Category Archives: Exercise

How to Live in Harmony

from discord, find harmony

When you are in harmony with yourself, four things are aligned: what you do, what you say, what you think, and what you feel.  In those mindful moments, things flow without any sense of stress, tension, or negativity.  Your senses, feelings, and emotions fit together and your life has less anxiety, depression, guilt, upset, and stress.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.  ~  Gandhi

Being in harmony with yourself and others is all about being authentic, honest, open, kind, trusting, loving, reliable, and at peace with yourself.  It is hard to be at peace with the people, places, and creatures around you when you yourself are not at peace.  It is impossible to be at one with nature when you are not at one with yourself.  Your heart and your brain should be in harmony.

He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.  ~  Marcus Aurelius

Sadly, most people never experience long-lasting harmony in their lives.  Most chase after material gain, instant gratification, and transitory relationships.

To be in harmony is to do the simple things right, and to the very best of your ability, energy, and strength;

  • If you want to stay sober, then stop drinking booze ~ don’t think you can ever take just one drink once in a while because you can’t.
  • If you want to stop smoking, then stop going through the motions and get serious about never, ever, smoking another cigarette.
  • If you want to lose weight and be fitter and healthier, then eat and drink well, and get plenty of fresh air and exercise.
  • If you promise to help someone, then remember to be there for them and do the things you promised.
  • If you think someone is being unkind and toxic, then stop pretending that all is well between the two of you.  Share what you truly think and feel, and then do something about that relationship.
  • If you feel anxious, depressed, and sad, then recognise and accept the emotions ~ in fact whatever emotions you feel, recognise and accept them.  But, if you want to feel better, then start acting as if you are 100%

If you want the grace to live your own life, in your own time, then be strong enough to live in harmony with yourself and others and all of nature.  Be authentic, honest, and open.  Some toxic and untrustworthy people will pull away from you, but if you do all this you can expect to have more authentic, honest, open, kind, trusting, loving, and peaceful friendships and relationships.

Some say one thing while they are thinking and feeling the opposite.  And most people lie, cheat, and steal.  All I know is we compose our own harmonies in our lives.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

to enjoy the scent of a rose

you must first brave the thorns

The Physical Benefits of Yoga

Be where you are, not where you think you should be.

My post earlier today was about rain ~ sort of.  Doing yoga in the warm summer rain is uplifting.  Yoga in the foothills of the Himalayas must be even more so.

Yoga is a 5,000 years old form of exercise that is focused on strength, flexibility, breathing, and mindfulness to boost physical and mental health and wellness.  Yoga is safe, effective, and beneficial ~ especially when it comes to increasing your strength, flexibility, balance, and inner peace.  Yoga tends to improve posture, and far too many people slouch these days, up to and including me, at times.  There is strong evidence that regular yoga has a positive impact on people who suffer with high blood pressure, cardio-vascular diseases, arthritis, migraines, IBS, fibromyalgia, sundry aches and pains, lack of mobility, depression, and anxieties.  I just find that spending time every day doing a little man-type yoga makes me feel better.

Scientific studies on the physical benefits of yoga show that it helps to alleviate the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis, but, the symptoms of arthritis can make some yoga positions difficult and painful in themselves.  However, whatever yoga one can do helps improve the arthritis sufferer’s range of movement, and strengthens the muscles around painful joints.  Those with the autoimmune disease of rheumatoid arthritis also benefit from yoga ~ there will be improvements in overall physical health, walking, energy levels, mood, and reduced pain.

The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body.  ~  Natalie Nevins, M.D.

The physical benefits of yoga include:

  • increased flexibility
  • increased muscle strength and tone
  • much improved posture
  • prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
  • improved bone density
  • helps the lymphatic system and boosts immunity
  • helps to fight cancer
  • better breathing, energy, and vitality
  • better balanced metabolism
  • better weight control
  • improved cardio-vascular health
  • reduces high blood pressure
  • improved athletic and sexual performance
  • protection from injury

There is also strong evidence that shows regular yoga practice leads to an increase in serotonin, and a natural decrease in monoamine oxidase.  What this means is that we feel happier, more positive, more energised, and are less likely to suffer from depression.  For me, happier is good.

Some say that yoga is just for girls and metrosexual guys.  And, that we should all get a grip and concentrate on everyday life.  All I know is that everyday life isn’t everything.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

how long to capture that shot?

it doesn’t really matter,

in meditative Yoga time is immaterial.

Giving up Booze

alcohol is the world’s most addictive and most dangerous drug

Alcohol kills more people each year than all the other drugs combined ~ world-wide some three-million people a year will die from alcohol related causes.  Cocaine, heroin, marijuana, meth, prescription drugs, tobacco…. all added together don’t kill as many people as booze.  One third of all traffic fatalities involve alcohol.  Booze will cause alcoholic poisoning, malnutrition, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, cancers, a fatal coma, liver failure, pancreatitis, pneumonia,  multiple organ failure, fatal accidents, suicides…..  And when you end up in the emergency room the doctors and nurses will treat you like shit.

