Adaptive Strategies: Boost Your Immune System & Solving the Paradox of Success

The change of seasons puts the micro-bugs into overdrive. Are our immune systems ready?

For those who have undertaken the training life, this is an important, if confusing question.

It has to do with the Paradox of Success. When we feel fit and well, we become susceptible to undermining the behaviors we lived to get there: exercising, eating right, sleeping well, and feeding relationships (filling buckets).

Success invites a temporary sense of immortality mania. In this state, we tend to over-extend ourselves at the expense of sleep, rest, exercise, downtime, relationships, and soon, wellness. Then we get sick.

If we can early-detect our sense of mania after successes, this is our first sign of coming under a spell of over-extension. So it is with our successes.

Here are some WebMD pages on positive immune system boosting routines — followed by some counter-intuitive surveys of findings about immune boosting — as linked-to below:

Immune System Busters & Boosters

Super Foods for Optimal Health

How to Keep Your Immune System Healthy

Guide to Ginseng as Immunity Booster

Can Exercise Reduce Your Risk of Catching a Cold?

Ten Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

Exercise After Chemo Helps Patients Ward Off Future Cancer

Yet when you consider that inflammation and upper-respiratory mucous generation (mostly against nasal passage infecting viruses) are immune system responses, some survey reviews of a few years ago suggest that bolstering the immune system will only increase inflammatory, super-charged immune systems. Is that bad, or good? More research is needed, but consider the following perspectives:

How Not To Fight Colds

Why everything you thought about colds is wrong! Scientists have finally separated fact from fiction about those sniffles

Our Immune Systems Were Built for More Challenges Than They Get

Given the above contra-pieces, here is a summary of useful takeaways:

1. Let go of unnecessary stressors and poor stress response habits, then burn-off, let loose, and heal from inevitable stress with the following;

2. Bolstering human relationships;

3. Consistent exercise;

4. Healthy, nutritional, natural eating and drinking with little or no refined, processed sugars, MSG, etc.;

5. Put our children’s well being first. (for parents, and for those without children, someone else’s needs).

There is more to this topic than a blog post can touch. Researching and reading up on the latest using article alerts from trusted sources, and weighing, comparing, and testing them is sane way to continue navigating.

Vancouver Boating, Bicycles & Rainy Walks / Colorado Eldorado Canyon Run & Rain Aftermath

IMG_9353 IMG_9416IMG_9352 IMG_9039 IMG_9048 IMG_9084 IMG_9085 IMG_9197 IMG_9246 IMG_9272 IMG_9549

To catch up on my periodic journaling of training experiences:

Vancouver, BC. Be it known that I skipped the hotel fitness center in Vancouver BC, and opted for family whale watching, walks in the rain, and bicycling in the sunshine.

On the whale boat I could have sat the entire journey and monitored the Pacific waters for sea life. But I spent some wonderful time holding my child and working on fixing on distant, relatively fixed points to avoid symptoms of motion sickness as we motored over the waves to where the whales were spotted off the coast.

Going up to the boat’s viewing roof, I found that riding those waves in a rain coat afforded me a nice, standing core exercise trying to stay balanced on the boat, minimizing dependence on the rails.

Movement with Forces training came into play staying out in the rainy, windy sea weather and exposing myself to the wet cold for a time. Cold, wet sea weather is a force.

Another force encountered was the motion of moving in circles on my feet on the top deck relative to the boat’s forward, swell-riding motion. The circling was to scan the ocean’s surface for whales and other sea animals, while keeping balance, orientation, and trying to mitigate motion symptoms. This was a unique experience. I might have slogged through it, jetting along with the experience incidentally, and trying to avoid the elements as sources of discomfort instead of sources of mind-body training.

Instead I decided to consciously engage the ride as a crossing of training dimensions, and I thoroughly enjoyed it while witnessing the stunning beauty of the NW coasts and isles. Along with others I got to share ocean air and space with killer whales, humpbacks, sea lions, porpoises, and varied seabirds. The salt on the air, the relaxing of the boat’s fellow riders, and the graciousness of the husband-wife captain-naturalist team really enhanced our day.

Our walks in the rainy city gave us many chances to negotiate the architectural inclines, hilly city blocks, and wall tops as we used our feet to move through the concrete, glass, and steel mountains. The sea air blowing between them was a bonus. After much cool weather walking about, you can imagine that fish and chips, coffee, and hot chocolate called out to us a time or two. Let me also recommend the practice for parents of safely holding hands with your child in the city, and swinging him over the lines, manhole covers, sidewalk designs, and props found along the city course. I think switching sides and getting both arms in on the child swing is a good practice. Teaching city safety  and enjoyment awareness at the same time is a bonus. During these walks, sudden footraces are known to break out, too. Race you to that monument — to that hydrant — to that vent – to that tree…

Our bicycle outing was just plain fun in the sunshine viewing the mountains we hadn’t been able to see for the clouds for three days straight. And walking some sandy, shelly, mossy, and very clean inner beaches came with the cycling trip through Stanley Park.

