Oakville Zen Meditation

#144 Physical Wellness:: Healthy body for an healthier mind Jan. 29th 16

 Physical Wellness : Healthy body for an healthier mind

Wellness has 3 components: physical, mental and spiritual for believers.

Since body and mind are interrelated an healthy body will promote an healthy mind.

We talked a lot about mental wellness over the last few months; today I will address its physical part.

Physical wellness means to keep our body in proper shape while and despite aging.

Keeping an healthy body include:

Sleep, ideal body weight, proper calorie intake, balanced diet, water intake, physical activity, no chemical addictive’s, and supplements if required.

Very brief review about physical aging.

Aging is genetically controlled and our body starts very soon to age at around 30 (skin first)

Then, at around 40: We are loosing around 1% of bone mass and 1% of muscular mass per year whatever.

Gastrointestinal  absorption of proteins and vitamins is reduced steadily over the ages to only around

50% of its base line. This is why we need more proteins when we get older.

Thirst reflex drops. This is why elderly don’t drink enough.

Brain functions remain stable as long they are properly challenged.

Here are the synopsis of what we should do and don’t.

You can click on each added links for more info.


1) Sleep:

Adults need at least 7 to 8h of sleep / 24h, mainly for body detox and specifically the brain which cleans itself only during our sleep. People who claimed they need less should read the medical facts before boasting.

2) Ideal body weight / Body mass index / Body fat index / Waist line:


Weight: Male: 50Kg + 2.3 Kg per inch above 5 feet.    Woman: 45.5Kg + 2.3 Kg per inch above 5 feet.

Caution: If you have the same weight at 40 and 60 it means that what you lost in bone and muscle has been replace by fat.

Body Mass Index: <19 = Underweight   19-25= Normal weight   25-30= Overweight     > 30 = Obese

Limitation: BMI does not differentiate well between fat/ bones and lean muscles.

Body fat index (BFI)

http://www.active.com/fitness/calculators/bodyfat   W = 21%-31%        M= 15%-25%

Waist line :

The best indicator since obesity and its medical risks are better predicted and assessed from our waist line.


W < 85-88cm (35’’)   M < 93-100cm ( 40”)

When above these numbers = Very good correlation with :

Cardiovascular diseases (heart attack + stroke) , diabetes 2, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and arthritis.

3) Proper calorie intake:


Difficult to define since depending on age, BMI / waist line and activity. Between 1,600 cal to 2400 cal./day.

Proteins: Body weight x 0.8 = minimum amount in gram of proteins per day. (1 gr. of protein = 4 cal).

After 40, the protein absorption drops slowly to 50%. Daily needs = body weight Kg x around 1.5

Example. a 60 years, 70 Kg. old male will need ~ 100 grams / day !

Supplements usually needed when we are aging . See section # 8

Carbs: 55% of total calorie intake divided by 4 (since1 gr of carb. = 4 cal.) will give you the amount of carb. needed in grams per day

Fat. : 27% of total calorie intake divided by 9 (since1 gr of fat = 9 cal) will give you the amount of fat

needed in grams per day.

Please, no Trans fat, no unsaturated fat.

4) Well balanced diet:

Organic far better non organic but more expensive by ~30%

Non-processed food, non GMO, non pesticide, non antibiotics, no Growth hormone.

Can such diet is enough: Based on a proper ratio P / C/ F + adequate fruits and veggies >> Answer is Yes However it is rarely the case.

Vitamins: organic better than synthetic (over the counter) since synthetic vitamins are not well recognized by the body.

We are usually deficient in Vit. D from lack of sun. Daily requirements 600IU/day See supplements section.

Minerals: Calcium: 1.5Gr. to 2 Gr. per day

Fibers: M 35 Grams / day     W 25 Grams / day     or around 15grams/1000 cals. See supplement section.

Probiotics may be indicated.

The human body cannot eliminate calories. Any excess becomes fat. 1pound of fat = 3,500 cal.

So, to loose 1 pound you need to burn 3,500 cal. more than you gain.

Example: daily calories need for Jo is= 2000, his diet is = 1,500   Jo will need 8 days (500cal x 8) to loose 1 pound.

5) Pure water:

At least2 liters/day, more if exercising.

We do not dink enough water since the thirst reflex drops with age.

No pops, carbonated water and sport drinks ( full of caffeine and sugar )

6) Physical activity:

Walking, gardening are OK and far better than being sedentary but is it not enough?

Need: at least 30min x 5 /week with appropriate increased heart rate to around 50% of your max. heart rate

Max. heart rate = (~ 222- age). You may need medical green light if out of shape.

If you can talk while exercising, it is not cardio training.

Can I loose weight while exercising? Maybe few grams of fat each time.

To loose I pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 cals (9 hours of running at 4miles/hours for a body of 65 Kg.)

Energy expenditure ( calories loss) equals mass ( weight) x displacement.

7) No chemical addictive’s:

 8) Do we need supplements?

Over the counter supplements = around 26 billions business / year in N.A. alone and yet not regulated!

If your diet is perfect the answer is NO ( no need ) except Vit.D , Ca ? and fibers?

If you are on calories restriction or unbalanced diet, the answer is yes, you should take supplements.

What you will need:

Proteins: 1.5-2 Grams per Kg body weight or ~ 0.8- 1 Grams per pound.

Powder: Whey(only if organic) or veggies(better). Follow the instructions.

Calcium: at least 1.5 Gram to 2Gram / day.

Multivitamins/ Minerals:

Organic must be the first choice but more expensive. Over the counter synthetic molecules are poorly

absorbed and metabolized If over 50, take over 50 vitamins.

Vit D: a must 600IU in emulsion drops since Vit D. is lipophilic ( absorbed only with fat ).


Man 35 Grams / day           Woman 25 Grams / day     or   around 15grams/1000 cals.


A must after antibiotics which includes non organic food !, otherwise I recommend them.

For more info please contact me   G.Arnaud Painvin MD, FRCSC