Category Archives: exercise

Running Daytona Beach, Fl

It’s December 26th and we’re talking 80 degrees in Florida. I’m not complaining, chilling at the Wyndham Club Resort. I’m still tired from returning from a week in Long Island, NY this Friday. So driving to Daytona on Saturday is not a good fit for me. I’m still doing 100 push-ups a day. Today is day eight. I managed sets of 10 today and this put me in a good enough state to run for 30 minutes on the beach.

wow, nobody is wearing a mask 😷. Just me looking weird as I leave the resort through the pool area and onto the beach ⛱. Finally I take off my mask. You know running is very tough with a mask. I’m zig zapping through crowds. It’s seven feet distance not really close enough to worry about covid. I’m more concerned 😟 with these little tots crossing my path. And don’t want to be a bully and step on their sand castles, even accidentally.

it’s civilization, being around people without masks, seeing their faces, acknowledging other people’s human existence. I’m 15 minutes out a good clip and only now on my return run do I feel a bit of struggle. Keeping in mind the past few days and my daily push-ups I’m happy just to be enjoying the beach, the shoreline, the splashy water. Seagulls and sandpiper congregate and then disperse, some scamper away with their quick little feet, others take flight and tease me to try to tag them. Not today.

I’m greeted with a neat little surprise at the end of my run: a man is sculpting what looks like an Indian resting on his elbows reclining in the sand. It’s obvious he is talented. My wife informs me later the sand sculpture was actually a mermaid. I plan to post the 📸 on my Instagram.

Resistance/ weight training is key

100 push-ups, day 3. I’ve been running steadily on my treadmill 5 days per week for the past month. To be honest, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made. But even after all this cardio, push-ups gave me more immediate results as far as being more functional throughout the day.

I’m not 60 years old yet until this June, but at this age one can become a bit disillusioned at the prospect of getting one’s youth back. Your body is literally on strike against optimal health, bacteria is more aggressive, things like toxins and mucous build up aggressively in the body. You wake up in pain and go to bed in pain, often for no apparent reason. And this can be very discouraging.

As a friend said to me many moons ago. “It’s time to hang up the running shoes.” Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you, it’s time to reveal the honest truth: you’re in a boxing ring through no choice of your own and your opponent is your terminal life span. It’s either fight back or get knocked out early. Enjoy infusing life in your years versus life slowly ebbing out of you.

Anyway, once you stop resisting, the aging process accelerates. But paradoxically, when you become assertive and push back despite feeling miserable, exercising becomes an energy return system. You literally get back more energy than you expend from exercising– I guess it’s because exercise exorcises toxins/ waste from the body, and you become more efficient. I’m fortunate not to have any major ailments or injuries. Getting a good night’s sleep and healthy eating play a major role. Being vegetarian helps a lot to retard the visible effects of aging because meat being the hardest food to digest, along with sugar and processed foods wear the body down from inside out.

If I could only choose between resistance training and cardio workouts to stay healthy, I would choose resistance training. Ideally, the best exercise program combines the two, but for me, weight training/ resistance training/ even calisthenics like push-ups gives me the most immediate health results. In fact, I would venture that most runners as they age must include resistance training of some sort to continue running at an above sluggish pace.

Which brings me to push-ups, doing 100 push-ups daily. I told my brother, Curtis, do what you can in sets. If you can only comfortably do two push-ups at a time, then do sets of two push-ups and work your weigh up to what your goal is. Hey, this morning I didn’t feel like doing push-ups. I started out with 5 push-ups at a time and then ventured into 10 push-ups at a time until I reached 100 push-ups.

You know yourself. Don’t let people intimate you with talk of doing 100 push-ups daily. Set your goals and work towards them. And always remember resistance training is key to staying young and healthy longer.

Long time no see?!

My last post here was in 2011. I was 49 years old then raising a family 👪 teaching, but running actively. It’s 21, December 2021 and life has changed. I’ve overcome my teeth problems, had some drilling and crowns 👑 put in, some wisdom teeth pulled. 😬 your dental health has a lot to do with your overall physical and mental wealth… I’ll end it by saying that.

Today there is covid and it’s mutant friends. As I close in on 60 years old I am not as rugged as I used to be. Now the emphasis is on prudence, maintaining the delicate balance between not being sick/ injured and retaining as much youth as possible. It’s a game in which we all lose in the end, inevitable decline of old age, death. (BOY, that was depressing, let’s lighten it up with something more hopeful ☺)

Besides I’m a Jehovah’s Witness who believes that one day mankind will live in a paradise 🌎. Jehovah, God and his son, Jesus Christ will restore the earth, restore obedient mankind, rid the earth of wicked influences, and bring about a righteous Kingdom government. I mention all of this because it’s important 😌 to have a healthy outlook on life. If you’d like more information on the prospect of living forever in paradise (who wouldn’t?) you can email my wife and I at lewisnclaire.jw@gmail.com or simply visit our website at http://jw.org.

