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Posts Tagged ‘health’

Book Inn..

Book Inn..

Slow down don’t slow up.

Lately I have been absorbed reading instead of writing. The books I have been reading have made me realise how little I know. And yet I am far more knowledgeable than I used to be, at least I now know how to enjoy life.

What else is it for?

What else is it for?

Knowing the unsatisfactory changing nature of life. I do not cling to things and am contented rather than happy. My lifelong goal is self improvement, acquiring knowledge rather than possessions.

I gave my copy away I went to the library revise.

 I went to the library to read it again I gave my copy away.

I would describe this as contentment rather than happiness. Learning to appreciation the good in my life.

 To make you smile.

To make you smile.

Ignorance is the cause of unhappiness. To enjoy life one must be disciplined in doing what is necessary to stay healthy in both body and mind. The one thing we should not be ignorant of is nothing lasts. Everything has a use by date.

You may not buy this one it is a gift.

You may not buy this one it is a gift, complements of Buddhist society Malaysia. 

We can prolong the life of things by maintaining them properly, then they will serve us well. To care for things we need the knowledge to know how. Over the years I have learned a few life skills.

It is no secret any more.

It is no secret any more.

I try to pass them on, but you can find better qualified writers than me. You just need to be very selective in sorting out whose opinion to follow. Is it fact or fiction, is it rubbish I am feeding my mind on? Both body and mind need wholesome nourishment to stay healthy.

1932 the bridge the hands I had to be in this photo.

1932 the bridge the hands and hope I had to be in this photo.

I am pleased how I am doing, keeping fit and inspiring others. They made me ‘member of the month’ at the Burleigh, World Gym. I was requested to write this comment. I now am fitted out in really smart gym cloths all part of the honour.

The matador, no bull.

The matador, no bull.

“Who is the old bloke sweating on the x trainer?”world gym

“That is Jack he used to be a construction worker, a rigger to be precise.”

Great game for a young bloke to earn a crust. Plenty of exercise climbing up on the steel purlins, riding the crane hook. Man those were the days before the safety regulations took all the buzz out of it.

The problem is if you do a good job they promote you. Most of the fun goes out of it and it can get stressful.

Tim wants to be like me, when he has been 83 years at the gym.

Tim wants to be like me, when he has been 83 years at the gym.

The way around that is go to a gym and get rid of the stress. Get the endorphin circulating, it is better than chocolate. Oh! You see eye candy everywhere in a gym, a treat for every taste, the blokes and the girls. The great people that you become friends with in a gym like World Gym, Burleigh, is another incentive to workout.

Note the caption on the wall.

Note the caption on the wall.

I am 83 but when I am mixing in with all these positive, fit people I can forget I am past my use by date. Three score and ten I never put too much faith in ancient writing and doctors are ok in an emergency but do not leave it up to them to keep you fit. You are better of at the gym.

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This is better than seeing me stretching.

This is better than seeing me stretching.

Beneficial Breathing Meditation.

A stretching demonstration in a shop window.

A stretching demonstration in a shop window.

After doing my morning exercises a mix of Pilates, Tai- Chi and yoga. I do not do this routine as regularly as I should. Why fight the inevitable. I try to be accepting of the prevailing circumstances. Balance and flexibility are not only a physical concern.

You will have to put up with me for this one.

You will have to put up with me for this one.

I usually finish off in the lotus position then meditate on the breath. Actually the whole exercise session is meditating on the breath as the breath is an important part of exercise. Expansion  and contraction, inhaling and exhaling in co-ordination with the movements. Relaxing into a stretch, using the breath helps further the range of movement.

A panting by Elioth Gruner Spring frost, to get over the last photo.

A panting by Elioth Gruner Spring frost, to get over the last photo.

Focusing on the breath for a few minutes settles me down. Breathing is the most basic and important thing in life, it simply is life. Sportsmen especially swimmers know the importance of coordinating the breath with actions. Speakers and performers know a few deep breaths calms the nerves before going on stage.

Ox herding sculpture, taken in a watt in Bangkok.

Ox herding sculpture, taken in a watt in Bangkok.

Concentrating on the breath is a perfect focus for meditation practice. When the mind is calmed by focusing on counting each breath, you can progress to other methods of meditation. There are many ways to practice breathing meditation.

One of the ox herding pictures on a temple in Korea.

One of the 10 ox herding pictures on a temple in Korea.

One may think, ‘one, inhaling with love’ and on the exhale, ‘out with hate.’ ‘Two in with good,’ then ‘out with bad, continuing in this way to six. Then repeat these steps. Using any positive word on the ins and a negative for out. You will find your mind wanders, when this happens do the same as you would if disturbed when reading a book.

Reading an E-book in a quiet place.

Reading an E-book in a quiet place.

We can develop our own method of meditation once the basic breath method is mastered. You will know  this when the invasive thoughts die-down. Like a radio tuned in properly there will be no static  or what is called the monkey-mind stops its monkey business. Like the ox in the ‘ten ox herding pictures’ the beast is trained it will no longer stray. The mind is still and concentration is not difficult.

