podcast produced by john c ashworth
I remember when I first discovered the true and immediate transformation that one exercise session has on your physiology. I mean for 72 hours or so, you become a completely different human being.
Your blood sugar stabilizes. Your bad cholesterol goes down and your good cholesterol goes up.
You rid yourself of cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. The stress chemicals that seep into you and your soul each and every time you experience even just a little bit of stress. Cortisol in particular can be devastating because it promotes storage of extra fat in your belly, where it can more easily go to work on wreaking havoc for your blood sugar and arteries.
Exercise is simply amazing in its ability to produce an immediate elixir to this cascade of calamity in your blood and body.
Exercise in the form of strength training is even more powerful on its own and that’s what I plan to cover in this series of posts.
Let’s start today with a simple list of strength training benefits and that way as I add more of the story for each, you can check back to this post and click the live links to further explanation and elaboration.
- rebuilding muscle
- recharging metabolism
- reducing fat
- reducing resting blood pressure
- improving blood lipip profiles (your cholesterol)
- enhancing post coronary performance – after a heart attack or some other ishemic or disease event related to your heart directly
- reisting diabetes – by helping stablizize your blood sugar by demanding more from your muscles and body
- increasing bone density
- decreasing physical discomfort – strength training is terrific for your joints, as one example
- enhancing mental health
- revitalizing muscle cells – which means more of you is alive and well and working and thriving
- Reversing physical frailty
- combating cancer
- enhanced athletic performance from your tennis and golf games to whatever it is you like to do to release your inner bohemian athlete
Take a quick second right now to bookmark this post. I’m committed to this list and have been excited to start this series of posts for quite some time now. I’m only one nomad, so I can’t get to everything at once 🙂
Before I go, I do want to leave you with a quick thought or two about how strength training helps you stay leaner over the years. Especially when you’re over 50. And again, that podcast I keep mentioning is a good one. I’ll just include it again here too…
The science on the subject shows us the critical cause-and-affect relationship between muscle loss and fat gain. You can refer back to the podcast I did on this subject if you like. I always like to clearly emphasize this point when discussing the benefits of strength training because on the surface, the numbers don’t seem that devastating, but when you dive into the details, you will see that the muscle you lose each decade is one of the primary things working against you when it comes to staying leaner as you age.
Unless you perform some type of muscle strengthening activity, you will lose about 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of lean (muscle) weight every decade of adult life (Frontera et al. 2000). This reduced your resting metabolic rate by 3% per decade (Keys et al. 1973).
This reduced the number of calories you burn each day whether you are exercising or not, and causes your body to store more of those unburned calories as fat.
Remember, resting metabolism accounts for approximately 70 percent of the calories used every day, as such, metabolic slowdown is a major factor in fat gain during aging (Wolfe 2006).
A great article I found along the way. This research was led by one of my favorite long-time scientists for strength training, Wayne Westcott, PhD.
podcast produced by john c ashworth
How to cultivate your passions – Beginner’s Mind
written by john c ashworth
You are NOT your mind. Put another way, the essence of who you are in this world is not defined by the thoughts that run through your head. Those thoughts, ideas, and conceptions are coming from somewhere close to you, no doubt. But they do not define you. The challenge is that all of those thoughts do come from your daily life, along with the interpretations you form that are also based on past experience. Your belief systems, in other words, shape every single one of your reactions in every moment to everything that is around you. And as the associated emotions from these thoughts and experiences stir inside your heart and mind, they too begin to cloud your judgement. Your clarity. Your peace of mind and most importantly, your ability to see clearly what comes next.
This is why Emmerson once said that, “every institution is the shadow of one man.” In today’s world, it is important to add ‘man or woman’ of course. And if you found yourself reacting to that quote in a way relating to the inherent gender bias therein, you and I are getting close to being on the same page as we begin this discussion of ‘beginner’s mind.’
Milton Friedman once said that, “only a crisis, actual or perceived, produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around at the time.” I would add that those ideas that might be lying around are born of everything that has led you to that moment, and shaped your belief sytems to that point in time. So, those ideas, good or bad, may in fact require a closer look when and if you’re willing to see them in a new context. Because those ideas have been shaped by belief systems that may need to be re-born. Granted another chance to begin again.
This is why a crisis, like the pandemic of 2020-2021 can be a real turning point for societies.
(I have started this book with this ideas because) I feel it is very important for all of us to constantly make time for consideration that we might not know as much as we think we do. No matter our level of experience, when you work to cultivate the slight edge inside your life, and your business, you must work to keep your mind from sending you down dark alleyways that lead to danger and dead-ends. You must adopt the mindset of beginners mind and clear the backroads for the potential of new exploration. You must work hard to rid yourself of automatic reactions to life and business events, and instead find the clarity you need to experience each and every situation as if you were looking at it for the first time. If you can do this, the results will be transformative. If you can’t? Well, you may just become lost.
Steve Jobs once said that, “People with passion can change the world for the better.” This is an easy and inspiring statement to run with, but doesn’t tell the whole story for you and I. Because you and I don’t choose our passions. They choose us, but you have to be listening. And if you’re mind is a constant cloud of conundrums, and old and worn out perspectives and beliefs, there will exist a constant buzzing in your ears and you will not be able to hear anything; and eventually go deaf.
So many of the funeral directors I speak with every day in my work (for Frazer Consultants) experience their service and their work and their mission as a calling. The best thing in life is to have or find this calling. Your passions will lead you there. Just please be careful not to let your intellect and the lure of logic drown out your passions; and always keep in mind that your passion is never enough on its own. Hard work must come along for the ride too. Adopting your beginner’s mindset will provide you great support in this effort.
For the funeral directors I work with every day, this is paramount because your profession is changing drastically every day. I know you know this, so the real question is what you choose to do about it? And more to the point (of this first chapter,) how are you relating to it?
Be bold and brave and focus on things that are no yet working. Life and career harmony come from finding meaning. Meaning comes from following your passions. And passions are discovered when you keep an open mind. Be nimble and robust, and always lean into the future, becaue if you lean away, the future will always win. Adversity is a great teacher but only if you choose to do the hard things, and focus not on your gifts, but your willingness to dig into the trenches and work very very hard. Your gifts were given to you so be gratefu l and be bold, and also remember that ideas are the easy part. It will be your stubborn and relentless pursuit of those ideas that will bring those convictions to life and allow you to serve humankind and cultivate true meaning.
Be stubborn about your vision and flexible about the details. Remember, ‘beginner’s mind.’ Because you will often discover that you were not right about everything, and as such, you will have to change course and learn along the way. Stay focused and prevent yourself from chasing the hot passion of the day. Never stop learning.
produced by john c ashworth
When the pandemic first started, I went to work perfecting my environment and setting-up my home office to optimize virtual communication. Initially, I decided on the Blue Yeti Nano for both price and availability. One year later, I have upgraded to the Blue Yeti x USB microphone with a simple foam filter and I love it! Watch this video for a quick sound sample…
created & produced by john c ashworth
podcast produced by john c ashworth