Ahh, so finally, why you’ve come to this blog. I will continue to blog about all things regarding maintaining good health and please be aware your dear blogger is also a poet and this blog is attached to http://www.papopoetry.com So there will be the occasional foray into waxing poetic.

I’m visiting my parents in New York this week… watching your parents decline from what they once were sucks 😒 but I’m doing the little I can to make their life’s journey pleasurable. I cook meals, bath my father, and try to get my mom out of the “death” chair 💺 to exercise. Now in her late 80’s it’s not exercise, it’s more like stand up, try to walk because the alternative is atrophy and even faster decline.

I put a belt with hooks in the back around her waist; and attach elastic bands; the bands are hooked to a door 🚪 hinge; she stands positioned in front of her walker and alternately steps forward with each leg. The next progression is to position more inside the stepper and alternately step backwards with each leg. I only use the 10-pound resistance band for now. As I will be leaving in a few days to return to Florida, I left instructions with the health aide and my brother. It’s a very simple movement and effective. I will let you know brand names (see picture above), just leave an inquiry in the comments to this blog.

I use this system myself to strengthen my hips. Stepping back off a stepper is especially effective. And it’s good to bring this equipment along on a vacation.

My health tip for this blog: some movement, even just walking, is better than no movement on regular daily basis, especially as you get older.

So fortunately, that’s not where I’m at physically, though not the person I was 13, 14 years ago. What am I currently doing to stay fit and healthy? I’ll share that in my next post.

A new year, a fresh attitude

It’s been a month since I’ve written on my blog and I sit back and reflect why this is so. I have a myriad of excuses as a teacher, as a busy father, I’ve been on vacation etcetera. But the truth is blogs keep you motivated and in touch with like minded people.

Vacations are a good time to revamp your efforts. You can step back and take a subjective look at things and set your priorities. It’s a time for reorganization and clarity. Over my two week vacation I ran 8 miles per day for a week straight. I’m battling, still, with troublesome teeth. This time a newly put on crown refuses to heal and is causing excruciating pain. It’s tough staying focused under this condition.

And it can be dangerous too as exercise takes a toll and struggling with health problems while you exercise may cause more problems. But I must say I’m the better for exercising. I’m just smart and realize when I really need that break.

I’m back in school (as a teacher), but tomorrow I’m looking forward to another 8 mile run. ;^)

Step it up during setbacks.

The end of the school year is a crash point for teachers. Much last minute work needs to be done, the kids are unfocused and naturally very irritating during this time, and the body physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and whatever other …ally is spent. However, despite all this, the teacher must keep on trudging till every last kid is dismissed for summer vacation. After all duties have been completed the teacher’s body crashes.

Oh, some teachers have some reserves, but generally the body is completely exhausted and open for full assault by the usual assailants, viruses and bacterial infections. So I spent my first week fighting or rather relenting to this necessary stage before I began my comeback.

Well, that’s a lie. I’ve been doing Taebo with Billy Blanks in the mornings before school for the past month or two. So the end of year crash didn’t hit me as hard as usual. And taking Tahitian Noni (get it at mistergoodbuy) fought off infection and helped me keep my energy levels up.

Now I’m prepared to make my comeback in my chosen sport, running. Sometimes, we compromise, thinking our body just needs more rest until eventually we no longer have a workout routine left. My advice is to keep exercising, even mildly, but keep exercising. For exercise is a rejuvenator and a relaxer. Exercise is absolutely essential for recovery rather than something to put aside during times of physical depression. My keep up the good work. On that note… I am now going on my 8 mile run this morning before it gets too hot here in Florida.

Need muscle tone? Sleep, sleeep!

I write this at the risk of being called a hypocrite because I often go to bed well past bedtime. These are some do’s for getting a good nights rest and building healthy muscle tone:  mild exercise before bed may help you fall to sleep faster; milk seems to contain an ingredient to help you fall to sleep faster; try to relieve yourself before retiring and drink enough water before sleep to help avoid waking up during crucial REM sleep and using the bathroom;

strive to go to bed early enough to get the recommended average of 8 hours sleep; take brief naps/ siestas during the day, especially when you’re fighting sickness or recovering from a grueling workout; sleeping too much during the day may disrupt your night sleep; follow the simple rule of easy day, hard day i.e, avoid putting weight training or grueling workouts back to back– give your body time to heal; and lastly, eat nutritiously and go easy on the junk food.

I hope these personal tips help. And I’ll strive not to be a hyprocrite and follow my own advice!

Sincerely,

Lew Jackson

It’s raining, but YOU keep shining.

No afternoon workout today. It’s raining the proverbial cats and dogs. And it looks like I can use a break due to my wife getting me sick. Keep shining, even though it’s raining– that’s my motto. It is days like this that a person looses momentum and ditches all the progress they have made. Your body is simply taking a break, which is normal. What is not normal or healthy is to succumb to the feeling that you’re going through another slump. It is the mind that must be trained to see through the darkness of a down day and realize that ups and downs are part and parcel of reaching our physical, mental, and spiritual potential. You are the captain of your ship. Never give up on yourself.

Lew Jackson