The Mind Thing

As a fitness enthusiast and well I may add that I took up BS Psychology though was not able to finish my study, I am thinking that having a body that looks healthy will never be enough. Having a healthy mind correlates with having a healthy body. Why did I say so?

In every sport, it would require you to think clearly, of course and without a healthy mind, can you think clearly? Having a healthy mind is a wide subject to talk about I know as it is hard to distinguish having a healthy mind when we have clutters within us that are stopping us from thinking clearly. Having a healthy mind in my own opinion is connected to what attitude, on how we adapt to distractions. Again, this subject is too wide as there are many aspects that we need to consider like psychological tests and stuff like that. Okay then, let me simplify this by, finding ways how we can think clearly. How can we think clearly? By training our brain which we can find the full article about it here: http://breakingmuscle.com/health-medicine/bdnf-basics-7-ways-to-train-your-brain

In my own personal experience, meditation plays a very important role after every exercise. It looks odd I know sitting inside the gym or outdoor after every exercise routine that I do but, I do not mind as it is for my wellness, my goal: a healthy mind and a healthy body.

The Milk Problem

which milk

If you are one of the few who is following my blog, then you already know that I am a fan of drinking milk instead of protein supplements which you may find my post about here. However, I have heard a lot of people who are having bad memories when it comes to drinking milk as the effect go like if they will drink milk, they will have a meeting inside the toilet afterwards and their digestion goes into havoc.

Their solution to this problem is drinking soy milk. If you are a woman, that is okay as it may give you enough protein for your daily intake need. However, if you are a man who wants to develop muscle and be fit, lean or get ripped, soy milk should be taken with precautions due to estrogen contents that may cause hormonal imbalance. I have read a story of a man who developed gynecomastia or enlargement of a man’s breasts, usually due to hormonal imbalance, and the suspect is none other than Soy Milk. You can read the article here: http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/soys-negative-effects

This stirred my curiosity because a lot of vegetarians I know substituted their milk intake to soy milk. So with the help of google, I found these sites:

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-975-soy.aspx?activeingredientid=975&activeingredientname=soy

http://www.livestrong.com/article/525809-soy-milk-and-estrogen-levels/

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/expertvoices/post/2012/08/02/the-bottom-line-on-soy-and-breast-cancer-risk.aspx

In my opinion, everything should be consumed with moderation. As I myself, I usually drink two glasses of milk before I sleep because I do not know if it is psychologically but bad dreams are lesser compared before. Make sure that you are not going beyond what is recommended intake, as everything that is “too much” is really bad for your health especially when you are into health and fitness, body building, or any exercises which aims to reach your fitness goal. Well, a lot just wanted to look good naked (I know a lot of them). If you are scared of drinking soy milk now, but you have lactose intolerance, the best solution is consuming Goat’s Milk.

Here are some benefits that you will get from drinking Goat’s Milk I got from this site http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/goat-milk-benefits/

Again, let me reiterate, yes I am in favor of drinking cow’s milk or goat’s milk rather than drinking soy milk but, everything needs to be consumed with moderation. Let me say one more time, everything that is too much, is bad (even loving too much is bad as well). Ask the doctors and they will still recommend balanced diet anyway.

Milk-Health

The “Macho” Culture

tough-guy-macho-culture

Okay, being the eldest son of the eldest of the eldest, there are things that has been put on my shoulders that I had to carry. Let me clarify, I am the oldest son, of my grandparents son, and my late grandfather is the oldest son of yet, my grandfather’s father is also the oldest. So, what then? If you are living in a culture that is so diverse, as you all know Philippines has been colonized by Spain for 300 years, then Japan, and then Americans (I do not want to tackle history but I do not know if I am making any sense really). As what I am saying, being in a culture that is so diverse yet there is this tradition wherein if you are the eldest, there are so many expectations (I did not meet any).

Where did everything start?

I came in a family wherein some are politicians, and most are part of the Arm Forces of the Philippines and some are part of the Philippine National Police so you can imagine now that my childhood were lived under strict governance of military/police/politicians regimens where do’s and don’ts are being imposed and you do not have the right to ask why. I was asked to join the military but I left them as it never came to my mind that I will be one as my dream profession until now is to become a Psychologist.

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As a child, there were so many things that were pressed on me. Things that if not done, I should be prepared to be hanged on a tree, to be hit with a stick, belt buckle, or sometimes they will punch or kick me straight to the face. The worst is being hit with a pair of leather shoes on my face. The twist was, I must not cry as if I will, I will be hit more and harder. During those days, I promised that if being in authority gives you right to hurt people physically if they will not be able to do what you wanted to be done, then, I will not be part of the military nor hold any title that will give authority.

