Category Archives for "fitness"

June 21, 2021

Coming back from injury or illness over 40

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On this episode, we talk about coming back after an illness or injury when you're over 40.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:08.630] – Allan
Hey Raz, how you doing?

[00:02:10.220] – Rachel
Good, how are you today, Allan?

[00:02:12.200] – Allan
I'm doing better. I'm doing better. It's over at least as far as symptoms for me are. I can actually taste things again. I'm not sure about my smell being all the way back. It's really hard to tell because I didn't have a very good sense of smell to begin with, which has its benefits when you're dealing with stuff that you don't like or doesn't smell good, but also has its deterrence, because if you can't smell something smells bad, then you don't know it smells bad and that can put you in a bad place.

[00:02:42.470] – Allan
So I'm not the one. If you smell something bad, you say, do you smell that? My answer is probably going to be no. And especially after covid. Like I said, I don't know that I've fully recovered, but there wasn't that much to recover in the first place.

[00:02:53.930] – Rachel
Well, good. I'm glad you could taste food again. I can't imagine how weird that would be not to taste.

[00:03:00.080] – Allan
It was weird. And you know, the thing that a lot of folks wouldn't recognize or wouldn't know is that a big part of overeating is that people don't have the reward system for taste and therefore they're actually not tasting their food as much. And that's why we have a tendency to overeat. You know, the mindless sitting there eating a bag of chips while you're watching a movie, you don't taste those chips. You tasted the first bite, then you got into the movie and the crunch, crunch, crunch, empty bag.

[00:03:31.340] – Allan
And you didn't even actually taste that food. Your body just got the endorphins that got the dopamine hit. And that just sort of happened. And so when you're not tasting food, you actually it's hard to not overeat because you tend to just end up eating more of it. It doesn't signal your body that you're full. It doesn't tell you that you're eating foods and getting the right mix of foods. So the signaling is just haywire.

[00:03:59.810] – Allan
So it's really easy to overeat when you're not when you can't taste food. I know that sounds counterintuitive.

[00:04:06.740] – Rachel
Does sound weird.

[00:04:08.870] – Rachel
it's strange. If I couldn't taste anything, I don't know that I would waste time sitting at my table eating food.

[00:04:13.970] – Allan
I ate more than I would normally have eaten because I couldn't taste it. And I just kept eating, thinking, OK, I need to eat. And but I realized after I was done, I was like, you know, normally I would take that cut of steak and that would be two steaks. And I ate the whole steak and like, you know, still try to eat good stuff. But, you know, in a general sense, when I'm not feeling well, I kind of let myself do those other things, you know, then that I wouldn't normally do because it's like, OK, just

[00:04:46.270] – Allan
Chill, you know, I can't get people to go by the high quality foods that I want to buy. I need you to go here to that store and buy that for me and go to that store and only buy this if it says this on the label. And, you know, I couldn't get to folks, so I was like, I just buy me some potatoes, some chicken.

[00:05:03.910] – Rachel
And that's probably good enough.

[00:05:05.890] – Allan
Yeah. And well run with it.

[00:05:07.480] – Rachel
Oh my goodness, how crazy.

[00:05:09.820] – Allan
Yeah. The worst part of it was one of our neighbors, dear friends, she brought us some pasta with lobster. And I couldn't taste.

[00:05:19.370] – Rachel
Oh, no. Oh, how disappointing.

[00:05:24.970] – Allan
Like this looks like it would taste delicious.

[00:05:28.610] – Rachel
Oh my gosh. Well now you'll have to try it again once now that you're feeling better and can taste a little more.

[00:05:34.400] – Allan
I'll have to call her and say thank you. Can I have some more?

[00:05:39.500] – Rachel

[00:05:39.500] – Allan
See how that goes?

[00:05:40.370] – Rachel

[00:05:41.870] – Allan
How are things up there?

[00:05:43.430] – Rachel
Good. Really good. You know, funny thing happened up here the other day. We lost power for no good reason whatsoever. It was a beautiful morning, but we lost power. And so I just went about my day cleaning. I knew the power would be back on in a few hours. But the funny part was every time I entered a room, I turned on the light switch because it's such a habit. And I knew the power was out.

[00:06:07.310] – Rachel
I knew what I was doing because the power was out. But every time I entered a room, I kept turning on the light switch and it got me thinking about habits. And I do have a lot. I drink coffee every morning. That's my morning habits. And I do like to run and I do prefer running in the morning. But I'm being kind of forced out of that habit right now because my 50 miler that's coming up starts at noon.

[00:06:31.280] – Rachel
So I've had to adjust that habit to run later in the day. And it's been a challenging adjustment for me. And I'm actually looking forward to getting this race over so I can go back to running in the mornings again. I am a creature of habit.

[00:06:47.420] – Allan
Well, we all are. We just like you said, we don't necessarily recognize it until something brings it to our attention, you know, like the light switch thing. A lot of us are that way even during the daytime. We're going to walk into a room. We're going to hit the light switch. It's a trigger thing. When you walk in the room, you're going through the door, you're going to do something.

[00:07:08.830] – Allan
It's, you know, kind of when you start to understand those triggers and then your immediate action, you know, that's when you can actually start making some decisions. You know, can I change this habit? You know, do we need the light on every time I walk in the room? And the answer at least half the time is probably no.

[00:07:27.440] – Rachel

[00:07:28.520] – Allan
You know, because half the time it's daylight and half the time it's dark. So half the time you don't necessarily need that light on. But that's not a habit that from a health perspective, you know, is damaging. But a lot of us do have those triggers for the bad habits, you know, and so being aware of that, that's self awareness is really, really important. So it's good to mix up your schedule. It's good to kind of have a little bit of that.

[00:07:58.130] – Allan
It's a learning opportunity. When you said a strange thing, the power went on like, what was it, Tuesday that happens every day here?

[00:08:05.970] – Rachel
Oh, gosh.

[00:08:08.150] – Allan
Not every day. No, that's that's a little oversell. But no, the power goes out regularly here. You know, sometimes we know it's going to happen because they'll say, well, you know, they want to clean the the growth around some of the wires, you know, and can't they just turn off that part of the, No, they've got to turn off the whole island. OK, but, you know, like, we can't get water in our house unless our pumps running.

[00:08:31.490] – Allan
Yeah. And so we don't have water. So when the power goes out, we don't have running water. We don't have power. Air conditioning, all that. You know, I've set it up now. My wife, we have uninterruptible power supplies here. You know, you almost have to. Yeah. So I've got the Wi-Fi router in the actual router. All of that set up now on our UPS the power goes out,

[00:09:00.130] – Allan
We'll have power for at least an hour or so to continue to do what we're doing. So if we were, you know, Snapchat being spread like doing the Zoom call, you know, it would all stay on everything around me would go dark. But then, you know, we could still keep going and then finish out what you're doing and then it's OK. I guess I'll go read a book outside. You know, but, you know, it happens.

[00:09:26.290] – Allan
You sleep and the power goes out and it's like, oh, and you know, most I know it because the air conditioning goes off. But if I leave my phone playing the sounds of the fan, I'm not going to wake up, you know, because I mean, I'm going to I'm going to wear my battery down and I'll wake up at three o'clock in the morning with no sound. And I'll realize that the battery on my phone died, too.

[00:09:46.750] – Allan
And so I don't want that to happen. So, you know, when the power goes out, they need to wake up, turn my phone off, try to sleep in the very dark room with no sound, which is odd for me. It's different. And that's what I'm saying. Sometimes just doing something that's a little out of the norm teaches you the habits. You know, for me, the habit is. Turn out the light, go to bed, turn on the fan noise on my phone, go to sleep, I'm almost like that, I mean, and almost that fast.

[00:10:16.470] – Allan
it's just because a habit I have a sleep routine and during that sleep routine just kind of puts me into the next step of the habit. Fall asleep. So someone could be good habits and some of them could be bad habits and some of them are just wasting a little electricity. Not a lot. Just a little. But, you know, this kind of one of those things that we learn, we learn more about ourselves doing something different than we do, doing what we always do.

[00:10:42.210] – Rachel
Yeah, that is right.

[00:10:44.730] – Allan
All right. Well, you ready to get into today's talk?

[00:10:47.160] – Rachel

[00:10:48.330] – Allan


On today's episode, I wanted to talk about coming back from injury or illness over 40. As you may have heard, I was diagnosed with covid a little over a month and a week ago and not a cool thing and not a cool thing at all, but they put me in an ambulance, drove me home and said, sit your butt in this house for two weeks.

They did give me some food and we had some friends that could shop for us. So we were OK. But it did kind of mess with my plans. I had the basic symptoms, fatigue, cold and flu stuff, loss of taste and smell, and this really weird phantom smell thing, which I won't go into, but just recognize that it set me back. And it's fairly common for this to be happening on a regular basis for anyone over the age of 40.

It's inevitable, I guess would be the better word for us to have some form of injury or some illness over the course of our adult lives. And so how we deal with this, particularly when we're over 40, is really, really important. OK, so I'm diagnosed with covid. I can't go anywhere. Definitely can't go to the gym. And while I'm on that topic, it's a regular thing people will be asking typically during the cold and flu season.

So maybe less now this time of year, because we're really more kind of into the allergy season. But during the cold flu season, the question be, should I go to the gym if I'm sick? OK, and I'll just go ahead and put this out there. As a general rule, if you can avoid going to the gym sick, please do. The rest of us don't want to get sick. You know, you have covid. Absolutely do not go to the gym, you know, but other than that, if you have symptoms above the neck, you're more than safe to go out and do some work.

I prefer you do it outside, do it away from people, do it at home. If it's in the chest or low, you know, below the neck, you don't really need to be doing anything. And if there's a fever involved, definitely not a time for you to be exercising. This is the time for you to be focused on recovery. And we'll talk about that in a few minutes. But in a general sense, if you're sick, this might be a good time for you to go ahead and take some time off and recover and get yourself better before you worry about doing anything else.

And obviously, again, with covid entirely different matter, with injuries, maybe even a little bit different, and we'll get into each of those a little bit further as we go along. So the first thing is to recognize that injuries and illnesses are inevitable. You're going to have to face them at some point in your adult life. And so it's not something where you need to push back on yourself and be angry, sad, you know, all those negative emotions that you might have about it.

Those aren't going to serve you. They're not going to help you at all, OK? What you need to do is be able to take a step back objectively and do a couple different things. So the first thing you want to do is, is a basic evaluation. Was there something in your basic behavior that caused this injury? So let's say you were out and about and you weren't paying attention and you tripped and you broke your arm. OK, obviously not watching what you're doing, not paying attention.

You fell. OK? And by falling, you broke yourself. OK, an evaluation would be OK. Probably don't need to have that there. And I probably need to be a little bit more aware of my surroundings when I do particular things. You know, my wife and I own this bed and breakfast and there's the stairs coming down from the top to the bottom. Now we're living upstairs. While we do the renovation, we move downstairs this won't be as big of an issue, but in the morning when I get up in it's dark, but the lights are on downstairs, the slats in the wood, kind of shine this really weird cross angles on the steps as you walk down.

And I see that and I say, OK, that's a trip and fall hazard because I might see the step going a certain way when it goes a different way. So I've had my wife put in some pads so it's more skid resistant and we're putting in some motion sensitive lights. So someone's walking down the stairs, the lights will shine and that will negate that cross light thing. So paying attention to your environment so you avoid injuries, not doing certain things that cause injuries.

Like when I was doing deadlifts and wanted for some reason, do 500 pound dead lift, you know, overdoing it, overstressing over, you know, those are opportunities where your body's telling you through that pain, which is the signal something's not right. Use that time and evaluate that pain, evaluate why it happened and see if your behavior needs to change. Many times that's not the case, but there are times it is so being aware of that's very, very important.

The next thing to understand about all this is that injuries and illness, particularly when you're over 40, is not a stop button. It's a pause button too many times I'll be talking to folks almost every day, actually, and someone will say, yeah, I hurt my back, I hurt my knee, hurt my hip. In many cases, like three, five, 10 years ago, And they're not doing any activity now because it hurts. And that's just tragic. That just I mean, that eats at my soul, because when you stop moving, you stop living.

When you stop moving, you start deteriorating and you have to move to live, so if we're not doing anything to improve our fitness, to improve our health because of an injury, basically that injury beat us and we're letting that injury beat us. So this is not a stop button. We just have to figure this out and it's just a pause button. So pause, figure it out and let's move forward. So the first step, recover, OK?

Too many times people will injure themselves and they won't go to physical therapy. They won't do their physical therapy homework. They won't do what's necessary to get past this. The doctor gave them the pain meds. The pain meds solve the problem or at least the symptom, and they move on with their lives. If they try to lift anything or do something, it hurts and they're back on the pain meds. They don't want to do that. So they stop.

OK, so recover first. Do your physical therapy, get your stuff done. Your quarantine is two weeks that I sat in that bed and breakfast recovering, couldn't go to the gym, couldn't do the things I wanted to do, but I did what I could do and I recovered. I got healthy. That's job number one.

Next is to look for opportunities and buy opportunities. I mean, OK, so let's say you broke your arm, OK? I have a client that happens this to. Actually two one one hurt his wrist, another hurt her elbow. But basically a client gets injured not through their lifting, not through their other stuff. They just have an accident and there's an injury. This is a perfect opportunity for them to work on other modalities, they can work on mobility in their legs and hips, they can work on strength in their legs and hips. They can if the jarring doesn't hurt too much, they can start working on stamina work. They can do core work. There's just so many opportunities, so many other modalities that you would normally neglect.

