Recovery Plan: Exercise…Why

Ok…honeymoon is over.  i’ve been kind and now it is time to be tough.  No one wants to be told they need to exercise.  If you like being told to exercise it is probably because you already engagein some sort of thing that helps your body.  Me.  i like food.

i don’t eat a lot, but i do like food, especially things like Boston Cream Pie (recipe on the site somewhere).  Now that, my friends, is the breakfast of champions.  i save pork, chicken and beef fat.  i render it down and use it for frying stuff.  There is nothing that compares to pastry made with homemade lard.

i can scarf down a half-pound of bacon with three eggs, if someone cooks it for me.  I have never mastered breakfast.  Ate Raisin Bran for breakfast most of my life.  Sarah is the amazing breakfast cook…ask any of the kids.  Now it is usually a bran muffin.  My bowels are happy, but the rest of me is dying for a great homemade breakfast.

My recipes use butter, cream, sugar, gluten, and whatever else i have laying around.  And, due to location, i sometimes have to adjust recipes as the ingredient is just not available here.

Like fresh fish.  i am surrounded by lakes filled with fish.  There’s pike, pickerel (walleye), panfish trout and others i can’t recall off the bat.  They are not particularly difficult to catch.  When fish are hungry they eat.  If they are not hungry, they do not eat.  You can probably tell i do not fish a lot.  i sit in a boat and think about things and look around and stuff.  Put a line in, sure, but not too terrible if i go home empty-handed.  I have a good day.  We can talk about my boat launching skills another time.

But i love fresh fish!  So you would think i could go to the local grocery store and get fresh, local fish.  Nope.  None.  Occasionally some thawed cod appears on the shelf…or a chunk of salmon.. and other stuff that has been spirited here from a faraway place by some magic force.  No fresh fish.  I use frozen of course, and that is ok.

But i used to love going to the market and seeing the fish and smelling the fish and watching the guys slice and filet with ease.  Fresh fish.  Nothing like a shore lunch, but that is anther time.

You thought i forgot about exercise, didn’t you?  Nope.  Just need you to know i am no paragon of virtue when it comes to the stuff i put in my body.  But i exercise.  Here is a final funny one before we get down to business.

OK!!!…one more

There you go.  Truth in a nutshell, folks.  Tired of being depressed?  Get off your ass for a little bit each day.  And you won’t get a six pack going to the fridge for a six pack.  Ha. Ha. Ha.  Seriously, though, exercise is a partial fix for all kinds of things.

After Sarah left and some of my wits returned, i realized i had been a stationary figure at my computer desk, playing nothing but computer games.  I got exercise in the gardens and blowing snow and stuff, but no regular exercise.

So when i would get exercise, i usually overdid it and paid a price in pain and suffering for the next couple of days, especially, remember…i don’t take pills like Advil.  i don’t suffer in silence, but i do suffer.  I am man…hear me whimper.

But now i have a plan.  I have a solid recovery plan.  And it will not work without regular exercise.  That is actually the base of the pyramid for me.  i’ve just come out of a serious depression and i am not healthy.  The mind takes a lot of work.  Exercise makes it easier for me to do the mind work.

We live on a “loop”…it is a one way thing with houses dotting along the way…just on one side of the road.  The other side of the road is forest.  Pretty thick forest. The loop is 1.5 km, according to Sarah.  Sarah used to take Bella for a walk every day.  This is a woman who goes to Europe with a backpack and walks trails…hundreds of kilometers…30 km a day kind of stuff.

Way out of my league and i like to walk for a reason.  Now i have a reason.  First of all, Bella goes nuts if she does not get some exercise.  She will whine and whimper and moan and drive me nuts …nuttier.  Exercise or get rid of the dog.  Dog is good for mental health.  Dog needs exercise.

And i need to exercise because it helps me control my anxiety and keeps my depression from coming back.  So the first step is to understand there is a great reason for doing this.  Here are some i can report from my own experience.

Improved mood.  Boy, is that ever true!  I rarely feel sad and even then it is appropriate sadness.  Exercise releases pleasure stuff into your system.  It may not feel it when you mind is begging you to stop the torture and stop at Tim’s.  My mind is out of luck, because the only coffee is back at the house.

Better sleep.  This is another huge thing!  Many of us have trouble sleeping due to anxiety.  The brain keeps chattering away and decides this is the time to have a conversation.

This rarely happens now.  i am busy for most of the day and am beat at the end of the day.  i guess i don’t have much stamina right now.  i have muscle, but no stamina.  It has been amazing to be able to go to bed and sleep.

It has been found that children handle stressors better and sleep more soundly if they get daily exercise.  And, while weight training is helpful, scientists have found that people who get regular cardio sleep more soundly.  And the effects of a good cardio workout will last longer, helping sleep for two nights, instead of one.  Cool.

Increased brain function.  Since i began a daily exercise routine, i have noticed improvements in my mental stamina.  i remember more and forget less.  i can concentrate on tasks for much longer than before.  And i feel sharp.  If you have wandered around in a fog for a long time, oxygen has incredible effects.

Higher self-esteem.  It feels good to have someone compliment you.  When you exercise your circulation improves and your skin will begin to glow with health.  And to have someone notice that “you look good” is a good boost at any time.  Notice i am not concentrating on weight loss or things like that.  We need to get moving.  If that stuff happens, great.

Distraction.  For that little bit of time, i am focussed on something else.  Me, well i have to concentrate.  Dust balls and squirrels are deadly.  When i exercise i focus on what i am doing.

This site is for grandparents…you know your grandma wouldn’t steer you wrong.  It is about the immediate benefits of exercise.   https://www.grandparents.com/health-and-wellbeing/exercise-and-de-stress/immediate-benefits-of-exercise

So what do you do, Mr. Talk-a-lot?

i walk Bella around the loop.  i lope along at a slow jog for about .5km and then walk the remaining 1km.  Bella loves it and that alone brings me extreme delight.  i do not push hard.  I just take my time and it is a pleasurable experience.

And i just signed on to a new site.  i do not profit from anything i mention here and would not accept free gifts or anything.  i refuse to cheapen my recovery by treating it like it is a money venture.  i just want to get better.

i posted a short Gratitude thingy from them.  The site is called Gaia.  i got it from the app store and it costs me about $10 a month.  The main draw for me is the yoga and mindfulness stuff.  i can’t even begin to describe how impressed i am with the resources at my disposal now.  So i will do some guided meditation and gentle yoga every morning.  I figure an hour should do it for me.  i’ll keep you posted.

Next:  Exercise….Doing it

Go for a walk,

John

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