For support, please read through the questions and answers below. If you find that you still have a question about the program use the form at the bottom of the page to send us your question and we will be happy to assist you.
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How Often do I do The Happy Body?
Am I too old to Start The Happy Body Program?
The Happy Body program may be safely implemented at any age, though you should of course always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Part of the beauty of The Happy Body exercise routine is that it offers different levels of difficulty, which makes it ideal for people with any kind of physical limitations.
How long does it take to do The Happy Body every day?
30-minutes. During the learning phase the routine can be longer than 30-minutes, but as a practitioner the goal is to improve your speed until the whole routine is finished in 30-minutes.
How long before I see results?
Some changes are within a week, although The Happy Body is designed to improve your health over your lifetime.
How long does it take to progress to different levels of the program?
It depends on the person. It can be monthly or yearly or even more. The one thing that is true is that time passes and we get better. That's all that counts.
I was diagnosed with a particular ailment (carpal tunnel, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow or something else along those lines). Do you think THB can help me with my condition?
Yes, but it’s important that you start at the lowest level – and avoid the “extensions,” until your condition improves sufficiently.
What is the youngest age at which it is appropriate to begin The Happy Body exercise program?
This of course depends on the individual. What we do know is that children as young as kindergartners experience posture changes for the worse when they begin sitting for extended periods of time. The Happy Body can help mitigate those negative changes. But the individual temperament and other conditions of the particular child are highly relevant, so parents need to make informed decisions, in partnership with their pediatricians. We have had successful practitioners as young as age 5.
Which activities apart from The Happy Body Exercise Program would be good for promoting youthfulness?
The best choices would be activities that are mindful and skill-oriented, such as classical and ballroom dancing, yoga, martial arts and all sports, other than those that are endurance-oriented (e.g., marathon running, long-distance swimming, triathlons). The Happy Body Exercise Program by itself is sufficient for promoting youthfulness but it can help prepare you for the other activities mentioned here.
Should I warm up by doing stretches before THB Exercise Routine?
It is not necessary. You might choose to lift less weight in the first round of exercises, which would serve as your warm-up.
How many times do I need to repeat the exercise for testing the standard of strength or the standard of speed?
I have limited movement in my knees. I am afraid of injuring them by doing the squats, which make them sore. What should I do?
Start with squats only 1-2 inches down. If there is no soreness, keep doing the exercise on this level for at least two weeks. Then lower yourself another inch, following the procedure. If you ever develop any soreness, return to the level that is more comfortable for you.
Is there anything I can do to accelerate the increase in my flexibility? I feel frustrated by the slow progress. I am 45.
Because flexibility deteriorates as we age after 35, you need to proceed with caution and gentleness toward your body. THB will eventually make you flexible but you need to allow adequate time for this to happen.
Should I increase the weight of the dumbbells in the exercises that are easy for me, even though I cannot lift the projected percentage of the weight in other exercises?
No, weights should be calibrated according to the tables in The Happy Body Program, to achieve balance in strength and size between different muscle groups throughout the body.
While traveling, without access to dumbbells, what do you recommend?
Bottles of water or cans could be used for weights. Portable dumbbells that can be filled with water (“aquabells”) are a good solution. Or you can do the movements, without weights, focusing on form.
As someone who does physical labor, do I need to do any additional physical exercise?
Typically, physical labor results in certain imbalances in the body, in terms of strength and flexibility. Posture is also typically compromised. THB brings balance, by evening out lopsidedness.
If I already have large thighs, are the squats going to make my legs bigger?
No, the squats will not make your legs bigger. In fact, by reducing the fat in your thighs, the size of your thighs will also be reduced, as your legs get stronger.
Do the weight percentages given refer to one or both dumbbells lifted?
