Category Archives: Exercise

Be peaceful in the storm.

So I can’t sit own and let the time of my real being take me, for if I try and for a moment can see no direction, cannot tell where I am going, I am filled with panic, scared of emptiness.   I am driven and must always look to the far horizons.  ~  Joanna Field

For most of my life it seemed that I was afraid of still serenity, uncomfortable of just having nothing to do, and having to make no plans.  I seemed to be happiest if there was a great deal going on around me, as though I was in the midst of a raging storm.

I have come to believe that this was a manifestation of what was going on inside my own mind, that I was driven by a mixture of perfectionism and fear of failure.

My focus seemed to be on what I didn’t have; materially, intellectually, and spiritually.  My glass was always half empty, never half full.

Perhaps that was not such a good place to be.

Instead of bemoaning what I don’t have and the things I feel are wrong with my life, I am changing my attitude to celebrate what I do have.

Today I have an infinite number of choices, and they all begin with me having a positive outlook.  The decisions I make today will have a direct bearing on how meaningful and mindful my life will be.

I am reminded of some words by Ralf Waldo Emerson; This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it.

Today I will try to do some good and mindful things with my time.

Today I will be peaceful amid the storms.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Not Sleeping is Very Bad

Insomnia turns an earthly paradise into a place of torture.

If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed and turning off the lights, if you toss and turn and wake up several times in the night, if you don’t wake up feeling instantly refreshed and ready to hit the ground running, then you are not getting enough good sleep.

Scientific studies show that for good health almost everyone needs 7 or 8 hours of good sleep, every single night of their adult lives.  Not getting enough good sleep does really bad things to you.

Just some of the bad effects of lack of sleep are; depression, diabetes, fatigue, heart diseases, heart attack, high blood pressure, poor immune system leading to illness, impulsive behaviours, irritability, paranoia, stroke, suicidal thoughts, and Death.

All of us know exactly that some of the things some of us do from time to time will prevent us from sleeping well at night; not getting enough fresh air and exercise during the day, drinking too much booze, eating late at night, using social media late at night, not going to bed at the same time every night, staying in bed late at weekends, having unresolved issues that prey on our mind, having an untreated mental illness, having our bedroom too warm, too noisy, and not dark enough, being in a dysfunctional relationship, hanging out in bars, casual sex…..

I’ve got a bad case of the 3.00 am guilts ~ you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right?  Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression, paranoia, and self-loathing.  ~  D. D. Barant.

Some things that most of us do will disrupt our internal body clock, our circadian rhythm, and prevent us from getting a decent night’s sleep, for night after night after night.  Who knew that our internal body clock is so important to good sleep and good health?  If you do stuff that fucks up disrupts your internal body clock, resulting in a lack of good sleep, you will seriously damage your physical, mental, and spiritual health and fitness.

All the things that will help ensure that we will always have a good night’s sleep are so bleeding obvious that a child of 5, or 6, or 7 already knows them, instinctively.

  • Stick to a sleep schedule.  Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends and vacations.
  • Get plenty of fresh air and exercise.  Get out and walk for an hour a day, (10,000 steps), but not too late in the day.
  • Get plenty of sunlight during the day ~ tricky if you live in northern England like me, (or Canada, or Alaska, or Scandinavia…).
  • Avoid caffeine later in the day.  It’s a stimulant, and the caffeine in a cup of coffee will take about 6 or 8 hours to wear off.
  • Do not smoke.  Nicotine is a stimulant, smoking affects your breathing, you will get nicotine withdrawal through the night and wake up, you will have nightmares for years after you stop smoking.  Smokers never sleep well.
  •  Booze.  Don’t drink to much, especially late at night.  A glass of wine / hard booze just before you go to bed will stop you from getting a decent night’s rest.  Trust me, people who drink late at night, most nights, are three parts of the smegging way to being an alcoholic.
  • Do not eat late at night.  Don’t eat anything much for a couple of hours before bed-time.
  • Don’t take a nap after three in the afternoon.
  • Have a relaxing hot bath just before bed-time.  Light some candles, play some relaxing music, turn off your racing mind.
  • Have a dark bedroom, quiet bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget free bedroom, and no fucking blue light from your phone / tablet / computer shining all night.
  • Forget all the bad things from the day, especially the ignorant son of a bitch person who cut you up on the freeway on your way to work.
  • Finally, if you just cannot get to sleep, then don’t just lie in bed fretting.  If you really cannot sleep, get up and do something else instead, (but none of the bad things listed above).