But now that you have an injury so you can't do your prime thing, this is a great opportunity for you to spend that time doing something else that's going to improve you overall. OK, so use this time as an opportunity. If it's an illness, I used that covid time as an opportunity to really work on mindfulness and meditation. I spent a lot of time thinking, a lot of time in my head that I wouldn't normally have given myself the time to do, but because I was so fatigued that I couldn't really exercise the way I wanted to, I couldn't go anywhere and do anything I wanted to do. It was a great opportunity for me to sit and reflect and do the things I needed to do for better mental health, better clarity. So look for opportunities during this recovery time.

And then when you do come back stronger, have the plan, have the thing ready to go. And so we go into this injury and we're at a certain level. And too many times people will say, OK, well, I'm losing so much ground, I'm losing so much ground. The reality is you're probably not losing as much ground as you think. And if you're working on other modalities and other things, if you're taking those opportunities, you're probably a lot better off than you would have been otherwise.

So take a step back. Yes, you do need to take that step back and then start to retrace your route. So how does this look? OK, from a stamina perspective, let's say you did something to your ankle and or your foot and you're no longer able to run. OK, if you're out for a few weeks, maybe you cut down your distance and speed by. I don't know, 10 percent. If you're out for more than two months, you might have to cut back 50 percent.

So what does that look like? Again, let's say you were running and your long runs were around, you know, five miles, your medium short runs or somewhere around the two to three miles. And so you go back to do your first run. After that, you're in the one to two mile range, your long runs or more in the three, three and a half range. And then you build up from there and it'll come back pretty quickly.

Muscle remembers it can get back to its previous state pretty quickly if you don't let too much time pass. And then promote like a weightlifting perspective, let's say you're working and you have a particular lift and you're doing 50 pounds on this particular lift. When you hurt yourself, when you come back, if you're out for a couple of weeks, a few weeks, maybe you drop it down to 45, so you cut about 10 percent off that and feel how that works for you.

If you're out longer than that, maybe you drop it down to 25 and you do some reps, you get your sets in and you see how things are going. You'll improve pretty quickly. And as I mentioned before, you have that muscle memory. So your body's going to come back a lot quicker than you think it would.

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So to wrap all this up, I think that kind of the core concepts of all this is one, recovering from injury and illness over 40 requires you to have a good mindset. You need to wrap your mind around the fact that you have control. You're not out of control. Yes, this happened. It was inevitable that eventually something bad was going to happen. It just does. Get past it.

This was not a stop button. This was a pause. So do your evaluation understand why this happened? See if there's things you need to correct around you, your environment, yourself, the way you approach things. Slow down in some cases if you need to, but understand why the injury occurred or why the illness occurred. And let's do something about it, OK? Next, your why envision probably haven't changed this whole thing. And if you stop, then you're losing it.

You're losing that whole thing that got you going in the first place. So go back to that mindset, get your mind right. Get yourself back thinking about your why envision. And then you're in a good place, then work through your recovery, make you recover your first priority, make recovery your workout, make recovery the most important thing you do for yourself, and then look for those other opportunities that you may have otherwise neglected, like working on mobility, working on balance, working on strength or, you know, working on stamina, things that you may not have paid much attention to when you were focused on other things that you can't do now because of injury or illness.

And then finally take that step back if you need to. Don't go in this full force thinking you're just as strong as you were the day you left. You need to give your body an opportunity to regroup, retrain and get back to where it was. So retrace your route. Don't go back in thinking you're right where you were. You are going to lose a little bit. You're not going to lose that much, but you are going to lose little.

So go into it smart and get yourself back where you deserve to be.

Post Show/Recap

[00:25:39.920] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:25:41.420] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, that is a really timely podcast and all of the running forums I follow, there's a lot of questions from runners in particular about coming back from covid, but also all the time runners are always asking how to come back to running after an injury. So these are constantly timely topics, but in particular, they are good for today.

[00:26:04.340] – Allan
Yeah. You know, one of the things, particularly with running and also with weightlifting, is the propensity to injure ourselves. You know, with running, you're doing a repetitive motion sometimes on concrete or other surfaces that are just beaten to death. Maybe you don't have the best shoes. Maybe you don't have the best running stride. And so you just really pounding on your body a little bit more in a repetitive fashion where over time it causes some basic injuries or some basic problems.

[00:26:35.210] – Allan
And a lot of people, because, you know, let's face it, running can be addictive. they won't stop running. You know, it's like, no, I'm going to keep running and it just gets worse and worse and worse until they can't run. And then that's when they're in this kind of stuck position. So, yes, recovery from that. You know, with weight lifting, it tends to be letting the ego get ahead of the body and, you know, deciding, OK, I'm going to try to do this extra weight and I'm going to get, you know, this is going to be cool and, you know, so, yeah, you're throwing it.

[00:27:05.480] – Allan
And throwing, you know, 80 pound dumbbells onto my shoulders to do overhead press. And I feel good about being that strong until I hear a little crack and a snap. And now my rotator cuff is completely torn off m bone. And, you know, that arm no longer functions the way it did seconds earlier and so doing the right things to recover from that, but you're going to go through something kind of interesting, but it's going to use a lot of these concepts that I talked about today is when you do this 100 miles,

[00:27:39.370] – Rachel

[00:27:39.940] – Allan
50, 50 miles. We were talking before we got on the phone.

[00:27:43.600] – Allan
We got to talk about there's also a one hundred mile component in a hundred miles. And so we got to talk about. So sorry. No, Rachel is not doing a hundred. it's a burn. Got twenty four hours. Who knows?

[00:27:54.580] – Rachel
I got the time.

[00:27:56.980] – Allan
If they don't stop, you just keep running. You might catch them. But, you know, we're going to do this long run. And as a result, we don't even really know right now how how your body is going to respond other than, you know, on the reading of the forums and your experience and running some long distance, and, you know, the marathon range is that, you know, that when you come back, the best way I can put it is you're going to have to go through a period of time that I would call post-hab.

[00:28:27.880] – Rachel

[00:28:28.930] – Allan
And so can you talk a little bit about what some of your plans are for post hab as we go into this? Because it's not I mean, you're not self inflicting an injury here. We don't want anyone to think that that's what you ordered illness. But in a sense, your body's going to go through some stress. That's going to be very similar to that. So can you talk a little bit about what your plans are after this race?

[00:28:51.940] – Rachel
Sure. So I'll be running 50 miles and I am estimating it'll take give or take 12 hours. I'm not that fast. I plan on a lot of breaks. We have to check in to aid stations. There's going to be some things to get done on this run besides running. But what happens is, is I will probably be sucking out every possible nutrient out of my blood and liver and muscles. I will be just depleting my body dry of all nutrients and probably a lot of hydration.

[00:29:26.020] – Rachel
So right after the run, I will be drinking a lot of water and electrolytes as well, both liquids to rehydrate. And I will start getting some food coming back in my body just to maintain normal body functions. And I recognize that I will probably be walking probably more than the last few miles of the race, but I will plan on walking after the race is over as well. It's important just to keep the body moving and to come down to some sort of basic equilibrium after all of that motion.

[00:30:00.370] – Rachel
So I'll sit a little, I'll elevate my elevate my feet a little and walk a little. And I also have compression garments. I've got compression pants, and I also have compression calf sleeves that I'll wear to help promote blood flow as well. Since I'm not staying at my home, I'm actually camping in a camper. And so I will get back to our campsite, take a shower and do a lot of that type of post hab. So I've got the foam roller, I've got the compression.

[00:30:35.230] – Rachel
I will elevate and stay hydrated and I will keep walking and chances are really good as even though I'm going to finish. I start the race at noon on Saturday and I should finish around midnight or so. Saturday night. Sunday morning. I will probably be tired but I'll also probably be too amp to sleep. So if I am tossing and turning in bed, I will count that as elevation for a little while and then go out and walk a little bit around the campsite as well.

[00:31:03.760] – Rachel
So a lot of moving and a lot of eating and drinking is pretty much my main rehabs or post habs.

[00:31:10.750] – Allan
Yeah. And then recognizing that, you know, we talked about being a creature of habit that you would normally be getting up in the morning and going for a run. Yeah, that's not going to be Rachel's M.O. for a few weeks. At least you're gonna have to come in and kind of refresh, let your body actually recover from the stressors that it's gone through and then start a training program that picks up somewhere well below the mileage that you would normally be running.

[00:31:42.310] – Rachel
Oh, absolutely. I'm anticipating that I will take that first one full week off of all running altogether. That's an easy no brainer. But I will be walking and I will pick dogs and walk. I will walk around my neighborhood by myself and just keep the legs moving and see how the muscles are responding. You know, if I was 20 years younger, I might be rebounding a lot faster, in which case I wouldn't mind going for a light jog, you know, for a mile here, there.

[00:32:13.480] – Rachel
But for myself, as I said, I'm approaching fifty, rehab and posthab takes a little bit longer. Recovery just takes longer. And so I'll have hot baths and cold baths and walking. And I'll probably start a running regimen maybe a week to 10 days after this race, and when I do start, it won't be going back out where I was before. I'll probably do a walk run type interval, maybe run for a minute, walk for a minute or a couple of minutes and just see how my legs feel.

[00:32:46.120] – Allan
Yeah. If you haven't run before, then you might not recognize that there's a natural spring to your leg as you kind of are walking or running. And when you do something like this, like a 50, which I did before and I did it, I did it like an optimal situation. It was a pine forest horse trail through a pine forest was about as soft, a nice place you could actually run on, you know, so the damage to my legs from, you know, hard or, you know, hitting was not the problem.

[00:33:14.800] – Allan
It was just the total number of miles. But it was about a month for me from that 50 where I actually felt like my legs had recovered their spring, you know, had recovered to a point where they were where they were. For that whole month, all I did was walking and in the gym, upper body exercise, you know, resistance training. So, you know, I was bench pressing and pull ups and, you know, rose and things like that.

[00:33:43.630] – Allan
Nothing for the legs. Just let the legs recover and do some walking, keep the blood flow to them. So they're repairing and doing what they need to, making sure you get plenty of protein and the other things that my body needs for that repair, you know. So for me, it was still I was kind of astounded because I was 29 and it literally took me a month to really feel like I was ready to run again. But, you know, and I think I've told this story right after I finished the race, I pulled a Forrest Gump and said, I'm tired, I'm going home.

[00:34:15.070] – Allan
And I haven't run anything longer than a 10K since then. And I even did that one under protest because it was a friend. She calls me and says, my niece was running this 10K tomorrow. And, you know, we told her we would go with her, but she doesn't want to walk. She wants to actually run it. And you're the only person I know that can run that far. And I'm like, OK, so I ran that 10k with this girl.

[00:34:39.440] – Allan
I thought the girl was going to burn out because she just took off sprinting. I'm like, OK, it's like you can't keep sprinting like this and think you're going to do a 10k. And she proved me wrong. I think I broke my PR on that 10k, but it was flying. So that's definitely a young athlete in the making there. But because I think she was like nine and I was like, oh my gosh, she just took off.

[00:35:02.860] – Allan
I'm like, OK, look, you know, I've got a phase now this girl.

[00:35:06.880] – Rachel
All out, so turn on the burner.

[00:35:09.200] – Allan
And she kept doing it. So that was what was surprising to me is like, yeah, I was like, OK, you got something special here. But that was only one I ran. And like I said, I did it under protest and for a really dear friend at the time. So I was like, OK, I'll do this.

[00:35:21.460] – Allan
But I didn't think I was going to have to sprint it myself, but I did. But, you know, it's just as we kind of go through all of this in recognizing that, you know, injuries and illness, they're going to happen.

[00:35:34.960] – Allan
And sometimes you have a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of opportunity. Like when I hurt my shoulder, I knew, OK, I'm stoked. And this is, again, the probably, you know, too much ego, but it is what it is. Ego hurt me. And then ego kept me from deciding when I was going to do my surgery straightaway. I said, well, I've got this Spartan coming up. And I thought my brother was going to be doing it with me.

[00:35:58.180] – Allan
So I was like, I can't cancel on him, you know, I've got to do this thing. So I had it in my mind. I was going to do it and then I would go get my surgery. And so I did that. I also jumped out of an airplane for Tammy and she wanted to do that. So that's part of that whole weekend was I went up there and did a Spartan and then I jumped out of an airplane the next day, all with a torn rotator cuff.

[00:36:20.980] – Allan
And so I knew I was going to get the surgery, but I arranged for three weeks where I was not to be traveling for work. So I knew, OK, every day I can go in when I if I need to, I can go in and get my physical therapy because the doctor was telling me, you know, he didn't know what the physical therapist was going to need to do, but it was going to be a few times a week for about six to eight weeks, maybe up to twelve.

[00:36:45.280] – Allan
Depending on how I how I did, and so I kept training. I kept doing stuff physically, you know, anything that didn't hurt my shoulder, I kept doing, and then I scheduled my surgery and I went in for the surgery and came out and I went into rehab, went to the physical therapist. And he's like, your range of motion is phenomenal. And he said, what? What did you do? Because he said most people would come in, you know, adults, not because I deal with athletes as I see athletes that come in like this.

[00:37:16.170] – Allan
He says, but you're not an athlete like that. You know the college athlete like that. He says, what are you doing? I said, well, I just kept training. They said, if it didn't hurt, I kept doing it. He's like, well, most people. Yeah, said most people would have put their arm in a sling and stayed of sling until they got their surgery. Then they'd have finished their surgery and they'd waited for a few weeks.

