Set An Intention


Intention Set…Go

I have been reading a little about setting an intention.

Set an intention in the morning or the night before, then reflect on how it went the evening after.

It is another way to make a little change and adjust.

This shrinks it down even further to; Just one day, one intention.

Give it a try and see how it goes.

Or you can read more about Stoicism

Consider it while your training and note your intention in some way afterwards. Cheers!

Stoic Mindset, Hmmmm

stoic-Danae Theoharis [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Stoic Is What?

Stoic is defined as;

a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining.

Google Dictionary

Is “not showing your feelings” the same as “not feeling”?

I do not think so.

Is it unauthentic?

That, I think, is a personal call.

Since I am sensitive to other people’s emotions, it would be great if being stoic was more of a thing.

These days emotion seem to be used as a weapon.

There is so much shared outrage over small to big things.

If a person feels it, they have a real choice to express their outrage to a wide audience.

Responsible Emotions

Being selective about sharing emotions could be considered responsible.

There is a difference between feeling it and emoting it, but choosing not to express it.

Growing up with a person who did not know how to express anger, but you knew when they were angry, gives me an understanding of emoting feelings.

The silent treatment is an expression of emotion, even if it is not being verbally expressed.

Can a person feel an emotion, recognize the emotion and decide what to do with it, without expressing it?

I think with practice a person can do this. In meditation it is called equanimity.

Maintaining calmness, especially in difficult situations.

Sound familiar?

Cutting Anger

Feeling anger towards getting cut off or seeing somebody jump in line is something we all face.

Filling in the backstory of why someone cut in can help ease that anger.

It is a minor annoyance in your day.

Does it really need to impact the rest of it?

How we choose to react to our feelings of anger is all on us.

Maybe recognition of the emotion is enough. Something like this;

“Yeah, that person cutting line sure made me feel angry.

But that is over now and I do not need to feel that anymore.”

By the time you are out the door, you have moved on with your day.

Sounds nice. 🙂

Something to contemplate while training... Cheers!!

Sunshine is Good For You

Direct Sunshine = Good

I’ve been told to protect myself from direct sunshine for as long as I can remember.

Too much sunshine on my pale skin was a shortcut to skin cancer.

Then, the other day, I read an article about how wrong that advice actually was for my health.

The article referred to a few different pieces of research that surprised me. It should make us question the current American Academy of Dermatology guidance on sun exposure.

They strongly recommend against spending time in sunlight without applying high SPF sunscreen.

The benefits of sunlight

Most of us know that the sun on our skin helps our body produce vitamin D.

The vitamin D produced by your body has been shown to help stave off cancer, heart disease and stroke.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggest we get our Vitamin D from supplements instead.

There’s only one problem with the supplement approach…

In clinical trials, Vitamin D supplementation has failed spectacularly.

Vitamin D from supplements have yet to prove any of the same benefits.

Regular exposure to sunlight is important for your circadian rhythm (governs sleep cycles, etc).

Sun exposure helps the body release endorphins, serotonin and nitric oxide into your blood stream.

This combination of goodness reduces the risk of prostate, breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancers.

Want to reduce your risk for heart disease?

Nitric oxide released by the sun exposure has a positive effect on blood pressure.

Sunshine also reduces inflammation and dampens the autoimmune responses.

Then, as you maybe experienced, it also improves virtually every mental condition.

Sun exposure and cancer

It’s true that unprotected exposure to the sun increases the probability of certain skin cancers.

However, you may be surprised by the mortality rate for skin cancer in the US.

26 per 100 000 develop melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer, each year.

However, fewer than 3 per 100 000 people die from skin cancer in the US each year.

Split the research by racial heritage and you find that people with natural pigmentation have significantly reduced melanoma and skin cancer rates in general.

For heart disease deaths in the US, the number is 209.1 per 100 000 for males and 130.4 per 100 000 for women.

Basically, for every death as the result of skin cancer, a hundred die from cardiovascular disease.

That said, there is a relationship between sun exposure and melanoma that cannot be ignored.

Mostly though it seems people who avoid the sun are more at risk than those who don’t.

