Category Archives: Exercise

Avoiding Dementia

first it takes your mind, then it takes your life

there are strong links between boozing and dementia

Dementia actually kills four times as many people as all the deaths attributed to COVID-19, even at the height of the supposed pandemic.  And, dementia kills people in a particularly horrible and distressing way.  I am not and have never been worried about the coronavirus, but becoming a shadow of myself through the hell of dementia frightens me, if I ever let myself think about it.

However, dementia is not inevitable, it’s not all down to random chance, it’s not all down to genetics, and it’s not a pestilence inflicted by a malicious God.  Your mind does not have to be blown to dust ~ there are things we can do right now to help ourselves avoid the unimaginable suffering of being locked inside a mind afflicted by Alzheimer’s, or a softening of the brain, or whatever else causes this insanity.

Dementia is not primarily a mental illness, it is physical degradation of the brain.

A hell of a lot of dementia is caused by the lifestyle choices we make.  To reduce your chances of becoming a shell of who you used to be then;

  • get plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise
  • keep mentally and socially active, do not sit in front of the TV or computer screen for hours at a time
  • keep regular hours and get enough good sleep ~ 6 to 8 hours a night
  • do not smoke ~ and if you do give it up, forever
  • do not drink to excess ~ avoid binge drinking
  • do not take drugs, and I mean strong medication as well as street drugs
  • have a good healthy diet; avoiding fat, sugar, wheat and other grains, dairy products, junk food and takeout, and especially high fructose corn syrup
  • do not get avoidable diabetes
  • do not get obese, regularly check your Body Mass Index
  • control your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • avoid hearing loss
  • focus on your general health and well-being; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually ~ especially do all you can to avoid suffering from prolonged clinical depression
  • do not to get sick from social diseases, so avoid; casual sex, using dirty needles, socialising with the dregs of society, drinking in sleazy bars, and taking vacations in disease riddled hell-holes like India
  • do not get a head injury, so wear a helmet when cycling and avoid contact sports such as boxing.  Do not get into bar fights.
  • stay very clean; wash, shower, get in the tub, wear gloves for dirty jobs, wear clean clothes every day, change your bed-linen weekly
  • do not get sent to jail

As it goes, all of the above are things that right-minded, self-disciplined, ethical and sensible people will do as a matter of course.  There are two other things that will help you not to get dementia; be male and die young.

Some say that COVID-19 is the new plague sent by a vengeful deity.  And that dementia only affects the very old.  All I know is that all disease and infirmity is mostly preventable.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

probably heading for dementia

 

Monochrome Monday ~ Trim Bodies

half of all Americans are clinically obese  ~ that means they’re fat

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

plenty of fresh air and exercise

not much need for a calorie-controlled diet

Songs on Saturday ~ Annie Lennox

walking through rainstorms to be with the one you love

Summer in England 2020; doom, gloom, and rain.  Would I walk five-thousand-miles through pouring rain and high winds to be on a lonely island with the one I love?  Hell Yes!  The one you love should be your precious angel and worth everything ~ else it isn’t really love at all.

Back in the day I learned a harsh lesson ~ you can’t beat City Hall.   Right now there are some things I can’t do, and some things The Man is making me do that I’d rather not.

Some say we should always be the best person we can possibly be.  And that the one you care for deserves the best of you, no matter what.

All I know is that I’ll make the best of things, and right now that means staying fit, strong, and healthy.  In a few days I’m heading away from cold and rain to warmer and sunnier climes.  Walking, swimming, yoga, Aegean sunshine, fresh mountain air, healthy food…..  For a while I’ll be spending time working on becoming a physically better man.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

beachcombing at dawn

how to learn who you really are

Looking Better after Lockdown

it could have been worse, the liquor stores might have been closed

Now that I’m regularly out and about again after a period of government imposed solitary confinement at home, I’ve noticed just how manky some people are looking.  It’s not their fault, being subject to lockdown and being made to work from home does bad things to your health, your looks, and your well-being.  It’s a lack of sunshine, fresh air, exercise ~ and too much junk food, processed food, comfort eating, too much booze, too many cigarettes, and for some too much reliance on drugs.  Add to that the lack of proper sleep, irregular hours, lazing around most of the day in sweats or night-attire, not being able to get to a hairdresser…..

Face it after a period of lockdown, and while we are working at home, it’s possible that we don’t feel or look at our very best.  I know I didn’t, and I know just how much weight I put on.