One thing that some doctors say will result in a restored sleep cycle and better sleep is using marijuana, pot, cannabis.  There are some serious downside risks to the cannabis user, such as; anxiety, breathing problems, poor coordination, damaging a child in the womb, hallucinations, heart attacks, impaired thinking and cognitive functions, nausea, road traffic accidents, smoking anything is a known health risk, suicide, paranoia and schizophrenia, being arrested, losing your job, and Death.  All other drugs you can take to help you sleep are worse than marijuana, especially in the longer term.  (Anyhow, I would never sleep with anyone who uses drugs.  Come to that, I wouldn’t have lunch with a drug user.)

Some say that going without sleep for night after night is dangerous.  And, that eventually going without sleep will kill you, after 11 days or so.  All I know is that not sleeping is very, very unpleasant.

~

Insomnia

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

you may be able to tell that I didn’t sleep well last night

 

I’ve Been Thinking of Someone

women are to be adored, and perhaps understood

The weather in this little northern town has been pretty good today, for England in May that is.  Ergo I took a myself for a walk, and that turned into 11 miles of physical effort, mental introspection, and spiritual enlightenment.

While I was walking I thought of a woman I know.

I don’t know her as well as I would like.

This song is for her.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

a man will never find the Goddess of the moon by searching for her

How to have more spending money

There is scarcely anything that will drag you down like debt.

Basically there are two ways we can have more cash to spend on the things we really like, want, and desire ~ one is to go out and get more money, earn it, marry it, inherit it, steal it….

The other way to have more cash to spend on the things we really like is to spend less on ‘essentials’ ~ the things we have to buy to survive.

For if we remember our Dickens and what Mr. Micawber said in David Copperfield, happiness lies in spending less than we earn, and unhappiness lies in spending more than we actually have.

There are some tried and tested ways to spend less on the boring essentials.  In my quest for minimalistic living, I have personal, (sometimes very bitter), experience of all of these following ideas:

  1. Live in a smaller place.  Smaller homes cost less to buy, attract lower property taxes, and use less utilities; water, gas, electricity.
  2. If you can, switch your utilities provider to a better and cheaper company.  All utilities companies are money-grabbing vultures, but try to choose the best of a bad lot.
  3. Drive a smaller car.  Smaller cars are less expensive to buy and insure, and in general use much less gas than a bigger car with more weight and a bigger engine.  If you buy a classic smaller car, as opposed to the latest model, then you won’t even suffer from depreciation.
  4. Switch your car insurance to a better and cheaper company.
  5. Learn some DIY skills.  You don’t have to use expensive and useless contractors, car mechanics, cleaners, or gardeners.  It’s cheaper and better if you do as much as you can for yourself.
  6. Cut out impulse purchases.  On impulse, too many of us buy too much stuff that we don’t actually need, want, or really like.  All that stuff clutters up our home and convinces us that we need to move to a bigger place.
  7. Don’t marry a sexy trophy wife, (or toy boy), who will also want you to move into a bigger place.  A trophy wife, (or toy boy), will end up costing you most of your treasure, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
  8. Don’t try to buy love.  It doesn’t work, it will cost you a fortune, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
  9. Control your addictions….. booze, drugs, gambling, pornography, casual sex, smoking….. All of these will all cost you just about everything you have, including your self-respect.
  10. Resist the urge to have the latest and most expensive technologies.  You don’t need a huge TV, costly cable, the newest computer, the best tablet, the most expensive iPhone with the most expensive contract.
  11. Buy whole foods rather than processed, heavily packaged, and generally bad for you costly crap.
  12. Buy generic brands.  Trust me, I’ve been into factories where the expensive labels and generic brands are actually made on the same production line with exactly the same content.  Only the packaging is different.
  13. If you can, then buy in bulk.
  14. Stop going out to lunch at work, instead take a packed lunch.  Those people you go to lunch with are probably boring and certainly aren’t your real friends anyway.  And, if you’re an average guy the women you take to lunch are never going to have sex with you, so you’re wasting your time and money.
  15. Don’t join a gym.  Most of the people who have gym membership never go there.  For great exercise take a long walk in the sunshine instead.
  16. Visit thrift stores, and if you find clothes you like, then save money and buy ‘pre-loved’ stuff.
  17. Don’t give to a big charity.  (Have you any idea how much the bosses of the big charities pay themselves?  The average pay across the top 100 charities is more than £250,000 a year, plus huge bonuses.)
  18. Don’t spend all your time drinking in pubs and bars ~ the booze is expensive there, and nobody in your favourite pub is your real friend anyway.