In a study by Pelle Lindquist of 30 000 women in Sweden over 20 years they found that sun worshippers had lower rates of blood clots and diabetes.

Although they had higher rates of melanoma, they also were eight times less likely to die from it.

The research also shows a correlation between sun exposure and reduced risk of dying from heart disease.

Avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor of a similar magnitude as smoking, in terms of life expectancy

Pelle Lindquist – Author of “Avoidance of sun exposure as a risk factor for major causes of death: a competing risk analysis of the Melanoma in Southern Sweden cohort”

Get enough sunlight

For the skin to produce vitamin D along with the other benefits, the sunlight exposure must be on unprotected skin.

The article recommends enjoying the sunlight without sunscreen on days where the UV index is 3 or lower.

An UV index below 3 is typically the case throughout the winter in North America (but do make sure by checking your preferred weather app first!).

The article also recommends spending some time outside without protection on days with an UV index above 3 (but more way more limited!).

The baseline recommendation is to avoid getting a sunburn.

The UK, Australian and New Zealand health authorities all operate with similar recommendations to the ones described in the article (above).

Practice Movement To Keep Moving

moving-Ben Sutherland [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Moving Practice

Practicing movement can be what helps keep you moving.

I saw a great video of a group of seniors in China who meet outside to practice movement.

This group were doing calisthenics and gymnastics way into their 70’s.

Not just touching toes, but doing splits. It was amazing and bizarre to watch.

The strength they exhibited, along with flexibility was very unexpected.

It gave me hope that even if I never reach that level there is the possibility to be amazing.

Start off Small

Small in this case means pushing you to your limits, where you are at.

Not measuring your ability against anything outside yourself.

Finding inspiration, like the Chinese seniors, is a great way to be motivated as long as expectations are kept in check.

I know that most likely I will never be as flexible and strong as the people I saw, but I will be the most that I can be.

Why do I think it is important..?

Because it will help with balance and staying mobile for a long time.

Mobility and Longevity

Watching my parents navigate the world, I see how important it is to have confidence in moving through an environment.

How you experience life can shift to be more cautious just through your movement style.

Confidence in movement can help you stay connected to that feeling of confidence.

Which can allow you to advocate for yourself in situations you come against.

In what ways do you find mobility, flexibility, and strength enhance your life?

Will you training today give you a boost of confidence?

Nutrients…Nature’s Energy Nuggets

nuggets-Evan-Amos [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Nuggets of Energy

Is it possible to break a cycle of tiredness with nuggets of energy?

A big question about food is whether all calories are created equal.

Calories are what gives us the energy we need to be active, think, and survive each day.

Depending on genetics, body composition and activity levels your needs will vary.

Part of the mystery of being you is finding out what level of energy you need to live the life you want.

If you like a more sedentary lifestyle, it makes sense that you would need fewer calories.

What does not change is that we all need nutrients to be healthy and keep our bodies running the best it can.

Nutrients Count

In a car allegory, calories are like the fuel for the body.

Nutrients are the window wash, oil, lubrication, electrons, battery acid, etc.

All the parts that allow you to use the fuel the best you can.

Out goal is to run efficiently. To get the best gas milage and stay in running order.

It matters what you use for each one of the elements.

A donut is not going to give your intestines the best digestive process.

Whereas oatmeal will help your digestion and provide a slow burning energy that will sustain you longer.

It’s more bang for your buck (quite literally).

Flavor Factor

What is weird with this car vs. human body analogy is that a car does not have taste buds, or behaviors.

To most people a donut tastes better than oatmeal.

Unless you have a strong conviction as to why you want to eat oatmeal, it would be hard to leave that donut alone in a side by side choice test.

That is why having oatmeal in your cupboards and leaving donuts at the store make it easier to choose.

If you are feeling low on energy and a little down in general, try switching out one food habit for another. One that will give you a nutrient boost.

Oatmeal over donut, for example.

This is not a matter of willpower. This is a matter of energy management.

Give your day a little boost with a training session. Cheers!!

Gratitude + Organization = Calm

organization-Mosart 81 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Organize Your Calm

Thomas and I downsized back in 2015. Sold our house and got rid of a lot of stuff.

