Eye Training!

Most of us happen to live in a very media focused life. Entertainment is served through a screen, we learn and educate via screens and work in front of a screen too. If you have a life mostly void of screen time, I commend you and I’m envious and I’m sure you probably don’t get eye strains much. Limiting range of focus and specialising in short range focus is just not what the eyes are made for. As I often talk about – when you take away a natural element of our being, other parts will suffer. Take away a function of the eyes and the eyes will struggle.

For those who do get eye strains and tired eyes from screen time, yes, time away from the screen should be scheduled but, you could and should take a couple of minutes a few times a week or per day and train your eyes. And you should of course get your eyes tested for general health every year too.

Eye training will not mitigate ageing vision, that’s just part of getting old, deal with it, but you can develop more resilient eyes with the following simple exercises I will share with you.

What Exercise is Best to Reduce Stress?

Is the type and amount of exercise important in mediating your response to stress?

This is one controversial subject matter. 

So often you’ll hear of Jack or Jill hitting the gym after a terrible day at work, an argument or whatever, and their intention is to ‘smash it out’ a gut wrenching session. We have gyms that now specialise in high intensity systems and that’s all they do. If you join that gym you can guarantee that every session will be a ‘smash it out’ session. 

High intensity exercise has its place. When in a competition, when you’re being paid to do it, to save a family members life or when a pack of wild dogs are chasing you down. 

The idea that high intensity training is what athletes do, so it’s what we all should do is a fallacy. First off, athletes spend an extraordinarily low amount of their overall training time on high intensity training and when they do, it’s part of a programmed period of training building up to competition. Secondly, athletes are not everyone. They are usually the special specimens that have great genes and further, understand the risks they take with their training and how it may impact their bodies. 

The point I’m getting to here is this. Stress is like a fire. The more you pile onto it the more fierce it becomes. High intensity exercise, let’s say anything you rate as 8 out of 10 effort, is putting stress on the body. That stitch in your side when running, that burn in the muscles when you keep pushing out the reps and that headache after the training session; that is just more physiological stress being piled on top of other stress. 

I am not saying my clients or I never work on movements and just sit around taking it easy – we follow designed programs using moderate intensities, efforts and durations. The results always speak for themselves. 

As a guide, if you can practice your training (whatever it is) while breathing only in and out of the nose, you are in the good zone. If your focus is the movement and performing it good, better and ‘betterer’ with nasal breathing – you are doing the best you can. 

Why No Facebook Jamie?

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. … They have their exits and their entrances 

– Shakespear

Knowledge and information are not always power. They can often be overpowering, overwhelming and disruptive to an otherwise emotional and mental status quo. I do feel that social media is not ‘just’ the platform it once was. Sharing has become a new past-time, in hand with ‘look at me’ antics and self-valuation beliefs. Feeling hurt because someone didn’t like your post on a forum is now a thing! Oh dear. What has become of the modern world? 

My lil role as local trainer and wider promoter of healthy lifestyles, strength, moving better is just not being (currently) served by my efforts on the interweb socials. I found myself following the herd and just sharing stuff for the sake of sharing stuff. This takes times. Yes, it takes time to think of ‘what video or picture can I make today to let people know I’m into fitness

To be honest, unless you’ve got a tight fan-base or a huge following, it is increasingly hard to build an interactive audience of likeminded people and especially hard if trying to find paying customers for a small business. 

As a strong believer in intermittent fasting (or intermittent eating) to add health credits, mental clarity and productivity and of course some fat loss, I had the epiphany that I needed information fasting too to shed some unwanted to-do items from my day-to-day life to claim back more time to share to the invested audience that have come to my website for example and the people who already invest in my business as members. I’ve cut back on email checks, rarely find myself sludging through YouTube and now that I’ve erased my Facebook accounts (sorry Zuck), have gained time. 

What’s more valuable than time? 

Think of the times you had less. Less stuff, less things to do, less money like when you where a student, the earlier days of living in your own home; less stuff to ingest. I bet it felt somewhat satisfying. Frugality isn’t a negative thing, it’s a skill. 

So if you’ve asked why I’m not on Facebook, it’s not anything terrible, I’m just information fasting and gaining more time for more important things in my life, like adding to my website content, building new programs for you, reading more. Does it mean I’m not open to restarting a Facebook page in the future? Possibly not but I’ll have a very specific purpose and direction for it if I do.

Back to you. How do you feel about erasing 12 years of facebook? 

Does exercise help reduce stress?

Part 2

In part 1 I talked about the whys behind my exercise. Today I delve into a great question.

As an escape from stressors, exercise definitely offers something to focus on. Because I often focus on the positives of training, I leave every session feeling better. Feeling good feels good – so finishing a training session feeling good can sometime continue for hours.

Previously though, a specialised focus on certain lifts whilst training for Powerlifting did sway the benefits away from feeling good. An overly specialised training program can push us further into distress and away from eustress. For that reason, I prefer not to program overly intensive or specialised routines for too long. 4 to 6 weeks, two to three times a years proves a suitable duration for the hard and heavy specialised programs while the rest of the year is used to develop well rounded generalisations.

Training hard in high stress periods is never a good idea if longevity is your goal. 

The science of course tells us that endorphins released during exercise makes us feel good. Whilst that’s true, it’s a similar statement to ‘eating makes us healthy’. But we know how that can go wrong.

 

Got any feedback or ideas? Please do get in touch.