Ask Alexandra – July 2015
1) Hi Alex,
I admire your acting. also i admire how strong and how you work out. please what are your work out tips and means of staying fit.
Here are some guidelines that help me stay in shape:
- Be consistent. Do at least 45 minutes of cardio 5 times a week. If you cannot do that yet, work up to the duration slowly. Exercises include brisk walking, running, cycling or an aerobics class of some sort. (Doubles tennis, golf and sex do not count.) Lifting weights and stretching should be added in for a well rounded fitness program.
- Pick an activity you enjoy, and make it as enjoyable as possible. This might mean finding a workout buddy, joining that nice gym, or watching tv on the treadmill at home. Exercise is hard enough, so be sure to “control your controllables” (as my friend Jim says), and ensure you are as happy as possible working out. If buying new workout clothes will make it easier to exercise, then go for it!
- If you choose to go the gym after work, do not go home first – your chances of getting out of the house to exercise will be greatly diminished! Bring your exercise clothes with you to work and go directly to your workout.
- Schedule your workouts. Put your workout times in your calendar and keep them sacred. You make time for other people, why not honor yourself and make your workout time a priority too. This is an important date with yourself!
- I have a treadmill desk, which means that when I am at my computer, I am walking (albeit slowly). The important thing is I am not sitting down! Even if you do not have a treadmill desk, you can add more walking into your life: stairs instead of the elevator, walks with friends instead of sitting down to a meal, phone calls made while walking (maybe not work calls, but certainly planning to do all your social and family calls on a walk).
- Look online for groups that can help you stay accountable to any fitness program you start. Support is very important!
- I have cut out all desserts and treats. This keeps my energy and mood more stable, and I just feel better! I have found other foods that I enjoy, so I do not feel deprived.
- I eat as much unprocessed food as possible. Since I am vegan, that means fruits, vegetables and nuts (I love natural, unsalted cashew and peanut butters).
- I only drink water or herb tea – no sodas, no alcohol no juices.
- I write down my food, as that holds me accountable. At the end of the day, I have a rough idea of calories, protein and fat.
- I am vegan which has helped me be more aware of food and what is in it.
I hope this helps. Best of luck to you.
2) Dear. Ms. Paul
I have recently watched your TED talk on overpopulation and would like to comment on several factors that you brought up.
I agree with you when you stated:
1. The planet cannot support 12 billion people
2. If we were to get there we would have wars over resources.
The planet will run out of many things including fossil fuels and other important natural resources. Wars would break and that could result in nuclear conflicts for resources. However, there are additional points you brought up that I disagree with; they are
1. We should be able to have multiple kids.
2. Children laws won’t fix this
The way to save the population isn’t in having one or no kids. It is helping developing countries develop. We need to help them move up the demographics to more tertiary based economies. We need to fix their governments and stop the conflicts to help them get there. They won’t need the kids to work the field. We are at a good sustainable population, and if every person has an average of 2.23 children the population will stay at a steady rate.
Thank you for teaching about this issue and making me think about the topic of overpopulation.
Thank you for watching my TEDx Talk on human overpopulation. I appreciate that you agree with me that the planet cannot support 12 billion people and that overpopulation will cause wars over resources.
I want to clarify that I believe we should be able to have multiple kids. I state very clearly in my talk that forcing people to have fewer children does not work because, in the long run, there is a backlash and the population will creep up again.
What I hope my speech does is encourage people to choose to have one child. Hearts & minds will be changed when people realize there are many benefits to having a one child family, because right now our culture (and pretty much every human culture in the world) really promotes the mindset that one child is not enough.
Sad to say, if the population does grow to 11 billion, it is very likely that governments will impose draconian rules to limit birth rates. The human population, now at 7.3 billion and still adding 220,000 people every day to the planet, has to stop growing at some point. It may be halted because of disease, famine or war over resources, or it can be halted because humans choose to have smaller families. I hope it is the latter, but so far we have not shown the willingness to make that choice so I fear it will be made for us.
Helping developing countries develop is one way to help slow population birth rates, although many of these countries are so overpopulated now that they are unable to feed, educate and provide jobs for everyone – very hard to develop when you are so crowded most of your citizens are poor and uneducated! Slowing down birth rates actually helps advance countries. Also, developed countries are overpopulated too – they might have fewer kids per couple, but each citizen in a developed country uses so many more resources that it is as if the population were many times larger! Another way to lower birth rates, as I said in my talk, is to empower and educate women & girls. But all this must be accompanied by discussion about the value of small families.
I do not agree with you that “we are at a good sustainable population”. Currently, humans are currently using 50% more of the earth’s resources than she is producing every year, which means that our population is not sustainable. And if everyone lived like we do in the United States, we would need 5 planets to sustain us.
I believe the population of humans should ideally be at 2 billion people on the planet. To get there, we will need to all choose smaller families and accept the changes that come with that – some good, some bad but in the long run best for future generations and all creatures who share this earth with us.
I hope you see that we actually agree on so much when it comes to this issue.
Thank you for your thoughtful letter.