[00:37:32.730] – Allan
And I was like, no, I got my I got my surgery on a Thursday and Monday morning. Monday morning I was in therapy. so, you know, if you if you can plan it like you're planning your posthab on your run, you know, the timing of your run, you know, when you're going about when you going to finish even and you've got to plan. And so if it's an injury and you're going to go in for surgery, talk to your doctor, talk to, you know, if you can a physical therapist know what the plan is for your recovery so you can hit it running.

[00:38:00.570] – Allan
There's things you need to be doing before the surgery. Do them, you know. Yeah, and do them. Do it all. Do your homework from the physical therapist. Do this three times a day, do it and just do it. Yes. It's inconvenient to take this and put it in cold water and then pull it out, put it in hot water and pull it out. Cold water. It doesn't feel good, but it helps.

[00:38:23.760] – Allan
It definitely makes things better. And so making sure that you do your homework, set yourself up and, you know, illness and injuries are going to happen to us and we don't necessarily have a plan and we didn't plan for it. It just happens. And then we have to deal with it. But if you can control certain things about it, you'll recover a lot faster and be a lot stronger for it.

[00:38:45.210] – Rachel
That's let me just highlight that right there, Allan, because I want to point out that you'll be a lot stronger for it. I mean, just because you're injured doesn't mean you're out. And you could have the best comeback you've ever seen in whatever sport that you do. I'm sure your shoulder feels great now when you lift.

[00:39:00.900] – Allan
Yeah, it's well, it is. It's funny because, you know, in talking to the orthopedic surgeon, he said, you know, he said they did a study, said every cadaver they cut up in these cadavers who were in their 90s, people who died in their 90s. And so they went through and they were looking at them and they saw every single one of them had a torn, torn rotator cuff. Some of them had surgery for it and others had not.

[00:39:26.730] – Allan
But every single one of them had an impingement and had a problem with their shoulder, the rotator cuff. And so he said it's inevitable for most of us we're going to have that problem. And if you're someone who lifts and does a lot with your upper body, the potential is even higher because there's just more wear and tear. With mine, I had an impingement, which is basically where the bone is pressing down on the muscle and over time it just wears it down.

[00:39:56.820] – Allan
And he said so the muscle when he got in there was like paper thin and it just tore right off the bone. It snapped. It was gone. And so I was talking to him. I said, you know, obviously we're not going to spend the money to do an X-ray and an MRI on the other shoulder. And he said, yeah, probably. You probably do have an impingement over there. It's probably is as bad. This one just broke first.

[00:40:21.180] – Allan
And so what do I don't do right now? I don't lift eighty pound dumbbells up to my shoulders to press over my head because I recognize the heaviest thing I'm ever going to have to press over my head is a carton of Christmas decorations that I'm going have to put on the top shelf in our storage. Other than that, there's nothing heavier. There's definitely nothing a hundred sixty pounds that I need to put over my head for any reason whatsoever.

[00:40:48.990] – Allan
And if I did, I'd call somebody to come help me. So, you know, recognizing that, you know, ego can get you broke.

[00:40:58.290] – Rachel

[00:40:59.670] – Allan
And recognizing those limitations that we have, you know, part of that self-awareness is I know that I probably have an impingement on my left shoulder. So I'm not doing things that I know would adversely affect that. But I'm doing what I need to do to be functionally fit,

[00:41:18.030] – Rachel

[00:41:18.840] – Allan
fit to be the best Allan, I can be. And that doesn't necessarily mean that I have to be able to deadlift a certain amount of weight or press a certain amount of weight over my head.

[00:41:28.110] – Allan
It just means when it's time to get the Christmas lights down, I could do that. When it's time to put them back, I could do that.

[00:41:34.780] – Rachel
Perfect. Well, that's just the point is that, you know what your potential weakness could be and you just need to work around it and you're doing just that. That sounds perfect.

[00:41:44.580] – Allan
Yeah. So good luck with your run.

[00:41:47.070] – Rachel
Thank you.

[00:41:47.970] – Allan
Good luck with your post hab.

[00:41:49.540] – Rachel
Yes, thank you.

[00:41:51.210] – Allan
Maybe the next time we talk to you, I think we're going to be talking to you relatively soon after your post hab maybe about a week after you finish your run. Maybe a little over a week. You know, when you finish your run and so at that point, you should have some pretty interesting stories to show.

[00:42:08.110] – Allan
So I'm looking forward to that.

[00:42:10.120] – Rachel
hope to have some good tales to tell.

[00:42:13.110] – Allan
That's how you get them. You do something you've never done. You do something that the vast majority of people who have never done. And now you've got a story. Now you've got a life. Now you've done something special. And so I always encourage people, if you don't have a big, audacious goal of just something exciting that you wake up in the morning and know, this is why I'm running, this is why I'm lifting. This is why I'm living.

[00:42:36.130] – Allan
I want to do this thing. And it can be a vacation. It can be a run. It can be a combo. Camp out run.

[00:42:43.810] – Rachel
Right! My favorite.

[00:42:45.880] – Allan
so, you know, just recognize that you're going to have a lot of fun. You can have a good bit of pain

[00:42:53.230] – Rachel
a little bit

[00:42:53.800] – Allan
you're gonna have some challenges and you're going to have the pride of knowing that you took 100 percent of you out on those Indiana roads and left it all there.

[00:43:04.790] – Rachel
That'll be great. Yeah. I'll be up in northern Michigan, actually.

[00:43:08.920] – Allan
Oh, I thought it was Indiana. I don't know why, you were going to Indiana now.

[00:43:12.850] – Rachel
Heading north.

[00:43:13.780] – Allan
OK, north.

[00:43:14.980] – Rachel
yeah. Looking forward to a new adventure, that's for sure.

[00:43:18.250] – Allan
All right. Well, we'll talk to you then.

[00:43:20.410] – Rachel
Thanks. Bye.


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
– Deb Scarlett– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Debbie Ralston– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Eliza Lamb– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander

Thank you!

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Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

In the battle to lose weight, you might be better off doing resistance training. Sal Di Stefano from Mind Pump Podcast tells us why.


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Text – https://amzn.to/34Vgqlb

Post Show/Recap

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The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
– Deb Scarlett– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Debbie Ralston– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Eliza Lamb– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander

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Many of us miss the opportunity to have more accountability and build a stronger relationship just by working out together. Today we discuss working out with your partner.



This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Naked Nutrition, what does getting naked mean for supplements? It means no unnecessary additives. It means premium sourced ingredients without fillers. So you don't need to compromise on your diet or your goals. That's what Naked Nutrition offers.

Back in 2014, a former college athlete didn't understand why protein powders and other supplements had so many unnatural ingredients. If they're supposed to be health supplements, why can't you understand the ingredient list? Naked nutrition was started with five single-ingredient supplements, including the best selling Naked Whey, which has only one ingredient whey protein from grass-fed California cows and the bestselling Naked Pea, a vegan protein made from one ingredient raw yellow peas grown in the U.S. and Canada.

The company has grown to offer over 40 products, but the vision of sourcing the best ingredients using a few of them is possible and being transparent so you know exactly what's going into your body is the same today as when the company was founded.

Whether you're working towards losing weight, having more energy or improving your endurance to become a better runner, what you put in your body directly impacts how you feel and the results you get. Naked Nutrition is committed to shortening the steps between their farms and you. Get naked. Visit naked nutrition. Today, it's nutrition with nothing to hide. Use the discount code 40plus and get 10% off your first order. nakednutrition.com.

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The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
– Deb Scarlett– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Debbie Ralston– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Eliza Lamb– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander

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When you're running or taking on any longer endurance work, how you handle your nutrition can make all the difference. Join Rachel and Allan as they discuss nutrition for running.

This is part two of a two-part series. You can find part one at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/486.



This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Naked Nutrition, what does getting naked mean for supplements? It means no unnecessary additives. It means premium sourced ingredients without fillers. So you don't need to compromise on your diet or your goals. That's what Naked Nutrition offers.

Back in 2014, a former college athlete didn't understand why protein powders and other supplements had so many unnatural ingredients. If they're supposed to be health supplements, why can't you understand the ingredient list? Naked nutrition was started with five single-ingredient supplements, including the best selling Naked Whey, which has only one ingredient whey protein from grass-fed California cows and the bestselling Naked Pea, a vegan protein made from one ingredient raw yellow peas grown in the U.S. and Canada.

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Whether you're working towards losing weight, having more energy or improving your endurance to become a better runner, what you put in your body directly impacts how you feel and the results you get. Naked Nutrition is committed to shortening the steps between their farms and you. Get naked. Visit naked nutrition. Today, it's nutrition with nothing to hide. Use the discount code 40plus and get 10% off your first order. nakednutrition.com.

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The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Deb Scarlett– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander
– Eric More– Leigh Tanner

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Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

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This is part one of a two-part series. You can find part two at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/487.



This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Naked Nutrition, what does getting naked mean for supplements? It means no unnecessary additives. It means premium sourced ingredients without fillers. So you don't need to compromise on your diet or your goals. That's what Naked Nutrition offers.

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Whether you're working towards losing weight, having more energy or improving your endurance to become a better runner, what you put in your body directly impacts how you feel and the results you get. Naked Nutrition is committed to shortening the steps between their farms and you. Get naked. Visit naked nutrition. Today, it's nutrition with nothing to hide. Use the discount code 40plus and get 10% off your first order. nakednutrition.com.

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Rachel Discussion



Post Show/Recap

Post show with Rachel.


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Deb Scarlett– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander
– Eric More– Leigh Tanner

Thank you!

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This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Naked Nutrition, what does getting naked mean for supplements? It means no unnecessary additives. It means premium sourced ingredients without fillers. So you don't need to compromise on your diet or your goals. That's what Naked Nutrition offers.

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Whether you're working towards losing weight, having more energy or improving your endurance to become a better runner, what you put in your body directly impacts how you feel and the results you get. Naked Nutrition is committed to shortening the steps between their farms and you. Get naked. Visit naked nutrition. Today, it's nutrition with nothing to hide. Use the discount code 40plus and get 10% off your first order. nakednutrition.com.

Let's Say Hello

[00:03:33.160] – Allan
Hey Raz, how are things going?

[00:03:35.380] – Rachel
Good. How are you today, Allan?

[00:03:37.480] – Allan
I'm doing okay.

[00:03:38.440] – Allan
It's, it's been a really weird week here.

[00:03:41.200] – Allan
We, I was supposed to interview Dr. Bubbs again. I've had him on the show before and he has a really interesting book out. So, I'm supposed to interview him. And then, you know, our power company announces to turn the power off on Wednesday, the whole day.

[00:03:56.710] – Rachel
Oh, no.

[00:03:57.700] – Allan
I was like, Okay, so I have to cancel with him. I'd cancel a couple different appointments because if I don't have power, I don't have Internet, if I don't have Internet, anything. So I cancel all this stuff. And then we had this really bad rainstorm. And the rainstorm the night the day before knocked out my my phone, so I was trying to have a call with the client and then I lost phone signal in a place that I always have phone signal.

[00:04:21.130] – Allan
It's pouring down rain. I'm standing out in the rain and walking around trying to find a signal, you know, can you hear me now? The whole thing. And then, so then, yeah, the next day I'm thinking they're going to turn off all the power. But because it was raining, they didn't turn off the power. And then there was a strike on the mainland by the banana workers. You know, the workers work on the banana farms because they don't like how management's doing things.

[00:04:43.870] – Allan
They decided to cut off the ferry to the island and therefore they couldn't bring diesel to the island for the power plant. And therefore, they were going to have to cut power.

[00:04:54.690] – Rachel
Oh, my goodness, that's so crazy.

[00:04:56.190] – Allan
This time, this time it was like we were going to have to cut it and they said, we're going to cut it at six o'clock. And of course, the merchants on the island were like six o'clock on a Saturday night. You're going to cut power to a whole island.

[00:05:07.890] – Allan
And they're like, yeah, we're going to do that. Like, No, no, can't you wait till six o'clock in the morning and then cut it then. Yeah, you'll be lower in fuel, but then you cut it and we cut it till we get fuel. So they agreed to do that. And then it turned out about midnight, they negotiated a deal and they let the ferry come over. So they never had to cut the power.

[00:05:26.730] – Allan
But it was just kind of one of those. Power is going to go out because they're going to do some maintenance and the power is going to go out because there's a strike. And it's just been a very interesting third-world living on an island.

[00:05:39.750] – Rachel
That is quite an adventure. My goodness, how crazy.

[00:05:44.070] – Allan
So slightly uncomfortable.

[00:05:46.410] – Rachel
I would say so.

[00:05:48.780] – Allan
So how have you been up there in Michigan?

[00:05:51.570] – Rachel
Oh, good, good.

[00:05:52.920] – Rachel
It's been beautiful up here. We actually did a whole lot of yard work over the weekend, expanding some garden space and put down some new mulch and making it nice for the time we spend outdoors. So it's it's been really nice.

[00:06:08.370] – Allan
Heated, heated running trail.

[00:06:10.240] – Rachel
Not yet, but it's on my list. It's on my list.

[00:06:14.790] – Allan
Don't forget, winter is going to come back around. Don't forget. You know, now now that the ground's thawed

[00:06:21.060] – Rachel
Actually, we're supposed to get snow tomorrow, actually.

[00:06:25.470] – Allan
Oh okay. But that's nothing. That's nothing. Just the normal, normal load of snow shower in April. Late April.

[00:06:30.870] – Rachel
That's right. Spring springs, snow showers hopefully won't be that bad.

[00:06:36.660] – Allan
Yeah, but I saw a picture on your Facebook. You and Mike got to spend some time with family that you haven't had the opportunity to spend some time with.

