Want to Live Forever?

It is a new year and, as customary for millions, a resolution is typically made to improve one’s self, and popularly these resolutions often revolve around physical health. Well with January wearing on more and more people are undoubtedly finding it difficult to keep up with their health resolutions.

Knowing that, I found this over at Tribe Sports that I think can help. Have a look.
Everything Counts: Lifehack your way to 30 minutes of exercise a day

 

The bottom line is that movement is imperative to life (or at least continued life) – something I have long advocated. So whether it is martial arts training, P90X, or gettin’ your freak on, JUST MOVE!

 

 

Osu!

How to Get Healthy

I laughed so hard when I saw this

As you know from reading my blog, I am pretty heath conscious (at least to the extent that I am conscious of the importance of health) but not above polishing off way more pizza and chicken wings than I have any business doing. In short, I am probably a lot like you. And since that is the case then I can bet you are probably interested, like me, in learning more about how you can keep that body of yours in good working order. Well you’ve come to the right place. But first, the fun part…

DISCLAIMER: Like it says at the bottom of my site, I am no doctor or nutritionist. So don’t go and take all this as medical advice.

Now, with that out of the way…The way I see it, keeping a healthy body is a lot like keeping a “healthy” car. And there are a few key elements of maintaining your “vehicle”, namely: fuel and maintenance.

 

Fuel
A healthy lifestyle begins with healthy food choices. This might sound obvious off the bat, but take a step back and consider this: there is a nearly infinite number of recipes, foods, and combinations of foods. So how do you know you are doing the right thing for your body?

Well, as with most things, I like to keep it simple. Did the food you’re about to eat come from the dirt? If “yes” then you’re probably good-to-go. But what if (like me) you’re no vegetarian? Simple – when choosing meat or fish, pick options that are going to promote your good health. This means that you want to aim for less refined or “less altered” foods. So pass on the deep fried fish fillet or that bacon double cheeseburger and choose the grilled tilapia or steak and don’t forget the steamed veggies. In short, pick foods that have touched as few human hands as possible.

 

Maintenance
Auto repair is expensive. But “body repair” is even more expensive. And while it is fortunate that, unlike car insurance, health insurance covers the maintenance of your body, we’d all still prefer to avoid needing to “go into the shop”. So how do you do it? Daily exercise.

The first thing you need to do, when it comes to exercise, is imagine the most unpleasurable workout possible. Then make sure you don’t do that (I know…complicated stuff). Do you know the core reason that causes most people to quit working out? They HATE the type of exercise they’re doing! So your primary goal is this: ask yourself the following question, “What do I like to do that is physically challenging, but also fun or enjoyable?”. And once you have that answered it is easy to see that exercise can be fun! I love to grab my MP3 player, throw on my running shoes and burn through an audio book while I hyperventilate. Or you might set yourself an exercise game. You could even take up a martial art (what a concept!).

At the end of the day you must expand the definition of certain words. In this case, “exercise” doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the gym every day and busting your ass on the treadmill. But if you are serious about your health then you must find a way to move every day. Just move your body: take the stairs, go for a walk on your lunch, bring a kettle bell to the office and do a few curls when no one is looking, just do SOMETHING!

 

Remember, good health, like basic auto maintenance, doesn’t have to be anything complicated. What it comes down to is having a healthy lifestyle that involves putting high-octane fuel in your tank and rotating your tires with every oil change.

 

 

Osu!

My Fitness Principles

Ever read a fitness or exercise article? Do you notice how complicated this stuff has gotten? Nutrient timing, muscle confusion, and the effect organic vs. conventional produce has on ATP generation…From the literature it seems as though I need a staff of trainers, doctors, and nutritionists before I can start doing push-ups!

Well screw that! Listen, regardless of what product makers say, living well and feeling good doesn’t have to be a complicated and confusing mess. You can be in shape and feel good about how you look without needing to buy the latest book, drink, pill, or join an expensive club. Below you will find my fitness principles that have guided my health, diet, and exercise decisions all my life.

 

1. Like in martial arts, in fitness it is the journey, not the destination.
Health and fitness is not an event to be trained for, won, and enjoyed for the rest of your life. It is a lifestyle; a way of thinking. Once I adopted this mindset my life, in relation to diet and exercise, became much less complicated.

2. Say “no” sometimes.
Honestly, “sometimes” should probably be “often” especially since I discovered that I can order a pizza from my Kindle. Saying “no” to cake, ice cream, or pizza can be challenging sometimes. But you do it for your health.

3. When you say “yes” enjoy the hell out of it, but don’t over indulge.
Know what I love? Oreo cookies. Damn those things must have nicotine in them or something because every time I walk by them in the store I feel a pull to them. Well last week they were on sale. I bought it and I have no regrets. But this is because I limit myself to three per day; and not every day at that.

4. Substitute!
Want a burger? Go for it. Hell, you might as well add bacon and cheddar on top. But skip the fries (and I mean tell the waitress DO NOT BRING THEM OUT). Or better yet, substitute it for steamed broccoli or a salad. Yes, it might cost you an extra dollar. But it will save you from having to buy a new pair of jeans.

