I've kind of been overdoing it the past few weeks with exercise, going out and food.
Too much cardio. I've been doing a little too much kickboxing and other various metabolic conditioning routines, usually for consecutive days with little rest and a little too intense. I think subconsciously I've been doing this to counteract all the little indulgences I've been engaging in a bit too frequently.
Not enough sprinting; once every two weeks (I like to do it once a week). Because of my ridiculous cardio workouts, I've been too sore and stiff to get out and really do what I enjoy, sprint! I also find that when I perform too much cardiovascular exercise, I don't have the energy (or sometimes desire) to do my other favorite activity that I love, SURFING! I plan to get back to both... more sprinting (a reasonable amount) and more surfing. They both keep me sane.
Not enough body weight stuff. I've been missing my bar and ground acrobatics and love mixing this up with the sprints. Handstands, pull-ups, push-ups, dips, levers, planches, flags, all the crazy gymnastics and circus stuff. I feel like Tarzan or an ape when I do this stuff! It's my thing.
TOO MUCH WINE, CHEESE, AND SUGAR! Yep, definitely been indulging with these too much and it certainly has taken its toll. Mood has been fairly inconsistent, (mostly bad and negative) and sleep has sucked. The cheese isn't really too much of a problem, the problem is that I usually like to couple the cheese with copious amount of red wine... which then leads to copious amounts of cheese which then leads to... not good.
I upped my sugar intake again in my coffee, TOO MUCH, and have been doing dessert a little too frequently. Again, I notice this mostly with poor sleep, waking up groggy and lowered energy levels.
My wife and I have been going out too much. Well, not really, compared to what we used to do. But, I've been getting that "feeling" you get when you know you're spending money on stuff you don't need (material goods) or on restaurant food (which is NEVER as good as a home cooked meal) and you feel like you just wasted both your time and money. Yep, too much of that.
With that being said, it's time to get back to simplicity. I find that when you simplify or limit certain things in your life, you appreciate all that you indulge in (and most everything else for that matter) that much more when you do indulge. Some things I like to do when simplifying my life are:
- Limit T.V., Internet, and most electronic stimuli as a form of entertainment. 90 percent (probably more than that) of what is on T.V., talk radio, the Internet, etc. is all crap and only complicates peoples lives. Turn that stuff OFF!
- Eat real, whole, natural food; meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. This comes easy to me. Boxed stuff doesn't taste good and is loaded with junk. When you REALLY eat well, as described by the food choices above, I find that I really don't want much of the crap, it just doesn't even taste good.
- Limit sugar, desserts, coffee and alcohol. My sweet-tooth is my weakness. Must defeat! I only do coffee in the morning and not too much, I just put too much sugar in it! Alcohol is also not a problem, but it can mess with sleep and I get enough disturbances with that through my job so, I can use all the quality sleep I can get. Which brings me to...
- Go to bed early and get adequate sleep. Try to wind down with a book, some low music or some good conversation with family. Don't watch Hannity and then think your mind is going to be clear of mindless thoughts while lying in bed.
- Limit exercise but when I do partake, make the sessions count; i.e. short, fast, intense bursts of strength, speed and power... and do it all outside. My favorite (and what I believe is the BEST way to stay in great shape) workout is to get outside, sprint barefoot, and mix it up with body weight exercise. There is absolutely no reliance on a gym, equipment, (even shoes in my case) or a huge block of time. 20-30 minutes of brief, all-out sprints with some push-ups, pull-ups, dips, mixed in out in the natural sunlight is ALL you really need to look and feel great.
- Walk more, not just around the neighborhood, but at social events; farmer's markets, festivals, the beach, etc. Change the environment. Walking briskly for 30 minutes to an hour is all fine and well but it's certainly not needed all the time or for that matter, the majority of time. I like to get out and leisurely stroll around various venues when I can; farmer's markets, art galleries/walks, the beach, nature trails, the mall (preferably outdoors), festivals, etc. Doing it with your spouse and/or family, friends or your dog (he falls under family for me) always makes it more enjoyable.
- Spend more quality time with family and friends. A lot of people spend all their time worrying about getting the right kind or enough exercise or eating the perfect foods or choosing the perfect diet and miss whats mostly important - family and friends. Yes, other cultures from around the world that have longevity as a commonality between them certainly have common factors such as eating real, whole food and staying active daily. But, what we as Americans fail to recognize is the sense of family and community with which these cultures have in common as well. This, I believe, along with a strong faith in a higher power (something bigger than yourself) whatever that may be, is what truly allows these various cultures to live happy, energetic and long lives. Not just Americans, but Western society as a whole, places the most emphasis and spends the most money on looking a certain way, eating a certain way, and just living a certain way that we're completely missing the boat to what truly matters. With so much emphasis placed on these things, you would think that we'd be leading the pack when it comes to health and longevity but that couldn't be further from the truth. So, put down you Cosmopolitan and Men's Health magazines, call your parents, siblings, spouse, children or friends, grab a cup of coffee, go take a walk and have some good conversation. Just... hold the sugar!