Changing Habits: First Steps

For the last two years I have gone to the gym regularly and I usually have a different workout to do every two months. I haven’t found one that I can do consistently and feel good about. With every workout I find, I feel like something is lacking. Either I’m not tired or sore enough the next day, or I am, but only in some parts of my body. I want a workout that will make my entire body feel exhausted and dead the next day (at least the first couple of times). I’ve found one that I have enjoyed doing in combination with some of my regular workouts at the gym. It’s from a place called Nerd Fitness, and I did it while I was in Costa Rica and didn’t have access to a gym. It relies solely on bodyweight and there are different levels you can push yourself to (http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2009/07/17/no-gym-no-problem-bodyweight-exercises-and-the-nerd-fitness-challenge/). However this didn’t seem like enough, so I added this to some weight training that I usually do at the gym, some core training, and by the end of my workout I want to just lay down and not move for a while, which is when I do the last and most intense part (85 curl ups at various weights from 32-62 lb). It takes a while, but it’s a good way to finish out both physically and mentally. By the time I’m halfway done I sometimes think to myself that I should quit now, “I’ve done enough.” and that’s when I make myself grab the bar and finish it out. Each time, it takes less and less self convincing to finish, and it’s given me a better drive to finish everything I start. However, even with all of this, I don’t feel like it’s helping me reach my peak physical wellness. At the same time, it is making me feel slower, because I don’t have any way to use speed combined with strength. I guess I’ll keep looking for something more in the mean time. I have been thinking of who the fittest people in the world are, and I realized that it’s the people who do Crossfit. Crossfit requires every muscle to be used frequently, and in combination with each other, but it’s not a singular workout. You need other people around to push you and help you out along the way. Make you be stronger. Since I don’t have that, I figure I  need a workout routine, and a goal. Something I can’t do now, but that I want to be able to do (within reason) and then set a timer for that goal.

Sleep. I had mentioned that this was something I felt like I was lacking on, so I went ahead and did some research, and luckily, numerous studies have been done. The best I found was from the sleep foundation (http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need). The main problem probably isn’t how much I get, but how restful it is. Usually I sit around on my phone for a while before I go to bed, and I go to bed at a different time each night. The research they did said that more restful sleep comes from having a routine to let your body know that it is time for bed. So, I’m setting up a routine and then I’ll try to get to bed by 11 on weekdays and 112-1 on weekends. An hour before I go to sleep, I’ll read a book and then brush my teeth. Seems kind of lame, but I don’t get around to reading much, and it’d be a much better use of my time than sitting on my phone for an hour.

Water was another problem I had. I was never really sure how much I should drink per day. This awesome and very short article put it simply that an average man in average climate needs about 3 liters a day, which is almost a gallon of water a day (http://www.mayoclinic.org/water/ART-20044256). Yikes. I don’t drink nearly that much.

My diet is pretty good at the moment. I follow the Crossfit diet plan loosely and eat all natural foods, no sodas, and no fast food. For now I’ll stick with that, but I might start looking into the Paleo diet next month.

I started apologizing to all of the people that I thought I had wronged in some way or another, but after reading through some Buddhist works and having a long chat with my best friend Kevin, I came to the conclusion “Screw that.” Except, I didn’t say screw. The reason I felt like i needed to apologize was because I was still clinging to the past memories and emotions in my relationships with those people, instead of just letting them go. There’s the belief in Buddhist philosophy (and in physics…) that everything is created at one point, and at one point everything is destroyed. It’s the law of nature. Everything will end at some point, so enjoy what you have now with the knowledge that it will break, or die, or move on. Then, at the end, you’ll be glad that you loved that thing to the fullest extent.

I am also going to start doing a Sudoku every day. I’m going to get old, and it’s been proven that Sudoku helps keep your mind engaged better, so why not.

It’s a lot of things to change all at once, but some I’m trying to fit a lot of this into one semester for my researching purposes, it kind of has to be.

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