So here’s the question: WHY?
Against the illuminating knowledge that the Coronavirus has struck the elderly much more fiercely than other age groups and kids for the most part have been spared or recovered from the illness at much higher rates, it’s important to ask why. So here’s the question: WHY?
The fact is we own a pretty cool vehicle. Our bodies are much finer than the sexiest Tesla or Ferrari. Our bodies last much longer than an automobile. A car’s computer and engine might transact dozens of calculations in real-time. Your body and mine transact over a billion chemical reactions in real-time. No joke. Our bodies are impressive machines or vehicles in which we as a conscious being gets to move around the planet. Of course, we are not moving around very much right now.
The most fundamental, basic tenet of Optimal Health is to practice self-care. If you don’t take care of you who will? Yes, indeed. It’s your responsibility to keep yourself toned, fit, well-fed, exercised, rested and able to digest what you eat and turn that nourishment into energy and vitality.
How do we do that during a lock down? I used to be a daily swimmer. I am lucky I had a gym with a great pool and if I timed it right, I always had a lane to swim in. I bought an overhead snorkel and little swim fins so I could really make some waves. I swam between about 20 – 30 minutes every day. Of course, I am no Michael Phelps who grew up near here, but you’ve heard that swimming is one of the best exercises as it uses every muscle you have. Without the ability to swim, it took me a few days to figure out what I was going to do.
I have owned a rebounder for more than ten years. I dusted it off and it sits in the middle of the living room. I can watch TV and rebound which applies 2x G-force to my body which helps my muscles as well as forces my lymph fluids to keep moving. Astronauts train on re-bounders. If it’s good enough for astronauts, it’s good enough for me.
I also own a kettle bell and some free weights. I wasn’t using them much but found a way to make sure I swing it every day. Once I move off the couch, I put the kettle-bell in the middle of the couch, which means if I want to use the couch I have to move the kettle-bell. Once I pick it up, why not swing it a few times! You get the idea. Attach the things we want to other behaviors in order to make implementation easier. Our goals never let us down, only the implementation. Finding the shortest distance between the goal and the implementation is the key to success.
Practice essential-ism. What is absolutely essential in terms of health?
Goal 1: Keeping the mind in good shape. Being happy and joyful. Knowing that troubles may come but they don’t have to stay. We can work through them, be exercised by them and get to the sunny mountaintop again. One root of bitterness that is allowed to reside will turn health into illness. Make it a goal to stay mentally fit, which means to keep a good attitude about life’s bumps. Take things in stride. Don’t let outside events get your emotions bent out of shape. If you remember to be kind and grateful for the good things, that’ll dwarf the inconveniences of life.
Goal 2:Exercise daily because your body will repay your in spades. Anything you can do to improve your fitness level. Make that a goal too. I saw a grandma using to cans of peas as weights to do her exercise. Personally, I feel better when I get a five mile walk in, but I am happy when I do 3 miles. One day, I’ll swim again
Goal 3: Imbibing real food. Nutrition. Just say NO to junk. Junk is junk. Food is food. There is no such thing as junk food. If it’s junk it’s not food and you can tell it’s junk by the amount of processing. There are insidious ingredients in processed foods. The battle is between shelf life and profits and the degradation of natural real food. Hope that is clear. But the bottom line is health sits in the middle, the crux of the gut. If your microbiome is well-fed with pre-biotics and good nutrition, it helps the immune system, and provides the fuel for life. Whatever you can do to eat well will be well rewarded. Ensure you are in a peaceful state when you eat. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly. It’s impossible to digest food when you are stressed. (Everything goes back to mind state eventually.)
Lastly, Goal 4:Sleep. The biggest obstacle to sleep goes back to where we began with mind state. Let go of wrongs and make things right. The Good Book says, Let not the sun go down upon your wrath. I had a hard time discerning the meaning, but it’s simple. Don’t take your troubles to bed. Park them somewhere in a cave and let them go. You’ll sleep more soundly. You’ll wake refreshed and ready to start a new day. If you feel you need to go pick up the troubles again, so be it. But maybe you’ll realize they can stay in the parked place and you no longer need them. When you sleep, you recharge, replenish, repair and find respite from the crazy coronavirus.
If you follow these four rules, your numerical age is just a number.
Let me know how you are doing with the stay at home, shelter in place orders!