Balancing act

I have just returned from another solid week of travel and am happy to report that this time, I was able to both stick to my routines a bit better AND enjoy myself a lot more! I suppose this is indicative of becoming accustomed to traveling, and I accomplished it in spite of the fact that I completely overbooked my work schedule.

However, I am certain that my ability to maintain balance while on the road is a direct result of the promises I made to myself (https://livetobe100.wordpress.com/the-core/) to eat real food and to get regular exercise. I now find myself consciously choosing to eat certain items because I can easily name the ingredients (conversely, I reject choices often because I just can’t tell what is in the food). As for exercise, it’s not hard to get enough as long as I have correctly defined “exercise.” For example, 2 hours of steady walking in a major city counts just as much as 30 minutes on a stationary bike. And I practice yoga as-needed (one good example is a light sequence of hip-opening poses after I drive for 4 hours) in addition to my standard hour-long sessions.

On this trip, I kept reminding myself to just relax and enjoy the local offerings, which included micro-brews (beer and coffee!), culinary delights, and sightseeing. All in all, the trip was far more enjoyable than my last adventure! Now I just need to remember not to book quite so many meetings next time.

Exercise: my drug of choice

It never fails to amaze me how much better I feel after a good workout! I’m not talking about anything extreme, either. No, for me, all I need is an hour of brisk walking or yoga, or perhaps 30-45 minutes of moderately fast stationary biking. The trick is that I need to do this at least 5 days a week, and every single day would be best.

The effects of this exercise are dramatic for me. After 10 minutes, I can feel my shoulders relax, the muscles in my forehead soften and the tension in my face and lower back starts to drain away. At about 25 minutes into my workout the fog begins to clear from my brain and my mood lightens considerably. Then, after my mind is lubricated, I can tune into my body and ask: are my hips tight, do I feel properly aligned today, can I sense anything that is just out of whack and in need of adjustment?

Truly, this is like having a physical therapist, yoga master, spiritual guide and psychologist all contained in a neat package called exercise. Yes, it’s amazing. Not to mention a terrific way to enjoy my journey to 100 years old!

10 days of travel

I have just returned to the office after 10 days of work-related travel. My most profound observation: sticking to a routine while on the road is really important, but nearly impossible to do when you go to a new city every couple of days! And I’m only talking about traveling in the U.S., so I can’t imagine how difficult it would be elsewhere.

Honestly, the only reason the “routine problem” even matters to me is that I find it exponentially more difficult to take good care of myself when I stray from my tried-and-true schedule. For me, on my journey to Live to be 100 Years Old, taking care of myself (sleeping well, staying in close touch with loved ones, eating right, etc.) is key to my happiness and how I feel on a daily basis.

In hindsight, I realize that I was easily able to stick to my routines for the first 3 or so days of my journey. What that means is that I have at least 2 choices in the future: 1. I could take trips that last no longer than 3 days!, or 2. I’d better figure out how to live my regular life while traveling.

Before I know it, I’ll have this figured out and be an expert traveler. Until then, I’m going to hang on and try to enjoy the crazy ride!

Trying to enjoy the whirlwind

Life has been awfully hectic lately: new job, moving to a new city, learning to travel a lot for said new job. And I’m really just, well, tired. I’m having fun and enjoying every minute. I’m really making a concerted effort to slow down and savor the moments, to get enough rest and care for myself.

But honestly, so much of every day right now for me is simply new, and it’s a lot to take in. I guess it’s overwhelming, actually, and I am getting worn down. In my quest to live to be 100, I realize that I need to pace myself.

I also need to strive for balance, which means I need to pay closer attention to what I’m eating, do more yoga, meditate more, and find more time to relax. And of course, not get so overwhelmed.

I think I have my work cut out for me!

Knees’ needs

If I were to tell you that I have knee issues, you could reasonably assume two things about me: that I am 1. human and 2. male or female. I truly think that knee problems are a lot like allergy to poison ivy (you might not suffer from it now, but you probably will at some point in your life).

I think knees simply got the short end of the stick design-wise. Bipedalism? Awesome! But, sorry about the non-alignment of the hips over the knees, especially once the human race decides to start living longer than, say, an average of 20 years. Good luck with those knees once you are into your third decade of life!

The point I’m really trying to make (sorry for the rant) is that my miserable knees have GOT to last me another 62 years. And, even if you must substitute the word “hip” or “shoulder” or “ankle” for the word “knee,” chances are, we are all going to have to figure out how to make these blasted joints thrive along with us as we age.

Which begs the question, HOW are we going to accomplish this? I’ll admit that I am researching this one often. I really don’t want to have to face surgery at any point, so I’m trying to learn about “making space” in my knees through yoga, increasing my overall flexibility to take some of the stress off of my knees, ice, anti-inflammatory drugs if necessary, anti-inflammatory supplements, and even the possibility of eating a diet that will reduce overall joint inflammation.

Since I’m not about to give up the extreme pleasure of hiking, or even walking for that matter, I’ve got some work to do and some TLC  to apply liberally…

Here’s to knees that will serve me until I’m 100!