All percentages relate to the weight of one dumbbell, regardless of whether you are lifting a single dumbbell or two dumbbells in the particular exercise. Every percentage is a percentage of the weight of one dumbbell lifted in Exercise 1 of Sequence 1. So, for example, when in Exercise 4 of Sequence 1 you are supposed to be lifting, using a SINGLE dumbbell, 150% of what you were lifting in Exercise 1 of Sequence 1, which is 5 pounds in each hand (two dumbbells), the weight you will be lifting in Exercise 4 will be a single dumbbell of 7.5 pounds, based on 150% of one individual 5-pound dumbbell in Exercise 1. In Exercise 6 of Sequence 1, which calls for TWO dumbbells at 150% of what you were lifting in Exercise 1, you will now be lifting two dumbbells of 7.5 pounds each. The percentage of the weight of the dumbbell will always be based on the weight of ONE dumbbell used in Exercise 1 of Sequence 1, regardless of whether you are subsequently lifting one or two dumbbells.
What about resting between exercises? I sometimes feel that I need a break.
The key point is that, with The Happy Body, you should never push yourself to the point of being out of breath or uncomfortable in any way. If you find yourself getting breathless, you might want to consider slowing down, lifting less weight or changing the level of difficulty of the exercise. Whenever you feel out of breath, you should rest until you are comfortable.
Is it OK to break up the routine, rather than do it all at once?
It is preferable to do the entire routine at once but if you need to break it up, you could do half the workout first thing in the morning and the other half either when returning home from work or before bed. One advantage of this option is the relatively small amount of time required on each end. Another option, if you feel the need to break up the routine, is to do the workout hourly, in intervals of up to five minutes, throughout the day. This option is sometimes used by professionals who see clients on an hourly basis or by office workers who sit behind a computer all day. The major advantage of this option is providing release of mental and physical stress as the day goes on, accomplishing the entire routine by the end of the workday.
If I do extra abdominal exercises, will I tighten excess skin after the weight loss in my abdominal area?
For most people, if they follow the program gradually, as it is intended, and faithfully perform the exercises as indicated, there will not be an issue with loose skin. When weight loss is extreme, especially at an older age, there is bound to be some loss in skin tone but given a choice between ideal weight and ideal skin tone, the former is to be preferred.
If I cannot finish the routine in 30 minutes, what should I do: Should I go over time or should I just stop at the 30-minute mark?
You can either stop at 30 minutes, wherever you are, and start over again, the next day. Or you can keep going, until you complete the entire routine at your own speed, however long that takes you. Gradually, you will improve to the point that you accomplish the entire routine in 30 minutes.
Can I do the routine whenever I have time, which may be at different times on different days?
Yes, you may do the workout whenever time allows. One advantage of this option is that it accommodates a lifestyle that requires flexibility with regard to workout schedule. In this context, it’s important to exercise the self-discipline required to do the complete workout daily on an unscheduled basis.
I love running. Would it be feasible for me to continue my running, as I practice THB exercise routine?
Long-distance running causes muscle loss, the same way that aging does, and makes you less flexible. Practicing THB routine will help you recover the muscle you lose while running, as well as enhance your flexibility. So although adding THB to your routine will result in greater benefit than running alone, you would be better off overall by focusing on THB alone. If you feel the need to run, it would be better for you to do sprinting, which helps you grow muscle and develop flexibility.
Should I exercise even if I am tired, or should I skip it until I feel rested?
If your fatigue is the result of physical activity, then you should rest. If your fatigue doesn’t follow from physical activity (for example, after a long plane flight or sitting for hours in front of the computer), then doing the routine will likely have the result of refreshing you, dispelling your fatigue.
When should I progress to the next level?
The time to progress to the next level is when the weights feel light and you are experiencing no tightness or soreness in your body.
When progressing to the next level, should I start out by increasing the speed of my movement, the weight of the dumbbells or the level of the exercises?
Your priority should be on moving up the various levels, until you reach the top. At that point, you should focus on increasing speed of movement, so that you can complete the routine in 30 minutes. Increasing weight is the last element on which to concentrate, so as to fulfill THB standard of strength and speed.
What happens after I achieve the standard of strength and speed?
