country still deeply divided along racial lines.

Feed into already existing prejudices or fears by spreading half-truths, lies and misleading information and you control the masses who believe what they want to believe. Adolf Hitler understood this mechanism perfectly by feeding into existing anti-Semitic prejudices of a highly educated society until he had them all screaming “Sieg Heil” as the rail carriages rolled into the death camps of Auschwitz.  The economy of the oil-rich country of Venezuela was ruined by a despot riding the mantra that all the troubles could be attributed to American imperialism.

This is why I find the rising nationalism in so many countries so dangerous. It appeals to the most basic of human instincts, whispering into the ears of the masses: “Someone is out there taking or denying from you something that you regard as very precious and dear.”

The wise teachers from all the major religious traditions teach us that you need to “neutralize” your mind in order to open yourself to true spiritual experience. It sounds so easy but is probably one of the hardest things to do. Don’t we all have toxic emotions, prejudices and fears that we desperately hold on to?

A first step toward neutralizing the mind is the admission of those existing pre-conceived ideas, or emotions and in analyzing their origins.

  • What made you think the way you are thinking?
  • Do you really have an open mind to a new angle or perspective?
  • Are you versed in the art of listening?

Inside each human lie embedded the seeds of doing either good or evil. What you feed your mind with on a daily basis is what you become. You make your decisions based on your belief system.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Time out: Why a pilgrimage?

Next week I will be leaving for my ninth walk on the Camino de Santiago. Its become an annual must-do-event because I am convinced that such a time-out period is essential in boosting my energy, my creativity and general feeling of well-being.

IMG_3577In our modern world our energies are constantly being depleted by countless distractions that make us forget who we are and what soul purpose we have. Worse still: We imitate “role models” hyped by mass media, making us look foolishly unauthentic.

The tradition of walking the Camino is many centuries old. In the Middle Ages, when life was cheap and short, people had a deeply ingrained fear of burning in the fires of hell in the after life. The best possible way of gaining redemption was in walking the Camino.

Today thousands of people are rediscovering the Camino as a perfect analogy of life and a fast-track course in self-development.  Here are only some of the lessons I learned on the Camino:

  • The less weight you carry, the easier your walk
  • The ups-and-downs are cyclical like the ups and downs of life
  • If you get lost you always find someone to help you
  • Be open for the miraculous often hidden in the common

Never mind the enormous health benefits. I’ve noticed that walking between 20-25 kilometers a day not only detoxes the body but also the mind. It is truly “walking things off” and getting rid of the clutter, opening the channels and the senses of hearing, smell, touch and sight.

I will keep you posted on this site.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Feeling stressed out?

Mankind is living in its best era yet, experiencing better health, peace and higher standard of living than all generations before. So why do so many people suffer from stress and chronic fatigue?  Has the “comfortable” life made us less resilient? Other generations experienced war, famine, disease and all sorts of challenges that we do not have to deal with.

Businessman pushing hard against falling deck of domino tilesMy take on this is that stress is not really the problem but that a host of factors come into play, especially the lack of recuperation in today’s fast track world. Here are some tips to make you more resilient in riding the storm during those tough times. We cannot avoid stress. It is part of life, but we can learn to deal with stressful situations differently.

 

  • Body movement: When you are under stress your body is flooded with a stress hormone called cortisol. The more cortisol in your system, the more your adrenal glands on the kidneys become fatigued. Try body arts that relax you both mentally and physically and bring your entire body metabolism into balance. Yoga, taiji, qi gong, pilates and meditation are ancient proven methods that work. But even a gentle walk in nature and jogging at a gentle pace will help bring down your stress level.
  • Eating good foods:  Too much sugar and salts in processed foods is wreaking havoc in your body. White sugars rob the body of phosphates which are vitally important in almost every intra-cellular reaction. Too much salt interferes with the natural absorption of water in the body, causing constipation, accumulation of toxins and higher blood pressure. You can’t go wrong with a good mixture of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit. The supplement spirulina is loaded with beta carotene, iron, magnesium and other trace materials which your body really needs during times of stress.
  • Healing rituals: When everything around us appears to be in disarray or collapse a ritual can restore balance and sense of belonging and connection. It could be a religious prayer, the lighting of a candle, a meditation or any other regularly performed daily action at a certain time or place of the day. Rituals have been part of human life and social interaction since the dawn of mankind but we seem to have forgotten the significance of them in the rat-race of modern times.
  • Friends and family: A typical symptom of burnout caused by stress is the withdrawal from social interaction. We are social animals and need to talk and interact with our fellow human beings, who give us important feedback, empathy, sense of meaning and comfort. Sharing and volunteering your help for a non-profit organisation, church, neighborhood initiative or any other group that serves a higher purpose often brings you “back to earth”.

