Tag Archives: Fitness

Physical Wellness

I think this is a topic that is automatically misunderstood because people allow their own insecurities and fears to color the topic. And the more a person allows this aspect of their life to stagnate the more the topic seems daunting and unnecessary. After-all, one has lived this long not worrying about, so why does it matter? They are already preparing to argue against a daily work-out routine. Ready with excuses on why they can’t run or jog. But it isn’t even about that.

This is just about being healthy. Yes, get active. Sure, get “in shape” whatever the hell that means. But mainly – just be mindful of your physical well-being. A personal example is something I wrote about once in this little journal. I had a hernia. Originally I was given the wait and see approach. The type of hernia I had (there are many different kinds) isn’t always considered dangerous. And mine was so small, it wasn’t a concern to the doctor. Of course, I am a crazy monkey that does enjoy being active. I love reacting Dagobah Jedi training. Give me mud runs, swing from ropes, handstands, full body workouts. Lets do this. Anyhow – that type of activity is not really helpful to a hernia. So after a couple of years of Spartan Races and very active Jedi Living it got progressively worse. Until one Spartan Race I seriously made it worse. I then ran another Spartan Race a few months later (it was for a charity and I couldn’t back out), in which made it so I had to get surgery. That is why they take a wait and see approach sometimes, because the only way to fix the type of hernia I had was with surgery.

So last Thursday (a week ago) I underwent surgery. The surgeon told me that I was right to get it fixed right away. It was at a very dangerous level and had grown large. I have spent the last week healing up. This is a part of physical wellness. Surgery, Medication, Doctors, your personal health is what we are talking about. Resting in bed for a week when I’d rather be doing anything else. Not being able to begin slowly working out again for another 6 to 8 weeks from now. Which I dislike. I feel like I am wasting away and getting fat at the exact same time. I can’t keep up my Luke in the swamps training. I can’t even do my little morning exercises I encourage other Jedi to do. No runs. Heck I still cannot even take my dog for his walks because he gets excited and pulls on the leash and that strain is too much. But this resting and healing is a core part of physical wellness.

When sick – don’t push yourself. Your body is telling you. Yo! Need some rest to fight this internal battle. So help out. Get the Orange Juice, get bed rest, and allow yourself to heal up. Part of being healthy is taking care of your health. Amazing I know. Break through wisdom right there. But it seems so many overlook that simple and obvious premise. So busy that one cannot spare time to rest and heal. Stop, Rest, Revitalize, and then you’ll be able to attack the day again at 100%.

10 Jedi Running Tips

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Pain – Is Not A Part of the Process. Yes, you will have muscle soreness. But shin-splint aren’t “just a by-product” of running. Joint pain is not “just a part of running”. Pain is a sign something is not working. Bad posture, over-exerting yourself, not recovering properly. You should be sore. But there is a big difference between muscle soreness and hurting yourself. If you’re experiencing pain – see a professional. Check with your doctor that you don’t have any issues preventing running. Go to a running clinic. See a sports-doctor. Or, you know, stop trying to be Usain Bolt and go easy on your runs. Be Sore, Not in Pain.

Relax – You are running, not disarming a bomb with 10 seconds left on the timer. You are not trying to solve all world problems. You are going for a run to help improve your overall well-being. So deep breath, relax, and be mindful that this extends to other areas. Your jaw should not be clenched during your runs. Relax. Breathe.
This extends to your hands: Keep your hands loose and below your chest. No making fists. Don’t punch forward, this isn’t a movie and you aren’t Rocky. Don’t hold anything. If you must (music player, dog leash) switch hands halfway through the run and make sure you aren’t squeezing the life out of what you holding.
This also extends to your upper body. Your shoulders should be at a natural position. If you need to, shrug your shoulders to your ears and let them fall naturally into place. Don’t be a statue. Don’t tense up. Enjoy the time you have to run.

Elbows – Running is very engaging, but make sure you aren’t over-extending or over-exerting yourself. Keep you elbows bent at about 90 degrees (or less). Don’t lose that bend in the “back swing”. You want to keep your arms close to you. In other words no failing arms, no windmills. Don’t waste energy swing your arms around. This goes with the above. Loose, relaxed, but not flinging about the place.

Your Core – Is your friend. Posture is important. So stand up straight. No leaning forward, no hunching over, and if any point you find yourself bent forward at the waist either correct it (or if you have been running awhile, consider that you are done for the day). Run tall. A natural slight lean forward will generally occur when you do so (from the ankles, not the waist). But relax, head up, run tall. Your body will work itself out.
Core training will help with this. Enjoy some nice core exercises in your overall routine. A strong core will help immensely with running posture. So don’t just count on running.

Quick-Stride – Don’t extend your stride. Avoid reaching forward with you foot. Longer strides are not your friend. This is where a lot of injury tends to happen. You are creating impact shocks which can damage joints and muscle. So keep a short, natural, quick stride. No worries, we got you covered on the how.

Strike – Your foot should strike under your knee. Foot-fall should not be in front of your knee. I prefer a mid-foot strike myself, but doesn’t matter if it is forefoot, mid, or heel (which I don’t like). The key is to make sure your foot is not in front of your knee. Especially if you are running downhill. Put your foot down under your hips. This requires a short stride and helps to keep you from over-extending. You are pushing up and off the ground. You can’t push up and off if you are over-extended pass the hips.

Cadence – 170 should be good for most people, eventually you can hit the generally accepted number of 180. What does this mean and how can you figure it out? This is simply how many times your feet hit the ground in one minute. So you could count how many times your right foot hits the ground in a minute, double it, and you’ll have your number. Or you can count your steps for 15 seconds and times that by four and you’ll have your number. Or I am sure there is some app out there for it. Either way you should look to get a cadence around 180 (it is a general guideline and not an exact number). Know what helps this? Not over-extending with long strides.