At this point, you begin a maintenance mode, and should not endeavor to continue increasing the speed of the movements or the weight of the dumbbells. To do otherwise may result in injury.
What if it takes me less than 30 minutes to complete the entire routine?
This indicates that you need to move to a higher level. If you are already at the highest level, you should increase the weight of the dumbbells.
When I am at the lowest level of the exercises and I am experiencing pain from one or more particular exercises, should I avoid the exercises that seem to be causing the pain or simply try to “tough it out”?
In this situation, you should avoid whatever seems to be causing your pain. After recuperating, you can try again.
Is The Happy Body exercise Program going to help me get rid of cellulite on my thighs and buttocks?
Cellulite is a side effect of excess fat. By helping you reduce fat, The Happy Body program (in its totality), does help you become leaner and reduce cellulite.
I suffer from tendonitis in one of my hamstrings. The Bow exercises seem to aggravate this. Is there any adjustment to this exercise that I should do until this condition heals?
If you are aggravating this condition, this means you are either lifting too much weight or stretching beyond flexibility. Try lowering the weight and step bending as soon as you feel any soreness. Focus on slowing down, perfecting the form and on healing, rather than on trying to touch the floor.
What do I do if I get stuck in a business meeting and it’s time for my snack?
It’s a good idea to remember to carry with you healthy food bars, for occasions such as these. Then at the appropriate time, you discreetly consume your food bar.
Should I eat my snack, when it’s my time, even if I feel full?
In order to provide your body with the proper daily caloric intake, it is important that you consume all of your snacks and meals at the designated times. Missing a snack or meal tends to result in overeating, the next time that food is consumed.
What are the most fattening fruits and vegetables?
The important point is not to overeat, which will contribute to weight gain, regardless of what you eat.
Are there fruits or vegetables that we should avoid being on a weight loss program?
There are no fruits or vegetables to avoid altogether. It is a matter of eating proper portions, as described in the Program.
Is it OK to do juice cleansings while following The Happy Body program?
With The Happy Body program, cleansings are not necessary. Juice can be included as one of your snacks.
I noticed that at the end of my day I am satisfied and I don’t need the last snack. Is it OK to skip it?
If food is missed prior to bedtime, this can result in waking up hungry or overcompensating for what has been missed, in the morning.
Is it OK to eat healthy food bars for snacks all the time?
Food bars are a convenience, intended as a transition, prior to consuming more healthy foods, such as yogurt, fruit and nuts or vegetable juices.
Can I, occasionally, substitute two food bars for a meal?
On occasion, in an “emergency,” yes.
How should I count the three hours in between my snacks and meals, from the time I start, or the time I finish eating?
From the time you begin eating.
So what should I do if my meeting was supposed end at 12 noon, at which time I am due for lunch, and runs over for an hour but I plan to eat lunch with coworkers, when the meeting finally ends, at 1 o’clock?
Break off an hour’s worth of food bar and consume that discreetly at 12 noon, during the meeting. If you then have lunch at 1 o’clock with your coworkers, your snack would be at 4, rather than 3, and to accommodate your dinner at 6, you would have the remaining two-thirds of your healthy food bar, rather than a whole food bar. From that point, you are back on track, ready to have your dinner at the scheduled hour.
What do I do when I mess up my food plan on a weekend and gain some weight: Do I add more exercise or do I cut down on food?
What’s important is that you get back on schedule, rather than to try to “make up” for what has happened. The Happy Body program is all about balance, consistency and following the plan.
Are there better food choices for losing weight, for volume eaters?
Vegetables are a good choice: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and celery, for example. But even these vegetables should be consumer according to the program guidelines.
Are there better choices of fruits to top my Greek yogurt?
Any fruit can be used, in appropriate moderation.
Is oatmeal a good choice for a snack?
Yes, to be consumed according to The Happy Body program guidelines.
I live in a small town with no access to health food store to buy breads that you recommend as organic, sprouted and gluten-free. Am I going to still lose weight even if I eat regular bread?
