Training And Health Developments

Training And Health Developments

I found myself looking at ways to find some value in the last days of my mother’s sudden death in February, 2021 as a way to move forward. The only takeaway I could find was the notion that I would do whatever I could to live out the remaining 40 years of my life in the best health I could be in her memory. The last year’s been a bit of an odyssey as I researched better health and developed the plan I am on now. I embarked upon it first with a consultation at my general practitioner’s office. My main complaint centered around a lack of energy. I felt I needed insight into why I spent my time so lethargic. I complained about waking up tired and going to bed tired. I noted I relied on sugar to keep me going throughout the day despite trying to give it up multiple times. I understand I am getting older, but the drop off in energy really acted on hampering what I could accomplish in the day to the point I felt that I was behind on nearly everything. We had already ruled out more serious concerns with blood tests and a visit to a specialist, so I requested a sleep study. My general practitioner referred me to a pulmonologist and soon I received my diagnosis – I would be using a CPAP device as therapy in order to improve my sleep.

The CPAP is changing everything for me. Although I don’t feel physically any different in the morning, mentally I am working on all cylinders. I did need to sample another mask configuration that enabled me to side sleep, and that seems to work. I can really feel it when I don’t wear it, and when I do I get more done in the day. This might be the keystone to building my mid-life health strategy as I try to maximize what energy I can before I reach old age. Here are a few other strategies I’m incorporating.

Weight Lifting

I accept now that I do not like cardio training, however, I love to lift weights. I find much satisfaction in “the pump”, which is the endorphin rush you get when the blood rushes to your muscles after exertion. Couple that with some music and I am in a good place. Not only does it make you look and feel good, but your new found strength comes in really handy around smaller children who always seem to have a wagon or bike that needs to be picked up.

Luckily, I found a small, very well equipped gym right up the street from me that I can use during lunch. It’s open 24 hours, 365 days a week. I can use cardio machines when I want to watch something and get sixty minutes in. Since I work from home I can workout and not worry about stinking around others. Huge win. Cardio-wise I do not foresee myself ever running again – too much strain on my feet and knees. I will most likely pivot to cycling only instead as that’s what I find myself doing at the gym.

Lap Swimming

I picked up swimming when training for triathlons (pre-COVID) and I am keeping it in the mix although I don’t foresee myself racing again. I do have an indoor pool I can frequent so folding it in is easy year round. I love lap swimming, it gives me time to think and be by myself. Sometimes I need to get away to get my head around things and swimming does it for me. I’ve abandoned the lunchtime swims and just do longer sessions on the weekend as I find I get more out of it that way. If I could get waterproof headphones and listen to my dozen audio-books I’ve had sitting in my queue I’d be in heaven.

Nutrition

You can’t out-train the fork. Nutrition is so important as you get older. Right now I’m pivoting towards protein and veggies, lighter on the carbs and away from fried foods and sugar. It’s not easy to transition but I do find when I eat right I feel really good and when I slip I feel terrible. I also find a good motivator is visiting a Cracker Barrell. That place is full of fat, swollen people whose problems can be fixed simply through diet. I wish they’d accept what that path is leading to them towards for themselves and their loved ones. At some point your health problems get too insurmountable, and you’re just hoping for the doctors can save you when you couldn’t save yourself. The problem is, they may act, but not fast enough, and then you’re done.

 

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