This picture shows the trained ox will not stray.

This picture shows the trained ox will not stray.

Some days you are focused, other days are difficult the mind wanders and you lose count. Do not let this upset you just return to your chosen focus. If things are too disturbing it is like with reading a book, either put it away till later or move to where there is less distraction. When the mind is calm and under control. Advanced meditations can be practiced to further your understanding of the true nature of things. This is the ultimate goal of Buddhist meditation to reach a state of perfect understanding.

The monkey mind up to mischief.

The monkey mind up to mischief.

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Weight for it or wait for it.

Weight for it or wait for it.

We Are One.

Is beauty only skin deep.

Is beauty only skin deep?

Taking the time to look after our own health and welfare rather than leaving it up to doctors and drug companies.

Number one or number 5 keep smiling.

Number one or number 5 keep smiling.

Our first concern should be for our own welfare.

He has a date with Mother Nature.

He has a date with Mother Nature.

This is not a selfish attitude because a healthy person can help others instead of being a sickly burden on the community.

Knees up and this is not mother Brown.

Knees up and this is not mother Brown.

It takes effort and willpower to maintain a healthy body and wholesome outlook. Restraint is needed on the amount of food and what we drink. Balancing, exercise activity against the intake of calories consumed. Learning what is beneficial for us and how to cope with the stress of modern life.

Or father Time.

Or father Time.

People respond positively to a smile. When we are in pain or suffering in any way it is not easy to smile and a stressed look is often interpreted as unfriendliness. So it is very important not to look dejected but smile and not complain. Do not burden other people with your problems.

It is Jack kicking up his heels.

It is Jack kicking up his heels.

An unsmiling face is not always a sign that a person is unfriendly. People in unfamiliar surroundings, amongst strangers, can feel pressures the locals are unaware of. They need a friendly smile and a kind word of reassurance. Vary rarely will this bring a negative response.

Some think I am unbalanced.

Some think I am unbalanced.

To travel in foreign lands makes one realise simple things like shopping for groceries can be stressful. It is easy to get lost or commit a faux pas in a foreign land. So a traveller is cautious and can look unfriendly.

Keeping in balance is important to prevent falls.

Keeping in balance is important to prevent falls.

A smile can transform an old wrinkly face into a charming beautiful one. A smile makes the whole interconnected world sparkle. We realise we are one in the cosmic creation and all the silly differences vanish.

Especially for old push bikies.

Especially for old push bikers.

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Things don't look right.

Things don’t look right.

Restless Nights.

Which ever way you look at it.

Which ever way you look at it.

This morning I woke up or was I actually asleep or in a sort of stupor. I had one of those restless nights caused by reading a disturbing book just before bed time. It is not a good idea to fill our head with negative input, especially before bed. I usually avoid things like that not eating a heavy meal or doing anything to hype me up. I never watch those TV programme full of violence and disasters. I did not find the book was disturbing while reading it.

Too good to be good for you.

Too good to be good for you.

I found the book interesting because of the stories of how men build monopolies to become rich, disregarding the welfare of others. “A fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser, on how America has influenced the worlds eating habits. Except for stressing the statistics in places, to a point bordering on boring, it is easy reading. I skim over those parts and parts I was already fully aware of. But it was not a bed time story to induce a good night’s sleep.

A little cafe in Busseltin W A.

A little cafe in Busseltin W A.

How I cope with restless nights is to remind myself, if my brain needs rest I will sleep, if I am only physically tired then all I need is to shut my eyes and take a few deep breaths and relax.  Usually I drift off into the land of oblivion or, as last night, into dreamland. Last night the dreams reflected on the dark side of what I had been reading.

Busselton is a nice town..

Busselton is a nice town..

This morning I did not feel very enthusiastic, mindful of my mood, I normally would have put on what I call my ‘get up and go music’.  I have music selections to encourage any mood. Unfortunately my music collection is 3,777 km that is 2,347 miles as the crow flies. At 600 m/p hr. a jet takes about 4 hrs. from here to the east coast of Australia.

With a nice atmosphere and food.

With a nice atmosphere and food.

So I fell back on my old friend Will Power to get me to the Gym. Just take it easy, but do it, I thought. I climbed up on the cross trainer and as the cadence built up, the heart started pumping it was like the sun had come out from behind a dark oppressive cloud.

This crocodile was not a man eater.

This crocodile was not a man-eater.

Pauline and I had lunch in town, not in a fast-food franchises but a little designer sandwich place. I had a nice salad on whole grain bread, with avocado instead of butter. Pauline has the same, adding turkey to hers. She said it is very good for you I agreed but even this shop had reconstituted meat. “Not for me sweetheart,” I said, recalling that book, “I will stick with mostly vegetarian.”

This is the best food.

This is the best food.

The sun is shining bright. I will sleep tonight. Looking out over the sparkling ocean a gentle breeze making the Buddhist prayer flags flutter and the little bell tinkle. Everything is pristine I do not need other music to lift me up. Nothing remains of this morning’s mood.