It’s pretty simple to get back to looking and feeling great;

  • Get out in the sunshine and fresh air as much as you can.
  • Get some exercise.  Walk the 10,000 steps a day.  Learn some yoga.  Use free exercises such as squats, push ups.  Look here’s a link to a 20 minute home workout video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKfNUOWuZV8
  • Stop drinking so much every day and every night.  Have two or three totally booze-free days every week.
  • Stop smoking all together, forever.  Smoking makes you look old, you stink, it ruins your health.  Smoking will kill you.
  • Stop comfort eating.  Don’t eat just because you’re bored, stressed, lonely, or sad.
  • Stop eating processed food, or eat much less processed food if you can’t get to a good store as often as you’d like.
  • Stop shoveling your food in with both hands, eat mindfully and slowly, chew your food properly.
  • Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.  Salads are brilliant at this time of year.
  • Drink more cool, clear, cleansing water.  (Fruit juice counts too.)

I am back on a health and fitness programme again, after letting myself go during lockdown.  It’s so depressing being in solitary confinement that I found it hard to keep up good habits.  But you know what?  It doesn’t take more than a week or so to turn things around to a better life.

Some say that just one bottle of wine won’t hurt.  And, that potato chips go so well with wine.  All I know is that the dictum of a healthy mind in a healthy body is the real truth.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

yoga is bloody good for you

Artificial Sweetener

so I tipped my morning coffee down the sink

not me, but it could be

Staying at home during lockdown, comfort eating, eating out of cans, eating out of boredom, getting zero fresh air and exercise…..  When I stood on the scales a few days ago I discovered that I’d piled on more than a few pounds since March 23rd.  That is not good, by any stretch of the imagination.

So, I’ve resolved to be fitter and healthier, and get back to my normal weight just as damn soon as I can.  It isn’t easy to restart a fitness programme after 3 months of relative inactivity.  Fortunately I don’t find sitting in a chair binge watching TV at all addictive.  (Things would have been much worse if it had been easier to get to the store and buy copious quantities of beer.)

For a while I’d been following the 10,000 steps a day challenge, and now, after all that lockdown inactivity and idleness I’m back on that ~ with a vengeance.  Yesterday I walked to the next town down the coast and back, in all yesterday I walked 20,204 steps in the fresh air and sunshine by the sea.  For me that’s almost exactly 10 miles, and if I can keep on walking 10,000+ steps a day I should get my health and fitness back.  Perforce I should also lose / stabilise my weight.

Along with the fresh air, sunshine, and exercise I’m also changing my diet back to something much much healthier than cake cookies candy alcohol and eating out of cans.

As part of a healthier diet I thought I’d switch from having high-quality Barista sugar in my morning coffee to an articicial sweetener instead.  I bought some stuff based on sucralose and tried that for the first time this morning.  You know how good that morning coffee always tastes ~ except this one didn’t, and I tipped it down the kitchen sink.  I find the sucralose artificial sweetener to be bitter, chemical, and just yuck, with a yuck aftertaste.  (The most common brand of sucralose sweetener is Splenda.)

Surcalose is chemically altered sugar where the water based chemicals are replaced with chlorine, and it’s 500 times sweeter than proper sugar.  To me it tastes like bug killer smells.  Other artificial sweeteners include aspartame, which is positively bad for you.

WTF was I thinking of?  If I want to be fitter, stronger, healthier, why would I swap a high-quality natural product with something that came out of a chemical plant?

Some say that artificial sweeteners are perfectly safe.  And that they are a useful part of a calorie controlled diet.  All I know is that I’d rather consume natural foods than stuff that came out of a chemical plant.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

not the kind of plant I want to make the sweetness in my coffee

COVID-19 Testing

trying something or someone to see if the rules are being obeyed

Out on my walk this morning I saw that a mass testing operation for COVID-19 had been set up in one of the local car parks, (otherwise completely unused).  These testing stations are manned by heath workers and the army, and each one is a pretty big operation.

In the half hour or so I had this testing facility in sight, not one single car entered the parking lot so that the driver could be tested for the coronavirus.  Goes completely against the rule of build it and they will come.  This time nobody turned up at all.

I’m utterly unsurprised.  There is very little personal benefit to going through all the hassle and discomfort of the whole ‘getting tested’ process.  In fact there are a lot of individual downsides to having a coronavirus test, and I speak as a guy who has both had the virus and been tested more than once.  (After the fact.)

Being tested will not stop you contracting COVID-19, nor will it aid your recovery in any way at all.  Being tested is just likely to make you sicker because it is very likely you will to told to undergo a period of self-isolation at home, which is bad.  What is worse it that you will be carted off to hospital and stuck in a bed in a place that is rife with the damn virus.  If you are sick, (not dying), then the last thing you need is to be stuck next to a lot of other sick people.

