What improves the quality of life for you? Could it be healthy eating? Is it exercise? Is it a spiritual or religious practice? Or, is it living on some tropical island far from civilization and absent other humans? Or perhaps it is a bizarre cocktail of all of these, as your circumstance and resources allow?
There are so many issues and so many concepts to this question. Likewise, there are so many recommendations available to choose from.
Well, here is something for your consideration.
Today I came across a Twitter post that led me to a series of articles on the subject:
Exercise may increase lifespan ‘regardless of past activity levels’
Published Today By Ana Sandoiu
Fact checked by Marie Ellis
As for me, I do the cocktail. I do exercise, five to six days a week. Nothing all that dramatic. Nothing to challenge the routine of someone like “The Rock.”
Not that The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, “The Rock” guy!
My routine reflects my age and my favored activities. I’m not about to enter into a Mr. Universe contest. I don’t have that kind of time and interest. I just want a healthy body, a physically fit looking body, and I want to know that I can take care of myself when the rubber meets the road…
you know what I am talking about!
My interest is somewhat vain. I do want to look good in a tight “T” shirt…just kidding! I do want to look nice in my clothes, or in my swim trunks. I do not like the idea of flab hanging around in uncomfortable places. I don’t want to require help getting up the stairs, or walking up a slight hill. I want to be self-sufficient and capable. I must be capable of defending myself, this is an often challenging and dangerous world we live in.
I also want mental and spiritual health. I didn’t save this part for last for any particular reason, but it did work to get you to this point in the post. Some people do blanch at the mention of the word “spiritual.” As if someone is about to knock on your front door and pitch you on your life choices. That does happen enough for most, but not enough for some. It’s just not my focus right now…I will evangelize to you later! Insert smiley face here. Joking!
But, there is a spiritual element to my madness. I do meditate. I do pray. Each and every day, and each often more than once in a day. Why? It just works for me. It settles me and gives me a level of peace that I would not have otherwise. I also see this as a key part of my health and wellness regime. Running and lifting weights will get me some definite benefits, but prayer and meditation keep me going in a special way.
As for my exercise regime, I do time on an Elliptical thingy as a start. After that I go to a time of stretching, bending, and head, neck and back exercises. I then get into my least favorite activity, stomach and core work.
My goal? Working my one pack into a six pack…something along those lines. Maybe a four pack…I don’t know! Maybe a speed hump/bump look.
This, a definite a work in progress! Next, I move to the weights and machines. I like body resistance work, but sometimes hand-held weights work best. Being in the gym you might almost consider it a pressure environment to get you lifting heavy weights, as in, pumping iron. Well, while I don’t succumb to the extreme challenge, I will admit that I see a benefit to a little ironwork.
I guess the point of this overall post is to suggest to you that maybe you could consider some of the several options you have to upping your game in the area of exercise and health wellness. But also there is this next block.
Make Your Bed
Back-in-the-day, as I have often used as a reference tag, I was working in a support instructor capacity with a Naval Special Warfare, SEAL training program. And no, I was not a SEAL. During that time I had the opportunity to cross the path of Admiral William McRaven. Ok, maybe it was a quick word and handshake on base…whatever!
Admiral McRaven, now retired, was the highest ranking Navy SEAL, and was later the Commander of Special Operations Command. He was the person in charge during the operation that resulted in the capture and killing of the 9/11 mastermind, Osama bin Laden. After retirement, the Admiral became, among other things, an author. One of his books, in particular, became a tool in my counseling and teaching of men, sometimes women, but generally of persons seeking to improve the quality of their lives, and persons that found themselves in need of something to boost their mental, spiritual and health and welfare game. His book, which was also a part of his speech given to a graduating class at the University of Texas, is an inspiration to me. That book is titled “Make Your Bed.” I have included the link to a summary of the book for your interest. But my suggestion, don’t read the summary, get the book and read it now! It is a single day read, and for some of you, it might be a single sitting.
What the book talks about, in the simplest terms, is the idea that you begin your day with a win. You begin your day with the simple process of making your bed. Be honest, many of you know nothing of making your bed up first thing in the morning…yes, I have asked. I do this, and it began for me with reading this book. While I have never been a messy person in my home life, I, like many of you, was kind of lazy about such things like picking up my dirty clothes, putting things away, picking up my bath towel, and putting the toilet seat up, and/or down. The basic idea here is that you make your bed, you go out into the madness and drama that this world can present to you, and at the end of the day you return home…and you have a neat and orderly home, and bed. You got that right, from the start! You begin with a win. When you begin with a win, it makes the next win a little more possible. You gain a winning momentum.
So, as I mentioned earlier in this post I begin each day with a “thank you” and prayer. Next, I make my bed. Then I prepare myself for whatever my days schedule includes. Five days of the week my day begins with several hours at the gym. Then I go out and face the world.
My day begins with a feeling of accomplishment right from the start. Not only am I in gratitude for having awoken to a new one, after all, nothing is promised! But with this new day, I KNOW that God has blessed me, I have a new opportunity to get it right, and I get to enjoy the beauty of life, one more time…NOW!
Now, what a concept!
A further mention of the book is that the Admiral describes his own struggles becoming a Navy SEAL. And trust me, having lived and worked with the SEAL’s, I have a better than a casual familiarity with the difficult nature and process of becoming one. Let me say clearly, I would have loved to have been a SEAL. But given my knowledge of myself at a young age, one must be at to begin and hope to succeed at it, I might not have made it. We all believe we have lived through tuff times, and faced difficulty. But sometimes when you get a chance to view the world through someone else’s perspective and experience, you might take a pause.
“The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday.”
- Meaning: Every day you will need to work harder than the last. But when you work hard every day and see what you’re now capable of — yesterday seems easy.
Ok, enough, go out for a run, a walk, a bike ride…smell a rose, but keep the allergy meds close at hand. Enjoy and live!