And finally, don’t spend on borrowed money, especially credit cards which all charge usury rates of interest.  Credit cards are NOT money.  Really, really, really NEVER use a payday lender, which all charge eye-watering criminal rates of interest.

You can probably think of some other money-saving tips of your own.  For a month try making a note of what you actually spend your hard-earned on ~ I guarantee that you will be surprised and shocked.  Learn what you actually spend your money on, and then you can start to control your finances.

Some say that money can’t buy happiness.  And that a fool and his money are soon parted.  All I know is that having money makes misery more bearable.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

you can take the idea of living in a tiny home to the extreme…..

Relaxation and Right Thinking

Anger blows out the candle of the mind.

People are telling me that I need to relax more, stop being angry, stop being paranoid…

Anger, confusion, and paranoia are all symptoms of a chronic lack of thiamine and potassium in the blood stream ~ and I was suffering from that.  (But so are nausea, heart palpitations, strokes, and death through heart failure)

I realise that I have been holding on to anger from the past.  I need to let go of this anger and stop letting it rule me.  The time to deal with anger and paranoia are when I first feel it ~ I need to relax, let go, and not let anger and paranoia fester in my mind.

Yet I know how to relax, and it’s really very simple.

  • Take a walk by the sea.

  • Practice clean deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga.
  • Stay away from any booze.
  • Take a long bath with some relaxing music playing.
  • Get plenty of good quality sleep.
  • Talk with my family and friends.
  • Keep my apartment clean and tidy.
  • Read something inspirational and mindful.
  • Do something creative ~ like writing this blog, making something, cooking…
  • Check my thinking and let go of negative thoughts.
  • Go back to seeing a professional counsellor.
  • Build and photograph a rock stack by the sea.

There is something very therapeutic about building a rock stack.

~

Food on Friday will return next week.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

pictures taken with a Lumix.

 

Rehab

The philosophy of fasting calls on us to know ourselves, to master ourselves, and to discipline ourselves the better to free ourselves.

On Monday of this week I was admitted to the rehabilitation ward of my local hospital.  I was so confused at the time the doctor didn’t give me any choice in the matter.

The problem is I haven’t been eating and I’ve lost a lot of weight.  I’m now just 135 pounds, which is 20 pounds lighter than I was a short while ago.

Not eating does all kinds of bad things to the mind and body, including confusion due lack of potassium in the brain.

Today I was released to return to the garret, with the strongest possible warning that I need to take much better care of myself.

So I am now on a better programme of food, liquid, vitamins, and minerals.

I already feel much better.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Health, Wealth, and Happiness

All happiness depends upon courage and work.

