Category Archives: Health – Kind of

Where’s the Inner Peace Button?

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People do many things to make themselves feel better; for instance, shopping, eating, drinking, or binge watching Making a Murderer. The act of consoling oneself comes in many forms, most being self-destructive.  I’m guilty of all of the above.  It takes an especially strong and confident person to view setbacks as temporary. These people have inner peace.

Unfortunately, finding inner peace is easier said than done. Humans weren’t created with a “reset” button, or, what I would call, an Inner Peace Button.  The trick is to find that elusive high of happiness more often and making it last.

Swami Satchidananda said, “Nothing can bring you lasting happiness and inner peace . . . for you have it already if you just quiet down your mind and body enough to experience it.”  Swami Satchidananda was a spiritual leader from India who brought awareness of various yoga practices to the west.  His real name is really long, but just picture an Indian fellow with white hair and a really long white beard dressed in a wizard outfit, and that’s him.

Satchidananda” is defined as.

Sat means Existence or Truth. Chid is the expression, knowledge, of it. Ananda is the Bliss you get out of it. So Truth, Knowledge, Bliss is what we mean by the word Satchidananda. In a way, the meaning could be compared to the Holy Trinity.

Some Catholics may not like the comparison to the Holy Trinity, but I understand this simple explanation more than I have ever understood anything in church.  The first time I heard the word “Ananda” and learned the meaning, I loved it.  I even want to tattoo it on my body hoping it will be my “reset” button.  The only thing holding me back is the Catholic guilt of skipping the first two steps.  When I figure out how to simply achieve Ananda, I will post my tips.

In the meantime, stopping to reflect using meditation, yoga, or maybe punching yourself in the face a few times, will take your mind off of your troubles and quiet your mind.  I wish you all the peace in the world.  Happy hunting.

Carpe Diem and Anada

person meditating

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HIIT Workouts – Bigger, Better and Deadly?

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On Fridays around 11:45 a.m., like a robot, I rise from my desk chair and mechanically walk to my car.  With my eyes glazed over from my computer, I drive to the gym on the other side of the highway from my office.  About 20 minutes later, I’m struggling to breath and trying not to vomit.  I wonder, “Why am I doing this to myself?”

That’s what I think every Friday at about 12:10 p.m. as I’m running sprints, doing burpees, push-ups and dips, and getting screamed at my someone half my age.  It’s a class designed by Nike.  It’s 60 minutes of lung heaving, vomit inducing “high intensity interval training.”  Boot camp junkies live for this kind of abuse, and I will say, after about four weeks, even just once a week, I saw results.  I’m stronger, fitter, and can usually maintain for the first 15 minutes without passing out.  But that doesn’t necessarily make it good.

I have been attending various boot camps and high intensity type training classes for years, but other than boxing, I have never experienced anything this hard, and rarely go the full 60 minutes. Then, one day after working out I was purchasing a quick fix of protein, when the 19-year-old perky blonde behind the counter inquired about my workout.  She then told me that I needed to add some HIIT to my routine and I could find various HIIT workouts online for free.  When I was 19, I used to hand out unsolicited advice like this, and wondered why old people would give me dirty looks.  NOW I KNOW.

But I did want to know more about it, and immediately hit the computer for more HIIT information.  I learned that HIIT workouts are designed to be for 5 to 30 minutes in length.  It’s high intensity exercise with short down periods for recovery.  I had been killing myself for hours in and out of the gym for years, dang!   However, the downside of HIIT workouts was disturbing.

If you search HIIT, you find endless articles about the dangers.  For example, writers discuss the depletion of oxygen and the various consequences from high intensity workouts.  People are having strokes, permanent loss of muscle, and other various horrible illnesses including death.  The number of articles and various finger-pointing accusations was astounding.  Even crazier are the number of people lining up for the new Insanity class that has now hit the gym.  12-minute-sport-HIIT-6-731x1024

Yes, the information was scary, and I have changed my attitude while working out.  It hasn’t stopped me from going to my Nike “Puke” class, but now when I’m gasping for air and sweating profusely, I do slow down, dawn an oxygen mask and reach for the Gatorade.  My limbs have not stopped working yet, and I appear to still have liver and kidney function, so I’m going to continue.  In fact, I purchased the 21 Day Fix workout (same peeps that developed the Insanity and P90X workouts) to add to my regular lunch time workouts.  So now, not only am I working out a lot, but I’m starving myself for 21 days.  Wish me luck.

Carpe Diem