[00:06:46.410] – Rachel
That's right.

[00:06:47.250] – Rachel
Yeah. Mike and I are both fully vaccinated and passed the two-week timeline post vax. That's the second vaccination for him. And my parents have been vaccinated for some time now. So we were able to meet them and have lunch. And I even got a hug. And it's important because I haven't hugged my parents since over a year ago before the lockdown. So, you know, I've been nervous to give them covid or to make them sick in some way.

[00:07:16.660] – Rachel
So we've been very careful this whole time. And and now that we're vaccinated, it's just a little bit, it's a little bit more comfortable, you know, getting in close proximity again. So it was really wonderful to be able to hug my parents again.

[00:07:30.630] – Allan
That's really cool. That's really cool. So let's go ahead and talk to Michael Easter.

[00:07:36.330] – Rachel


[00:08:01.010] – Allan
Michael, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:03.950] – Michael
Thank you so much for having me.

[00:08:05.990] – Allan
You know, your book is called The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self. And the stories that you, you tell in this book could have left you well, obviously wild, probably unhealthy and unhappy had had things happened in a different way. Fortunately, yes. It's a happy ending. And Michael's still here to tell us the stories, but you've had some pretty interesting adventures.

[00:08:35.040] – Michael
I have. Yes. And I luckily, yeah, I am here to talk about them. So in reporting the book, the main arc of the book is this,

[00:08:43.460] – Michael
Thirty-three days that I spent in the Arctic backcountry, it's one of the most remote places in the world, one of arguably the most uncomfortable places in the world. So we faced a lot of crazy temperature swings and blizzards and encounters with wild animals. And it was a way to really put myself into these, I guess I'd call them evolutionary discomforts that we as humans used to face every single day of our lives. And because of this, we developed these drives always want to be comfortable, because when the world is uncomfortable, if I'm always seeking comfort, well, that helps me survive things like I don't want to put physical effort into my days because that wastes energy.

[00:09:26.930] – Michael
Right. So that's why we don't like to exercise all these all these different things.

[00:09:30.860] – Michael
And we now live in this really comfortable world. I mean, everything our daily lives have become so comfortable, everything from, you know, temperature control to our food system to the fact that we've engineered effort out of our days. Everything is easy. And so now we have these these evolutionary mechanisms that no longer serve us, because when I'm trying to always be comfortable in a world that's comfortable, you know, it can backfire on people.

[00:10:01.250] – Allan
Yeah. You know, my wife and I, we moved to Panama and some people would say that that would definitely make them uncomfortable to just sell everything they own and move to a foreign country, particularly one where they didn't actually speak the language. And, you know, my wife had only seen it for like four days when we made the decision to just sell our house and move here. So we've done some things to make ourselves uncomfortable, but not anything like what you've experienced.

[00:10:27.620] – Allan
So you've done some pretty cool things around this topic. And I'm really glad to have this conversation to to talk to you. Now, you kind of got into the fact that because we kind of have this desire to seek comfort, being comfortable is not always a really good thing for us. Can you can you talk about the price of comfort?

[00:10:50.340] – Michael
Yes. Well, I think what's interesting to think about is just how long humans lived in this uncomfortable environment.

[00:10:58.880] – Michael
When you do the math, we've spent ninety nine point nine, six percent of our time in these uncomfortable environments, over two point five million years. The comforts that now most affect my daily life, your daily life, they're all just a hundred years old. And by pushing ourselves into comfort all the time, we've lost a lot with our health, our happiness and just the feeling of being alive. So, for example, with our health, I used to be that food,

[00:11:30.590] – Michael
We didn't really have comfort food. It wasn't ultra processed. Food was also harder to come by. We actually had to put effort into getting food. Now we live in this sea of ultra processed food, but we still have these internal drives to eat sugar, salt, fat and eat too much of it. They used to keep us alive because it would help us on board fat. And then when we had lean times, we would have something to draw from to stay alive.

[00:11:53.870] – Michael
But now these drives are sort of causing obesity. They tell us to not move as much as we would as we should to burn it away. In terms of happiness, we humans tend to do well when we're challenged because it gives us a sense of accomplishment. And so as we evolved, we face challenges all the time. These could be from something like a hunt, having to having to migrate something like this. Nowadays, our challenges are often something like I have to give a PowerPoint presentation or whatever it is, right.

[00:12:31.760] – Michael
And there's just not as much reward in the challenges we face. And this is associated with decreasing levels of happiness, increases in anxiety, because if you think about the most dangerous, treacherous thing you face is that your boss might give you a bad look because you messed up on a PowerPoint. Well, you know, you're going to be anxious about a lot of things. And in terms of just the feeling of being alive, I mean, we evolved in nature for example.

[00:13:00.970] – Michael
And like I said, we would do these challenging things in nature all the time, and that's really woven into our to our DNA look at the work of someone like Joseph Campbell with the hero's journey. It's every culture from around the world has these stories about people doing interesting, sort of epic things in nature and that being a real turning point for them internally. Well, we've lost a lot of that nowadays that we've made everything as safe and comfortable as possible.

[00:13:28.990] – Michael
And I'm not suggesting that everyone needs to go up to Alaska at all. But what I am suggesting is that adding a little bit of discomfort back into your everyday life in a variety of forms can really move the dial on your health and happiness. And it's and it's about meeting people where they're at. So something that is comfortable or uncomfortable for one person, maybe totally comfortable for another, it's just slowly pushing your comfort zone. And by doing that, I think you can you can find a lot out about yourself and also move the dial on your health and happiness.

[00:14:02.170] – Allan
Donnie and Tom don't have enough space on their airplane to take us all up there.

[00:14:07.270] – Michael

[00:14:08.980] – Allan
But, you know, there is some value to being uncomfortable. You know, one that kind of comes to mind for me was if we were always comfortable with we came up with inventions, we came up with fire, we came up with riding a horse. We came up with a lot of different things that we do. And there's just we call it progress. So in many cases, adding comfort has been progress. And so there is a value to to comfort or seeking comfort. But there's a point, like you say, because we passed that line.

[00:14:46.110] – Michael
Yeah, absolutely, and I think it's it's really about balance, so if you look at all the data on how the world is doing, I mean, I think the world right now is better than it's ever been. People live longer. Child mortality rates are down. Hunger and starvation is down across the world. I mean, just every marker, we're doing better off, but we don't we never offset that with the discomforts we need to be healthy and happy.

[00:15:14.700] – Michael
So if you ask, you know, if you ask the average person they've done polls, do you think the world is getting better? Only six percent say that they think the world is getting better, which to me suggests we're missing something that makes us happy, right? And I think it is that challenge, those elemental discomforts that we sort of evolved to face.

[00:15:35.920] – Allan
Well, I think we can all kind of agree that the best stories are the ones where there's a chance of failure. The chance of really screwing up. You know, that that hold my beer moment. Those are the best stories because there's that element of discomfort. There's that element of, in some cases, even danger. Can you kind of talk about the value of making yourself uncomfortable, but then, of course, not dying in the process?

[00:16:03.480] – Michael
Well, I think I think the nice thing, too, about the the modern comfortable world is it's a lot harder to die nowadays, right? And so I think that I think we have a lot of fears that we built as we evolved because those used to keep us safe. But nowadays, there's a lot of safety nets in life and we we even have technologies that can keep us safer. So, for example, when I was in Alaska, I had this little GPS thing that kind of had this orange button you press that things go south and hopefully, you know, it alerts someone to come pick you up.

[00:16:35.610] – Michael
Now, apparently, it takes a handful of days for them to arrive, but it's still what you know, it's know, I wouldn't have had that even 20 years ago. Twenty five years ago, like I was mentioning the work of Joseph Campbell, we know that when we challenge ourselves and put ourselves in a position where there's a high degree of failure, that when we come out on the other side of that, we are better for it.

[00:16:57.840] – Michael
It can help with a lot of fears fading away. So, for example, we get up to the Arctic. We're in Kotzebue, Alaska. It's the town that we we left out of. And I'm standing on this runway, the wind is gusting, and the guy that I was up in the Arctic with, Donny, he leans over to me. We're looking at these planes that we're going to take up there. And these planes are about the size of a pack of gum.

[00:17:22.290] – Michael
I mean, to people fair to them.

[00:17:24.570] – Michael
And I hate flying, especially when it's in a plane like that. And Donny leans over to me and goes, hey, you know. I got the best pilots that I could. I'm not saying we're not going to crash and die, that is a high probability. But but I got the best pilot I could. I'm like, thanks a lot. So, I mean, I'm terrified of getting in this plane, right? So I get in and we fly.

[00:17:47.800] – Michael
And the whole time I'm just like, oh, man, this is this is terrible. And then they drop us off in the Arctic and and in the Arctic over thirty-three days. I face all these challenges that I've just never faced in my life. Having to cover this rough terrain with no safety net, you know, seeing wild, wild animals being exposed to hurricane force winds and blizzards and just all these things that are are real challenges that have a high degree of risk.

[00:18:16.150] – Michael
When that plane came back and picked me up thirty-three days later, I wasn't afraid to get into it, you know, because now I can put in perspective that, oh wow, this is actually not that, you know, there's a pilot here who's 50 years old. He's been doing this for for 30 years. But when when your challenges in your daily life and the things that you have to encounter really are very safe, I think it can throw off your perspective on on what makes you afraid.

[00:18:43.480] – Michael
And so by putting yourself in positions of failure, you're going to learn something about fear and how a lot of our modern day fears are sort of unfounded and how those can hold us back from the things we really want to do in our lives.

[00:18:57.460] – Allan
You talked a lot in the story about, you know, that one gets a one time you were they of course, they had to shuttle you guys out there. So they just sort of left you out there at one spot where they said, well, we will be back and pick you up. You know, it's like, how well do I know these guys? You know how much I already paid them the deposit. So, you know, I'm going to make it.

[00:19:22.030] – Allan
And so you had those kind of things where you're kind of afraid to be alone. But I think the deeper thing for me was that you noticed at points in time during the hunt and, you know, having hunted when I was a kid, you're just sitting there looking at me as a pine forest in south Mississippi. But ninety nine percent of the time that you're on a hunt, there's absolutely nothing happening. And so you get really, really bored unless you've conditioned yourself to kind of go with it.

[00:19:53.650] – Allan
And I think, you know, one of the core things you brought up in the book that it was just kind of critical is we don't even know the value of actually being bored. We we want something to entertain us all the time. It's like we get in the car, we turn on the radio or a podcast, maybe this one, but we don't turn this stuff off and actually just sit there and stop and just so tired of hearing our heartbeat, because we're that bored, that we're like counting heartbeats and, you know, watching watching a blade of grass and saying, you know, I think I saw it twitch, you know.

[00:20:31.330] – Allan
Yeah. That kind of thing. Can you talk about the kind of being bored and why being bored is not actually a bad thing and why maybe we should actually lean into it?

[00:20:41.480] – Michael
Yeah, so to your point about being in the woods in Mississippi and you just kind of waiting, hunting is a lot of waiting sometimes, and that's something that I was not used to. So we in the Arctic, we would sit on these hills and we were hunting caribou.

[00:20:56.750] – Michael
So we would have to wait for these caribou to they're migrating. So you're trying to catch them as they're moving into their to their wintering grounds.

[00:21:05.450] – Michael
So you'd sit on this hill and my cell phone does not work up there.

[00:21:09.830] – Michael
There is not a lick of service within one hundred miles. So the thing is essentially useless. I didn't bring a book. I didn't bring magazines. I sure I surely didn't have a TV. So what I'm left with is I would start to read labels on my energy bars. I would start to read the labels on the clothes I was wearing. And then when that gets boring, I start thinking of ideas and I start thinking of all these other things.

[00:21:33.680] – Michael
And it was really interesting because nowadays, any time we feel bored, we have this constant ability to kill our boredom, the discomfort of boredom. Any time you feel a twinge of that, I mean, think if you ever look at a supermarket line, what is everyone doing there on their cell phones? Even 20 years ago, you would have to sort of stand there and be with yourself and with your thoughts. The brain essentially has two different ways of two different modes.

[00:22:02.270] – Michael
And in the book, I simplify it and I call them focus mode and unfocused mode. Focus mode is any time that you are focusing on anything in the outside world. So your cell phone, as you're listening to this podcast, you're having to process information from the outside world. And this is like an active it's almost like a workout for your brain. The other mode is unfocused mode. Now, this is internal mind wandering. So this is the mode that I was in when I'm sitting on the Arctic tundra trying to think of ideas and just having thoughts come into my brain.

[00:22:31.820] – Michael
And this is essentially a rest state. It rests and restores your brain. Now, we've totally tipped the balance. Modern life has tipped the balance. So we're always in this focused mode and it's just like constantly trying to work and work and work our brains. We never experience boredom this time where we have to go inward and be with that little bit of discomfort and then send our minds down different ways of mind wandering, which restores our thinking and creativity.

[00:22:59.150] – Michael
So the benefits of boredom, you know, research shows that it revives your brain not being bored enough is actually associated with high rates of anxiety because it's you know, you're just really taxing your outward system. It's associated with more creativity. And I think part of that is because nowadays, when we're bored, if we just pull out Instagram and Twitter or whatever it is, we're focusing on the exact same type of media that everyone else is. And we're not having time to come up with ideas in our own mind that are our own ideas.