For a little while I’ve been trying to work out what is really important in Life.  In as simple terms as possible, what is that we all strive for, what do we really want, what is life all about, really?  So help me, I came up with; Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

I don’t think these desirable states of being are even on the standard Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  However, I believe that you can’t have good health, sufficient money to live reasonably well, and sufficient contentment to deem yourself happy, unless the criteria within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is also being met.  You know, Maslow was much smarter than just drawing pyramids, he was also a deep thinker when it came to the science of happiness.

The only happy people I know are the ones who are working well at something they consider important.  ~  Abraham Maslow.

Wishing people health, wealth, and happiness used to be a very common toast in my part of the world.  Perhaps these days some people may turn their noses up at the ‘wealth’ part ~ most likely those people have never know what it is to be dirt poor.

  • Health.  By this we really mean having Good Health, for the great majority of your time on this Earth.  But, like all things, good health is a paradox.  In comparison to our forefathers we are all in good health, but future generations may well look back and pity the standards of health and fitness we know today.  For my personal health I like yoga and long walks.
  • Wealth.  Conspicuous wealth isn’t so important, but having enough money to comfortably meet the criteria of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is desirable.  Money may not be able to buy you love, but money will get you a fair amount of sex.  Money gives you freedom from many worries.  Having a little spare cash creates opportunities.  Personally, I’d rather be miserable with a few pounds in the bank than miserable and broke.
  • Happiness.  The great imponderable.  For many of us happiness comes from being fit and healthy, and having enough money to be free from many worries.  Happiness is also not having a host of negative emotions; anger, envy, fear, jealousy, lust…  There are as many ways to real happiness as there are people on this planet of ours.

I found real happiness the day I stopped being a wage slave.  Happiness also comes from not being pestered by idiots, such as your boss.  Phone calls from telemarketing people, Google filling my screen with crap and not what I searched for, Facebook targeting me with advertisements for things I’ve long since moved on from, and people with clipboards wanting to talk with me in the street ~ all of these things seem designed to disrupt my health, wealth and happiness.  I have a simple answer for those leeches~ fuck off, and please don’t keep in touch.

Perhaps there is no nirvana, perhaps having Health, Wealth, and Happiness is an oxymoron.

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.  ~  Shakespeare.

Being at peace with myself, knowing that I’ve not been a leech or a jerk, means that I can go to bed at night feeling somewhat happy.  But, like most people I’m never totally satisfied with my day’s endeavours.

On the other hand, I can easily walk a dozen miles a day, I can do yoga on the beach in the sunshine, I eat well, I have no money worries, and don’t go to bed feeling like crap.  So, perhaps real Health, Wealth, and Happiness is possible after all.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

yoga for men is cool

A Mediterranean Diet is Good for You

Is there anything a Mediterranean Diet can’t cure?

Specifically, I wonder if a Mediterranean diet can help to cure this terrible head-cold I’ve suddenly contracted?  Or more likely stop me from catching a cold in the first place? Well yes it could ~ but only if I really upped the amount of raw garlic I eat.

A diet rich in oily fish, fresh vegetables, olive oil, garlic, and nuts protects our bodies and our brains, especially as we get older.  However, to get the most benefit from a Mediterranean diet we also need to cut down on alcohol ~ one drink a day for women, (try not to spill it, and drink red wine, not white), and one or two drinks a day for men.  Lucky for me I don’t drink at all these days.  But, a glass of red wine every day is actually very good for you.

It isn’t only the Mediterranean peoples who ate that type of diet, the Vikings did too, and nobody ever accused a viking of being a sickly wuss.

Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.  ~  Hippocrates

People from the Mediterranean region have longer life expectancies and are generally healthier than people from Northern Europe and the United States of America.  The United Kingdom ranks 19th and the USA 31st in terms of average life expectancy, (out of 183 counties listed).