We had no time to hit all the most advertised destinations, but we saved a list for another time if it comes available.

To counter the experience of sitting on planes, trains, and automobiles, I used the symmetrical carrying and lifting of luggage, treating it as if I were carrying kettlebells, and keeping the exercises with it closer-in and less conspicuous so as not to embarrass family too much. This included lunging it, squatting to lift it, shrugging it, variable one and two armed rows, curling it, shouldering it, and the like. Same with the carry on back pack. Luggage that I carry is often between 35 and 40 pounds, and serves nicely as a clunky kettle bell by the top handle. I also kick it up with my foot when putting it on wheels and pulling the handle out to pull it. Sitting in airport seats I am able to do wrist curls with my luggage, propping wrists on knees and grasping the top handle.

Trips can afford more than in my laziness I took advantage of.

Understanding Obesity

Understanding Obesity.

via Understanding Obesity at A Handbook for Fitness & Wellness Professionals by Laura Kennett.

A strong, strong summary that helps create a pathway to healing and change through understanding, empathy, and seeing the hurting person. Wisdom helps us withdraw judgment and make pathways to connection and friendship for those suffering from the afflictions that are obesity.

Combatting Loneliness By Training Life

photo(25)

Loneliness does not discriminate. Probably everyone knows what kind of life events, states of being, and physical burdens correlate with it. Whatever isolation and loneliness comes from, those who suffer from it know why solitary confinement is one of the worst punishments prisons dole out.

A training life can move you out of the lonely place into a new life.

Growing your own training life from the ground up will lead you into short, manageable social interactions that begin slowly and gently to drain away the loneliness with each outing. You’ll have time to think, to hold problems up to the sun in your mind and heart, and to subject them to the light that dawns as you move.

The sunshine can boost you up some more.

Start simple: a walk or hike. Go to a nearby running track, a trail you know, or a park with long sidewalk pathways along a lake or river. Or just make the city blocks in a familiar area your training scape.

It is training, and retraining your brain, nerves, muscles, and body chemistry simply to get out and move in the outdoors. So much happens when you do this, there is an automatic element to outdoor outings.

Dress in what’s comfortable, do what you need to do to feel comfortable to get out the door. Then soak up the world’s outdoor riches as you journey.

3.6 Twilight Rainy Running Interval Fit Into Family Camping Debut

Twilight Running in the Forest

Twilight Running in the Forest

Fitting In

Fitting In

Setting

Setting

Terrain: Mountain

Elevation: 10,000 Feet

Distance: 3.6 Miles

Time: Twilight after Sundown

Conditions: Rainy

Temps: 40’s Fahrenheit.

Priority: Last. Family-firsts came first, and therein, this writer’s personal, adaptive training purpose-growth.

Special Occasions: First family camp-out with our girl, first-time fishing with her, first-time rainy camp-out, first-time camp-out for dog, and first tent construction and fire build with my daughter, and first tent take down in the rain with my better half. Joyous experiences.

Tag-Team Family Training Principle: Covered for my spouse, enabling her time to hike and run without distraction, a rarity for her. In a setting away from home (absent the familiar rationales) one who writes about accessible training for others, for self, and tests these principles, faces own selfishness. The practice emerges with greater focus away from home, evangelized by reflection in a tent, and by a fire, symbolizing the burning away of my rationales.

Team Member Check: Ceded nutrition lead to spouse, whose professional vocational training, research, and intrinsic discipline better fills the nutritional knowledge role between us, as I pursue the adaptive personal fitness focus. Teams and their members share ownership. A family must choose teamwork, every member contributing, and every member respecting the others’ contributions. A dedicated zone of listening to the expertise and role, an area that calls us to expand this mutuality, and harmony.

All in all, a wonderful weekend, a wonderful place, and joy in the rain.

the sun inside

Image

The Sun Inside

in morning stillness

my fingers slowly pull

a shoe on-

onto a porch a

door swings wide

to mottled stratospheres

pink-blue, high

vapors hang, plant-breathed

so fresh their mist is silver

gold-seared sky’s edge

butters the Earth toned bread

as I start to run

friends chirp

melodies

to the risen sun

Burst

Light within my heart

Genesis you

timelessly shine

from my he(art)…

Weight Shifting Is a Shooting and Spending War, Not a Matter of Health Care Alone (Revised)

Defining Terms to Get Results

“Weight-loss” or “weight-gain” are too abstract to help us perceive what is involved in the overweight casualties of the New Millennium.

