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16 Nov 2020

I F - Intermittent fasting:

I’ve read about it but never really had a go! Once again though it makes sense when you look in to it, the way the body reacts in different ways after eating and all dependant on time after. The trouble is that we have learnt to eat our ‘main meals, and then we ‘snack’, and gradually over the years the main meal has gotten later and later in the day. So my next ‘trial’ in to the land of a healthy lifestyle is IF - and started yesterday evening by having my last meal before 6:30pm and apart from drinks, unsweetened of course, nothing until 10:30am this morning when I had a coffee - so 16 hours!! The first food was 12:30 which was salmon, green pepper, rye crackers (3), boiled egg, cheese, sweet pickle, avocado (although not quite ripe enough), tomatoes - healthy or what!!! My next meal will be before 6:30pm again.

Updates to follow:


15 Nov 2020

Doing my own research

Since I started my journey, I’ve done my own research - and it’s surprising what I’ve learnt. I’ve bought and read countless books, both on the kindle and sometimes ‘real’ books. Some of them have been really good whilst some perhaps not so, but invariably I’ve got something out of all of them. 

It’s got me thinking and wondering why many more people around me won’t do their own research, rather just listening to the current narrative or at the very least the ‘old research’. Very often, idea’s about health that appeared in the 80’s and 90’s are still being used today because people haven’t looked into the newer research. As an example the idea that diabetes was a result of too much sugar, which of course it is, but we now know that much of it is also by eating too many ‘simple’ carbs that turn straight in to sugar - and not just actual refined sugar. (Of course the ‘added sugar’ that is found in most of our food has a major part to play). And the same with the ‘overweight epidemic’ and the resulting ‘low fat’ diets - when of course we now know that some ‘fats’ are vital for our health. 

Three meals a day, breakfast/lunch/dinner, with snacks throughout - has been the norm for a long while - along with TV dinners, ‘ready meals’, ‘takeaway’s’ etc, the result being now that the UK is the ‘fattest’ and corresponding unhealthiest country in Europe! Not a nice accolade. The science now is suggesting that maybe ‘one meal a day’, (OMAD), or at the most two is the healthier way - and in a window of 12 hours max, (preferably 8-10), so that our bodies get 12 hours min of fasting - food for thought! (No pun intended). 

Functional Medicine is the relatively new way of dealing with some of the many conditions we see as ‘normal’ in today’s world, conditions such as the aforementioned overweight, autoimmune conditions, etc. Functional medicine deals with these by changing our lifestyles in both our eating and exercise in small manageable ways that really do work - way better than ‘popping a pill or two’ which seems to be the go to. (Who wants to take a chemical to do what a healthy lifestyle can do?? - not me for one).

The first books to go to for me on this subject are the one’s by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee who is a MD practicing in Manchester, UK. 


So - doing my own research has taught me a lot - why can’t I get others to do it!

3 Oct 2020

OK! So where did all that time go???

So it’s now October and the last months have shot by. The silliness is still going on within regards to the ‘virus’ but it doesn’t matter what you think about it all - eventually we will get through it. What is important is that we need to make sure as far as possible that we come out of it fighting fit both physically and mentally - and we can only rely on ourselves to do that. 

So get moving, get reading, and stop listening to the doom and gloom on the TV. 

If you do your own research you can then make up your own mind on whatever you’ve read etc. Some of it you may not agree with, (maybe a lot of it), but there will be something that resonates with you and maybe change your outlook. 

I’m going to list books I’ve read, articles I’ve read, podcasts I’ve listened to, etc - some Ive liked and agree with, and some I’m not too sure about.


And just maybe I’ll update this blog more often :)

10 Jul 2020

30/30 Squat Challenge - oops!

Ok so I got about 12 days in and completed the 30 mins, but I must admit the next 10 days were very poor ...... and then it stopped completely....... so I failed through lack of sticking at it. But there is always another time :)


6 May 2020
Squatting coming in handy
Squatting coming in handy

30/30 squat challenge Day 3 & 4

I thought maybe a daily update could get a bit boring so I’m going to update every few days. 

So yesterday, (day 3), I started at 8:15 and finished at 15:15 - every squat lasting 3 mins. Today, (day 4), there were a few interruptions so I started at 8:20 and finished at 22:20 - however I managed 2 x 4min squats and finished with a 5min squat - ouch! 