The very best thing you can do to ameliorate any personal effects of the coronavirus is to get out in the fresh air and sunshine, which the virus hates.  The sunshine will boost your vitamin D, which the virus hates.  The fresh air will flush out your lungs, so FFS do not wear a mask.  However, stay away from other people, you don’t know if they’re a carrier, and neither will they.

When you’re out there get some exercise ~ don’t just sit in the sunshine, complete the 10,000 steps a day challenge.  Exercise will improve your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and if you’re stronger and fitter you will more easily fight off the virus if you get it.

The fresh air, sunshine, and exercise will also give you an appetite ~ believe me, it you get the damn virus you will not want to eat, and even less so if all you do all day is sit in front of the TV.  With your meals take a good and appropriate range of vitamin and mineral supplements.  Your body will need these to fight off the virus.

Trust me, for your own personal health, being tested for COVID-19 is the last thing you want.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

here the COVID-19 testing stations are mostly unused

Home Alone

for many, the greatest fear is abandonment

I am pretty certain that over the past couple of months there have been more people living mostly at home, alone and isolated, than ever before.  All of the reasons for people being abandoned at home and alone are related to the COVID-19 virus.  At best they could be working from home, and / or suffering lockdown, quarantine, self isolation.  Many will have lost their jobs, or in the UK have been furloughed, or been unable to work at their business because of the lockdown.  There may be more tragic reasons such as a severe illness or death.

Whatever the reason, being at home alone and isolated from physical social contact, is bad.  It will make people very sick; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  People suffering solitary confinement, (and effectively having to be at home alone is solitary confinement), become depressed and distressed.  They will suffer insomnia, either be unable to eat or eat far too much, they may drink too much, use drugs too much, and feel so exhausted they can’t or don’t want to do anything.  People in that state stop looking after themselves, don’t wash, shower, shave, clean their teeth, or get properly dressed ~ maybe they wear the same dirty stuff day after day.  They may have thoughts of hurting themselves or others, they might go out and kill someone, loot stores, set fire to cars…..

Being at home alone and isolated touches the greatest fear most people have ~ that of abandonment.  It’s a deep childhood fear, an abandoned child will quickly and certainly die, and our innermost psyche remembers that visceral fear.

There are some solutions, but none of them are easy, particularly for someone who has already suffered serious physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual decline.

What we need to do is;

  • Go outside.  And I don’t give a flying fuck what the rules and guidelines and official advice says, we all need to get outside into the fresh air and natural daylight.
  • Get some exercise.  And I don’t care how bad you feel. You’ve got to walk, do yoga, find an exercise routine on YouTube…. but do something to get your muscles and blood moving.
  • Have  strict routine.  Get up at the same reasonable time every fucking day, get clean and dressed, have breakfast, do something positive or your job maybe, have lunch at the same fucking time every day, do something positive then prepare dinner.  Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Eat healthily, don’t drink, smoke, or indulge your other nasty habits too much.  Take good nutritional supplements.  Especially vitamins B, C and D, along with iron, magnesium, zinc, and a good fish oil.
  • Stay away from depressing news, and keep well away from social media.  Instead reach out to your family and friends.  Telephone, Skype, email, chat, write a fucking blog…..  But don’t be alone, even if you can’t be together.

Some say that lockdown and social distancing are there to keep us safe.  And that they can start living again when all these restrictions are lifted.  All I know is that life is not a dress rehearsal, this is it, make the most of it.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

refuse to be a prisoner

I am not a number…..

I am a free man

Yesterday I tried to come up with a bucket and to-do list that had 7 important things on it, and I got stuck after 6, which you will see if you look back at that post.  I shouldn’t have been surprised, the number six is in my destiny right now.

~

Kipling thought that six was important too;

I keep six honest serving men, (They taught me all I knew);

Their names are What and Why, and When

And How and Where and Who

If you can remember those, then you will never go far wrong when it comes to making any decision, writing anything, or making a success of anything you wish to do.

~

There are also 6 healing powers.  The six best doctors are;

Sun, Rest, Exercise, Good Food, Self-Respect, and Friends

But, when it comes to good food, don’t eat too much of it.  Keep well hydrated, and stay away from the booze.

~

In fact there are 6 things one should really stay away from;

Alcohol, Casual Sex, Drugs, Over-Eating, Smoking, and Refined Sugar

All of those will kill you eventually, some will just kill you faster than others.

~

The number 6 is also a perfect number, congruent number, harmonic divisor number, and has lots to do with weird stuff like Zsigmondy’s Theorem, sphere packing, the kissing number problem, and Graeco-Latin squares.

