Stir your Soup

Contributed by Debra McGhan

Following a challenging winter that included major surgery, I’m striving now to regain my health and vitality. I figure that means I should get back to being physically fit; go to the gym, work out, get my body back in shape... But I’ve come to realize my real goal is not actually fitness, it’s wellness. And I know there are a lot of other people on this planet that feel the same way.

I often say that our most important job as human beings is to take care of our bodies. However, most of us are not very good at that. We use and abuse our bodies until we have become a society of unhealthy, grouchy, overdosed, overweight people.

According to Lynn Reynolds, owner of Denali Gymnastics and Fitness, true wellness starts with nutrition.

“People think that fitness equals health,” says Reynolds. “They think that if you can swim, lift weights or run, that you’re healthy. But fitness doesn’t mean health. It only means that your body is ready for duty. What that duty is depends on the person and the regiment of fitness they have been pursuing.”

There have been many cases when high profile athletes have dropped dead and the headlines read, ‘He was perfectly healthy: athlete dies unexpectedly.’

How could this happen if he was fit and therefore healthy? “The reality is at the core level of their cells, these athletes were not healthy at all,” said Reynolds. “Something was out of balance. They might be fit for running, biking or lifting weights but their heart, lungs or other vital organs may not have the nutritional foundation needed to keep them going.

“No matter what you do,” stressed Reynolds. “If you are not giving your body the right building blocks and fuel, you will not be healthy no matter how many pushups or bench presses you are able to do.”

On the other hand, just eating all the right food won’t necessarily make you healthy and well either. Reynolds is adamant, “You have to ‘stir your soup.’ That means stressing the body through exercise that is constantly varied, high intensity and duplicates functional movement.”

He says that wellness does not come from being fit for one thing, like running a race or climbing a mountain. “Nature abhors a specialist,” he said. “If you run fast when you need to be strong, or are strong when you need to run fast, you will die. When you focus on one thing, you may be fit but you will not necessarily be well.”

According to 88-year-old Dr. Kenneth Cooper, who inspired millions to exercise with his best-selling book ‘Aerobics,’ it is easier to maintain good health through proper exercise, diet, and emotional balance than to regain it once it is lost.” That theory has been proven valid through years of scientific research.

But what if you have already ‘lost it?’ Can you still regain optimum wellness? Reynolds believes you can.

In 1986 he and his wife Sandy took over Wasilla Olympic Gymnastics Academy and transformed it into Denali Gymnastics and Fitness.

“Our goal is to create a full ‘wellness center’ that addresses the whole human being; mind, body and spirit.”

To that end, Reynolds recently added a Live O2 system that enables Exercise with Oxygen Therapy (EWOT.) I came into the gym planning to work out but found I couldn’t do much because of my surgery and a serious hip injury. But I can ride a bicycle, so Reynolds suggested I give the Live O2 machine a try. The results were amazing. After just one 15-minute session, I feel better than I have in ten years.

The way it works, you climb on the bike, put a mask over your nose and mouth, and then attach an oxygen hose that delivers about 80% pure oxygen. You start pedaling to elevate the heart rate and dilate the vascular system. During the five to 15-minute workout (depending on your fitness level) you further stress the body by dropping the oxygen level for a few seconds to about 14% which is what you would experience at altitude. Then you switch it back to super oxygen levels of 80%. This generates turbulence that drives oxygen rich blood deep into the cells throughout the body. Oxygen is the bodies number one nutrient and absolutely essential for health.

“You hear a lot of talk about the importance of water,” said Reynolds, “but the reality is, you can survive three days without water. Try going three minutes without oxygen.”

True wellness is about balance. It is a 360-degree concept with nutrition at the center. Today a huge portion of the population is suffering from chronic inflammation due to the ‘brown out’ effect of poor oxygen delivery to the cell. That is regardless of fitness.

Manfred Von Ardenne, a German researcher and applied physicist known for more than 600 patents in medical technology, discovered that super oxygenated blood plasma shrinks swollen capillary cells back to their normal size in minutes.

According to inventor Mark Squibb, “Using Live O2 restores normal blood flow. In just moments, cells switch back to oxygen metabolism. Most Live O2 users report feeling increased energy, alertness, and an improved sense of wellbeing after their first Live O2 session. The benefits are cumulative and the effects from even a single session can last for days.”

I’ve come to realize, no matter what you do, if you really want to be well you’ve got to eat healthy and ‘stir your soup.’