A brief personal update. After steadily improving from the dangerous activity of putting on my socks a few weeks ago, I had a relapse. The relapse was worse than the original injury. It is now been 14 days and only yesterday was I able to resume even yoga. I finally had to resort to taking muscle relaxants and physical therapy. Today is one of the first days that I felt even marginally okay. Freedom of pain is a great thing 😊.
I saw somewhere a quote about once over the age of 55, one should be far more concerned about injury from falling than worrying about whether or not you’re getting the adequate supplements in your diet. I’m not sure how much I agree with that totally but given the extended time it takes to recover it is hard to gainsay the worth of being careful.
My reset week (for my ‘to-do list and general projects’). Due to my injury, this is taking longer than I expected. Primarily because it’s difficult to concentrate with back pain. It’s difficult to sit, it’s difficult to stand, and try as I might, I am not really good at working on my laptop while lying down. It’s very awkward for me and I don’t feel comfortable. But, nonetheless, I have made progress. This is the first time I have done something like this. And the point about the reset week in very large part was to ease the anxiety of all the things that might be bouncing around in your head that you think you need to do. The key is getting all of them down somewhere on paper or in a digital format, but get them out of your head. In that way you KNOW you don’t have to worry about it because you know that it’s all written down someplace. That aspect, which I had never really considered before, is very much working for me. Now, the next step is to see how disciplined I can be about doing a weekly review of everything that’s written down.
As you all know, I have written a lot about various ways of working out, and my fasting, and various other things that I have done to aid general wellness. I decided to make a diagram of it, to see just exactly how much time and effort it is taking to try to maintain a regimen of the sort. A picture being worth 1000 words … yada yada ... There are 8 dimensions to Wellness and this post is primarily dealing with the PHYSICAL, although the yoga and meditation certainly help me in the SPIRITUAL and EMOTIONAL arenas.
It looks like a lot and in terms of individual components of the regime, I guess it is. However, many of the elements of the diagram are simply habits, e.g. the green blocks at the bottom, and the meditation. ‘IF + Good Food + AG + Magnesium’ is my Intermittent Fasting, AG = Athletic Greens, and the only supplement I take is Magnesium. The semi-annual physical exam is just common sense.
The acronym HIIT, stands for high intensity interval training. All you have to do is Google that and you can find tons of YouTube videos that have sample workouts. If anybody is interested in specifics, drop me an email and I’ll send you a list of 40 or 50 routines that I kind of rotate through. I have a tendency to stick to three or four, and it works for me. It looks like a lot, but the reality is that it only takes me maximum 30 minutes a day. I generally do not take a rest day. For me a rest day might be doing only yoga.
For the Weight Workout, the 5 major groups refer to the 5 major muscle groups:
Arms + Shoulders
Legs & Buttocks
You can split them in half or do all in one day - just leave yourself time to recover. I generally leave 2 days between weight lifting days.
The daily warmup is just something I do every morning (about 4-5 minutes) to just get me moving. My particular routine is:
10 Body Weight Squats
10 Forward Lunges
10 Cross Body Mountain Climbers
20 Leg Swings (20 left leg then 20 right leg)
20 Jumping Jacks
I strongly believe that the concept of moving every day and integrating natural movements into your daily routine, are very important. You have to experiment and figure out what works for you, your age, gender, and general fitness level. The combination I have diagrammed above seems to work very well for me 😊 (current injury from trying to put on my socks notwithstanding). And it doesn’t get boring either.
The last thing that I have tried to integrate into my routine more than before, is core training. This is something I added after I felt comfortable with all of the other stuff that I was doing. Once I realized what the research was telling me about the core training, I wished I had integrated it earlier. I am hoping this may reduce the frequency of my back episodes even more.
And the big block on the left side titled Daily Maintenance. These are habits or practices that I include into what I do every day. H/C showers are doing the hot and cold blasts of water while I’m in the shower, 10 seconds HOT, followed by 20 seconds as cold as I can stand it, then repeat 5 - 10 times. My posture is something that I try to work on all the time. A day late and a dollar short, but I am trying to improve my posture at all times, standing, sitting, and walking.
If I had the ability I would definitely be taking a hot sauna to three times a week, as the Scandinavian research shows it to be extraordinarily healthy. I do it when I can.
In the last circle (Balance + Feet), this ties directly back to being able to guard oneself against injury. Again, I am not devoting specific time to this, I simply try to work it into what I do daily. E.G., silly as it sounds, I sometimes stand on one leg while I’m brushing my teeth. It forces all the very small auxiliary muscles to work hard at keeping you up right. And for my foot health I try to stay barefoot inside the house is much as I can, wear comfortable shoes with roomy toe boxes, and walk on uneven surfaces when I am outside walking as much as I can. I have had very irritating pain in my feet, particularly the left one, for a very long time. I listened to a podcast (https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/exercise/how-to-build-strong-and-pain-free-feet ) just when I arrived in Argentina for this trip. And I integrated what I learned from that podcast into what I do every day. Now after about seven weeks, as I write about this, I realize that my foot pain has decreased about 90%.
So, while it looks like it is a lot (and it is) I find that integrating all of this into my life only requires about 30 minutes a day in terms of dedicated time. The rest of it are just habits that I work on all the time, it certainly doesn’t interfere with anything, and I can tell that the habits I’m trying to build are improving my daily life.
I hope this has been of interest to you, if anybody is interested in getting soft copies of some of the diagrams so that you can work on it yourself (I did them in PowerPoint) again drop me an email I’ll be happy to send it to you.
And last but certainly not least, I am including the link to a podcast episode from Freakonomics, about the way the two-party political system in United States is nothing more or less than a business. And furthermore, a business that cares not one whit about its customers. Really worth listening to.