Yet drinking booze is socially acceptable, in fact if you don’t drink most people will think you are rather strange.  And, if you used to be a boozer, and stop, and then go out with your old circle of friends, they will pressure you to take a drink and indulge all of your other addictions.  And these are supposed to be your friends?

If you drink, then over time your drinking will get worse and worse until it kills you.  Before the booze kills you, you will know physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual suffering.

Of all those people who try to stop drinking, only 2.5% will make it to 90 days sober.  Of that 2.5%, only 2.5% will make it to 2 years, that’s 2.5 people out of every 1,000 who will be sober 2 years after they made the decision to stop drinking.  Be one of the 0.25% who succeed.  You have a better chance of success if you get help.

Those who tell themselves that they want to control their drinking, or stop all together, may try some futile and self-destructive strategies;

  • lying to themselves about how much they are drinking ~ denial is dangerous
  • switching from spirits to wine to beer, drinking only organic booze
  • limiting the number of drinks they have ~ that never, ever works
  • resigning their job and moving from where they are to somewhere different ~ this is called doing a geographical
  • religion, counselling, hypnosis, psychotherapy, doctors, taking anti-drinking medication ~ I have seen people on antibuse drink a hell of a lot in a session
  • drinking in different bars where nobody knows them
  • switching to a different addiction; smoking, gambling, unsafe casual sex, using other drugs, stealing, impulsive spending ~ although the chances are that real boozers were doing all those things at the same time they were drinking
  • joining a gym, sports club, walking club, doing yoga, meditation classes…..

None of the above really works because most boozers are liars and cheats.  You will drink again if you don’t do something radically different.  Take a long hard look at yourself and accept that nobody and nothing is responsible for your drinking except you, and what’s going on with you.  And if you are brutally honest with yourself, then you will probably be confused because you have no idea why you drink.  The brutal honesty is good ~ stay with that

Don’t worry about the confusion for now ~ for now, just stay away from that next first drink.  Next, stay away from everywhere you used to drink, and all those toxic false friends you used to drink with. Give up on all your other addictions.  Now find yourself some support; Alcoholics Anonymous, counselling, hypnosis, psychotherapy, doctors, the church, sober friends, YouTube…..

And over the next 90 days find out the truth of why you drink, and deal with that.  In my case I was drinking because I have Borderline Personality Disorder, and now I am dealing with that.

Some say that you are just a worthless alcoholic, and will never think that you are anything else.  And some say that they never want to see you again.  All I know is that everyone has the angel of recovery inside them.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

single malt scotch was my drug of choice

A Californian I Am Not

California is a nice place to live, if you happen to be a hippie.

Orange County in Southern California is a very beautiful place to spend early summer ~ the great weather, fabulous beaches, and fascinating countryside….. But any Englishman thinking of coming here for the very first time needs to know that SoCal is as different from the Shires as Wensleydale cheese is from the muck known as American cheese.

George Bernard Shaw once said that England and America are two countries separated by a common language.  This is manifestly true.  Californians do not know how to speak or understand English, even if Spanish is not their first language.  Certainly no Californian will ever understand English humour, irony, sarcasm, or know what real honesty is about.  Also Californians have a language of their own; WTF does ‘Jonesing’ mean?

There is popular movement that calls on us all to walk 10,000 steps a day.  Californians do not walk anywhere, unless they are a penniless bum.  A Californian will drive to the gym and then spend some time on the treadmill while listening to mindless music.

And, Californians are among the very worst drivers I have ever come across, possibly barring the French.  The two real downsides are #1 all Americans think they are good drivers, #2 in California the standard of driving worsens by age, sex, and ethnicity, (not how you’d think).

Californians even drive to and from what they are pleased to call a pub.  I’ve been in several pubs / sports bars here, and to any decent Englishman they are universally appalling.  Do Not think you will get a decent pint of beer here, they serve dross such as pineapple flavoured beer.  Americans are also pleased to sit at the bar and watch sports TV all night.  Do Not eat the food in any American  pub / sports bar.

Some Californian food is fabulous, you can get a wonderful steak and salad here.  On the other hand sushi is popular here, and so is serving nasty cheese with everything.  Do not try ‘Mexican’ food, it’s greasy muck with jalapeno.

Some say that California is the Golden State.  And that saying ‘have a nice day’ isn’t actually an insult.  All I know is that bikers, drop-outs, hippies, stoners, and surf bums do well here.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

The beach bars are cool in California,

and some serve good food,

Reinvent Yourself

It’s never to late to be what you might have been.