If you can learn to ride the storm, change can positively enrich your life in many ways. The challenge lies in dealing with those defining moments of transition from a position of strength and power. During tough times we more than ever need time for recuperation, a time out and activities or hobbies that take the mind away from obsessive worry.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under body arts, cortisol, cortisol effects, exercise mental health, happiness research, longevity, meditation, personal choice and happiness

Hamburg: Reflections on a city burning

Torched cars, running street battles and burning street barricades are scenes not uncommon in strife-torn countries with major social problems.  This time however it hit the wealthy northern German port city of Hamburg during the G20 summit last week with many friends witnessing the violent scenes.

The violent mob had no qualms in torching and ransacking the premises of hard-working small shop-owners, beating up journalists filming the scene and setting on fire a small car with a baby seat in the back. Numerous people were injured – miraculously nobody got killed.

Politicians and the mass media are quick to blame a small minority of criminal elements and left-wing radicals from all over Europe out to stir trouble. Whatever the experts say, there appears to be a thin line between civil behavior and anarchy.

As humanity moves to higher consciousness we will experience setbacks. We will go back two stepBusiness person looking at wall with light tunnel openings to take one step forward.  Mankind is going through a major transition with a leap in technology and information at your fingertips that only a decade ago could only be accessed in cumbersome library research. Entire industries are changing with once secure jobs being lost and new ones being created.

A lot of people stuck in old thinking are being left behind and part of the old thinking is the entitlement culture and failing to take responsibility. Its always the OTHERS responsible for ones own mishaps and failings: the parents, the school, the state, former friends and associates, the employer. And, conceded, it makes me angry.

Never before has humanity experienced such abundance, wealth, peace and liberty. The opportunities are immense and yet a crowd out there seems to have a mindset that it all needs to be a freeload without personal commitment. Life is not like that. What you are is a result of your mindset and thought process. If you eat junk food and refuse to exercise you will inevitably end up with bad health. If you fail to commit yourself to hard work and continuous learning, stay stuck in “blaming culture”, you will lose out.

If you adopt positive daily habits and a positive mindset your life will become positive. We do have the freedom of choice.  We are only to a very limited extent “helpless victims” to external circumstance.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

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Do you have a weight issue?

Fat lazy guy on the couch  Every third person on earth has a weight problem. Its a pandemic that is causing major health problems for individuals, societies and the economic future of many countries.

The data released recently by the New England Journal of Medicine  is particularly alarming because it shows a major increase in obesity among children. A diet of mainly processed foods with a high sugar content coupled with a mainly sedentary lifestyle spent behind the steering wheel of a car or on an office chair are cited as major reasons for being overweight.

The other factor is that our fast-paced Western lifestyle is flooding our bodies with stress hormones that stimulate the building up of fat reserves in the lower belly. In previous generations humans were stressed by the fear of suffering from drought or famine, which is why the stress hormone cortisol is designed to tell the body: “Alert: Store fat because hard times are coming.”

How do you determine whether you are overweight? Take your body length. Lets say 176 cm, divide that by half which is 88 cm. Your belly at the height of your navel should therefore not measure more than 88 cm.