It was a relief and felt very freeing.

This last summer we downsized again, moving in to an even smaller apartment.

What is funny is I still have a hard time taking the time to clean.

Even though cleaning our apartment takes up a lot less time.

Part of it is that I have never found the gratitude for the place we live, or the things we own.

Valuing Stuff

Clothing, furniture and tools we use in our daily lives, like kitchen utensils, either have a purpose, or make things pretty.

Now, most of our things are practical and less pretty.

I do think that having things organized, regardless of their use, can make them pretty.

Clean lines and practicality have been two things that I really appreciate about design.

Looking around our little apartment, I see places where this can be improved.

I also see things that can be let go of, opening up more space.

Decluttering is a long process.

It takes a few cycles.

Gratitude Cycle

This next cycle can be a little bit more about appreciating what we own.

Being grateful for what it provides.

Recognizing the gift that owning it is.

If you I do not feel that way about something, maybe it is time to let it go.

My focus has been; “does it do something for me? Do I need it instead of want it?”

Switching that to gratitude takes away the judgment and guilt when it comes to what you want to keep.

I can see how it can build a home and not just a place to eat and sleep.

How do you find gratitude in your home and with the things you own?

Look to find appreciation for the equipment and your body, that helps you to train each day. Cheers!!

A Steady Pace of Life

Setting your own pace

Keep It Steady

How can you find and maintain a steady pace of life?

Is this what mediation is about? Finding a pace that works for you and working to maintain it.

I believe the best way to find this pace is to go inward, with mediation. 

Listening to your heartbeat, the sounds around you, and your breath.

What is it that keeps you moving?

Hurry Up And Get Annoyed

Lately I have been approaching life like an interval session.

From fast and furious to quiet and slow, then fast and furious again…

Funny thing is, just like when you do training with intervals, as you get past 3 to 4 sets, that earlier “fast and furious” starts to catch up with you.

It gets harder and harder to keep it up.

I find myself thinking resentful thoughts and planning my escape.

When I got up this morning with little to no desire to get working, I faced that I was doing this to myself.

The work is not bad and the people are nice.

Just like any job there are moments of uncertainty. 

How to approach a problem. Who to ask a question.

Figure It Out

Figuring out a steady pace that will get you the results you want from work and life is a challenge.

One that takes a little experimentation, and redirection now and then.

As life changes and you adapt, can you make adjustments that bring you back to your center?

Does the change alter the course forever?

If you look at a “choose you own adventure” book, one change makes a big difference.

Keep it steady, and get in a training session today. Cheers!!

Staying Ignorant, Good Plan?


Ignorant Bliss

Can bliss come from being ignorant about the world?

I was listening to a pod cast and the interviewer remarked on how happy the interviewee always seemed to be.

The interviewee claimed that a big part of his happiness came from avoiding the headlines about culture and politics in the world.

He didn’t get caught up in other people’s drama, or allow himself to aggravated about things he could not control or impact.

Just like there are people who live for the outrage, he lived to ignore all that causes the outrage.

Focus on What Matters

What mattered to him? He son, mom, friends, work buddies…the people in his life.

The people he could help, and who bring him a smile each day.

This all makes sense…right.

Those are the things that matter to him. Things that are real and he can be part of.

What do you consider important?

How does it impact your emotional life?

When you train today, will you feel better or no different when done?

Wake Up With One Eye Open?

Wake - Pavel Ĺ evela [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

Wake Up With Movement

When you roll out of bed, but really just want to roll back in, what do you do to wake up?

I used to get in the shower as soon as possible.

It may been brutal, but it worked.

Of course, the shower ended up being long and scorching.

Anything to avoid feeling cold.

I have been doing some joint movement exercises this past week and it feels good.

Then I jump in the shower, so I feel put together and grown up.

Jump in or Ease In?

Jumping into the day was a shower, easing in has been about moving.

Either way I keep the lights low and the sound to a minimum.

Maybe I need to throw on the lights and turn up a song and get going.

For me that feels like an invasion.

It does not feel like I am getting a jump-start to my day.

More like a shot out of a canon!