The breads have been recommended for health reasons. Weight loss can be achieved eating breads that are less healthy. Even if you are not within easy driving distance of a store to buy the recommended kinds of breads, you can buy them online and store them in your freezer.
I love chocolate and crave it all the time. Is there a way to have it on my food plan and still lose weight?
When you begin the program, you can select for your snacks food bars that contain chocolate, to help satisfy your cravings. What you will find is that, as time goes on, you will lose these cravings.
Can my breakfast be a meal?
Yes, you can elect to have one meal at that time, as long as you are following the caloric guidelines set forth in the Program. With one meal at breakfast time, you would have one other meal during the day. Food eaten at the other three-hour intervals would be snacks. Ideally, there should be six hours between meals.
Can I have an omelette for my breakfast time snack?
Yes, as long as the caloric recommendations for snacks are followed. An omelette can be made using only egg whites or an egg substitute, together with veggies.
Can vegetable juice or a smoothie be considered a snack?
Yes, as long as the recommended caloric intake is followed.
What are the best brands of vegetable juices on the market?
Organic juices are best. You might also want to consider purchasing some kind of juicer that enables you to make your own fresh juices.
What are the best commercial health food bars on the market?
Read the ingredients on the labels, to ensure that you are actually purchasing a healthy product.
What tips do you have to avoid “falling off the wagon” in terms of the food plan when traveling?
One key is preparation. Have enough healthy snacks with you to last the journey. Remember to pre-order your meals. Consider audiobooks, so you can relax, enter your inner world and stimulate your mind, while you avoid straining your eyes.
What tips do you have for dealing with jet lag and crossing time zones?
Keep in mind that after a flight, your brain may be tired but your body likely will not be. For this reason, The Happy Body exercise routine will actually serve to refresh you. Remember that quality of sleep is more important than quantity.
Can I eat foods like pasta and pizza and still lose weight?
Yes, as long as you follow The Happy Body guidelines, treating pasta and pizza as protein, pairing it with double its quantity of weight in veggies.
How much salt should I use on my food, or is it better to avoid it?
It’s best to minimize your use of salt. You will find that you will eventually feel more satisfied with this approach and it will also be healthier for you.
Do I need to drink eight glasses of water a day?
The amount of water you require depends on what you eat for meals and snacks. The more water that is contained in your snacks, such as vegetable juices and soups, the fewer glasses of water you will need.
Which type of alcohol is more conducive to weight loss?
Hard liquor tends to be more conducive to weight loss, as wines and beer are looked upon as beverages and consumed in much greater volume. So wine drinkers, for example, may consider cognac as a better alternative.
What advice do you have for ordering alcohol in restaurants?
One technique for keeping your drinking to a minimum would be to order, for example, a vodka with freshly squeezed lime or lemon in a martini glass, together with bottle of sparkling water. As you consume the vodka, add sparkling water to the glass. This serves the dual purpose of increasingly diluting the alcohol and discouraging the waiter from offering you another drink.
Is it better not to mix proteins in your meals: for example, egg whites and cheese, or beef and shrimp, or doesn’t it matter?
We prefer to stay with one source of protein, as this generally leads to a greater sense of satisfaction in terms of volume and taste. If you are satisfied with mixing, then it’s not an issue.
Is drinking coffee before the workout beneficial?
Drinking coffee prior to workouts is beneficial for extreme strength-training programs, because the caffeine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. The Happy Body exercise routine, however, involves the parasympathetic nervous system, in order to be refreshed after training, rather than worn out. For this reason, consumption of caffeine prior to the routine is not advisable.
Is taking supplements, while losing weight on The Happy Body Program, necessary to keep the body healthy?
For most people who follow the Program faithfully, this should not be necessary, but it is always advisable to consult your physician with regard to any health-related question.
Is it necessary for vegetarians and vegans to take a Vitamin B Complex supplement?
It is generally advisable for vegans to take a B12 supplement, although it is always advisable to consult your physician with regard to any health-related question.