People from around the sunny Mediterranean have lower risks of suffering; Alzheimer’s disease,  type 2 diabetes, cancers, colitis, depression, heart diseases, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pancreatitis, and strokes.  Trust me, you do not want to get type 2 diabetes, and you really, really, don’t want to have a stroke.

A proper Mediterranean diet isn’t all baguettes, pizza, pasta, and roasted lamb with lots of herbs.  A healthy Mediterranean diet consists of the region’s fruits, vegetables, (especially leafy greens like spinach), seafood, olive oil, cheese, and a couple of glasses of a robust red wine.  These are all anti-inflammatory foods.

But you also need to add a lot of fresh air, sunshine, and lots of physical activity to the mixture to obtain the most benefits.  If you are not already doing so, then you should walk 10,000 steps a day, both to improve your health and help prevent an early death.

Modern scientific evidence suggests that many, (some), of the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet accrue directly from all the good olive oil included in just about every recipe, dish, meal eaten around the Mare Nostrum.

Olive oil is full of monounsaturated fatty acids, (MUFAs), which are supposed to be good for you ~ at least the Mayo Clinic says that MUFAs are good for you.  In fact the well-respected Mayo Clinic says that olive oil is good for you ~ in moderation.

So; your Mediterranean diet should include;

  • The very best extra virgin olive oil you can get.  Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on Earth.  Only ever buy extra virgin olive oil.
  • Fresh fish.  The oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, pilchards, and sardines are full of vitamins D, B, omega 3 fatty acids, and selenium.  Eating oily fish a couple of times a week is said to help prevent; arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, prostate cancer, schizophrenia, and blindness / impaired vision.
  • Green fruits and vegetables.  It seems that eating green plant stuff can reduce the risk of cancer, helps maintain strong bones and good teeth, and promotes the health of your eyesight in your senior years.  Popeye was right all along, spinach is good for you ~ and so are kale and dandelion leaves.
  • Garlic.  Everyone knows that Mediterranean people eat a lot of garlic.  The Ancient Egyptians used garlic as a medicine.  Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed a hell of a lot of garlic.  The health benefits of garlic include; fighting off allergies, keeping bacterial and viral infections at bay, improving your skin, prevents colds and sore throats, reduces the risk of thrombosis, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, helps prevent type 2 diabetes, reduces cancer risks, helps beat anaemia, and improves your sex life, (if she can stand the smell).  If you can manage it, eat raw garlic, especially if you have dental problems.
  • Nuts and seeds.  Walnuts, almonds and other nuts are good for your heart.  It seems nuts and seeds contain lots of unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterols, fibre, vitamin E, and something called L-arginine.  Allegedly L-arginine does wonders for your sex life.
  • A glass of a robust red wine, (when I was drinking I would always choose an Italian red).  The health benefits of red wine were known as far back as the ancient Egyptians.  It seems a regular glass of red wine boosts heart health, lowers bad cholesterol, reduces the risk of degenerative diseases, helps reduce he risks of type 2 diabetes, stops you being so obese, and may prevent Alzheimer’s

However, some things about the Mediterranean lifestyle are very, very bad for you. Men from the Mediterranean coasts of; Spain, France, Corsica, Italy, Greece, (and less desirable places like Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia and Albania), smoke far too much, drive like maniacs in unroadworthy heaps, drive when they’re drunk, and sleep in the afternoons when they’re drunk.  In medieval Hell-Holes like Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Egypt you will just get ripped off and / or assaulted / shot / blown up.

And yet, parts of the Mediterranean are among the most beautiful, most magical, most spiritual places on this Mother Earth.  Guys, take your girl there, soon and often.

I’m glad I am a woman who once danced naked in the Mediterranean Sea at Midnight.  ~  Mercedes McCambridge

A Mediterranean Diet is not only good for you, it has some utterly fabulous, great tasting recipes.  Mix Mediterranean with Paleo and you may well have the perfect diet for your health, fitness, well-being, and gustatory satisfaction.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

get robust red wine delivered

How to Stay Healthier and Live Longer

Life is not merely being alive, but being well.

