ONE. It’s a concept that’s quite loaded. When I think of that word, I think of a Yoga studio here in Vancouver that I attended the opening of, filled with stylish yogis doing much better down dogs then me and having much longer hair then me. I think of airy hippies floating around a circle with magic beads encouraging us to become one with the world, our thoughts, others, and roar like the lions (or tigresses) we are. I think of Bob Marley bouncing around with his Rastafarians on a stage with big amps, one love man. I think of one more cup of coffee, for the road. I think of the feeling of walking through the forest with something I cannot call by name tingling up my spine like a vine.
You see, I’ve become conflicted with how ONE can be ONE in our current world’s trajectory, a marketed ONE. It seems to me it’s conflicting. We’re encouraged to get more followers on social media, because when we do, we’ll get more people interested in our images, reading our messages, which means we might make it big or get that big sponsor, you know, become ONE, find our ONE truth. Mo’ money cause this hustler is ONE. We’re given slogans reminding us to get out more, explore more, see more of the world, meet more people, connect with more people… all of this shouted loudly and vibrantly and from hip tongues by society’s climbers, and believed – or perhaps regurgitated – by many more. I’ve believed them for so long, reworded them to explain to others. Moreso, I respect the concepts. Continue reading →
I’ve been surrounded somewhat by death these days. Well, there is also some beautiful new life in my world too, but this is on death so we’ll ignore them for the time being.
My grandmother says that as she gets older her friends just keep dying. It seems like for me, the older that I’ve been getting, my friends, or my friends friends, or my uncles, or my great uncles, or my… have started passing away.
I was talking last night with my father about this, and he said it’s disgusting. This death. Specifically with regards to cancer, but I think premature death is always sad, not necessarily disgusting, but just unfortunate and sad. I’m talking death from a disease or accident.
Sitting here, I’m thinking about books my grandmother has given me on yoga.
Let me step back a moment.
I am very interested in photographs, and I’ve taken most of my grandmothers photographs from her albums and scanned them and made them digital. For her own continuity and for mine. Who knows what will happen to those albums. As a result, I’ve gotten to know a lot more about my grandmother in her earlier years, in her young adult life especially, and I have seen how beautiful she was as a young woman.
This leads me to think about how graceful she may have been. How she would have practiced yoga? Did she use it for meditation, or did she use it for exercise? It’s funny, some of these books date back pretty far, long before Lululemon came around [isn’t that when/why most kids these days get into yoga? (kidding)].
Then, I phase back to reality and look at her now. I see her requiring 3 swings to get up from a chair. I see her hunched over with age. I hear her talk to me about how exhausting it is to even make breakfast in the morning. I am trying to convince her and everybody around her that she needs a maidservant to help her with daily tasks, just to make it easier on her.
My grandmother is 93 years old this year.
It kind of scares me how life has already just swept past me as if I’ve been sleeping. I know I’ve been awake, I know there have been many memories in there and many large events that have carried me along, but it still scares me how it goes so fast.
Father keeps telling me how he hates getting old. Who can blame him? I hate getting old too.
I want to live forever. If I was given the chance to live forever, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Easy choice.
I talk to people about this sometimes, and they look at me saying things like: “Why would you want to live forever? You would get so bored of things, and it would be so sad when all of the people you would come into contact with, your lovers, would die and leave you to continue on.” I say that’s hogwash. Sure, that would hurt. It may hurt so much I’d want to take my own life after a while, but I’d still do it, I’d still live forever. So what if I had a year of depression. So what if I slept a whole day away. I’d live forever. This kind of stuff would soon pass, and I’d find other things to occupy my mind keeping me in the moment. I like to think I’d stay motivated. Perhaps there could be a clause that if I didn’t stay motivated, I would start to age. On second thought, that would make me pretty anxious I think, so perhaps no clause. I don’t need a clause.
In my life right now, I know 4 people being effected by Cancer. I have lost people in my life who have meant a great deal to me from other causes too. Heart attacks, strokes, accidents, sicknesses.
How do you deal with death?
I take subtle queues from Qi. It teaches that one should not get too excited, nor too depressed, and that one should strive to find the balance in the middle where all of life just is. Expect that everything happens as it should, whether it’s good or bad, it’s just the way of the world and we cannot control that.
I like this attitude for some aspects in my life, like death, but I also feel that as a human I can inflict change into my life, change that I want to see happen. So sometimes I just don’t take things as it happens, sometimes I push forward for more. I think this attitude, after all, is what it means to live.
A body that is fed regular exercise is a healthy body. The Health Canada strongly recommends having 30 to 60 minutes of daily activity to ensure that the body stays fit. This does not have to happen all at the same time, but they do recommend for you to do it in at least 10 minute increments. Keeping an exercise schedule that is less than 10 minutes is not adequate enough to get one’s body warmed up, let alone keeping the heart rate up to ensure that maximum gain can be felt from the exercise.
We all feel the same way after work or school, when you just get in the door from a long day, and all you feel like doing is curling into bed and falling asleep. Don’t be ashamed, everybody feels this way. Its what you do when you feel that way that makes the difference between effective people and not effective people. It has proven that getting daily exercise increases blood flow, which in turn stimulates the mind, which in turn wakes a person up, makes them feel energetic and refreshed and ready to finish off the day with renewed enthusiasm. It also assists in reducing stress, strengthens the essential organs of the body, and will change your outlook on life. When you feel you have a healthy body, you will be that healthy person. The following are a few tricks that I use to ensure that I stick to healthy habit of exercise:
Play Aggressive Music
When you are driving home, or walk in the door, try putting on some music that you know makes you feel more aggressive. It will psych your mind up into a more energized state that will give you the motivation needed to get that exercise done. Start Off Slow. Note: don’t let this influence your driving habits though, that is just dangerous.