Is drinking green tea, black tea or coffee going to curb my appetite and thereby help with weight loss?
These are temporary “fixes,” which can become crutches, to substitute for eating foods that are healthy or in sufficient quantity. If you follow the Program faithfully, these fixes will not be necessary. Drinking anything for the specific purpose of losing weight, furthermore, is not advisable, as the habits you develop during this period should ideally be ones that you can effectively follow after you have achieved your weight loss goal.
What should I do when I still feel hungry, even though I just ate?
It may be that you consumed the food too quickly, which results in a situation in which the brain is not recognizing the food that is in the stomach. If you give it time, the brain will recognize the food that has been consumed. Another idea is to distract yourself, so that your focus is on something other than food. Relaxing can also be helpful, as this promotes digestion.
What should I do when I am feeling hungry before the time to eat has arrived?
This often occurs when we are anxious. Relaxation is needed, in order that the body find the fat to consume.
For purposes of weight loss, is it better to eat at home or doesn’t it matter?
It doesn’t matter. What matters is to follow the guidelines and the food plan, under any conditions. For health purposes, you have more control when you buy produce that you prepare at home.
Do I have to convert to a vegetarian or vegan diet in order to be healthy?
No, that is not necessary. What’s most important is to be as lean as possible, within the normal range for your body weight, following the nutritional guidelines provided by the Program.
Is eating red meat bad for you?
Anything that is consumed in excess can be bad for you. It is possible to eat red meat and still be healthy, as long as you consume it in sufficient moderation and in the context of the nutritional guidelines given in the Program. The focus should not be on eating red meat but on being as lean as possible. It is better to eat four ounces of good meat than eight ounces of bad meat. The meat you eat should come from animals that are grass-fed.
Is having a variety of foods in your diet better for your health?
Unprocessed foods are preferable to processed foods. Better health is achieved through the consumption of foods that are as close to the original natural product as possible. A raw apple, for example, is preferable to apple chips.
My lifestyle involves eating out frequently but I want to lose weight. How do I handle eating out while losing weight?
Regardless of whether you eat at home or outside of home, it is important to recognize that the dietary principles of The Happy Body apply to you wherever you eat. Planning and self-discipline are critical to a successful outcome, one that can be maintained on an even keel during the years ahead.
How do I deal with feelings of deprivation when I am out with others who are eating what they want, while I am restricting myself to what I am allowed to eat?
The key is to recognize that when you are doing what is beneficial to your health, you are not really depriving yourself. You need to be aware that what you may be perceiving as deprivation is not really deprivation at all but rather a kind of healthy nurturing. When you realize this, you will not feel bad.
You are creating a future. So whatever is hard now will become easier. “Easy choices, difficult life. Difficult choices, easy life.” After a while, the difficult becomes easy.
What is inflammation and how do I help myself with healing?
Inflammation can be caused by a number of things, including overeating, eating the wrong kinds of food, by over-exercise or the wrong types of exercise, as well as conditions such as arthritis.
After reaching my ideal body weight, how should I increase my calorie intake, so I don’t keep losing weight?
Increase snack calories by 50 percent and watch your body weight for two weeks. If you continue to lose body weight, you should increase your caloric intake in meals by 50 percent.
My ideal body weight is 120 pounds. Does this mean that I should eat, for example, 120 grams of protein in salmon or 120 grams of the weight of salmon?
The total weight of the salmon.
Is V8 vegetable juice a good snack choice?
Yes, as long as you follow the caloric guidelines in The Happy Body program.
Following the Program, I feel hungry all the time. What should I do?
For some reason, your body is not accepting body fat as fuel. This can happen because you are engaged in endurance exercises or you are doing The Happy Body program too quickly. Also, it could be that you live in the sympathetic nervous system and you need more relaxation, to switch over to the parasympathetic nervous system.
I bulk up easily if I do weightlifting. Is there any way I can avoid this on The Happy Body Program?
To prevent this, The Happy Body has a standard for ideal body weight (IBW). You cannot be bulky and at the same time have ideal body weight.
