Health Female Adda
1 year ago
9 Health, Fitness, and Nutrition Tips from a Real-Life Monk

"Rise above the bullshit and take charge of your life," says Pedram Shojai, author of The Urban Monk: Eastern Wisdom and Modern Hacks to Stop Time and Find Success, Happiness, and Peace. Not what you'd expect from a holy man, huh? Well, Pedram ain't your average monk.

After spending four years as a real monk (celibacy included!), he's now a married dude with kids, sharing his no-BS wisdom with the rest of us. "An urban monk maximizes her energy so she can do the things she always says she wants to do but never gets around to because she just passes out at the end of the day," he says. (Damn, sir, you hit us where it hurts!)

Here, Pedram's pro-tips for integrating practical mindfulness into your daily routine—from your workouts to your daily menu. Prepare to peace out.

Pro-Tip: Stay Present

  • Take a bathroom breather: Locking yourself in a stall can be a private moment to take a few calming breaths.
  • Say "Hey, girl" to Mother Nature: Shimmy up to the nearest window to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. Focusing on the real-time sensation will get you out of your head.
  • Work it out: Do 10 to 15 lunges, pushups, or kettlebell swings. It's "active" meditation!

Pro-Tip: Cook with Libido-Hiking Spices

  • Cinnamon: "It warms your body and increases circulation." (Erections, people. He's talking about erections.) Mix it in brownies to complement the cocoa, which is another aphrodisiac.
  • Red ginseng: "It boosts energy and sex drive." Grate it and add it to oil before heating up chicken. Ooh, foreplay.
  • Saffron: "It is packed with antioxidants and supports a strong libido." Shake it into a honey-based lamb glaze to add need-you-now oomph.

Pro-Tip: Live Like an Eskimo

  • Change Your Outlook: "The people who love winter are the ones who have fun in the elements," says Pedram. There are the obvious winter workouts—skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding, all of which torch serious cals and sculpt your abs, legs, and butt. But you've also got lesser-known gems, like snow volleyball.
  • Take a Chill Pill: "Winter is the season of retraction, a time for chilling out," says Pedram. "You have to make time for that too, or you'll burn out—and your fitness routine will be the first thing to go." Accept that your exercise intensity may take a seasonal hit, and readjust: Measure your workouts by perceived exertion (or, better yet, enjoyment) rather than harping on your stats.
  • Get the Right Gear: "There's so much good fitness gear out there now—lightweight but toasty layers, well-insulated and waterproof everything. You'll forget the weather sucks because you're so freaking comfy." Shop base layers that say breathable and seam-sealed.

Want more tips from Pedram Shojai? Pick up the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Women's Health, on newsstands now.

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