~

Most people would like to change some things about themselves.  They may want to be fitter, to lose weight, to be more successful at work, to be more successful with the opposite sex, or maybe just to lose the terrible feeling of dissatisfaction they constantly suffer from.  Or it might be worse, some people want to lose their Borderline Personality Disorder, or paranoia or schizophrenia…..

One thing is certain, we can never get what we want by trying to change other people, nor by attempting to alter the way the world works.  The only thing we can ever change is ourselves.  But, look at the upside, when we change ourselves the whole world and everyone in it changes around us.

Reinventing ourselves into a better looking, cooler, fitter, more effective, more successful, less disturbed person is an essential process if we want to grow and flourish.

Here’s the hard thing.  To reinvent yourself into the person you really want to be requires some hard choices.  You need to be ready to walk away from aspects of your life in which you may have invested much time, effort, and money; the way you look, the personality you project, your existing career, unsuitable friendships, toxic relationships with the opposite sex, a dead-end marriage, the pub where you get drunk and try to get casual sex with anyone you may meet at the bar…..

Worse than that, you may have to forget and hide some of your past; the alcoholism, drug taking, criminal record, gambling, over-eating, casual sex, heavy smoking…..

Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself….. and reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.  ~  Charles Bukowski.

To reinvent yourself and have a truly successful life, ask yourself these questions;

  • What should I stop doing and thinking?
  • What should I start doing, thinking, and being?
  • What could and should I do less of?
  • What could and should I do more of?
  • What could I do, think, and be differently from who I used to be.

Reinventing yourself can be a difficult and lonely path, and it is not a one-shot deal.  Truly reinventing yourself is an on-going process you will have to work at, every single day.

Some say they already have everything their heart desires.  And there is nothing really wrong with them that a few days sober and clean wouldn’t put right.  All I know is that denial is the greatest block to becoming a better person.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Somebody here is going to get into trouble

or maybe they both will.

The Benefits of Exercise

Walking is the best possible exercise.
Habituate yourself to walk very far. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Climbing stairs is even better for you than walking.

Regular exercise is good for your body, mind, emotions, and spirit.  Exercise not only tires you out, which helps you to sleep, it also increases your energy levels during your waking hours.  This increased energy helps your body to fight off illness and chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.  Getting a good night’s sleep is also vital to the health of your body, mind, and spirit.

Physically, frequent exercise helps to regularise your weight ~ inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity.  Your body uses energy in 3 ways; #1 digesting the food you eat; #2 maintaining bodily functions like heartbeat, breathing, and staying upright.  #3 Physical activity, like your exercise of choice, or digging ditches, or chopping firewood.  Dieting is very bad at helping you to lose weight, a reduced calorie intake lowers your metabolic rate, which delays weight loss.  On the other hand, exercise raises your metabolic rate so you use up more calories.

Exercise also helps to build and maintain muscles and bone, because strenuous exercise releases hormones that help your body to absorb amino acids, which will delay muscle wastage in older people.  In older women, regular exercise helps prevent the bone wasting disease osteoporosis.

It has been shown to improve your mood and decrease negative feelings of depression, anxiety and stress, as regular exercise increases the productions of the good hormones serotonin and norepinephrine.  Exercise also promotes the production of endorphins which help to produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of physical and mental pain.

Exercise also helps to maintain and improve brain function; for a start your hippocampus, the bit of the brain that’s vital to memory, will stop shrinking and begin to grow, which increases mental function in older adults.  Regular physical activity also helps to stave off Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.

Regular exercise means you will look much better, for a start you will begin to lose all that unattractive bloating and belly fat.  Your skin will look better because your body will be producing more antioxidants, and you will have better blood flow which delays skin aging.  Looking better means that you’re more attractive to the opposite sex.  Not only that but being fitter means that your sexual performance will be better, (women will have more and better orgasms if they take a reasonable amount of exercise).

I was in a bureau de change today, talking with the young lady cashier, (teller), about my walking at least 10,000 steps a day.  And she said; ‘is all that walking why you look so young?’

HA!

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

yoga is damn good exercise too

and, I can hold the tree position

HA!

Stress and Being Overweight.

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.

Stress can kill you, but in an older women stress is far more likely to drive her to comfort eating and hence pile on the pounds.  For most women less stress, or better stress management, is the key to sustainable weight loss.  Of course, for older women the menopause doesn’t help with controlling your weight at all.  There is evidence that there are changes in the brain chemistry of a menopausal woman that triggers a shift in her metabolism, causing her to overeat.