4 May 2020

30/30 squat Challenge - Day 2

2nd day completed! 
I did think that I would find today difficult - but you know what it wasn’t that bad and I actually managed the 30 minutes in 11 sessions: 4 x 2mins, 6 x 3 mins, and even 1 x 4mins. Chuffed!
3 May 2020
Squat
Squat

30/30 squat challenge - Day 1

So I decided to try this challenge:

30 mins per day in total of a sustained deep squat, (the natural resting position seen often in many parts of the world), for 30 days. I don’t know what the outcome will be for a 61 year old but I’m going to find out!

Anyway today was day 1, I started at 8:00am and finished about 8:30pm. Most of my squats lasted for 2 minutes but I did do a 3 minute squat and two 2min 30sec squats. Hopefully as time goes on I will be able to sustain them for longer. I must admit it was harder than I first thought it would be but I do feel a sense of achievement after the first day.  

21 Apr 2020

Stress!

08:30hrs

So today I’m going to concentrate on stress!

We’re told time and time again that stress is the biggest, (or one of the biggest), reasons for chronic illness, weight gain, early death, etc. A member of my family died at a relatively young age of 61 from his 3rd heart attack, having had his first at 48. So just maybe, due to the fact that you learn from your parents, I am programmed to ‘stress’ in the same way! (I will say that I don’t believe that just because my father had a heart condition then I will automatically follow suit). 

So with this in mind I have decided today to list what is ‘winding me up’, ‘how I’m reacting’, ‘how often’, etc etc. 

No.1 - I literally woke up thinking about the family and friends that hadn’t responded to a group chat (about good health and connected Issues) how I wanted them to! And to be honest I kept playing it though my mind, then sent a ‘last try’ text - derrrrrrrr! Why did that make me ‘slightly wound up?’

Then I wrote up to here! 


More to follow, keep coming back! The Tab will say time last updated. 

20 Apr 2020

It’s too easy to not do much!

It would be so easy to not do a lot whilst on ‘lockdown’! I mean we don’t have to worry about getting up ‘that’ early do we, nor do we need to bother too much how we look - who’s going to see? 

Sitting down too long and even more than normal is very easy to do and actually takes thought to not do it, but even then I know I fail. So maybe if I ‘blog’ about my day then it’ll not only prompt me but anyone reading this.

So today is Monday 20th April 2020, week 4 of the lockdown, and as I write this it’s 10:45 - I’ve done my online Hiit session for today which as usual was tough and now my wife is doing her online Pilates session. (I highly recommend these - they are very good and you keep contact and healthy with like minded people). Now I could be sat down, and indeed I have been doing so, but today I’m not - this is being typed standing up in the kitchen - so even if I say so myself, not a bad start to the week. 

14:20hrs

I’m currently sat on the floor typing this! OTT? Maybe, maybe not! There is a direct link to longevity and the ability to get up and down without using your hands - being able to do that also from the floor can only improve on flexibility, something we have lost through ‘modern living’. 

Dog’s had a walk of just under 2 miles around midday, so as I write I have done 9,000 steps so far in total - another dog walk yet to go today.

20:18

Ok so getting closer to the end of the day and slowing down. Currently sat in my music room writing this.

Did take the dog’s out for another walk at about 18:45 for just 20 mins, it means I’ve done nearly 13,000 steps today. Prior to the walk I also spent nearly 2 hours standing in my hall whilst my plumber friend repaired our boiler, (although I did sit on the stairs a couple of times).

Not a bad day I don’t think today, stress was minimal which is good.



More to follow, keep coming back! The Tab will say time last updated. 

18 Apr 2020

Keeping fit and healthy during ‘lockdown’

It’s just too easy to sit and ‘play’ with tech, or read, or watch tv during these ‘lockdown’ times ....... the result of course being that our fitness suffers and therefore our health. 
We had good intentions of getting on with our own exercise routines, using dumbbells, hula hoop, trampette, etc ..... but like a lot of good intentions they often don’t last very long. However we have been rescued by our own gym ‘Bridge4Studio’ who are doing live sessions via Zoom! They’re great and anyone can join in wether you’re a member or not. 
Why not give it a go! Click here for more information. 
5 Apr 2020

Coronavirus and my blog

So sorry folks! I’m acutely aware that I haven’t updated this recently....... but I will very shortly! I’ve been so busy trying to sort my online teaching that this has gone by the board .... but not for long. 

Update shortly!
5 Mar 2020

Learning to walk ....... again!