[00:23:31.520] – Michael
Experience boredom is associated with more focus and productivity. But I think one thing that that is key is you hear so much today, you need to be, you know, get on your phone. Get on your phone less. If you look at the data, people actually spend a lot more time engaging with all different kinds of media, like people watch twice as much TV as they do have screen time on their phones. We've inserted essentially eleven hours, I think is the average, 11 hours and six minutes to be exact, digital media in our day.

[00:24:02.570] – Michael
That's how much time we're spending engaging with digital media. So I tend to think about it instead of less phone. I tend to think about it more as more boredom. How can I just find these spaces where I can just have no outside stimulation and allow my mind to go inward and sort of revive and reset? And if we can do that, even though it's uncomfortable, I mean, it's much easier to just go on Instagram. I think we're going to move the dial a lot on our mental health.

[00:24:26.660] – Michael
And you'll find often with with a lot of these discomforts that I'm talking about, there's an initial period where you're like, man, this really sucks. I don't like this. This is uncomfortable. But after a certain time, once you sort of get through that rough patch, you're like, oh, I see what I'm doing this for.

[00:24:45.980] – Michael
And you start to really see those rewards. I mean, nothing in life, whether it be something very simple, like not being not defaulting to TV or your computer or your phone or whether it be like a massive, massive workout or challenge is ever going to be easy. So just accepting that there is going to be that hard part and going through it anyways, you'll see that benefit.

[00:25:09.950] – Allan
Yeah, I was, I took it. I took what you put to heart and I was going for my my normal little walk around here on the island. I like walking out by the beach and I was on my way out there. Normally what I would do is I put on the podcast or an audio book and then I'd have my runkeeper that would tell me my my my split's every five minutes, you know, that's chiming in and telling me what my splits are. I just got to thinking myself, Okay, I'm still going to keep my runkeeper on, but I'm going to I'm going to turn the volume all the way down so I don't hear my splits.

[00:25:40.750] – Allan
But the pocket I put the phone in my pocket and I'm not going to pay any attention until I get to a certain point, and then I'll just want to check my time to make sure that I can get back in time for what I've got to get done for the day. And yeah, it's like where first you're going and you're kind of like just you start becoming hyper sensitive to everything around, you start paying a lot more attention and so on this walk beyond just having a good walk and enjoying some warm weather, you know, heat shock proteins, I, I noticed a lot more.

[00:26:15.930] – Allan
You know, I just I noticed, like a line of leafcutter ants walking down the side of the road with me. You know, I was about to step on them and I said, oh, leafcutters. And I'm just walking along and I'm seeing leaves and I'm like, Okay, you know, just it was a long, long trail, like maybe about quarter of a mile. These guys were traveling. And so it's just kind of one of those things where I thought, yeah, I'm opening up.

[00:26:36.420] – Allan
I'm noticing more about the world around me. I'm noticing more about myself, like how how my legs feel, how my feet feel, you know, just just the whole bit of it. And it just gives you a lot more time to actually get it. Get in your head and think versus at times we try to turn that inner voice off. And I think a lot of times it's we just don't like that guy.

[00:27:02.190] – Allan
Yeah. And then you're like, well, no, I'm going to get to know that person.

[00:27:07.260] – Allan
And only way I can do that is to be alone with them.

[00:27:11.370] – Michael
Yeah, I love that story that's so great, because the thing about those leafcutter ants, you're going to remember them for next year, five years, 10 years, I was here and I saw that rove leafcutter ants doing their thing, moving through the world. That's going to create an impression in your mind and isn't I mean, this is the stuff that we're really going to remember.

[00:27:29.850] – Michael
I mean, I think that the media is obviously amazing. It's incredible.

[00:27:35.190] – Allan

[00:27:35.640] – Michael
It's so fun to see what people are doing on Instagram and getting cool ideas and listening to podcasts like yours. I mean, there's a ton of value in the stuff there really is. But I think it's figuring out the balance. If our we are programed to default to always being stimulated, never wanting to be bored, and we just have the easiest out for that.

[00:27:55.540] – Michael
So I think we need to reinsert boredom into our lives because when we are evolving, we had long periods of boredom and these helped these helped us be productive and, you know, effective humans. And we've sort of removed them. And there's been some serious downsides. But but I love what you say about that. And and I think that you're smart because you're you're doing it in a way where you can still use the technology. You're just figuring out, well, how do I use the smarter so I can sort of balance it.

[00:28:22.470] – Michael
I can get benefits of boredom, but also this super cool technology that we have access to. You know, the answer isn't like we don't want to live like Luddites. That's yeah, that sounds terrible to me. But it's it's the balance.

[00:28:36.020] – Allan
Yeah, and the worst part of it was I was sitting there saying I should pull my phone out and take a picture of these ants and I'm like, no, know, that whole purpose was to to not interact with my phone this whole two hours and

[00:28:47.240] – Michael
Yeah, those ants are yours.

[00:28:50.150] – Allan
I could post it on Facebook. That's so cool. I get those likes and and retweeted all that stuff and I was like, no, no. That that breaks the whole purpose of why I'm here. I'm not here to to do a documentary on leafcutter ants. I'm here to enjoy some time with myself.


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[00:30:52.500] – Allan
I think another thing that you got into that was really important, and it was it was thrust upon you because 33 days and I think people would say, Okay, sure, there's there's not a McDonald's up there or even a Tim Hortons or anything for you to just say, Okay, you know, let's pop in and have some breakfast and then we'll go hunting or after the breakfast, you know, we'll go by the room, take a shower, get ourselves cleaned up and have a really nice dinner tonight.

[00:31:20.060] – Allan
I mean, I hope they had that wine we had last time. That's not life. You had to carry all your food with you short of what you actually were going to then be able to get on that hunt.

[00:31:31.350] – Allan
So you started doing the math and realizing, Okay, I'm not going to be able to carry enough calories.

[00:31:39.210] – Michael

[00:31:39.810] – Allan
For the whole trip. And that meant at some point along the way and I don't think it was that far into the trip, you started experiencing hunger. And it's not the hunger of, you know, gee, I wish I had some Doritos. It was like real real in a hunger. Could you could you talk about being hungry and why that is important?

[00:32:01.320] – Michael
Sure. So when we did when you in the numbers, you know, we're carrying these heavy 80, 90 pound backpacks all over the place. The landscape is, you know, hilly and treacherous and we're probably burning somewhere between 4000, 6000 calories a day.

[00:32:18.240] – Michael
But if we were to bring enough food to fuel that, I mean, our packs would be it would not fit in the pack. All we would have is just a bunch of food. So we had to pare down and figure out, Okay, how much is enough reasonably to stay alive? More or less. And that was we could figure that would be about two thousand calories. So that's what we pack. So every day we're digging ourself into this hole and there's just never enough food.

[00:32:41.190] – Michael
And what happens over time, it's fascinating is you start to feel hungry and your mind starts to really focus on food. And these are these evolutionary mechanisms that we've developed to force us to find food that really compels you to find food. But feeling that hunger was fascinating because. No, my average day I eat for reasons that often have nothing to do with hunger. It could be that I woke up and it's breakfast, I got to eat breakfast.

[00:33:10.570] – Michael
So essentially the clock is telling me that I should eat, right. Or maybe I get stressed and I'm like, oh, man, I hate that email. I just received and hand goes into the m&m's and I shove them into my face.

[00:33:21.150] – Michael
You know, a lot of the data shows that as much as 80 percent of the times we eat aren't driven by actual physiological hunger. It's just because, like I said, it's a clock or stress or whatever. So re-engaging with with actual core deep hunger was fascinating because I'm like, man, I have never felt this before.

[00:33:43.860] – Michael
And I learned a lot of interesting things about hunger. And one of them, too, is that. You know, over time, it's not it's not going to kill you, you know, out there, it's like I lost 10 pounds over the thirty three months or whatever it was.

[00:34:01.050] – Michael
But I realized re-engaging with hunger is actually a good thing, because if you can figure out when this is true hunger versus this is just me wanting food, that can really move the dial. Because, I mean, right now it's I think in the US it's seventy two percent of Americans are overweight or obese. I mean, we're clearly suffering from a crisis where we're just eating too much. And that suggests to me that probably, you know, re-engaging with hunger and learning about what do I actually need food versus when do I want food can be really important in moving the dial on our health through weight loss.

[00:34:37.830] – Michael
So I would say that it just when I came back from the Arctic, I realized that a lot of times, like I said, it's just I just want food or it's a clock that tells me I want food and feeling that hunger can lead a lot of internal physical change. So I think, you know, embracing hunger is important. And, you know, I know people get really.

[00:34:59.880] – Michael
I guess I would say ideological, I don't know if that's the right word about certain diets and all that. My own opinion is that if you look at all the research, that weight loss is primarily driven by calorie balance. And so just figuring out a way that you can you can eat that will control your hunger, but you're not eating too much is important. And so in the book, I talk about ways of certain foods that research suggests tend to help us fight hunger, but also control our calories.

[00:35:28.810] – Michael
So these tend to be foods that we've often heard are not good for us, like potatoes or different forms of carbs that are unprocessed, that actually are good because they can help us control hunger and keep our calories low. It's this concept called calorie density, which is kind of a science way of saying they fill you up without having as many calories as other foods.

[00:35:50.870] – Allan
Yeah, and I think one of the things that kind of came out of it is that just as soon as you killed the Cariboo, you ate like a king. And it was one of the best meals you'd had in a long time and you even started liking the the instant meals, you know, just the reconstituted meals. You're like, it's fine. I love it. It's it's still delicious because I'm that hungry that you were truly tasting your food.

[00:36:17.530] – Michael

[00:36:17.870] – Allan
And and the. Go ahead.

[00:36:19.760] – Michael
I was going to say hunger is the best sauce.

[00:36:23.540] – Allan

[00:36:24.050] – Michael
You know that if you are a person who thinks that vegetables are disgusting, that's probably because you're only eating things like Doritos that are engineered to be just like so amazing. And if you take yourself away from that for a little while, you realize that vegetables have a lot of amazing nuances that are that are great, you know.

[00:36:43.100] – Allan
Yeah. And I think that's what we miss is that, you know, like you said, we're eating all the time. We're eating things that are designed to make us eat more. We're not giving our body an opportunity to actually understand the hunger signals. And then when food is available, which here it's always available, it's everywhere.

[00:37:05.750] – Allan
We tend to overeat. And, you know, the dietitians though warn you, don't let yourself get hungry and then the food companies will take advantage of it and someone will be upset, not feeling good because they're hungry and they're going to tell them, oh, you need a Snickers. And so that's the solution to your your hunger problem. And it's not even true hunger because you haven't gone without food long enough or you've had enough food to not need that food.

[00:37:33.050] – Allan
But we haven't turned on those hunger signals. And obviously, you being out there for thirty three days, you turned on some hunger signals.

[00:37:41.310] – Michael
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I think in a lot of ways food has become a widget for a way to solve for other problems.

[00:37:48.590] – Michael
I'm stressed, I'm going to eat, I'm bored, I'll eat. And I just said boredom is good so don't just eat f you're bored. Find other ways to go.

[00:37:58.430] – Michael
But yeah, you know, we developed these evolutionary mechanisms that favor us to eat foods that are as calorie dense as possible. Now in nature as we evolved, you really don't find that many foods that are really calorie dense. I would think honey is the most calorie dense of the food you find.

[00:38:16.100] – Michael
But now we have foods that are engineered to be these, you know, globs of sugar, salt and fat that are amazing. And I'm not saying don't ever eat those, but it's they need to be balanced. You know, we need to to engage with hunger a little bit, learn that hunger and hunger is actually a good thing. Like you said, we've we've been told that, oh, don't ever feel hungry. You know, you're hungry or whatever it is. Oh, it's a good thing.

[00:38:40.640] – Allan
Yeah. And I think if you had to take several bee stings to get that high calorie dense food instead of buying it and like you said, a cute little jar that's shaped like a little bear, we probably wouldn't do it as much, but yeah.

[00:38:57.890] – Allan
So it's okay to be hungry, you know, like you said, I mean, we use the term starving, but that's not the right word. And even in your situation here, you knew you'd brought enough food to probably not starve. Yeah, but it also heightened your desire to do something. So it kept you motivated and driving rather than just saying, I'm going to go cuddle in the teepee for the next twenty days and hope I don't burn more calories.

[00:39:24.170] – Michael

[00:39:24.830] – Allan
it got you moving. I got you guys doing more so that you could get that back, could get some food and that's that's actually a good thing. If you can find the waste are going to drive you to a better behavior, you've got to be hungry for it. And that's whether that's eating the right foods or getting your food. You've got to think of it in those terms.

[00:39:44.450] – Michael
Yeah. Yep, exactly.

[00:39:47.000] – Allan
Michael, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:39:56.630] – Michael
Well, we just talked about one of them, I think re-engaging with hunger can be important. I mean, I think that our food, how we eat today is one of the number one drivers of our health problems because people just eat too much and and they don't move enough. And I think figuring out ways to lose weight if you're currently overweight is going to be the number one thing you can do from your health, assuming you're not smoking or something like that.

[00:40:23.990] – Michael
I mean, look at the data and it's pretty overwhelming. And, you know, yes, there are people who are overweight, who are metabolically healthy, and that's that's great. But I do think if you look at most people, most of the time, some some ground can be gained by losing a little weight. And I think that food is one of the best ways to do that.

[00:40:42.710] – Michael
Number two, I would say. Is that I would love it if people would start thinking about how can I do epic things in my life? So for me it was this thirty three days in the Alaskan backcountry. I go out there, I experience all these different forms of discomfort. I'm in nature. For a long time, I experienced some hunger I have to put physical effort in. And I think that doing that can really move the dial on our health and happiness, but more importantly, it can change us internally.