5. Avoid drinking calories.
I love my morning coffee. I usually go for Dunkin Donuts brand and add Baileys Irish Creamer (non-alcoholic unless it’s on the weekend). And when I add sugar, my morning concoction is around 150 calories! But other than this I am generally a water and tea drinker. Why? No rocket science here. By rarely indulging in soda or sugared drinks I am reducing my calorie intake and thus my need to exercise it all off.

6. Exercise, dammit!
Knowing that I am mostly addressing a martial arts crowd, I expect that this will not be a hard sell. But I want to combat what I have seen as a rise in “nutritional advice” that down plays the importance of exercise. Yes, you can loose weight through dieting alone. But then you’re just skinny, not fit.
Health and fitness demands that you move your ass! But it is more than just “working out”. Remember, fitness is a lifestyle so you have to find exercise that is meaningful to you personally…Something that you enjoy while you do it. For me (outside of martial arts) it is running and hiking. For you it might be swimming or dance. Just find it and do it.

 

That’s it guys. Now I know that I have left out the latest and greatest in health tips that let you hack your body to good health but that’s just not me. Like in most things, I try to adhere to the good ole’ KISS rule.

Do you have a health rule like these? Post it in the comments!

 

 

Osu!

How to KILL Yourself

The world we live in is constantly on the go; but we have, paradoxically, never been more sedentary. There was once a time during which finding something to eat involved hunting, foraging, or harvesting. Now all I have to do is access the Papa John’s app on my Kindle, and am met with nothing more strenuous as opening my front door to greet the pizza guy.

Now, I am no Luddite, but it seems that as soon as society got off the farms and moved into the cities we spend the extreme majority of our days nearly immobile. Whether we are on the phone, working on a computer, writing, or watching television we do it all while sitting. And this begs the question: what does all this sitting do to our bodies?

Below you will find various facts related to the impact that constant sitting has on our lives. Have a look. I hope it scares you.

 

Pretty scary stuff. Like most of you, I’ve come across articles that have similar messages before but this one seemed to have gotten through (it was probably the spooky demon!). So after I read this I started to devise ways perform my work functions while standing – including phone calls and typing (even this article was created while on my feet!). Honestly, the more I read on the subject the more I am convinced that significantly better health can be found from simply finding ways to stay in motion each day.

 

So how do you keep moving?

 

 

Osu!

Karate, It’s Good for What Ails You

Ask a licensed physician (which I am not) how to treat an infection and you’ll likely get a prescription for pharmaceutical medication. Ask the same to an “herbalist” and you’ll probably get a tincture of powdered garlic or eye-of-newt or something similar.

As for me, I have realized that nearly 100% of the time when I hear someone stating they have an ailment of some kind, my immediate thought is “Some Karate will clear that right up”. It has gotten to the point where my wife mocks me, saying Karate is my cure for everything.

Now, I am a pretty rational guy; so how the hell does an idea like that become so engrained? And what really shocks me is that it almost never matters what the ailment is:

  • Depression?
  • A cold?
  • Low self esteem?
  • Obesity?
  • Osteoporosis?
  • Bad Grades?
  • Hardened arteries?
  • Arthritis?
  • Cardiac arrest? (just kidding)

Just take two kicks and call me in the morning!

 

Jokes aside, the notion that martial arts training will help, reduce, or cure health troubles is as old as the martial arts itself – nothing ground breaking, here. But what surprises me is that beliefs like this are usually the result of spiritual training in the martial arts – of which I have had none. And it isn’t as if I got these ideas through osmosis either; in my dojo the furthest a conversation of medicine ever went was the best kind of knee brace or the most effective groin cup!

 

So, how did I come to these notions? I can only conclude that these ideas have collected in my mind, like ocean sediment, though my own experience. Since beginning my training I have severely reduced the number of incidents of illness, any time I am feeling “the blah’s” I will go through my kata and those feelings will go away, and karate training has helped me stay fit and trim.

Now that I think about it, when it is put together like this it is more surprising that EVERYONE on Earth doesn’t feel this way about Karate (an martial arts in general)!

 

What about you? How has your ideas of health, medicine, and martial arts changed over the years?

 

 

Osu!

How to get Good Sleep

A Thanks to Lipedia over at Wikimedia Commons

We martial artists are an active bunch, we train for hours everyday. We stretch, pull, and punish our bodies. And we push ourselves to our limits and beyond all in the name of perfection in the arts. But woe unto the warrior who forgets his body’s “mortar”: sleep!

Sleep is, considered by most experts, to be just as vital to fitness and health as exercise and healthy eating. It is during the cycles of sleep that your body starts to repair damage done by intense martial arts training and injury.

 

The following is an Info-graphic from Jason over at Frugal Dad on not only how important it is to get proper sleep, but also what happens to your body during the course of rest and how you can get better sleep overall. Enjoy!

 

If you like this graphic, feel free to share it on your own site too! Just use this:

<a href=”http://frugaldad.com/sleep/“><img src=”http://fdcdn.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/120222DreamOn.jpg” alt=”sleep” width=”500″  border=”0″ /></a>
<p>Source: <a href=”http://frugaldad.com“>http://frugaldad.com</a></p>

 

So then, with all that said:

  1. What kind of sleep trouble do you have?
  2. What do you do to get good sleep?

 

 

Osu!