What is a healthy ratio for a complete meal, in terms of protein, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and fat?
Protein, carbohydrates and fat at a ratio of 15-70-15. Since meals have twice as much veggies as protein, you don’t have to worry about vitamins and minerals.
Is the relaxation technique in The Happy Body Program passive in nature or is it rather a form of “activity” that relaxes you?
It is passive only in the sense that you are lying down and not moving physically but at the same time you are “tuning in,” not out, to mindfulness and awareness. The result is that you are calmer, more thoughtful, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
How important is sleep for the process of rejuvenation?
Sleep is absolutely critical for rejuvenation. With adequate sleep, one awakes refreshed and reinvigorated, eager to greet the day. If sleep is inadequate, you feel fatigued, causing you to dread facing the day.
Is there such a thing as too much sleep?
It is possible to sleep too much, just as it is possible to sleep too little. Sleeping too much results in feeling sluggish and groggy. The use of an alarm can help with waking up in the morning or napping too long.
How important is it to do the relaxation technique after doing the exercises?
This is essential for recovery. It switches the nervous system from sympathetic to parasympathetic and helps the body to restore its vitality.
Are there any other effective ways to relax and rejuvenate?
Baths, spas, cold plunges, massage, aromatherapy, hot-and-cold showers, listening to soft music, meditation: all of these, done correctly and in moderation, can be helpful.
Why do you recommend listening to the same piece of music following the exercise program, all the time?
The purpose of listening to the same piece of music is that it has the effect of being a “mantra,” slowing down the thinking process and creating moments of mental silence. When the same piece of music is used, the mind recognizes it, enabling you to enter into a state of relaxation more quickly, with beneficial effects. Prior to making an important speech or presentation or test, for example, you can listen to the music, which will relax you, enabling you to achieve a more positive outcome.
Is it ALRIGHT to use a piece of music of my own choice for relaxation?
“Thai Meditation” is recommended on the basis of extensive experience on the part of many practitioners during a period of many years. You may choose your own music but the main point is that you stick with what you have chosen, so that it offers the benefits of being readily recognized by the mind, offering the effect of a “mantra,” slowing down the thinking process and creating moments of mental silence.
Why do I have to relax with music after the exercise program, if I already feel relaxed?
There are different levels of relaxation. You may feel relaxed before practicing the relaxation technique but what you will find is that your state of relaxation will be more profound and beneficial, if you follow the recommended regimen. The relaxation offers a kind of “closure” following the exercise, which will give you a sense of completeness.
Can I choose a different aroma oil than lavender for relaxation?
Lavender is recommended as a result of extensive experience with numerous practitioners over a period of many years, in part because of its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory characteristics. You may certainly choose a different aroma oil but the key point, as is the case with the music, is to consistently use the same type, so that it triggers the responses to which the body has been conditioned.
Is there a faster way to release soreness from the body?
Ice is one way of alleviating soreness. Certain topical ointments such as the homeopathic oil known as Arnica can also help to relieve soreness and pain. The ideal is to avoid creating the condition of soreness, which is typically a result of over exercise or overtraining.
How does the parasympathetic system figure into The Happy Body Program?
Breathing slows down the heart rate, the slow movement and extensions are all designed to slow down. There is a constant interaction between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. When we lift, this involves the sympathetic nervous system. When we release, this involves the parasympathetic nervous system. The relaxation after the exercise helps people to return to the parasympathetic nervous system, ensuring recovery and rejuvenation, to live a stress-free life.
What are the signs that I need more relaxation?
Anxiety, impatience, restlessness, irritation and general malaise are all signs that more relaxation is needed. When you feel better following relaxation, its necessity in your daily routine will become evident to you.
What if I feel that the prescribed technique, involving only five minutes, is not enough for me?
You can repeat the relaxation exercise. Most practitioners, after they become accustomed to the daily routine, feel that the prescribed procedure provides them with the calmness and relaxation that they need.
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