You Pick

There is not one “right way” to approach how to begin a day.

People who are sensitive to the world around may need a softer start.

People who need to create their own stimulation may need that extra “I am alive”. Take charge by turning on all the lights, and the radio.

Hopefully the people we live with can find neutral ground where we all get a bit of what we need.

How do you like to start your day?

Have you ever changed it up?

Train a little in the am to see if that wakes you up. Cheers!!

Freeze Fat Away – The new solution!

Freeze Fat Away (BS!) - Dreamy Pixel [CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

I don’t know if you’ve heard of this, but the new “loose fat fast” fad are Cold Vests.

Basically, you put on the “cool fat burner vest” or the “cool gut buster” freeze fat way.

By simply wearing the vest or wait band, they claim your metabolic rate can increase by 300%.

But wait, that’s not all!

Pick a miracle cure sales person from TV

They also promise that you’ll expend an additional 500 kcal per day by wearing this miracle.

Now, if the promises hold true, over a week you’ll burn enough extra calories to drop an extra 1 pound per week(!)

This sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

Just put on a fat burner vest, endure some cool and freeze fat away!

Freeze fat away, is it real?

If you’ve lived for a while, you’re probably just cynical enough to question the validity of the “freeze fat away” promise.

Maybe you’d even take the time to look at the website for the company and read about their “Brown Fat Cooling Vest”.

Like all good marketing pitches, they spin a good yarn.

But, in all fairness…

Just because the numbers seem big doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

Is there any science to back it up?

Actually, there is.

Probably not in the way the maker of the products hoped for though…

The Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse was commissioned by the American Council for Exercise (ACE) to perform a scientific review of the claims.

Unfortunately, the study provided a clear conclusion:

Neither of the cooling implements will increase your metabolic burn by 300%.

They won’t increase your calorie burn by 500kcal per day either.

The real effect of the cool fat burner?

The commissioned study was designed to decide whether wearing the Cool Fat Burner vest and/or the Cool Gut Buster abdomen cover would significantly increase the calorie expenditure when compared with resting metabolic rates.

The study consisted of 20 volunteers between 19 and 25 years of age. All of the participants had a BMI greater than 25. I.e. they were overweight or obese.

The participants had their metabolism measured during two states;

  • Resting – Not wearing the vest or abdomen cover, they sat still for 30 minutes.
  • Low-intensity fat burn – Wearing both products, they sat still for 30 minutes.
  • High-intensity fat burn – Wearing both products, sitting still for 30 minutes while drinking ice cold water at the start and the half-way point of the 30 minutes.

The good news

First, let’s cover the good news!

Both the low and high intensity testing phases resulted in a percentage wise significantly greater calorie burn.

The low intensity testing phase had an increase of 14% as compared to the resting phase.

The high intensity phase had an increase of 27% as compared to the resting phase.

Not 300%, but still fairly impressive, right?

Burn 27% more calories by sitting still for 30 minutes, drinking some ice water and wearing a cold vest plus abdominal cover.

Sounds like something we should consider spending money on, yes..?

(What comes next is the kind of stuff that causes people to lose faith in science…)

What do the numbers translate to?

As a fat loss/weight loss strategy, freezing fat away is a pretty sh*tty one.

Though the percentage numbers look pretty good, the absolute kcal numbers are abysmal.

When you account for the fact that the numbers had to be extrapolated to wearing the products for twice the time of the actual tests?

Well, then it gets even worse!

The “high intensity fat burn” phase resulted in an additional burn of 23.4 kcal for the test hour.

For the “low intensity fat burn” phase, the number is a whopping 12 kcal for the hour.

In practical terms?

(FWIW, the following statement completely ignores how fat loss really works. It’s merely for illustration!)

Based on the results from the study, in order to lose 1 extra pound of fat?

We’d need to wear the fairly expensive vest and abdomen cover for an hour per day, while drinking 16 oz of ice water every 15 minutes during that hour, for 149.5 days.

If calorie burn is your goal, you’d be far better off just going for a lazy stroll!

And if you spend an hour doing VPT training, with some extra intensity, today you’ll possibly burn more than 10x the number of kcal.