Monday, July 12, 2010

Stay Young at Heart!

I have been working nighttime security at a bar this summer (insert random meat head joke here)

I promise you I do not stand like this, or wear a bluetooth while working

but I've gotten to know some of the local high school kids, who are waiting and busing tables. A lot of them remind me of myself when I was their age, eager to graduate and leave home, be independent, and most importantly turn 18. so "no one could tell them what to do anymore." I think for the most part everyone goes through this phase when they are in their late teens, but sooner rather than later I think the thrill of being on our own wears and we all miss the comfort of having people close to us. So my advice to these youngsters, Don't be in such a hurry to grow up! Before you know it you'll have to work 9 - 5 monday through friday, plus pick up a weekend job just to make ends meet. You'll be thinking about 401k's, savings accounts, insurance, rent or mortgage payments, groceries, utilities, and probably marriage and children. I was at the gym the other day and someone had their daughter with them, who was running around and they said to me, "they sure grow up fast don't they?" I smiled and replied "I've been growing up for 24 years but I'm still a kid" I think for me having that attitude has been key to keeping level headed over the years and not only deal with problems more effectively, but also enjoy my days more. Thinking about how I'm different now, compared to when I was 16 - 18, I concluded that perhaps stress plays a big role in our ability to self motivate. Here are 5 things that I feel decrease stress:

1. Sleep - Everyone knows the feeling of groggy disgust experienced when we are forced to wake up before our bodies are ready. Getting 6-8 hours of sleep each night will do wonders for your state of mind, and not to mention your body. Sleep allows your muscles and nervous system to recover. Sound sleep allows your hormones to level out, which can affect everything from body composition to mood. Make sure you turn off all noise and lights when you sleep in order to take full advantage of the short term hibernation.

2. Enjoy something you usually take for granted - Everyday take time to enjoy something that brings a smile to your face. Even if its just 5 or 10 min of watching the sun rise, or set. Looking at pictures or spending time with pets. Maybe reading or drinking coffee is your thing? Whatever it is schedule a short period to escape reality everyday. For me its every morning when I write this blog and drink coffee, while enjoying a lovely sunrise over the lake.

3. Laugh - I love laughing, I go out of my way to find something funny everyday. For me it keeps things light. I look forward to reading the comics in the daily newspaper, receiving funny e-mails from friends, a clever text message or facebook post, and one time I even youtube'd "laughing" and just watched people laugh for about about an hour. Best of all, after all the chuckling I feel like I've really worked my abs!

4. Visit Friends - Every chance I get I go and visit my friends. Since starting grad school, I'm not very free to see my roommates and friends from undergrad, but when we get together its almost a seamless transition to where we left off. The jabs, jokes, and bickering is all there and its a nice reminder of how important having people you care about, and who care about you, really is. So make that road trip out east to visit a brother, or west to see a friend from high school. call your grandparents, or at the very least text or facebook your friends daily. Because even though we're split up, technology makes it easy to share your life.

5. Exercise - Now that you've got your abs from laughing so hard, its time to do a little extra for the rest of your body. The workouts I enjoy most are the ones, that when its over all I can think about is laying down, closing my eyes, and breathing. Just focusing on the euphoric sensation radiating from my head down. During a few studies this past year in school, I found that this feeling is brought on easily when lots of lactic acid is present in the blood. (I'm a science geek, sorry) To achieve this we must activate our fight or flight response, the sympathetic nervous response, which sends a flood dopamine and other hormones circulating throughout the body. Yes getting high off of exercise is real! The best method? Try doing short, fast intervals on the bike or treadmill; or circuit training with weights and short rest periods in between exercises. Oh yea, this method of training has also shown to attack body fat, and jump start metabolism! Just make sure you don't bit off more than you can chew the first time around!

The Renegade Row - A nice addition to any circuit!

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