Why should you watch your weight? Obesity is the major cause of cardiovascular disease, diabetes II and a host of skeletal problems. The fat tissue in your lower belly is creating pressure on all your body organs which increases your blood pressure and the danger of suffering a stroke. Obesity also affects our mental state of mind, our self-image, self-esteem, vitality, libido and most of all your longevity.

Motivate yourself by writing down at least three major reasons why you want to live a long and healthy life!

So what do I do to reduce weight? Don’t postpone action. Start today by clearing your fridge and kitchen cabinet from all processed foods. Educate yourself on a low-carb diet. Try and avoid completely all sugars. Start exercising by at least taking brisk walks during the day. Best download an app on your smart phone so that you can monitor yourself by taking at least 10,000 steps a day. Try sticking to that plan rigidly for at least 40 days and you will notice a significant improvement.

If you want to kick-start your vitality and health check out my my online course: Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

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Count your blessings – our peaceful era

Mass media influences us in a negative sense more than we think. The emphasis is mostly on deviant behavior of the “rich and famous” or some catastrophic event , mostly in a far-off place that does not directly affect us or where we have never been.

Leaf_forestHow would you answer when asked to estimate between 40 and 80 per cent how many people in the world cannot read or write? Most people put the figure at below 60 per cent. The truth is that some 87 per cent of people in the world today can read and write. What an astounding achievement!

You would, also not know it from the headlines that we’re currently living through one of the most peaceful times in human history. This chart by Max Roser from Oxford University shows the global death rate from war over the past 600-plus years.

ourworldindata_wars-long-run-military-civilian-fatalities-from-brecke1.0

Most people view the European Union as a bureaucratic monster.  This fake-news emphasis was largely responsible for the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the E.U. The truth is that the EU with its consensus-building policy and inter-dependent structures between nations has largely been responsible for the longest period of peace and prosperity in central Europe ever. Whatever its faults this for me is the one major reason to keep preserving the concept of a European unity between nations.

Negative or fake news is designed to appeal to our lower instincts. It does more than that. Fear-mongering and negative thoughts directly affect our immune system. Stress hormones that induce flight or fight symptoms in the body are steered by the reptilian or instinctive part of the brain. It does not react rationally or with logic. The reptilian brain’s only job is to decide whether the information is threatening, edible or sexually attractive. Does that ring a bell next time you open the pages of your gossip rag?

We need to guard our mind against all the negativity thrown at us from all sides because whatever information we feed our brain is that what we become, consciously or subconsciously.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

 

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How important is your health?

Most personal bankruptcies in the United States are directly linked to a health issue. I have seen so many good friends, leaders and experts in their fields hitting a wall with a life-threatening disease in the prime of their lives.

Comical chubby guy not sticking to his diet

This doesn’t come overnight. In most cases poor or good health is directly linked to lifestyle choices.

Less than ten per cent of major health issues are triggered by fate such as accidents or hereditary factors.

When asked, most people will tell you their health is very important. Asked what they are doing to stay healthy, the question gets a little more difficult to answer.

The truth is that bad lifestyle habits such as poor nutrition and lack of exercise are seeing diseases such as diabetes, cancer, obesity and mental illnesses such as depression skyrocketing in all of the industrialised countries.

I have myself been on the brink of burnout, overburdened by work demands and relationship issues, so I know what I’m talking about. Poor health doesn’t come overnight. Its a slow degenerative process that sets in when you stop looking after yourself and external demands or distractions start controlling your life.

So, its become my passion, my personal mission to tell people what they can do, to lead a much healthier and happier life.

I firmly believe that it all starts from within. Do you love and respect yourself? What is your self image. Your body will reflect what is going on inside you. Facial expressions and body posture can be telling. What mental and physical clutter are you carrying around with you? How do you deal with stress? Are you following your soul purpose? These are questions that need to be answered before you start a diet and it is the main reason why most weight-reduction and exercise programmes fail.

In the many workshops and trainings I have done with people at all levels in the corporate world, the issue its not the lack of awareness. All of us have heard and read about these things. But there is a huge gap between awareness and taking concrete action. I’ve given this a lot of thought. Why do people avoid action when it comes to the most important aspect in their lives with personal health literally affecting every facet of life.

