Month: April 2017

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What’s popular these days?

One day I read an article that coffee is bad for us. Then a week or so later, a few articles come out that states drinking coffee moderately is actually good for our health.

A doctor once told a distant relative:  Avoid eating any rice at all. Yet I found out that there is such a thing as a “rice diet”, where you basically eat any kind of food as long as its made from rice.

In the 70s, bell bottomed pants were the rage, only to disappear in the 80s. Sometime after that, it reappeared again sometime before 2017. Baggy pants for men, remember those days? Then changed to regular fit pants to skinny pants. Baggy pants will come back soon, just wait.

From approximately 1998 thru 2006, Real estate was considered the best U.S. investment. It seemed like residential units will never go down in value. But like any cycle, it went sour and a multitude of people got crushed by the economic downturn. Real estate picked up again around 2012 and I think it’s close to another peak right now.

Want one more?

Hydration is very important to exercise and health, right? I’ve seen a few people even go to the extent of carrying a gallon of water everywhere they go. Is it healthful to drink a gallon a day? Maybe. But then back in the 80s, bicyclists trained on their racing bikes for 80 miles without drinking a drop of water. I think that’s tougher than drinking a gallon a day, right?

wash, rinse, repeat.

Trends come and go and sometimes we are attracted to the latest and greatest. It’s fine if it’s minor like the color of your next car (the most popular car colors are silver, black and white). The only thing that will affect you in the future is the resale value of the car down the road and maybe getting tired of the color eventually (the other colors will have less value after a few years).

Sometimes we are faced with too many choices. It seems that with improving technology we are offered a plethora of choices for almost everything. It’s essential that we get rid of the riffraff (distractions) to get to the right choice.

My solution to this constant dilemma of making the right choices is research and just plain thinking. When I have a task that’s challenging, I sometimes spend hours just thinking how I could find the best solution. I even use a pad of paper, different color pens, my favorite pencil and a calculator sometimes to arrive at a good decision. This system works for me.

But all that systematic problem solving pales in comparison to what I usually do these last few decades: I pray for guidance. I really can’t tell how the guidance will arrive but it does. I’ve received some guidance that I ignored, and I paid a big price one time. I think the solution is to pray also that I do not miss the guidance when it shown to me.


The Home Gym

I admit that in the past, I would rather not join a gym if I had to pay a monthly membership. We had free gyms in the navy – even on ships so I didn’t see the point of paying for something I could use for free. Fast forward to a few years after retirement. Now I live over an hour (with light traffic) from the nearest military gym.

Solution: my wife and I joined a gym for 9.95 a month but it’s only 2 miles away.

Do I really need to join a gym? Yes, and that’s only because I would get better organized with my schedule if I had to go to a certain place to do something. Kinda like we go to a workplace because the environment provides us with the ready resources and the skilled coworkers that make us productive than working from home.

We can do our own Home Gym. First we buy the most expensive weight set and gym equipment. A recycled rubber floor mat to absorb the shock and put on loud music on speakers. The we can wear the latest perspiration wicking clothing and a big floor or ceiling fan. Presto – a home gym. That was a joke, by the way!

By home gym, I mean the minimalist way. We can use our body weight for the exercise – like sit ups, planks, push ups and the famous burpees. With dumbbells or kettlebells, we can do arm, bicep, tricep, back and shoulder as well and squat exercises. With barbells, we can do more weight training. With a sturdy bar, we can do pull ups or chin ups. I mean, we can do so many things limited only by our imagination.

Just within our (and your) neigborhood, we can jog, sprint short distances or do distance running without ever seeing a treadmill. Don’t forget the fun of riding bicycles.

Our objective is to avoid sitting down watching TV while eating three times the recommended calorie intake. We know that as we look back decades from now, we will never regret that we didn’t watch enough TV.

The regular gym has so many advantages though. First the equipment – some of them are more expensive than 10 years worth of gym membership. Second, the variety of equipment – I mean there’s just a lot of equipment to use to vary the workout. Third, there are trainers available – if we are so inclined – to teach and monitor if we’re doing the right exercises.

For minimalist, a home gym can still provide the basic exercises needed to stay fit. But if we want advanced fitness (tailored to our needs), nothing beats a regular gym.