~

Some say we should not worry about material items, including money.  And that worry lowers the effectiveness of your thoughts, dreams, wishes, and prayers.  All I know is that the Angel Number 6 means that our prayers will be answered, although the answer might be ‘no’.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

we each have our own Angel and Goddess

10,000 Steps a Day Challenge

you know where you’re starting, you just have no idea where you’re going

Doctors, dietitians, and fitness gurus are sold on the idea that walking 10,000 steps a day is good for our health and well-being.  It’s an arbitrary number, there’s nothing special about it, but it has the benefit of being easy to remember, and for most people walking 5 miles in a day, every single day, is a hell of a big thing.

It turns out that 5 miles is the most that even moderately active people can manage, and given that it’s going to chew up a couple of hours of you day, that’s the most time most people can allot for fresh air and exercise most days.  Luckily, walking is one of the three best types of exercise you can get.  Some respected scientists say that walking may be one of the most powerful medicines available.

Walking is man’s best medicine.  ~  Hippocrates

I started back on the 10,000 steps a day thing on May 1st, after spending weeks in lockdown, getting sicker and sicker every day.  Self-isolation indoors will kill you more certainly than the caronavirus will.  The fucking malevolent politicians and health bureaucrats who are telling you to stay at home are utterly wrong.  Go out and get some fresh air and exercise.

After a very shaky start on May 1st, when I really struggled to walk the half-mile to my nearest supermarket and back, I now feel Damn Good.

In the past 7 days I have walked 89,130 steps, (I have a pedometer), which is 44 and a bit miles.

Maybe it’s time I turned around and went home.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

in the Parachute Regiment they call a long walk with full packs ‘yomping’

Things To Do During Lockdown

the devil finds work for idle hands

If you are unlucky enough to find yourself in lockdown / quarantine / self-isolation, then you will know just how boring, enervating, and soul-destroying the long, long days can be.  Unless you are so ill that all you want to do is sleep, you will probably be tempted to do three things; drink too much, eat too much junk food, watch too much mindless TV.  If you are so inclined you may also be tempted to smoke too many cigarettes, and over-indulge in your other drugs of choice.

None of the above activities are such a good idea.  May I make some alternative suggestions;

  1. Make a plan.  With your partner, friend, long-distance friend(s) make a plan for how you are going to survive and thrive during this present coronavirus crisis.  Make a plan for what you are going to do after lockdown is over.  Make a plan for what you are going to do with the rest of this year / next year / next 3 years.  Me, as soon as air travel is allowed I’m flying to the USA to visit a friend, and we are going to take a long road trip.
  2. If you are well enough take yourself for a walk in the fresh air and sunshine.  Just stay at least 6 feet away from any other people you may meet.  Take your dog if you have one.
  3. Exercise at home.  There are hundreds of exercise sites on the internet.  If you’re not feeling so good then try learning yoga, which is an excellent form of exercise.  If you’re not well enough for that then look for exercises you can do sitting down.
  4. If you are lucky enough to have a garden, get out there and get your hands dirty.
  5. If you aren’t well enough for that, then sit on your balcony, in your garden, outside your apartment.  Take no notice of any officious neighbours, and assume that the police are too busy to be jerks on your behalf.
  6. If your mind is working well enough, then read something challenging, preferably while you are sitting out of doors.
  7. Even if you don’t feel much like eating, then just make yourself cook something you will eat.  Use whatever ingredients you have in the larder, refrigerator, freezer.  Or find a recipe and go to the store, and that will also get you out of your place.  (or order on-line, or get a friend to go to the store for you)
  8. If you’ve been very unwell then you probably look like hell.  Get yourself clean and tidy, put on some cool clothes, and launder all the dirty stuff.  Change your bedding and launder that too.
  9. If you’re anything like me, not doing anything much for 10 days or so, then your place is most likely a hell of a mess.  Clean it all, including your kitchen and bathroom ~ and I mean really clean it.  Me, I did the garret in half-hour stints, because after a half hour I had to sit down and rest a while.
  10. Work on your relationships.  If you live with a partner, then give them some TLC.  If you live with your kids then find some fun things for them to do with you.  Repair any damage you may have done when you were depressed, angry, and insane.
  11. If, like me, you have long-distance relationships, then use the internet and telephone.  Or even write your to your friend(s) in an old-fashioned pen and ink letter or card.
  12. Learn something new.  There are innumerable on-line courses.  A friend of mine is studying Late Medieval Devotional Art through a free Harvard course.  Me?  I’ve reading all about how to survive the end of the world….

The thing is you can be utterly depressed and miserable during this period of enforced self-isolation.  Or, you can make the most of this time so that you emerge from lockdown a better, fitter, healthier, more grounded person than you were in March this year.  I know which one I’ve chosen.  I’ve tried the insane misery route, trust me, it doesn’t work.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

all of the above applies if you’re working from home

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