All posts filed under: Health

Gluten

Let me start by saying that I would prefer to eat gluten if I could. I’m not an advocate for avoiding the protein just because it might make you sluggish or drowsy. Unfortunately, I have to avoid it for other reasons. Eating above a certain threshold of gluten causes my skin to break out and gives me an upset stomach. It’s a serious issue. I can’t drink many of my favorite beers without starting to itch. I should say these beers used to be my favorite. I developed a gluten allergy in my mid-twenties and went to a dermatologist on multiple occasions, was prescribed steroids, and, subsequently, met with little success when it came to a remedy. In the end, I was fortunate enough to meet someone who suggested a gluten fast. It helped, but it severely limits what I’m able to consume, which may have resulted in one of my first extreme exercises in discipline. But now, by default, I’m receiving all of the benefits of a low carb diet. I’ve not gone on …

Stretching

Routine stretching at the end of the day has been a goal of mine off and on for the last few years. The fact that doing a split hasn’t necessarily been my goal could be the reason that I’ve been unsuccessful in making it a habit. In other words, the lack of a measurable outcome could be undercutting my level of commitment. But there may be something else. I don’t see stretching as absolutely necessary. I’m sure it’s wrong to think that, but the fact that there is debate hasn’t helped. The truth is I shouldn’t care if others find stretching unnecessary. I sprained my knee in my late teens, and I know that a concentrated stretch of my hamstrings decreases the tightness I feel around that knee right after a run. Regardless of whether a good stretch is beneficial before and after a run (or any other time), I would like to be more limber for more general physical benefits. Increased flexibility–including the ability to touch my toes–and one day being able to do …

Bye Day

Working out four to five times per week over six to eight weeks amounts to about 40 workouts. Sometimes I find that pace–combined with everything else I have to do–to be exhausting. So, from time to time, I grant myself a bit of a reprieve by allowing one pass or bye day per six to eight-week series. A good workout routine should be about six to eight weeks, followed by a few days off. (According to what I’ve read, this is also a good time to change up what you’re doing in the gym.) I said “a few off days,” but I’ll take as much as a week. So, I cash in a bye day when I’m too busy or too tired to make it to the gym. My workouts are either cardio or sessions of weights. So, on a week with a bye day, I do at least a day or two of lifting and cardio each and attempt at an alternative workout (e.g., a trip to the climbing gym or a long mountain …

Jump Rope

I haven’t been able to figure out why but, for some reason, jumping rope is pretty easy for me. Granted, I’m not jumping for excessive amounts of time (e.g., an hour), but I consider a session of 20 minutes to be somewhat significant. Contrast this with my ability–or lack thereof–to jog. I’ve worked up to being able to run as much as three or four miles, but I never really enjoy it. Maybe I shouldn’t say that. If I hated it, I wouldn’t keep doing it, and I run a couple of times each week. A better way to describe my views on running would be to say that it causes me a lot more strain than jumping rope. When I first started with a jump rope, I went at it with gusto. I was jumping 20 straight minutes and only stopping when the rope got tangled up in my feet, which happened less often as I began to jump consistently. But because jumping rope burns so many calories, I don’t feel the need to …

Diet

My diet goal is to find something sustainable. I’m looking for a balance between keeping fit and indulging in the occasional drink or dessert. For the most part, I steer clear of any extreme diet programs because they offer only short term fixes. I’m concerned with the long-term. I’m most likely not the target market for fad diets, anyway. I don’t need to lose excessive amounts of weight, and I’m more or less okay with the last ten pounds. In other words, it’s not my goal to “get shredded.” Most people realize maintaining an extremely low body fat percentage is pretty unsustainable. And I believe there’s a medium that will allow me to perform activities like jogging or bouldering at optimum performance levels. The way I’ve approached my goal is by counting calories. The Mayo Clinic states that gaining or losing weight is a matter of simple mathematics. Addition and subtraction, to be specific. If you decrease the amount of food you eat, then you’ll lose weight. The most important thing I’ve done may be …

Weightlifting

Building muscle takes time. But the physique can be transformed through sweat and consistency. Of course, it also requires real dedication (and often a team of people) to obtain model-like aesthetics or the level of fitness obtained by professional athletes. …