I had great fascination with arts and sciences and had always been amazed by the things that I read. But the more I become fascinated with arts and sciences, the angrier they were. The only one who was proud of me joining or winning arts competitions was my late grandfather. He would always let me sit on his lap while me showing what I have painted and why I have painted such.

The Rise of the Tiger

As someone who was into arts and sciences as a child, I was a victim of bullying and it has always been like that until college days wherein I led people into going against things that are not really needed by the school as I believe that we have to focus more on the quality of education not in using fancy uniforms just to show off. I earned respect by doing so that they I was constantly being asked to join the student council which I decided not to as I made a promise when I was a child that I will not hold any title that will give me authority and I realized that I can earn respect.

rainbow_tiger_by_fizzy_sprite-d54ynkg

The Effects of “Macho” Culture on Me

I was a college student when I first had my first kiss, not with a girl, but with a guy. I was so scared that I had tremors and questions were like “what if my uncles will find out?” “What if my family will not accept me?” Due to my denial of my real nature, I agreed to join the military thinking that what was happened was just because of mere curiosity but when the time came that I had to join the Armed Forces of the Philippines, I ran away. I did not visit them, nor even started communication. I went into hiding as I know I am such a failure to them that I will not be accepted. I could tell people then that I never had a happy childhood.

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What I am now?

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I am a call centre agent working in one of the call center company here in Mandaluyong City and staying at the National Capital Region’s biggest city, Quezon City. A health and fitness enthusiast, into Mixed Martial Arts, and this coming October, I will have my first fight ever. I hope then, that at some point my family will be able to accept who I am, that I will never be what they wanted me to be. I do not know if how many children out there who are currently having the miseries that I had but I can say that life is not about Gender, Religion, or Sexual Orientation. It is about how you apply the word “humanity” as what the Dalai Lama said:

kindness is my religion

AND AS FOR ME, it is about HOW WE

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Quitting Problems

quitI was able to cut down the number of sticks a day from a pack to 10 sticks a day, then to seven and down to 5 sticks a day without any trouble. Now, I am trying to make it 3 sticks a day to keep up with my quite active lifestyle in which I am having trouble. I have this cold like sickness and there is a pain at my left lower chest. I was like, “Damn! What are these that I am feeling?” I never had problem quitting drugs abruptly and I was able to manage the cravings, tingling sensations and all of the stuff connected with abruptly quitting drugs. But, why the hell I am having problem quitting cigarettes?

I am reading some articles as of this moment and makes me think that it is quite normal and a clinic located here in Mandaluyong City offers smoking cessation program by using non-invasive medical tool, utilizing acupuncture or acupressure points but quite expensive. You have to pay around PHP 12, 0000 – PHP 15, 000 but there is a disclaimer which makes me doubt the effectiveness. Is there anyone out there can give me any idea on how to manage the side effects of quitting cigarettes?

Green Tea Dilemma

I usually drink green tea like 1 sachet a day every afternoon on my office desk 30 minutes before taking my lunch break. Now, it came to my mind if green tea is good or bad. Well, anything that is too much is bad for you I must say. But, some people that I know will not even try drinking not even green teas.

If you are part of a very big and constantly growing religious organization like The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saint or simply known as mormons, then you will not even dare to drink tea. I was part of the church and know, guess what? I am a Luciferian. Well, I am not going to tell more about the religious dum dum here. I am having thoughts about why you should or should not drink green tea.

Let us take a look at what they call “Word of Wisdom” which can be found at their site (https://www.lds.org/topics/word-of-wisdom?lang=eng)

What is the Word of Wisdom?

The Word of Wisdom is a law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children. On February 27, 1833, as recorded in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord revealed which foods are good for us to eat and which substances are not good for the human body. He also promised health, protection, knowledge, and wisdom to those who obey the Word of Wisdom.

In the Word of Wisdom, the Lord revealed that the following substances are harmful:

Alcoholic drinks (see D&C 89:5-7).

Tobacco (see D&C 89:8).

Tea and coffee (see D&C 89:9; latter-day prophets have taught that the term “hot drinks,” as written in this verse, refers to tea and coffee).

When people purposefully take anything harmful into their bodies, they are not living in harmony with the Word of Wisdom. Illegal drugs can especially destroy those who use them. The abuse of prescription drugs is also destructive spiritually and physically.