Sunset

Sunset over Indian Ocean.

I wrote this post in Geraldton but because there are so many things to do and see when visiting new places blogging has a good deal of competition. Finally I am posting, there are not enough hours in the day that may be why I do not need as much sleep as doctors recommend. It is said, ‘Sleep when you are sleepy, drink when you’re dry, but don’t forget to breath or you will die’.

Happy Buddha has been eating fast food.

Happy Buddha has been eating fast food.

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First Choice Fitness, on my way to the beach.

The burliegh beach is around the corner.

Turn in and Tone up.

Hard work pays off.

Hard work pays off.

We have been busy traveling and although we both have not been taking it easy. As we have been gardening, biking and a lot of walking and for me the occasional swim. We also have been spending a lot of time on the computer since we started blogging.

Go at your own pace.

Go at your own pace.

I realized I was loosing what little muscle I still had and stiffening up in all the wrong places. Travelling is wonderful but it is easy to get out of the exercise routine. Casual visits to gyms are more expensive and a bit inconvenient.

It all helps.

It all helps.

That is only an excuse if I make the effort I could have fitted in a visit to a gym. Like I am now doing, three weeks in one place then miss a week then start again at a gym in another place. I will do it and also keep to my morning stretching exercises where ever I am.

Good use of the area by Burleigh Beach.

Good use of the area by Burleigh Beach.

All exercise is good but I find I need to get into a habit of systematically doing a variety of exercises. We need stretching exercises to keep supple, resistance to tone up the muscles and strengthen our bones.

I do not let my ego stop me.

I do not let my ego stop me.

Weights are good for this but at my age it is better to do more repetitions with relatively light weights. I am not trying to get big muscles, just tone up. The cardio vascular exercises are for the heart and lungs.

Same exercise but more weight.

Same exercise but more weight.

I like the cross-trainer as I can monitor my progress, time, resistance; cadence and heart rate are shown on the dash-board.

On the cross-trainer.

On the cross-trainer.

I try to beat my best effort and it gets easier after a few weeks then I add five more minutes or put up the resistance. At least twenty minutes at a challenging pace is advisable for best results. Work hard as possible but not to the point that you cannot carry on a conversation.

They say no pain, no gain but there should never be pain, just a demanding uneasiness. Get out of your comfort zone, but not to the point of hurting. Challenge yourself; you only need to compete against your best performance. There are days you will not quite reach your best performance, but with effort and perseverance we do improve.

This is dedication to muscle strength.

This is dedication to muscle strength.

I hope this post inspires any one that needs reminding, that doctors are not responsible for our health. It is our responsibility to respect and not abuse the gifts we are given.

82 year olders are prone  to falls, practice balance.

We are prone to falls at 82, so I practice balance.

Like yin and yang balance is needed for a healthful life. Balance food intake against calories burnt. Balance physical exercise against mental exercises, the body needs its quiet time to rejuvenate. Meditation is a part of this process.

I think they are over dressed.

I think they are over dressed.

Blogging helps me and perhaps may help others. If nothing else it reinforces and reminds me of the important things to value in life.

Eye candy the only candy to keep you slim.

Eye candy the only candy to keep you slim.

This world, regardless of dukkha http://buddhism.about.com/od/thefournobletruths/a/dukkhaexplain.htm, world is a wondrous place, with the right attitude and understanding. I rave on a bit but when you are in love you are apt to do this. I am in love with Mother Nature and this wondrous life I am blessed with.

They can't keep up with Pauline on her bike.

They can’t keep up with Pauline on her bike.

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They work at it.

They work at it.

Let’s Get Physical.

Nice work if you can do it.

Nice work if you can do it.

Rise early and see the opportunity in every new day, today is another chance to get it right, now is the time to accomplish your dreams, make the time and never give up your dreams because of the time it will take to achieve them. Time passes no matter how you use it so use it on something worthwhile.

The harder they work the better they get.

The harder they work the better they get.

Money is fine if you use it wisely, but the greatest wealth is health. Time and health go unnoticed when you are enjoying them. It is when you are running out of them that you realise their value. If you do not like your health or body do something about it. Some dream of success, others work on it. Getting started on an exercise program is not easy, if it were everyone would be healthy. It is like saying to your body, you will hate me for this now but thank me later.

A new twist.

A new twist.

Life is not like TV it has no remote clicker if you do not like it get up and change it.

I can not stand this.

I can not stand this.

 Moving slowly forward is better than standing still. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. It may be hard to start an exercise program but as your fitness increases you will enjoy it. It is not just about loosing weight and building muscle. You will feel alive and full of energy once the endorphin starts pumping through your body. The blood will pump to every capillary feeding oxygen to your brain. You will think better and feel better Breath better and your pulse rate will slow and blood pressure go down. Like a stagnant stream after rain you will flow and sparkle joyously in the sunshine.

Don't try this on your first day.

Don’t try this on your first day.

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