Truer terms are “Weight-shifting” and “Mind-Body War.” For-profit, the Weight-Shifters strategically bomb us with ill-messaging about food, good-times, and ourselves. We are taught that we are significant because we are brand-supporters. Tactically, we are disarmed by bright lights, warm colors, and enticing photos of food and drink.

Crazily, the image of ourselves as fit can even make us indulge, thinking we can “take it” at the drive-through, or that “fit people eat here.” We are guerrilla stricken during commutes, when we are tired, rushed, feeling deprived, getting in late, and grappling with daily problems. We are “too tired to fix dinner.”

Yet there is hope. There are natural and organic grocers, and grocery sections. There are often free samples of healthy fare at the grocery stores to ease the urgency of hunger. Or just buy a small green juice first, and sip while shopping.

Our Appetites

Our appetites are the most vulnerable, non-critical, and primitive pressure points in this weight-shifting war. Each assault exploits the tensions of the busy-life schema that put us in urgently hungry states of the primitive brain.

Each attack, and each battle lost, takes a permanent toll. The hit-and-run nature of the anti-health raids impels us to hit-and-run ourselves with the false notion that it will only be “this time.”

Mind and Emotions

A sober, stoic war-footing toward these messaging phenomena would help galvanize and unify our minds and emotions against these false-comfort attacks. Think about who you want to be when attacked, not what you want right then.

False comfort is fizzy, melted, hot, salty, sweet, fatty, calming, and ultimately, a Dopamine-dumping chemical frenzy to ease our tension, cull our cognitive dissonance, and crush our health. It also drains our wallets.

True comfort is being truly free and under control of our life direction. Shopping and preparation burns calories, and deepens our relationship to fresher, purer food.

Body

When we eat the refined, processed, sodium-filled, grease-bombs that explode in our tummies and calm our nerves, we are descending into sickness. Thinking the situation through is not so easy.

Thinking outside of our bodily frenzies is the beginning of freedom. Detaching a part of our higher minds to float above our animal-drives can help us become self-aware of our total beings, not just our Pavlovian-Lowest Common Denominator. We can trump our immediate appetites.

Conclusion

Adaptive fitness assumes that eating, drinking, and sleeping are self-trainable behaviors every bit as much as exercise and sport are trainable. We can eat, drink, and sleep in accord with who and how we want to be.

Offering a Book Discount in Honor of my Fellow WordPressers

Feel free to check it out! Use the link below:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Now Available at Lulu.com: Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness

It’s official. Click on the book cover icon at the upper right side of this screen, and you can go there. The E-book will be available in about one week. For now, it is print on demand, with some extra cost of production. I tried to set as reasonable a print price as possible considering all factors. You can also click here:

Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness

Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness

What Is Adaptive Fitness Training?

Sticky note for the peak register at Mount Parnassus, CO. A favorite photo because someone dedicates the summit hike “to Kristen who has never hiked above tree line.”

Soon it will be time to release the title, cover, and the book on adaptive training principles and dimensions.

Once the book is released, please feel free to share the book with your friends, family, and anyone you believe may benefit.

Adaptive training principles and dimensions can help anyone create their own best foundations and pathways to new levels of training consistency and fitness.

Encouragement to Physical Training

flow

Physical training is where you go, and how that changes you. It is directly experiential, yet also relative to other life endeavors.It transcends the physical.

In the world, water flows cascade down steep inclines. The forces move according to structures and properties  of water, gravity, air, angular rock, and so on. The rocks are changed, and the water does countless things on the way down. By much work, the water is purified. Then, one day it evaporates, leaves the Earth and joins the clouds. I believe we are like that.

Play Is a Force of Nature

Do not underestimate the power of the Force…of Play. Parents who work at getting or staying fit sometimes think, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have an edge without steroids?”

Could you manage 90-minutes of constant, varied, physical, responsive, interactive, and emotionally alive play with your kid(s) or nephews or nieces? Sounds exhausting, and it can be, however, there is an energy loop that goes right back into you.

Focused, physically active play is challenging, varied training. There are high-intensity chases; intervals of quiet role playing to exercise recovery breathing and listening skills; dance; uproarious laughter; hiding (and controlling breathing while hiding); suspense;  evading and wrestling, just to keep the game going; avoiding water, foam projectiles, and martial arts moves; throwing; catching; holding; throwing games; target practice games; dancing; towing; falling; rolling; getting up again; and many, many more.