The Lord also declared in the Word of Wisdom that the following foods are good:

Vegetables and fruits, which should be used “with prudence and thanksgiving” (see D&C 89:10-11).

The flesh “of beasts and of the fowls of the air,” which is “to be used sparingly” (see D&C 89:12-13).

Grains such as wheat, rice, and oats, which are “the staff of life” (see D&C 89:14-17).

To those who keep the Word of Wisdom, the Lord promised:

“All saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

“And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

“And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

“And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them” (D&C 89:18-21).

The best course is to completely avoid the substances that the Lord prohibits in the Word of Wisdom. Those who have engaged in addictive behaviors can stop and become free from addiction. Through personal effort, strength from the Lord, help from family members and friends, and guidance from Church leaders, anyone can overcome addiction.

So, are you gonna drink green tea or not? Now let us take a look at what a green tea can benefit drinkers (http://www.livestrong.com/article/180974-lipton-green-tea-benefits/) which are Immunity Boost and Healthy Heart:

Immunity Boost

Green tea may boost your immune system, helping to ward off illnesses. In a study published in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition” in 2007, researchers gave some participants green-tea capsules twice daily and other participants a placebo. At the end of the three-month trial, 32 percent fewer subjects in the green-tea group experienced cold or flu symptoms. In addition, those taking green tea had higher levels of gammadelta T cells, which help fight infection. While green tea is not a substitute for vaccines or other medicines, drinking it might help you stay well during flu season.

A Healthy Heart

A number of studies link green tea consumption to improved heart health, according to Harvard Health Publications. While more research is needed to confirm these results, scientists have found green tea to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein — the kind of cholesterol that builds up on artery walls — as well as lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Some of these studies were performed using catechin capsules, however, so Lipton green tea may not duplicate the effects.

In addition to that, it can also aid in weight loss as from what I have experienced, from 158 lbs, I am now at fluctuating from 160 lbs to 156 lbs (I guess water retention is affecting the fluctuation), by drinking green tea and of course, you should accompany it with proper diet and exercise. What is good in drinking green tea if you do not have control or discipline in eating foods that contain bad fats? It is up for you to decide if you should or you should not drink green tea. Of course, any thing that is too much is not good for your health as everything needs to be taken at certain moderation. Like what I have said, I only drink it once a day, in the afternoon at my office desk. Again, moderation is the key. Even listening to music is good, can be harmful when you are using your headphones at the loudest settings for long hours.

So you want to be Fit, Eh?

Myth: If you are fit you are healthy.

Fact: When you are fit it does not necessarily mean that you are healthy. Have you checked if you are getting enough macronutrients and micronutrients from your diet? Check what you are eating and to learn more, you may check this site: http://bonfirehealth.com/micronutrients-macronutrients-food-breakdown/ . Not because you look fit does not mean you are healthy bruh.

Myth: If you are fit, you are flexible.

Fact: I guess this is no brainer. Flexibility comes from a specific training. In BJJ, you are being trained to be flexible as you have to do some rolls and with wrestling as well and I know some people who looks fit yet they cannot even reach their foot while they are standing.

Myth: People who look bulky are strong.

Fact: Who said? I know some who are steroid users and not because you look fit, you are strong.

To be strong:

  1. Do Strength Training. Since I strongly believed that this should not be costly, have time to read more about strength training and there are so many exercises that you can do that does not require you gym membership.
  2. Get Enough Rest. 8 hours sleep a day is advisable and it is science. No need to provide further details about this because I am sure that you have heard or read a lot about benefits of having enough sleep.
  3. Eat Real Foods. Get away from food that contains high cholesterol and those foods that contain bad fats. (You can read more about good and bad fats here: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/good-fats-bad-fats)
  4. Have a Positive Outlook. You know the old saying that what your mind can conceive, the body can achieve? Or have you heard about “Law of Attraction”?

Want to learn more about strength training, I highly recommend this site which I am not affiliated with: Muay Thai Pros

As much as I wanted to add more to this myth and fact thingy and add more information, I cannot think of any other as of this moment. By the way, I found a gym near my place, walking distance from my apartment that would only cost Php 650.00 ($13.94) per month for unlimited visit. Will be posting a review soon…

Leg Power! NO GYM REQUIRED

So, a friend of mine said her legs are weak so she cannot do exercises. I had weak legs too and not to mention, I am flat footed which made it more challenging for me. Luckily, there are so many ways on how to develop strong legs. Thanks for my Muay Thai training but most of all, if you are determined enough to do so, you may try the things that will help you develop strong legs.