If you adopt a healthy lifestyle, not only will you feel better, you will also add ten or more years to your life.  But, what is a healthy lifestyle?  Turns out that not smoking, (nor abusing prescription or street drugs), drinking booze only in pretty strict moderation, and keeping to a healthy weight are the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle.

Smoking and drinking may look cool, for a short while, but after a short while those pastimes will turn an attractive women into a cackling, wrinkled, old hag.

The reason fat men are good-natured is that they can neither fight nor run.  ~  Theodore Roosevelt.

Personally, I would add another three things we should all do if we want to be fit and healthy well into our senior years; get plenty of good quality sleep, get plenty of appropriate exercise, and eat a good, healthy diet.  Therefore, if you don’t want to suffer a horrible and early death, from this moment on you should;

  1. Stop smoking.  Stop smoking weed too.  Smoking is dirty, disgusting, anti-social, and it will kill you in a selection of particularly nasty ways.
  2. Drink only in moderation.  If you regularly take more than a couple of drinks in an evening, if you empty a bottle of wine in a couple of days, if you have a cupboard full of half-empty bottles of spirits ~ then you have a drink problem, and eventually it will make you very ill.
  3. Don’t be fat, don’t be obese.  It is very easy to stuff yourself with burgers, take-outs, canned food, and other unhealthy crap calories.  Type 2 diabetes will make you very ill, and then it will kill you.  There are three foods / ingredients you should never, ever, knowingly have in your diet;  sugar-free / diet soda, high fructose corn syrup, wheat, wheat flour, wheat products.
  4. Get plenty of good quality sleep.  Lack of sleep doesn’t just make you feel tired and grumpy.  Lack of enough proper sleep causes accidents, makes you stupid, kills your sex drive, and puts you at greater risk of; heart disease, heart failure and heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and type 2 diabetes.
  5. Take enough appropriate exercise.  Just a daily walk can add 7 years to your life.  You don’t need to join an gym and lift heavy weights.  Both yoga and tai chi have a myriad of health benefits, improving your balance, control, fitness, flexibility, reducing the risks of falls, sprains, and other injuries, easing pain, and reducing the symptoms of depression.
  6. Have a good quality and healthy diet.  And, there are lots of cool diets to choose from; Atkins, Paleo, Mediterranean, Pritikin…  The key is don’t eat junk, have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, eat slowly and chew your food properly, and don’t stuff yourself at every opportunity.

Americans and the British are much less likely to live long and healthy lives than do the inhabitants of most industrialised western countries, and it has nothing at all to do with the standards of medical care in the USA and the UK.  In fact, the Japanese have the highest average healthy life expectancy in the world ~ and it doesn’t have anything to do with either sushi or rice.

Japanese people give attention to health in all aspects of their daily life.  Professor Kenji Shibuya.

Some things you can do today to work towards that fitter, healthier, happier life in your senior years are;

  • Change your attitude ~ tell yourself, convince yourself, that you will be fitter, healthier, stronger, more capable, filled with self-confidence, and more self-aware.
  • Get your blood pressure checked.
  • Eat a better diet ~ stop eating junk.
  • Stop knocking back the booze in the evenings.  Especially DO NOT drink just before you go to bed.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Start exercising.  There are both mental and physical benefits to regular exercise ~ at least 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week.  Walk, (at least) 10,000 steps every day.
  • Walk don’t drive.  Learn to drive in a slower, calmer, more relaxed manner.
  • Don’t get stressed.  Practice meditation and mindfulness ~ just relax.
  • Don’t hang out with people who eat junk, smoke, drink, and slob about just watching sports TV all day.  Stay out of pubs, bars, and down-market restaurants. If you can’t do those things you need to get to an AA meeting.
  • And for goodness sake, stay out of hospital.  Hospitals are incredibly unhealthy places to be for very long.