[00:41:16.840] – Michael
So, as I mentioned before, it's like when I was on that runway first about to head up there. I mean, I'm just like overstressed guy. I'm afraid to get on this plane. I'm like, you got to be kidding me. We're going in that little thing. And at the end of that sort of going on this journey of having to face all these discomforts, I learned a lot about myself and it really transformed me and I would say moved the dial on a lot of things in my life, just stress levels.

[00:41:42.760] – Michael
You know, when I got back, I could see, oh, like waiting in a line is not a big deal, you know, because I had all these true dangers and things happen to me. And so I think for four people, it's, you know, what is something that you can do, get outside, exercise some way to challenge yourself that will help put all these things in perspective and also get you out and moving. So maybe that, oh, there's this mountain near my house that I've never climbed and I've never climbed a mountain before.

[00:42:12.580] – Michael
You know, it could be like a five, ten mile hike. But if you've never done that before, I think picking something that has sort of a chance of failure, chance you may not make it where you put yourself in a position where you have to dig deep physically and psychologically and emotionally. When you complete that, it's like a massive, massive confidence boost and just move your life in the right direction. And let's see, number three, let me think on this.

[00:42:39.130] – Michael
Oh, I would say to think about your death each day, which I realize that seems somewhat morbid when people hear it. But, you know, as we evolve, we really engage with the life cycle.

[00:42:51.070] – Michael
So I know for me, I went up to Alaska, we're hunting and we look for these caribou for like fifteen days and we finally get a chance where we, you know, I'm going to potentially be able to kill one. And I have the gun and I am super reticent about hunting this whole time because I'm coming from this world where our meat is presented to us. Totally, perfectly manicured death is death and the life cycle is totally removed from our lives, everything from our funeral system to how we react when someone dies and we're told to keep our mind off it.

[00:43:27.880] – Michael
So we're, you know, crawling out there and I get in this position where the animal is close enough within shooting distance. And I'm kind of hesitating, you know, because I'm like, oh, man, this is a beautiful creature. Don't ever engage with this kind of stuff. And began with Donny says, look, if you don't want to shoot, you don't got to shoot. But if you're going to shoot, you got to do it now.

[00:43:49.450] – Michael
And I pulled the trigger and the animal goes down. And my initial reaction is, oh my God, what have I done? It was this just sinking feeling. We go out and see the animal. It's down. And I just feel terrible. It's like, what what has happened here?

[00:44:05.680] – Michael
What have I done? And then we began to break the animal down to field, dress it to bring it back to camp. And my mind started to shift because you start to see that this living creature is going to provide life for me, for my family to give us food. And that death is ultimately part of the life cycle. Like it is a it is a clear realization for me that happened that, oh, you know, death is part of the life cycle.

[00:44:35.290] – Michael
And I started to research this when I when I got back from Alaska and I ended up going to doing some traveling around this and a lot of research. And when you look at the research people who think about death, which is something, you know, we're not we're told, oh, don't do that because that's morbid and that'll make you sad. When you look at the research, it actually makes people happier because it cuts out a lot, cuts a lot of the fat out of your life.

[00:44:55.930] – Michael
Right. If you just think once a day, oh, I'm going to die at one point, you're not going to get hung up on these stupid little things that we tend to get so anxious and hung up on every day, right. You start to see people start to focus on the things that are really going to make them truly happier. So I think the three things that I just named are kind of like this holistic system that can help with your mind, body and spirit more or less.

[00:45:20.200] – Allan
And I agree with all of those. Thank you. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, The Comfort Crisis, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:45:29.020] – Michael
You can go to Easter Michael dot com, if you want to learn more about me, I'm active on Instagram as well: Michael_Easter. I try not to be too active on it because that boredom thing. But yeah, those are probably the two best ways to find it in the books available anywhere you get books. So

[00:45:44.470] – Allan
Okay. You can go to 40 plus fitness podcast dot com forward slash four eight five, and I'll be sure to have links there.

[00:45:51.370] – Allan
Michael, thank you so much for being a part of 40 plus fitness.

[00:45:54.610] – Michael
Hey, thank you for having me.

Post Show/Recap

[00:46:01.090] – Allan
Raz, welcome back.

[00:46:03.160] – Rachel
Hey, Alan, what a wonderful story from Michael and his adventure in the Arctic. My gosh, talk about discomfort. He had a lot of it.

[00:46:13.640] – Allan
He did. You know. Well, one first, we probably didn't dive into it enough in the conversation, but he was terrified to get on that little plane.

[00:46:21.850] – Allan
He was a little bit just a little bitty planes where he kind of felt like he was straddling the the pilot while he was sitting in that airplane with his equipment. And the plane he was on couldn't go and land where they needed to. So they dropped the two of them off in the middle of freakin nowhere, Alaska, and then take off to nowhere Alaska to basically shuttle these guys. And then they leave him out there. And I'm like, no, no, I would have been the second person on the plane.

[00:46:50.440] – Allan
So I'm not sitting out in the middle of nowhere by myself alone. That would have kind of got me. I mean, and I I've had some moments in my life where I was outside my comfort zone, did some things like, you know, look back on and say, well, some people would call that foolish, but, you know, damn, it makes a good story.

[00:47:12.040] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:47:12.940] – Allan
You know, like walking down into the basement with four Koreans, two of them in front of me, two of them behind me. And I'm there to catch them committing fraud, thinking I might not actually come out of this basement again. So you have those stories. And that's one of the cool things about this book, is not just that Michael sharing the stories, but he's sharing lessons about how being outside your comfort zone makes for a better life across the world, whether you're looking at your career, your relationships, your health, your fitness, everything great happens outside the comfort zone.

[00:47:49.210] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh, it's so true.

[00:47:51.070] – Rachel
He even drew a line. Right, towards adding discomfort to your life can give you health and happiness, happiness through discomfort. It's kind of a mind blowing concept right there.

[00:48:03.880] – Allan
Well, you've experienced it, so.

[00:48:05.920] – Rachel
Oh, yeah.

[00:48:06.310] – Allan
Let's talk about your first marathon.

[00:48:08.350] – Allan
How painful was that run? I mean, you know, at the end, you're that you know, you're you're at that that twenty two mile mark.

[00:48:17.520] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:48:18.400] – Allan
And you're watching other runners around. You quit. You're saying medical attention being given to people on the side of the road. And you're seeing also seeing people cheering you on.

[00:48:29.830] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:48:30.550] – Allan
But it's uncomfortable and there is be no shame in quitting.

[00:48:35.710] – Rachel
Right. Well, I'll even take it a step back and and say my first five K was out of my comfort zone, so as my first 10K, my first half marathon was in a Florida hurricane situation and my first marathon was just as difficult, although it was at the happiest place on Earth with this, which is Disney.

[00:48:58.860] – Rachel
My first full marathon was Disney. But but yeah, every single step of the way in my running career has been taking that one step outside what I know I could do, what I'm comfortable doing and seeing what can I accomplish, what can I do and and how crazy is that? And and then every time I accomplish something, I'm I'm stronger for it and more confident and and more confident when I want to try something new, like my first 50 miles, I'll be doing the summer.

[00:49:34.470] – Rachel
So that's one of the reasons why I embraced running and just share it with the world so much because it can give you so much back. It's hard and it's scary, but it gives you so much back.

[00:49:46.830] – Allan
Yeah. And we've become too comfortable to the point of, you know, we, we go for the convenience and so beyond just comfort, there's convenience and you'll hear the word comfort foods and comfort foods. Yeah. Typically are high in fat, high in salt and high in sugar, high in everything and all put together. And they make you feel good, they give you the feel good, comfortable feeling, you know, chicken and dumplings is one just comes to mind for me is they call that a comfort food and you know it's like okay, cool.

[00:50:23.070] – Allan
Occasionally having a little bit of comfort, not a problem, having it every single day, having the convenience of driving up and ordering a donut and a coffee on your way to work and then getting something from the vending machine because you're starving two hours later. And for the record, you're not actually starving.

[00:50:43.170] – Allan
You're just having a little bit of a sugar rush and a sugar crash. And that's what you're having. And it's not you're not starving. And so I think the recognition that if once we start seeing the comfort that's in our lives and we start challenging that and saying, is that comfort serving me? Or is that comfort holding me back?

[00:51:06.430] – Rachel
Hmm, good question.

[00:51:07.270] – Allan
We're almost blind to it because we're in it and it's just so easy and this is just the way it is.

[00:51:12.670] – Allan
And so, you know, the more you sit there and say, is this the right comfort for me to be in? So, you know, granted, I want my room cool at night so I can sleep better. So we have an air conditioner in our bedroom. We don't have an air conditioner in the living space of the bed and breakfast and so on. A hot day like today is probably somewhere in the 90s and it's really, really humid.

[00:51:37.090] – Allan
And so sitting in the living room with the fans going is right on that edge of comfortable. You know, I'm sitting in my living room sweating. Most people don't want to be sweating when they're sitting in their living room. You know, they're going to have the AC on. There can be very comfortable. They're not going to want to walk outside. I'll check the mail on my way to work tomorrow. You know, that kind of comfort.

[00:52:00.130] – Allan
And it's like, get out, you know, move around. Don't be afraid of it. So you sweat a little to shower before bed,

[00:52:07.570] – Rachel

[00:52:08.260] – Allan
So look at the comfort that's in your life and just say, is this this is serving me? Is just making me a better person? And there are times when comfort will there, you know, I sleep better when the room temperature is cooler. If we didn't have an air conditioner, then I wouldn't sleep as well.

[00:52:27.350] – Allan
We have a we have an air fryer. And the air fryer can do, you know, the toasting, the grilling in the baking, the the air frying, the broiling. And so it's very convenient, comfortable device to have sitting on our counter.

[00:52:42.720] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:52:43.310] – Allan
I don't use it to make Pop Tarts.

[00:52:47.510] – Allan
I use it to bake chicken or broil steak or do those types of things. So I don't get don't think that all comfort is bad. It's not it's just a function of saying, am I using comfort where where it matters.

[00:53:05.810] – Rachel

[00:53:06.380] – Allan
You know, a good massage is comfortable. Having a comfortable bed is comfortable. Those are important things for your wellness. But, you know, having complete access to all this food, calling Uber eats every night because you can never, never getting hot, never getting cold.

[00:53:29.060] – Allan
You know, that's not how we were intended to to be. We were intended to be a little uncomfortable most of the time and really uncomfortable some of the time.

[00:53:40.070] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:53:41.060] – Rachel
I think we've lost a little of that satisfaction of doing certain things for ourselves. Like you mentioned, cooking a proper meal from scratch versus ordering uber eats or something. You know, if you can gather fresh ingredients and make this wonderful meal for your family all on your own, just think of the pride that you'll have, not even to mention the taste will be so much better than running out to a restaurant and getting some fat laden food. But you've got pride in your food.

[00:54:10.760] – Rachel
You've got a tasty meal. Plus it contributes to your health instead of taking away from your health. So it's just these little things like if you can allow yourself the extra time to take the time to get the good food to to prepare a nice meal, to take a walk to the store instead of a drive to the store, if you can just take a minute to reassess and maybe give you that little extra time to do these things by hand from scratch, just think of the satisfaction you'll have having accomplished all that.

[00:54:40.010] – Allan
Yeah. And I would even take it a step further and say, Okay, so so imagine you do this. You set up a plant bed in your backyard or a patio garden and you plant some plants if you have the space and in your city allows it, you raise some chickens.

[00:54:58.940] – Rachel
Oh, man, you know, that would be fun.

[00:55:01.850] – Allan
And maybe you go ahead in a co-op and you know, you can share in a buying a cow. You know, sometimes they'll do that like a local farm and you all go in together and say, Okay, so I'm buying half a cow and they're buying. So we all contribute our money and we buy the calves and we've paid for the food. And we have a responsibility to go out there on our days and feed the cow.

[00:55:25.430] – Rachel

[00:55:25.760] – Allan
Take care of it. It's a co-op. We're all involved. We're all working together or we're doing it at home, raising the chickens, getting the eggs, growing the vegetables. So you're growing spinach and you've got the eggs.

[00:55:38.690] – Allan
And so, you know, you make yourself an omelet with the spinach in the eggs that you grew, that, you know, you took the little chick and you took the little seedling and you made yourself that meal from not just scratch, but from actual dirt, you know.

[00:55:59.220] – Rachel
How how amazing and how satisfying that is. That would be wonderful.

[00:56:03.810] – Allan
And it's not even just you. I mean, this was a part of your family. This is like how we spend a Saturday. You know, we spend the Saturday at my brother. They raise chickens. And so his little girls, they know how to care for the chickens. And they named all their so they have no intention of eating the chickens, but they eat eggs.

[00:56:22.330] – Rachel
That's awesome.

[00:56:23.550] – Allan
Yeah. Except for the the Fox incident. But we don't want to talk.

[00:56:27.430] – Rachel
Oh no, no.

[00:56:31.440] – Allan
But, you know, it's just kind of one of those things of this is a learning experience for them to be able to see where their food is coming from and recognize, Okay, this is you know, this is where all this stuff comes from. And it's not you don't just go to the grocery store to buy stuff.

[00:56:46.350] – Rachel
Oh, yeah.

[00:56:47.480] – Allan
You can you can do it yourself. And it's uncomfortable. It's extra work. It means, you know, a weekend where you're building something, you're putting, you know, dealing with soil and all the other stuff.

[00:56:58.950] – Allan
You're learning new things, teaching kids new things, but spending that quality time together.

