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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How Healthy Am I

Over the past week, I have studied my general habits with the areas of wellness in mind.

Physical: This aspect was one of my stronger ones for the past week. I walk an average of four miles per day, exercise every other day, and eat plenty of healthy foods. In fact, since I knew I would be keeping track of what I was doing/eating, I ate healthy all week long with no fast food,  and plenty of fruits and vegetables. I am no where near my peak physical wellness, but it’s not a bad start. I weigh 155 lb, have a B.M.I. of 21, meaning I am in the middle of my weight/height range (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html). My blood pressure is usually around 105/70, which is also not too shabby (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp). The only thing I should be doing better on at this point is getting more restful sleep, and drinking more water. There’s a lot more I need to be doing, but that’s still to come.

Intellectual: At the beginning of this semester, I made it my unreasonable goal to go into finals week with 100% in all of my classes. My actual goal is to not have to take any finals if I don’t want to.  I have cut down immensely on the amount of T.V. I watch, games I play, and other temporary wastes of time. I didn’t watch too much to begin with, but I’m attempting to limit myself to one hour a day, although somedays it’s more like two. That doesn’t seem too bad. So, I’ve started putting more effort into classes where I usually could just breeze by and end with a low A. Although, it gets a little mundane and boring.

Emotional: The only real emotional things I have to deal with are stress and loneliness. To fix the former, I have started just doing things that need to be done, when they need to be done. No more procrastinating for no good reason. If something needs cleaned, I clean it. It doesn’t take as long as I think usually, and I feel a lot better when it’s done. However, there is a lot to do overall, so this will be a long process. There are a lot of things I’ve put off for a while. The other problem will probably just have to stick around for a while. It’s just always there, even if I’m surrounded by people. Oh well.

Social: I hate waking up at 5 in the morning. But, it’s the only way I can do speech. I hate not having any time for dinner before going to rehearsal. But it’s the only way I can do theatre. I hate asking for permission to goof off with friends. But, again, it’s necessary. This is my last semester, I’m not going to pass up an opportunity unless I absolutely have to.

Spiritual: I’m not a very spiritual person, but I believe that people need belief in something. I really enjoy meditating a lot, because I can think of things that I should believe in. Various truths like the good in people (even though I really hate people sometimes), the benefit of the doubt, forgiveness, and the need for adventure. I have some apologies to make before the year is up, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Spiritual wellness is probably going to be the easiest thing to reach peak wellness with, but it’ll take the most out of me. I’m thinking that I should make a list of people I need to apologize to… Kind of like My Name Is Earl.

Environmental: Muncie isn’t too bad of a town pollution wise, and I had a really hard time trying to think of what I could do to improve my environmental wellness. Then I realized, Muncie is my home, and my home needs some cleaning. There isn’t a ton of trash around Muncie, but it’s a large enough amount that I can’t do it all on my own. I wish I could think of someway to just get everyone to go outside and clean up the area outside their house. I figure this would take 5 minutes per person, but probably less than that. 5 minutes for 70,087 people, that’s 350, 435 minutes, or 5,841 hours, or 243 days. 243 days worth of work in 5 minutes, now that would be impressive. I’ll try and work on that. But, for now, I’ll just do my own five minutes every day.

It’s really hard to be completely honest in this, but I figure it’s the best way for true improvement. I have a lot of things to do, so I figure I’ll write one of these full reflections every month. There isn’t a lot of actual change that can take place in two weeks, but I will do partial ones if anything of importance comes up.

The main thing giving me motivation through this is a song lyric that I’ve decided to shape my life around. “You can fade out, or burn like the sun.” Time to burn. SO cheesy. Oh well, it’s my blog.

What is healthy?

Most ideas of health are split up into two different sections. Physical, and Mental. The physical side is the one that gets the most attention usually, with various types of diet and exercise. However, if your mental health isn’t at high enough point, then all of that dieting might be for nothing when you retain ten extra pounds (that you’re trying to loose) because of the amount of stress that you’re under. Now the ideal goal of all of the hard work you do, is to reach peak wellness. Wellness is the thing everyone secretly tries to achieve. It is the point where you have reached your maximum potential when it comes to physical, intellectual, emotional,   social, occupational, and spiritual wellness. This is my goal for this semester. I probably won’t reach it, since some of those take more age and wisdom to reach their maximum potential, but I will do my best for those parts.

 

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999.php