These are all simple lifestyle changes, and each one is pretty easy on it’s own.  Taken together these lifestyle changes will make a massive difference to your health, fitness, and happiness.  As a side effect you will stop throwing huge hunks of change down the drain.

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.  ~  Paul Dudley White.

Being angry, hateful, jealous, negative, stressed…, will all damage your physical, mental, and emotional health.   In fact, just believing you are healthy cuts your risk of an early death by three-quarters.

Mens sana in corpore sano ~ a healthy mind in a healthy body.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

 

you can buy this book from Amazon

Why walk 5 miles a day, every day?

When it comes to walking, it’s all good.

In case you hadn’t heard, there is a health and fitness trend that says walking 10,000 paces a day is good for your body, mind, and soul.  For me, ten-thousand paces equates to about 5 miles on level ground, and will usually take me the best part of two hours to accomplish.  Which begs the question; is it really worth my while to devote two hours a day, every day, just walking to somewhere, or even to nowhere and back again?

Well, actually, yes it is, and these are the reasons why.

Let’s start with something scientific and anatomical ~ blood flow in the legs.  The circulation in our feet and legs only works because we use our calf muscles, and because of non-return valves in the veins.  If we sit still, we have bugger-all blood flow in our feet and legs ~ which is why there’s a risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis during long flights.  If you sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, you are in danger of developing poor circulation, which is nasty.

So if you want to have healthy circulation, one of the things you can do is just get out of your chair, and walk.

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty.  She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.  ~  Ellen DeGeneres

Walking more, whether it’s to go somewhere, or for leisure, or part of your health and fitness programme is an easy way to be more active without all that unpleasant sweating, huffing, and puffing that comes with some other forms of exercise.   A brisk walk is classed as moderate-intensity activity, and does count towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.  Walking is a form of exercise that’s easy to fit into your daily routine, for example instead of taking the elevator up a couple of floors, take the stairs.

If you’re not used to taking much exercise, then don’t start off by trying to walk 5 miles.  The Mayo Clinic recommends that you add 1,000 steps a week to your baseline average.  This means you are going to need a pedometer, and the first thing you should do is measure how many steps you take in an average day.  Very Well says that if you are an average American you will most likely be walking 5,000 steps in an entire day, (HA! I don’t believe a word of that, I’m certain the average Californian walks about 2,500 steps a day.)

The respected Mayo Clinic is very keen on walking as a form of exercise and even has a 12-week walking schedule based on work done by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The benefits of walking include improving your blood pressure, energy, happiness, mental health, skin tone, sleep, stamina, strength, stress levels ~ as well as reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, joint problems, obesity, a stroke, and nasty diseases in general.  On top of that you are going to look and feel a hell of a lot better.  The key to walking for health and fitness is to build walking into your daily schedule.

These days I am keen on meditation and mindfulness, but I find it difficult to meditate in the traditional fashion.  So, I meditate during yoga, and I also practice a form of walking meditation.  I have never been taught, nor led through yoga meditation or walking meditation, these are mindfulness practices which just came naturally to me.

All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.  ~  Friedrich Nietzsche

All of us should also do some strength exercises, at least twice a week, particularly as we get older.  Personally I like to do some yoga, but I also add an isometric workout into my daily walk.   This two-for the price of one routine means that I make the most use of the couple of hours I spend in the fresh air and sunshine, (we sometimes get sunshine in England).

You don’t have to believe me that walking 10,000 steps a day is a good idea.  Just google 10,000 steps and you will come across loads of articles by people such as the well-respected Dr Mercola who say that walking 10,000 steps a day is a basic requirement for good health and fitness.

In life a couple of things now scare me; having a stroke and developing dementia.  If I can improve my chances of avoiding these life-destroying conditions, then a couple of hours walking every day seems a small price to pay.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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