[00:57:04.230] – Allan
And that's again, the value of discomfort can be the value of learning. It's a value of relationship. It's the value of better quality of pretty much everything in your life. And so that's what this book was really about. He's a fabulous writer. It's a really interesting story if you're anti-hunting while there is hunting in the book. But I want you to recognize the the concepts of it. He does talk about that because he had never hunted before.

[00:57:32.130] – Allan
So he's not pro hunting even now. But he wanted the experience. And he went out and did it while he doesn't know if he'll do it again.

[00:57:43.490] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:57:44.150] – Allan
But it was just an experience that he wanted to have. All of the meat from that animal was consumed by him and his family. So he did bring that meat home. So it was not just an unethical trophy kill that you see the pictures and you know that this was those were legitimate hunts for food when controlled by the wild life stuff.

[00:58:07.850] – Allan
But just recognize that he made himself very, very uncomfortable for thirty-three days, experienced a lot of things, has a lot of stories to tell. And he's a really good storyteller. So it's a really good book from that perspective too.

[00:58:20.750] – Rachel
Wonderful. It sounds wonderful. What an adventure he had for sure.

[00:58:24.620] – Allan
All right, Rachel. Well, I will talk to you next week.

[00:58:27.230] – Rachel
All right. Take care.

[00:58:28.230] – Allan
You too.

[00:58:29.540] – Rachel


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Deb Scarlett– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
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– Eric More– Leigh Tanner

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


April 12, 2021

How to run with your dog – Bryan Barrera

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Have you considered taking your dog out with you on your run? In The Ultimate Guide to Running With Your Dog, Bryan Barrera tells you how. Bryan joined us on 40+ Fitness to discuss some of the finer points of running with your dog.


Let's Say Hello

[00:01:26.870] – Allan
Hey, Raz. How are things going?

[00:01:28.970] – Rachel
Good. Allan, how are you today?

[00:01:31.190] – Allan
I'm doing okay. It's been a busy week, but not nearly as busy as your week. You've got some pretty exciting news.

[00:01:38.340] – Rachel
Yeah. I just got my RRCA running coach certification. So now I am officially a running coach and I'm pretty excited about it.

[00:01:48.320] – Allan

[00:01:49.400] – Rachel
Thank you. Thank you so much.

[00:01:51.080] – Allan
That's pretty cool.

[00:01:52.170] – Rachel
It is. It was a great class. I learned a lot and of course I knew a lot because I've been running for 20 years. But it was really a good class and very informative. And so now I feel very ready to be able to coach somebody.

[00:02:06.710] – Allan
Perfect. All right. Well, let's get into our conversation today, which is also about your favorite topic running.

[00:02:13.790] – Rachel
Yay, okay!


[00:02:38.210] – Allan
Bryan, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:02:40.880] – Bryan
Thank you. How are you, Allan?

[00:02:42.410] – Allan
I'm doing great. I just finished reading your book, The Ultimate Guide to Running with Your Dog: Tips and Techniques for Understanding Your Canine's Fitness and Running Temperament. And I got this book. I sought this book. When I saw it, I was like, okay, there we go. One is I know that I need to start building up my own cardiovascular fitness. I love going into the gym and lifting heavy weights.

[00:03:07.760] – Allan
My dog can't do that with me. He can hang out and watch. But I love lifting weights. I need to do some more cardio and I have this new dog I'm going to talk about. We're going to talk about him a little bit. But he has all this energy. He's he's just about a year old. And so I'm like, I need to go do something with him. I need to keep him busy because he's a chewer and he's a little destructive. And so there's some behavior, things I want to deal with.

[00:03:36.230] – Allan
But just also the energy. He's obviously a fit dog but needs to be active. And so I would give him that opportunity, but rather than me, go out and do my runs and then come back and do something active with him. I just thought it would make sense if we could do it together. So when I saw your book on running with your dog, I was like, yeah, this is this is something I want to get into

[00:03:56.570] – Bryan
Awesome man! I think you found the right spot then. I think that's a that's an interesting thing. We've run dogs for people who are marathons and it is a different kind of running so that you've already sort of made that observation that it is going to be a little bit different because there is a preference to kind of go want to run on your own and for whatever reason, people like to run, whether it's to check out, to listen to a podcast or listen to music and get ampped. Whatever that is, it is different because it is about the relationship between you and the dog on top of being healthy and physically fit.

[00:04:26.020] – Allan
Yeah. I kind of brushed on the topic of reasons that you want to run with your dog. Could you dove into that a little bit more? I mean, dogs need structure and they need something and running can be a part of that. Can you give us kind of the lay of the land? What what benefits is our dog going to get from a running regime with us?

[00:04:48.100] – Bryan
Of course. There are a number of reasons that people kind of contact us or contact us to run their dogs. And they usually fall into two categories. It's the physical side. They're overweight. Maybe they just had an injury. They're recovering from something like that or sort of the mental side. And that's why you see it manifest as anxiety, destructive tendencies, hyperactivity. Those are the two basic camps that it kind of falls between.

[00:05:14.920] – Bryan
But, I think going out and going for a run is a solution for a lot of dogs, but I'm very clear to say that it is not the solution for everyone. So there is a bit of understanding who you are as a runner, what your goals are as a runner, and if that links up and fits with what your dog's capacity for that is and really checking your ego. I know you talked about lifting a lot of weight. There are days when, you know, you can push it just like runners and dogs are just like humans. There are days you have good days running, you have bad days running. And being able to be self-aware, identify those things is going to put you in the best position to do that successfully long term.

[00:05:53.620] – Allan
OK, so when we I mean, I kind of get, because it's it's kind of a mantra in the fitness environment. By burning some energy, you're burning some calories and, you know, for managing the calories we're giving our dog and we're running our dog a little bit. You know, they're staying healthy. They're they're maintaining the appropriate weight. And we can talk to our veterinarian about what our actual foods should be and how often and how much they should eat.

[00:06:19.650] – Allan
But on the behavioral side, can we dove a little deeper there? Because in the book I was like, you know, this this solves a lot of problems. People will get a puppy and it's cute and then it's destructive. And then it's doing other things that we don't necessarily want it to do. And you can train the dog. Obviously, with enough work and effort, you can train a dog. But running is going to do some things that make that whole effort much better.

[00:06:46.050] – Bryan
Yeah, I think it helps to step back a little bit and think about sort of what was the purpose for dogs when they originally kind of became companions for people. Right. Originally they were useful on farms or doing work. They had jobs and that was sort of the they earned their keep. Right? And it wasn't just like what it's become over the last sort of like 50 years where we just kind of take care of them and love them. And it's our job to provide the things for them.

[00:07:12.180] – Bryan
Like people didn't have maybe the funds there were, I think in the book somewhere I wrote as well about. And if I didn't, I meant to. Dogs like leisure dogs that were for sort of the the upper class people and people that had dogs that were sort of middle class. They needed them to do work. You couldn't just afford to feed a dog. They needed to go out there and help you round up cattle. And they needed to help running out with the what the firefighters or they had jobs and slowly over time, that's kind of gone away.

[00:07:45.330] – Bryan
But that instinct and that desire to work, it's still within them. So what we've noticed is when they do go for a structured run and might say that unleashed with you intentionally for 30 or 60 Minutes, and you can go further than that. But that's sort of for the purposes of the conversation, within the context of what our company does 30 to 60 Minutes, we can see a change in them sort of on the run and you can see the anxiety or whatever is manifesting that that they are not getting they're not getting enough exercise, they're not getting whatever it is you can see it on the run switch in them from, okay, we're out here having fun.

[00:08:25.140] – Bryan
I'm zooming across left and right, trying to sniff every tree, trying to bark at everything. And they get so laser focused on the run because that is their work to them. And I think it's calling to that like internal like bygone era of what they used to do. So it's really phenomenal to see when you can get into a groove with your dog and then just like how effortless they can really bang out those miles once they have sort of gotten trained up.

[00:08:49.590] – Allan
Yeah. It's funny, in the book, you talked about how dalmatians were used to basically run in front of the firemen so people knew they were coming in and clear out of the way. You know, every picture I've ever seen of a dalmatian, they're sitting in a fire truck. So, yeah, they kind of lost their job somewhere along the way. And now we need to give them some structure, some function, and then that kind of just becomes their their job. And they begin to identify as though this is this is my duty. This is my thing. I do. And that gives them that purpose. And therefore they can burn off the energy. Feeling productive.

[00:09:27.100] – Bryan

[00:09:29.310] – Allan
Now there are some breeds that you don't want to run. And there are also some times when you might not want to run a dog or any dog or even or maybe just some breeds. Can you kind of get into a bit of which dogs should not run? And then again, if there's times and weather and things like that that where we don't want them to run, that we understand that as well.

[00:09:52.830] – Bryan
Yes. And there are three general groups that have sort of broken it down to and they're all with their own qualifiers. I think to set the tone off the top, I would say all dogs can run. It's just a matter of how us finding out how we can do that safely and for how long and how fast. Right?

[00:10:10.380] – Bryan
So the first group that is sort of a full stop under twelve months. Which is actually very sort of a tricky conversation to have, because that puppy energy is real, man, and they got the dogs want to get after they start they're super cute in the beginning and then they get a little destructive and then they just need to amp up to go. And the idea is like, well, I'll just take the dog out. We'll get them tired. Like running seems to be able to do that. But the letting them out to go and run around a dog park and taking them out and throwing the ball is a very different activity and running style than going out on a sustained run for 30 minutes, where you're pounding the pavement. It's that repetitive activity. And that's because for the pups especially, their growth plates is still growing, their muscle is still being packed on, their ligaments are being stretched out in their joints are actually really susceptible to being misshapen if you do that kind of impactful running.

[00:11:04.340] – Bryan
So if you take your dog out on a run one time for a couple miles, not going to do any harm. But if you're going to do that, if it's a part of your lifestyle, that's when things become problematic. So, Bryan, the person says, yeah, you can take your dog out and take them on a short little trot around the block and just introduce it. I think that's more than fine and healthy. But to do the kind of running that Bryan, the business owner does, that's a bad fit and we will not do that.

[00:11:27.860] – Bryan
The second group are dogs that are called braciaphalic. The best way to picture that is smoshed noses. Most of those dogs are like pugs and bulldogs and things like that. And those people sort of like self select out. They're not really looking to run their own dogs. They just kind of tell, like this dog doesn't want to run. And any time I do, it looks like he's just like had it because of that snorting and chortling and all that sounds.

[00:11:52.370] – Bryan
But the one we have conversations about are boxers. And I know we talked about this a little bit. Boxers are incredible athletes, physical specimens. They are super athletic, but they also have the smushed noses. And I think, again, this is where I answer sort of in two ways back to the original point where it does determining how fast and how far boxers have a need to have such specific attention paid to them while you're running that it's not good for us as a company to run them.

[00:12:24.350] – Bryan
So our decision has been it's not the best fit for us. And it's not that they're not a good fit for us is that we're not a good fit for them. Actually, we can't get them. Give them the individualized attention, because everything that we do is on leash here in Washington, DC. Those are just the laws. And we do pack-style running just as a function of business. So going out for a run with your boxer is more than fine.

[00:12:50.330] – Bryan
I think what you need to look at are the extremities are going to be sort of a little tighter. So you're not going to get above, you know, sort of that eighty, eighty five degrees. Like you want to make sure that the temperature is like sort of perfect. You want to be in that like 40 degree to like 70-75 degree range. And then you're also going to be making sure that you are paying attention to the non-verbal cues, because everything that we're doing with these guys is nonverbal.

[00:13:13.940] – Bryan
You want to make sure that you're watching their tongue. The tongue is the first indicator. If they are in control of that thing, you're fine. Keep going. When there even if it's out of the mouth and it's darting back and forth, the moment you see it sort of lagging and out to the side and you can tell they're just trying to move that tongue out of the way so that they can bring air in. That's when you have to slow down, start the walk and maybe call it a run.

[00:13:35.420] – Bryan
And that can come a lot sooner because that's the function, the mechanism by which they don't call themselves. So what we can do, what we can't do on the on the business side of things, we can't sacrifice the run for the other dogs. And because it's not fair to them to cut their run short because one of the others can't keep up. And it's not that physically boxers can't keep up, it's that we just can't take them out solo. So I think Buster a fantastic run and I think that's one that I get questions for a lot.

[00:14:04.370] – Bryan
And then the last one or the geriatric dogs. And that one is actually really interesting to see because there are some dogs that have come to us in the eight and nine year old range that a lot of families are like I think is kind of had a shot. He's got a gimp, he's got a limp or whatever, and there's some that have been active their entire lives and have started running with us when they were six or something. And they're still running with us until they're twelve, thirteen years old and obviously slowed down a little bit. Or maybe you don't go quite as often, but they can still do it. And it's sort of like how we are as humans. If you spent a lifetime taking care of yourself, eating well, resting, building your body so that it is strong as you age, you're only going to be able to continue doing those things in some capacity, right?

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[00:16:26.490] – Allan
Basically, if I have a dog and I have two, and so the first one I'll talk about is, is Angel. OK, so Angel is a German shepherd. She's about nine years old. We got her as a rescue. And when we first got her, she already had some problems with her knees. So we went through knee surgeries with her. She also has a spinal problem in the bottom of her spine. So some nerve damage there. So she's got some issues. And I wouldn't see her running for some of those reasons, plus like I said, she's nine years old. So not something that I feel likeā€¦ Obviously I could walk her more spend more time on the beach with her. She won't chase the ball to save her life. She just looks at you like why you throw that, know what you're doing. But another dog gets a ball and suddenly she wants to take the ball from the other dog so she can play. She can have some fun.