One reason is that you don’t see the effect of bad lifestyle habits immediately. If I told you that drinking that sugar-laced “energy drink” is a poison that will kill you in the next few hours, you wouldn’t touch it. Toxic foods and negative mental distractions are all around us. Its become a huge challenge of our time to avoid these and to focus our mind on positive thoughts.

To have a healthy body metabolism you need a walk of between five and eight kilometres per day. Most people don’t even manage two in walking from the house to the car and from the car to the office. The compound effect – good or bad is what does it.

I have gleaned and finetuned from my workshops what I believe are the key principles of good health. I have put all this together in a seven-part online course with a clear positive habit forming plan to set you up for a much healthier lifestyle. You can check it out here and watch a free video preview

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

Get my free E-Booklet “Resilience: What makes us strong”.

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Filed under blood pressure, cancer, corporate health, cortisol, exercise mental health, happiness, Job satisfaction, lifestyle management, longevity, nutrition, psychology, Uncategorized, work environment

Goal setting with the magical 40

Exuberant young woman celebrating her vacationEver thought about why fasting is most effective after 40 days? Modern neuroscience is confirming the positive effects of  “the magical 40” which is a special number in ancient biblical traditions.

The “40” symbolized in many instances a time of trial, testing and probation.

Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. He led the people of Israel through the desert for 40 years. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert to fight the temptations of Satan. Many of the Jewish kings ruled for an epoch of 40 years.

So, is it surprising that positive habit forming rituals like starting a healthy new diet, an exercise sequence or the practising of a personal mantra, really starts to manifest in a life-changing way after 40 days.

This is also one reason why most New Year Resolutions don’t work. People give up too easily. They don’t stick it through for an uninterrupted period of 40 days!

Modern Neuroscience is once again confirming what ancient masters learned through observation and practise.

Martin Dresler at Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and his colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of 23 of the top 50 athletes and compared the scans with those of untrained people. The team then used a technique popular among memory athletes to train the control group daily over 40 days. The researchers found that those in the control group roughly doubled the number of words they could recall, remembering up to 60 from a list of 72 — nearly matching the performance of some athletes.

Changes in brain connectivity patterns in the control group before and after training looked similar to the differences between untrained volunteers and memory champions.

The conclusion reached is that connections in the brain grow stronger between key areas of the cortex involved in learning, memory processing and the linking of new and old knowledge when practised over an uninterrupted period of 40 days.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

Get my free E-Booklet “Resilience: What makes us strong”.

 

 

 

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The ear to the ground

IMG_4181In sculptures and paintings the great teachers, like the Buddha, are often depicted with large ears to symbolise their wisdom and ability to go with the old saying of keeping, “the ear to the ground”, in being fully aware of what is happening and what people are saying.

In ancient scriptures the ear is also described as the “gateway to the soul”. The ear not only has the exceptional ability of picking up fine nuances of a musical instrument but also to listen to “With-In.

Our ears are already open before we are born in hearing the heartbeat of the mother in an embryonic stage and it is the last organ to depart when we leave this life.

An ancient legend tells us that Maria conceived Jesus through the ear because it is the most sensitive organ and closest to BEING and original sound.

In Chinese medicine the kidney opens itself in the ears. Not suprisingly the ears are shaped like kidneys and regarded as the foundation of good health and vitality. All of the body’s functions rely on the heat provided by kidney qi and the gate of life.

The ability to really “listen” is becoming drowned by the cocophony of the multitude of noisy voices bombarding us.  When under too much stress our body often reacts with tinnitus, or a ringing and buzzing in the ears. An ideal way of winding down is to go out into nature and do the following:

Listen and become aware of your breathing. Then listen through that breathing, become aware of the space around you. Hear the birds singing, then focus your mind on that one bird song or the wind rustling through the leaves. And, behind those natural, healing sound is nothing but open space and silence With-In.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

Get my free E-Booklet “Resilience: What makes us strong”.

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