No! I didn’t loose the ability to walk, but apparently I’ve just been walking all wrong for the last 58+ of my 60+ years! 
When you read the literature about it, then it makes sense .... but you can also see why people scoff when you mention ‘zero drop’ shoes and/or barefoot shoes and walking ..... I mean who wants to wear anything other than a nice comfy shoe?
As mentioned earlier I bought myself a pair of zero drop minimalist shoes back in November 2018. I launched into wearing them immediately and refused to wear anything else. It did feel very close to walking everywhere in bare feet, the thumping going through my whole body took a bit of getting used to, every lump and bump and little stone making itself known. But the literature said walking in minimalist shoes was very healthy and how our bodies were originally designed to work!
Again the literature did make sense, 26 bones in each foot as sensitive as your hands and designed to cushion your walking. We then put them in shoes with a padded cushion that stops these bones performing. The perfect angle of your body to your feet, (barefoot), ruined by a heal of even 10cm and even more so by high heals. Squashed toes that cause poor balance, bunions and the like, all in the name of fashion. 

So back to my newly acquired shoes...... I needed to relearn how to walk, just as I did as a small child and before my parents unwittingly and unknowingly ruined it by buying me shoes! (You can buy books that tell you how to walk: Whole Body Barefoot by Katy Bowman is a very good one that I’ve read). 
Your brain gets a lot of information to help with balance etc through your feet .... the trouble is we insulate our feet in cushioned and raised heal shoes so that information is hard to get. So to counteract this your brain makes you hit the ground harder with your heal to try to get this vital information - it’s called heal striking. The problem with this is the complete force goes straight through your knee and in to your hip, a force of 2.5 times your body weight, with each step. So since November 2018 I’ve been trying very hard to change my gait, from a heal strike to a forefoot/midfoot strike - easier said than done but nonetheless achieved eventually by walking slower and with smaller steps ..... why rush anyway!

There is so much information out there I suggest you do a search and get reading. No amount of me ‘jabbering on’ will convince you, only you can convince you. That’s what I’ve done, convinced myself by seeing and feeling the results. I have 3 pairs of minimalist shoes now, I won’t wear anything else, I walk everywhere knowing that every step I take is a healthy step towards better balance, better circulation, (by the very fact that all my bones are moving as designed to, aiding circulation etc). And as my destination is better health for me as I reach retirement and well beyond, then anything to help that is a plus in my book. 😃

To be continued!
2 Mar 2020

I’m breathing wrong! ........... But it’s natural isn’t it?

So I’ve read even more of Patrick McKeown’s book ‘The Oxygen Advantage”, and it’s really interesting. One particular title that spoke to me: ‘Noses are for breathing, mouths are for eating’ - It talks about how many of us become habitual mouth breathers and what effect this has on the CO2 balance in our system that ultimately effects how much oxygen is actually taken up by our body - all highly technical but equally as interesting.

Anyway have you actually tried to breathe just through your nose? All day and all night? (All night is even harder - and if you wake up with a dry mouth then you haven’t managed it!). You can see the benefit because through your nose uses the diaphragm, and should be almost silent. (Through your mouth uses the chest). It’s also the most relaxed way and reduces the stress level, rather than invoking the ‘fight or flight’ reaction - which increases the stress level.

The Tarahumara tribe can run for hours and hours chasing down game, (Born to run - Christopher McDougal), and they always breathe through their noses! So it is saying that even when exerting, (ie the gym etc), we should still breathe through our noses, calmly, keeping the CO2 levels correct so as to allow maximum uptake of oxygen - as breathing too much actually decreases the CO2 level below what it should be, meaning not enough oxygen is taken up and leading to exhaustion and even more lactic acid production. All highly technical but worth looking in to I think. 

29 Feb 2020

Breathing!

Ok so surely breathing is natural.

Some time before I started at the gym I was having palpitations. At the same time I was getting moaned at every night for snoring, and I must admit I think I had sleep apnea as I would occasionally wake up suddenly with an almighty ‘thump’ in my chest - and it wasn’t my wife getting annoyed!

I knew I wasn’t feeling great on a regular basis but came to the realisation that on band rehearsal night, (I play tenor sax in a big band), I would go feeling iffy but return home feeling fine - playing sax in a big band requires long breathes.

I have this habit of whistling constantly but by both blowing and sucking, exhaling and inhaling, and this has the effect of short breathing. My visit to the doctors for palpitations resulted in a high BP and the need to return for an ECG. In the week between I made sure I did some relaxed breathing exercises and do you know what? My BP lowered and the ECG was fine - so I wasn’t breathing properly.



The latest Dr Rangan Chatterjee Feel Better Live More podcast #99 with Patrick McKeown talks about breathing and how most of us have got it wrong. His book The Oxygen Advantage is my latest addition from Kindle. 

So I’ve had to relearn how to walk at 60 and now how to breathe!!

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