Looking for comfort food; cakes, chocolate, pizza, bread, burritos, donuts, (or drinking too much), is a common occurrence among woman of a certain age ~ of any age when stressed if it comes right down to it.  These high calorie foods and booze do pile on the pounds ~ particularly unsightly belly fat.  It’s all to do with insulin, and this energy dense stuff spikes your insulin levels, which only makes you want to eat more.

The environment doesn’t help much, there are countless fast food outlets, supermarkets promote more expensive energy dense foods, and there’s a bar on just about every street corner.  Rule #1 is stay away from fast food places, and rule #2 is that a woman on her own should never, ever go into a bar.

Associating unhealthy food and booze with good times is something your brain will program into itself, and rule #3 is that you must work hard to break that programming.  Eating unhealthy food and drinking too much booze doesn’t mean you are cool, in fact quite the opposite ~ you are perhaps pushing being an unattractive lazy person.

The really important thing for women to learn, accept, and practice is how to manage stress.  And usually it comes down to:

  • Delegate More.  Stop letting your family and friends push you into doing everything for everyone.
  • Be Creative.  People with a creative interest are much less stressed that those who don’t have that worry-free time.  Why do you think art therapy is such a big thing in rehab?
  • Take a Walk.  Walking is bloody good for you; physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Aim for 10,000 steps a day.
  • Talk to People.   And don’t go into a bar to find someone to talk with.

Some say that the change made them overeat.  And, that their happy place is the refrigerator.  All I know is that fat people often get very sick.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

regularly eat healthy and nutritious food

honey salmon in foil

 

Fresh Air and Exercise

Rest, food, sunshine, fresh air, exercise ~ the pentagram of good health.

 

The weather has finally improved here in the North East of England.  Today it’s 67 degrees and very sunny ~ in the sunshine it’s much warmer than a mere 67 F.  So, it behoves me to get out there in the fresh seaside air and get some much needed exercise.

There is still this urban myth that, for our health, we should all walk at least 10,000 steps a day.  Or it might be that the health benefits of walking 10,000 steps a day now has scientific backing.  It seems that after about 8 weeks of walking 10,000 steps a day one’s blood glucose levels will improve considerably, as will your blood pressure.  For me, 10,000 steps works out at 5 miles, and a few weeks walking that far every day normalises my weight and gets rid of any unsightly belly-fat I might have been carrying over the winter.

For most Americans, walking 5 miles a day might as well be walking around the world and back.  Americans hate getting out of their cars.  The average American only walks 4,000 to 5,000 steps in a whole day, never uses the stairs if there is an elevator, and never stands if there is a chair they can sit in.  No wonder so many Americans are very overweight and susceptible to cardio-vascular problems.  Most American consume far too many calories in a day too ~ often exactly the wrong sort of calories.

Being fit and healthy means that you can live a much better life for much longer ~ which is why I’ve walked 15,000 steps in the sunshine today, (about 7.5 miles).

As well as being good for my physical health, walking a fair distance in the sunshine is good for my mental health.  The vitamin D the sunshine creates supports the health of my immune system, brain, and wider nervous system.  Vitamin D also helps to suppress various cancers.  Conversely, if you don’t get enough vitamin D your teeth and bones will rot away, especially if you are an older woman.

Walking also helps me to meditate, and just now I have a hell of a lot to think about.  I suppose nobody has a perfect relationship, but recently mine seems to raise a lot of issues at the back of my mind.  On the other hand my partner is very cool.

Some say that that lots of fresh air is overrated.  And that they would rather sit indoors and watch TV.  All I know is that days of slow walking make me feel better and help me to live longer.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I will warrant that this lady gets lots of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise

Cardio Vascular Screening

I went for some cardio-vascular tests today.

Physical activity ~ even if you don’t lose an ounce, you’ll live longer, feel healthier, and be less likely to get cancer, heart disease, stroke, or arthritis.  It’s the closes thing we have to a wonder drug.  ~  Tom Frieden.

This morning I was checked for a potential aortic aneurysm, and I have to admit to being very nervous beforehand.  What if they actually found something?  It was an ultrasound scan, and they covered from my neck to just above my groin.  The cold gell was a bit yucky in places.  But, the good news is that I’m utterly, totally, completely clean and fine.  No nasty crap in my arteries.

If they had found something it would have meant treatment, up to an operation and strong drugs.  It may have also precluded me from overseas travel, and stopped me from driving.

So, the good news just came rolling in, and life is grand again.

The testing doctor even said that I seemed very fit…..  Which re-motivates me to take more physical exercise.  I may even go back to the tai chi and yoga classes.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Lost in my own mind

Act as if you’re a really very guy, living a great life.

~

Over the last week I’ve eaten nothing, had no sleep at all, and drank far too much booze.  Neither have I been out of the garret for any fresh air and exercise.

I haven’t written anything either, except for a couple of short emails, and I messed those too.

Today I’m starting to put my life back together  again.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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