Breathe – Yeah. Repeating a bit here. But you should seek to have a good steady breath during your runs. Will you become out of breath? Eventually, sure. But if you are huffing and puffing, then you are most likely leaning forward and over-extending your stride. So just stop. Jedi can seek to modify the calming breath to help regulate. Or simply, in-breath three steps, out-breath three steps. Regulating your breathing is important and can help avoid cramping up during runs. Like the cadence this isn’t stone. Just something to be mindful of and to help make sure you aren’t killing yourself (especially on your first couple of outings).

Preparation – Invest in yourself and your physical well-being. Running can be a wonderful stress reliever. It can be a great meditation. It can be a wonderful tool. But you have to put a little effort into it. Preparation is key. That means making sure you have good shoes. Proper support makes a difference. That means taking the time to stretch out properly before your run. It means making sure you stay hydrated. In means not eating a McDonald’s Big Platter breakfast ten minutes before you go running. Or wearing sweatpants when it is 100 degrees outside. Invest in yourself and your practice – as you would anything else. Talk to the experts and get properly outfitted.

Recovery – Give yourself time to recover. Makes changes gradually and allow for your body to adjust. A good diet and plenty of water will help your recovery time/process. If you have a love one that likes to spoil you – get some massage time in.

Patience – Seriously, you are not Pheidippides (thankfully). This is a PROCESS. Start slow. Listen to your body DURING your runs. If you’re done after five minutes, you are done. How do you feel the next day? Good? Five minutes again, see maybe about seven minutes, if not no worries. Build up. Don’t worry about speed or distance when you first begin. Just focus on good running posture and listening to your body. At the end of your run: You should be sweaty and out of breath, but still smiling and feeling good. And absolutely you should be walking a bit funny the next day, but only because of sore leg muscles, not painful injuries.

Four Tips to Improve Your Jedi Training

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1.) Exercise: Mind and Body. You probably hear this advice all the time. Get out and get some exercise. Chemically you produce endorphin which, awesome. It provides a time to focus and clear the mind. A it addresses point number three by punishing the past you, gives a good experience for present you, and a nice gift for future you. Exercising is just good for you. But don’t forget that muscle in your skull. Exercise by reading and studying. Fictional or otherwise, pick up some books and experience and explore some new ideas, feelings, and concepts.
2.) No Days Off: Jedi is a lifestyle, not a job. You don’t get a weekend to forget being a Jedi. This doesn’t mean no fun of course. Plenty of fun to be had as a Jedi, of course. And there will be days where you just don’t want to do ANYTHING. But just before you go to bed a bit unhappy that you in fact didn’t do anything. Stop. Do one push-up and one sit-up. Pick up a book and read one sentence. Recite the Jedi Code in your head just once. Take a deep breath and remember point four. Now you can go to bed. Just one, you can do at least that. Because one is not nothing.
3.) Honor All of You: The Past, Present, and Future all factor into our lives. Acknowledge your past self. While you may not agree with past decisions, they have helped lead to to this moment. Be grateful for that. You are alive and in a position to doing something. You can drive towards your goal. Secondly, we hear it a lot. Focus on the present. Embrace this moment because it is very important. Indeed, “keep the mind here and now where it belongs.” Vital and plays a part to the person we usually hurt the most – our future self. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Be kind to that future you. Understand you will be there, your next moment depends on this one, so do right by it. Give your future self something to be grateful for. Stop hindering and harming yourself and start building the steps that you’ll use to get to the next level.
4.) Accept It: This is most important. Some might label this – Forgive Yourself. Either way the point is the same – realize that what is done is in fact done. You will make mistakes. You will have days where you do one push-up, one sit-up, and read one sentence, because you just couldn’t get going. We all have bad days, rough weeks, and sometimes horrible months. Do not let it define you. Do not get so down on yourself that you give up. Accept it. Forgive Yourself. Move Forward. Right now. You can make the decision to simply let go and move forward. Difficult? Absolutely. Impossible? Of course not. Will it take time? Yep. Effort and hard work? Yep. Will it be worth it? Ab-so-Forcing-lutely. So accept and continue towards your goal Jedi.

A Fit Truth

As the year winds down and the new year approaches many start turning their eye to the popular resolution of being in better shape. One of the big hurdles people face when it comes to physical fitness is approaching it with the right mindset. There are two core things to remember any start is a good start as long as you keep it up. And it is important to pace yourself. 

Start slow, easy. This is core. It is about having fun. Not making it a chore to be dreaded. You shouldn’t be unable to move the next couple of days. That is not the way you want to go about it. The whole pain is gain mentality is for those that enjoy the gym and really enjoy intense work-outs. For the average person, you want to avoid the punishment of working out. 

So pick something light. Listen to your body. You want to push yourself a little – it is a work-out after all, not a walk to the refrigerator. But be mindful. Stretch, stay hydrated, and be active for your set time. If you can handle a 30 minute jog, handle it. If 15 minutes in you find yourself done, then be done. 

The mistake is making this First Work-out your One Work-out. It is a process. The first time out is just warming up. Getting back into doing something active and fun once a day. Don’t dust off the old work-out routine you did twenty years ago. Don’t push yourself to the point of injury. 

Working out is not a punishment. Make it a reward. Make it your time. A time when you get to lose yourself to music and scenery. A time just for you to test and compete with yourself. And when you hit your limit, call it a day and look forward to picking back up tomorrow.

Slow and steady wins the race. It is about building a solid foundation that you can grow upon. So don’t try to dead lift 200 pounds your first time working out. Don’t look to run for 10 miles. Don’t try to do 100 burpees in one go. Build up to your goals – don’t try to accomplish them on day one.