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"Earth": the basic foundations of energy & health

One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.

- Walter Bagehot

The four chapters in this "Earth" section cover the core foundations of energy & health - Food, Exercise, Sleep and Addictions.

 

 

 

Ch.2: Exercise

“ Disagreements between scientists of good intention are merely truth in the making. ” - Andrews

As the 14th Earl of Derby is reported to have said "He who cannot find the time for exercise will later have to find the time for illness".  Proportion of death & illness due to lack of activity.  Relevance to mental disorders.  Prevalence of inactivity & changes over time.  Relevance of HIIT.  Relevance of extended sitting.  How much exercise needed.  Value of strength training too – suggestions.

 

 

Exercise

The brains of human beings seem built to process stories better than other forms of input ...  

- Thomas B Newman, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics

Kidney donation: preoperative preparation & facing challenges generally - aspects of self-compassion

I've woken early.  Lying here I feel an unfamiliar hollow pressure in my gut.  What is this?  Fear?  Anxiety? Tension?  "Tense apprehension" seems to fit.  I'm lying here in the early hours of the morning, a hollow tense apprehension in my belly.  And it isn't surprising.  Pretty normal in fact as I move closer & closer to major surgery.  Consciously.  By my own decision.  On this journey, travelling down the "kidney donation river", I can hear the roar of the approaching rapids.  Surgery soon.  It's a pretty standard, basic, healthy response to tense a bit as I move towards the crux, possibly the most intense section of this "donation river".  And I don't have to tighten the rest of my body around the belly apprehension.  I can let go, loosen in my arms, my face.  It's OK. Nothing to do right now.

Kidney donation: preoperative preparation & facing challenges generally - goals and journey

I'm due to donate a kidney soon, and I have been writing about what's involved - see "Kidney donation: why it's well worth considering", "Kidney donation: what are the risks?" and "Kidney donation: preoperative preparation & facing challenges generally - values are central".  Primarily these posts are for other donors, but aspects of what I write are also relevant for facing challenges more generally as well.

Non-drug treatments for bipolar disorder (2nd post) - sleep, light & exercise

I have just given a talk on "Recent research on non-drug treatments for bipolar disorder" to the Lothian branch of "Bipolar Scotland".  There is a description of the first part of the talk at "Non-drug treatments for bipolar disorder (1st post) - the value of psychotherapy" and you can download the full sequence of slides here.  Points touched on in the second part of the talk are illustrated below:

Learning about aging from a trip South visiting friends

Catero, my wife, and I are just back from four days in the South visiting friends.  We're blessed with some lovely friendships but, partly because most of us live pretty busy lives, it's easy not to see people who live quite far away for months or even years.  A while ago we decided to at least partly remedy this, so we booked four days off our work and contacted old friends who lived along the South Coast of England, from Dorset through Hampshire to Sussex, to set up reunions.  We got back last night.  Over the four days away we saw seven sets of friends.  It was lovely ... really heart-warming, poignant, fun, fascinating.  And that's what I'm writing about here ... the fascinating bit. We saw seven sets of friends aging and we shared how we ourselves are getting older.  We range from our mid-50's to late 70's (Catero & I are in the second half of our 60s).

Effective weight loss: a wake-up call and a personal story

I was talking to an old friend recently and I remarked on how well he was looking.  He said he had lost two stone in weight and his waist circumference had gone down from 42 to 34 inches.  Wow!  I was very interested to hear how he had done it and he very kindly agreed to write his story:  

A Wake-up Call 

Salman Rushdie "Those who do not have the power over the story that dominates their lives - the power to retell it, re-experience it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change - truly are powerless because they cannot think new thoughts."

New NICE guidance on promoting physical activity using brief advice

This month the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published their new evidence-based clinical guideline on "Physical advice: brief advice for adults in primary care".  NICE state "The guidance is for ... anyone ... whose remit includes offering lifestyle advice. Examples include: exercise professionals, GPs, health trainers, health visitors, mental health professionals, midwives, pharmacists, practice nurses, physiotherapists.  It may also be of interest to others with a role in encouraging physical activity and members of the public." 

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