When you’re starting a new exercise habit, trying to get back into the mode of exercising your body, it’s hard to jump right into a 5 to 7 day a week schedule that immediately taxes your body. Start with a 3 day schedule, where your exercising say Monday, Wednesday, and Friday right after work.
Motivation has to come from within. Nobody is going to be a better motivator for yourself than yourself. You are the one looking at your body in the mirror, you are the one with health problems, you are the one that feels depressed, so it is you who needs to take charge of yourself and push ahead into new and exciting territory. When you are into a nice routine remember not to get comfortable with the same exercise that your doing every time, with the same amount of distance or weight used. Keep increasing your distance, or speed, or weight that your using to continually grow, pushing yourself to be the best that you can be. The best you only dreamed you had in you.
Also try and push yourself to try new activities. If you find that the same old ones are just dragging on you, try some new things that you’ve never known before. Shadow boxing or power walking, what about dancing?
Every person that I talk to always has the excuse that it’s just too much work, and they really don’t enjoy going to the gym to press the bench over their heads like a monkey. Not everybody needs to go to the gym to seek their exercise. Try playing a game of basketball, going for a hike in the woods, or practicing yoga. Sometimes if you focus on games or activities that require additional people to play you will find yourself using that as an excuse not to get your exercise, that nobody else wants to play. Keep a big list of activities that you enjoy doing that are individual activities, and that don’t require extra people to perform. The key here is to enjoy it. If you don’t actually enjoy going for a hike, or stretching for yoga, try and trick your mind into thinking its fun, smile and enjoy it! You’re making your body healthy.
It is extremely important to keep activities fun all the time. If you get in the same habit of doing the same routine day in and day out, it becomes monotonous and dull, which then decreases your interest in the activity, which in turns makes you resent the fact that it’s what your having to get motivated to do, which in turn makes it harder to motivate yourself to do it.
Nasty loop, I know. I’ve compiled an incomplete list of some fun activities you can partake in to keep things fun!
Some activities that can be done alone by yourself are as follows: Biking, walking, running, yoga, hiking, swimming, working out at a gym, dancing to some Otis Redding, snowboarding, skiing.
Some activities that can be done in a group of people are the following: Basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, football, hockey.
The key is to be creative here. Going to the same place every day, doing the same things just gets boring. Mixing it up with a variety of exercises will not only keep you enjoying it, but it will also get you working many different muscle groups to ensure that an all around exercise is met.
The core is an area of the body that spans from just below the pectorals to just above the knees; the center part of the body in essence. It is called the core because of its essential function to nearly all the muscle group of the body. The only muscle that I would consider more important is the brain, which we all know about by now! The core is such an essential part of the body because it’s where all major strength originates from: lifting, walking, getting up, sitting down, running, weight lifting, sex, shoveling snow, etc. Basically, no matter what you’re doing, you’re using the muscles in the core. Even sitting on the couch, watching tv, eventually you will have to get up from the couch, which requires the core muscles.
Some might argue that due to the fact that you’re always exercising the muscle group one doesn’t have to focus on it in their exercises. I believe the contrary; because it is so important, it should be focused on double fold to ensure it is properly exercised, and exercised to the max. This means it should specifically be focused on in every exercise routine. What I like to do is between every set I do at the gym, I pull of 20-30 situps. So, if I’m doing about 3-4 different sets at the gym, I’m putting in close to 90 situps too. Not only this way, but in between each set of reps, I throw in various quick activities like knee ups where my hands are on the ground and legs are extended out on top of a exercise ball, bringing the knees up to your chest and back out, or inverted pushups where your against a wall upside down.
Some other common ways to focus on this region are as I mentioned sit-ups, which include all varieties, running, pilates rubber band pulls, yoga, lunges, and any sports related fun activity. Yes, even bowling will work the core.
The point is, work the core. You use it everywhere, and it’s the center of your body that you originate all of your energy from. It may not give you the big arms you’re hoping for, but it’ll give you a great ass, and abs that kill if focused on properly, which is just as important. With this, you will also find that you have increased stamina that comes in handy ALWAYS!
Exercise is the most healthiest thing a person can do for their body, mind, and soul; something that Exercise and Mind is totally committed to.
Getting a proper work out of your whole body through regular exercise activities like yoga, stretching, weight lifting, exercise machines, dumbbell or resistance training, running, walking, and numerous other activities has been and will continue to be proven by scientific health journals around the globe, and personal experiences by millions of active exercisers, to be the number one reason of good health and positive attitudes.
Physical activity helps keep your body, mind, and soul healthy by stimulating chemicals in your brain that help relax your body that enables you to feel healthy and also give you positivity when you look in the mirror and see the benefits of what you’ve been working so hard at accomplishing.
Exercise has also been proven to help fight, prevent, or manage high blood pressure, belly fat, weight, skin health, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers to mention a few of the benefits!
Don’t put faith in diet pills, weight loss food programs, quick loss secrets. Motivate yourself to get the exercise your body deserves and you will not regret a single second of it.
Keeping active in your life undoubtedly is the best thing you can possibly do for yourself. Your confidence will grow, your sex life will improve, you will get noticed, and personally you will feel like you can conquer the world.
In this section you will find some strategies that we at Exercise and Mind find extremely advantageous to our personal well being that we would like to share with you.