[00:17:18.030] – Allan
And we just recently got a another rescue. Didn't really intend to have another dog, but he needed a home and so he has a home and he's about a year old. Best we can tell. He's probably a mix of a maybe a boxer and a pit bull. So it's not a complete smashed nose of a boxer, but it's kind of in the middle of that build of a good, strong, muscular dog right at about a year old. And he just has more energy than the sun. And I know I've got to do something with him. He will chew things up. I've already lost a pair of water shoes and my wife has lost some things. So we need to give him some deal. So he's short hair, but we live in Panama. So, you know, warning runs would probably put us in that 70 degree weather.

[00:18:11.700] – Bryan

[00:18:12.170] – Allan
But obviously, I couldn't stay out too long with him because that would start to warm up. And I just have to be very careful and watch him. So I appreciate that. So all that kind of makes sense to me now as we went through this.

[00:18:22.400] – Allan
Now, the other thing I liked in the book was, one you give you, give a lot of practical advice. So, you know, you're going to want to kit up, you're going to have the right leash. You're going to want to have some supplies and things brought with you, water for you or for the dog, different things. And then just the skill of running with the dog, which is a whole new thing for me to learn, which I love. But the core thing I got in the book and I was like, OK, so now I want to do this run. You even include guidelines. Over the next six weeks, let's let's get your dog ready to go from, as you said, doggy couch to 5K. And in looking at the program, it kind of fits almost exactly how I would train someone, albeit I think the dog will accelerate through this a little bit faster than than we might. Could you talk about your your prep that it's like a six-week program to kind of get your dog into running shape?

[00:19:18.620] – Bryan
Of course. And I think you nailed it. You nailed it on the head there. It is sort of based on what we have done as runners and getting to 5K for us to definitely what I modeled it after. And I've found that a lot of the things work into and you are also right that dogs pick this up so much quicker and they can bounce back a lot quicker than you. So I think it's so deliberate. I thought it was better to write it sort of in this way where it's maybe a little long for most sort of as to not discourage those that weren't seeing the results of like a four-week program.

[00:19:52.400] – Bryan
Right? So I thought people can look at their dog and modify it and sort of scale it up if they needed to, because they're going to have those sort of next steps. If they're saying, like, actually, my dog is sort of chewing up this two-minute walk four-minute run in week three, like Tic Tacs, I think we can sort of maybe bump it up a little bit quicker. So that's kind of why I modeled it after, like a six-week thing, which is like, OK, that's a reasonable amount of time that you're going to commit to doing this. But if you need to, you can always bump it up a little bit quicker because you're going to have that written there. Whereas if I had written it over like a four-week, you know, maybe somebody said, well, what do I do in between here? This is a big jump. My dog is not ready, but it seems like perfectly capable of doing what's here. So I think that's why I ended up doing it sort of that extended out.

[00:20:36.950] – Bryan
Was there anything specific about sort of the plan? I'd be happy to flush that out for you?

[00:20:41.750] – Allan
Well, what I thought was really good about it was you committed a given amount of time to each workout, so spent 30 minutes. You go out with your dog. It's a walk, run, walk kind of program, which is very common in the couch to 5K. It's what Jeff Galloway did his one of his major programs for running. And so as I was because I was kind of looking through it, I was like, OK, this is a little bit more ambitious than I think a person would want.

[00:21:11.120] – Allan
But that's actually part of maybe the coolness of all this is knowing that your dog has that resilience, you could do your own 5K for a human. And do the half-hour and then that becomes your structured half-hour now, once you get your fitness up to a point with your dogs, the dogs can be able to keep up with you. The dog is going to be able to recover as fast, if not faster than we do, especially those of us over 40.

[00:21:36.320] – Allan
So I just thought it was a really good program in the book to be able to go through and say, OK, here's some structure. If I'm just not quite sure. But then you did touch on something. I think that's also equally important. Pay attention. Your dog's going to be giving you some nonverbal cues that we're going too fast. Or it might be telling you, hey, ratcheted up, dude, we've got miles to cover.

[00:22:00.560] – Bryan
Yeah. Something you brought up there. Why I did it in time increments as opposed to mileage. I know there's a few others out there and there's no shortage of basic information about sort of things like this as well. Why I did it for a duration as opposed to a mileage is when like us, if we can institute routines and sort of make things follow up, plan for them, they're only going to benefit from that because they know, hey, we're going to be out here for this amount of time every other day or three times a week or whatever it is that you decide is the best start for you guys. Right?

[00:22:35.780] – Bryan
And I think instituting that commitment to the routine is also going to help them mentally prepare for what they're about to go do. So I think it twofold. If you go out and we're just going to do it for a mile and the dog is not going to actually make it a mile, well, that's bad news and you're going to feel like fighter. So it's almost like hacking your systems inside of you internally that can help you stay committed to the plan.

[00:23:00.380] – Allan
Yeah, well, because if I told Buster, hey, we're going to run for a mile and we're going to walk for a mile, the buster is not going to have any idea what I'm talking about. But if I go out there with Buster and I'm walking for, you know, for my two minutes and Buster's cool with that, then I'm like, OK, Buster, let's go. And then we run for two minutes. Then he knows that's what we've done and we make that cycle. So for that whole week, that's my three runs. He gets comfortable.

[00:23:24.450] – Bryan

[00:23:24.950] – Allan
And then it's like, OK, we walk for two minutes now, we're going to run for three. He figures out, OK, we went for three. Now if I had a big fast dog, maybe and I'm a big fast runner. If I was, maybe I'm covering, you know, a mile or more, you know, in that in that time that I'm running, maybe I'm not maybe I have a smaller dog or slower dog or the dog that needs a little bit more patience and pace. And so we're not quite putting in the miles the way you would think. But a good 30-minute workout three times a week is going to be beneficial to you and obviously now beneficial to your dog.

[00:24:03.470] – Bryan

[00:24:05.500] – Allan
Bryan, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:24:13.480] – Bryan
Well, one's self-awareness, listening to your body. Finding out what like a long-term ache and pain is. Sometimes we're not always feeling our best when we get out there. And I get that. And listening to something barking at you continuously, go get it looked at. There's no sense in sort of beating yourself down and making it a longer-term problem.

[00:24:32.680] – Bryan
Second is getting rest. I think that's one of those ones that everybody kind of says, it's sort of like when people talk about eating and gains are made in that in the gym. Right? For your stomach or in the kitchen for your stomach. Right Everybody wants those abs.

[00:24:45.790] – Bryan
And then especially given what we do, drinking plenty of water, staying hydrated for both you and the pup, honestly.

[00:24:52.090] – Bryan
So drinking water, getting rest, having the self-awareness to just listen to your body, I think are the best thing you can do for your health.

[00:24:58.330] – Allan
All right. Well, Bryan, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, The Ultimate Guide to Running with your Dog or DC Dog Runner, your dog running company, where would you like for me to send them

[00:25:12.430] – Bryan
They can find the book. It's on Amazon. It's at Target, it's Barnes Noble. I think it'll be in a number of pet stores as well. And then dcdogrunner.com is a great resource. I'm always happy to just have conversations with people about dog running. If you like pictures of very cute dogs on runs, DC Dog Runner, I guess it's DC_dog_ runner on Instagram, actually. So any of those places are great and just connecting with people is something that I enjoy doing. So any questions? I've answered many questions in the comment sections or indirect messages. I'm always happy to sort of give my opinion. I talk about being a generalist and I haven't run with your dog necessarily. But I can definitely give you all the tips and techniques for understanding your canine fitness and running temperament.

[00:25:59.920] – Allan
The book is definitely a really good resource. It's something that I'm going to pay attention to as I start trying to put together a program for Buster and myself. So thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:26:12.820] – Bryan
Of course. Thank you for having me on.

Post Show/Recap

[00:26:19.240] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:26:20.440] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, what a fun conversation you had, and that sounds like a really good book.

[00:26:25.780] – Allan
It is a good book. He talks about some of the tools and things that you would have and he talks about just how to get your dog, get to know your dog so you can run with your dog. And just some of the things that we discussed before and after the conversation there, he I still don't feel confident that I can run with my dog.

[00:26:48.040] – Rachel
Oh, no.

[00:26:48.940] – Allan
It's not the book's fault is is this the dog's fault? He has no understanding of most anything. And while I know he's trainable. It's just. I know he's going to cut in front of me. I know he's going to see a cat or a bird and want to take off. And so I would just say if you're and you've got some experience with this, but if you're going to start running with your dog, it's a slow process. And I know he puts a kind of a couch to 5K for doggies version in there. That's if you're already a pretty strong runner.

[00:27:26.120] – Allan
You've got good balance, everything's optimal and you have a good place to train your dog. Around here, I really wouldn't have anything that I would feel confident other than running up and down the beach would be about the only place I would feel safe. And then it would be a trial and error of trying different leashes and just doing different things to a point where I would feel comfortable that he wasn't going to take me for a spill.

[00:27:52.310] – Rachel
Right. And that actually probably would be a good place to start training him. And I do have a little bit of experience. When I first got my dog, Stella, she was about a year old. She was a rescue and she was picked up as a stray, which means she had no manners, no commands, no behaviors, and certainly no experience on a leash. So when I hooked her up to at leash for the first couple of times, she pulled like a fish on a line. It was awful, a lot like fishing. She would be in front of me a couple of feet and zigzagging all over the road, smelling it things, looking at things. And then she would come to an abrupt stop. And I did a couple of Supermans over her with getting a little bit of road rash. She tripped me a few times and that's when I started to do some research.

We put her on a gentle leader collar, which I really recommend for new time, dogs that need to get used to walking and running on a leash because that puts all of the control on you. Their neck muscles are really weak and a gentle leader goes around their nose and above the upper part of their head, like behind their ears and their neck muscles are really weak. So if you want to start change direction, stop any commands, they'll feel it. They'll feel it really quickly. You'll have a lot of command that way. And we use that with Stella. We went on a lot of walks and it took a lot of practice and a lot of commands and they're learning how to walk on a leash and the command for walking and Stella knows the command for run. So she knows a different way to behave when we have her on a leash.

[00:29:36.140] – Allan
Yeah, that that took considerable patience. This was not a I'm going to go out and start running with my dog tomorrow. This is we're going to go out and we're going to we're going to do a little bit of running here and I'm going to teach that and a good tip on that leash because I've I've got one of those retractable, which is something you definitely recommends you don't have if you're trying to run with a dog.

[00:29:57.110] – Allan
He will see something and forget that he has this leash on and just take off and a dead run. And unfortunately, when he gets two to three steps in, he's already full speed and I'm not going to let go of the leash. So he does a 360 and then looks back at me like what just happened? And I'm like, still on the leash, dude.

[00:30:21.980] – Rachel
Yeah. And that takes total practice. And I and I retractable leashes can be really dangerous for you and the dog because it's easy to lose grip of that plastic handle. So now with Stella, I have her walking on my left. That way I'm facing traffic and I'm on the road and she's on my left side. So she would be and the inside of the shoulder that way she can't dart in front of a car or into traffic, which she wouldn't. But because I've trained her. But I'm on the side facing the traffic. And so I have her directly on my left. I want her head where my knee is. That way she won't dart in front of me and trip me like she has in the past. And that way I have a tighter rein. On her leash is a shorter leash and I have a little bit more control over it as well. So they can't dart out in front of you. And like you said, the leash goes the full length and then they get a rude awakening and you have your arm ripped out of your shoulder.

[00:31:23.960] – Rachel
So if you have a shorter leash on your left, that would be one thing to try. Although I know a lot of dogs out there who can run ahead of a runner and they'll stay ahead of a runner without stopping and without pulling. But it just depends on the personality of the dog and their relationship with the owner.

Yeah, no, Buster, I'm going to say we're not into the best of terms right now. He's not been the best dog. Likes to tear up Tammy's plants and she gets angry and unhappy wife, unhappy life. So. Yeah I definitely know, I need to get him out there and get some exercise. It might just be and this is another thing that Bryan talked about, which sometimes just running your dog is quite literally what everybody else does, and it's just playing fetch and let the dog get out and just free run and play fetch with it, because that's the temperament of the dog and how that dog's going to get healthy, stay healthy and be active.

[00:32:27.700] – Allan
And what I found with dogs is if you start running down the beach on your own, the dog's going to run along with you. So, if you can and make sure you're obeying any kind of leash laws and things like that. But basically giving that dog the freedom to kind of play with you, if you will, might be a better choice for me than trying to be a road racer with him right now, because he's just too rambunctious. And I wouldn't feel comfortable looking out for taxis, looking out for him and all of that. So, yeah.

[00:33:01.240] – Allan
It's a good book if you're interested in learning how to run with your dog or learning if your dog is the right kind of dog to be run because not all dogs are. It's a really good book for basically knowing your dog well enough to know if he or she could be a runner. And if they are, it gives you kind of some guidelines on equipment and things like that. So you can do it safely. But as always, anything you're going to do running wise or otherwise outdoors is know your environment, be safe, bring water for the dog. You got to carry your water and maybe the dog needs to carry some water and figure that out.

[00:33:44.500] – Allan
Just as you're going to do this like any new thing, go slow, have patience and now patience for two, because it's not just you, but you also have to have patience that the dog is going to get where you need them to be so that you can have safe and productive runs.

[00:33:59.920] – Rachel
Yeah, that sounds great. Sounds like a great book. Very helpful tips in there.

[00:34:04.150] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I will talk to you next week.

[00:34:07.210] – Rachel
Sounds great. Take care.


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