Start by walking 15-20 minutes a day (walking your dog is okay) and if you can jog, much better. The more you do, the more you are exercising those legs, the more they will develop. Since I am such a believer that you can achieve your fitness goals without suffering from being broke, here are some exercises aside from walking or jogging that will help you achieve strong legs (Some exercises will not only help you develop legs):

Warm-up

Repeat this light cardio warm-up twice before beginning the main circuit.

  1. March in place for 60 seconds
  2. Run in place for 60 seconds
  • 20 seconds high knees (quickly tucking your knees as close to your chest as possible)
  • 20 seconds with legs wide (slightly wider than shoulder distance apart)
  • 20 seconds butt kicks (as if you are trying to kick your butt with your heels)
  1. Side jacks for 30 seconds

Start standing with your feet shoulder-distance apart. Step quickly to the right and do a partial squat. As you squat, raise your arms above your head. Return to the start position and repeat with the left leg. Repeat for the time duration.

  1. Lunge with alternate arm raises for 30 seconds

As you lunge forward with the right leg, raise your left arm. If you cannot keep your balance with your arm raised, then simply do alternate lunges.

The Circuit (50 seconds per exercise)

Single-leg squat

How to: Begin in a standing position on the left leg. Slowly lower yourself as far as you can. Push back up to return to the start position. Switch legs halfway.

Box incline pushup

How to: These can be done with your knees on the ground if you cannot do them with your legs at full extension. It is more important to have perfect form than it is to have your legs extended. Put your hands on a box and the feet on the ground. Slowly lower the chest until it is even with the hands. Push back up to return to start position.

Basic crunches

How to: The title might say basic, but when these are done correctly, they will pump your abs up! Keep your back flat and try to prevent it arching as much as possible.

Backward lunge

How to: Begin with feet shoulder-width apart and hands on your waist. Step the left foot backwards until the knee makes contact with the ground. Return to the start position by pushing off your left foot and returning to the start position. Switch legs halfway.

Alternate Superman

How to: Lie flat on your stomach, with your arms stretched over your head and your palms facing down. Lift your left arm and your right leg, hold briefly. Switch sides. Repeat.

Box dips

How to: Begin in a sitting position with the hands facing forward on the box and feet on the ground. Slowly lower your body until the arms are at 90 degrees and then return to start.

Single-leg bridge

How to: Lying on the ground with knees bent, take one leg and cross it over the other. Keep shoulders on the ground as you raise your hips up to the ceiling and slowly lower down. Switch legs halfway.

Plank

How to: Start by lying face down, with your forearms on the ground, palms facing flat on the ground. Come up on to your toes and forearms. Make sure your back stays flat with no arch or pike. Keep your abdominals tight. Hold the whole time.

Squat thrusts (aka “burpees”)

How to: Begin with feet shoulder-width apart in a standing position. Descend into a squat position and kick the legs back and bring your hands forward to create a pushup position. Once the legs come into contact with the ground, pull them back under the body and return to the standing position. To increase the difficulty, you can add a hop when you come up to standing position, and/or a pushup when you are in the high plank position.

Bicycle crunches

How to: Lie on your back as if you are going to do a basic crunch. Raise your legs so they are at a 90-degree angle, with your shins parallel to the floor. Place your hands lightly behind your head, not pulling on your neck. Extend your left leg straight and bring your right knee into your chest while bringing your left elbow over to your knee. (They likely will not touch, and that’s not necessarily the goal.) Think about twisting to bring your chest to the knee, rather than your arm to avoid pulling on your neck. Alternate sides continuously for the whole segment.

Alternative Exercises (If you can’t do the list above):

Here’s the leg circuit routine that we did:

Walking lunges for the length of the basketball court

  • 10+ box jumps on a 2 foot high box
  • 10+ vertical jumps starting from a full squat
  • 25+ 1 leg standing calve raises
  • 25+ bodyweight squats on your tippy toes (i.e. aka hindu squats)

Repeat the circuit at least 3 times. If you are feeling extra energetic you can do more, but 3 times through will be a killer workout for most people.

Just to add, daily calcium intake is also helpful in developing leg muscles and avoiding fatty foods that will cause your knees suffer from uric acid which are caused by you know, fatty foods.

Sources:

http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/01/02/60-minute-session-no-gym-required-strength-training

http://leehayward.com/blog/bodyweight-leg-workout/

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