Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Adventure

First of all, I hope each and every one of you had a Merry Christmas. I also hope that you remember the true meaning of Christmas and the real reason we should be celebrating the season.

My number 2 son wasn't able to join us this year as he's in the army and wasn't able to come home. The rest of the family was there and we had a good time. When you have a large family like I do and everyone gets everyone else a gift, opening the presents can take awhile. But it's always fun and I love seeing the other's faces when they open a gift.

I resisted for a long time about getting my wife a wish list as there really wasn't anything I needed or wanted but I finally gave in after much pestering and made one up. I told her socks, a hoodie, a new basketball, a 10 pound medicine ball, and a hot air popcorn popper. Between her and the kids, I got each of those items. The popcorn popper works great, it was unseasonably warm, so we went out and shot some hoops with the new basketball, and I just got done with my workout in which I used the medicine ball. I also got a few tools.

We made the six block trek to my mother-in-law's house for Christmas dinner. We had a good meal and a good time. After dinner they got together a a game of Mexican Train dominos. My youngest daughter wanted to go home so I took her home while the rest stayed and played. They're still there.

I titled this "Christmas Adventure" and here's where the adventure started. When we got home, there was a man sitting in a chair that I had next to the door outside. He was completely unresponsive and I had no idea what was wrong with him. I assumed he was just drunk but didn't know for sure. I called our local police department and the officer had trouble rousing the guy but it turns out that he was drunk and for some reason left the home of the relative he was spending Christmas with. He must have saw the chair and figured it was a good place to rest. The officer took him away, I assume back to the relatives house. He never came back to talk to me so I'm not sure.

Once that was over, I went into my bedroom and tried to cut the plastic holding a pair of needle nose pliers to the package that my 10 year old son got me. You guessed it. I cut my finger, the left index finger to be precise. And yes, it needed stitches. It turns out about 10 or 12 years ago, I bought a suture kit at a preparedness expo I attended. I always take some when I go camping just in case and just before I bought it, I had to make several trips to the emergency room with various children for cuts that needed stitches. After I bought the kit, I told them that I would just do it myself next time. There hasn't been a next time.

Well, I decided to just do it myself. I found the smallest needle and proceeded to sew myself up. Tying the knots was a little difficult but otherwise it wasn't that bad. My wife and the rest of the kids are still gone so they don't know yet. It doesn't look professional but it closed up the cut and stopped the bleeding.

After that I went outside and did my workout. I like the medicine ball and I think I will be using it quite often. I do mostly body weight circuits but there are many ways I can incorporate it into my circuits. As most of you probably know, I prefer to workout outside. The hoodie I requested was specifically for extra warmth when it's cold out. I didn't need it today but it will get a lot of use this winter.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Unpleasant Experience

Today I had a physical. I haven't had one in 3 years I think and my insurance will pay for one every year. My wife thought I needed one so she made me an appointment. She had one several weeks and thought I needed to join in on the misery.

Actually my doctor is a good guy. He has a good bedside manner, he's friendly, and he doesn't act like he's anxious to be done so he can get on to the next patient. If you have a question, he takes time to give you a thorough answer. I like him. The problem is that he's a big man and he has big fingers. That's where the unpleasantness comes in. 

If you're a guy and not yet 40, just wait. Once you hit that age, they think that they need to do a prostate exam when they give you a physical. During the previous physical I told him I thought the prostate was a mythical organ invented by sadistic medical personnel with the sole purpose of torturing men. He laughed and assured me that it was indeed real. Of course that's what he'd say if I was right. He wouldn't admit it. This time I just accused him of being sadistic. He did admit to that one.

I'll turn 48 in 2 months. He said it was about time I thought about getting a colonoscopy. I asked him to explain the procedure. He did. I'm less than enthused and will have to think long and hard before submitting myself to such a thing. It would be like the prostate exam times a hundred. But I suppose in a few years, I should seriously consider it. Lives have been saved by such procedures by catching things before they manifested into actual physical symptoms. Sometimes when you start showing signs that something may be wrong, it may be too late to do anything about it. It's called being proactive. 

That's what health and fitness is all about. You eat right and you exercise so that you can have a higher quality of life now and you can also prevent health problems down the road. An overweight couch potato who eats junk is going to be way more likely to have something turn up on that colonoscopy than someone who stays fit and eats a healthy diet. It's the best way to be proactive and it's preventive medicine at it's finest. 

And it's never too late to start. Go for it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fresh Air

I'm going to be doing a series of blogs on the 8 principles of good health. The first will deal with fresh air.

Fresh pure air is essential to life and good health. We can live for weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without air. Every cell in our bodies needs oxygen to function and if we breathe polluted air, we force our cells to function on a less than optimal level on less than pure air. 

In order to have good health, we need good blood. Through the blood, waste is removed, repairs are made, and the body is nourished. When the blood is supplied with nutritious food and cleaned and vitalized by the breathing in of fresh clean air, it carries life and vigor to all parts of the body.

So in order to have good blood, we need to breathe well and we need to breathe fresh air. It's free and it alkalizes and electrifies the entire system. Full deep breaths of pure air-not polluted or smoke filled air- will fill the lungs with oxygen and purify the blood. Deep breaths sooth the nerves. The age old advice to take deep breaths when you're angry to calm yourself down is good advice. It works. Try deep breathing before bed and you might find it also helps you to sleep better. 

The lungs need freedom. Restrictive clothing restricts the breathing as does poor posture. When your mother told you to sit up straight, she may not have known why that was a good idea, but she was onto something. Good posture whether standing or sitting helps to promote good breathing.

Superficial breathing has become a habit for most people and the lungs lose their power to expand. Thus an insufficient supply of oxygen is received. The waste which should be expelled when you exhale is retained and absorbed into the blood thus causing a host of problems.

If you work in a office with poor ventilation you know that there's a lot of sickness in those buildings. Not only are the people hunched over computers restricting their breathing, they are also breathing impure stale air. Close confinement indoors has and continues to make many people pale, feeble, and sickly. They keep breathing the same old recycled impure air with the impurities that they and others exhale. Those impurities are reabsorbed into the system, polluting the body. A lot of this could be avoided just by a supply of fresh air.

Something you should do daily in your home or office is open the windows to allow some fresh air in. Five to 10 minutes at a time twice a day would do wonders. It doesn't matter if it's cold out. Your heating bill may go up a little but you'll feel better and have better health as a result.

Exercise forces one to breathe deep. I like to exercise outdoors regardless of the weather. When I do, I breathe in fresh pure air that brings life and vitality to my entire body. Try it. You'll like it.