Marcus Aurelius said that life is more like wrestling than dancing. Focused play is both of these and more. The laughter, joy, communication, and satisfaction you will get because your child is happy from the undivided play time with you will go beyond calories and into the health benefits of sheer happiness, if you put yourself into it. Everyone will also sleep well, a boon for the immune system and brain.

Obviously exercise total focus, awareness, and preventive safety whenever playing. I don’t advocate hide and seek in places away from home where you lose sight of your child. One’s own safe and secure home is best for that.

"A force of nature, play is." --Yoda

“A force of nature, play is.”
–Yoda

You may ask yourself…about food choices

You may ask yourself...about food choices

Where did a platypus learn to fight so good?

By adaptive training, no doubt. And most likely, eating most of his meals at home of high quality, healthy food choices from his supermarket where he likely appears as a mild mannered, everyday platypus. Still, if he must hurry out on a secret mission and needs to grab a quick bite out, you can bet he adapts to find the healthiest choices he can.

I can’t help but like Perry Platypus, his hat choice and the serious mind depicted underneath. He is a Platypus of few words who always does the right thing. He finds creative ways to get out of situations that may vex non-secret agents. What’s his secret? No one knows because he’s got character and keeps his cards close. Neither is Perry discouraged that his villainous opponent is not as ambitious as those of other action heroes, limiting his covetousness to his local tri-state area. Despite that, Perry is as serious as though the world was at risk even if few know about it. That’s dedication.

All of those attributes are captured well in the Subway campaign to give away Perry Platypus paraphernalia, including reusable bags that can be brought back to Subway to carry one’s sandwiches away instead of the usual plastic bag. See the photo close up above.

For environmental sense and because Subway does have a few lower calorie, lower sodium, zero trans fats, fast food choices on the healthier side (compared with most), I was glad to see them do something to interest kids; so I give the Perry bags a good review here.

Healthy as its PR sounds, there are plenty of fatty, sugary and salty ingredients and sauces at Subway. It remains for parents to guide their kids in making low sodium, low fat sandwich and side choices at Subway. Surely Jared the Subway guy did not major in Spicy Italians with chocolate chip cookies and cola during his career promoting Subway.

For the record, Subway’s website publishes guides to its menu items’ nutritional data. I like the six inch egg white on flat bread with cheese and a few veggies thrown in. As fast food goes, it is a positive, low fat, low cholesterol meal with good protein.

No doubt you may know of higher yield choices, so please comment about them. I know Subway’s a chain, and for some that’s lame, but then if it does something that heads in the right direction, that has impact. I hope to see organic choices popping up in “fast casual” chains, until it is the new normal and not an expensive fancy.

Done with Book awaiting Permissions for citations into February 2013

“The Independent Athlete” is complete. FYI: For strategic and tactical reasons, that is not its real title. It’s been fun coming up with titles, from boring and technical to rugged and simple, but it really wouldn’t be prudent to jump too far in front with the real deal.

I am still awaiting permissions on citations and attributions I have included in the book. This will delay publication into February 2013, however, since Microsoft Corporation can delay a product release, I guess I can delay a book release for the same month.

How’s that for rationalization and band-wagon-speak?

I’ve been absorbed and probably will be for another few weeks, however, look forward to the fluidity of interacting with your blogs and training topics as before. I’ve missed that.

May your training be so Pacific and nourishing as to elevate you every morning, and tuck you in for sound sleep every night.

Torreys

Torreys

Updated: The Independent Athlete (with its very own independent moving deadline)

Book in Progress, BY OLD CALENDAR EASTERN ORTHODOX CHRISTMAS or BUST!

That’s JANUARY 7, 2013.

Discussions on Agent and Amazon on the business side before self-publishing.

Editing phase ongoing.

Citadel or Snoopy

Citadel climbed in September 2006. Motivation to return after book finished. Like when will that be?

Fitness Begins with Health: Product Recalls and Bans: Lead Paint

For those of you who have children, here are some useful recall websites, including this one in which I searched for “lead paint”:

Recall Owl

and an official site:

SaferProducts.gov

When I look at the products recalled or banned for lead paint standard violations, I am reminded of how innocuous such products can look.

For instance, one product recalled for lead content violations were Thomas the Tank Engine wooden toys from several years ago.

The effects of lead poisoning are devastating, so it pays to stay informed of recalls, bans and complaints.

Thanks for dropping in.

hope these don't look familiar to you

love peace and hugs indeed: recalled for lead poisoning